Lessons Learned from 10 Podcasts

My new podcast (I’ve been podcasting for 10 years, just not very regularly) was born out of curiosity and the realization that there may never be a better time to do this. I’m well aware that many others are jumping on the bandwagon and that’s fine, in fact, that kind of sharing should be encouraged and applauded.

I’ve always said that if I have any strength, it’s my large network that has been built for the past 15 years. I know a lot of people, a lot of smart people. So with some extra time I decided to try and capture as many different people, places and roles around the world to share the impact of Covid19. I share with them these questions as a guide to our conversation:

1. What are you and your fellow teachers being asked to do with regards to your new duties?
2. What supports or messaging are you most grateful for?
3. What challenges are you most concerned about?
4. What does your new daily routine look like that you’re finding either delightful or odd?
5. What good are you hoping results from this crisis?

Thus far I’ve published 10 podcasts and have 3 … Read the rest

Learning Hasn’t Changed

This post was last updated on 6 months ago at 6 months ago

As we all work to navigate our new realities, we’re still driven by structures, mandates and paradigms. I don’t say that as being necessarily bad but it’s true. It’s comforting to be careful with language and calling this time “emergency remote learning” is useful. The linked article and others written by folks like AJ Juliani help to frame what’s happening to schools.

But learning is still learning. George Couros’ school vs learning chart highlight many of the paradigms educators are recognizing and working to dismantle. The term online learning has been interpreted as the formal course work that I’ve been involved in for years. When schools talk about online learning, that’s what they mean. But Stephen Downes wrote something that reminded me that we need to be careful with equating online learning with formal education.

It’s a post worth reading as it challenged me with my own bias about online learning. He argues that while this time and place for educators is indeed difficult and less than ideal, it’s important not to define online learning as
being “planned, deliberate and thoughtful in the sense that Read the rest

The Achievement Gap Will Grow

This post was last updated on 6 months ago at 6 months ago

I had some thoughts on it a while back but in the light of our world today and my most recent post I think it’s worth acknowledging further. While the recent post was intended to shed light on the opportunities that exist, I did address briefly the equity issue but wanted to expand a little on that idea.

I’ve never been a big fan of the term achievement when it comes to learning. It seems like a term that invokes competition and constant goal setting. Not that those can’t be useful perspectives but it makes learning sound like a mountain to climb rather than an environment to live in.

Equity has become an increasingly important conversation in education. Whether it’s economic, physical, racial, cognitive or other, education has equity problems. Physical classrooms and spaces can address some of these but now with all our students at home, the differences among our students are fully amplified. Classrooms and schools while certainly far from perfect do many things to give all students opportunities to learn and grow. Teachers in general work hard and have some influence in addressing gaps … Read the rest

Delight 10: Dad’s Emails

My Dad is 88. He is amazing in many respects. He’s healthy, loves life and is a joy to be around. He’s also a great learner. He has learned so many skills in technology from a digital camera to a laptop and more recently an iPhone. All of these things he’s embraced after the age of 70. He calls me weekly with some kind of technical issue he’s trying to resolve. He sees me using an app and wants to know what it is.

I have a great story I’ve told occasionally in my talks but what brings me delight is his emails. No punctuation and no sense of breaks. Just a run-on stream of consciousness.

Dean

aunt della died today she was 92 oh well tomorrow Ill go strawberry picking shot an 86 yesterday it was a really warm day see you soon

dad

That’s the best. … Read the rest

Delight 9: Savouring words

I started my delight project on March 5th. I’ve yet to decide if it was the absolute worst timing or perhaps the absolute best. At the time the Coronavirus was somebody else’s issue. Soon after I started, things escalated quickly and today, of course, we’re facing serious things that makes delight hard to find. No matter the timing of this, I’m forging ahead.

While words and language have always mattered, I feel as information and ideas are so freely accessible and shared, it may be more important than ever to be clear about what we mean.

You can read a couple of posts of mine on language and words. As you can see, I can get worked up about the improper use of words. Another example of this is the work and thinking I’ve done around joy. Often people come up to me after I present and swap out the words “fun” and “happy” for joy. While I’m not opposed to having fun and being happy, that’s not really what I mean when I talk about joy. The definition I most often use is around the expression of well-being. Being well and in a good place is closely … Read the rest