Pretty interesting map. Great way to reflect upon where you want to go in your learning.

Margaret A. Powers

After the #etmoocBlackboard Collaborate session Tuesday night with Alec Couros on Connected Learning, I started to think more about my PLN and the promptsthat were suggested. How would I define my PLN – in words, in imagery? Being a visual person, I wanted to represent it with a graphic, so I started to think about the best way(s) to do that.

At first, I thought a general mind map might be a good choice. I mentally jotted down “PLN” as the central bubble, expanding outward to three core bubbles of “early childhood education,” “educational technology,” and “global education.” I began to reflect on who and what else belonged in my image but struggled to come up with an accurate depiction. I realized I was struggling with competing wants – trying to arrange my PLN around topics (e.g., ed tech) versus around…

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The kind of flexibility seen here is amazing. The spontaneous learning quite profound.

What I Learned Today

On Sunday, at the end of the last day of EduCon, I attended a phenomenal session.

Wait — that’s wrong. It was not a “session” — that’s not how we do things at EduCon — it was a conversation, with multiple voices, not a one-way dissemination of information.

And I did not merely “attend” — I contributed, as did the other people in the room (we even had a remote contributor from California).

So let me start over, because as we discussed during our conversation, words matter.

On Sunday, the last conversation at EduCon, I had the privilege of contributing to a phenomenal conversation led by my good friends Megan Howard and Jill Gough.

megan-jill

I came to the session because Jill and Megan are smart, thoughtful folks. What they did, aside from facilitate a great conversation, was to be flexible and pull in two leading educators to enrich…

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What Gap?

gap

I had a conversation about gaps today.    I wasn’t sure which gap was referred to because this phrase has many meanings.  Letterman is fine with his gap; educators are not fine with achievement gaps.  Politicians make policies that ignore crucial gaps, the ones that go to the root of the problem.  Everyone seems confused.  Gaps remain.

Gaps exist in classrooms, buildings, districts, counties, states and patterns form across countries.

The truth is, achievement gaps in the United States are pretty predictable.  Most  can tell you about their district  before any test scores come out.  The issue, time and time again has to do with opportunity and wealth or IEP status.  The patterns are clear in every district; every state.

Come down from the helicopter view and into a building:  there is MUCH a teacher can do to design the learning so that all kids in front of them have a chance.  Relationships are the cornerstone for all learning.  Enthusiasm is contagious.  Deep thinking and learning can occur.  We engineer the context.  Hope is restored with a great teacher.

Still, over time and across the district and the state:  poverty, limited experience and racism are problems.   Gaps exist between boys and girls; people of color and those milky white; kids with IEPs and those whithout.   Until we address that with our education, assessment and even housing policies, the gaps will persist.   Teachers will continue to be blamed for walls they cannot permeate.  Kids in poverty will stay in poverty.  Boys and students of color will be suspended at higher rates.  Initiatives will aim at the wrong target .  I’m thinking of my dog, chasing his tail.

dogchasingtail

This conundrum, however,   isn’t quite so clever or  funny.

We need to go to the core to solve the real problems WHILE engineering relationships and environments that support; design learning that engages.    If we look at gender, IEP status and socio-economic factors, we still  have to keep teaching well.  To teach well, we do have to look at socio-economic factors, gender and IEP status.  To deny the culture of poverty  is to lie to ourselves and our students. To deny the hurdles faced by students with IEPs and those of color is unfair.   And yes, we need to figure out how to create environments where boys can thrive.  Many great teachers do that, but not all boys have that experience.

It isn’t all or nothing; either /or .  It rarely is.  There are no excuses.  We must teach well.  If that could happen within  the context of policies reflecting  the real problems, teachers might have a chance to support all of their students.

We need to mind the gap.  The big gaps.   And stop chasing our tails.

Sharing Our Blessings

Ben Zoma says:
Who is wise?
The one who learns from every person…
Who is brave?
The one who subdues his negative inclination…
Who is rich?
The one who is appreciates what he has…
Who is honored?
The one who gives honor to others…
(Talmud – Avot 4:1)

Sometimes ancient wisdom becomes new again.

Although blessed with an alphabet soup of degrees – BA, MA, M.Phil, Rabbinic Ordination, and Ph.D – along with years of experience, there came a point several years ago that I found myself painfully unprepared for the demands of contemporary educational leadership: higher standards, fewer resources, new technologies, and a rapidly changing world to which to adapt. It’s not that I wasn’t trying. Indeed, I was in process of implementing a strategic plan more ambitious than any of us initially involved in drafting it had understood. At heart, the plan was reaching at a notion we…

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Chock FULL of googies!

EDU: Digital CitiZENship, CyberSecurity, eSkills, Modern EDU by Gust MEES

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Evolution of Education: Wordle Logo


Rise Of The Professional Educator

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rise of the professional educator

Rise of the professional Educator

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Is your Professional Development Up-To-Date?

programmerman2I think that “Is MY Professional Development Up-To-Date?” is the first question which you need to ask yourselves! You can ONLY give BEST and QUALITY courses when knowing about the latest knowledge in a 21st Century Education. But ===> HOW TO know this? <===

That’s a question I am getting asked very often from Teachers and Teacher-Students around the world through my Social Media presence on Twitter and I must say what I see on a global base doesn’t make me feel really happy! Lots of teachers around the globe are tweeting, which I encourage to do as much as possible by joining ALSO a so called “PLN“, a “Personal Learning Network“, but ONLY a few shows a real understanding, competencies, about…

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