Twitter: True or False?

Twitter.  It’s a social media tool used by millions daily for many different reasons. No question, twitter is powerful.

When I ask ASPS students (grade 7 and 8)  how and when they use twitter their responses are most often connected to following famous people or checking out what is being said around possibly a particular event.  I’m not sure they see it a tool that can help them learn and network with others in the world.

In general, this chart captures an overview of why people are on twitter:
Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 3.45.49 PMSource: How people use twitter in general, American Press Institute 

This post is sparked by a morning of learning alongside with Class 8E and Mr. Brett at on April 19.  Our learning situated around the topic of sourcing and making the connection to this question:  how do we back up what we write? Lots of good discussion and then it got very interesting when twitter came up.

Twitter T or F

How do you know if what you are reading on twitter, who you are following on twitter, what you are liking and/or retweeting is true? As an educator, this is a very important question and one that merits ongoing discussion and reflection with our students.

During our time together in class, an intriguing discussion about twitter ensued.  Students were sharing their thoughts with enthusiasm.  Much of discussion delved into whether twitter was a reliable source. Students commented that often information shared in tweets is questionable, one-sided and often to get attention in the form of the celebrity way. Teachable moments galore!

To help illustrate to students that twitter can be so much more if you cultivate it, I sought the support of my PLN. I posed these questions:

And guess what?  My PLN did not disappoint. Thank you for the responses and being there for me to bring forward to our grade eight students the power of a PLN, my PLN. A personal learning network is cultivated over time and built with mindfulness and can be reliable, trusted and accessed to support your / our learning.  Who you follow matters. How you determine who to follow and interact with makes a difference in your experience.

PLN:  You being there in the moment was powerful. Thank you. Not only in responding to my inquiry but in bringing forward the power of crowdsourcing from others that aren’t in the room. Showing ASPS students how twitter is participatory in ways that serve learning and networking beyond the walls of our school.

Here is a collection of your responses:

How do we back up what we write, endorse and share on twitter?
It is no different from other digital ways of learning, sharing, collaborating and accessing information.  It’s about being a good digital citizen. Using social media and digital tools ethically and and responsibly.

#OTRK12 Follow Up: Professional Learning

On Thursday April 23rd at #OTRK12, I was very fortunate to spend an hour of time with educators from all over Ontario discussing professional learning.

Thanks to @Tina_Zita for the poster describing my session.  The focus was sharing about how leaders balance and blend online and onground ways of learning. Finding the sweet spot!

Tina Poster OTRK12

What an honour and privilege to share parts of my journey in how I learn and grow with my staff at @AncasterSrPS. Continue reading

#OTRK12 Session & Sharing Outline | On The Rise K-12: Enhancing Digital Learning begins tomorrow!

I am honoured to be facilitating a learning session entitled ” Professional Learning: Onground + Online = Super Visibility ”  and it’s for school and system leaders.

Here’s my session description:  
How do you find the sweet spot?  How do you blend professional learning – onground and online – to create a powerful collaborative learning culture among educators?  What works?  Why does it work? How do you know when it is working?  How do you start and continue building momentum? Let’s reflect on how what we do as leaders matters most of all.  It’s more than just modelling–being a connected learner who practices each and every day–is what we mean by Super Visibility.

Come discuss, share your ideas and bring tough questions on how technology enabled learning,  with a ‘no opt out – engage everybody’ focus, is possible.  In fact, it’s what we need most of all in thecontext of learning and teaching today.

Opt In Tweet

As Brandon Grasley mentions in his blogpost, Session Preparation for #ORTK12, the session is only an hour long.  Yes.  That’s right. So…

Here’s what I’m proposing as a guiding outline for us:
1.  Hellos
2.  Share some professional learning models – onground and online  – it’s always a blend
3.  From the stance as leader, list the questions you have about tech-enabled professional learning
4.  Begin to list together how to create a “no opt out – engage everybody focus” <— sharing stories
5.  Discuss why your practice matters most of all as a connected learner
6.  Wonder individually & as a group what’s the next best move in y(our) learning & make a plan
7.  Breathe (as Brandon suggests) and sustain our learning beyond this valuable f2f time

This is an ambitious and packed outline.  We’ll decide together how to keep it real. Looking forward to our time together.  See you soon!

Face-to-Face Huddle, On Safari, Open Discussion @AncasterSrPS

Last week for two days, ASPS students and staff hosted E-Learning Contacts from Northern Ontario. Often referred to as eLCs, these are educators whose focus is to support Ontario students with digital learning opportunities.  As well, learning alongside with us were Education Officers from the Ministry of Education.

My Wondering:  
How to organize our time together so that our visitors would really understand our learning community and our collaborative culture? Continue reading

My One Word For 2015

Give.  It’s that simple.

Give One word 2015

Giving in the sense of sharing what cannot be seen but only can be felt.

Give kindness.  Give time.  Give consideration.  Give love.  Give praise. Give patience.  Give humour.  Give positivity. Give focus.  Give empathy.  Give inspiration.

Give to others. What do other need from me?
Give to myself.   What do I need from myself?

And lastly, whatever is the give is, be sure it is given openly and generously.
So there, you have it, my word for 2015.  Give.  It’s that simple.

Meme goes on…la, de, da, de, de

And the meme goes on. Sue Dunlop, a colleague and friend invited me to join in.  This is a neat way to get to know each other by sharing some facts about yourself and reaching out to others to do the same.  And as Dean Shareski comments, “it’s just an excuse to write, which is never a bad thing.”

This has been the nudge I need. Thanks Sue and many others!  Royan Lee shares that “being a bit allergic to [their] blog dashboards” can happen for some of us.  I’m going to really make it a priority to bring my blog back.  Bringing it back in a way that is meaningful for me and with any luck meaningful for others.  Donna Fry’s post captures nicely what should matter when we write.  It is so important to find the joy in writing down our thoughts and sharing them out there openly. Continue reading

Staff Learning & Capturing Voice

Learning alongside is powerful and builds collective efficacy that nutures relationships, trust and risk-taking. On April 9th, 2013, the @AncasterSrPS Grade 8 teaching staff and I spent time learning together with @bloggucation and @mrjarbenne. The day’s theme focussed on sharing their wonderings and questions about our Grade 8 students transitioning to high school. The “how” was what was different because the day was designed to allow self-directed learning and choice.  We were learning through collaboration with tech tools that foster openness, transparency and choice in how to contribute.  The powerful learning was embedded in the staff choice and experiencing different ways of how one can express their thinking and ask questions.

Staff were learning as individuals because one size does not fit all. The key: leveraging the affordances of technology is the best way to go whenever possible because it allows one to express their thoughts in connected ways via text, image, video, audio creating optimal learning conditions focussed on choice.

Continue reading