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Posts Tagged ‘transparency’

A member of my larger PLN, @couros, asked his greater following if he would be the only one reading a student’s new blog?  His tweeps responded.  I included this response (with some minor edits).

Hello Caitlyn,

actually no, Mr. Couros is not the only one that will read your blog.  As a matter of fact I presume a whole bunch of people read your blog. I am interested in what teacher candidates are learning and are capable of as that directly relates to what I do daily, lead a school in learning. I am a Principal in a school where it was a gentle “nudge” to get 100% of my teachers blogging.  It is a subtle expectation that our teachers become literate (at least) in the language that our clients (students) are speaking in these days. I have a letter I would like you to read from a blog that I attend sometimes. While to many it may seem harsh it is the reality of the learning environment these days. As a Principal I make it my mandate to support teachers in learning. Whether that is technology learning or learning about their students or whatever, we must practise what we preach…we must first be learners.  Blogs are great ways to illustrate your learning, be reflective about your craft and invite others into your conversation and your classroom. I learned something when I read your blog. You should not stop your blog. You should track and record your learning. If you sit across a table from me hoping to get hired as a teacher I will definitely ask you for your “digital citizenship card.” With this card comes great responsibility. I will have already looked you up on the “internet” and probably know a lot more about you than you think. There are many of us that are not savvy yet and may not ask you these questions or know about your digital footprint. Are you willing to gamble?

Anyway…read this letter ( http://teachpaperless.blogspot.com/2009/08/letter-to-teachers-of-my-children.html ) and then Blog about the thinking that was going on in your head when you read it. I look forward to your response.

I am available at cowpernicus.wordpress.com if you are interested in my “transparent learning.” You can view my teachers’ blogs from eastwoodeagles.wordpress.com. Keep in mind we are all at different stages of learning of course and support is key.

Good luck with Mr. Couros.

Caitlyn’s Response can be found @ http://caitlynbartlett.wordpress.com/

Keep up the good work Caitlyn.

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A recent Blog by dougpete  (How Time Changes)  helped me continue an internal dialogue where I am attempting to support my Elementary Principal counterparts in joining me in the Twitterverse once a week  as their time permits.   As an NSDC academy class of 2011 I have determined personal learning networks are a great place to  begin the conversation about helping my Principals become the facilitators of professional learning in their respective school houses .  I will actually use a portion of his post here.

“One of the other topics of discussion for us dealt with having administrators lead and model this new approach so that teachers and students are encouraged to do their best.  Why isn’t this happening everywhere.  I hypothesized that it’s because of the level of transparency that the new approaches requires.  In the good old days, when your creations were a project or a document,  you had total control over who sees and, more importantly, comments and evaluates it.  As educators, we all grew up in a system where there were clearly right and wrong answers.  Taking the results of these tools and publishing for the world (or at least a portion of it) to see is a big risk.  What if I make a typo?  What if someone vehemently disagrees?  What if I blog and someone posts something inappropriate?  What if I post something to Twitter and draw the ire of everyone with a keyboard?  It’s not so easy.  It’s not so comfortable.”  (dougpete)

The conversation does continue dougpete….. I have noticed with Twitter alone the professional adults I am surrounded by daily ask “Is that like the social networking thing?”  Trying to qualify the applications (or their lack of participation) with one singular definition.  I have started saying “No, it is a 4 dimensional social learning tool which allows you to participate in conversations far beyond your current 3D world.”  They then look at me kind of funny.  I am going to have to come up with a better sales pitch. 

I believe you are right when you talk transparency.  Transparent to a “twitter native” means exposing your life because mainstream media has coloured the picture of social networking with the brush of “Hollywood.”  The real power of twitter is for our colleagues to publicize their learning and then invite other colleagues into that conversation in an effort to do the same.  I had a wonderful quote in my session at NSDC two days ago. . . “Outside ideas of wrong doing and right doing there is a field, meet me there.”  Rumi.  The field is the PLN and all educators will eventually find their way there.  Lets continue to point to that place when people come to us for directions. 

Sitting here this morning in the lobby I walked to “the field” with Crystal from Buffalo.  She is a staff developer (and an Academy Class of 2011 member) and looking for a way to communicate with her teachers.  I presume that the new 4D world of twitter will generate some new learning.  Keep it up Crystal.

Are you a Principal with the GECDSB?  If so….join me.  Lets learn.

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