#clmooc #lightandshadow

I’ve been missing Kim’s Friday Photos.

I wondered where I would find light and shadows in my yard. The day is cool and crisp today but the sun is bright, peeking over the edge of hill across the river, illuminating the blossoms on our pear tree.

StamenShadowsPear

I zoomed in and snapped a screenshot to view closer the shadows created by even the thin filaments of the stamen. Isn’t that amazing?

PearBlossomStamenShadowsCloseUP

I actually couldn’t believe the shot; I just reached up above my head with my iPhone and clicked. Then I had to research pears, because the trees were here when we moved in 25 years ago. We’re wondering if we should try this: Thanks for the great ideas for photography Kim and Kevin. Sheri

cross posted at iAnthology Ning

And Haiku

napwrimo15_april11_spring_pears.001

#140WC Welcome Challenge #clmooc #etmooc

A Challenge

On November 10th, 2014 I made a commitment to myself and invited others to join — teachers, students, bloggers. The commitment? Write 140 words each day — 140 words more or less — but write — blog — everyday.  I wrote that challenge here: #140WC and continued each day since: #140WC posts.  Urbie Delgado has joined the challenge and posts regularly at Puzzling Mix.

#140WC

 

 

Why? 

Everyday I consider things I see, hear, read…. but they’re passing thoughts. So, why not take time each day and write. 140 words on some of these:

Do you gather ideas throughout the day?

Do you have ideas that meander through your mind?

Do you want to blog more but your topic hides?

Do you ever think, “I wish I’d written that down….?”

Then this challenge is for you!

Write 140 words each day! [or a little more or less — a thought each day!]

  • Share your ideas.
  • Share a link.
  • Share your lesson.
  • Share your reflection.
  • Share your questions.
  • Share your answers.
  • Share a tweet with your input
  • Share a blog with your insights
  • Share to carry on the conversation….

The benefit?

In a 140 words each day, your journey is formed, your ideas saved, your reflection framed.

In 140 words each day, your writing flows and grows more clearly.

In 140 words in day, your past and path is forged forward.

Challenge:

Will you join?  How about once a week? a month? 140 Word Count — you can do it!


Link to #140WC Badge

Join the #140WC Challenge

#ce14 #clmooc #etmooc Student Agency

thankyouclmooc

How do we help students develop the insight and initiative to be life-long, productive learners contributing to a better world? How do we develop student agency?

We know that motivation comes from a desire to learn, a purpose, an authentic interest, and a belief that success is possible. We know that learning is a social activity, that involvement with others enhances our reflection and goals. We’ve come to understand that reflection and feedback in authentic tasks in which we can improve and develop before publication or presentation builds motivation and agency.

So we also know that project-based learning can form a structure that develops the critical thinking and reflection habits that help learners make choices that guide improved learning.

But sometimes  these more open venues based on passion or student interest can flop. We need to understand that each student is at a different stage in their learning journey.  Here’s a review of this idea in an old video I made for #etmooc:

ETMOOC Slice from Sheri Edwards on Vimeo.

How do we provide the structure, the connection to the learning and the people, so students develop their voice to create their agency?

In this year’s #clmooc,  the organizers developed a support team to monitor and collaborate with members as an encouragement to participation. Because a sense of belonging and a connection with other members provides the support needed to make choices, and the freedom to choose what and when to participate allowed members to grow in their learning at their pace and for their purpose. People skipped some projects, and then became deeply involved in others. Learning is personal; learning is social. But the key to all of this really is based on what Daniel Pink suggests: People need autonomy, purpose, and mastery for motivation. If we review the literature on motivation and behavior, William Glasser’s work provides a background for autonomy, purpose, and mastery. Glasser suggests that we “behave” to meet the basic needs of freedom [autonomy], belonging [purpose], power [autonomy, mastery], and fun [purpose].

One of the best explanations of student agency connected to Glasser’s work is by Jackie Gerstein: Learner Agency, Technology, and Emotional Intelligence.

To build agency and voice in the connected learners of today, freedom to choose the learning is high on the list — autonomy and purpose.  But to make the choice, learners need to feel they belong and that they have the power to master the undertaking.  And our task is to be the support team, the guides to understand where and how the learners will take  that next step.

Both #clmooc and #etmooc provided the connections, collaboration, and support for their learners.  How do we translate that into a transformed classroom for today?

