Watershed Moments of Learning

I was chatting with someone the other day and the idea of watershed moments came up. Specifically, we reflected on watershed moments in our own learning and careers. Watershed moments are those occasions where there the lightbulb came on or something profound was shared or understood. They happen in various contexts no doubt. As I thought about my own I was instantly curious about other people’s experiences.

A few years ago I shared what about believe were seminal moments in edtech history but this is a more personal look at important events that transform my thinking and practices. I thought I’d share my watershed moments in the following format. Professional Learning event or conference, speaker or presentation, book, tool, and person.

I go to a lot of conferences and can be pretty critical. It’s a challenge to try and make an event have the kind of impact organizations plan. I’ve been to a number of really good events but the one that stands out is Un’Plugd. It took place in the summer of 2011 and was a one of a kind event. 40 educators from across Canada gathered for a weekend in northern Ontario to spend time writing … Read the rest

The Good Old Days

It’s not my birthday. More on the photo in a bit.

Today I was introduced by Jennifer Cronk as someone who has been around the world of edtech for a while. She’s right. I started blogging 10 years ago, opened my twitter account 9 years ago. That’s like a 100 in normal people years. It’s odd to look back at the changes but today’s post by George Couros has me reminiscing.

I also liked this quote and have used it often.

People seem to get nostalgic about a lot of things they weren’t so crazy about the first time around. ~Author Unknown

In 2005 the world of blogging was a bit like being a pioneer. Few people were doing it and most people didn’t even know what it was. I was able to connect with people around the world, have people comment and interact on topics most people I knew weren’t that interested in discussing. In those days, spending time online made you a nerd. I blogged a lot because I was finding new things all the time. It was my way of documenting and sharing that really. As I become more confident, I tackled more challenging topics. In many … Read the rest

Great Stories of IT

IT guy


Weird title I know.

Next week I’m speaking to a mix of educators and IT people essentially about how the boxes and wires folks can and should work together with the teaching and learning folks. The dominant narrative seems to be that often these two groups don’t get along all that well, mostly from teachers wanting to innovative feeling confined and restricted.

My personal experience is pretty positive and I recognize that’s not how everyone sees this. I think more examples and stories are helpful.I’m trying to offer ways and means that these two groups can work successfully together.  I’d love to hear your story.  It doesn’t have to be a grand story of organizational change. It might be a simple act of support or kindness from a teacher or IT person that made a difference in a small way. Perhaps it’s a policy decision that impacted you in ways others might not understand.  I’m mostly looking for positive stories but certainly the not so great stories can be useful examples of what not to do as well.

So if you would be so kind, leave a comment, include a link or two if you’ve read or written about … Read the rest

Great Moments in EdTech History

Cross posted at Tech Learning

My two favorite networks, The Golf Channel and NFL Network have been using “Top Ten” format of late to capture almost any topic within their respective sports. Obscure ones like, top ten left handed quarterbacks, Phil Mickelson’s top ten daring choices, etc. So while most of you think that’s pretty lame, I watch in fascination comparing my memories and choices with the producers.

It’s a lofty title but I wanted to look back at my personal journey into educational technology and share a few instances of “aha moments” that I think many can relate to. Not a list, (sorry Lee) in any order of significance but a chronological recollection of memories and events that have been influential in my learning with technology.  

Here we go:

The Digital Camera:
I remember our school got a digital camera in about 1996 or 97. For whatever reason, my principal let me take it home. I don’t recall the brand, I believe it’s no longer around but remember the miracle of being able to plug it into your computer and see your images. I believe it was 640 x 480 resolution. It was the next year the
Read the rest