Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Year Start - Time for Change!

As I come up for air, I want to reflect briefly on starting off the year in a new school.

When I look back over the last few years I can’t believe how far I’ve come as a teacher. As someone who was just interested in technology as a learning tool I have always learned new ways of doing things in and out of the classroom, using technology. Over the past couple of years as I became a connected educator my eyes have opened to so much more in the world of learning and teaching. Being connected has also opened many doors of opportunities.

In the Spring, when only two positions were posted that even remotely interested me, I was worried whether this was going to be a year of change for me. After seven years in the same school, it was time for me to move. At first, neither of the jobs seemed perfect. The great thing was that both positions were advertised as full time non-classroom based learning leaders to begin the transformation of their respective libraries to a learning commons. A movement that has been the basis of what i have done over the past three years. 

However, the first one I looked at was in an Arts based program school at the opposite end of the city. I loved the sound of the school and their vision of what they wanted the learning commons to become. It just wasn’t going to work on a personal level as it was too far from home and also a later start school which meant my day would change completely. I was disappointed to say the least.

The second school was a good distance and similar hours. However, this one was a Traditional Learning Centre (TLC), An alternative program in our district aimed at fulfilling the needs and wants of parents in a growing number of communities. The program, as far as I was aware, was focused around direct teaching, students sitting in rows, mandatory homework and a uniform. From what I originally understood, inquiry wasn’t really encouraged or practiced in TLC schools. Applying for a job in a TLC seemed far too stretched as far was my role in the building and how I would fit in. Most would say my work is far from a traditional kind of teaching and learning.

After much deliberation and discussion with my wife and also other colleagues, I decided I really needed to apply for both. If I happened to get interviews they would be at least be great experience for future job applications. It turned out I would get an interview at the TLC school first. It went well, really well! I felt like the job was mine but didn’t want to commit until I knew what was happening at the other school. They called me the same day and wanted to set up an interview, which I did. Over that weekend I my stomach churned multiple times. I finally made my mind up that I would not go to the second interview and I would focus on the more “controversial” position as I had a good gut feeling (for the most part). Within a few days I was offered the job and I accepted.

After a couple months to get used to the idea, I started back this Fall in my new school. I am now a full time Learning Leader in a Traditional Learning Centre. I will be responsible for transitioning the current library space to a fully fledged high-tech Learning Commons where innovation is the norm. The school (all 32 teaching staff, 10-15 support staff, and 630 students) have given me an amazing welcome. All nerves have since disappeared and I’m totally focused on making the most of this new position.

What an amazing feeling to be in a building amongst new people, who are all keen to learn with me and move their practice forward. This is an opportunity I do not want to miss. I have already seen and felt amazing support from my administrators as well as the other staff around me. I really feel that this learning commons will make leaps and bounds throughout this school year. 

I am already proud to say I am part of this strong staff in the TLC program. I even like my uniform - thanks to the bowtie!

BRING IT ON! I’m ready for anything and everything!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

ADE2013 ~ Scattered Reflection

Wow. That was a grossly over estimated goal of writing a reflection a day or even any during that conference! Throughout the week my head was exploding with ideas of innovation as well as the many new connections I made!

ADE 2013 Summer Institute
Picture by @Liz_Castillo
As many other ADEs have expressed in their written reflections (see @techgirljenny's post to see some more), to describe last week in words is a difficult task. The overwhelming feelings of nervousness of what was coming, excitement about being a part of it all and the feeling of "why the heck should I be here", were apparent in almost all new ADEs. The amount of times I heard these words or ones similar, astounded me. There were others feeling the same way as me!

Kind of happy to be there!
We were welcomed to the conference centre by checking in and registering through 5 or 6 stations. We even got our own personalized stickers. This was so we could meet others and swap stickers to add to our own passports. With 300+ people attending this was going to be big job!

