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Category Archives: Systemic Improvement

My #oneword for 2017

 

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.

 

 

Give Every Child a Voice

This is such a powerful and emotion story! Grab some tissues, sit down for 17 minutes and take time to watch this video. As you do so, think about:

  • How can we design learning opportunities for students to experience a variety of different technologies so that they can communicate, create, and connect?
  • What does independence mean to you?
  • What is your definition of an Inclusive Classroom? How can you create one? Who can support you along this journey?
 

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)?

 

Gone Digital: Good and Bad Connections

At the end of May, I had an opportunity to spend 1.5 days with some pretty ‘smart’ people regarding how emerging technologies can hold both a promise and a peril for individuals, families and communities. The evening lecture and the day long Invitational Research Colloquium on Growing Up Digital in Alberta: Children, Youth and Society shared some amazing findings. (I will make my best attempt at summarizing what these incredible experts shared.)

The evening was an overview and open to the public while the colloquium was invitational and hosted a variety of professionals and diverse groups from across the province. A few goals to think about as you delve further into this subject:

  • To consider the extent to which technologies are (re) shaping the minds and bodies of children and youth
  • To explore the neuroscience and psychology of digital distraction(s)
  • To identify the issues, perspectives and contentions emerging from current Canadian and American research
  • To discuss the 2015 findings of the Harvard University, Alberta Teachers’ Association and University of Alberta longitudinal study on Growing Up Digital (GUD) in Alberta
  • To generate key questions to guide policy decisions and future research on emerging technologies, learning, teaching and the well-being of children and youth

Our expert speakers were:

Larry Rosen is a research psychologist with specialties in multitasking, social networking, generational differences, parenting, child and adolescent development, and educational psychology, and is recognized as an international expert in the “Psychology of Technology.”

Michael Rich came to medicine after a 12-year career as a filmmaker. His current areas of health research and clinical work combine his experience and expertise in medicine and media, making him the world’s first “mediatrician.”

Here is a visual and audio (I created) summary of Larry and Michael’s presentations. While watching and listening, think about:

How does this information challenge or affirm current practices and policies?

What key research areas or essential questions require further exploration?

Larry – The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World

Michael

Michael – Gaining Connectivity Losing Connectedness

Michael 2

Yet there is more. Watch the following THREE videos that continue this conversation and research on this topic.

 

How Brains are Built: The Core Story of Brain Development

 

Come Play in the Sandbox

The Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan (ASEBP) has published a Calendar and Health Planner for the past five years. What I like about it is all the information that is packed inside. The challenges and ideas motivate me to try something new or share some of the resources with colleagues. Tips include nutrition, physical health, mental health to name a few. In November there is a fantastic Holiday Season Challenge (see weekly challenges in the image below).

There’s also a website – The Wellness Sandbox which promotes employee wellness that has some information and resources.

IMG_0895

 

Are You Brave?

Having another opportunity to host a Leadercast in our school division is just an amazing and unforgettable experience. For those who don’t recognize “Leadercast”, it is a day-long learning event with a variety of speakers focused on speaking on one particular subject from their own experiences.

 

This year the speakers were:

Leadercast-Speakers

The theme – The Brave Ones – showcases one of the essential behaviors for innovative and forward-moving leadership. Those leaders who push their organizations into different paths and who are bold enough to think of both the ethical, social and moral pieces while engaging their people are the ones who we heard from today. It is not just those famous leaders that one needs to think about, it is important to think about everyday leaders in their communities who are audacious and driven to make a difference.

 

Whether it was in the journal in print or the Leadercast App, there was a Be Brave Checklist found in both. For each speaker session, (there were four) participants were asked to create their own brave action. Below are mine, so far….

Session 1 – speakers: Andy Stanley, Rorke Denver, Bill McDermott

  • To wrap my head around the idea of saying “wow” not “how” when ideas and/or policies are not meeting our educational standards. Then ask “what do I believe is impossible to do in our educational field but if it could be done, would fundamentally change our work?” I will have to think more about what I could ‘bravely’ be doing to answer that question. Currently, in Alberta the previous government froze $$ going to school divisions for the 2015-16 school year, however last week a new government was voted in. Could the $$ situation change soon? If it does or doesn’t, I still need to think further on this.
  • Leadercast_Andy
  • Sketch created by https://twitter.com/TheSketchEffect on May 8, 2015
    • Session 2 – speakers: Malala Yousafzai, Peyton Manning
  • Continue to speak out for all students and my instance that the learning environment be set up in a universally-designed manner to engage everyone no matter where they are in the Alberta curriculum continuum. My goal is to support teachers and EAs and students to utilize available resources, materials and tools. It is also my goal that our Admin and any leaders who present or create workshops also think about adult learners and design appropriate, engaging and demanding opportunities for participants.
  • Leadercast_Malala
  • Sketch created by https://twitter.com/TheSketchEffect on May
    • Session 3 – speakers: Seth Godin, Ed Catmull
  • I need to work on being even more curious, to think outside the box and share my thoughts with colleagues. I do have a great Learning Services team and school division whose vision is to provide “a place where exploration, creativity and imagination make learning exciting and where all learners aspire to reach their dreams” (including me!). Sometimes, I feel I may do many things at various sites and with other groups that I may not share clearly to the Team what I have been doing. (I try to share directly with colleagues, in my blog, on Twitter and via the weekly Online employee newsletter, but one can never share too much!)
  • Leadercast_Ed
    • Session 4 – speakers: Aja Brown, Rudy Guiliani
  • Don’t be afraid to have Fierce Conversations with groups of people or even individuals. If you are unsure how to get started, Susan Scott’s bestseller Fierce Conversations or even the training will help you. I know that in my work dealing with school administrators, staff and sometimes students this training has allowed me to get clarity and clearly envision the conversation(s) at hand.

Leadercast2015Leadercast 2015_2

I will continue to follow @Leadercast #leadercast throughout the year as well as subscribe to the Leadercast Now site (video clips and action strategies) throughout the upcoming year. I know that the 50 people who attended the simulcast were moved by the people and the theme.

What will you do to be brave in the work that you do?