Category Archives: #OSSEMOOC

Creative Public Leadership: Building a Powerful Case for Change

Early this morning, The RSA posted this report release on Twitter:

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In the report, they set out nine first steps in moving to an education system that creates the innovators needed for today’s world.

Step 1 is Building the case for change.

For those who have been in this business of change for many years, it is a struggle to understand why many leaders don’t see the urgency.

This section from page 8, the Executive Summary, explains the situation with such clarity:

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Page 8, Creative Public Leadership https://www.thersa.org/globalassets/pdfs/reports/creative-public-leadership.pdf

Over the past few years, many leaders have told me that as soon as someone starts talking about 21C, or innovation, or technology, or the 6 C’s, they tune out.  It doesn’t interest them and they don’t see the value.

For those who have heads that hurt from hitting them against the brick walls of hierarchy, remember the Randy Pausch quote:

 

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Creative leadership requires more than courage, more than dedication.  It requires passion and purpose, so don’t give up.

It also requires an understanding of how to carefully defend your position, to find value in your stance, and to clearly communicate that value to those who can make a difference.

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p. 59, Creative Public Leadership: https://www.thersa.org/globalassets/pdfs/reports/creative-public-leadership.pdf

Page 60 of the report suggests first steps for building that case.

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Page 60, The RSA, Creative Leadership https://www.thersa.org/globalassets/pdfs/reports/creative-public-leadership.pdf

What a great focus for our work – building a case for change.

Why is it critical to create innovators?  Why is it, that a school system designed to build a standardized work force, is not creating the conditions for learning needed for young people in a world where robotics and offshore/global competition have eliminated most manufacturing jobs?

How do we convince leaders to  prepare our kids to seize the opportunities that arise when all menial work can be done by machines?

We need creative public leaders who can build this convincing case for change – before we become completely irrelevant.

Featured image from TheRSA.org

Related:

Connecting with the Disconnected – Chris Wejr

Tom Whitby: What is an “Accomplished Administrator” in education?

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Kinds of School Leaders

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#InnovatorsMindset Blog Hop #2: If I Could Build a School..

 

This post is part of a collaborative blog hop.  We all write on a single topic, then post all of the links at once so that readers can read many different viewpoints at the same time.  Join in here. It’s never too late!

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If I were to build a school from scratch, I would start at the top.

That’s right, at the top.

University.

No longer would marks be the thing that determines what children and young adults get to do with their lives.

As long as university entrance is based on ranking children individually, we cannot create the innovative “EY to 12” learning spaces we need in 2016.

Universities are necessary.  We need professional schools.  But why do we think that the people who do best at writing tests will make the best doctors? Or the best teachers?

It’s insanity to judge based on the marks assigned by high school teachers.

Let’s create program entrance requirements that match the capacities required by the profession.

Other university programs can easily be completed through online community-based study similar to what I am proposing below for secondary schools.  But the ridiculous cost of tuition and housing for a basic degree must change.

And what about colleges? Marks can no longer be the currency of program entrance.

Almost half of all jobs are currently at risk of disappearing because of robot technology.

How are colleges embracing this as an opportunity to become more relevant in today’s world?  Are they agile enough to change from centres of knowledge transfer to places that embrace robotics and technology to allow humans to do greater things?

Once we can dispense with ranking children, we have the freedom to really become innovative with our thinking about schools.

Imagine leveraging the power of bringing people into a building every day.  Dean Shareski first made me think of this when we were on a panel together.

Imagine what can happen when school becomes that building in the community where learning happens for everyone.

My school would welcome the community with open arms to model lifelong learning.  It would be a place with resources – family services, a nurse practitioner, a community garden, library, food services, exercise facilities, device access and support for all.

For senior students who don’t require custodial care, I would model the school on the one in the movie, “Most Likely to Succeed“, where learning comes from collaborative projects, reinforced with more formal learning from the best teachers from around the world.  It would be similar to the Inquiry Hub model that won the CEA Ken Spencer Award for Innovation last year.  It is based on cross-curricular learning and conversation, with access to great learning in online environments to supplement the face-to-face opportunities.

