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Category Archives: Communicates to Inspire

How do I know that my support, research, and information is having an impact on staff/student learning?

Throughout the school year I will share on this blog:

1) my evidence from school sites

2) and how I am moving the learning forward for colleagues

I’ve already spoken briefly about it earlier this month in Got How? You Also Need to Know Your Why?.

Based on draft TQS July 2016, I have chosen the following competencies and indicators:

 

Demonstrating a Professional Body of Knowledge

A teacher applies a current and comprehensive repertoire of effective planning, instruction, and assessment practices to meet the learning needs of every student.

  • incorporate a range of instructional strategies, including the appropriate use(s) of digital technology, according to the context, content, desired outcomes and the learning needs of students;
  • incorporate digital technology and resources, as appropriate, to build student capacity for: – acquiring, applying and creating new knowledge; – communicating and collaborating with others, – critical-thinking; and – accessing, interpreting and evaluating information from diverse sources;
  • provide a variety of methods through which students can demonstrate their achievement of the learning outcomes;
  • provide accurate, constructive and timely feedback on student learning;

Establishing Inclusive Learning Environments

A teacher establishes, promotes and sustains inclusive learning environments where diversity is embraced and every student is welcomed, cared for, respected and safe.

  • using appropriate universal and targeted strategies and supports to address students’ strengths, learning challenges and areas for growth;
  • recognizing and responding to specific learning needs of individual or small groups of students and, when needed, collaborating with service providers and other specialists to design and provide targeted and specialized supports to enable achievement of the learning outcomes;
  • providing opportunities for student leadership.

 

For both competencies, my…

Actions/Strategies

  • Acknowledge the diverse needs and contributions of all
  • Access resources, services, information and collaboration opportunities
  • Hone academic, social/emotional and physical skills through knowledge-building, creativity and innovation
  • Utilize a variety of resources, technologies and spaces to support learning for teachers, leaders and students through thoughtful instructional design and collaboration as well as effective assessment of learning
  • Model and share learning experiences to empower real-world and relevant learning experiences
  • Refine instruction for essential digital literacy, research and inquiry and communication skills
  • Develop opportunities for staff learning and innovation to be demonstrated, shared and showcased
  • Build staff capacity to ensure sustainability and attainment of PSD/School Ed Plan/Tech goals
  • Advocate for the essential and effective uses of technology
  • Explore and connect personalized learning while embracing the use of digital literacies and skills to empower independent learners
  • Assist staff in taking ownership of their digital rights and responsibilities in building their digital skills

Resources

  • Learning Services  and IT Teams
  • Senior Exec
  • Admin Teams
  • Inclusive Education Leads
  • Collaborative Teaching Partners
  • Frameworks: Fierce Conversations, Cognitive Coaching, Bucket Filling, Cooperative Learning, Critical Thinking, Universal Design for Learning
  • Listservs: QIAT, ATLE, ORC
  • Alberta Education, School Technology Branch
  • PLN
  • ERLC Advisory Committees
  • ETCATA
  • ATLE and ATLE ProLearn
  • ISTE and TCEA
  • Frameworks: TPACK, SAMR, UDL, DI, RTI, SETT, LTPF
  • Twitter feeds and weekly chats (#edchat, #atchat, #edtech)
  • Blogs
  • 2Learn
  • GSuite Apps for Education

Timeline

  • Ongoing
  • Monthly meetings: Lead Team, ERLC CoP, Inclusive Education Leads, Learning Services Team

 

Indicators of Success

  • Contribution to Learning Services work is recognized
  • Learning Services Team work plan is moving PSD Vision, Mission and Commitment Statements forward as per Admin meetings, PSD Voice, Student Advisory Committee
  • Learning Services Team incorporate the LTPF throughout their work with staff
  • Staff utilizing, documenting success and sharing how they are using technology in learning, for efficiency, etc.
  • Marked improvement between Fall 2016 and Fall 2017 ET/IT survey with Admin
  • Well attended training, PL and PD sessions with follow up work with staff

 

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Design Challenge: Create an Inclusive Playground/Theme Park

Overview

“Children with disabilities are often excluded from, or restrained in, play activities because of the physical barriers of play structures and the surrounding environment” (Ripat & Becker, 2012).  According to the United Nations, 10% of the world’s population has a disability.  Canada and the United States report the rate of disability closer to 20%.  It was reported that only 17 parks and playgrounds in British Columbia were identified as being fully accessible (Accessible Playgrounds, 2014).

 

Design Rationale

Canada is often described as being a civil society.  We pride ourselves in our inclusion of others and our respect of diversity.  However, 1 in 7 Canadians are excluded from enjoying our playgrounds and municipal parks.  We need to revisit the notion of accessibility and ensure our play areas are inclusive for all users, including the disabled and the elderly.  

