Educational Collisions: How Connected Educators Are Creating Positive Change #CanFlip14


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Keynote presentation at the 3rd Annual Flipped Classroom Conference. Encouraging people to use social media to enhance the human connection and use this connection to share, collide ideas and create educational change.

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  • Honoured to be here
    Slides will be online with links to resources
  • I have to tell you.. I am no expert.
    I have been honoured to connect with many educators through social media … doing amazing things for kids.
    I have been privileged to meet many of them and hear their stories.
  • Principal – VP – intermediate teacher – high school teacher
    Land of Dora and Diego
    Frozen – dance dad – elbow, sink
    Story of connecting social media started in 2009
    Why do I want to share my journey… like you, I want to see change.
  • what do I want for MY kids? I want educators to meet my kids where they are and not cram them into some standardized view of schooling.
    Joy in learning. Stay curious. Authentic learning. Portfolio of growth and assessment. Tap into their strengths and interests.
    Love learning and NOT be defined by a number to a hundredth of a decimal point.

  • We are here today because of our need to connect with others. If we did not have this need, we could just stay at home and read.
    At conferences I always ask myself “what will I change as a result of me being here today”.
    This is important but more important is what Dean Shareski talks about
  • Leaving here with 1-2 people you can continue to learn with
    When we learn, It is all about relationships… all about connection.
  • People want to help… especially when there is a relationship and a purpose.
    There are downsides of tech… but Tech can connect us in ways that make us MORE human.
  • In a connected world, people ask for help. And people whom you have never met will often reach out.
  • A stranger helps… something they will cherish forever.
    People love stories. Stories that touch the heart and bring us together.
  • Crowdsourcing.
    1988-92-94-98-2002…. And 2014
    Good stories draw people in.
    Kent. Raise money for people in a fire.
  • Powerful movement right now to share the positives of BC teachers…
    We are seeing the power of social media to bring people together… to enhance human connection,
    And there is no age limit for this
  • 82 year old Aunt Pat. My nan and papa both passed away years ago so she is our elder from my mom’s side.
    Grew frustrated when everyone else knew about family immediately and she had to wait for a letter or pictures to be mailed or dropped off.
    A message she sent me on my first day at my new school.
    Social media can bring us closer… and they can bring communities together as people rally around a story… a person.
  • Lilee Jean Putt – born 5 days before my girls
    Family used social media to help share her story and deal with the struggle and pain. She started to beat the cancer.
    Just after she turned 2, another tumour formed. This is when it became inspiring and incredibly sad at the same time.
    They decided to, instead of sit in sadness… to dance in the rain.
    So many others danced with them. Span of 3 months – bday party, Christmas, Halloween, 1st day of Kindergarten
    Last summer… she got really sick. Many of us, who were friends with Andrew and Chels but had never met… made a video together to send her strength and love.
  • 16 MINS
    Social media can bring us together to help.
    We are tapping into this in education.
  • Social Media is NOT changing education… but the people who are sharing, reflecting, growing ARE changing education.
    And these changes make some people scared.
  • You have likely experienced this.
    Instead of quickly judging something as good/bad or right/wrong…
    Explore, ask questions… move deeper.
    When we talk about technology in education, the focus often becomes on the devices… but is it really about the devices?
  • 19 MINS
    It is less about the devices…
    Less about technology
  • Helping others, sharing ideas – sending them out for people to use and improve upon… and send back
  • Effective teaching is hard work… we need to connect and work together to support each other, share ideas, and share stories
    A connected educator is anyone who works with other educators to grow – professional learning community, personal learning network.
    Does not HAVE to be online… but being online can expose us to endless ideas to consider, reflect, use, and improve.
    Steven Johnson talks about how being connected helps ideas grow… check this out.
  • David Weinberger says “The smartest person in the room… is the room itself.”
    “It’s not that we ignore our weaknesses; rather, we make our weaknesses irrelevant by working effectively with others so that we compensate for our weaknesses through their strengths and they compensate for their weaknesses through our strengths” Stephen M. R. Covey
    This idea has a huge impact on professional learning.
  • We need to model learning – not confined to libraries, offices, classrooms. Embrace it.
    DIY professional learning – any time, any place
    Read, take time to reflect and digest, respond, share.
    People I learned from used to be the people on my staff. Important… we want to keep this. But now…
  • u can access many thoughts, links to articles, videos, on Twitter BUT
    More importantly it is the PEOPLE, the relationships with others that is the key impact of social media.
    Not just about what you know. Not just about who you know.

