Archive for November, 2011

Oh What a Night!

Posted: November 30, 2011 in Uncategorized
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CollaborativeSociability by vaXzine, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  by  vaXzine 

The first evening of summary presentations in eci831 was truly a powerful and amazing experience. I was fortunate to hear the thoughts and see the talents of my classmates. Thank you all!! As this class nears it’s conclusion, the learning I have experienced and the connections I have made are starting to set in. What a journey it has been and will continue to be.

I offer my final summary of learning and will be honored to present it to the class next week. Thanks again everyone!

Dean’s Summary of Learning – eci831

Dean’s timetoast.com timeline

Have a great week!

Last Tuesday, Nov. 15th, I had the opportunity to view Alan Levine’s presentation on Digital Storytelling.  As part of the #eci831 class, Alan not only spoke to us about some “shiny and cool web 2.0 tools” but also the craft of storytelling using these tools. I found the session to be very informative (to say the last!) and was eager to try out some of the tools. Throughout this session and in my on-going experimentation with these tools, I continue to remind myself that they are simply vehicles that drive the process of whatever we are doing.  In this case it was storytelling.

Earlier in the course I tried the 5 Card Flickr Story tool and found the process to be engaging and entertaining.  I shared this with some of my colleagues who are eager to try the process. No reports back yet.

This week as I work on my final summary or learning and the major digital project I thought I would give www.glogster.com a try

Dean’s 1st Glog – Let me know what you think.

Although this glog is not meant to be my final project, I wanted to give it a try and was happily distracted by glogster.com this afternoon.

I hope all is well with you and yours as we head into the final few weeks of the course.  All the best and have a great week!

I wasn’t able to attend the session presented by Stephen Downes and hosted by Dave Cormier on Nov. 8th, but watched the recorded session today. I must say that since watching Stephen’s presentation I have done a significant amount of thinking about my current roles and the roles I have played as an educator.  I found myself in an almost constant state of reflection as I watched the session. I appreciated how each slide of Stephen’s presentation challenged the class to respond and that the majority of discussion centered around comments from the class.  At the start of the presentation, Stephen said that “to learn is to become something you weren’t before” and after this session I can say that this is true. Before today, I was able to recognize that I had some knowledge about the roles Stephen discussed. In spite of my prior knowledge of these roles, I “learned” or at least started to have a deeper understanding of my place in each. More specifically as an educator working in a networked world.

Before I share some of my thoughts on this session, I’ll share this link that provides some basic information about networked learning. I found this information to be useful as I work my way through the many web tools we can use to connect and learn.

What roles have I played? As a teacher and administrator, I think that in some way or another I have experienced the roles Stephen described in the session. The comments and feedback from the class provided me with some new perspectives, ideas and knowledge that I didn’t have before today. I enjoyed the participatory nature of the session and the metacognitive effect that the information had on me. I have always wanted to use the word “metacognition” in a space such as this blog. 🙂

What roles suit me? As I look at the list of 23 roles that were presented, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed at the prospect of trying to be all things to the students, families and staff that I serve. Impossible? No. Challenging? Very much so! In my opinion, I can look at the roles Stephen presented as well as other roles (i.e.) the cheerleader mentioned in the chat room, and do my best to identify the areas I am proficient in. With that knowledge I am better equipped to work with and identify the strengths of my team who can in turn work  collaboratively toward the fulfillment of the many roles required of our profession.

At the end of the session I appreciated the chat room discussion regarding the realistic (or unrealistic) expectations of educators and the many roles we are expected to fill. Where is the balance and how long can we meet the many demands of these ever increasing roles? How can our current education system support these roles if they are to indeed become more specialized as Stephen suggests?

I am educator in a networked world. My role has changed and will continue to do so. How will we adapt so that we can facilitate student learning in world 2.0? As usual with this course, an extremely thought provoking session.

Have a great week!  To all of you working on report cards, good luck!

The Sharing Continues!

Posted: November 7, 2011 in Uncategorized
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teacher by linsight, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  by  linsight 

As many of my #eci831 classmates have shared, Dean Shareski’s presentation to #eci831 was informative, uplifting and in my opinion, “required reading” for all educators.

To start this post, I would like to share a humorous bit from The Office demonstrating, perhaps, to much sharing using WUPHF and some of the complexities of being connected. I think, although ridiculous and meant for a laugh, Ryan’s idea of sharing speaks to the need of wanting to be connected and Kelly’s frustrations may speak to some of ours. 🙂

As an educator, I have had both negative and very positive experiences with sharing. Reflecting on my experiences, the positive benefits of sharing far outweigh some of the perceived negatives of sharing.  I have developed a “Top 10” list of the positive benefits of sharing that I have experienced as an educator:

As an educator, when I share and/or am shared with, I…

1) will positively collaborate with colleagues leading to academic improvement for students.

2) am able to collect more classroom resources.

3) experience new approaches and teaching strategies.

4) hear different perspectives on complex issues.

5) learn about new technology that can be used to engage students.

6) can recognize ways to re-focus my instruction.

7) learn from the negative and positive experiences of my colleagues.

8) support colleagues new (or maybe not so new) to the profession.

9) demonstrate that I am only human and share many of the same experiences as my students.

10)continue to journey as a life-long learner and will never settle for “good enough.”

I would like to thank all of my classmates for sharing.  I enjoy your blog posts and find your thoughts, observations and experiences to be extremely valuable.  Thanks for sharing and have a great week!

PS – I strongly suggest reading Dean Shareski’s latest blog post – Looking for Positive Deviants.