Joe Bower

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Joe Bower leads a session in Calgary

Today a Canadian hero in education died suddenly from a massive heart attack. Joe Bower as a middle school teacher from Alberta. He was 37 years old.

I almost didn’t write this since some folks had already written about Joe. But then I realized the more people know about Joe and his work, the richer his legacy. If you know Joe, followed him on twitter, read his blog or heard him speak, you likely already know what a smart, passionate thinker he was. My own interactions largely revolved around me introducing my pre-service teachers to his work as well as referencing him in any presentations I did around assessment. I use this slide to showcase those that have influenced my thinking around assessment. Some of these folks are world renowned “experts”. Joe was every bit as important as any of them. (Sadly Grant Wiggins passed away in 2015)

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As eloquently and passionately as Joe shared, what was overwhelming evident to me is how much he cared for children. He was willing to speak the truth, even when it was harsh and unpopular with many. Not to be provocative but because he truly … Read the rest

2015 Year in Photos/Videos

This completes my 7th year of taking a photo a day. Inspired originally by D’arcy Norman, who is 2 years ahead of me, It remains as just something I do. Like Alan Levine, I do occasionally miss a day, but not more than a handful a year.

In addition, I like to create a compilation of my year via video. Here are my past efforts:

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2009
2010 (aka, the year I tried something crazy)
2011
2012
2013
2014

I wasn’t sure I was going to make one for this year but in a surprising twist, one of daughters said, “When are we going to see the year in photos?” Each year I’ve made them watch it they usually groan and complain, make snarky comments about too many golf and conference photos but also have many memories sparked about their own year.

 

I tried to get this under 20 minutes but couldn’t quite as I know some folks attention spans are minuscule. I didn’t include every photo but most every. So if you have 20 minutes, enjoy. If not, move it along but many of you are in it. Leave a note if you are. :)
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2015: My Year in Numbers

20 years ago, we would have a New Year’s Eve party and send our kids to their bedrooms to sleep and be quiet while the adults partied. This year, my kids had parties and asked us to go to our bedrooms and be quiet. Circle of life? Not sure, but it did give me time to make this.

This is my 4th year doing this. Starting in 2012 continuing in 2013 and 2014, it’s something I can put together in an evening. It’s equal parts reflection and creativity. Maybe that’s what data should be. I don’t know. Anyway, without further ado.

2015 Year in Numbers from shareski on Vimeo.… Read the rest

The #deanies

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What are the #deanies? Simple. They are a prestigious award designed to recognize the very best in education. Or maybe not.

As with much of my goofiness on twitter, this started on an impulse. I’m not 100% sure what triggered it but I think I was reading my stream and someone posting about an award they won. There is lots of controversy out there about the need and purpose of awards. Frankly, I’m not that invested in the conversation. However, I think, for the most part, they don’t mean a lot other than someone thinks you deserve some recognition, which is a good thing. But the reality is, most awards are given by small groups of people with little or no authority. Again, that’s not a big deal but then I wondered, what’s stopping me from giving out awards? And the first #deanie was born.

Since then, I’ve given out more than 100 #deanies. You can view them here or here or even here (be sure to filter by twitter). My criteria follow strict guidelines of whim and … Read the rest

My Community Story

Cross posted on the DEN blogs

If we consider life a journey, it’s important and fun to look back at how we ended in the place we are today. For the past 10 years or so I’ve been on a journey and many of you have been on one similar to mine. Some have started at different points but the idea that we’re a community of learners looking to leverage technology to create better and transformative learning experiences is what keeps us together. That and the vibrant and diverse nature of our relationships.
Let me go back 10 years. While the DEN was just birthing, so was my own community experience. On Feb 6, 2005 I started a blog. Without knowing what it was but had heard that it was free and easier to publish than using Dreamweaver or Frontpage, I thought I would try it. To say it transformed my professional life would be an understatement.  Specifically the first comment I received which came from a special needs educator from Texas had my mind spinning. Why was he commenting? How did he find me? What did I know that might help a special needs educator? As I reflected on this … Read the rest