Things Will Be Better When…

This post was last updated on 4 months ago at 4 months ago

As a parent of 4 adult children, I have witnessed a reoccurring conversation, particularly from about ages 17-25. This is a significant time of transition for everyone as we move from high school to college to employment. There are a number of stepping stones during that time that is often seen as barriers to overcome. Whether it’s graduating, passing a difficult course or finding new living quarters or applying for a job, these all cause a great deal of stress and while in the middle of them, my kids will say something like, “things will be better when I get through this.” While it’s understandable and relatable, I was quick to remind them all that they needed to be careful not to wish these moments away. Many times these barriers were just that, they were in the way of a goal. Applying for jobs for example is not something anyone likes but it’s necessary. Taking a difficult course, while perhaps seen as just a barrier, hopefully, has some relevant and useful learning to be savoured. While this time of life might contain more change and disruption than … Read the rest

Online VS In-Person Professional Learning

This post was last updated on 1 month ago at 1 month ago

I had the privilege of sharing a session last month called “The Future of Professional Learning” based on these previous blog posts. Admittedly I’m still parsing out in my own mind these thoughts and this session was an opportunity to clarify my own thinking but will continue to evolve.

I’m not typically a big graphics guy but created these two images that I believe help to identify what the specific benefits are of both online and in-person professional learning. While some might argue that this is true for all learning, I do believe there are some significant differences between adult/professional learning and learning as it pertains to school and children. First, adults are there most often by choice. While there is still some obligatory professional learning, adults have more choices than most children. If you will like to boost you learning abilities, consider this adderall alternatives which can boost learning. Adderall is a prescription stimulant medication that is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and attention deficit disorder (ADD). It helps to increase your capacity to pay attention, stay focused, improve listening skills, and … Read the rest

From Despair to Hope

No matter who you are or where you’re from, this pandemic has done some damage. It’s by no means the same for all of us and I count myself as one of the fortunate ones in so many respects. Yet even as fortunate as I am, every once in a while I find myself going down the rabbit hole of despair. Whether it’s the implications of the pandemic, political unrest, the rise of conspiracy theories, racial injustices, climate change and the list goes on. Then there are the stories of friends and connections who have been hit hard by these things and it becomes more personal. Some days any of these issues weigh heavy and depending on who you are listening to, reading or watching, it can make these seem insurmountable. You can certainly make the case that these issues are unresolvable and over time that mindset and consumption of fear and dread can lead anyone into some level of depression.

It’s partly due to our extra time to linger and wade in murky waters of sadness and negativity and partly due to the endless stream of voices more than willing to feed your fears, it’s at times difficult to … Read the rest

On A New Team

Team sports have always been appealing to me. Playing hockey, baseball, football and basketball, I relished in what can be accomplished together but also being part of something outside of the competition. As a hockey and basketball player, I took as much pleasure in making a great pass as I did n scoring. Finishing is fun and scoring usually garners more praise and attention and I enjoyed that part but they beauty of two or more people acheiving success is special. Even as a spectator, individual performances are great but when you see people working together that’s beautiful.

Having spent nearly 8 years working around North America and beyond with Discovery Education, I had the privilege of working together with so many great people. I had a great deal of autonomy and did a lot on my own but always felt part of a team working towards a bigger goal. I supported many different people and many people supported me.

When I left Discovery Education in the fall of 2019, I had some decisions to make. I had a number of colleagues who were working as independent consultants and speakers. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that but also … Read the rest

The Future of Professional Learning Part 2

You may want to read part 1 but I think this post does stand alone.

In general, I think professional offerings will be expanded and diversified moving forward. More than ever, teachers are more comfortable with webinars, chats and courses. Since there is currently little to no face-to-face opportunities, it seems participants are more accepting and less critical of offerings because there is no alternative. That said, I believe there is an opportunity for districts to be more intentional and focused on their online offerings as well as rethinking what face to face learning should be.

Professional Learning (PL) covers a broad spectrum of experiences and formats. In 2020, PL has leveraged video conferencing tools more than ever. Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Team are the preferred platforms and the vast majority of PL has been synchronous. Most of the asynchronous offerings have been through recordings of these same synchronous sessions. The more effective sessions have included opportunities for participants to chat and interact via breakout rooms or chat. These strategies are not new but seemed to be embraced and standardized more than ever. Personally, I’ve offered sessions that spanned anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. The longer sessions … Read the rest