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Showing posts from February, 2018

EdCamp Elmbrook 21

  We had out 5th annual EdCamp this past Saturday and it was a very different PD experience. Due to the pandemic, we help the EdCamp virtually. That meant that anyone across the globe could attend. While we usually only have educators from out region attend, we had educators across the nation and in some in Canada attend. In addition, we had an attendee from Turkey! The conference was conducted using Zoom and Zoom breakout rooms for the sessions. The team did a great job of organization and management. I could go on, but this is my first blog post in a while and I'd like to keep it brief. Below you'll find the session board for the day with notes docs linked. We had some wonderful sessions and the notes documents house some wonderful thoughts and resources. So, I recommend checking them out. Although this EdCamp was only for the morning, there was a lot of learning to be had. We had no technology issues from our end as organizers but I can imagine participants may have had iss

WHEN are you Willing to be Challenged?

I was listening to the IMMOOC week 1 podcast on the way into work and was struck by something George Couros & Katie Martin were discussing. It was in relation to the peer review process for Katie’s new book Learner Centered Innovation . They were discussing the idea of feedback as a key during the creation of the book. Since the book is a physical published product, critical feedback after the fact would not be useful to the creation process. But critical feedback along the way, was essential to produce a quality final product. That led me to think about all of those end of course surveys I have taken and used to administer. They are being given after the fact. How does this information help inform the process during the learning process? Simply put, it doesn’t.  The feedback is too late to affect the intended audience. When, George brings up the idea of timely feedback, we need to take it to heart. But, we also need to be aware of the type of feedback we are soli

Who Is the Expert in the Room?

When I prepare a lecture (yes there is still a place for it in my classroom), it is often filled with questions for my students to answer. Most of these questions I already know the answer to. I cast myself in the role of expert. But what happens when learners don’t care about the questions I am asking them? When they are given the space to ask the questions that they are curious about, will I still be the expert in the room? These are the questions that used to worry me. If I’m not the expert with the answers, what will happen? Over time I have learned that there is no way I could know the answer to every question a student has about physics. I’ve learned to be ok with not being the only expert in the room. We have a vast world of resources at our fingertips. So, while I may not know the answer to every physics question, my learners and I can work together to vet resources and we can co-design provide the experiences that will help them make sense of some of the more comp

You Classroom Environment is Part of an Ecosystem

"Innovation Ecosystem: the culture, values, vision, and policies that influence the learning context and the development of desired knowledge, skills, and mindsets." Martin, Katie. Learner-Centered Innovation: Spark Curiosity, Ignite Passion, and Unleash Genius (Kindle Locations 820-821). IMPress, LP. Kindle Edition. An ecosystem is a combination of many factors that create it but also the many pressure that drive change within it. Those pressure can come from students, peers, and administration. Have you ever heard distant rumblings about what’s going on in your classroom and how others (at any level) may not think it’s not the way it should be done? How does these distant rumblings affect you? I can think of a few situations in which this has happened to me. But, I’d like to focus on one specifically. When I first started teaching physics, I had been teaching our lower general science course for a few years. It was a course with a significant number of students w

How Do You Respond to Change?

As educators, we face change every day.  That change comes from many different sources outside and inside of our classrooms. In the first chapter of Learner Centered Innovation , Katie Martin asks a simple question: In the face of change, there are two ways to react: The primal response: How can I maintain the status quo and protect myself from risk or failure? The evolutionary response: How can I learn from my surroundings and adapt to improve? What do I need to stop doing? What might I start doing? Martin, Katie. Learner-Centered Innovation: Spark Curiosity, Ignite Passion, and Unleash Genius (Kindle Locations 602-605). IMPress, LP. Kindle Edition. When asking myself how I face change, my response is dependent on the type of change I encounter. I am open to change in my classroom. I embrace it fully and head on. When asked by my district in 2013  to give learners more ownership over their learning in the classroom, I couldn’t wait to make learning more personal in