Hi. I’d like to share my Saturday morning with you on September 24, 2016. Usually I try to get a little extra sleep on a Saturday morning especially when the weather is blustery. But this morning I was excited to get up as I had a great morning of professional development planned.
First up at 8:00 AM was a live YouTube stream from the Innovator’s Mindset #IMMOOC that I am currently participating in (and you can too by going to http://immooc.org/). This learning opportunity is based on the book “The Innovator’s Mindset” by George Couros (a read I highly recommend). The video started off with an interview of two passionate educators (names) whose underlying theme was that you can take risks and be innovative and still meet curricular objectives. They both agreed that both the students and educators need to do things that are both new and better. The live stream continued with the host George Couros (@gcouros) and Katie Martin(@KatieMTLC) reviewing some of the book’s opening themes of seeing ‘change as an opportunity to do something amazing’ and ‘if students leave school, less curious than when they started, we have failed them.’ Both statements are powerful and poignant. During the presentation on could also reach out to other educators through an interactive chat feature, twitter, and facebook. All of this made for a rich, engaging, and thought provoking experience. I’d encourage anyone reading to join in on the conversation (never too late – follow #immooc).
At 9:00 AM I switched over to a great live webinar with plenty of interactivity called Hack The Classroom hosted by Microsoft. It was an event that was open to and attended by educators all over the world. The first keynote was John Kao (@johnkao check out edgemakers.com) who gave another passionate speech about innovation in education and the opportunity to ‘take wicked problems and turn them into wicked opportunities’. This resonated with me as this what education should be about and we owe it to our students to teach with this mindset. He also talked about finding the ‘sweet spot’ in implementing innovation in education. He stressed the need to find a balance between a fixed mind set and going too far in that only a few might understand what you are trying to do and that this requires practice. The webinar went on to highlight the tools of One Note, Skype, and Minecraft but for me the underlying meaning was to increase a student’s ability to read, communicate, and create (check out #hacktheclassroom to find what was trending). There were great stories of educators like you and me providing transformation and redefined opportunities for their students. They also highlight STEM activities that could be done like creating a wind reader with basic supplies and hooking them up to devices to create a connected and real-life experience (even compared wind strength from locations around the world). Again there were educators from all walks of life sharing and discussing how to make their classrooms new and better. And after all shouldn’t that be the goal of all educators … our students deserve this!
It was a great Saturday morning! Check out my storyify for my tweets / retweets from the morning https://storify.com/vendi55/my-saturday-morning. These are only a couple opportunities out there to learn, share, and grow. Thanks for allowing me to share and taking the time to read this. I truly hope it inspires someone to try something new and better. Good luck. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow my blog at deanvendramin.weebly.com, or connect on twitter @vendi55.
“Change is an opportunity to do something amazing.” How are you embracing change to spur innovation in your own c… http://sumo.ly/p1vQ
I totally agree with this statement in fact it has been the mantra for my entire teaching career. Change for the sake of change is not what I'm talking about here ... I'm talking about change as an opportunity to evolve and grow. If I thought that I had teaching all figured out ... I'd go do something else. We expect the students to learn and grow ... should we as teachers not model and embrace this as well. I'm not saying abandon best practice or things that have worked nor to drop everything and start anew ... I'm saying seek out opportunities to grow that push you a bit out of your comfort zone and take a bit of a risk. Not everything that I have tried to change has worked but each time I learned something and have always tried to maintain a growth mindset. I know at my school this year I am living up to my mantra by being a part of a #rcsdconnect program that connects educators in my division and has given devices to utilize as tools with my class everyday. I am taking coding in my math class up a notch (game my students an integer program made in scratch and told them to just PLAY with what they see) and integrating Minecraft into my class more to (making roller coasters right now to teach slope)I am also excited about this #IMMOOC opportunity to promote change and innovation . I am fortunate to have a great young intern to work with this semester and I feel I need to model a growth and innovative mindset to help him and his future students as innovation in education will continue to move forward.
Great start to what promises to be a great year full of learning, risk taking, and relationship building. I really believe that it is important to establish relationships, a positive class culture, and expectations of the entire class including the teacher. I have enjoyed the absence of a traditional desk already and know that it will continue to provide more learning opportunities in our classroom. I'm enjoying working with my intern ... he's a good person and I feel he will blossom as the semester rolls on. We have had many good discussions about the art of teaching and relationship building. Technology has had a few hiccups at the start but I'm looking forward to getting that rolling with my students and making transformation and redefining changes in the classroom. I was playing around with Minecraft and have come up with a new idea for a project to demonstrate slope by building roller coasters. Looking forward to continuing my professional development through my participation in #rcsdconnect and in the #IMOOC exploring the Innovator's Mindset. Lots on the go and looking forward to the adventure. Follow me on twitter @vendi55
Well another new school year is up and running. The first week was busy but good. Many meetings discussing start up and discussion centered around our division's grading / assessment guidelines (which I'm excited about how this hopefully help us all re-examine our current grading practices and look at ways to make them more meaningful and engaging for students) We also had a great opening liturgy followed by two very good speakers that focused on mercy something we can all focus on giving and receiving. There is much to look forward too this year. I plan on doing weekly reflections on the #rcsdconnect program I'm part of (see https://flipgrid.com/8d3171d2 for the goals of the group members), working with my intern and reflecting on our practice, issues and challenges that will come up, and more. Should be a great year!
Dean Vendramin. Educator for over 20 years. Currently Education Leader for Math/Science at Archbishop M.C. O'Neill Catholic High School. Have a passion for all things in education with emphasis on technology integration, assessment, professional development, and 21 Century Education. Posts are articles he has written for the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation monthly newsletter The Bulletin, Saskatchewan Math Teachers' Society The Variable, blog requests from memberships he is a part of, and his own thoughts.