Wednesday, July 17, 2013

#CyberPD--Who Owns the Learning?, Ch 5-end

Who Owns the Learning?: Preparing Students for Success in the Digital Age
by Alan November
Solution Tree (May 21, 2012)
I read the Kindle Edition

"Reflecting on my own education while growing up, 
I don't remember any of my tests. 
I don't remember any of my multiple-choice tests 
or my written answers. 
But I remember the experiences I had...
...what can we give kids that's an experience 
that they typically don't get...?" p. 86

Chapter 5 -- Job of global communicator and collaborator
Big idea for me: Students need to learn empathy. Global empathy as well as just plain understanding and appreciating other points of view.

Discussion Question #1 -- What kinds of opportunities can you imagine for enabling students to engage with authentic audiences around the world? 

  • Skyping with other schools and with authors...and perhaps with the international families of my students? Just learned last night on #5thChat about Mystery # Skypes and TodaysMeet. Both of these seem RICH with possibilities!
  • Working the Twitter feed for all it's worth. 
  • Participating in the Global Read Aloud.

Discussion Question #2 -- What barriers do you anticipate educators will face in guiding students in the role of global communicator and collaborator? 

The biggest barrier will be Me.

  • I have to guard against running out of time, energy, commitment, focus, and a willingness to brainstorm creative ways to access technology resources. 
  • I have to remember to start small, using authentic audiences in our own school district...maybe even our own building!
  • I have to choose projects wisely, then work backwards from the end result to make sure I've taught all the skills my students will need in order to be successful.

Chapter 6 -- Purposeful work, legacy of student contribution
The story of the student-written history text/wiki is fascinating. Leaving a legacy is as crucial as empathy. I had an amazing interim principal once upon a time (you know who I'm talking about, some of you). His tagline on all written and most verbal communications was "Leave a legacy." The hallways in the new wing of our building (built during his term with us) are named Legacy Lane. Through his constant use of that word, he made me think about the value and importance of all I do in my classroom and our school. I think the idea of taking student work to the Legacy Level can be a ongoing conversation from day one. "What can come of this work we are doing that will be of lasting importance? Of use to someone else?" Thinking about the legacy piece will naturally tie into teaching empathy. (Hmm...this is pretty fascinating. You are witnessing ideas being born as I type...I'm getting really excited about this!!) I recently had an afternoon of conversation with some of my #LivePD pals. We kept wrapping back around to the idea of "Who will be the audience?" Seems like if students are involved in conversations about leaving a legacy, they are also determining the audience for the work they'll be doing. So they won't just be shouting into Cyberspace and hoping someone will respond. ('s all coming together nicely...) And if we're considering legacy, we've got purpose covered, too! (Hmm...)

Discussion Question #1 What opportunities can you identify for incorporating multiple student jobs into your classroom activities? 

The answer is Yes.  (need time to think and plan)

Discussion Question #2 How could you help your students create an educational legacy that would outlast their own student experiences?

The answer is Yes. While I'm hoping that it's not just one thing and that it comes as much from them as from me, I do have one idea I'd like to float to my students and to the staff of my school: We need to take our Multiculturalism on the road to other schools whose classes aren't as international as ours. We need to take our authentic Multicultural Day out to other schools that have a fake one put on by their PTO.

Discussion Question #4  How would you structure yearlong collaboration with colleagues beyond your classroom to add value to your students' learning experiences?

See answer to #1.  (also got a good start on this during #LivePD with Karen, Maria and Cathy)

Laura Komos (Ruminate and Invigorate) is hosting today's conversation about WHO OWNS THE LEARNING? Thank you to her, to Jill Fisch (My Primary Passion), and to Cathy (Reflect and Refine) and for bringing us together to have these important conversations. Looking forward to the Twitter Chat!