First Nations students in remote fly-in communities would learn digitally alongside their peers because education opportunities, and access to pathways, would no longer be tied to geography.

We would use Howard Gardner‘s work on Five Minds for the Future as a basis for learning classical understanding, while building understanding through experiential learning and inquiry would be the norm.

Curiosity and Creativity would be respected and nurtured.  Music education would be a priority for all.

Our youngest learners would be engaged in the current Ontario Early Years model that respects the rights of young people to learn, to self-regulate, and to be in nurturing, healthy environments.

Outdoor play would be part of everyone’s day.  Sitting is the new smoking, and ADHD is diagnosed at epic rates.  Activity is essential to health.

Makerspaces would be the norm. Children would not be sorted by date of manufacture.  Physical and digital spaces would be seamlessly integrated, and tools would be chosen by what each child needed for personalized learning.

Educators would be properly educated for the important role they play in the lives of children.  They would deeply understand knowledge building, constructivism, brain science and learning theory, and they would be encouraged to continue to learn, both with students and on their own.

Time for professional collaboration would be a priority.

This is not a model that ditches the idea that there are things all children should learn, but one that builds on that idea, because just knowing will not be enough for a meaningful life beyond today.

Above all, school would be a place for hope.  The Finnish definition of equity would prevail.

A public education system “levels the playing field”.  Everyone emerges with the same life opportunities regardless of parents or geography.

 

What do you think?

What do others think?

Check out the blogs here.

Paul Mcguire

Amit Mehotra

Patrick Miller

Stacey Wallwin

Leigh Cassell

Tina Zita

Mark W. Carbone

Jennifer Casa-Todd

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Resources:

High Tech High

Dr. Jackie Gerstein – Learning on the Edge & Visions of Education Futures

Pasi Sahlberg – What Makes Finnish Teachers so Special?

We Don’t Think Differently (or do we?) – 7/10

Do we think differently, or have we just learned differently?

This post is part of a 10 day posting challenge issued by Tina Zita. You can’t be a connected educator if you don’t contribute. Sometimes we need a nudge to remember that if nobody shares, nobody learns. Thanks Tina!

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Silence.

You’ve felt that right?

You know, it happens when you say something like, “Why would we not just share that openly on a blog for everyone to see?” – and the room goes silent.

For those of us in the Lone Wolf Pack, this is our normal.

We are told that we “think differently”.

I’m not sure I buy that.  I am not sure that I believe we “think differently”. I wonder if we have just been through very different learning experiences.

We have been learning as networked, connected learners for years – decades in fact.  We have been learning in spaces yet to be discovered, yet to be respected, yet to be acknowledged by the status quo in our profession.

We have been learning different content.  We have been learning through ideas.

Ideas just pop into our network all the time.  Seeing and exploring new ideas daily, hourly, but the minute almost, is what we do.

We have had the time to share, converse, think through, research, challenge, ask about – to form thinking about – millions of ideas from around the world.

Then we throw out one of these ideas f2f,  and silence.

We are called names, like “rogue“.

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 9.14.05 AMIt’s not so much that we might think differently, it’s that we learn differently.

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We learn through education 3.0, in a profession that is talking 2.0 while remaining firmly entrenched in 1.0.

 

 

And that’s the problem.

 

Shared by Dr. Jackie Gerstein under a CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 license https://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/experiences-in-self-determined-learning-moving-from-education-1-0-through-education-2-0-towards-education-3-0/
Shared by Dr. Jackie Gerstein under a CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 license https://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/experiences-in-self-determined-learning-moving-from-education-1-0-through-education-2-0-towards-education-3-0/

 

Featured Image: Shared by Dr.  Jackie Gerstein  under a CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 license

RESOURCES

Dear Lone Wolf by David Truss (@datruss)

 

We Feel Lost – by Will Richardson

35 Years Later – by Tina Zita

 

Katie Martin: 5 Reasons Professional Development is not Transforming Learning.

