So I started this google doc..

That’s a joke that many of us who know Alec Couros use to describe a number of experiences he shares as part of being a network learner and crowd sourcing.

That become the intro to this video I put together along with the help of about 75 others.

The Learning Stuff

These 75 people contributed about 5-60 seconds of video. While I know that it may have been a little more time the idea that cumulative of all this content could be pieced together for something of value and meaning is non-trivial.

I wonder if the more difficult the question the greater the strength and/or structure of the organizing principle required to make the results intelligible/useful? Meredith Stewart

in this case, Alec is a compelling personality that has made huge contributions to many. I could have easily found another 75 people and likely could have made 10 videos given his network. But we can certainly come up with compelling ideas that would benefit greatly from the contributions of others. This is why having and building a network, while not easy and magic, offers new possibilities for learning and change.

The Technical Stuff

A few people have asked about how I … Read the rest

Becoming Narrative Champions

Dean and AlecCross posted on TechLearning
I talk about sharing a lot. It’s a pretty big word that means many things to many people. This past weekend my colleague Alec Couros and I had the chance to lead a conversation at Educon at Philadelphia’s Science Leadership Academy. We asked people to explore the meanings of words like sharing, transparency, copyright and openness. It’s important to have these discussions as those words are used differently and mean very different things. Unwrapping these terms led to some powerful insights for me.

Steven Berlin Johnson’s recent book Where Good Ideas Come From talks about the value of sharing and how ideas emerge not always from singular moments but from stitching together the collective ideas that we get from others. The chaotic nature of these discussions means we need to make meaning and connections on our own. As Johnson says, good ideas are rarely eureka moments but rather take a long time to incubate and mature.

So the idea that really resonated for me was re-imagining leaders as storytellers. As we discussed the barriers of sharing and telling the stories of great learning and great teaching, time and humility seem to be the two

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Playing with ideas at Educon

I don't go to conferences to get new ideas. I've been down that road. That's not to say that there's nothing for me to learn but as connected as I and many others are, it's rare that something will be shared that is completely new. I attend conferences to play with ideas. That's why Educon is a great conference. It fosters and encourages playing with ideas. 

I was involved in leading 2 conversations and both were learning experiences for me. Darren Kuropatwa and I led a session called "What's Wrong with This Picture?" I learned a lot during our planning stages and since Darren and I have never presented together before, it took some time to get our cadence and feel. We both felt there were some good things we did and also some things we would change if we were to present this again. Educon sessions generally focus around rich conversations using a variety of formats and strategies but the idea is for as many as possible to participate. Darren and I wanted to see if we could get our participants to play and explore with ideas around imagery. We were a little concerned it may … Read the rest

TEDx Saskatoon

Given I'm married to an educator, have a daughter just beginning her teaching career interesting in talking shop and spending a good chunk of time online with educators it's no surprise that a day learning and in conversation with many folks outside of education is a breath of fresh air. 

I was honored to be part of TEDx Saskatoon. I spent the last week engrossed in trying not to suck and I think I at least accomplished that goal. I was also happy to give my talk in the first set which allowed me to totally focus on the ideas and talks of the other speakers as well as engage in some pretty interesting conversations with strangers. I heart strangers.

The organizers put on a first class day. All the details were covered and they represented TED and Saskatoon extremely well. The volunteer hours to put on an event like this is pretty significant and you can't help but be impressed with the dedication.

While all the talks offered something, let me share a few highlights.

Ainsley Robertson is a young women who co-founded The Princess Shop.

The Princess Shop creates an enhanced graduation experience for female students

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EdTech Posse 6.4 “Drill Down Baby Drill”


With some heavy, late night editing, Rob was able to get our last night's podcast posted. Nice job Rob.


Show notes:

School reform: The “Waiting for Superman” media circus

Technology issues for post-secondary faculty (informal research for Alec’s discussion with University of Regina faculty)

We can haz prizes?

Thanks to edublogs (especially Sue Waters) for sponsoring the prize for the show. Listen to the show for details on how you can win.

Creative commons music

Opening theme: Creative Commons License nervoso con las guitarras by norelpref is licensed under a Attribution Noncommercial

Closing theme:Creative Commons License (©urve) Music LatinSaint Style by LatinSaint is licensed under a Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)

Enjoy the show: 


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