This Is All We Know So Far

I’ve had many opportunities to share my views and practices around assessment with a particular focus on how we use technology but also shift the conversation towards grading and more on documentation and reflection. A really important component of all of this is how we model our thinking and learning. Inquiry isn’t just for students. I share my learning project where I learned to play the guitar and am always on the look out for educators who do similar. It’s great to see teachers ¬†sharing their stories of learning in public.

Friday I was conducting a workshop with educators in Winnipeg and Roy Norris, who I’ve met a few times shared a project he did this year with his family. Living in the prairies we drive by fields of wheat on a regular basis and he wondered as perhaps many of us have, “How much wheat do you need to grow in order to make a loaf of bread?”

Roy and his family set out to seek the answer and did us all the favor of documenting the learning.

100_4911Each entry reports what they did and some reflection on the progress. He also ends each post with “this … Read the rest

The difference between Khan and Austin

I get it. Will is has a point about the Khanifcation of Education. But as I expressed

…after watching a few and even knowing one of them, Paul Andersen, I was under the impression that most of these are classroom teachers. At least many of them are. So what's the problem? I get it, you're worried about Gates' vision of Khan but I think Khan himself argues against his work replacing teachers. I say, be wary of the business model approach but also let's stop crapping on people, teachers or not, who just want to share. If we keep this up, we're going to be discouraging new folks from sharing lest we check their credentials at the door.

These gurus are teachers and they're doing what many have us have been doing for years, sharing what they know. The fact that many of the things they're sharing are directly aligned with many curricula shouldn't make them any more of a teacher than a textbook should be seen as a teacher. They're resources. And while the video format is more compelling and often a richer learning experience, they don't replace a great teacher. They might replace a lousy one, … Read the rest

The Ukulele Project Remixed

The Ukulele Project Remixed

I originally blogged about this  story almost 3 years ago from CBC Spark. It represents so many wonderful ideas about sharing, connectedness and the shifting role of teacher and education. I'm planning to use it in an upcoming presentation but didn't want to simply play the audio. I spend about an hour finding the right footage and photos and created a pretty simple movie. Again, nothing fancy but if you'd like to use this 3 minute video, you're more than welcome to do so. 


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Podcast 52: Me and Zac

If you want your brain to hurt you might want to listen. If not, go find another way to spend an hour. 


Zac Chase and I talk about learning. I don't know if that sounds boring to you but Zac makes me think and challenges me about my learning project and some of the things rummaging around his brain.



 … Read the rest

Guitar Lesson 9: Sometimes Good Enough is Good Enough

Guitar Lesson 9: Sometimes Good Enough is Good Enough

I promise I won't endure you to any more of my playing. In some ways it's hard to see much project. I think I put in close to 50 hours. I do like the fact that I now can pick up a guitar and make sounds that are not completely random. I know there are many out there who have a loose relationship with a guitar and desire to step up their playing but for many reasons don't. As a golfer, I know I could do better but actually am quite satisfied with my level of play in that I have no intention of doing anything special to improve other than continuing to play the game. I realize that in order to really improve, I'll need to take lessons and spend lots of time practicing but I'm not prepared to do that and that's okay. 

Kind of reminds me of lots of learning we do. Sometimes good enough is good enough. Say that in schools and someone is bound to scream "Blasphemy!" Shouldn't we always ask our students to excel, to do their best, to aim high? I don't think so. Some of you are reading that right now in Read the rest