Tag Archives: #scdsb

#craftreconciliation: Behind the scene

Yesterday, my class blogs began with “I am in the building today, but not in class.”

We don’t often have the opportunity to learn with our colleagues in prime time, but we did yesterday.

What a luxury! (HUGE thanks to Simcoe County District School Board and Wikwemikong Board of Education for supporting this work!)

In preparation for the #craftreconciliation challenge, Jaclyn Calder, Shannon Simpson, and I coordinated a day of learning for participating educators. The bulk of the day was spent in our own boards where together we:

  • created our handshakes and uploaded them to D2L
  • commented on other teachers handshakes
  • played with Hypothes.is
  • practiced using Google Hangouts
  • downloaded and experimented with Minecraft

But we also spent some time together in a Google Hangout where we went over the various learning spaces, events, and resources designed for this challenge.

By the end of the day, everyone felt more comfortable and truly excited!

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Innovation needs an investment of time

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The thing about innovation that I don’t think gets talked about enough is time. It’s kind of like the idea of  over night success. The sudden and surprising talent or success that captures attention is almost always the result of years of practice, trial and error, and failed starts (and some serendipity).

On the eve of officially launching #craftreconciliation in my board, there may be some who think that this moment happened quickly and easily. But that wouldn’t be true.

I began thinking about taking the learning beyond my classroom walls in 2007 when in became clear that the learning needed to go to where the students were: Facebook. In 2008, I set up a Facebook account for one class where I posted lessons and resources, and students submitted assignments and reached out for help. It was a great success, but Facebook created too big of a distraction in other classes, and it was blocked.

In 2010, I stumbled across Julie Lindsay and the Flat Classroom Project. I took her course in 2012 with Caroline Black, and I have written about that extensively. What this experience gave me was the world. It opened up my thinking about collaboration beyond that of teacher to teacher, teacher to students in one building. It showed me how possible it is to connect with people all over the world, to access expertise, and to learn together. Issues like dignity could authentically be expanded beyond personal to global!

But to pull off this kind of learning, I needed to learn how to use, and then, leverage technology. This learning curve was sharp. For the past two years, I have been learning how to use a variety of tools with my students. I have the same students every year, so we can grow together. And we have. We are all comfortable creating, sharing, editing, and collaborating on documents. We have developed the habits and skills for being productive online. We are blogging and creating wiki pages.

When Jaclyn Calder wondered about the prospect of running a #craftreconciliation project together, and I was ready.

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#craftreconciliation is a lot of things, including exemplifying innovation—and for me, this innovation took years to suddenly happen.




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