It was an unbelievable feeling being welcomed in as the new class of 2013. 49 educators from
across Canada, 90 odd from USA and roughly 11 from Mexico were all welcomed in. It was amazing. the Alumni that were present did an unreal job of welcoming us in and making us feeling welcome and incredibly special!

As I wanted to post something almost everyday, I started writing a couple of things. Here is a couple of things I started during the institute:
One of the biggest things I am finding with this experience is the connections I'm making already. It's so unbelievable to meet people that you've spoken to online and/or follow on Twitter. People that are new Apple Distinguished Educators and people that have been in the ADE community for a longer period of time. Everybody here shares at least two same passions and probably more. The first is for education. Every single person I have encountered is passionate about teaching and speaks with enthusiasm about what they do in their building. That has been so refreshing to hear and is getting me excited for the new school year all over again.
The other passion people (all 300+ of us) have in common around here is obviously a love for everything Apple (and technology in general). This is my biggest WOW! The things that all of these people are doing in schools and universities are unbelievable! The innovation I'm seeing this week has blown me out of the water. It makes me feel like I've only just begun to use technology. It has made me feel incredibly humbled to be a part of this community of educators.
The tiredness kicked in after day 2 finished and day 3 started. It was exhausting (but still awesome) flying high all day, every day attending professional development workshops, attending full group sessions, eating with newly made friends, and even seeing a couple of Austin sites.

I was lucky enough to be included in a special @MrHooker. We saw the famous Bat Exodus where up to 1.5 million bats leave daily their home daily just before sunset. Then we ate some BIG FAT GORDOUGHs (unhealthy but amazing donuts). We also went out for a Texas style BBQ lunch the next day. It was amazing to experience these few things in an already jam packed schedule.

My roomie and fellow bow tie buddy, Jon Patry and I also ventured out on the last day to see the awesome sight of the Texas Longhorns COLLEGE football stadium. And of course I snapped a few token pictures of the University of Texas Clock Tower, which was right down the road from our conference centre.

I tried to remember (and of course I missed a ton of people) to take pictures of all the tweeps I met and have conversed with on Twitter prior to the Institute. I managed to snap some selfies!

Rebecca WildmanChristine DiPauloTanya Avrith

Rebecca StockleyCarl HookerCathy Yenca

Karen LirenmanDavid MaloneSue Gorman

Leah LaCrosse

I also got to try out Google Glass, thanks to Christine DiPaulo who was amazingly willing to share the experience!

Here's is some of what we did throughout the week:


The work that we would do throughout the week was centred around Authoring our One Best Thing in iBooks Author. We attended workshops that would help supplement the work we do to write our chapter that could possibly end up in a Multi-Touch book published by Apple. If that will happen my work will have to be the best professionally produced work possible! We learned our way around iBooks Author and let me tell you, this is an amazing App that produces the most amazing multi-touch books for iBooks on iOS devices.
Apple iPad with Retina
Apple iPad image used by agreement

The 4 As

We learned more about the the four As of the ADE program. These are the 4 primary roles of Apple Distinguished Educators.  I would love to write more about these and plan to in the near future. The following descriptions come from the Apple Distinguished Educator Home Page

Advocates - ADEs are passionate advocates of the potential of Apple technologies and they provide expert assistance and best practices to educators and policy makers. ADEs are frequent presenters at local, state, national and international educational conferences. 
Advisors - ADEs provide valuable input to Apple on the realities of integrating instructional technology into learning environments.  
Authors - ADEs publish authentic work to share with peers such as teaching and leadership best practices, exemplary lesson ideas, and a range of content items that showcase Apple products and technologies for the advancement of education.  
Ambassadors - ADEs are innovators in building community and capacity for teaching and learning in a global context. Through online projects and collaboration tools, they empower each other to expand the walls of the classroom and bring global experiences to classrooms everywhere.

The following video is also made by Apple to describe who and what ADE's are about. This copy is from YouTube (and I'm pretty sure is not authorized). I'm not sure that I can upload the original file but will do, if I can, once I have found out.

