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Category Archives: Student Learning and Creativity

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.

 

 

Let’s Be Flexible!

When we think of FLEXIBLE or being flexible we may focus ourselves on:

  • our health – can our bodies be more flexible or do we need to work on different athletic moves or…
  • our food – allergens exist and how can we eat well and stay healthy
  • our work – balance between projects and ideas

AND really, this post is about:

  • our schools – what kind of learning environments are we providing in order for students to be engaged critical thinkers, problem solvers and curious learners who are seeing the connections between education and the world around them?

My notes below are the experiences over the three day period where I attended a Canadian Academic Leadership Summit hosted by Surrey Schools and Discovery Education. 

PLEASE click on the Flexible Learning Environments photo to be taken to the Spark Page that I created.

https://spark.adobe.com/page-embed.js

Flexible Learning Environments

 

Hey Let’s Innovate!

#psd70 Middle years students using devices to create academic vocabulary on their class site.

Their images, video clips, text, audio, and research are all being crowdsourced.

 

OK, now I dun it! I’ve used the INNOVATE word and if you know me or follow my blog, you can associate this buzz word with the educational technology focus that I share so much about. Well, yeah, this time the headline is to catch your eye. To get you hooked into read further. Not that I don’t have something important to say when the headline isn’t using overused words/ideas, but I wanted subscribers or anyone who is reading this to think about INNOVATION (in education).

To innovate or not to innovate!

Really, that is not a question or a statement that teachers should be worrying about and education has been speaking about being innovative (with edtech) for the last decade. In an age where traditional educational systems value compliance, conformity and complacency, the idea of looking at innovative teaching and learning using technology has taken off because technology has found it’s way into everyday teaching and learning. It is now accessible in schools (some more than others), Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives have found their way to alleviate the stress on school divisions to keep up with access and vendors are coming up with classroom-specific tools.

Read what the Canadian Education Association was saying about Innovation in 2012 and some of the great questions they were asking.

So what about QUALITY LEARNING?

This year our school division Administrators and Teacher Leaders are working with the University of Calgary as we delve into Student-Centered Leadership. We are asking many questions, reading current educational research and looking at what we need to learn to promote the learning of our students. (Administrators are looking at what they need to learn to promote the learning of their staff.) So, can this work be innovative? Maybe some of the actions will be, maybe others will be remixes from previous work only better. We are continuing this learning by:

  • modelling effective teaching practices
  • engaging in professional conversations around student work
  • designing learning with colleagues
  • facilitating effective PLC, etc.

Here’s where I’m at with INNOVATION.

Although the definition of innovation is the action or process of innovating; a new method, idea, product, etc…. For me, edtech can be innovative in that it is either a support or service that creates value for our teachers and students. Nowadays tech tools are less expensive (who can remember a classroom projector that cost $10,000? Now they are much, much less and found in many classrooms today). Edtech satisfies a need and it benefits many. It allows for engagement, creation, discovery using different tools, mediums and avenues for learners. Edtech also has destabilized education where the teacher no longer is the “IT” person; the one with all the knowledge or access to it through print materials. Learning has become more open with Social Media, online communities, open educational resources, and edtech tools/cloud-based systems. So, with all of this available to me, why would I also start on an “edventure” within the Innovative Teacher Academy with AJ Juliani? I enjoy learning, but it is also the idea that I have some ‘homework’ to do, I have some learning to take on, and I get to learn with others outside of my jurisdiction. Co-constructing our experiences makes this Academy a rich learning opportunity. I hope to live up to it!

If you want to check out what some of us are sharing publicly, follow and/or search #ITA17. As you can see below, my Tweetdeck has a new column.

 

 

 

Innovation in Tech with Student-centered Learning

Here’s a brief overview of a ‘spark/ignite’ session that I did this morning with all of our High School teachers at one of our sites.

  • There are opportunities for staff to further explore creativity and the design process – read Innovator’s Mindset and Launch as they are two solid books with practical strategies that teachers can employ the very next day. (If you want to listen to George, Katie, John and AJ speak on this topic check out #IMMOOC Season 2 – Episode 1 video that was streamed just 5 days ago.) I had my ignite groups listen to 8:45 – 10:30 and then at the end of my session to 58:00+.

LTPF Policy Direction 1

Students use technology, online learning and digital learning media to access, share, and create knowledge.

  • With so many websites, apps, extensions out there sometimes teachers can be overwhelmed, check out edtechteacher.org/tools for vetted resources.

Students use technology, online learning and digital learning media to demonstrate the competencies.

  • Have you ever been to an Escape Room? What if you could bring that into your classroom and have students dig into the curriculum in a different way by problem solving, thinking critically, collaborating and communicating in authentic and engaging ways. Check out breakoutedu.com for basic information and games.breakoutedu.com/atoc to see an existing list of immersive games that you can play. (Password – showyourwork.)

Students use technology, online learning and digital learning media to demonstrate what they know and are able to do, through effectively using a range of resources and media.

