Critical Literacy


In case you missed it, Discovery Education offered a free virtual conference in October that centered around Kathy Schrock’s 13 Literacies for the digital age. Unique presenters all shared in 30 minutes or less many perspectives on these various literacies. All of them have been archived and edited so they are great for review and sharing at staff meetings or PD events.

I closed the event with a presentation on critical literacy. There were some new elements I had to explore and had a great time putting together this talk. My colleague and friend Steve Dembo did some fancy editing to remove the 10 minute debacle that took place as I lost sound to my computer and had to transfer my slides to another machine. All in all, it worked out and here’s the presentation if you care to watch.

Critical Literacy, featuring Dean Shareski from Discovery Education on Vimeo.… Read the rest

Whatever Happened to Joy? or A Culture of Joy: Part 2

In May I was fortunate to be able to speak at TEDxWestVanEd. Some outstanding talks that I’d encourage you to peruse for yourself. If you’ve never been to a TEDx event, I highly recommend. Knowing how long it takes to craft a 15 minute talk, you know folks are giving you the good stuff.

It’s probably pretty apparent if you follow my work at all you’ll see that a theme of joy is emerging. It was the unplugged event in 2011 that clarified this for me. It’s a message that definitely resonates with many educators who devote so much of their lives to helping children, only to be told in subtle and not so subtle ways that joy is only important if tied to achievement. Baloney.

That’s essentially the the message here. As always I borrow heavily from my network. Kudos to :

Also thanks to the great support of folks that came out that day. I always feel a lot of love from the great crew from Surrey who did an obligatory jumping photo with me.

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 … Read the rest

The Stupidest Creative Act

I was honored to be chosen to give an ignite talk during the opening session at this year’s ISTE conference in San Antonio.

2013 ISTE Conference, San Antonio, Texas, USA

A few random thoughts:

  • These are hard to do
  • I tried to submit slides that contained video and transitions but that wasn’t allowed
  • I’d love to see more of these sessions
  • I think smaller ideas are better and more interesting to share in this format than big ones
  • If I do another one I think I’m going to be more creative with the time
  • People liked my pants as much or more than my talk.

Here’s the written transcript of my talk.

Last month my daughter came to me with a problem. “Dad, I can’t fit any more apps or songs on my phone it’s says it’s full” I grabbed her phone to find out the problem…. 985 selfies….bad selfies at that. Given I’ve been known on occasion to take a selfie and given my house is well staffed with selfie police officers, I couldn’t dismiss her problem.

You see, I’m a big fan of silly. Silly is good, silly is part of what makes us human. In some respects our world is now full of silly. Read the rest

A Culture of Joy: Part 1

Two places I spend a lot of time in are schools and airplanes. What I’ve noticed after the time spent in these places is that cultures are pretty easy to identify. In Canada, the two major airlines, Air Canada and Westjet have very distinct cultures. I mostly fly Air Canada for a number of reasons and must say I’ve had very good experiences. However, if you ask most Canadians about these two airlines, the general belief is that Westjet offers the better customer service. Air Canada is the more formal, serves the business traveller and Westjet has a more inclusive approach that’s focused on a great customer experience sprinkled with fun. Look through their Youtube channel to see what I mean. Air Canada does have a channel too but with a very different focus.

I’ve thought about this before but it struck me after I hopped on a plane after speaking at TEDxWestVancouver on the topic “Whatever Happened to Joy”. On the flight the attendant was so focused on the regulations and walked through the plane literally scolding several people for not taking out their earbuds and talking during the safety presentation. At that moment I recalled a flight on … Read the rest

Things That Suck

Cross posted at Discovery Canada.

One thing that is wonderful about my work with Discovery, and there are many, is that I get to try out a lot of stuff. I was invited to present at LearnEast in Fredericton, New Brunswick which is a free conference for educators put on by Bryan Facey and Jeff Whipple. These guys do a great job and offer a top notch day and a half for teachers. They asked me to Keynote and offer some sessions. When I asked what they wanted, they said, "whatever you like". Dangerous response. 

I'd seen the "Things that Suck" session a few times posted as part of a few EdCamp sessions and was able to see it in action previously under the direction of Carl Hooker. Carl did a great job of engaging folks to open a conference and using it to spark some great conversation about controversial topics. I think it sets a great tone for civil discourse and exploration and sharing of diverse opinions. I thought I'd use LearnEast to take it for a test drive. I think it was an enjoyable drive. 

I created 10 topics and supplemented them with links in Read the rest