  • Accessing the wisdom and experience of others… with them accessing the wisdom and experience of YOU.
    People in my network helped me make the move to a new school, new district that much better.

  • Already had relationships with many in the district (ex. Victoria Olson) and in the school through social media. Shawn Davids – become great friends.
    Brian Kuhn and Cale Birk
  • “It is no longer enough to do powerful work if nobody sees it” – Chris Lehmann
    OPEN WINDOWS to your classrooms and learning environments – let people see in and steal some of the great things you are doing in your class.
  • Often hear – what am I going to share that is worth sharing? Why don’t you find out?
  • How do we make progress in education if nobody shares?
    How do we create momentum if nothing goes out through those doors?
    Who would we learn from?
  • 30 MINS
    As you listen to the student, he is asking for feedback. Sharing his technique and asking for feedback.
    What if we all did THIS?
    What if we shared our ideas and asked for feedback? Would they grow or would they shrink?
    There are many structures in education that have made isolation the norm – with social media, this is no longer the case.
  • With so many educators connecting with each other online… and with the ease in which this can be done
    We could argue that we are no longer forced to work in isolation… it is a choice that is made.
    As leaders – teachers, admin – we need to bring our organizations and communities together. HASHTAG
  • One of the best ways districts can do this is through the power of a hashtag.
    #sd36learn is a great example of how the largest school district in BC has come together and expanded these pockets of innovative practice.
    Each organization - district, a school, or a subject area – needs a hashtag to bring people together.
    When we are connected, we have our network with us to support and challenge when we need them
  • Zero sum…. Competitive. Beat out the competition. Winners and losers.
    We go back to thoughts of John Seely Brown on surfers competing and collaborating to raise the bar using technology.
  • 35 mins
    We are no longer in a world where majority of people hold on to their ideas…. They share them and watch them grow.
  • Conversation with Karl Lindgren-Streicher at an edcamp about awards and schools. Continued this conversation on Voxer with Scott Bedley
    positive aspects and negative aspects of competition.
    When someone shares an idea – raises the bar – success
    Examples… surfers, dance
    Dance teachers sharing – much like surfers(dance is very competitive) but people are taking ideas and making them better
    With so many people sharing their work online, many are driven to reach or exceed that bar.
    I am not sure we can redfine competition but I do know that the world has changed. Ideas are not as owned as they used to be. People now think, share ideas, and create opportunities for growth and reflection.

  • Educ change is hard. It is slow…however, when we connect ideas, collide hunches, share what works
    When we use technology in a purposeful way to enhance our connections
    When we all open up our hands and share our ideas, we can see in the windows of minds and classrooms of others.
    Question moves from “Can We?” to “How can we?”
    We can take the ideas and build on them and share them to increase the rate of real, positive change.
  • Top down solutions: school choice, standardize tests, curriculum.
    “Pedagogy Trumps Curriculum every time” Dylan Wiliam
    Real change comes from teachers- teachers who aren’t waiting for the new curriculum.
    They are reflecting, taking risks, connecting and sharing
    “We can raise the teaching profession by sharing what works, by taking the best of what we do and hanging it on the virtual wall.“ Will Richardson
  • an important task is to take the pockets of innovation and effective practice and help create the conditions for these pockets to spread.
    We have silos in education through classrooms, subjects and other structures.
    Through technology, we can seek out and share great things so it becomes less of a pocket and more of the norm.
  • Remix… mashup… create.
  • Stole from good friend George Couros
    One of the most powerful events I have ever been a part of - staff and students do a project about themselves
    Kids bouncing ideas
    Changed this child’s life as she was able to share her pet artwork.. Instead of being the shy girl that nobody spoke to, kids started to ask her to draw pictures of their pets. Confidence soared.
  • One tweet about PLC research in BC
    Janet Lauman, principal in Delta shared her doctorate thesis and what she was doing at her school
    Living Systems Model based on the needs/wants of staff
    Create space for teachers to tinker, be curious, and work their magic.
    Not only is it about sharing ideas… but also being challenged and respectfully challenging the ideas of others.
  • Clayton Christensen – seek out intellectual collisions – seek ideas that challenge and support.
    Develop a network of critical friends
    This critical friends are so important as they give honest feedback and engage in respectful dialogue.
    Often when we have challenging conversations, we need to be clear on what we are saying… define our terms. Communicate well.
  • 44 MINS
    Are we communicating clearly when we connect? It is not what we say and write… it is what is heard and read. Be clear on what you are saying and seek to understand.
    These intellectual collisions can be so powerful… they can help us move forward, innovate, create. REMIX and MASHUP ideas.

