#edCampBarrie is underway! Here is Tracy (@TracyMcPhail) assembling the Session Board.
And a collection of photos from the day ….
#edCampBarrie is underway! Here is Tracy (@TracyMcPhail) assembling the Session Board.
And a collection of photos from the day ….
Ontario educators Donna Frye and Mark W. Carbone have been spearheading the Ontario School and System Leaders Edtech MOOCommunity this spring. In April, the OSSEMOOC blog shared 30 guest posts, one each day, written by Ontario educators as they reflect on aspects of their own professional learning over the past month. The broad prompt for the posts was “What Did I Learn Today?” and today Donna and Mark continued to encourage us all to make our own professional learning more visible and more collaborative:
We all have a story to tell, and we learn from each other. Together we are stronger and wiser. Connected learning takes many forms: observing, reading, asking, reflecting, writing, speaking, audio, video and collaborating. Connected learning and leading is a participatory culture. It takes time, time to jump in, time to create new routines and time to build comfort. Courage is needed to put yourself “out there” and find your voice. It is worth the risk to gain insight, broader perspectives and recognize that “the smartest person in the room is the room”.
from 30 Days of Learning in Ontario: What Did We Learn Today? (posted today, May 1st)
If you did not have an opportunity to follow the 30 Days of Learning in Ontario, I invite you to relive the experience by reading and commenting on the following posts from the past 30 days!
As we advance into the month of May, the Ontario School and System Leaders Edtech MOOCommunity will move ahead to explore the topic of Digital Citizenship, and I look forward to following, and participating in, the conversations that ensue.
The learning continues …
Yesterday, I followed #edCampSWO and #edCampLDN from afar, and wrote about the experience. Here are some of the key pieces for easy access:
I will confess I spent about an hour last night trying to get the #edCampSWO and #edCampLDN Blog Post Google Spreadsheets (above) to display something other than the raw responses from the Forms. I did manage to find posts on the web referencing the HYPERLINK and CONCATENATE functions with the intention of combining the Title and the URL cells from the Form Data into a single cell which would display the Title but link to the URL. I didn’t have any success, as the formula continually reverted to just the Title without the link. I similarly tried to create an active link to each authors’ Twitter profile and achieved the same, non-clickable result. I also wanted to remove the Timestamp column — automatically inserted by the Form, but not really needed in the display. It would have been a simple five minute task to simple hand-code the information into the post — but I wanted it to dynamically update as new posts appear via the submission forms.
This morning, as I received notification that it was my turn in my Words with Friends game with my #ds106 colleague and friend Alan Levine (@cogdog), I sent him a chat message asking if he had any experience in fiddling with Google forms to display properly. His reply referenced “Google being picky about wanting double quotes on strings” and “Try doing the formulas on a second sheet. It doesnt like messing with form response.” I shared the spreadsheet with him, and in short order, he had a clickable @Twittername link. I had to fiddle with the third column formula to get it to display the blog Title rather than the URL, but it was easy to get it to work following the Twitter example.
Note that the now-published columns come from a new sheet “Blog Posts” and so the cell references below are back to the original sheet “Form Responses.” To leave out the Timestamp column (or any other unwanted column), simply don’t include it on the now-published sheet.
For reference, the following formula displays the Title from cell C2 but links to the URL in cell D2, provided that there is data in that row (determined by an entry in cell B2, which contains the author’s name):
=if(‘Form Responses’!B2=””;””;(HYPERLINK(‘Form Responses’!D2, ‘Form Responses’!C2)))
The formula to concatenate the users’ Twitter handle onto the base Twitter URL and display it as a link is:
=if(‘Form Responses’!B2=””;””;HYPERLINK(CONCAT(“http://twitter.com/”,’Form Responses’!E2), ‘Form Responses’!E2))
Thanks, Alan! The learning continues! What will YOU learn today?
While I had originally thought I might take in #edCampSWO (SouthWest Ontario) in Tillbury, ON at the last minute, it turned out not to be the case. Add to the mix a similar interest in also attending a second Ontario #edCamp being held on the same day in the same end of the province, #edCampLDN (London), and the dilemma truly magnified. What to do?
The OSEEMOOC spearheaded by Donna Fry (@fryed) and Mark Carbone (@markwcarbone) has been underway for a little over a month now, and Donna’s current challenge to Ontario educators is to share a “What Did I Learn Today” post with the community. With this in mind, I decided to undertake to explore a “What CAN I Learn Today?” question, with the focus of following two Ontario #edCamps from afar.
I will admit to a strong bias in favour of face-to-face learning with Twitter colleagues at an actual event. Twitter conversations last night with Rodd Lucier (@thecleversheep), Brenda Sherry (@brendasherry), and Peter McAsh (@pmcash) reinforced for me that a significant effect of #edCamps and other such gatherings is the opportunity to converse with educator colleagues and friends between the sessions. It’s difficult to replace that in-person presence. Having been involved in the organization of #edCampQuinte (3 camps back in 2011), and having attended #edCampToronto (twice), #edCampWR (twice), #edCampOttawa, (as well as following the original #edCampPhilly remotely via Twitter), I’m firmly convinced that in-person attendance is the ideal way to go.
However, knowing that I would be attempting to follow the conversations and the sessions from a distance, my efforts switched to looking for a variety of ways to capture experience and the discussions occurring within and via the ether of the Internet.
The static screen capture above doesn’t do the clouds justice. Click below to view the actual dynamic interactive archives – they’re amazing!