App Developer Session

One of the evening sessions included a chance to meet 28 different App developers. The highlights for me was meeting the three following people. I know most people would be highlighting these three people too but I just have to. All three apps have inspired a lot of the work I have done in the last year.

Evernote and Skitch Apps

It was amazing to meet these guys. Skitch was probably the first app I came to love when we got our iPads. Such an amazing tool to taking photos and drawing/writing over the top. 
Evernote and Skitch Developers

Book Creator App

I've tweeted Dan Amos before and shared some amazing work that students have done using Book Creator App . Meeting him was amazing!
Dan Amos - Book Creator!

Explain Everything

Reshan Richards is responsible for creating Explain Everything. He also a fellow ADE Class of 2013. Enough Said! Reshan is Awesome guy and an inspiration to many of us! It was funny, as earlier that day I was partnered up with Reshan to play an Improv game showed to us by Rebecca Stockley. I had no idea who he was!
Reshan Richards - Explain Everything
I hope this post doesn't seem to scattered. It certainly still feels all scattered in my head!

There will be more to share as my brain decompresses. I plan to write more as I think and use some of my new found knowledge, also as my One Best Thing unfolds.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Apple Summer Institute 2013

I'm on board flight AA2189 bound for Austin, Texas. So much excitement is in the air with the four new ADEs on our flight. TeamYYC is ready for whatever hits us this week. 

The anticipation for this trip has been building for months. Since being inducted into the Apple Distinguished Educator Class of 2013 in February, I have connected with so many amazing educators from around the world. This week will be a chance to meet and connect some of them. With 300 innovative teachers converging in one place, I'm sure there will be lots of action, fun, and learning to be had. I'm told it will be the most amazing 5 days of my career. I'm sure I will be in awe most of the week. 

That being said, my plan is to take in as much as I can, meet as many people as I can, and learn a whack sack (love this word used a lot by Dean @Shareski) of new things. I'm sure I will feel overwhelmed at first but I'm hoping to get over that fast and get into the swing of things straight away. I don't want to miss any opportunity I come across this week as this will more than likely be one of lonly a few trips I do like this in my career. 

I have never been to Austin, Texas. I hear it's an amazing city and one of a few technology hubs in the U.S. According to our ADE13Austin schedule we do not have a lot of time to explore outside of our conference centre (a top secret location;). Any free time will be at night time and early morning will be the time to explore Austin. This could be difficult as a lot of the networking and connections with people apparently happen 'after hours'. Maybe the connections will happen while tiki touring or in a bar or mall? Who knows? Whatever happens I'll embrace it with open arms.

So they said rest up before the institute - Yeah right! My first two weeks of my summer break has been busy with spending time with my family and doing my usual beginning of summer jobs around the house. With my parents arriving from New Zealand two days after I return, the house needed to be ready for the 'king and queen' before I left. Realistically, resting was never going to be an option. I'm sure I'll run on adrenaline for the next 6 days and the well see what happens after that. 

Throughout this week, I plan to reflect daily at the end of each day or through the day and share share by tweeting and taking photos on Instagram of things I have learned. I know we work on projects while we are here and so hopefully I'll be able to share those as we work through them. 

One of these projects will be my 'One Best Thing'. We have been asked to think of something that we have done that was amazing. Something we could share with others and that could be replicated by anyone else. I have been thinking about doing something about making Learning Visible. This has really has been what has got me where I am today. Without all the sharing I have done, I would not have collected all the evidence of learning that I now have. Although this is a very broad topic I may still make this my One Best Thing. If not the visible learning avenue, I may look at doing one 'easy to replicate' project that I did on iPads with our kindergarten students. We called it real world math and it was something that a lot of other classes/teachers connected with in our building. More to come on that one...