 

Problem Scenario

Your team has been selected to develop a prototype of a structural element or component of a playground that is inclusive, safe, fun, and engaging.  It needs to foster fitness, flexibility, and a joy of play.  Your team needs to consider issues of mobility, access, sensory challenges, etc.

 

Your playground structure must be a small-scaled prototype of a structural element or component that could be found in a playground or theme park. It must satisfy two of the following identified concerns:

  • Be accessible for someone with mobility issues
  • Be accessible for users of variable heights / sizes
  • Be accessible for someone with sensory issues
  • Be accessible for someone with cognitive challenges
  • Enjoyable for users of all ages

Success will be determined by

  • Uniqueness
  • Alignment of the prototype with the design sketch
  • Ability of your item to help the user enjoy play
  • Ergonomic design
  • Colorfulness to match environment and attract users
  • Intriguing enough to hold users’ attention
  • Degree to which it Is intuitive to all users
  • Functionality
  • Ease of long term maintenance
  • Alignment to design motto: “Make it smaller, stronger, do more, be easier to use, be cheaper, be clean, be greener”

Parameters

  • You must use some of all the items in tool kit in some way  
  • You must consider how to make your prototype colourful, intriguing and ergonomic.
  • You must prepare a group display which includes your design notes, your design thinking sketches and your prototype.

For teacher’s please read through the Facilitator Guide.

And here is the Napkin handout, the Placemat handout. (These resources were accessed from Innovative Learning Centre’s Taking Making into Classrooms.)

BELOW is an ingenious theme park, this video may be shown before the challenge or after. Is this theme park inclusive?

 

Got How? You Also Need to Know Your Why

In May of this year, I wrote about The Elusive Why: Yours and Theirs, and today I continue this stream of thought with looking at the HOW but really to need to KNOW YOUR WHY. Whether this wny is personal or professional there are some important pieces that we need in place in order to find our “calling”, our “passion” or the reason why we get up in the morning every day.

Just taking time throughout the week to look at the upcoming personal/professional activities is important. Yet, having some sort of growth plan will allow for these weekly overviews to connect and make sense with your BIG goals. With this “big picture” plan of personal/professional life in place, we can begin to make incremental changes in our daily habits and routines, and our life will start to change. If you haven’t read Stephen Covey’s, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, definitely check it out!

As well, watch Michael Jr’s short video clip on this topic. It’s a video definitely worth showing your colleagues, family, friends and even students.

Now it’s my time to work on my annual Teacher Professional Growth Plan. As per my teacher organization (Alberta Teacher’s Association), “developing the plan is a professional function through which teachers demonstrate their commitment to lifelong professional learning while fulfilling their regulatory requirement pertaining to continuing education. The key components of developing the plan found in the policy governing growth plans states a teacher’s annual growth plan shall:

  • Reflect goals and objectives based on an assessment of learning needs by the individual teacher
  • Show a demonstrable relationship to the Teaching Quality Standard
  • Take into consideration the educational plans for the school, school board and Alberta Education”

I hope this inspired some conversation on your part!

 

Undivided Attention: BioBreak PD

Nowadays we are bombarded with a variety of messages, information, and resources that are made available through social media, email, word of mouth, video, TV, posters and promotional gadgets. How do organizations and specifically educational teams get these types of messages, information and resources in front of teachers?

Yes, through the exact ways that were mentioned above! YET, in this world where even 7 seconds is precious, I want to leave teachers thinking about a specific resource or idea.

Over the summer my Twitter PLN used #bathroom PD which gave me a great idea to provide learning during bio breaks. No, I didn’t want to invest in fancy frames like Boston Pizza and I wanted to stay away from actual washroom stalls. However, I do know that washing and drying hands do take a minute or two so I’ve asked each school site to put up the edTech Focus inSTALLment posters in this area.

Each coloured poster is slipped into a plastic sheet protector and is put up for a specific two-week period.

Follow this blog so you can see the embargoed posters.

 

 

From Thinking to Doing

Earlier this school year, I shared the Drone history and future Drone taxis with our school division’s Technology Focus Group. We live in a world where innovation, change, design thinking are enabling staff and students to problem solve and create possible solutions. I just viewed the following video while seeing it pop up on my G+ National Geo feed. The perseverance and ingenuity that this group had makes me realize that we all have the ability to make a change.

Life Takes Flight

I dedicate this video clip to the Tech Focus Group who are always looking for ways of #ChasingGenius!

 

Habits: Make ’em Small in order to get Big Results

Habits.

