Showing posts from March, 2017

Voyageurs of Learning

“Joseph-Nicholas Delisle and his nephew by marriage, Philippe Buache, were obsessed by the idea of a vast sea, connected to the Pacific in northwestern North America. Beginning in 1752, Delisle and Buache published a series of maps and memoirs describing this mythical 'Mer de 1'ouest'; some of their maps appeared as late as 1779 in Diderot's Encyclop├ędie. The 'Mer de l'ouest' had been a strong motive for exploration but as early as the 1740s few others dared place it on a map”. 
(Library and Archives Canada) During our second day of Innovation Stations a rather interesting metaphor struck me. We were discussing how as early users of this educational technology, we have a responsibility to document our learning journey, successes and failures, so that others might learn from us and to provide documentation of our thinking processes for our own reflection.

Maybe this is a little like the early explorers of Canada, such as Delisle and Buache, who dared to envi…

Innovation Stations

What do you do when your MOSS Robotics and Sphero Sprk+ kits arrive on your doorstep?
First, of course, you do a little happy dance!

Then you resist the urge to open the boxes until you are with your students.
This past weekend it was AGONY not to dive in. I held back as I know how awesome it is to open them up in the presents of the learners and ask, "What's possible with what's in these boxes?".

A little background - this past December I had the fortunate opportunity of attending the MISA Innovation day in London, On. Not only did I get to connect with inspiring educators and leaders from our region, I also had the chance to apply for some funding. My proposal for my 'FAB LAB' was excepted - enter the MOSS robotics and the Sphero Sprk+.

With these new additions to our FabLab, I wanted students to get their hands on them and explore the possibilities and document their initial thinking and wonderings. As I always say, with exploration comes the necessity for…


I've heard it said that Twitter is like a flowing river. It's impossible to catch all the water. You reach in when you can to fill up your cup. I'm not exactly sure where I heard this, but it captures what Twitter is for me. When I first started on Twitter, I was overwhelmed by the shear quantity of information and possible connections. I developed a bit of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). Slowly I began to let go of my expectations and dip my cup when I needed that re-fueling/refreshing from my PLN.
This past Saturday I dipped my cup in at a rather serendipitous time. I noticed a challenge from  @mrfusco to complete #5posts5days. I have felt the need to get back to blogging and this was just the nudge I needed. Carlo's first blog asks, 'Why blog?' and this ties in perfectly with the ideas I wanted to share today.
1/5 #5posts5days - Why Blog? — Carlo Fusco (@mrfusco) March 6, 2017Why do I blog? 
I blog because spend…

Attributes of Bravery

For International Women's Day, we watch this inspiring TED Talk by Caroline Paul.
In this video, Paul explores 3 attributes of bravery which include:
1 - Getting outside your comfort zone
2 - Calling on your own resilience
3 - Finding confidence in yourself and your decisions

First of all, these three attributes are what I hope to instill in all students. Especially at the intermediate level, where they are struggling to find their place, discussing the benefits of these attributes is so important. Take risks, bounce forward when faced with setbacks, and be who you are.

While Paul discusses what parents can do to encourage girls to be more brave, I think that we have a role to play as educators as well.

I am quite open with my students. I share stories and anecdotes often as a way to build relationships and wearing my heart of my sleeve is just a part of who I am. I find the more open I am, the more students are willing to give of themselves. I also share aspects of my life to mod…

What is teaching?

Alright Twitterverse. You've done it. You've given me the much needed nudge to get back to blogging.

It started this morning with this post and the threads that followed.
How do you help ignite the passion inside of your students? — Rolland Chidiac (@rchids) March 5, 2017@rchids@slwindisch@korytellers@missjessweber@cherandpete@DerekRhodenizer follow up with, if this then how do we achieve and assess? — Jonathan So (@MrSoclassroom) March 5, 2017 So I visited @MrSoclassroom's latest blog post: The purpose of teaching is ....

He commented on Cathy Fosnot's quotation, "The purpose of teaching is to help students learn ... however, without learning there is no teaching".

I think the quotations by @slwindisch and @mrsoclassroom fit together quite perfectly.
The purpose of teaching is to help students learn.
But what are we guiding them to learn about? And why that?

These are the questions that often keep me up at night. Of cour…