  1. Anonymous8:37 AM

    Your paragraph on chapter 6...legacy...had me reading, rereading, nodding my head, and concurring again and again. I am so glad you typed it as your ideas came out naturally. What powerful questions to ask.."What can come of this work we are doing that will be of lasting importance? Of use to someone else? Who will be the audience?" Audience...purpose...legacy...priceless!

    1. I'm THRILLED that that paragraph shone for you like it did for me. It was one of those moments where I was just following my brain and so amazed at what it told me!! It was kind of like writing a poem when you start with a seed and wind up with a fully blooming flower!!

  2. I am so excited that you wrapped your head around legacy. Your thinking continues to help me connect the dots and once again you ask those questions that I have written down and will continue to ponder. Can't wait to chat some more.

    Tracy connected the dots well: audience..purpose..legacy!

  3. Anonymous8:45 AM

    Mary Lee,
    I hope that those of us participating in this continue to share our successes (and not yets) as we work with our new classes this year.I teach at an international school and although I feel like I take advantage of the muticultural experiences this offers I always feel like there is more I could do.

    1. Oh, I agree about continuing the conversations! #ContinualPD!!

  4. Mary,

    This reminds me of the Forest Whitcraft quote that I have as a poster in my office:

    One hundred years from now
    It will not matter
    What kind of car I drove,
    What kind of house I lived in,
    How much I had in my bank
    Nor what my clothes looked like.
    One hundred years from now
    It will not matter
    What kind of school I attended,
    What kind of typewriter I used,
    How large or small my church,
    But the world may be ...
    a little better because...
    I was important in the life of a child.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  5. Mary Lee - I love the way you think aloud! Thanks for your post. What’s the “global read aloud?” Also your idea about going public with your multicultural stuff is a great idea.

    1. More about Global Read Aloud here:

  6. I didn't write about the legacy part, but it is important I know, & I wonder how much more our school can do to leave that which would be useful in a wider world behind. Our halls are filled with framed art and projects that former students created. We value (and they did also) that legacy to the school today, but there is much more to do with the students in helping them see the possibilities. Thanks for more of this thinking, Mary Lee.

  7. Mary Lee,
    You have continued to grow our #livePD conversation with your thoughts on legacy. I will be reading and rereading that part. What can we create to have lasting importance? Which stories do you want to carry with you for years to come? What learning do we want to get back to and continue to build upon?

    I have much to think about in the weeks to come as I plan those important first weeks of school. I know the first steps we'll take together, but my hope is that students will quickly be guiding the next steps as we become a community. Like you, I know I will have to, "guard against running out of time, energy, commitment, focus, and a willingness to brainstorm creative ways to access technology resources." Hopefully students can help me with that.

    I am looking forward to continued conversation as we take those next steps,

  8. Mary Lee,

    While I absolutely loved watching your ideas take shape as you typed this post (I am so impressed that you were able to so accurately capture that), the part that really resonated with me was:

    "guard against running out of time, energy, commitment, focus, and a willingness to brainstorm creative ways to access technology resources."

    My whole post was on that topic today. It is going to take work to keep up the level of energy that this type of teaching requires. Maybe we should reconvene #cyberpd once a month to give ourselves a boost to our energy levels.


  9. Mary Lee,

    I definitely connect with ideas around legacy. And needing time to think and plan. I wonder about the planning piece. As the 'shift of control' moves from us to the students, how do you see your planning change? What would long range plans look like? Would we still do them? How about unit plans and lesson plans? Where does the planning have to be detailed? And where is it more flexible?

  10. Mary Lee,
    The section you wrote about legacies really spoke to me, too! I need to reread it to help guide my thinking as we move forward to the new school year and new adventures in our classroom. Thank you!

  11. Mary Lee,
    Thanks for sharing your thinking and the heart of what AN is getting at with respect to legacy. Your personal connection to seeing the value of legacy will no doubt play a role in moving forward with Global Collaboration and the other connection from your response on sharing more of the unique multi-cultural perspective within your building.
    Time to think and plan how this will look is what I am striving for as well...keep us posted on how it's going..


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