Today marks the beginning of my blogging journey with hopes of enticing our school community to follow along. Families, students, educators and colleagues are all welcome. This will most definitely be my longest post. I have been learning and reading about the Digital Learner for the past month in an online course through Queen’s University. We have reflected on the work of Michael Fullan beginning with the culture of a “traditional classroom”and what are undesirable learning circumstances. We then did some reflecting on the Connect 2015 Conference and how to engage youth and “Understanding the Digital Generation” by Ian Jukes. Reading through the new ministry document-Achieving Excellence–A Renewed Vision for Education in Ontario as it documented three priorities:
- improving student achievement
- closing the gaps in student achievement
- increasing public confidence in publicly funded education
Flipping the instructional focus from teaching and learning to learning and teaching and putting the student first. We revisited Michael Fullan’s work–Whole System Reform for Innovative Teaching and Learning which lead us to review the Six C’s by Fullan–Character Education, Citizenship, Communication, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Collaboration and Creativity/Imagination. These six pillars are particularly important to me as an educator, Principal and parent. A final assignment of the course required me to showcase my critical perspective of 21C teaching and learning; illustrate my professional perspective and provide examples or learning artifacts. Character Education is the foundation for me and when we discuss Digital Literacy or Digital Citizenship it speaks to character/ integrity/being the responsible learner and user of digital tools. This is one of many starting points for our students. Understanding the use of tools and the ethics behind the use of the tools particularly social media. We have been discussing the role of the resume and “branding”. If our digital footprint will begin to determine opportunities for us professionally it is vital that we as educators create both an understanding and appreciation in our students beginning as early as kindergarten such as understanding about the privacy of passwords. Reflecting on our own use of social media is our responsibility as educators and role models. Critical thinking and problem solving are critical to our own learning and teaching. As technology provides for a broader audience and access to more information the skills of collaboration, synthesis, innovation and reasoning are critical for students and educators. Creativity and imagination must never be diminished in their importance. Students gather data through all their senses and they must be open to all possibilities and be able to take responsible risks. These habits of mind are ways of thinking that enable a learner to thrive throughout life. I love this description “knowing how to behave intelligently when you don’t know the answer”. WE have exciting work ahead for us at Marvin Heights and our work in Literacy and Digital Literacy takes a very innovative and exploratory direction as we work with Indigo and build our vision with our Literacy Grant of $125 000.00. Our library and classrooms will take on uniqueness derived from the students and educators inhabiting these learning spaces. E readers, digital books, online resources and a lot more differentiated texts are only the beginning…..