Monday, 28 January 2013

Control of Our Own Learning

The session on Rhizomatic Learning made me think about 'what is learning' and who controls learning. School boards are confronting the issue of control when looking at access to wireless in their facilities.  There is a feeling that boards and schools need to 'control' what sites students are visiting during school hours and the notion that students need to be monitored because they are unable to self-monitor and self-regulate.

Students appear able to self-monitor and self-regulate successfully after school hours.   I generally keep on top of current events, and although there are instances of individuals straying onto restricted sites,  I really wonder if it is just the medium that has changed and not the behaviors?  Most manage to self-regulate and follow society's mores.  The medium has changed, but has the behavior really changed?   While schools and boards debate 'security,  institutions such as libraries and businesses such as coffee shops are enticing these same students to use their facilities by offering 'free open wireless' and encouraging responsible digital citizenship through self-monitoring and self-regulation.

Students have already found ways to circumvent the lack of access to wireless in schools.  They are using their smartphones to access internet denied to them through open networks.  While cost does factor into boards opening their networks, the cost and use of bandwidth required to keep the networks 'secure' also needs to be considered.  We are fooling ourselves if we think that we are controlling the content that students are accessing during the school day.  The only thing we are controlling is what and how students learn on 'our' network. 

Sunday, 20 January 2013


I have been out of the classroom and a Vice Principal for three years and found the creative process needed to produce this video very challenging.  In my former life, as a classroom teacher, I created both video and slide presentations on a regular basis.  I used technology daily in both my personal and professional life. My move to Admin came with a personal belief that technology is the way of the future but I am no longer using many of the creative aspects.

When I saw this challenge and I thought, "Well this doesn't sound that bad."  Then I began to think about making a video.  I went online and looked at some of the work and began to panic.  I looked at my pictures files to trying to find a set to speak about me.  I located some pictures but ideas about what to do with them stalled.

.........Four days later I came up with an idea.   I'm all about thinking time and allowing students 'wait time' when discussing their thinking.  My idea of 'thinking time' and 'wait time' has undergone a significant adjustment. As Elmore says, "we learn to do the work by doing the work." We all need to experience just how difficult 'being creative' is and how much 'time wasting' is 'thinking time.'   Intellectually, I knew that creativity on demand was difficult, but until I actually had to do it, I did not appreciate the complexity.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Finally beginning my etmooc journey.  For me, putting my thoughts in writing and out there for the world to read is a big step.  I have been involved in promoting technology as a teacher and an elementary and secondary administrator since the early days of my career, but have done so in the relative privacy of my school and peer group.
I am really excited about trying out new technologies and promoting their use with students and teachers.  My first adventure is creating a digital story and adventure it is turning out to be!
For the initial stage I have been looking through my extensive photo library and selecting pictures.  My first big discovery is that I am lousy at filing and labeling pictures, which has made the selection process long and tedious.  Another glaring issue is tracking of pictures on my various devices.  It seems that in addition to having filing issues with the main group in iphoto,  I have pictures on my ipad, my phone, and my laptop.