Category Archives: Improves Continuously

My #oneword for 2017


Design Thinking into Biohacking?

I just recently read Brian Aspinall’s (@mraspinall) blog post on Coding: Developing Rigorous Thinkers where he discusses the reason why students should learn to code – to think, problem solve, take risks, modify their work through trial and error, etc. All the competencies (specifics from Alberta Education) we want them to engage and grow as learner and it reminded me of an amazing TED Talk from Andrew Pelling where he “grows” human ears from other objects that you would never suspect.

He also recently founded pHacktory which is an independent research lab founded on extreme play, curiosity, undertaking audacious projects, taking risks and learning from failure.

I wonder how we could take Andrew’s zest for engaging in dramatic and disruptive learning and put it into our learning environments?




Sir Ken: A New Model for Education

Sir Ken was pushed into the global educational spotlight over a decade ago with his sharing via a TED talk regarding schools killing creativity and follow up talks such as Changing education paradigms, and Bring on the learning revolution. He’s also traveled the world even visiting Alberta a number of times to heighten our awareness that the traditional way of teaching and learning must change.

The video below is part of an introduction to the work Sir Ken is participating in with the Atlantic Rim Collaboratory (ARC). This is a global group of educational systems that want to advance values such as equity, excellence, wellbeing, inclusion, democracy and human rights for all students within high-quality professionally-run systems. What rings true for me is that the educational community cannot rest at ease in the work to move the learning and teaching processes forward. No longer should it be acceptable for systems to just look at OUTPUT but look towards SUSTAINABILITY while equipping teachers and students to handle the current and future global challenges and changes. It is also important to note that Sir Ken says it takes more than just one group to make this move, it takes many.



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)?


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!



Have Numbers, Will Travel

mathAlberta Teachers specifically, but anyone who has access to the internet and a great Math PLN will have access to this fantastic website of resources. The Alberta Regional Consortia (consists of 7 regional Consortia) promotes student learning, achievement, school improvement, and parental engagement in the educational process via various PD opportunities. Today, I am pointing out the Elementary Mathematics Professional Learning area.

Teachers and administrators may peruse through each section of a wheel. Within each section will be a Foundational Webinar (some archived, some still to come), Key Understandings, Background Knowledge, PofS Outcomes, Evidence of Learner Understanding, Research Links, Try This, Resources, Parent Communication. It is really well put together.

Possible Uses:

  • Groups of teachers could view part or the whole archived video and look at how this would move forward their current work in the classroom.
  • Administrators could show part of a video and have small groups of teachers dig into specific sections (as mentioned above) and share their learning with colleagues in a Jigsaw activity.
  • Share resources, research with staff in a newsletter.
  • Place parent communication information in a school newsletter or website.
  • Video own students showing what they know and what next steps could be.

Of all the information that was presented to me during the Making Additive Thinking Accessible for All webinar, I really like the Quick Formative Assessment tool that was presented. I look forward to sharing this with teachers and see what they think of it.


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.


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!)


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.