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Dean Shareski and Micheal Chechile

We have been very fortunate over the past week at the Lester B. Pearson School Board.  On Friday our Educational Services Department provided professional development to our board’s teachers.  Our morning started with an excellent keynote given by Dean Shareski @shareski Dean shared a great deal with us, but for me the most salient points that he made were:

Passion Projects:  Provide opportunities and support for students to engage in learning about something that they are personally interested in.  Use technology as a tool both for them to research their interest, as well as, to share it with the world.  Remember that technology as a tool for research is vast.  A student can use twitter, blogs, edchats and so much more to learn about their passion project.

Assessment and Evaluation:  As we continue to use technology as tools for learning we need to redress our assessment and evaluation processes.  We need to develop our ability as educators to acknowledge the processes of learning that our students are engaged in, as well as their products.

In 1915 John Dewey (Dewey and Dewey 1915) discussed “learning by doing.” (New York: Holt, 1915; revised edition, New York: Putnam, 1942).

 What better time than now with all the digital tools that we have available to make the words of Dewey come alive!

 On Monday and Tuesday many teachers, professionals and administrators attended the annual LCEEQ conference entitled, “Communicate, Collaborate, Create:  Critical Thinking in the Age of Social Media – Impact on Teaching and Learning”.  On day two we had the pleasure of hearing Alec Couros @courosa .  Alec shared with us his passion for technology as a tool for learning; but what was most powerful was the manner in which he shared.  He was able to engage and enrich us through stories about his father who had passed away, his children and his university students.  He used Twitter as a vehicle for the audience to share their responses to his speech, as well as, to put forth their thoughts.  He had his Twitter feed running simultaneously with his presentation slides.

 My colleague and I felt that the most powerful statement that he made was when he was speaking about a university student who went to an interview with her online portfolio and said to the employer that ‘when you hire me, you are hiring my entire professional learning network!’  Now that is a connected educator!

 @MeldrumKim #lceeq2014 role of technology to help students find their voice – thanks Dr. Couros!