Learning Circle December


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Agenda and activities from our Tech Learning Circle Meeting December 2009.

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  • Welcome! Hopefully everyone had a chance to get some nourishment and refreshments? If not, please help yourself before we get started. Thank you all for coming today. Introductions of myself and Melanie, then go around the room… ask for names, grades and schools Here is a brief outline of the shape of today’s meeting…
  • Our inquiry is to determine whether engaging in a learning circle that promotes collegial interactions, peer coaching, and professional conversations will lead to capacity building, specifically the enhancement of teacher comfort and capabilities for infusing technology into our classrooms. This project was inspired by two arenas.
  • Firstly, this partnership project has grown out of the experience of a small group of teachers who worked together at Miracle Beach School last year, also as part of a Partnership Project. We organized a learning circle last year to explore using the SmartBoard to integrate technology in our daily practice. Feedback from these teachers confirmed that the learning circle provided a forum and opportunities to learn from one another, build capacity and increase their comfort levels regarding effectively utilizing and integrating the technology. This opportunity challenged us to integrate technology into our daily instruction and assignments. One of our Learning Circle participants from last year said that: “ With our partnership we have been able to share our challenges and successes. We have had similar experiences and are able to grow together. We all feel that this technology is an essential classroom tool.”   Following this experience, we envisioned a district-wide sharing between colleagues.
  • Secondly, several of us attended SmartBoard workshops in the Cowichan Valley District last February and this past August. We engaged in some rich learning opportunities, most notable were those in which we were able to play with the technology and engage in conversations with our colleagues, sharing ideas and experiences. The Cowichan District holds regular learning circle type meetings they call “Make & Take” workshops throughout the school year. These involve monthly opportunities for teachers to get together share lessons, successes, and challenges over lunch or refreshments after school. Each person contributes their unique experience, ideas, questions, and perspectives, while drawing upon the knowledge, challenges, and experience of their colleagues. The result is an exchange that provides support, and builds capacity and comfort with technology integration.
  • This year, you are all here to join in a new process, the formation of a district-wide learning circle. We represent a diverse group of teachers with various levels of experience in integrating technology in our classroom practice. When we first put out the invitation, we thought there would be three or four schools working together. But, we are coming together from eight different schools in the district: Miracle Beach, NIDES, Valleyview, Queneesh, Brooklyn, Cumberland, Robb Road, and Arden. We all have access to SmartBoards or Interactive White Boards as a vehicle for technology integration in our classrooms, but our goal goes beyond learning to simply use these tools. Knowledge of the tools is not enough. We need knowledge of the pedagogy behind why technology integration is important. We need to learn how to effectively use these tools to improve teaching and learning in our classrooms and to provide our students with 21 st century skills.
  • By coming together in a spirit of learning where we each come to listen to and share our individual experiences, challenges, successes, and queries...
  • … we hope to strengthen our skills, our capacity, and our comfort levels for integrating technology in our practice.
  • The three points highlighted on this slide are the three primary intentions of our meetings, as outlined in our Partnership Plan. In addition, our partnership plan indicated that we would: Concentrate on integrating technology into our literacy and numeracy lessons, allowing for some focus and overlap of efforts Consider the effect of effective technology integration strategies on student motivation, engagement, and learning Pursue opportunities to organize/attend technology-focused professional development
  • Today we are going to begin by exploring the notion of effective technology integration, the basis for our Learning Circle.
  • Using the ”One, Plus Two-by-Four strategy” we are going to brainstorm some words to help us define “effective technology integration.” If you haven’t used the “One, Plus Two-by-Four strategy” basically how it works is that, individually, you will have a few minutes to choose 4 words that you think help to define Technology Integration. Then in pairs, you will share your words with your partner, and try to narrow down your compiled terms to your best 4. This process is repeated in groups of four, who also work together to narrow down the compiled terms of both pairs to your best 4 again. Report out...
  • There are many great resources amassing world wide about effective technology integration and the reasons why integration is essential to the development of 21 st century skills. The video clip I have selected is one of leading educators, philosophers, authors, and business people sharing their views on the importance of technology integration. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHiby3m_RyM&NR=1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0fJKvdjQgs&feature=related
  • As I mentioned earlier, one of our intentions as a Learning Circle is to seek opportunities for Professional Development. Luckily, we have an amazing opportunity to tell you about that is coming to our district. Jan Smith is part of our Learning Circle and wanted to be here today, but had a prior commitment. She wanted me to share this with you today. Bio: Dr. Alec Couros is a professor of educational technology and media and the Coordinator of Information and Communications Technology at the Faculty of Education, University of Regina. Alec is a scholar and advocate of openness in distributed learning environments. He has given hundreds of workshops and presentations, nationally and internationally, on topics such as openness in education, social/networked learning, instructional design, digital citizenship, and critical media literacy. His graduate and undergraduate courses help current and future educators understand how to use and take advantage of the educational potential offered by the tools of connectivity. A morning session would give context and meaning to the shifts and affordances of technology with down to earth and real classroom examples. The afternoon would look at practice, and how individual teachers can build their own learning network around a passion. Jan suggests the sessions might sound something like: AM Session: “Open & Collaborative Learning: How Social Networks are Transforming Education” - In the last few years, the world of education has changed significantly as more and more teaching and learning practice shifts online. Web based communication has exploded, thanks in no small part to the emergence and increased popularity of social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter. What are the implications for social networks in education? How are educators using social networks to not only engage their students, but also connect with each other? And, perhaps most importantly, how can we view these changes as an opportunity to inspire new, meaningful, and innovative approaches to teaching & learning?   