I really hope I can keep up my reflection through blogging this week. We'll see how long the adrenaline lasts and the energy to reflect at the end of each long day.
    • Reflect via my blog at least three times (hopefully every day)
    • Tweet aha moments and interesting things
    • Take photos to tell my story
    • Connect face to face with those I have meet online
    • Learn more Final Cut Pro X - an Apple video editing suite
    • Establish my One Best Thing
    • And most importantly, have FUN!
Here's to #ADE13Austin! 

Sunday, 7 July 2013

The Amazing Year That Was...


What a year that was! I can't believe that 10 months of learning went by so fast. I remember thinking this time last year how excited I was going into summer and how much I was looking forward to the 2012-2013 school year. For some reason, I had a feeling it was going to be HUGE!

And HUGE it was! My 9th year of teaching would turn out to be my biggest year yet! After getting connected on twitter (stevewclark) and through blogging the year previously, I knew my learning would explode throughout this year. I just didn't know to what extent.

I started, and finished, the year off as the lead teacher of the learning commons at my school. Our learning commons was beginning its 3rd year of transition and the school had made the decision from the start to have a full time teacher working in the space to work with students and teachers on inquiry based projects that included the integration of technology. This was a dream job for me and one that I had worked my way towards through a lot of hard work (and convincing of) with the staff at my school that this would benefit all stake holders in an around our learning community. In the previous 2 years we had tried a varitey of staffing models in our learning common and finally it was decided that it would be best to have someone dedicated to the space to build capacity in teachers and support learners in a variety of ways in our school.

Throughout the year I worked on a wide variety of projects with a wide variety of grade levels using a wide variety of technologies. Man, did I learn a lot! I documented a lot of what I did through two of my learning blogs:

  • - A collaborative Learning Commons blog that I co-created with and amazing and passionate colleague (@Mik-enzie) to celebrate the amazing learning that is happening in learning commons within our area!
  • - A blog I started to share amazing projects we did on our iPads.
Early in the year of 2012, I had signed up for notification when the Apple Distinguished Educator program would be open for new applications. In November, I received an email that the doors were open for applications. It took me a few weeks to muster up the courage to go for it. After a few tweets to a colleague, (and now good friend @jtpatry) we both decided to go for it. My winter break consisted of making a 2 minute video as well as a written portion. I couldn't believe how much time I ended up spending on making a short video, even after collecting a ton of evidence through my first few months of the school year. In February 2013, we both received an email to say we had been accepted! This is something, to this day, I still cannot believe (I will have another post about this coming later in Summer - After our Apple Summer Institute in Austin, Texas). 

As well as sharing my/our work online, I had numerous visits to our learning commons from people within our system looking for ideas and/or feedback, or just to see what a learning commons looked in action. It was great conversing with many other colleagues about this amazing and exciting concept that makes a space, what often is a dull and boring place where books are just stored, into an engaging and dynamic learning space that students want to visit on a regular basis.

As the year went on, I kept revisiting the thought of what my professional future might look like. I was having such an amazing year that it would be easy to stay and continue with the work that was happening in our building. Or, after 7 years of being in the same building, was it time to try and move? After the Alberta budget restraints hit our school board it would become apparent that there was going to be very little movement within our system. In a board that is around 10000+ teachers strong, there would surely be a ton of people who would want to move and not many jobs to move into. I wanted to be particularly fussy about what job I would want apply for but was nervous about the prospect of actually finding/getting anything. After becoming a resident expert in the learning common concept, I was hoping that my expertise would be 'noticed' by another admin/school, if there were any job postings.

When the 'quietly released' postings came out, I was told there were a couple of positions that might interest me so I applied for both. After being offered an interview for both positions and visiting one of the schools, I was beginning to get excited about the prospect of a new job. Both settings were incredibly different. One being an Arts Centred Learning school and the other a Traditional Learning Centre (TLC), meant I had some difficult decisions to make if I happened to have both jobs offered to me (I seemed to be fairly confident and excited about both). After my first interview, at the TLC, I nervously awaited the call-back. While I was ready and waiting for my appointment day to attend the other interview and got 'the call' that they wanted to hire me at the TLC. I made the tough decision to take the job with a lot of thought and discussion with my wife. I must admit, the Arts Centered School sounded like a dream job but was geographically a LONG way from my own community and also started and finished much later in the day. It was going to be too much of a challenge for our young family. It was a commitment that I couldn't make at this point in my life. I was very pleased to accept the job at a the TLC (what some would consider a controversial decision for someone like me). I was/am nervous about this new placement but I'm suer excited for the challenges that lie ahead!