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http://katielmartin.com/2015/10/05/5-reasons-professional-development-is-not-transforming-learning/

Enabling Educators to be Learners: 1/10

This post is part of a 10 day posting challenge issued by Tina Zita. You can’t be a connected educator if you don’t contribute. Sometimes we need a nudge to remember that if nobody shares, nobody learns. Thanks Tina!

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How can we enable our colleagues to access the rich professional learning opportunities available online?

 

We want to own our own learning.

We want to self-direct our learning.

In 2016, it has never been easier to do this.  The abundance of open, accessible resources is overwhelming.  Learning to manage and organize the information is a new competency.  Learning to reflect, to share, to find, to converse, to connect, to adapt – we are doing this.

Or are we?

We all know colleagues who don’t participate in learning in digital spaces.

For those who provide learning opportunities online, the sphere of influence has a definite, distinct boundary.  They cannot reach the individual who does not engage in digital spaces.

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In the same way, it doesn’t matter how rich, how engaging, how simple to use or how valuable online learning is for educators  if they don’t know where to look for it or how to use the tools that will allow them to access it.

I think that we have done very well in providing digital resources and learning opportunities for teachers.

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Thanks to Julie Balen for collating this year’s #ontwordont

How, now, can we work to enable the educators who still do not access the rich professional learning environment online?

As someone who self-directs their own professional learning online, how can you help one colleague this month to see some value in engaging in online learning or using online resources?

Leverage your PLN to ask for help.  What is the best starting point for one colleague? What can you show them that will help them see the value in engaging in online, self-directed professional learning?

Resources:

OSSEMOOC

Twitter for Absolute Beginners

Leveraging Twitter for Rich Professional Learning

Ontario Edublogs

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#OneWordONT – 2015 and 2016

My #OneWordONT for 2015 was COURAGE.

I checked in here at the halfway point in the year to reflect on how well I was ‘living by the word’ in the first 6 months of 2015.  Courage has been a tough one.  The ‘other side’ of courage can be challenging to manage.

By far the most courageous thing I did was in October, at #IgniteYYZ

Dean Shareski asked us to do an IGNITE presentation on something we are curious about.Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 8.34.52 PM

I’m really curious about how our education system continues to ignore what kids do in digital spaces.  In particular, I wonder about the impact  that ubiquitous access to violent, degrading pornography is having on our young people.

In the lead up to the event, I chickened out and changed topics three times, but deep down I knew that I had to be courageous and address the issue of how horrendously young women are treated in our schools, colleges and universities, and one of the reasons why this is happening.

I have written about the topic of pornography and youth here, and I have posted the reading slides from the IGNITE below.

Thank you to those who came out to support all of the presenters that evening, and especially to those who continue to draw attention to the impact of pornography on the health of our youth long after the event.

 

For 2016, my #onewordONT is

AGILITY

We are living in times of exponential change.

Gone are the days when leading professional learning meant hours of preparing content to deliver.  Leading learning is now about organizing your resources so that you can meet the needs of your learners as they arise.

For example, no longer do my colleague Kirsten and I walk into a workshop with a ready-to-go PowerPoint.  Instead, we do our best to anticipate learner needs, we prepare multiple resources that can be used in numerous situations, and then we meet individual learner needs on the spot.

Professionally, we also need to be agile to take advantage of opportunities in a quickly changing world.

What is our elevator pitch?  Can we express what we do in 140 characters or less?

Are we constantly rethinking, revising, re-aligning our strategies and our work with how the world changes?

Are the structures we rely on agile enough to allow us to take advantage of the best opportunities for our students?

How do we manage the constant flow of information?  How do we create meaning and share it?

Do we allow our beliefs to change based on the availability of new data?

Agility on a personal level is also a priority.  Am I fit enough, healthy enough, strong enough to fully participate in all that life has to offer?

I look forward to learning with everyone in my PLN as we explore and share our #OneWordONT focus throughout 2016.

Happy New Year!

What’s your #OneWordOnt? Be sure to share it on Twitter using the hashtag.

