Sunday, July 21, 2013

It Is About Time!

While running today and reflecting on my training,  I was also reflecting on my academic year and what I have achieved and would like to achieve.

It is about time to reflect on my learning before the next academic year. During the year my students and I share our learning experiences and reflections on twitter which is only 140 characters and I did not storify the tweets.  I appreciate bloggers who share their experiences that connect to my learning I have many posts not published due to timing, over reflecting and  I am not much of a writer!

  I feel I should share my learning journey from my students. As I go through many pictures and video files it is amazing how short and enjoyable the year has been and how much we have accomplished, learned and explored together. 

What do I remember about my year? 

  •  Assessment of for report cards is transparent to the students as it is based on many criteria throughout the learning process applied to the achievement chart categories in  a rubric. The rubric was for report cards at the end of the learning process. Categories of Knowledge and Skills p. 17    Students managed eportfolios that housed their curiosities and learning process.   Gr 6 students eportfolios were linked under the classroom site. Gr 4 students used Google drawing for gathering evidence.  There were no grades throughout the learning process only grades were given for report cards.

  • Capturing their voices and scaffolding by sharing the thinking and reflecting on next steps.  Tellegami on next steps
  • Many web tools and IOS apps capturing thinking, learning and enhancing our pedagogy for reflecting, sharing, publishing and capturing the learning process.  Our favourites: Skitch, audioboo, fotobabble, Showme, educreation, Picollage, sandbox, scribbles press,imovie, GarageBand.  all Google  Apps, Google extensions PicMonkey,,  Voice comment, youtube, edmodo, minecraft & twitter
  • We base our ownership of learning tasks through curriculum curiosities which allows the students to deconstruct the curriculum overall expectations and categorize their questions in relation to the expectations. This year I introduced curiosity blocks on Fridays. The students loved it and something that I will continue with next year  Student's curiosity
Learning is a process that we have to embrace with our students. The process composes of many layers including; building a culture of collaboration, respect for listening, speaking and learning from each other, empathy locally and globally, ownership of learning, reflection is learning, supporting curiosities and freedom of exploring and sharing. Students' comfort with the use of technology is important  in order to capture their thinking and the learning process.  

I am looking forward to exploring more with students' thinking and continue with the focus on students taking ownership of learning. What would education look like if every classroom practiced the ownership of students' learning?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Last Chapters of "Who Owns The Learning?"

Chapters 5 &6: "Who Owns The Learning"

Very true! Students only remember learning experiences that relate to true life learning tasks. The history textbook wiki is a great example of involving students in work that matters to them and others by collaborating and committing to the project. As mentioned by Garth, "Reflecting on my own education while growing up, I don't remember any of my tests." p.86

For students to become global learners, they need to embrace global empathy and be able to appreciate and understand others point of view. To be a global collaborator and communicator there is a need for them to understand the internet searches and the source of information. Students need to learn to take control of the technologies that they are using. "It’s important to remember that we can’t broaden our perspective if we let technology do our thinking for us. Teaching students a sophisticated use of search-engine technology is just one step in developing their skills at critical thinking." p. 72

Driving collaborative life long learners should also apply to teachers by becoming learning partners and exploring with other teachers in embracing the learning process with the students and adapting to changes while learning together. Students and teachers are both learners exploring and collaborating as the unexpected in learning develops. Through engaging tasks students commit to learn to explore, create and apply many skills.

Garth continues: “ Mike and I are just kind of playing, We're taking risks every year. What can we do now?” p. 84 As teachers we need to take risks and be innovative by knowing our students and engaging them in real life learning tasks. As mentioned in the project when students added cartooning , videos and visual images, they were developing higher thinking and critical skills.

Teachers and students need to dive into the process of  learning experiences that evolve around real learning tasks by reflecting, analyzing, creating and applying new experiences throughout the process. Michael agrees, “The kids are realizing that learning is a natural process of life.” p. 85
Technology is beyond being just a tool it has opened a culture of change in teaching and learning.  What technology has done it has opened up the collaboration of the learning process. In order for this process to be successful, students need to be contributors and collaborators of the process. They become co-creators of all expectations by co-constructing criteria of the learning tasks for ownership and application of the process. Accepting the sharing of the thinking and reflecting on others’ learning is key to success throughout the process .

Every year through twitter I search for French classroom global collaborators I hope to pursue finding collaborators before the start of the school year.

I am looking forward to my new learning with my students and to continue building a collaborative learning culture by sharing and reflecting globally than just the school board community.  

