Week 13 and beyond – Applying my learning to current practice

Course Post-Script
Learning in the Junior School Prezi

 

After “completing” this course (however, still consider myself a work in progress :)), I applied my learning directly towards the implementation of a 1:1 initiative at our school for our Junior students. Using research, activities and collaboration with colleagues in the course, at my school and from my wider PLN through social media, I strategized approaches to support teachers, Junior school students and our wider learning community to create an enhanced learning environment using our new tablets (in our case Microsoft Surface Pro 2 ).

For teachers, I created a Padlet for public and productive asynchronous professional dialogue and a Prezi to use in our F2F sessions. Next up, I hope to create a online self-paced course using Blackboard as a resource for very busy teachers to use in their own time or those who prefer to complete independently rather than rely in the F2F sessions. Overall, theories of “connected learning”, samples of good practice (Contact North, Hughes 2005, Lemke and Coughlin 2009), reflections on integration models (Shattuck, 2010)  will inform and guide our progress. Stay tuned to my blog at ict4kids.ca for our progress.

 

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Week 12 – Final class – My Blue Sky thinking synthesis

ARC Blue Sky thinking 5205g
Key Ta
sks
– Found a Blue Sky thinking graphic from my PLN to represent learning in the course
– Created a supplementary graphic organizer to articulate my vision on my journey to become a transformational leader
– Actively contributed and participated in each colleagues’ Blue sky thinking presentations
– Corresponded and collaborated with Catherine and Colin on our learning logs
– Created Week 12 entry on Learning Log and Week 13 post-script

Learning Outcomes 

Demonstrate growth in identifying the issues, barriers, affordances, and potential of technologies in their workplace or education setting.
Synthesize the course readings, discussions and presentations.  Develop and articulate a philosophy of technology leadership.
Participate in a community of learners’ forum/blog for reflection on metacognition. Practice self and peer assessment.

Reflection

When completing this assignment, I considered the development of my thinking and learning throughout the course into 4 categories: new ideas, new skills, new pedagogies and new connections and/or approaches to learning. My graphic organizer below demonstrates my new learning which I will apply to my professional practice, with specific application in a leading an implementation of 1:1 devices in our Junior school. As a technology leader, I hope to partner with colleagues and aspire to the photograph found through my PLN on “Twitter”.  In the class, Colin and Cat presented a picture of an “epic win” from Jane Mcgonigal’s research so perhaps this photograph of PD from @TechSmithEDU demonstrates an “epic win” when educators are collaborating with technology. No doubt these colleagues found something that will benefit their practice and most likely their students.

collaborating techsmith

Here is a copy of the feedback from colleagues in the chat window.

JOSHUA : great mindmap, loved it
Lori: great overview
ORLY: good job Anthony 🙂
JAKE: Thanks Anthony! You have been a great asset to the class! nice job
BRIAN: If your final course is the portfolio course, this summary is perfect to include. The photo represents a mentee and mentor as they co-learn.
JOLI: the popplet was very interesting and a nice overview of the learning in the course
Kimberly: I am always learning in this course! lovin the popplet…. your gr4s have so much to teach me!!! 🙂 lovin the clear organization!
JOYCE: great synthesis of your learning
ALISON: we need to practice what we preach Anthony
Colin: Thanks for the overview. the organization helps the synthesis
MICHAEL: really nice summary – broke down the concepts very clearly and thanks for sharing
Cat: Thanks Anthony – the photo was great – I really like the idea of teachers being as engaged as students in learning and collaborating. Your popplet was really helpful to show your thinking.
LYSA: definitely feel inspired to create a mindmap just for my own learning from this course 🙂
LAURIE: you move from your class to our class and back again – making obvious connections to your learning and ours
 Lorayne: @Anthony – the use of the popplet is great if you are a global thinker! We could see the big picture and then you worked through each concept to get to your metaphor. Nicely done in support of our learning.
ALISON: The photo was indeed great and you really have been able to synthesize what you’ve learned in this class.
Kaley Willer: Great presentation! Your image was very clear and had many great discussion points
Overall, I received some very encouraging feedback. I particularly liked how Brian mentioned the mentor/mentee relationship from my synthesis  photo (above) and that made me consider the importance of being both a learner and educator (sometimes at the same time) to maintain perspective and encourage a learner-centered approach. In this course I learned much from variety of research, activities and most importantly through colleagues. In my practice, I will aspire to be a “lead learner” with my students and adapt to new developments in technology and learning. Overall,..we are a class to tweet about!
IMG_4562

