Learning 2.010 : Reflections from the First Steps Cohort #3

At Learning 2.010,  the more you put in, the more you get out. It is a place where you make connections and develop your personal learning network. It’s about you finding out what you want to learn and then how and where to learn it.

In the First Steps cohort, our aim was for participants to walk out with a digital shared space which contained:

1. A vision for how they want to change their classroom/community
2. A practical action plan/road map on how they might get there
3. An expanded Personal Learning Network which may include a mentor for guidance

My cohort was a very diverse range – as is always that case with any group of educators – ranging from low to high technology skills; high school to kindergarten, arts to science, tech integrators to tech beginners…all highly professional and all experts in their own fields. Wow – what a bunch!

Did we achieve the goals? Absolutely, the majority of the cohort not only developed (collaboratively) their road maps, but also published online and linked up with a co-mentor. Here is the amazing array of goals, each one leading to a unique road map/action plan:

  • Address NETS.S standards through digital portfolios (Paul Welsh,  SAS Singapore)
  • Incorporate blogs into both 7th and 8th grade classes to encourage more on-line participation (Peter Dratz, HKIS)
  • Producing student digital portfolios for regular reflection (Helen Douglas, CIS-HK)
  • To become more aware of the issues of wikis and digital citizenships (Janice Dwyer, CIS – HK)
  • Rearranging the room for constructivist use of technology (Kent Peterson, SAS Singapore)
  • To create a professional blog (Kate Grant, NIST)
  • To develop a Moodle course & introduce social bookmarking (Michael Etheridge, SAS Singapore)
  • A global book club using Shelfari to increase students’ abilities of collaboration, communication and reading comprehension (Keith Ferrell, SAS Singapore);
  • Expand students’ understanding of digital citizenship expectations though using ePals email and Google Apps (Susan Sedro – SAS Singapore)
  • developing an IT Toolbox (Jane Cooper, NIST)
  • Introduce to students the web based note taking tool “Evernote” (Steve Early – SAS Singapore)
  • Updating a weekly blog; getting kids excited about blog and adding to it (Jamie Clayton – SAS Singapore)
  • Identify a variety of tools and activities that teachers could use with their students (James Shin-Gay, SAS Singapore)

For me, it was a huge learning experience and one of the best professional development experiences I have ever had. From the onset, being invited to be one of the cohort facilitators was a major achievement but also one of the most daunting and terrifying experiences. Two days before the conference, we came together from places near and far. For 48 hours, we talked, discussed, planned and bonded and become a community of cohort facilitators. The second 48 hours, we then formed a community of learners with our cohorts. In 4 days, 450+ people came together as the Learning 2.010 Community.

Amanda, Mike and Mads

Thank you to my cohort team: Amanda DeCardy (SAS), Michael Boll (Concordia) and David Elliott (ex-HKIS) the First Steps team. We planned, we discussed, we bonded and it was an awesome ride!

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