The Maker Movement

  "There is no innovation or creativity without failure. Period." ~ Brene Brown   I'm intrigued by the whole idea of the maker movement. It reminds me of my childhood where we had a room full of Lego and my dad's workbench that my brother and I used to make things on during our downtime. Now as our school moves from a traditional library to a learning commons, with a makerspace, my focus has shifted to how to support our teachers and students. I want to create the conditions that will best support a makerspace in our school. But how do that when I really have no background knowledge of what effective makerspaces look and sound like or how they are utilized to meet the needs of young learners. My professional learning plan over the summer will consist of a lot of reading and research. I came across the book...
Continue reading
2180 Hits
4 Comments

Inspiration

" No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world." ~ Robin Williams   Inspiration can come in many forms. Words, videos and actions by others can have a huge impact on your work or your life. This month I'm inspired to follow the lead of a colleague and friend who I admire for her leadership, values and conviction to education. For the month of May @sburyns blogged about something every day. 31 thoughtful and inspiring posts. There wasn't a day that went by that I wasn't inspired by her post. So for the month of June I am going to follow her lead and blog every day. You might read this and think I'm crazy to attempt this in possibly the busiest month of the school year for administrators, but I'm up for the challenge. My only fear is where the posts are going to...
Continue reading
2080 Hits
4 Comments

The More Things Change ~ Reflections from #BIT14

  "Excuses change nothing, but make everyone feel better" ~ Mason Cooley   I started the title for this blog with a partial quote "The more things change..." because of what I have experienced with the use of technology in the classroom over my career. The technology has changed dramatically, but not so much how it is used and who is using it. For the second year in a row I was honoured to present at the Bring IT Together conference in Niagara Falls. This year I presented with my good friend @sbruyns on being a connected administrator. Although I thought our session went very well I left the conference with a sense of emptiness.  The sessions I attended were valuable and the keynotes were excellent. What really struck me though was something that Ron Canuel  talked about during his Friday morning keynote. The idea that it's always the same faces,...
Continue reading
2590 Hits
1 Comment

EdCamp London - Just Around the Corner

    The excitement is starting to build for London's first EdCamp. For many in London and the surrounding area it will be their first experience at an "unconference" so there may be a bit of apprehension about what to expect. With less than 50 spots remaining I wanted to use this blog post to give a bit more insight into what to expect at EdCamp and to try to convince those that are sitting on the fence that this will be a great day of professional learning with people who love education.   Lots of discussion - at the heart of the EdCamp experience is the chance for attendees to discuss those burning issues that may not be the topic of conversation in the lunch room. It's a chance to go deep with your ideas in a safe environment with other people who have similar passions.  The law of...
Continue reading
2942 Hits
0 Comments

Another EdCamp, Another A+

  "The smartest person in the room, is the room." ~ David Weinberger   This past weekend I attended my third EdCamp and it was another A+ experience. Every EdCamp that I've been to has had different strengths and takeaways that have moved my learning forward. EdCamp Waterloo was no different. Below is a reflection of my day in Waterloo and what I learned. It's always great to share a day of learning with friends. Saturday was no exception as a number of the EdCamp London organizing committee decided to make the hour long drive to Waterloo, not just for the day of learning but to gather more information and ideas for our own EdCamp which will be held in April.  It's also great to make personal connections with those in your PLN. The first person from my PLN that I saw and had a great conversation with was Mark...
Continue reading
3821 Hits
0 Comments

Open to Learning

    This post has been rumbling around my head for the last couple of weeks and I've finally been able to put some perspective around my thoughts on professional learning. I believe strongly that everyone in education has a responsibility for continuous learning. This includes senior administration, administrators, teachers, support staff, custodians and facility services workers. What this looks like from an individual perspective can be much different. Some may choose to attend conferences while others may decide to read journals, work with a mentor or even take courses. The value of committing to ongoing professional learning is that you accept the idea that in order to bring your best to the people you work with, there is always something that can be improved. In my experience being open to learning is not always the case and this challenges me on a professional level. How can I as an...
Continue reading
3911 Hits
2 Comments

Looking Back, Moving Forward

  "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other" ~ Abraham Lincoln   It's that time of year where you begin to see more and more blog posts reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the next. It's a time when many people make resolutions. You can find lots of strategies and suggestions for making and keeping your resolutions but I have always found that above all one of the most important strategies is to put them in writing. By committing your resolutions to writing, especially in a public space like a blog, will bring your focus and purpose together to make that commitment strong. If you don't have a blog, write them on paper and post them where you can see them often. Whether your resolutions are personal or professional the only way you will succeed is to find...
Continue reading
2789 Hits
0 Comments