Week 10+11 – Policy Analysis

Key Tasks
– Selected and began working on the “Interview with Technology Leader” option for Assignment #3
– Used my notes from the Borokhovski (2011) article in my research and policy analysis
– Completed Assignment #3 Policy Analysis option instead and created an asynchronous presentation in Voice Thread
– Listened to Week 11 recordings for research and commentary
-Completed Week 9, 10+11 Learning Log entries

Learning Outcomes

Review the ISTE standards for technology leaders and apply them to analyze policy or leadership practice.

Reflection

For my assignment #3, I had a few challenges,  specifically, my interviewee dropped out at the last minute, I was “breaking in” a new computer (A Microsoft Surface Pro 2, excellent by the way (except for the automatic Windows updates that had a habit of kicking in during quiet(ish)moments). Although quiet moments when I was not completely shattered, were rare indeed while on a Disney vacation with 2 very excited kids. 🙂

Plan B was a policy analysis of the social media policy at our school which was quite interesting at this time in our school’s history. The faculty and staff are just beginning to leverage social media to meet the needs of students and learning community and I was looking forward to examining the policy (something I had never done before) and attempting to determine if it meets the needs of current and future students. This practice would no doubt help my professional practice and my school. In many ways as educators we have to protect, guide and teach our students in their environment (traditionally, a classroom or even a playground) but even though now students are more consistently interacting and engaging in digital realms (i.e. Twitter etc.), they will still need the same guidance and help.

Here is my Assignment # 3 using Voice Thread as the platform for my research.

Social Media at Bayview Glen title
http://voicethread.com/share/5550219/

Final reflection – One area that I did not mention specifically in the presentation would be how this policy supports the strands in ISTE standards. I wish I had referenced the ISTE standards in my Voice Thread because that would have been a good form of analysis. In short, the school social media policy does covering the modelling aspect of a teacher’s role with social media and address the leveraging of social media for professional learning. However, more examples of specific potentials for social media in the classroom would be excellent next steps for the school.

Week 9 – Feedback and prep for Assignment #3

Key Tasks
– Selected and began working on the “Interview with Technology Leader” option for Assignment #3
– Completed on Week 9 Learning Log

Learning Outcomes
Review
the ISTE standards for technology leaders and apply them to analyze policy or leadership practice

A Note about the ISTE standards

These standards are familiar to me in my role as a Technology Integration specialist and are vital in informing and guiding our scope and sequence for technology at our school. However, the NETS standards (among other ISTE documents) are an excellent starting points but need to supplemented by specific curriculum expectations and lesson plans.  At the moment, I plan, log and reflect upon our projects and activities with students that meet the standards using OneNote and our Atlas Rubicon software and use other resources like the Common Sense Media guide to cover specific areas like Digital Citizenship.

ISTE tracking
example from my OneNote log

Reflection

So I have had some interesting challenges preparing for my Assignment #3. My potential interviewee (Our Director of Technology) has been SO  busy with the end of term craziness and getting some new technology ready that he has been unable to meet my request for a quick interview. This was a shame because he initially  agreed and I also was so keen to hear his perspective on technology integration and how his role has changed. As a colleague I work with everyday, I was looking forward to hearing his perspective on our roadmap with technology and even a clue to the road ahead. Regardless of finishing the assignment in time allotted, I will definitely find out the answers for my own professional work and curiosity too. Here were my questions.