My students filled out a Google form reflecting on our learning experiences this past year:

  • Global Initiatives through Free The Children and attending Me To We day have left a great impact on their lives
  • Exciting to have blogged about the initiatives and having Global audience viewing their activities
  • Appreciated collaborative learning, daily reflections  and using many tools for capturing their learning
  • Leadership opportunities in  participating in many school events.
  •  Being a friend more than a teacher
  • Giving feedback and not being graded during the learning process.
  • Independent curiosity blocks not related to the curriculum
I will continue to learn with my students and hoping to flatten my classroom walls for a global audience. Twitter has also contributed to my professional learning as I am presently following many sessions from around the world and reflecting on discussions  presented by global learners. Thank you for this great opportunity #cyberpd. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Who Owns The Learning Chapters 3 & 4

Chapter 3-  Students as scribers in groups collaboratively share class notes and give their feedback . I like the idea of high school students taking notes as it was evident that the students who struggle to take notes get better by studying using students’ good quality note taking.

The students scribers became reflectors of what has been accomplished and clarified any unknown information. Feedback from colleagues and from a global audience motivated students and encouraged more ownership and strong believe in achievements. I like the term Blowing the classroom walls and reach a global audience. By giving the students an audience and encouraging opportunities to share and give feedback they become confident life long learners and take pride in learning.

What really struck me from this chapter that I tweeted last night :

I like how the focus is on the learner and not on the technology and the shift from teachers by giving students ownership of learning and a voice. It is a shift of control and pedagogy, the technologies are again tools that facilitate the sharing, feedback and collaborative learning community.

This past academic year, the students and I continued to focus on ownership of learning and sharing learning using many tools and apps, like Google Calendars for daily reflections that were shared with students and reflected on what has been accomplished and needs to be accomplished.

 We have also applied all Google apps for collaborative learning like Google Docs, Google drawing and forms. Edmodo was also a collaborative web tool for feedback and collaboration. IOS apps were tools for capturing students voices and thinking, Showme, audiboo, fottobabble, pic-collage and educreation, skitch, imovie, tellagami, audinotes, became common tools for explaining,applying and sharing learning.

Developing a learning community where students take ownership, share learning and comment on each other learning will build responsibilities. As mentioned by November" Blowing the Classroom Walls" or we also hear the term flattening the classroom walls, my goal will to reach a global audience on students voices not only within our board. The students shared global blogs on empathy and initiatives through Free The Children and they were always excited to know that their blogs have been visited from around the world. My class next year not only they will have an eportfolio they will also have blogs connecting to the global community.

Chapter 4- The student as researcher needs to be critical about the sources of the information and gather multiple perspectives. As students become responsible for their own learning they also learn to be critical researchers to ask better questions, find real answers and apply and analyze the information. 

I did this year share the following posters from Google about searching techniques. We practiced the techniques and it did help the students focus on quicker searches.

I teach French Immersion to junior students grades 4, 5 and 6. The students search in English their curriculum inquiries or curiosities. French is a second language for them and it is difficult for the students to read the French version of the search. We focus on note taking strategies at the beginning of the year and how to read and determine the essential ideas in English and transfer their learning to French. some of these strategies involve annotation on Google docs and many organizers.

I am excited about the coming year as we are learners with our students and to be part of a learning global community. Reflecting, consolidating ,ownership of learning, student voice, self-assessing, peer-assessing are part of the learning pedagogy and technologies support and reach classroom and global audiences of the lager community of learning. I look forward to reading the last 2 chapters and reflecting on #cyberpd blogs of the larger community of learning.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Who Owns The Learning

I am finally catching up to the #cyperpd2013 Chapters 1&2 of "Who Owns The Learning" by Alan November.

Alan November focuses on authentic tasks in which students encounter success and work harder to achieve. November refers to “The Digital Learning Farm” is the use of technologies for more active participation and to give more ownership in the educational process.Where students are contributors and students acquire more skills that will motivate them to collaborate and connect globally.Technology enhances the power of collaboration and students work together in a classroom community and global community.bringing the world into the classroom.
November stresses on the importance of autonomy/ownership of learning giving students a purpose that improves their learning outcomes. When students design their learning the teacher is able to spend more quality time conferencing with students and understanding their learning styles.  

Students will be motivated not only to share learning with their teacher and classmates as well to share their learning with a global audience. November give examples of students creating tutorials explaining class topics that generate creative and an innovative learning experiences.

This an important shift in the classroom culture where teachers build a culture of collaborative respectful learning that is shared and reflected upon. This culture has to be set and adapted at the beginning of the year. Students need to co-construct criteria that leads to this collaborative learning environment.

It makes me reflect on my year how students value purposeful learning and continue with their inquiries & sharing learning after school and weekends on edmodo. Students gain confidence and grow stronger through the ownership and sharing of learning. Technology is a tool that captures learning and makes thinking visible. Through technology students are able to reflect, give feedback and collaborate and learn from others. Creating a culture of creative thinkers and reflectors through authentic tasks students will be engaged and will take pride in their purposeful learning that is shared and reflected upon it.

I am looking forward to reading and reflecting on the rest of the chapters. This is a pic-collage of some ios apps and Google Apps that I have used for collaborative learning and capturing thinking.