“I Couldn’t Agree More” is Meh.

First off, if you rarely read the comments in a blog, you ignore the fact that some of the best learning comes from those who respond and contribute additional ideas, perspectives and insights. Grant it, many spaces, like news sites and youtube are often places where civil discourse is difficult to find. But many blogs, particularly educational blogs offer some of the best places for conversation. Blogs are by nature conversational. Posts are meant to be reviewed, discusses and challenged in the same spaces.

agreeYet, perhaps it’s the overly kind nature of many educators or a fear to engage in meaningful debate, it’s amazing how often I read a blog with some interesting ideas and the comments are filled with replies beginning with “I couldn’t agree more.” Now certainly there are many times when that’s exactly how you feel and so you post with enthusiasm the joy of finding a kindred spirit, I’m not here to criticize you if you’ve ever began a comment like that. Well, maybe a little criticism. 😉

I’m here to suggest that if you only leave those kind of comments then maybe you aren’t putting yourself in a position to think critically or maybe you … 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

Read the rest

7 things you might not know about me

Angela, Barbara tagged me and I’ll oblige.  I thought I had already done one of these but I guess it’s slightly different.

With the amount of sharing I do, I’m not sure if there are 7 things people don’t know about me, but knowing I’ve likely broke the TMI rule several times, here goes:

1. I never planned to go into education. I began my
undergraduate studies intending to go into journalism.  During my first
2 years, I spent time helping in a church pre-school program (I have no
idea how that happened). Several people recognized my love of kids and
suddenly I did too. Having a blog has rekindled my love of writing.

2. I took my daughter with me to University. I was married at age 20. We had our first child 2 years later while we both attended University. My daughter was born 3AM on a Saturday and I wrote a final exam at 9AM that day. The following year was my last year of school and when the babysitter bailed, I’d cart her to class with me. I don’t recommend it but it worked for us.

3. I taught grade 1 for 6 years. … Read the rest

Podcast 42…Student Voices

Wednesday’s class was one of those classes that make you glad you’re an educator. Once again, I prove that my greatest strength as a teacher is my ability to outsource and maximize my network.

In the early stages of this course there’s no question that students feel overwhelmed. They are introduced to many new concepts and ideas that are pretty foreign to most. I wondered if a few of my students from previous sessions would want to share with my current students what, if anything, they learned and are using today.  I have spent a fair bit of time with Kyle Lichtenwald so while his responses were excellent, they were not all that surprising since he and I are fairly connected. Darin Janssen and Nicole Little were students in my Winter 2008 class. Both showed quite a bit of growth in the class and were two that continued blogging.  They shared some powerful lessons about many of the themes I’ve tried to focus on throughout the class:

  • Learning is social and connected
  • Learning is personal and self-directed
  • Learning is shared and transparent
  • Learning is rich in content and diversity

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the work I do … Read the rest