Week three of a new weekly post, Quotes of the Week.  (For more about QoTW, click here.)   Click them, share them, spread the wealth!

As I noted in the first post, I highly recommend principals, school-heads, and other educational leaders provide their own version of suggested readings/links in a weekly email newsletter.   Curate them; that is to say, don’t give them too much, but choose the best three, four, or five (max).

But teaching is so much more than quizzes, lectures and data collection. And the promise of technology isn’t that can automate the rote tasks of teaching – in the end that’s low hanging fruit. The promise of technology is rather the way that it can allow teachers and students to work together to do more, create more, research more broadly, share more widely, learn more deeply.

The Seductive Allure of Edu-Tech Reform, Chris Lehmann

If, after surfing and consuming and participating and producing and cutting and pasting and photographing and editing and uploading and downloading and boondoggling, you continuallyreturn to a certain activity, a certain blog, a certain focus, a certain app . . . that thing, that action, defines you.  It’s what you’re about.  It’s a statement of priority, which, in the attentional quicksand stirred up by new media and technology, is kind of a big deal. You are what you return to . . . I am what I return to . . .We are what we return to . . .

You are What You Return To, Stephen Valentine

Personally, I find blogging to be like a release valve of my creative thinking. If only you could see my piles of journals filled over many years. I have always wanted to write, I have written, but nobody else had read my thoughts until I discovered blogging.

Now when a thought or an idea takes hold, I play with it in my mind and then write. I love the process, but there is fear and trepidation when an idea gets out. Then I am encouraged when people read it (I do confess to stat-addiction). Goals and discipline work for me as a motivator to keep blogging.

Why Blog?  Anne Knock

So, if we are to prepare ourselves and our students to make this great leap, what questions do K–12 educators need to ask ourselves? Here are a few that come to mind:
  • How do we start developing in ourselves, our schools, and most critically our students the habits of mind and the essential skills—and essential kinds of voices—that they will need to navigate their own pathways to learning? How do we even figure out what these are?
  • What role do schools as institutions and their leaders have in transforming the culture of learning in the direction of connectivist principles and participant pedagogy?

Preparing Students for Connectivist Learning: Some Initial Questions,  Peter Gow

Filtering, virtual or not, limits all of us from exploring beyond horizons of what we define as possible to learn. It was true for those who tried to limit the work of Galileo.

And, it’s true for young people and us today. So, unblock your filters and allow your learners and you to find a different learning world – one of panoramas, 360s, microscopic, bird’s eye to fish eye, and telescopic points of view.  We’ll all be better critical thinkers, creators, problem-solvers, designers, builders, producers, and engineers as a result of it.

Unfiltering Leadership and Learning, Pam Moran

Are we learning as fast as the world is changing?

We could be. We should be. We can. Will we?

What’s In It for The Kids?

Imagine the “trickle down” that could happen with students if our faculty culture were re-oriented in these ways? Our students could utilize similar models and structures in order to explore, research, and improve the world in which they live. Most importantly, the school community could be immersed in processes that provide the frameworks and structures for the world that is coming – we would all be learning to observe, empathize, collaborate, hypothesize, experiment, prototype, revise, re-purpose, re-mix, design, meta-cognate,…so that we could map-make our future. It’s about equipping learners with the tools – the content and the skills – to be creational thinkers and citizen doers.

We should start with ourselves.

It’s about learning.

Why, What, How: I Dream a School, Bo Adams

  1. Imagine a scale with two balancing pans. On one side are all of the anxieties, fears, barriers, challenges, and perceived problems that your staff, parents, and community members put forth. If you want effective technology integration and implementation to occur in your school system, it is your job as the leader to tip the scale the other way. Addendum: It is difficult to understand the learning power of digital technologies – and easy to dismiss their pedagogical usefulness – if you are not familiar enough with them to understand their positive affordances.
  2. In a hyperconnected, technology-suffused, digital, global world, you do your children a disservice – and highlight your irrelevance – by blocking out our present and their future.
  3. Educating is always, always more powerful than blocking.

26 Internet Safety Talking Points, Scott McLeod

Share what you learn. It’s not enough to research, read, and reflect. You need to talk about these ideas. You need to write about them. You must share what you learn in order to truly own it. There are many ways to do this. You can use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+ to connect with educators around the world and exchange ideas. Consider starting your own blog as a place to reflect. More importantly, start discussing these ideas with your faculty and administrative team. Talk about them over lunch, in the hallways, and at meetings. Learning about innovation and technology is great, but change won’t happen until these ideas begin percolating in your school.

A Leadership Day To-Do List, Phillip Cummings

I’ve written a few times that thoughtful followership can be just as important as good leadership. This principle certainly holds true in the Twitter-sphere. I used to grow very frustrated with Twitter because I felt I received little useful information.

But then I began to follow a few different people whose work I know and respect, and I decided to follow a few of the people they were, cutting out the ones who frustrated me. Revolutionary, right? Anyway, now I find the stream of information more refreshing and nourishing. That whole PLN idea really works, and I’m excited how Twitter is adding a new dimension to mine.

On Tweeting, Mark Crotty

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