My thoughts on next year will be in another post - coming soon!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Effective PD

I've been thinking about PD Days. What makes a great one?

This year I've been to a few great PD sessions/workshops/conferences/unconferences and quite a few have been focused on discussion. Talking with colleges about areas of interest and/or passion.

Wow! - That discussion has been pow-ER-ful!

 Today, we had our last PD day for the year. In my mind, it was another great one. We did the following:
  1. We talked about reflection in learning - Everyone on staff was then given the opportinity to go and reflect for the purpose of sharing something they have learned from the year.
  2. Next, we focused in on some particular Apps on our iPads and then had some time to learn how they worked. The idea was to come up with something that we could use by the end of the year in our classroom setting.
  3. LUNCH - We had a amazing pot luck lunch with everyone and had some good bonding time.
  4. After lunch, we had a World Cafe discussion. We focused on two different themes that we have been working on throughout the year, peer & self assessment, and improving reading. You were allowed to choose which discussion you wanted to be a part of. I chose to be involved in the assessment.
  5. Then to finish off the day we had some teacher planning time.
I would say one of our strong points as a staff is the professional discussions we have. We have really come so far in the last couple of years. One problem we do have is it's often the same people sharing their ideas and the same people who button-up and just listen or zone out. I'm one of the talkers, so I have tried to hold back at times and let others share, even when I've had a burning desire to talk (this is hard for me). 

So, what I'm wondering is, how often should we just discuss and how often should we be doing something. Should we always be walking away from PD with something. Something we made or something we were given rather than just memories of what we talked about. When we just engage in dialogue, I'm sure we take something away or have those 'aha' moments but how long do those memories last?

We know that powerful and deep learning happens when our students create things. We ask them to apply their knowledge in a new situation, or even apply it by creating a own scenario, or by making an artifact of learning.  I wonder if we as a staff should be modeling this process during our PD days.

I think we need to balance our PD days with discussion, presentations and by creating or making something. 

I wonder if we can do that next year by planning ahead somehow or by creating some kind of standing schedule for PD days. Something that might look like this:
1) Presentation - this could be in the format of someone presenting, or everyone trying something new, or some kind of sharing activity.
2) Discussion - This could follow the presentation by relating to it, or be about something entirely different. We could make sure everyone shares somehow by changing the kind of discussion format. It could be done in a full staff group or in smaller chunks of staff. We could even look at doing this online too.
3) Application - this is the time where we would be making something based on the theme of the day or something we have been working on, or maybe even something that we will continue on with next time. The idea of taking something away would mean that we have something to take back to our classrooms to try. It could be a resource, a technique, or plan for a lesson or unit. 

These are a few ideas going around in m head right now. I think we need to rethink our PD Days to a similar model as to what were expecting teachers to do in their classroom. Let's lead by example and engage our staff in some really authentic professional development. 

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Why Become A Twitter Teacher Twit?

I have been a Twitter 'Twit', as my Principal calls it, for a little over 2 years. I started off knowing very little about what it was and who would possible want to use it. I explored a little and mostly perused tweets by searching for particular current events. Being a die-hard Ex-Pat Kiwi, my first tweet was about the Christchurch Earthquake that happened in New Zealand in February of 2011.
The first thing I really learned about twitter was how incredibly fast news is broadcasted through this medium. I think I even found out about the earthquake before my parents did (who live in NZ). I remember thinking how powerful this tool could be for communicating with others. At that point, I didn't even think I would ever use Twitter as a PD tool.

