What I Learned Yesterday

I had a couple of moments of reflection within the past 24 hours. First, it was a private message with @thecleversheep that I won’t quote verbatim because, well, it was private. But, it was something to the effect that it’s amazing how wide, varied, and enabling the discussions and discourse was yesterday. The second was a posting from @downes entitled “How to Build a High-Impact Learning Culture“. These were particularly timely as we had had a debriefing at work about the Professional Learning Committees that we were involved with at work. The focus this year was about making schools “Learning Schools” and schools were motivated with a book that we provided to them entitled “Becoming a Learning School” by Joellen Killion and Patricia Roy. Our role was to facilitate the process and certainly we learned a great deal about school priorities and unique issues that each has.

At the end of the day, though, we left the environment and the schools hopefully will keep the momentum going between visits. I made a large number of “PLC” visits this year and was interested and certainly motivated to be part of it. And yet, at the end of the session, a facilitator leaves and one element of community gets left behind. No staffroom banter; no classroom co-visits; no planning; none of the things that goes on in a regular staffroom environment. While you’re a part of it, the operative point is that you’re only just a part of it.

What about your own personal learning though?

That’s where these discussions online with people that I’ve personally chosen to learn with is of so much value. Whether it’s something to do while breakfast is cooking, a quick peek during the course of the day, or an ongoing monitoring in the evening, there’s always something to learn. Here’s what happened yesterday…

  • the ongoing discussion about vuvuzela spilled over to @aforgrave‘s classroom;
  • streaming video of the Denmark soccer game is blocked at work, but I heard about the goal over and over from the sports networks that I follow;
  • @alfredtwo let us know about a huge collection of software that Microsoft offers schools for free;
  • @ransomtech shared some work from Seymour Papert;
  • @rajalingam needed advice about Windsor hotels;
  • @danikabarker is going to enjoy the same show at Stratford Theatre that one of colleagues is;
  • @baded got a job!;
  • I have a good idea of what @thecleversheep is getting for Father’s Day and where he intends to use it.

And that’s just for gossip starters akin to staffroom banter.

For the serious learning, I learned…

  • how to deauthorize a computer from the Apple Store once you’ve reached your five computer limit and need to authorize a new computer;
  • how to transfer an app purchased on the iPhone to the iPod;
  • how to strip extraneous HTML code from a Microsoft Word document suitable for use in Dreamweaver;
  • a whole bunch about optimizing JPEG images (I thought that I knew all that I needed going in…wrong);
  • an easy way to password protect a webpage;
  • another way to share picture and images online;
  • how to recover a confirmation to a web resource when Live mail is blocked;
  • and a bunch of other things.
So, that’s what I’m talking about.  Learning opportunities abound.  You just need to be in the right place and to collect the right people and resources to make it happen.  @thecleversheep was right.  We do have such a wide a varied conversation happening in our online staffroom.  The most powerful concept is to let the learning take you where it needs to go.

links for 2010-06-14