#BIT15: Principals Leading Innovation with Technology

Principals Leading the Innovative Use of Technology for Learning and Teaching

A session at BIT15 – Bring IT,Together 2015

Thursday 5th November, 2015

11:00am to 11:50am (EST)

Technology is a tool that enables innovative approaches to deep learning and student assessment. As lead learners, how are school leaders across Ontario integrating technology and pedagogy into classroom practice? We will hear from Principals across Ontario who will share how they are successfully leading TELT in their learning environments. We will crowd-source this question prior to and during the presentation, and we will share the stage with principals f2f and through Google Hangout and Skype.

So as a Principal, how are you leading the Innovative Use of Technology for Learning and Teaching?

Share using the hashtag #PVPTELT

Join us at #BIT15 on Thursday, November 5 at 11 a.m.

Thanks to Kim Figliomeni and Katie Maenpaa, Greg Pearson, Lisa Neale and Shannon Smith for sharing with the group.

Sharing with #OPCPQP

The OPC (Ontario Principals’ Council) PQP (Principal Qualification Program) courses were, for me, hands down the best professional learning I had ever had at the time.

Taking my PQP Part 2 was, for me, an every second weekend,  20-hour, round-trip drive to Sudbury, driving a standard transmission car with a broken right arm (in a cast), and squinting through many ‘north of Superior’ blizzards.

And it was worth it!

Imagine my delight when now, a decade later, I was asked to share my learning with the #OPCPQP class of 2015!

Thank you to OPC PQP Instructor Lisa Neale, a model “connected leader” herself, for inviting me to share with aspiring leaders.

This time, instead of attending the course in person (1700 km away), I was able to work with the group through a Google Hangout from my home on a Sunday morning.

Today I am sharing the learning resources we constructed together on this topic:

LEADING Technology-Enabled Learning and Teaching:  Becoming a Connected Digital Leader

 

Here are the slides I used to focus our conversations.  Below the slides is a link to the collaborative document of resources.

 

Collaborative Resources on Connected Leadership for Aspiring Leaders.

Please feel free to contribute further resources to the document.

We are Half-Way: How’s Your #OneWordOnt?

In January, we asked educators, “What’s your ONE WORD for 2015?”.  In Ontario, we used #onewordont as a hashtag to collect the ideas, and Julie Balen created a word cloud to share.

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So how’s it going?  Six months in, is this word still a focus for your work?

Today I am thinking a lot about my word for 2015 – COURAGE.

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What does courage look like in practice?

Over the past six months, here are some places I have observed where courage is needed:

The courage to stop and not walk by.  If you are a leader and you just walk by, you say by your actions that “this is fine”.

The courage to take a chance on people.  I think of hockey players – talented players who flounder on one team, then thrive and lead on another.  Take a chance on people who may thrive in your organization while wilting in others.  Not all teams are right for all players.

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The courage to pick up the phone and call, rather than defaulting to an impersonal email message.

The courage to hire the right person, rather than the person who will make the fewest disruptions.

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The courage to let people rise up out of the little categories we put them in – to have a growth mindset about our coworkers and not just our students.

The courage to pick yourself up and dust yourself off again, and again, and again, because kids really do come first.

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The courage to give others a chance to be great.

It’s the courage to support failure as a part of learning not just in your words, but in your practice, especially when it comes to those you work with.

The courage to ask for feedback when you fail.

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In high scoring PISA nations, the courage and tenacity to stand up for what is best for children is valued and encouraged.

Earlier this year, Ron Canuel reminded us that being a connected leader is not enough.  You must also have the courage to use what you learn and move forward with change.

What have you learned by focusing on your #oneword this year?

 

 

 

What’s an Education That’s Worth Having?

[In 2014, I wrote a post on technology and pedagogy that was recently circulated on Twitter.  It reminded me that it is time to update the thinking in that post.]

Simon Breakspear asked the question, “What is an Education That’s Worth Having?” at #uLead15 three months ago.  The answer is complex, and context driven, but, I think we have some ideas.

What's an Education Worth Having?

For me, in 2015, that education includes digital literacies.

We often hear educators say that technology is “just a tool”.  In some situations, this is true.  Technology can be a tool to help students learn traditional content.

But it isn’t true in all cases.  Technology is so much more than a tool. Because of technology, we can now exist in both physical and digital spaces.

