It’s been a busy week in education in Ontario with job actions in Durham, Sudbury, Peel and the threat of all elementary schools for next week. Is this a sign that it’s time for movement to resolve things? Things have been relatively peaceful in the province. “Teacher strikes: Ontario strikes and lockouts since 1987“.
In the meantime, there continues to be some great thinking shared by Ontario Educators.
As I get ready to post, there’s another notification of a new Sketchnote from Sylvia Duckworth. It’s a lazy time so I thought I’d try something. My apologies to map makers and sketchnoters everywhere.
I had tagged Deborah McCallum to participate in the #MakeSchoolDifferent meme last week. Like the other four I tagged, I like her thinking and insights and wasn’t disappointed. Not only did she respond with one post, but she created two. Links to them both appear above. Ironically, I didn’t find her post through her blog, but through this source. I’m going to have to check my logics here; I should have found it first on her blog.
I thought that her “Think Like a Librarian” post had an interesting spin on things with lots of insight. Can the definition of “classroom” be changed if you view it from the perspective of “library”? Can the definition of “teacher” be changed if you viewed it in the context of “librarian”?
Check out both of her posts.
She also extended the concept by creating this Flipboard document. At the time of this writing, there were 101 articles on the topic flipped away for a single point of reference. It’s a great resource for sharing with staff, principals, superintendents, …
So, those folks who blog indicating that it’s about pedagogy and not technology are all wrong and never watched the Jetsons growing up.
Jared Bennett’s post, I suspect, could be modified and would fit nicely into any time/space in education. It recognizes the disconnect between the classroom and the “real world”.
I would suggest that education will always fail. Education, particularly K-12, isn’t nimble or responsive enough to stay on top of the latest and the greatest. It gives new appreciation for community colleges and some universities, who through their partnerships with industry, do a better job at it. But then, they aren’t driven by a one size fits all curriculum sent from Toronto and they succeed or fail by students voting with their feet and their registration fees. Public education would never embrace it to that extent but certainly private schools can and do regularly.
Having said that, technology, as we know it, wasn’t invented yesterday. With all the money spent on acquisition and installation, it’s so sad that this conversation even needs to take place. You’ve got to ask; has professional learning and curriculum flexibility kept up? Should educational conferences be driven by technology companies that don’t have a staff that makes the connection to the classroom and focuses instead on just showing the latest and shiniest?
Royan Lee shares some very personal information and a wonderful video about Mental Health in this post.
I think we all should stop doing whatever we’re doing to read and watch this important message.
Then, ask yourself “What are we missing?”
Those who think they know everything need to read and reflect on this post from Jen Aston.
Is “tool fixedness” present in our classrooms? Are there tools, strategies out there that we are too fixated on? So much so that we might not see a solution right in front of us?
In the post, she describes some out of the unusual learning activities that were only successful when the mind opens. It’s a nice pairing when you read Jared’s post. How many times do we see a professional learning plan that’s just “one and done”? Why isn’t learning ongoing and reaching into areas previously undiscovered. You see it with current board implementations of Office 365 or Google Apps for Education. They’re so focused on getting everyone to do things one way – their way – that they miss so much more than could be done if they just stopped fixating on “the tool”. There’s so much more potentially that can be done once you get past that fixation.
So, look around. After your “summit”, whatever it was, is there an ongoing discussion? Are people excited and expanding their use of whatever they have access to? If not, has anything really changed?
I suppose that this is a continuation comment to Jen’s but I think it applies nicely to all of the posts here. The authors obviously value the time and efforts and thinking that’s happening with them and share it so nicely. Check them all out and the complete list of Ontario Edubloggers here.
I’ll conclude with this quote from Paul Cornies this week. Why don’t you be friends and follow those blogs? They’ll walk with you into some great learning and thinking.