Resilience

Resilience: A ReMix of “Bent But Not Broken


Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

Resilience. For yourself. For your students.

My friend Susan Spellman-Cann created the HaikuDeck and a blogpost, “Bent But Not Broken” to guide us in resilience.

She says, ” We need to see students as they should be and help them to see what they are capable of becoming. We can help them in becoming more resilient by being that role model for them.”

It’s not easy, especially if you teach middle school, because they do know everything already. But we see their hearts, their unseen acts of kindness, and their ability to look to each other for support. We think our “role modeling” is for naught at the time, but through the course of the year with them, you’ll hear them remind you, “But you said…” as they repeat your self-talk modeling when you, the teacher, need it. They hear. So be a role model for resilience.

Here are more resources from Susan:

Resilience is hope, and something I’ve been thinking of for a while — how do I help students cope and learn, to be resilient in the face of so many obstacles. I am even adapting a BIE project on resilience that I call I Stand Eight, which I hope to implement next fall.

Thanks, Susan for adding to the conversation on helping students live learning.

What other strategies for teaching resilience are there?

#etmooc #etmchat Anniversary

From Susan Spellman-Cann we continue the gift of #ETMOOC and will enjoy an anniversary event complete with chats and Google Hangouts. Join the Post ETMOOC community and the #etmchat .

What is ETMOOC… Here is Susan Spellman-Cann‘s explanation in HaikuDeck


Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad
My HaikuDeck is One Slide about the effect of #ETMOOC

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

 

After ETMOOC, I reflected on the experience in a blog post –  Unfinal Reflection, because it truly has been the gift that keeps on giving.

This is my post — revised and updated for today’s anniversary. Revisions are bold and blue.

How do you plan on staying connected to the people and the ideas?

This unfinal post for #etmooc reviews the path I now take with others to continue the journey: #etmooc continues to drop it’s pebble of ideas into the ocean of possibilities, creating ripples of overlapping connections forever spreading and growing.

My own questions and final thoughts:

  • Given the access, technology, resources, and requirements available to me, how can I create a classroom world reflective of what my students need in the future that is theirs?
  • How do I need to adapt my pedagogy to create that classroom?
    • Of course I’m torn between what it seems students need and the reality of our school district’s focus on test success.
    • As I can, technology provides us with reflection and collaboration tools. It helps one class teach another. For instance my sixth grade students created cyber-safety and Google Apps lessons for grade five students. They also, while learning figurative language themselves are creating a resource for other students in our school by collaborating on a Google presentation.
    • In all our online work, we strive to leave positive footprints, practicing our digital footprints.
    • In one class, we are learning with Mozilla on how to code. Our first project was Six Word Memoirs. Code is the language of the future, and we’re beginning to learn to translate! It was a riot: “Change size of text on line 20,” one student would call out, then hop up to guide another students. The puzzle of code unravelled.
    • More and more I learn to share with students the overall goal of our requirements, and students choose the project and details that they require to learn: personalized learning
    • This is not easy to accomplish: the requirements of school’s today are not reflective of the reality of interactions, composition, and collaboration practiced by successful workers and thinkers.
    • Today, I work with a new crew of teacher bloggers who are blogging with their students; we are creating a community for our students to collaborate through blogs: #teach2blog twubs and Google Plus Community
  • How will like-minded teachers connect and collaborate to create connected spaces for themselves and with their students?
  • How will I, as a middle school teacher of language arts, connect with others to ponder these questions, create a space to act on them, and discover together ways to improve education in our own worlds.
    • As a result of #etmooc, not only have a Connect in the Middle Wiki for middle level educators, but several of us have joined in several different communities:
    • Ben Wilkoff started the Open Spokes Fellowship as a result of conversation in #etmooc. He invited a group of teachers who will weekly vlog on topics about education, forming a neighborhood of differences in order to discuss common ground and forge a future that benefits the students we teach. We are raising our voices from separate whispers to a chorus we hope will be heard, shared, discussed, and acted upon by others who likewise wish to move forward in this education transformation.  Thanks to Ben’s leadership and the amazing educators within this group, we continue to vlog!  We also have a Google Plus Reflective Vlog CommunityCheck them out.
    • The Connect in the Middle Wiki for middle level educators did not work out as planned; that’s how life works. Sometimes things take off and sometimes they don’t. For this wiki, the educators moved to their[ our ] passions: GeniusHour Wiki by Gallit, Joy, and Denise. Be sure to check it out.