The competencies required to thrive and succeed in digital spaces are different from those required to succeed in our physical world, and more and more, these two worlds are inseparable.

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Our children exist in digital space and physical space seamlessly, except, in some cases, in school (and, except for those children who still have no access to the internet or to devices).

The Future of the Principalship in Canada

A recent study of the role of Canadian Principals shows that cyberbullying and policy issues related to social media is the #2 concern across the country.

Why is this the case?

I think we have done a huge disservice to our children.  We’ve known for a very long time that kids can communicate, access photos and share online, but by prohibiting this behaviour in schools – by taking the stance that it is not okay to use devices in school – we have neglected to teach them the competencies required to be successful citizens in the online environment.

So who will teach them now?

Unless we truly believe that digital literacies are important and that the competencies required to be successful in the future must be taught in school, nothing will change.

We need to ensure that our education leaders have these competencies.

Teach and Learn for Diversity. Use Technology to Engage Student Leadership.

Use technology for creative learning and good citizenship

Full immersion in digital spaces is arguably the best way for people to develop these competencies (Doug Belshaw, The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies) and to understand how best to develop them in others.  This requires the use of a number of devices (and reliable access to the internet). Deciding what device is best for what purpose is part of the learning.  It also requires time to immerse and try and play and network and learn.  Educators need these opportunities.

If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.

We can’t let our children continue to play online without the knowledge and skills to be safe, to be responsible, and to lead change in the digital environment.

The change begins by building confidence and competence in digital literacies with our education leaders.

 

Resources:

Doug Belshaw, The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies

Identifying, Scaffolding and Credentialling Skills in an Ever-Changing Digital Environment (Doug Belshaw)

Digital Literacies Wiki (Doug Belshaw)

Mozilla Web Literacy Map

Mozilla Web Literacy

Digital Literacy on #MNLead (June 28, 2015)

Tweets mentioning @simonbreakspear, #uLead15

On Twitter – #digilit

Tom Whitby: The Myth of Innovation in Education

Health and Wellbeing: The Importance of Digital Literacies (from JISC)

 

Simple Sharing and Organizing: Pinterest for Educators

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Image shared under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share-alike license by Monday’s Child.

 

We talk a lot about the importance of openly sharing and curating resources.

One pushback I often hear is, “I just don’t have time”.  I get that.  The job of an educator never ends.  There are always more opportunities to look for that next practice that we could adapt for a particular student need.  There is always one more possibility to try to help a learner move forward.

But what if we could organize our own resources, making them easier to access, and share with others all at the same time?  We could save time for ourselves and for our colleagues – and isn’t that one of the things technology is supposed to do for us anyway?

Earlier today I stumbled upon this fabulous “how-to” video for teachers to help them use Pinterest to organize and share resources.  It is worth your time to watch even if you are using PInterest already.  There are several helpful tips here.

(The video was posted on this blog for primary teachers. Check out the blog for even more tips on curating, organizing and sharing with colleagues.)

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At OSSEMOOC (@OSSEMOOC), we have collated a number of resources on how Pinterest can be used for educators, including for school and system leaders.  I have posted them below for your reference.

 

Here is a quick look at some resources for education leaders:

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Click the image for the link to the OSSEMOOC post: https://ossemooc.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/pinterest-isnt-just-for-crafts-leading-learning-happens-there-too/

 

Here is a step-by-step text guide to connecting and sharing through Pinterest:

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Click on the image for a “how-to” text guide to get started using PInterest for Professional Learning:https://ossemooc.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/ten-minutes-of-connecting-day-10-pinterest-is-for-more-than-just-crafts-and-recipes/

 

Here is a screencast that walks you through the resources included in the above text instructions:

 

 

 

Pinterest as a form of curation (this post includes the above screencast and further resources):

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The screencast and further resources can be found by clicking on this image. https://ossemooc.wordpress.com/2015/05/24/may-24-2015-curating-with-pinterest/

 

Do you need further help in getting started with Pinterest for Professional Learning? Fill out the form here, and OSSEMOOC will add it to the agenda for the 2015-2016 plan for learning.