1. Tell us about your role at the school?
2. What have been the key developments in technology at Bayview Glen in your time in charge?
3. What is the biggest challenge you face in your role? Different campuses, tablet implementation, network infrastructure, etc. ?
4. In my course, we have been looking at whether technology leaders are essentially managers or leaders? Would define your role as a predominantly leadership, management? Both?
5. What is your proudest professional accomplishment at the school?

Oh well. On to Plan B. My backup plan (all teachers and professionals need one !) was to examine our school’s social media policy (2011) which was quite interesting as I am probably one of the heavier users of social media within our school. I deduce that this policy was mostly put in place to help reinforce the expectations of staff and relations with other members of our learning community. (namely students and parents.) Here is the policy in question I hope to examine in detail. In particular, I hope to see if my policy analysis on social media supports the Digital Citizenship section of the ISTE standards and is an effective policy in our school.

Week 8 – Our PBL process and reflection

Learning Outcomes
Articulate a purpose for technology leadership that connects learners’ needs in society to critical and emancipatory forms of technology leadership.

Key Tasks and Reflections

Updated Week 7 & 8 of Learning Log
Below chart pasted from Blackboard as requested.

1. ProcessWatched van Oostveen’s resources  on PBL
Type of Process – Individual
Reflection – Copied the 7 steps of PBL as an initial framework of our PBL process.

2. ProcessOur first step was to create a shared Google document as platform for our ideas, notes and progression of thoughts and ideas
Type of Process
– Group/ synchronous
Reflection – This was an excellent time to share and bond over our individual perspectives and experiences. We also shared our “norms” for communication and contributed our next meeting times and email addresses. We decided that the Google Doc would a good resource to share the ideas and research as informal notes. Perhaps the use of commenting would have allowed individuals outside of the group to make sense of it but perhaps that is adding too much structure to the “messiness” of the PBL model.

3. Type of Process – Individual
Process – Read the Connected Learning article
Reflection – We all read and analyzed the article as it had lots of depth and many interesting ideas. Wish we had read and analyze this article during class time. (i.e. in breakouts)

4. Type of Process – Group/synchronous
Process – Read and Analyze problem
Reflection – We looked for common or shared experiences and all saw the benefits and opportunities of the connected learning model. As an initial perspective and attempt to read and define the problem, we became collectively interested in ways  to connect and prepare educators, educated in the 20th Century,  to support learners in the 21st century.

5. Type of Process – Group/synchronously
Process – Determine what is the problem and definition
Reflection – First attempt to frame the question. Interested in how connected learning could be facilitated by a 1:1 initiative. Could we use “Connected Learning” as a rationale for a 1:1 –program in a middle school?

6. Type of Process – Group/ asynchronously
Process – Defining prior knowledge
Reflection – Had difficulty getting everyone together syncronously for this stage but worked asyncronously on the Google Doc at this stage.  – –
Individual  3. Brainstorming “blue sky thinking”  Explored this video individually. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpQCEgEfRyc

7. Type of Process – Group
Process – Arrange into a clear structure
Reflection – Divided our individual research into 4 distinct parts. This structure would follow into our presentation elements. (In hindsight, we should have highlighted that each of us should share 1 key part rather than try to share ALL research!) Decided to use Prezi for our research and presentation. This framework would allow us to change perspective and detail. (i.e. sometimes discuss fine details and other times take a wider perspective.  At this point, we began preparing a framework for our presentation and focused away from a collaborative Google Doc to collaboration Prezi. The Prezi software allowed “live” collaboration which was helpful for seeing each others ideas take shape.

8. Type of Process – Group
Process – potential knowledge gaps and next steps learning goals
Reflection – We realized we needed some research into 1:1 implementation and Marc found a helpful research study which became a big part of our research and findings. However, we still were not sure about our progress and how we were doing? We reached to the professor for some feedback.

9. Type of Process – Individual
Process – Individual Research
Reflection -As our research progressed, we began to prepare a framework for our eventual presentation and focused away from a collaborative Google Doc to a collaborative Prezi. The Prezi software allowed “live” collaboration which was helpful for seeing each others ideas take shape.

