CC: Chris Tse, Flickr https://goo.gl/Wktf2N
Since I joined COETAIL in June 2016, I have had so many amazing opportunities to learn from and with others. The way COETAIL is structured makes it easy and safe to interact with “strangers” in the World WILD WEB. I clearly understood after the first few weeks how interested it was to be part of a Learning community and to develop my own PLN. My PLN brings me a curated access to materials that are relevant and meaningful to my own practices. The quality of the resources found through Twitter only is impressive.
Outside COETAIL, I also had the privilege to participate to workshops with Alan November, Will Richardson, Ewan Mc Intosh (twice), Jeff Utecht and Ron Richhart (twice). On top of that, John Mikton is now our Head of Education Technology and share with us his rich experience.
I have learned a lot from all of them, but I realise now that I really expanded my learning when I applied these ideas in the context of my school, reflect and then discuss with my peers about our practices and conceptual understandings.
Here are a few take-aways from these workshops that I have slowly integrated and combined in my own thinking.
From Alan November, I realised the benefit for the students to connect to the World, to access best examples of the World and to develop their digital citizenship skills. This is also something that Jeff Utecht explains very clearly when he talks about connected classrooms. It is time for teachers to leave their fear and embrace the fact that the whole society is connected. so why their classroom is still not?
As Jeff Utecht and Will Richardson say, we need to reimagine schools and classrooms to prepare kids for their future. A teacher who says that she/he doesn’t like technology or doesn’t want students to use it seems very selfish to me. This is not about YOU, this is about THEM.
Now, the question is How should we be using technology?
If it is not to amplify learning, then it is better not to use technology. Sometimes, it is absolutely fine to use markers and papers. For instance, before creating anything on a device, every student should generate ideas and plan on paper. They can use Ron Richhart’s Thinking routines to do so or some of Ewan Mc Intosh’s technics to generate ideas and solve problems. Both of them show through these thinking strategies how powerful it is to collaborate and make your thinking visible to your peers. Some of these technics can also be done in the digital World. Building on everyone’s ideas, as well as giving and receiving useful feedback seems to be the most productive way to enhance learning and create original outcomes.
It is also exactly what Coetal does…