Saturday, September 24, 2016

Weekly Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

#IMMOOC Week 1: Introduction

Blog Prompts - How are you embracing change to spur  innovation in your own context?

Are we are a compliant school?  Are teachers and students compliant? I say mostly, yes.

When challenged, students seem to want to take the easy way out and complete a checklist of tasks rather than reaching deep to think. Or it might be a risk to try something different. One culprit is time. We do not give students time to think because we don't give ourselves time to think. We get hundreds of emails every day and we are in a constant race to finish tasks and complete curriculum. We have little or no time during the school day to reflect, reflect on teaching and reflect on learning.  It's become easier to email or have someone give an answer rather than take the time to look it up. How did it get to this?

The way I am thinking about change is participating in a small group that is pondering  how mindfulness can help students and teachers in their daily routines and practice. Being mindful means being engaged with learning and fully present in the classroom. It means that the learner is not distracted. It means managing stress and thinking about ways to cope when stress is imminent. It means that learning is joyful.  It also means that students are in control of their learning and willing to take some risks to create new and interesting opportunities for themselves. I'm not sure it will be amazing, but it could have a huge impact on school culture.

Some of the things I'm thinking and reading about:

Sunday, September 18, 2016

100 Maine Educators to Follow on Twitter

Follow these folks! and join #edchatme on Mondays at 8:30 PM EST

What's an #IMMOOC?

In an effort to blog more, I have joined the MOOC for the book "The Innovator's Mindset". A MOOC is an acronym for Massively Open Online Course. The definition is that it's a course of study made available over the Internet without charge to a very large number of people. 

This is the space where I'll be blogging my learning for the MOOC. I'm very excited to participate in this group. I loved reading this book, it really resonated with me and the teaching and learning I am doing at school. As a bonus, George is going to be coming to speak at our school on October 7. We are a small district and have partnered up with our neighboring district to have a PD day together. We are very excited about this opportunity to hear and work with George. The superintendents of both districts bought the book for each staff member, and we will be using it all year as a reference tool.

The beliefs about learning for the district state:

We believe the best learning occurs…     

  • when positive relationships form the foundation for learning;
  • when students engage in high-level learning and access appropriate support;
  • when students have an active role in their learning and in the school community;
  • in a culture of collaboration;
  • when students and teachers extend their learning beyond the school;
  • in an environment of creativity and innovation.

The last sentence is the one that I hope George's book is going to help me with. Creativity and innovation are different from the standard practice that teachers know. How do we help teachers and students find ways to incorporate opportunities to think innovatively and creatively? My hope is that the book and the October 7th day will supercharge some terrific new ideas for teaching and learning in our districts.

The Innovator’s Mindset” YouTube channel

 #IMMOOC hashtag 
Facebook Group