10. Type of Process – Group/synchronously
Process – group discussion: discuss findings and share new info
Reflection -As our deadline approached, parts of presentation and research were completed and considered at various times. This was problematic as this step felt very rushed and ultimately, compromised the clarity of our presentation. (In hindsight, our presentation was too bloated and we subsequently we ran out of time.) Probably, a few more meetings in this stage would have helped us edit, refine and have increasing continuity. Overall, the process of PBL is quite messy and given its structure a flexible deadline (not always possible in a course but perhaps feasible in an research or professional setting) would have aided our goal to research and share our problem of training educators to help mentor middle school students in a connected learning in a 1:1 environment. In short, I found the PBL model interesting but some more time might have helped our presentation. Overall, the messiness and uncertainly made for an uneasy experience (felt quite discouraged with much in the way of help and support throughout 😦 )  but there were some new learnings that I found in the presentations. (i.e. Google Helpouts)

Sorry this chart was not displaying properly so this was the best version I could make without abandoning my theme.

Part 2.  Comment on a key aspect of learning through online interactions in this course using Anderson’s (2008) model of e-learning interactions as presented in diagram 2.4 http://cde.athabascau.ca/online_book/ch2.html

Having resources available and accessible online (student-content) has allowed me to read, learn and explore the educational materials in a variety of times, ways, times and places. The anytime, anyplace and any size (i.e. 10 min. to an one hour +) aspect of this online course has allowed me to engage with material at a quiet moment(?!) amid a variety of professional and personal commitments. In practical terms, I was easily able to download the articles and important documents through a cloud based storage app (Dropbox) and save them offline through my iPad for easy access. I might also access on my computer if needed or even my smartphone. Having a clear roadmap and the material available beforehand allowed me the opportunity to prepare my schedule accordingly to complete reading tasks in a timely manner.
In addition, the opportunity to leverage the web for research (i.e. scholarly resources like Google Scholar or online university databases), annotative evidence (blogs and other social media) and multi-media materials (YouTube and other sources) have been critical resources for knowledge building and further learning opportunities. Furthermore, the potential to connect (student-student) both internally (fellow students) and externally (my PLN) is also a worthy next step and vital for collaboration, idea sharing, discussion, debate and other learning. Finally, active participation through breakout groups, whole classes tasks in adobe connect (i.e. whiteboard) or leading as a discussant allowed me to explore these new ideas through a frank and cordial exchange of ideas and perspectives. My learning style is an active one and I learn best by participation. So far the use of chat, note-taking, reading, discussions and at times social media has allowed me to maintain “flow” while engaging the materials in a synchronously during our  regular class time or asynchronously anytime. (All this possible from my rec room in my pajamas (off camera of course) 🙂 Without this online setting, I doubt I would have the opportunity with my work and personal commitments to participate in this course.

Week 7 – A list of our PBL resources and reflection

Key Tasks
– Met and collaborated with colleagues asynchronously and synchronously using our Google Document and Adobe Connect
– Read and made notes on the “Connected Learning” article
– Created a Prezi slideshow, aided some colleagues with using software for first time and added my introduction and section
– Created resources for our PBL including a comic graphic and found a connected learning “blue sky” thinking video
– actively participated and contributed to our very busy class on each group’s PBL experience
– Completed a Peer Review using a rubric provided on one group’s PBL project
– After running out of time in our presentation, I encouraged colleagues to re-record their part and helped each with using screencasting technology, some for the first time
– Assembled the new version of our PBL using YouTube and submitted to our peer reviewers and the professor

Learning Outcomes

– Demonstrate growth in identifying the issues, barriers, affordances, and potential of technologies in their workplace or education setting.
– Participate in a community of learners’ forum/blog for reflection on metacognition. Practice self and peer assessment.
– Reflect on the course design, take responsibility for your own learning, and provide feedback to the professor to ensure that this course meets your learning needs.

comic2

http://prezi.com/8onfyonjii5w/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