I thank #etmooc for providing connections to inspiring people, whom I thank here:

 

I so enjoyed the recorded session with the participants of Jesse Strommel’s DigiWriting #etmooc, A Flurry of Cursors.

Some of us began an Adventure story. ( @mrsdkrebs)

During one session, Darren Kuropatwa asked participants to record and share 5 seconds of video with him viaDropitTOme and then compiled them into this “Beauty” short video. He invited others to Popcorn it !  Here is mine after an inspirational video remix by Rhonda Jessen.

A few of us gathered videos into which I popped this for the group: Where do you learn?

I thank Alec Couros for the #etmooc that reconnected me with Ben Wilkoff who created a Professional Learning Neighborhood in the Open Spokes Fellowship. Please stop by now and then, #etmooc’ers!

 

#etmooc lives on because:

 

 

So although everything has not grown, in everything that was started, we learned, and we shared with our next connections and projects. I’m so thankful for  Susan Spellman-Cann and Rhonda Jesson for keeping us connected. I can’t keep up with you two!
Thanks again  #ETMOOC and #etmchat! It’s all about: Connecting, Collaborating and Sharing  and Celebrating  !

If you didn’t participate in #ETMOOC, please join #etmchat and Post ETMOOC Community to engage with encouraging and creative people!

 

 

A Twitter Idea #clmooc #etmooc #edquery #ce13

questionmarkblue This month, I’ve asked a few questions on Twitter — used hashtags and asked PLN. I really needed more than a few responses, and I know the Twitter PLN is an awesome place for answers. I’m wondering if we need an Education Query hashtag: #edquery

An #edquery hashtag would work like #comments4kids. Twitter users tune in to the #comments4kids hashtag to discover student blogs on which to comment to encourage the practice of positive social learning and sharing. I created a #comments4kids widget for our class blog so students could comment on those blogs.

With an #edquery hashtag, educators could tune in each day to respond to a question or two or retweet the ones they also are interested in. The conversations of responses could be a wealth of ideas all could learn and use. It could be the one place / tag on Twitter to discover answers to specific questions or to get referrals for apps or tools that would solve a problem. It could refer people to bloggers that provide insights to their particular situations. It’s widget would provide constant fuel for suggestions and blogging.

Here are just two of my recent questions:

A colleague is just getting text savvy, and has one iPad in his classroom he’d like to connect and display with onto his SmartBoard. Thankfully I was referred to Splashtop, but I know there are other ideas and apps out there because technology is a tool, and the tool we choose is the one that fits that moment and need. And twitter users share what they know and use so the query responses are very helpful.

Today I’m wondering about vocabulary: what tech tools and apps can enhance vocabulary acquisition? I know about Spelling and Vocabulary via Spelling City, Engrade FlashCards,  and Quizlet. Again though, I’m looking for choices, because blended learning offers the options for differentiation — and developing a repertoire of resources from those using the tools would greatly help this query.

So, what do you think? Would  #edquery be a good addition to our education hashtag helpers?

 

Congratulations for Truth

Have you read Verena Roberts post yet?  Did you congratulate her on receiving the iNACOL Innovative Practice award . You know she acknowledges it is because “of all of you out there who supported and helped facilitate open classroom projects over the last year!” And we know the award is also because she didn’t give up.

Her posts talks about the truth of those who innovate. They are the ones in that room, at the end of that hall, or “that educator in the corner.” Innovators get in the way; they are often “criticized, ignored, bullied, frustrated, felt like an evangelist and generally treated like someone who speaks another “education” language.”

They fail. Sometimes a lot. See Verena’s referenced post on failure, understand that innovators use failure as information (scroll down on Alfie Kohn’s post about failure to his thinking about Jerome Bruner’s research).

I don’t write about the negative criticism, being ignored, bullied, feeling frustrated. It saps energy from the projects my students and I work on.

But it’s there, and is a truth that does need to be examined.

And it’s the reason innovators find other ways and other people to support their endeavors. Twitter, Moocs, and Google Plus participants find the support and positive critiques that energize more innovation.

So next Friday, on #FF be sure to recommend your PLN to thank them for the encouragement they provide you!

And thanks, Verena, for #ceet-open and your encouragement. Congratulations on a well-earned and deserved award!

 

Image: Flickr CC by findntake