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Category Archives: Builds and Enables Teams

Make Yourself Open to Opportunity

Kare Anderson is a super story teller and brings us into her world where everyone can make a difference. Not only are we all “smart” at something, we also can connect with each other and also connect others so they can network and learn. If our stories, our ideas and/or our products/services are presented by people who are startling (grab your emotion), compelling (show you there is a way) and credible (some experience), then change can and will happen.

It’s a great video to watch yourself, but even a better one to watch as a group!

Ask yourself/group – How are we using our collective talents to create a better society? Are there others (outside organizations/people) that we should tap into to help with our cause(s)?

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Creating an Inventive Learning Environment

Invent to Learn ETCATA

I just returned from an amazing two days of interactions, learning, connecting and collaborating with a few 100 of my colleagues, ETCATA Executive, Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager. It was an amazing experience from the start with Sylvia and Gary (Invent to Learn authors) facilitating and introducing us to a variety of theory, history, practical strategies and hands-on learning.

Invent to Learn obligation

Invent to Learn – Making, Tinkering and Engineering in the Classroom is a three-year old book based on how to use (low to high) technology to make, repair or customize the things we need to use in our daily life. The benefit is that students love creating and talking and teachers will love how easily this fits into current curriculum. The ETCATA Specialist Council brought Sylvia and Gary up to Edmonton for April 4-5 and then on to Calgary for April 7-8. This opportunity provides any ETCATA members to connect with each other, learn from engaging speakers and continue their professional learning.

Invent to Learn

With so much being shared, I created a Storify for the 2 day event HERE. And if you have the physical copy of Invent to Learn, make sure you pair it up with their website!

 

 

Learning with CASS and AbEd

I had the opportunity this week to attend a conference with my Senior Executive team. It’s not often that I have an opportunity like this to sit at the same table with them, although I do get to see and touch base them individually within the school division. It was nice to sit and listen to their thoughts during the keynotes. I was also busy during this conference by hosting two sessions:

Leading into the Future with Learning Commons

The Canadian Standards of Practice for Effective School Library Learning Commons allow schools and school divisions to support a continuum of growth through various activities and learning opportunities. This session will share the work that Parkland School Division has taken on over the past two years as well as showcasing the ERLC Learning Commons Demo sites.

AND

Leadership in the LTPF: Cultivation, Capacity and Convergence (with participant notes)

Parkland School Division administrators who are members of the Alberta Education LTPF Community of Practice will share their journey of LTPF implementation at each of their sites (K-12, French, Christian, Alternate, Rural, Urban). The session will have participants reflect and share their own assumptions, inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes that they may already be thinking about and connect it with the strategies and successes that PSD has seen during this CoP work.

Feel free to check out some of the participant tweets, resources and images that were shared at https://storify.com/nlakusta/cass-abed-learning-symposium#publicize.

 

 

LTPF Leadership in Lethbridge

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About 70 participants (administrators, teachers, edtech personnel, and I.T. made their way to Lethbridge over 1.5 days to meet together to share their learning in how they were embedding the Learning and Technology Policy Framework (LTPF) specifically the Leadership policy. Holyspirit School Division (#hs4) was hosting the event.

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It was fantastic to return to my alum as I was both a student and then later a teacher in this school division. I currently have friends and nephews who work and study in this division.

 

Chris Smeaton (@cdsmeaton) reminded our group that his work as a leader is to build relationships with all stakeholders, hire people who are better than you, create a culture of learning and risk-taking.

 

Rhonda (@rljessen) gathered most of our tweets from both days and you can review them and the many images below.

Day 1 – https://storify.com/rljessen/leadltpf-cop-3rd-f2f-meeting

Day 2 – https://storify.com/rljessen/leadltpf-cop-f2f3-lethbridge-day-2

 

For me, I admire those teachers in #hs4 who are looking at engaging, motivating and incorporating different ways of learning for students in 2016. When I was a student in Lethbridge, it was a very different school division. My classrooms had blackboards and white or yellow chalk. Technology was 16mm and beta videotapes (yep, that’s awhile ago) and we all had the SAME supplies, the SAME textbooks, the SAME desks. Education and neuroscience have moved ahead (thank goodness) and infiltrated the classrooms that our group walked through today. Our students are different, our teachers are different and our society IS different.