We all have them.

Some are good habits and others we need to let go if we want to move forward professionally and/or personally. If you are interested in habit formation and performance improvement then take 52 minutes and watch and take notes on this video. The speaker, James Clear, shares his work and other research that is relatable for any field of work or personal paths. This particular video was taped during Snaps, a leadership conference that unites key influencers from across the basketball world for a weekend of inspiration, leadership development and relationship-building.

While watching, think about some of the goals and habits your currently have. And write down any great triggers to change or move you forward as you listen to James.

If you are wanting to show this to staff and/or students (I’m in education), my suggestion would be to break down the three parts of the video. Show them on three different days so that staff/students have time to process but not too far apart that they don’t recall the information.

If you are working with colleagues in another sector, figure out what is best to have each part of the video work for your situation. If you have weekly meetings, then you could use each part of this video over three weeks. Or if it is during a work retreat, add more time in between the parts of the video so that staff can write down and do the suggested work.

  • Introduction (0:00-7:19) and Why do some habits stick and others fail? (7:19-22:03)

Ask staff/students to watch the introduction and write down any key thoughts. Stop the video at 7:19 and Think, Pair, Share. If time have some pair share with the whole group. Or those thoughts could be put onto Post-it Notes and stuck on a wall.

Watch part I which is 15 minutes long, again with some note-taking. Write down some systems thinking and goals in your current work, any triggers, list all the things you do (complete the Trigger TChart Exercise) and add a new habit. Share any thoughts with a partner and/or small group.

  • How do I know what to change? (22:03-37:10)

Watch part II, a 15 minute section of the video. List any of your distractions, try the Closing Open Loops exercise. Download and fill in the Eisenhower Box. Share some of your top information in each of the quadrant with a partner, small group.

  • How do I get started and take action? (37:10 – 52:44)

Watch part II, the last 15 minutes. Write down a pre-commitment statement or set up something in your calendar. Statements like ” During next week, I will partake in ___(date)___, ___(time) or any visual cues you might use. And if this topic is of more interest to you, download James’ Transform Your Habits: The Science of How to Stick to Good Habits and Break Bad Ones document.

 

 

The Elusive Why – Yours and Theirs

Today in my inbox was an explosive article, in my opinion, that got me to thinking about my journey so far in the Innovative Teacher Academy. Over the past several weeks, I have been learning with an amazing group of educators from a variety of experiences and places throughout the world. A.J. Juliani, our guide, has set up some amazing weekly backgrounders, activities and questions to keep us talking and sharing. There are opportunities for the ITA17 group to interact socially and virtually. If it weren’t for ITA17, I would not have been exposed to this article. It’s OK not to have a ‘Why’ by Tim Le Roy streamed in my Medium Daily Digest this morning (one of the tools presented to us in ITA17) and set me off to use my Google Voice Typer so I could get my ideas down that were swirling in my head (I just couldn’t type fast enough and I didn’t want to lose any of my thoughts).

PAUSE here to READ the article!

Yes, it’s worth the read first and come back to my musings below. In my work with teachers and administrators as well as Senior Exec in my school division and sitting on various educational committees (provincially and internationally), I believe that the success in moving forward on any project or idea IS THE WHY. If people in an organization, students in a classroom, administrators in a school division, educational departments in a Ministry of Education don’t have a strong handle on THE WHY, no matter who is part of the group, then the WHY doesn’t come as easily, nor do the actions to move the WHY forward, nor the sustainable results. We cannot just skip over THE WHY and Tim’s article is potent in saying that THE WHY can be an individual OR a collective one. For me that was exciting to read. In both my professional and personal life I carry several WHYs, some are easy to attain and attend to (such as supporting my children’s academic and athletic pathways) while others are more elusive (my goals in ITA17 need to change since I’m not completely achieving them).

Reading this article then also pointed me to another goldmine of interesting people and topics. For those of you who are TED-talk aficionados, you’ll now appreciate, if you have not yet been exposed to, like I was to the DO Lectures with speakers who inspire others to DO, too. I came upon Timothy Ferriss’ How and Why to Be Unreasonable Lecture from 2008. I did not know who Timothy was so it was interesting to hear about his incredible experiences when he introduced himself and the different case studies that he shared.

Watch his video (26 mins.) below while thinking about:

  • What resonated with you?
  • What is your FIRST next step?

 

Timothy Ferriss: Aim for the Impossible from The Do Lectures on Vimeo.

I leave you with one of the quotes that Timothy mentioned, in further detail so that you can appreciate Marianne’s overall thoughts. It also captures the VISION for the educational work that I work relentlessly to support.