Final Reflection and Plan of Action

April 22nd, 2014

My intention this year was to move beyond Resource Centre electronic tools and email-based information sharing practices to cloud-based information sharing (e.g., Diigo) and communicating within Cohort 21 through blogging, Google hangouts and tweeting. This has been a challenging experience for this “digital immigrant.”

Exploring new ideas and dialoguing about educational issues is the best part of my job. I read magazines, watch Ted Talks and follow list serve blasts all to stay current. Cohort 21 felt like a buffet of new tastes to try. My learning insight was a reminder that new ideas, even ones grounded in research and filled with promise, need time, patience and an implementation plan that reflects school context. I plan to move forward with the following strategies:

Understanding motivation. New electronic tools are in great supply and are tempting. For digital natives, they might be like regularly scheduled upgrades rather than new concepts. Before jumping in, the “digital immigrant” in me still stops to consider, “Does it fit within the school strategic plan? Is it a priority of my school division or department? Are there school policies that impact use of this product?” Equally important, “Will it enhance student learning in a way that I can measure?” If not, “why use it?”

Consider context and time demands. What are the current school priorities? Where is the school in both the CAIS school accreditation cycle and strategic planning process? What other school-wide initiatives are planned? What co-curricular and extra curricular programming is underway? Are teachers’ plates already full? Where does it fit within my priority list?

Responding to different learning styles. In my case, face-to-face discussions, skill-building activities and trouble-shooting support during implementation is critical. This requires time as well as outside skilled expertise. In any group, there may also be “digital native” educators working ahead who need no support. It’s still helpful for them to share their achievements.

Create time for consolidation of learning, especially when the learning curve is steep. This means hours dedicated to feedback, discussion, re-teaching/coaching and measuring results. Is there room within the current PD schedule?






Action Plan Ideas

December 5th, 2013

I pass educational resources to teachers on a daily basis. Up to now, I have been emailing teachers links to subject-specific websites, trials for new resources and forwarding articles from a variety of list serves.  One concern is that constantly creating new bookmarks and using email to communicate is subject to hardware malfunction and is typically a one-way communication path.

I would like to use Diigo as a new resource sharing tool. I plan to start with a small group to gauge how well the product works for adding comments, saving screen shots and highlighting text, then move to the creation of a group for each subject area. My long term hope is that other people will contribute and share great resources.


Hello world!

October 12th, 2013

Welcome to Cohort 21 Cohort 21. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Cohort 21 is a unique professional development opportunity open to teachers and school leaders who are seeking to build a learning network amongst CIS Ontario member schools. The Cohort 21 community will be built on a foundation of collaboration and innovation and together, will investigate and refine 21st century teaching and learning best practices through the rich experience of “learning by doing”.

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