    When using terms, we have to be clear on what we mean. An example of this is the flipped model and a conversation that changed me.
  • It is a bit ironic that I am here today.
    I have been VERY critical of the flipped model. Access. Homework. Lectures. Kahn Academy
    Then I started to see past the term “flipped” and look deeper into what was really happening when some teachers were flipping.
    Yes, some were just having videos for HW or using Kahn Academy but others like Graham , Carolyn, Brett Clarke (Indiana)… were creating change in the classrooms. Flipping so much.
    When we have these conversations, we need to take the time to seek to understand what the other is saying…
  • dichotomies, Dualism, polarized views – make people feel like they are outright wrong – committing educational malpractice
    These statements like “worksheets harm kids” are stated to grasp people’s attention… but we need to move deeper than that.
    The conversation often ends. Very few issues are black and white… there are so many shades of grey (mom’s book)
    Flipped, grades, tech, classroom walls, homework
    Binary thinking often steers the conversations away from the issues… become personal. Because the gap is so wide on the issues, people attack the person and say things online that they would never say Face to Face.
    Robinson Cano – Yankees
  • 49 mins
    Also Fallon has done a great job of using social media to connect with people. Meeting people where they are
    He uses social media to share the stories he wants shared…
  • When we share stories of education, we share ideas
  • Be less concerned about ownership of ideas
    Good ideas, good stories need to be shared so they grow and impact more students.
    Share ideas. Seek out ideas that have been shared.
  • We love being in a community and learning from sharing stories. We have shared stories since the beginning.
    Good Stories capture our hearts… they move us.
  • Who is telling the story in your school? District? Province/State? Country? Media?
    We need to tell the story. Students need to tell the story.
    Share your stories of positives in education. Be part of the movement to create positive changes in education.
  • Sharing the positives
  • Social media is like having a small window in to other’s classrooms, schools, conferences… it is not the same as being there but it does give us a small glimpse of what others are doing
    This can help those hunches to collide, ideas to grow, and innovation to be shared.
    School in Brazil had a problem and an idea.
    Students who wanted to speak English… and USA, seniors who wanted to speak to someone.
  • 55 mins
    Hugs, Love, Care, Connection. Learning.
    Using technology to something that could not be done without it.
    These connections speed up change… speed up innovation
  • when ideas have sex
    tools that were used by prehistoric man.... hand axes were around for a million years before anything really changed.
    Now, something is around for about 5 yrs and tends to become obsolete –
    because of connected people, connected ideas. People work to benefit others... Innovate and share.
    Through connections - we can all have ideas meet and mate to be more innovative and create REAL positive change in education.
  • Comfortable being uncomfortable
  • What are you going to do as a result of you being here today?
    Do something now... Stay connected with people you meet here.

  • People want to help. We are hardwired to connect. Reach out.
    Share your stuff, share your stories, and share those of others. Create educational collisions both in and out of the school.
    Be a connector. Connect those across the hall, down the hall, across town, across the globe in areas of passion and curiosity.
    The world is your refrigerator
    Sheryl Nussbaum Beach – this isn’t Vegas – what happens in your classroom shouldn’t stay in your classroom
    Do one thing now… take a risk. If this kid can do it…
  • Do one thing new. Start small. Start with a tweet. Do something to stay connected with some people you met here.
    I want to thank you so much for having me here today and allowing me to share my journey with you.
    I will let my daughter have the last word.
  • Educational Collisions: How Connected Educators Are Creating Positive Change #CanFlip14

