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New Horizons

August 25, 2014

New Beginning

Today is a very significant day for me. It is my first day at my new position as Learning and Innovation Coordinator for Grasslands Public Schools in Brooks Alberta. This is significant as I spent the past 15 years with the same school. It was a very difficult decision to leave the school and to leave our home in Calgary and make the move to my wife’s hometown of Brooks.

Inspiring Education

Given this is the beginning of a new position and a new phase of my career, I thought it would be appropriate to reflect and write about some of the goals I have for this year. While much of my new position is yet to be established, I do have some thoughts about where I would like to go.

First, Inspiring Education is the document and philosophy that brought me to this position. I have the opportunity to work directly with teachers and administrators at implementing the overall objectives of the framework. To me, this is one of the most significant aspects of my position. Last school year, I wrote quite a lot about how Inspiring Education shaped my teaching practice. I now have the opportunity to implement the framework throughout an entire district.

The Process of Learning

A second item I am very passionate about is examining the process of learning. However, I must also reveal a bias. I will not use the term “21st Century Learning” in my new position. We are almost 15 years into the 21st Century. Can we please just refer to it as learning? Teachers have an immense array of tools at their disposal to help facilitate student learning in a digital world. I believe that should be our focus. To me learning involves a problem (ideally developed by students); making connections with information, other students, and experts; creating a solution to the problem; sharing the solution; reflecting on the process and repeating. The digital tools we have help facilitate this process. After being involved in a workshop with Holly Clark (@HollyClarkEdu) last week, I see the sharing of the product and the reflection on the process as the most important items in the process of learning. Holly challenged her audience members asking them why we are not publishing student work. By publishing student work, we provide an authentic audience for the students. We move the learning outside of the classroom and into the world, where it should be. As such, one of my goals this year will be to encourage teachers to publish the work of their students and help them develop digital portfolios.

The Next Steps

Really, that’s it. However, these two items will take a great deal of time to carry out. I am very excited to work with teachers, students and administrators within the district. Holly Clark said that it is time for a revolution in education. I agree. I cannot wait to play my part.

Have a great day,

Sean

 

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