The Importance and Seriousness of Silly

Saturday I was fortunate to be able to present at the Social Learning Summit for Classroom 2.0 and Discovery. it was a fantastic array of content which fortunately is all free and archived here. I've done plenty of virtual presentations before but this time I actually did it in front of 30+ teachers in New Brunswick

At any rate, this was a talk about an idea that I often allude to in my presentations but have never devoted an entire talk to it. Along with the help of some great friends, I shared some ideas about "silly". It's not the typical tool or how to session but there are some ideas here that I'm still working through and trying to fully understand. Like most of my work world, this is a sandbox presentation, playing with ideas and seeing if they resonate. You tell me. 

Blackboard Collaborate Presentation

Slide Deck:

 … Read the rest

Network Fatigue

Susan Carter Morgan writes,

These days, though, I am finding myself struggling to share. I remember waking up one day last summer, moving through my morning routine of checking twitter, Google reader (and then Google Plus) as I had my morning coffee. Suddenly, a thought flashed into my head. “I don’t want to do this anymore.”

Closing my laptop, I headed out the door and took a long walk. I wish I could tell you I had some epiphany. And, no, I didn’t immediately stop using social media tools. But these past few months, I have found myself slowing down to a crawl.

I value the friends and connections I’ve made online, but I have tired of the conversations and this need to always be “on.” Instead of joy, I feel stress. I know, that’s my problem, not social media’s. Yet, I wonder….

This is not a new phenomenon. For those of us who have dedicated significant portions of our lives online have likely all felt this way at times. Having just spend a few days completely disconnected, I have to say it was refreshing. Yet coming back I didn't feel like I needed to dive in fully. There was actually Read the rest

Pursuing Intentional Serendipity

I think the phrase I'm looking for is intentional serendipity. I think it's Peter Skillen's term but there may be others using a similar concept.  In a world where play and wonder should really be considered essential dispositions, our education rarely values learning that isn't somehow tied to a chosen standard or outcome.

Unlike a classroom where a teacher controls the lecture, the organic communities that emerge through collectives produce meaningful learning because the inquiry that arises comes from the collective itself.
https://kindle.amazon.com/work/new-culture-learning-cultivating-ebook/B004S72WOS/B004RZH0BG

 

Integral to this idea is giving yourself opportunities to experience and facilitate serendipitous learning. Currently there really isn't a better way to make this happen than twitter.

Here's the story.

Yesterday I'm attending a full day workshop (workshop is a loose term, it was really a 5 hour lecture) with Dr. Larry Bendtro, researcher and founder of the Circle of Courage Institute which focuses on reclaiming at risk students. Dr. Bendtro is a good speaker and while a 5 hour lecture isn't an ideal way to learn, there were lots of nuggets of learning I took away.

Sitting in the auditorium made up of educators and community people, I did see several ipads out Read the rest

Pimp My Slide

I like design and I like making slides. We know that images can increase recall and understanding. You don't have to agree and this post isn't so much about convincing you of that as it is about the wonderful ways in which collaboration and push back can happen online and actually make things better. 

I've been thinking about the phrase which I have come to dislike, "it's not about the technology" I wanted to capture that idea in an image and began thinking about the way musicians use their instruments. Trying to find a name of someone who would be most recognizable I chose Yo Yo Ma. You don't have to acknowledge if you've never heard of him before because the image I found tells you all you need to know about his love of music and the cello. 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/worldeconomicforum/2297224410

 

​So I began with this:

 

After I posted it to flickr, Darren chimed in with this suggestion:

 

Try using a brown similar to the cello instead of yellow. You can use the colour picker in Keynote to do that.

Love the pic, and the quote.

I tried that and responded:

Tried your advice Darren

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Rethinking Learning

I had the privilege of presenting to 150 high school teachers in Elk island Public Schools on Friday. Keeping participants active with limited technology and  moving beyond table discussions to experience some of the themes I wanted to explore was a good challenge for me. Fortunately, I was able to work fairly closely with a great leadership team from the district that wanted to insure a day of learning that met their needs and provided opportunity for follow-up. 

I thought I would share a little about the content as well as the format and process of this workshop in case it has value and ideas that others might find useful as well as a chance to provide any suggestions for improvement. 

For the morning I decided to chunk my keynote into 3 sections and offer a chance to play and learn in between. My plan was somewhat derailed as my brand new MacBook Pro decided to have a kernel panic twice during my talk and caused me to restart. Some fancy footwork hopefully kept the momentum going and participants were kind and willing to go with the flow. I thought my presentation was synced to my ipad via Dropbox but … Read the rest