School Based EdCamp for Professional Learning

  "Questions are the purest form of expressed curiosity." ~ Steven Katz   Have you ever read a blog post and said to yourself as you were reading it "I was just discussing that the other day"? Well it happened to me recently. Last week we began the process of planning for learning networks within our community of schools. This is an opportunity for teachers to work with like grade teachers in other schools for professional learning. This year is a little different than in the past as administrators have been given more leeway on how the money for the release time is spent. More autonomy has been given to administrators and teachers as long as the professional learning is based on Collaborative Inquiry, Differentiated Instruction and/or the use of data. This is much more open than the prescriptive directions given in the past. So with the ball in our...
Continue reading
8008 Hits
4 Comments

ECOO 13 - Reflecting on Learning, Part 2

  "Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school" ~ Albert Einstein    My last post focused on two of the keynote addresses at ECOO 13. They were engaging and uplifting to say the least. But ECOO 13 was much more than great keynotes. There were hundreds of sessions scattered over the 3 days in lovely Niagara Falls. This post focuses on the sessions that I was lucky enough to attend. I must first give a huge shout out to the organizing committee and in particular Doug Peterson and Cyndie Jacobs for putting together an amazing selection of sessions. It was so hard to choose which sessions to attend, they were all so enticing. Below are my thoughts and reflections on the sessions I attended.   Using Technology in Innovative Ways - Karen Lirenman ( @KLirenman ) When I was browsing the Lanyrd mobile...
Continue reading
3936 Hits
0 Comments

ECOO 13 ~ Reflecting on Learning

 "Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow." ~ Anthony J. D'Angelo     It's been a whirlwind of professional learning for me over the last 4 days. Wednesday night I arrived in Niagara Falls for ECOO 13, ready to present on Thursday afternoon and to attend as many of the amazing sessions as I could. Then on Saturday I was back in London to attend our district's annual iCon conference where I was presenting a session on Twitter for administrators. Now it's Sunday morning and I've had a chance to rest and reflect on what was an amazing 4 days of professional learning.  There is just so much to write about that I've decided to break it into 2 blog posts. Today's post will be my thoughts on the keynote presentations from Amber MacArthur and Jaime Casap . The second post in a...
Continue reading
7434 Hits
8 Comments

EdCamp London ~ Ready to Go!

  April 12th, 2012 is the date. Althouse College at Western University has been booked as the venue, the website is up and running (check it out here) and the organizing committee is ready to spread the word about London's first EdCamp. We've got some great stuff planned and are excited to invite educators, parents and community members. I've been to two EdCamps, both of which were great learning experiences, but were also quite different from each other. EdCamp Hamilton was held in a small elementary school in Ancaster Ontario and followed what I had read about the typical EdCamp experience. Participants registered, got some coffee and treats and then began to post their ideas on a large planning board in the hall. EdCampers were then called to hear a brief introduction while the organizing committee planned the sessions and the rooms. Then we were off for a great day...
Continue reading
3604 Hits
0 Comments

An App to Catalogue Your Books

  You can not open a book without learning something ~ Confucius   If you're anything like me you've probably loaned a book to a friend or colleague, forgotten who you loaned it to, never to see it again. While I love sharing my professional library to those that want to read a book of mine, I would also like to have it back! Last week I came across an iPhone app that solved my problem. It's called BooksApp 2 . There is a free version, and an in-app purchase option to go pro for $3.99. I splurged and went for the pro version which I'll explain why later. The app basically allows you to catalogue your entire library collection with a scan of a barcode or a manual entry of the ISBN number. Below are the features of BooksApp: Create Series of books Create Collections Lists of books by...
Continue reading
3246 Hits
0 Comments

ECOO 13 ~ Bring IT, Together

If you live anywhere near Niagara Falls you really need to check out the ECOO13 Annual Conference from October 23-25. There are hundreds of sessions to choose from, as well as social activities such as a photo walk, dinner and networking and a morning run along the Falls! I'll be leading a session on Engaging Student Voice through Video, and I'd be happy to share my experiences with you, in fact I'd love it! There will be keynotes from  Amber MacArthur, Jaime Casap, Kevin Honeycutt and Robert Baker.   Check out the ECOO13 website and register today. It's going to be amazing!      
3645 Hits
2 Comments