PM Session: “Building a Passionate Network of Peers for Teaching & Learning Transformation “- Social Networks services often get the bad rap of 'time-wasters' or tools that kids use inappropriately. Yet in reality, there are many social networks built upon passion, kindness, transparency, sharing, and collaboration. This session will explore these positive human networks as they apply to educators. You will learn how distributed teacher networks are transforming practice in many classrooms. You will experience the most commonly used tools to build and communicate within these networks. You will engage in important first steps for building your own personal learning network. And, most importantly, you will see how the future of professional development will be anytime, anywhere and always at your finger tips. Here is the really powerful part: Alec will offer a series of follow-up sessions as part of the package (maybe one per month) using technology such as Elluminate or Skype to carry on the learning conversation. The design/content would be driven by the group. So, after school meetings organized by CUE, Alec presenting/sharing on a topic/idea/tool  followed by specific support from local educators using particular technologies. He has also offered to connect our educators with mentors/guides who share similar learning interests that might be facilitated through tech connections.
  • The tool we are focusing on, as a vehicle for effective technology integration, is the SmartBoard. However, it is not the only tool we will explore in our learning circles. Since our focus is not primarily on the technology tools, but on technology integration. In investigating how we can best utilize SmartBoards for effective integration, we thought it might be useful to begin by examining our current perception of the tool. What do we see as Drawbacks & Benefits or the SmartBoard? We will repeat this exercise at the end of the year and see how our ideas have changed. Use T-chart on Smartboard: Turn and talk to your neighbour, then share out -- Mel
  • Our findings will come from anecdotal comments and observations. Teacher reflections before, during, and after, regarding self-perception and assessment of comfort level, capacity, and practice with effectively integrating technology into the classroom will provide the data for our conclusions. Observations and student interviews regarding motivation and engagement will help us determine effects on student learning. There are a growing number of rubrics and tools for teachers to assess their comfort and capacity with integrating technology. This has developed from increasing interest in and development of standards for technology integration and 21 st century education world wide. Show rubric on Smartboard—Michelle http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForTeachers/2008Standards/NETS_T_Standards_Final.pdf http://www.mff.org/pubs/ME159.pdf Explain use of rubric as a means to track our comfort and capacity levels from start of learning circle to the end—Michelle Rubrics can be completed by Dec. 18th and sent in InterSchool mail
  • The baseline data we are using is feedback from teachers. We will know we have reached our goal when we see our individual and collective capacity building, as well as our practices and strategies shifting, with an effect on student engagement, motivation, and learning.
  • It is important for us to determine how we want our learning circle to work... With limited time today to work through all aspects of our process, I have tried to anticipate some of the components of a needs analysis. I have used Survey Monkey to put together a survey to help us determine our needs, direction, and format for our learning circle. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=FhZ9HPPzDXcPReeSdTCAPw_3d_3d I would like some input on the draft now so that I can include your ideas, fine tune the survey, and send it out for you to complete by December 18 th . The data will then be compiled and we can take what we learn from the needs analysis to help us shape our future meetings and make the most of our time together.
  • A big thanks to all of you for taking time to come out today. We hope you are as excited as we are about the possibilities of this group coming together. It will be what we make of it, so we encourage you to use the opportunity to connect with each other and reach out of your comfort zones, to see what we can build together. Once we know everyone’s preferences for connecting outside of meetings, we will determine how to share our resources and link everyone with some best practice examples of SmartBoard lessons that work. Your ticket out the door tonight, is to take a post it note from your table and to either to write down one burning question you have about the SmartBoard, OR one thing you hope to gain from taking part in this Learning Circle, OR one favourite SmartBoard resource page or interactive website.
  • Learning Circle December

    1. 1. Our Agenda: 3:30pm -- Welcome, Mingle, & Refreshments 3:45pm -- Our Inspiration and Intentions: What is a Learning Circle and what are our goals? 4:00pm -- Our Definition: What is effective technology integration? 4:25pm -- Our Vehicle for Technology Integration: Why (or why not?) the SmartBoard? 4:40pm -- Our Self Assessment: How we can measure our progress? 4:45pm -- Our Process: How do we want our Learning Circle to work? 5:00pm -- Our Thank You: Door Prize!
    2. 2. Our Inspiration:
    3. 3. Miracle Beach Learning Circle
    4. 4. Cowichan District
    5. 5. Our Intentions
    6. 6. We are all learners…
    7. 7. … learning together!
    8. 8. <ul><ul><li>to discuss rationale and pedagogy for effective technology integration, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to consider benefits and drawbacks of the SmartBoard as a tool for effective integration, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and to share lesson ideas and resources to support effective integration </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Our Definition
    10. 11. Exploring the WHY behind technology in the classroom…
    11. 12. Alec Couros—Feb. 8 th Pro-Day
    12. 13. Our Vehicle BENEFITS DRAWBACKS
    13. 14. Our Self-Assessment
    14. 16. Our Process
    15. 17. Our Thanks