Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Are you ready for this?

I recently caught up with some of my 'nearest and dearest' and had the pleasure of observing my great nephew as he contemplated the differences between technologies. He had been playing a game on an iPad and then switched to watch a DVD on a portable DVD player. I watched with interest as he pinched and expanded his fingers, on the screen, in an attempt to make the screen bigger. As a two year old he has already identified some of the key functions, similarities and differences between technologies. He knows which technologies to use for particular functions.

I have reflected on this over the last couple of days and I wonder - 'Are we ready for him?' As a two year old he has another three years of pre-school learning before he enters his first primary school. Imagine how much knowledge he will have developed by then.

What will his first school learning environment look, sound, feel like? Will we have learning programmes, that are personalised and designed
  • to build on his existing knowledge, fostering new knowledge
  • to challenge his thinking and stimulate his inquiring mind
  • to capture and foster his creativity
  • to promote the dispositions of 21st century learning eg. collaboration, risk taking, open-mindedness, reflection
  • to integrate technology seamlessly and discerningly

He will be expecting this. Will we have the capacity and capability to deliver?

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

A great way to learn

Tonight I saw the perfect example of how professional learning is changing for teachers. I attended a  Connections Open Meeting with the ConnectED Cluster 

This cluster have strategically developed and sustained a professional learning community that is now inspiring the region. For this occasion there was no guest speaker, just a planned opportunity for enthusiastic and passionate teachers to connect, collaborate, communicate and learn from each other.

Approximately 200 educators from schools and organisations throughout Hamilton and the wider Waikato region attended.  The attendees were welcomed by Dave Winter, Project Leader, Marcus Freke and Tanya Thompson from the governance group who highlighted that delegates would 'get out' of the evening what they 'put into' the evening.

Tables were allocated for discussion on set topics with a volunteer nominated to facilitate the discussion. Topics ranged from Digital Citizenship, Modern Learning Environments, Student Opportunity, iPads for Learning, Great Apps, Emerging Trends, Teaching as Inquiry, Cybersmarts and Leadership to name a few. There was plenty of opportunity for networking and discussion during the evening.

This evening modelled the learning opportunities associated with the pedagogy of modern learning environments. It was:
  • learning focussed, personalised, driven by and designed to meet the needs of the participants.
  • mobile and flexible, cultivating networks of connections through the effective use of technology
  • building capacity and community, providing opportunities for communication, collaboration  
Congratulations ConnectED on another successful learning opportunity.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Time to make time

Over the last two days I have been privileged to have attended a workshop with Kevin Honeycutt and Ginger Lewmann. As educationalists how do we ensure that we are modeling and enacting the advice, we espouse, in regard to the dispositions of learning. How can we ensure that we are preparing our students for their future?

To be honest I do not know the answers - two days with Kevin and Ginger left me with more questions than answers ..... but .... I left today enthusiastic to embrace some new challenges. Challenges that will assist me to become better equipped in my role as a facilitator. The first was to capture the some of the gems, rich takings from the session via the twitter feed.

The second challenge - is this blog. For many years I have been saying - I will get around to writing a blog when I have time. The last two days have made me aware that I will never have more time, but if I value the opportunity to reflect, wonder, question and share my wonderings, then it is time I started.

So here goes....