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.
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.