The Learning Never Ends

When Lakefielnever-stop-learningd College posted a job for a Technology Integrator to help support teachers in our transition to Mac computers, I immediately wanted it. Having done Cohort21 I felt I was well equipped for the role but what most excited me was working with teachers, and seeing what they are doing in the classrooms, as well as inspiring some to try new things. True to form, learning from others has been the most positive aspect of my role to date.

@Brenthurley and I share the role and this year we’ve implemented a variety of new Self-Directed PD Initiatives. We’ve adapted @gnichols Connected Educator Ninja Warrior Program; we have over 15 staff who are currently working their way through theLearn Cycle belts. We’ve implemented a Cohort21 inspired PLC where we’ve introduced teachers to the #Toolkit and the frameworks for integrating technology; for which we have over 16 staff who signed up but a core group of 9 has emerged. We’ve introduced Socrative, as the Evalution piece in the Five Es of the Learning Cycle. We introduced Doctopus and Goobric paired with Google Classroom to work with timely feedback, and Edpuzzle to address the Chunk, Chew, Check when introducing students to new concepts in a flipped classroom, and many more!!

There have been many highlights this year with people doing amazing things but most recently Lorraine Brown – a Modern Language and AP Eng Lit teacher at the school was looking for a way to help her students critically reflect on their performance in a Harkness Discussion but also wanted them to strive for deeper understanding and critically analyse the discussion. After a brief chat, we agreed that Edpuzzle might be what she was looking for! She had recorded her Harkness Discussion and used Edpuzzle to pose open ended questions to deepen their understanding and really made their learning visible… to them! She placed the questions at manageable times in the video in order to chunk the information and give them time to chew, then checked their responses via the back end of the teacher Edpuzzle dashboard.

She was so impressed with the depth of analysis and deep understanding her students displayed when they were able to see their performance in the discussion. The self-reflection piece to this was key. Students received feedback throughout the process but seeing themselves in the video allowed them to take that first step in internalizing that feedback, and ideally helped nudge them along their path to lifelong self-driven learning.

This is but one example of the great things I get to see in my role as a Tech Integrator, and I am lucky to work with such inspiring educators.

6 Replies to “The Learning Never Ends”

  1. Derek,

    It is nice to look back on the past few months, take stock and feel good about some of the “shifts” you have made. The school you are shifting, the teachers who are shifting and your own thinking that is shifting. Thanks for sharing the journey.

  2. Derek, you continue to inspire me! Thanks for these great links as well. As we all know, finding meaningful PD for teachers is not an easy journey, but to make it as meaningful and personalized as possible – while balancing with the mission of the school and ministry expectations, is even more difficult. I love the approach!

    Keep sharing and keep learning with us too!
    garth.

    • Thanks Garth – it’s a real roller-coaster and I am realizing that things won’t change overnight – I think I sometimes have unrealistic expectations. It’s nice to have people around me to help slow me down and put things into perspective! It’s been great to not only have mentors like you, @jmedved, @ckirsh and @lmcbeth to go to in times of challenge, but the #cohort21 community as a whole who continue to inspire and support one another through the ever changing educational landscape!

  3. It sounds like you’re doing some really awesome work at Lakefield, Derek!

    I’m so glad you shared what Lorraine Brown is doing in her class. During Term 3, my Gr. 8 English class focuses a lot on building discussion skills via the Harkness method. In the past, I’ve sometimes found it challenging to get students think more deeply and critically during our discussions. I really love the idea of recording the discussion and then using Edpuzzle – I will definitely have to try this out in the coming months in my classroom.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Hey Allison,
      Yeah, no worries! I am glad you can use the strategy. I forwarded your Twitter handle to Lorraine since you’re doing amazing things as well, I hope she’s reached out but I know she has at least looked at what you’re doing.

      It really nails down the importance of sharing, because we’re all in this together! Thanks for the comment!

      • Thanks Garth – it’s a real roller-coaster and I am realizing that things won’t change overnight – I think I sometimes have unrealistic expectations. It’s nice to have people around me to help slow me down and put things into perspective! It’s been great to not only have mentors like you, @jmedved, @ckirsh and @lmcbeth to go to in times of challenge, but the #cohort21 community as a whole who continue to inspire and support one another through the ever changing educational landscape!

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