Initial Reflection

If you going to make a fool of yourself, best to do it good and proper in front of a live audience like we did tonight. Despite some excellent resources and some ideas starting to come together, our group ran out of time and I was not to pleased with our progress in the PBL assignment. Oh well, chalk up to experience I guess…) I sheepishly agreed to compile an asynchronous version and hope to post to YouTube for our evaluators and our professor. Hopefully, this “damage control” helps us when it comes to the evaluation. Also perhaps the nature of PBL with its multiple step approach emphasizes process rather than product only so hopefully that can help us. Oh well, I will definitely have more sympathy for my students in group work situations and will assess their progress individually too!

Later Reflection
In fairness, to myself, my peers and colleagues this really should never have happened to our group and the class. Having all those presentations in one class was WAY too ambitious. There was little or no time for questions or analysis. The rushed approach made for a very uneasy experience. Different groups were allowed different times and this is problematic for fairness, especially when such a huge assessment of the course is in play. Giving the open-ended nature of these task, each group might have been offered a shorter platform to reflect on their learning, (online discussion, asynchronous presentation, breakout room etc.) and allowed to candidly reflect upon the process. In addition, perhaps we might be given some carefully selected example problems (perhaps with the option to add our own) in order to explore this new methodology or approach to learning. Personally, it was challenging when colleagues added slides at the end to an already busy presentation.  At the conclusion, I took the initiative to encourage my team to record an (edited) version of their parts and assembled on YouTube for submission. I had hoped that this diligence would reflect kindly on our effort and potentially our assessment. After all, is PBL about a final product or as much about the process?

Week 6 – With the increasing learning opportunities using technology, are the terms digital immigrants and digital natives helpful anymore?

Key Tasks
– Read and made notes on the Borokhovski (2011) article
– Actively participated in class discussions and tasks
– Wrote and updated Learning Log Week 6 and refined the settings on my Learning Log (blog)

Learning Outcomes
– Demonstrate growth in identifying the issues, barriers, affordances, and potential of technologies in their workplace or education setting
– Participate in a community of learners’ forum/blog for reflection on metacognition. Practice self and peer assessment.

Reflection
After back to back weeks presenting, I will admit that it was quite enjoyable to “just” listen and participate without being in the spotlight. I thought the first team made an excellent use of the Adobe connect software. In particular, their use of the whiteboard and plotting everyone’s place on the digital immigrant v.s. native scale combined with their responsiveness in the chat box were great ways to engage and involve the audience. Also liked how they placed the pics of the discussants above the slides. Definitely learned much about organization and presentation using Adobe and hope to put these ideas into practice when given another opportunity to “lead” and present. As for the content, the idea of digital immigrants and digital natives was familiar to me and I totally agreed with the concern about how this labelling can cloud perspectives. In experience as a ICT specialist, I have had the opportunity to work with students for the 15 years with technology and it true that students have an affinity for technology and are capable of tremendous things. However, they are particularly good with their technology. They still need guidance, support and rely on the judgment of educators to help turn “good into great” produce organized, creative and collaborative expressions of their learning using technology.  In short, being a digital native is not a shortcut to success in the digital realm. Students still need the guidance from the so called “digital immigrant” to guide and engage and support them if they are going to produce their best.

One of my morning rituals is read articles on my iPad through an app called Zite. Zite is what I would call a web 3.0 technology as I enter the topic interested in and it creates a customized magazine of webpages and article based on my topics of interest. As I am reading, I also can  “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” and it will incorporate these choices into my reading. I found this article the next morning after the presentation.  In it, the author Tony Bates debunks the classification of a generation as a single cohort summarized by one single term. The work of the discussant tonight plus the additional research I found will be great resources for the upcoming 1:1 initiative in my school and also great for my ongoing technology integration discussions. Sometimes, teachers believe there is a wide gulf between themselves and the students, perhaps I can use the evidence from the prior mentioned sources to provide them with confidence and ongoing support to know that technology integration is perhaps not about knowing all the answers but provide a rich environment for students to ask good questions.