    1. 1. Educational Collisions How Connected Educators are Creating Positive Change Chris Wejr @chriswejr #CanFlip14cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by ZEISS Microscopy:
    2. 2. "I come to you humbly not to tell you what to do on your journey but to share with you what I have learned on mine” Wab Kinew cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo by Thompson Rivers University:
    3. 3. Who IS this guy?
    4. 4. What Matters
    5. 5. Connect With Others
    6. 6. or two ideas you can use in your classroom… is not nearly as good as leaving here with one or two people you can continue to learn with.” CC Image from Alec Couros
    7. 7. “Connection is why we are here. We are hardwired to connect with others -- Brene Brown cc licensed ( BY ND ) flickr photo by Andrew:
    8. 8. Seeking the help of others
    9. 9.
    10. 10. Dancing in the Rain with Lilee-Jean
    11. 11.
    12. 12. How social media is changing education.
    13. 13. “[we must] resist our tendencies to make right or true, that which is nearly familiar, and wrong or false, that which is only strange.” CC Image from Koshy Koshy Robert Kegan
    14. 14. Is it really about devices?
    15. 15. LESS about technology. LESS about social media. MORE about relationships MORE about sharing stories ALL about people
    16. 16. What is a Connected Educator? cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo by Dimitris Papazimouris:
    17. 17. Chance favours a connected mind Steven Johnson
    18. 18. Professional LEARNING is not an event It happens Any Time… Any Place… Image:
    19. 19. Do you know what who you know knows? Howard Rheingold cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo by Michael Coghlan:
    20. 20. New School, New District, New Learning
    21. 21. Share Ideas
    22. 22. cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by Martin Gommel: Instead of holding an idea in a closed fist… hold it out in your open hand. Nilofer Merchant
    23. 23. What is ordinary to you… Might be extraordinary to someone else cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo by akshay moon:
    24. 24. “The best teachers focus on doing great things in their classroom and don’t waste time bragging about it online.” What if we all did this? CC Image from The B’s
    25. 25. “I know I am doing it wrong… please comment below so you can teach me how to do it”
    26. 26. “Isolation is now a choice educators make.”George Couros
    27. 27. cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by Roberta Cortese:
    28. 28. Traditional view of success? CC Image from David Melchor Diaz
    29. 29. John Seely Brown Learning from Surfers
    30. 30. Competition… Redefined?
    31. 31. Create Positive Change
    32. 32. Speed of Changecc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo by Joachim S. Müller:
    33. 33. REAL Education Reform
    34. 34. Expand and Connect the Pockets cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo by Esther Simpson:
    35. 35. Great ideas are often created because someone had the other half of it for you. Neil StephensonCC Image from John Potter
    36. 36. Identity Day Blog:
    37. 37. Creating Collab Time Blog:
    38. 38. Challenge
    39. 39. Seek intellectual collisions cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo by ▓▒░ TORLEY ░▒▓:
    40. 40. Are we being clear on what we are saying?
    41. 41. “We need to get off this ‘flipped instruction is innovative and the change needed’ train and start talking deeper reform.” @chriswejr – November, 2011 “@jossives @okmbio I appreciate how Carolyn has taken the flipped model and changed the entire class structure” @chriswejr – April, 2012
    42. 42. The Problem With Binary Thinking
    43. 43. Learning From Jimmy Fallon
    44. 44. Share Stories
    45. 45. Ideas don’t get smaller when they are shared. – Seth Godin cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by Alexander Steinhof:
    46. 46. “Human beings were born to be in a community. We were born to create and share elements of our experience of life through art and storytelling.”
    47. 47. What are the stories being told about education? Who is telling them? cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by Alejandro Giacometti:
    48. 48. Sharing stories… changing culture
    49. 49. Provide a window in… cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo by Kol Tregaskes:
    50. 50. Connections, Relationships, and Technology
    51. 51. When Ideas Meet and Mate Matt Ridley From:
    52. 52. It’s Your Move
    53. 53. Reflect. Start change with one thing… Now. cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by Rita M.:
    54. 54. Share. Tweet. Blog. cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by Josh Harper:
    55. 55. Try something new. Take a risk. Do it.
    56. 56. Thank you!
    57. 57. Connect With Me @chriswejr
    58. 58. Acknowledgments: George Couros @gcouros Alec Couros @courosa Chris Kennedy @chrkennedy Cale Birk @birklearns And so many more in my PLN!