Some #psd70 leaders share their experiences HERE.

I look forward to seeing #hs4 move further in ingraining technology so that it’s accessible whenever students require it. Their infrastructure, response to BYOD and more collaborative opportunities certainly need to planned for but they have a great foundation started. I welcome any of their teachers and administrators to visit any of our Parkland School Division schools (#psd70) or even have a virtual visit via Skype or Google Hangout. Our school division is heavily invested in critical inquiry, design thinking, BYOD, GAFE and blogging (eportfolios).

 

At Your Fingertips

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 Photo Credit: Keoni Cabral via Compfight

Working within a school division that is using GAFE, I am always looking to further develop my Google muscles. Over the past couple of years I have played from time to time with Google Keep. A tool that can keep track of your notes, checklists, ideas, location reminders, quick collaboration opportunities, voice memos and copy to Google documents.

Professionally, I use it on my smartphone when I’m brainstorming, see something of interest that may assist in my work, take pictures and notes of things I’ve seen during PD and sharing collaborative lists/ideas with colleagues. Personally, I really like the sharing of a grocery list with family members and the location reminders.

Here’s an example of one checklist that I created when a group of us rented a Condo for TCEA 2016 Convention and Exposition. It was simple to set up, simple to share and easy to review when colleagues updated the info.

GKeep list

For more in-depth tips and tricks, see Phandroid’s article.

 

A DEN for Learning!

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Camaraderie, connection and collaboration were key today with the teachers who are part of this program over the rest of the school year. The DEN refers to the Discovery Education Network and this learning opportunity is part of an Ambassador Program that fosters teacher leadership, builds capacity and grows community by empowering staff to share their learning with colleagues and even students!

Parkland School Division has streamed Discovery Education Canada to all its school sites for over a decade and continues to support the resources, activities and interactives that DE Canada provides. I am a DEN Star which offers me opportunities to see upcoming resources, attend special events or even bring in special guest speakers. This Ambassador Program is another step to have colleagues dig deeper to understand the current resources, share their successes and overcome challenges. The PSD Ambassador group for this Spring represents five of our schools.

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This first session concentrated on building a foundation for networking with each other while exposing or re-exposing the group to the Spotlight on Strategies (SOS) series. I have continually shared these instructional strategies via our weekly employee newsletter and really appreciate the overhaul in the past year that these SOS have gone through. The ability to incorporate digital media in meaningful, effective and practical ways is great, but the structure of the SOS is even better. Teachers and even substitute teachers can take these activities and use them immediately. In the video below you’ll hear our Ambassador crew speak about some of their favorites of ones that they’ll be trying and sharing over the next month.

 

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Are Converging Your Learning in 2015?

Convergence defined

#conedtech – an IT/ET conference that was hosted November 8-10 in Calgary by the Alberta Technology Leaders in Education (ATLE) group.

Conedtech_vendors

It is a learning opportunity that I look forward to engaging in every year. My work as a Curriculum Educational Technology Facilitator in my school division has me supporting staff in moving their pedagogical and integration of technology practices forward as well as working closely with our IT department. This conference allows me to experience a greater provincial, western Canadian and North American context.
I was also able to bring along some of our IT personnel who had not experienced this conference and a Principal of one of our new schools that will open Sept 2016. I learned so much just seeing the conference through their experiences. Socializing and interacting with the vendors was great. And two fantastic keynote speakers – The Daring Librarian and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach – just rounded out the whole experience. (Oh, and the food was very tasty!)

Conedtech_psd

Once the conference had ended I took a moment to list all the presentations from the schedule and asked those who either presented or attended the sessions to put a link to their information. The crowd-sourced lists is HERE.

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