There has been a lot of buzz about change and walking the talk in the blogosphere recently. A few of the things that have made me pause and think include:
- The release of A Vision for 21st Century Education produced by the Premier’s Council on Technology. Chris Kennedy posted a summary in his blog post “A conversation starter” that got me thinking about how cool it would be for this vision to be a focus of all schools in BC. Ultimately I decided that despite my enthusiasm I needed to focus on changes that were within my sphere of influence.
- Conversations about sharing. These include Dean Shareski’s k12 online keynote “Sharing the Moral Imperative”; the great comments I received on my blog post “How can we teach sharing”; and most recently George Couros’s reply to a comment I left on his Connected Principal’s blog post called “Turn on the Share Button”. In particular he reinforced for me the importance of mentoring in moving towards sustainable change in the way we do things.
- The Cooperative Catalyst blog and the #blog4reform blog posts describing action steps different people were committing to undertaking in 2011.
So in the spirit of #blog4reform I am going to try and outline my goals for facilitating change in 2011. As always my goals are a lot loftier than the 20% release time I have available to carry them out.
- I am going to initiate a monthly Parent’s Coffee Morning meeting where we can discuss the technologies that are impacting the children’s lives and how the school and parent’s can work together to help students stay safe and leverage these technologies. This is an idea I got from Kim Cofino’s great blog Always Learning. In her words the idea behind a monthly parent coffee morning is to “build parental understanding of the ways that technology is changing society, and therefore, changing education. Every month we watch a short video and then discuss the implications on education and learning, always with practical examples from classrooms”
- I am going to start a group for teacher’s interested in learning more about blogs, twitter, rss and social media in education. The goal of the group will be to increase the number of teachers at the school using social media and sharing their ideas and classrooms online. I also hope this group could be a place for discussions about shifting our school and what this might look like in our context. I am acutely aware at work that I have a lot of ideas about what this shift might look like, but that it is time to share these ideas with a wider audience and get feedback on them. For any shift to be sustainable it needs to be the result of a lot of discussions and involve as many stakeholders as possible.
- I am going to continue to support our elementary teachers as they try to integrate technology into their classrooms in a meaningful way. I am pleased that this year both our Grade 1 and 2 classes have been blogging and I’m pretty sure it has been a meaningful learning experience for them. If we can keep them blogging as they move up the grades at the very least they should have no problem using blogs as eportfolios.
- I am going to integrate more technology into my Math 7 classroom. I hang onto this class because I need it to keep me honest. Integrating technology meaningfully into my ‘technology’ class is easy; doing it in my ‘math’ class is hard and feels much riskier. Some of the things I want to do this year include: filming the students explaining how to solve challenging problems and posting their solutions online (inspired by this blog post); posting pictures of board work to a blog that parents and students can check (I have this crazy idea of taking a picture with my iTouch 4G and uploading it to a Posterous blog); using online resources to differentiate instruction (I hope to play around with TenMarks and have used some Kahn academy stuff already); and finally I want to do more project based learning, particularly using the Kiva microlending website.
I think that’s it for now. Feels good to write this down. Now comes the hard part.