Tonight I was trying to find something I was sure I tweeted sometime in the past year. I downloaded my Twitter archive and I found a visual representation of my tweets over the last 2 years. I posted my exciting analysis of it in a screen recording below.

Last year I found a blogpost by Daniel Edwards (@Syded06) posted that described the 10 stages of Twitter for Teachers - It can be found here - I resonated with this post so much. It matched my learning curve with Twitter to a tee! I wonder how many others have had a similar experience?

I cannot even begin to explain how much I have grown as a teacher since being connected with twitter. In a year of being an active user, I have experienced ALL of the following, I have:

  • Connected and networked with thousands of passionate teachers worldwide
  • Developed a PLN (Personal Learning Network) of 700 hundred strong
  • Become an ADE Class of 2013 (Apple Distinguished Educator) - I didn't ecen know what an ADE was until I followed a colleague Duncan White (@duncwhite) and saw the apple symbol in his profile
  • Shared 100's of things I've been a part of in my school and district
  • Taken and used great ideas from teachers around the globe
  • Promoted PD events within our system
  • Connected with teachers in our system to discuss the learning commons concept
  • Found an abundance of technology based resources from other people sharing
  • Discussed issues and events with teachers, globally
  • and maybe the biggest thing for me, Made my learning VISIBLE!
To any other teachers out there who happen to be reading this. I challenge you to begin the journey. Open the door of your classroom and let the world take a peek in. We all have something to share that others would find value.

Tonight I found this challenge from fellow Tweep and ADE Carl Hooker (@mrhooker).

Keen to try it?

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Focus on Assessment

Our school is focusing on developing and improving the assessment strategies we use in our classrooms. We are focusing on Assessment for Learning, Criteria for Success and also Feedback. The more we discuss assessment in our staff meetings and PD Days, the more I think it's way more than just the assessment strategies we use. 

For some teachers, it's a huge shift in the way they interact with students all day, everyday! The more I work with different teachers, the more it makes me realize that although assessment is so important for moving learning forward as well as helping students reach their maximum ability, I think it's more about the way a teacher interacts with students all the time, not just when it comes to 'assessing' them. We should always be assessing them, whenever we open our mouths we need to think about the impacts of what we are saying. 

The following questions are some of what I have been asking myself lately:
  • Greeting children - Do we make an effort to say 'good morning'. Do we set an example for how we would want our students to behave?
  • Asking questions - Do we ask our students questions that empower them to think and answer in a way that makes sense to them?
  • Answering questions - How do we answer questions that are asked by students? Do we always give answers? Do we turned the questions back on the student to make them think more for themselves? Do we bring the question to the class to answer. Do we stop the class to address the question together?
  • Setting up projects - What do we ask our students to do? Something that suits us as teachers? Do we get them to work on projects that help bring control to our environment? Do we look for innovative ways to learn things? Are we introducing our students to new and exciting ways to learn? Are we learning with our students?
  • Sharing Work - Do we share effectively? Do students share with each other? Are they encouraged to talk about their work? Are they given regular opportunities to share with us as teachers, with each other, with the whole class, or with their parents?
  • Opportunities for Feedback - Are students regularly given time to give each other feedback? Do we teach them how to speak to each other in critical, yet positive ways. Are we open to feedback from our students too?
  • Do the students know what and why they are learning? Is the criteria clear? Is it posted? Is it referred to often? Did the students really help write the criteria? Is it written in way that they understand?
To help our students become more successful in learning, I believe we need to really think what we do and how we do it, what we say and how we say it. Our students look up to us as role models and for direction. I think we need to help them find their way in learning so they can also become life-long learners.

Teachers have so much power in the classroom! Because of this power, we can help students succeed or we can cause them to tumble too. I'd prefer to be a part of their success. I'm going to really think about what I say and do in the classroom more often.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Apple Distinguished Educator - Class of 2013


I got in!

