Professional Learning Can Be ‘Squirrelly’ Business

Guiding Questions Recently, I was asked to ponder the following questions: What is an example of professional development that has worked for you?  What is an example of professional development that has not worked for you? What does research say about planning professional learning? The first two questions are relatively easy to answer as they …

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Coaching the Coaches

Peer coaching in the teaching profession is a humbling job. Whether part-time or full-time, a peer coach’s job is to help his or her colleagues improve their practice. In his book, “Peer Coaching: Unlocking the Power of Collaboration”, Dr. Les Foltos speaks to the critical role that a peer coach can play in a fellow …

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Integrating Social Justice and STEM Pedagogy

As educators, we are constantly searching for new ways to meaningfully engage our students. Amidst a wave of requirements, numerous standards, and unforeseen circumstances, it is easy to get lost in the overwhelming list of “have to’s” forced on us. So much so that when students ask the inevitable “why are we learning this” question, …

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STEM for All Students

Meeting Students Where They’re At So often school has a one-size fits all approach.  This is partially because individualizing content and activities is hard and time-consuming.  On the other side of this coin, a lot of students aren’t getting the opportunities that they deserve to access their education.  This is a broad topic and way …

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If You Build It (Relationships) Then They (Teachers) Will Come To You

It’s All About Relationships My principal, Gregory Kroll, is one of my personal and professional heroes.  Now, I know longer teach at Martin Sortun Elementary, but, at 8 years, he was my longest running principal.  The man gave more than I knew was possible and had a heart to match.  Whatever you needed, whatever it …

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A Global Cardboard Collaboration Challenge

This semester we were tasked with designing and completing a global collaborative project. With the many changes that have been happening in education due to […]

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Open Education Resources in Action

Introductory Section In a previous blog entitled Open Sourcing Education, I explored the topic, or “what”, of Open Education Resources (OERs) while this post looks more at the application, or “how”, of OERs.  OERs have an intriguing history that is mostly tied to the evolution of the internet with some influences from other open sourcing …

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Open Sourcing Education

Introductory Section One of the earliest definitions for Open Education Resource (OER) comes from the UNESCO 2002 Forum on Open Courseware: “teaching, learning, and research materials in any medium, digital or otherwise, that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation, and redistribution by …

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Gaming the Educational System

Games in School? Games in school are, more often than not, a taboo topic.  The conversation has shifted, for sure, due to recent research and gradual changes in educator opinions, but games as learning vehicles in the classroom are generally still not taken seriously.  Isolated educator success has definitely raised interest but also proven difficult …

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Technology Standards and Tools for Teachers

Learning Standards for Teachers? One of the more unique aspects of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards is the creation of not just teaching standards, but instructional standards that apply to teachers themselves.  My initial reaction when I first heard this was probably similar to many educators: why? I have enough on …

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