Thursday, September 22, 2016

Out of the whirlwind and back in the saddle!

Can hardly believe that my blog has been dormant for well over a year. In fact, it is rather an embarrassment for me as I spend a great deal of my time encouraging teachers to share their learning journeys with peers as well as encourage them to get their students into a blog space where they, too, are sharing their learning journeys. I am active on Twitter, and while that serves a purpose for sharing some of the learning that has come my way, it doesn't allow you into my journey like a blog would. And, for those of you who know me know, I can be a little "all over the place" so you might have to be a mind reader to figure out what I'm focusing on.

This past year has been a whirlwind of a journey for me and the Educational Technology department in general. With our new superintendent, Dr. Muri leading our district on the journey towards creating a personalized learning landscape for #EveryChild. we were operating on two cylinders. Thank
goodness we are now a fully staffed department of 3. Innovation is happening and EdTech is supporting many initiatives.

Our department has been busy with the selection and development of Cohort One of the Vanguard Fellowship, a group of amazing PreK - 12th grade teachers who are innovators everyday in their classrooms. We are learning so much with and from them. Cohort Two is coming later this year. It is through our work with them today that brings me back here. We ask they keep a collective blog, Vanflections, where they journal and allow the world to peek into their greatest successes and challenges on their learner's journey.

Today, we're sharing some strategies with them as they dive in and create an action research project - complete with measurable outcomes (that aren't the STAAR test) so, as a system, we can learn, grow and potentially provide guidance for other teachers in their journeys. Working to bring together resources from so many amazing people I've come to know (at least virtually) and learn from has been a real challenge for me. Deciding which bits and pieces to "lite" on for an hour or so... trying to find the nugget that will resonate with them... Trying to make their journey a little easier (although I learned from Sara Wilkie a long time ago that I can't live their journeys for them).My best shot is to pick some of the nuggets that have resonated with me and hope for the best.

So as we share the idea of each of their classrooms as a space where they're prototyping everyday, I was so fired up by George Couros's post on the Connected Principal's post today! I've included a link in our work today and will be using his words to encourage our Vanguard Fellows to continue on their learners' journeys. His book The Innovator's Mindset has been an amazing read (which I have tweeted about a lot, held a summer principal's book study over, and hand out copies of often) for me. I'm out of time for today. I'll have to leave with...

"This is what I have created with what I know (and had the time to share) today..." Thank you George!

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