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Showing posts from January, 2014

Rethinking Our Learning Spaces

CC Wikimedia - Thelmadatter Heutagogy , unlike pedagogy, focuses on self-determined learning. As learning and education become more heutaogical, shouldn't our learning spaces accommodate this shift? What are the features and characteristics that define a modern learning space? Notice, that I have not used the word classroom. Several days of researching this topic has challenged my thinking on the concept of classroom. This verbiage has been replaced with terms like; ideation lab, innovation space, maker pods, gamer zone, and learning sector. The concept of specific learning zones is not new. What type of learning would you expect to find in our Auto Shop, our Dance Room, our Transitions Apartment, or our Art Lab? Should these learning areas be separated from each other, or should schools be designed with an open concept to invite cross-curricular, self-directed, learning experiences? We are supporting innovative teaching and connected learning with a 1:1 iPad initiative, an

Grit, Rigor, and The Missing Angle

How do you solve for a right triangle when you are provided with only two pieces of information? I am not a mathematician by any stretch, but I do seem to remember enjoying trigonometry even though it seemed irrelevant to me as a teenager. And I do seem to remember needing at least one more angle to solve for a right triangle. Am I correct on this? My 14 year old son, Trevor, one of the sharpest people I've ever met, started on his math homework last night shortly after dinner. His first choice of activity for the evening, like most evenings, would have been playing X-Box online with a few of his friends. However, Trevor is cursed with good hair, athleticism, intelligence, and a family full of educators. Thus, he has no choice but to take learning and school work seriously. As I started to explain, it was about 6:00 in the evening when Trevor started solving right triangles. As usual, he seemed to have things under control, so I went about my business of cleaning the kitchen

It's Not Complicated, Learning Together is Better

"What's better..?" Planning institute day activities can be time consuming and challenging. As late as earlier in the week, we were saying, " This could really fall flat on it's face. " " People are gonna look at us like we're nuts! " " We could get fired. " In the end, the four of us decided that presenting a plan to gamify our professional development in an entertaining way was worth the risk of failure and embarrassment. As my PLN members often remind me, learning can get messy, and messy is to be expected, especially when attempting something new or "innovative". In December, our small team of school leaders, more aptly, my partners in crime, were tasked with "ramping up" our professional development in support of our 1:1 iPad program. We reviewed the objectives of the 1:1 PD program ( iPad Proficiencies, Classroom Management, Digitizing Content, and Building an LMS Foundation ), and then we started brain

Nocking the Arrow - 2013

Pelican Lake, MN 2013 was an inspired year of personal and connected learning for me. It was my intention to share my thoughts and "learnings" within the seventy-two posts published during the past year. The bloggers that I read regularly, such as George Couros , Tom Whitby , or Will Richardson are those that challenge my thinking while igniting some degree of action, or reaction. Thought change leaders such as these start with, and make me ask "why?".  I want my writing to evolve away from apps, devices, and tools, and move more towards pedagogy, mindset, and social learning.  That said, and I am not quite sure why, but it's still my more "how to", and "what is" posts that attract the most attention. Here are my three most popular posts for 2013 based upon reader page views. 1:1 Digital Workflow  (2721 page views) - provides a recipe for document workflow in a 1:1 iPad classroom. Classroom Management in a 1:1 Environment (2522 pa

Snow Days = Learning Days

There are six of us in our household, and each of us either attend or work at different schools. Earlier, we all received the highly anticipated messages that our schools were closed today and tomorrow due to dangerously cold temperatures. The reaction was the same for each of us, " woo hoo!!! " For those of us that grew up in the northern U.S. latitudes, snow days are like being awarded "free" time. Kinda like finding a twenty dollar bill in the pocket of your jeans before washing them. In my earlier years, snow days were celebrated with sledding, skiing, snow fort building, and hot cocoa. We played cards or board games, read books, or watched TV while our boots and gloves dried out. Since there was no virtual connection to our classrooms, school work was the last thing on our minds - but the learning continued. We learned how to make our sleds faster by waxing the runners. We learned how to build better snow forts by cutting out blocks of frozen snow. We lear