Just a Lot of Thinking

As I blogged yesterday, David Warlick spent the day with Computers in Education School Contacts, Principals, and the IT Department in a “Visioning Session”.  The goal was to help us with our thinking about what possibilities exist for students and teachers who want to learn and construct with our current and future connectivity realities.

Now, this could have been a session where you come in, sit down, and start taking notes because you are about to get the answers.  Such was not the case here – the answers and potential lie within.

Me, visioning by myself – thanks, David Warlick
So, the ultimate goal, it would seem to me would be for folks to walk away thinking and pondering all that was done.  Judging by the artifacts generated yesterday, it worked.David always starts his presentation by sharing something that he didn’t know until the day before the presentation.  In this case, he shared with us the website Twitcritic where you could get the buzz from Twitter about what movies are trending and popular to help you determine you movie going habits.  Neat concept but I couldn’t help but wonder a couple of things – first I think it’s very appropriate to share your current learnings with others if you want to model the fact that we should always be learning – and secondly, if I’m involved with a movie, I’m going to do my best to enlist folks to twitter about my movie.

So, the table was set and the visioning continued throughout the day.  For some, it was new learning and thinking; for others it was an affirmation that they’re already on a similar track; and for others it opened the doors to new possibilities.

With that in mind, we engaged in the process of thinking and imagining.  There were few “thou shalt” moments.  The tables were turned and we were forced to think about what is possible in our own contexts.  Through a back channel conversation, an electronic message board, to a graphic organizer where activities and ideas were held up to Bloom’s Taxonomy, we we challenged to seek a vision for what might be possible.  Everything had to be expressed in terms of verbs.

Overnight, I checked in with some of the CIESC group who were appreciative of the opportunity and are already talking with their principals about things that need to change in their schools and what types of opportunities are good for kids.  For me, I went to teach my course at the university and we had a good conversation about things and the skills and attitudes that their youthfulness brings to the profession.  Then, it was time to drive to Toronto for the Minds on Media session today and my mind was spinning with ideas and concepts for the entire drive.

I really like it when someone makes me think.  Yesterday, it pushed the entire group in the room to think about the possibilities.  Yes, there will be challenges but we need to keep an eye on the target.  As our superintendent noted yesterday, we need to focus on our students.  What type of graduates do we want leaving our system?  What are the skills and knowledge that they need?  What will prepare them to cope with a future that is so hard to define?

There was a lot of thinking as we left the session.

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