  • All of our students have access to Read&Write for Google Chrome – for use in GDocs, .pdfs and websites. Many ways they can provide teachers with information.
  • GSuite of core services – GClassroom keeps getting better and better, students enjoy access to online materials whenever and wherever they are.

Students use technology, online learning and digital learning media to monitor their learning progress and inform decisions through the use of data and evidence-based reasoning.

  • There are many formative assessment tools, check out some of them below:

formativeassess

 

 

 

An Adventurous List – Would You be Game?

Skiing phenom Jérémie Heitz challenges himself to ski 15 of the Alps’ steepest 4,000-meter peaks in just two ski seasons.

Skiing phenom Jérémie Heitz challenges himself to ski 15 of the Alps’ steepest 4,000-meter peaks in just two ski seasons.

I make lists, most people I know make lists. Some are quick, some are longer. Sometimes they are checklists, other times they are steps to finalize a project. However, I came across a most adventurous list of an amazingly interesting person this week. His list is so ‘out there’ in terms of something people have not yet accomplished and his strength and passion for what he is doing was so compelling that I needed to write this blog.

I have added some ideas and questions that can be used in both English/French classrooms (the video is in French with English subtitles and some English).

TRAILER

La Liste TEASER 1 from TimeLine Missions on Vimeo.

Pretty fantastic!

I see this video being shown in middle years Language Arts and high school CALM classes as points of discussion. Overall the video is 47:22 in length, however, the questions that I created to accompany it may push the time to 90 minutes due to students composing and/or sharing their thoughts individually, in small groups and as a whole.

FULL LENGTH http://www.redbull.tv/video/AP-1PMT7S62N1W11/la-liste

QUESTIONS with timestamp (stop at the time and review the question)

Feel free to copy these questions into a collaborative document like a Google Document. Students could work individually or in groups to answer them and even use Read&Write for Google Chrome to assist in responses.

5:49 – Do you think Jérémie will ski all 15? Explain your answer.

8:17 – Who is Jérémie? What characteristics/traits were mentioned? Are there others that you would add to the list? Do you have any of these traits?

11:00 – Planning. What must Jérémie think about? (Factors – physical, environmental, technical, financial…)

14:29 – What is a high-risk activity that you have tried or would like to? Why?

20:30 – What kind of training is needed for steep skiing? Is it the same as downhill or cross-country skiing?

25:20 – Jérémie was excited to ski the same mountain peak as Sylvain 50 years later. Are there any other sports/activities ‘records’ that were similarly accomplished and/or broken that you can share? Is there a particular ‘record’ that you would like to accomplish/break in your lifetime? Describe and tell why.

29:25 – Hiking and sleeping on the mountain requires planning. What items, resources, and safety considerations must be needed? Share your inferences not just the facts.

32:00 – DO you think Jérémie will go back up this mountain and try again? Y/N. Would you?

36:20 – Conditions in mountain ranges can be extreme. Would you have the patience to wait like Jérémie? What does it mean when his friend says that Jérémie “has the strength to say no”?

41:21 – Jérémie was able to ‘redo’ a steep ski. How do you feel when you are able to redo a school project, assignment, or activity?

45:29 – Did Jérémie achieve his goal?

Overall, can you plot out on Google maps all 15 of the mountains Jérémie wanted to ski as well as their descriptions? Would you be able to suggest 2-3 other mountains in the world for Jérémie to tackle? Establish a criteria for a perfect steep skiing mountain.

What did you think of the camera and video production? Where there enough closeups, pan shots, etc? Would you change the video production in any way? How and why? Using a green screen, could you create an ‘adventurous’ steep skiing short video of one minute or less using some different video techniques?


NOTE

Whatever you do with this video in engaging your students, it certainly will be something they will never forget watching in class! And if you want to continue to see some other adventurous videos, check out http://www.redbull.tv/ (pre-screen videos before showing to students).

Feel free to comment on your experiences with this activity!

 

Outrageous Learning with Ozobots

INTRODUCTION

Ozobot is a tiny robot, measuring 1 inch in height and diameter, which comes with a photo sensor array for recognition of patterns, lights, colors, and codes, an automatic detection functionality for physical and. digital playing surfaces, and color sensing technology. Ozobot is a powerful tiny robot that expands STEM and computer science learning through a collection of game based activities and digital apps. http://ozobot.com

EARLY YEARS

MIDDLE YEARS

HIGH SCHOOL

 

 

Creative Construction with MakeDo

INTRODUCTION

Makedo is a simple to use, open-ended system of tools for creative cardboard construction. Using the saw, screwdriver, and screws, students of all ages can build imaginative and useful creations from everyday cardboard. Makedo facilitates an interdisciplinary, hands on learning experience which engenders a deeper understanding of concepts with application to real-life scenarios. What’s more, Makedo is accessible for all types of students and their differing learning needs, Makedo teaches students to value the learning process as much as the results and Makedo develops collaboration skills.

EARLY YEARS