About this time last year I heard about this "club" called Apple Distinguished Educators. All over Twitter, I started discovering teachers from around the world that were part of this program. I was continually in awe of what I saw these people sharing. I wanted to be a part of this community!

After a little digging, I found out that ADE's are only selected every 2 years or so, or at least once a year, so would have to wait for my time. In November, the email came to say that the doors were open for applications. So I decided to take the risk and do it.

As part of the application process, I had to answer the following questions in written format and also a video response.

  1. How have you as an educator transformed your learning environment?
  2. Illustrate how Apple technologies have helped in this transformation?
  3. What successes have you seen with your learners?
  4. How do you share these successes to influence the broader education community?
The application, even thought it seemed relatively easy to answer these questions, was a rigorous process. The video took me between 30 or 40 hours to edit a 2 minute video. Here is my video response.

After my acceptance on February 14, 2013, I am now a humbled member of an elite group of educators  (about 2000 people from around the world). ADE's share what they know with each other, as well as the wider community. Every ADE has a goal of improving teaching and learning in their own field as well as helping others to maximise their own learning opportunities.

ADE Roles

ADEs have four primary roles in there. They are as follows:


ADEs are passionate advocates of the potential of Apple technologies and they provide expert assistance and best practices to educators and policy makers. ADEs are frequent presenters at local, state, national and international educational conferences.


ADEs provide valuable input to Apple on the realities of integrating instructional technology into learning environments.


ADEs publish authentic work to share with peers such as teaching and leadership best practices, exemplary lesson ideas, and a range of content items that showcase Apple products and technologies for the advancement of education.


ADEs are innovators in building community and capacity for teaching and learning in a global context. Through online projects and collaboration tools, they empower each other to expand the walls of the classroom and bring global experiences to classrooms everywhere.

I promise...

My pledge, as I begin this new journey, is to share what I learn from other ADEs with other people I interact with. Through my interactions with other ADEs around the world I hope to learn a ton. I vow not only to learn more about Apple products but also to keep an open mind in what technology is available to students and teacher to help them learn more successfully. I promise to be an active ADE community member and share what I do within my setting too. I will continue to blog about the amazing learning I see happen in my school and my two blogs, and I will carry on sharing my learning on Twitter via @stevewclark and I will also learn to be as active as I can be within the ADE community too.

I look forward to the challenge laid out before me. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!

See you Austin, Texas,  on July 14-19, 2013, for the Apple Distinguished Educators Institute.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Networking Works! But how do we get more interactions?

In the past year, I have been trying to network as much as possible. I have tried to do this for a couple of reasons...

1) To share some of the awesome work I am a part of in our building. The power of sharing has really shown itself to be powerful for me. It confirms that we are a doing some great in our building and also is great to get some feedback from other educators. I also believe we do not have enough sharing of great resources and ideas that work within our system.

2) To get to know as many of the great people around me in our huge organization. After applying for jobs last year, I realized I knew no-one. To get my name out there and be known, I have come to realize I need to know people. For career development I think this is crucial. I don't want to rely on getting lucky (or unlucky for that matter) in my next job, I want to be in control of where I work next.

Twitter Handle - @stevewclark

Utilizing Twitter as a networking tool has showed me the benefits of networking. What is weird to me, is that it's been easier to network with people around the world than the people that are geographically close to me and work for the same public school board.

Area III Learning Commons Collaborative Blog

My blogs have been great to do the first of the above examples of networking. However, a lot of the time I don't get any feedback from people that read or browse my blog posts. It would be great to see the comments come in and get more interaction. To do this, I think I need to increase the amount of people that actually visit the blog to start with. Maybe over time the interactivity will increase. Maybe teachers in general don't like to comment and leave feedback. I wish this would happen more so the conversation can continue past the point of one person sharing.

Marlborough Mobile Learning (iPad Blog)

I have never enjoyed my work as much as I do now. Getting to know a ton of new people and having great conversations about learning has played a big part in my enjoyment of teaching. I look forward to the future conventions and interactions we have.