Because the schedules at most #edCamps are participant-generated in real time from grass roots interests during the events themselves, a pre-posted schedule is usually avoided. Normally, the session board is compiled following a crowd-sourcing exercise involving either sticky-post-it-notes or whiteboards.
But it got better.
Not only was the #edCampLDN schedule posted online, but each entry included a link to a blank gDoc for collaborative note-taking! Great thinking! I quickly paged through and pasted in a request to each document to capture the name and twitter handle of the session facilitators for later followup.
But what about #edCampSWO? Surely such a system might provide useful for collaborative note-taking there as well? What was required to support a similar opportunity there?
By 12:30 pm I had followed through with steps 1-3 above, and by 1:00 pm had incorporated the recently-added afternoon entries to the schedule and and linked gDocs for the remaining sessions. Shortly thereafter there were responses from Michelle Korda (@KordaKovar), Emily Fitzpatrick (@ugdsb_missfitz), Michel Grimard (@miche4195), Brian Aspinall (@mraspinall), Mary Alice Hanson (@Ms_Hanson) expressing interest in the shared note-taking endeavour.
The invitations stands for any and all attendees at #edCampSWO to transfer your notes, links, thoughts and ideas into the shared note files.
#edCampSWO had a post-lunch keynote by Ontario’s “Grandfather of EdTech” Doug Peterson (@dougpete). As it turned out, the keynote was shared from #edCampSWO to #edCampLDN via Google Hangout, and so the opportunity for shared note taking between both venues was enhanced — as well as providing an opportunity for me to join in and see Doug’s presentation. As it would turn out, the notes in the gDoc are mostly mine. It was nice to connect briefly with #unplug’d12 friend James Cowper (@cowpernicus) who set up the Hangout, and to bring in #ECOO and #edCampQuinte colleague Peter McAsh (@pmcash). These are all some folks I would have been catching up with F2F, had I actually been in either Tilbury or London today in First Life.
After Doug’s keynote, I again re-issued the invite for folks at #edCampSWO to collaborated in the shared notes, and then went back to monitoring the Twitter stream. At around 2:30, a few spammers started to join in the #tags, which prompted a question in the stream as to whether the #edCamp conversations might be trending. Trending conversations attract these silly spambots.
Earlier in the day (at 10:48 am my text document indicates) I noted to myself that I tend to monitor things from the Twittersphere for the most part — and I wondered at the time if there were #edCampSWO and #edCampLDN conversations going on via other networks — Google+ and Facebook specifically. At around 4:00 pm, as the #edCamp goodbye and thank-you tweets were flowing, I looked in on both the other two networks and did searches for both of the Ontario #tags.
So, No. Real-time conversations tagged with #edCampSWO and #edCampLDN were essentially only happening within the Twitter online space. Not a real surprise, as Twitter has been extremely effective among those Ontario Educators who have embraced social media over the last half-decade. Google+ was kind of late to the party, and Facebook tends to reflect a more personal, rather than professional focus.
Pinterest? Nope. Nothing there.
First some general acknowledgements.
I recall with fondness asking tweeps Danika (@DanikaBarker) and Zoe (@zbpipe) and Doug (@dougpete) to act as my personal Advance-
ManPerson-On-The-Ground in their respective parts of Ontario to keep an ear to the ground for the as-then-yet-unannounced dates of opening for new Apple Stores. That’s another story, but the idea of having someone working with you in another location is a powerful one.
It would be a difficult task to line up individuals for all the various sessions happening at a distant event (especially when #edCamp attendance and session topics are determined rather more spontaneously than other conferences) — but the idea of a collective, collaborative shared Team-On-The-Ground acting collaboratively for others is a powerful one.
It would be wonderful to see this become yet another characteristic of the evolving, grass-roots #edCamp experience.
I look forward to reading the still-accruing notes and yet-to-come blog posts from both #edCampSWO and #edCampLDN. And looking back through the Twitter stream to search out photos to help visualize the events. I know that there is a lot of learning that will follow on from today — seeking it out and making use of it is both the challenge and the adventure. 🙂
In the interests of helping to aggregate posts that come from today, these Google forms may come in handy. Please consider sharing your thoughts and your learning!
What did you learn today?
There is a wonderful opportunity for Learners and Learning lingering behind this visual representation of participants who used the #ontsm Twitter tag over the past 60 hours or so. Dig into the conversations and tweets, and join into the conversation yourself. While this cloud capture image was made last night, there’s a whole related, yet untagged story developing on Twitter today and the emerging collection of blogs posts that have arisen since yesterday’s Pearson social media “summit” event. More will follow.
While I hope to find the focus and the time to extend my thoughts again on this blog in the coming days, at this point I’d like to float out some initial points that (I think) folks need to let resonate a bit:
I fear that too few educators and educational institutions are as yet actively engaged in real conversations about where formalized learning is headed in the medium-to-long term. (Envisioning where we’re headed takes research and focus, we don’t yet get support for Google 20% time for innovation in our line of work.) Our parent partners and our society in general are not yet asking this question loudly enough — but one day, they will. Our learners, from their own perspective, ask this question on a daily basis.
There is a not insignificant tension between the decisions made in an effort to influence / respond to economic pressures on one hand, and the laudable goal of educating ourselves and our children on the other hand; one need only look at recent decisions within the province of Ontario related to the provincial deficit and contracts to see this at a superficial level. However dig below that and ask questions about how closely what schools do relates to the larger economic picture (standardized training for jobs, the factory model of learning, corporations the provide education content) and one can see that there is a close intertwining of the two. Stepping back and educating for the love of learning and creativity and art is hard to do from a standpoint of a business case. It’s much easier to design teaching for concrete results, than it is to create an educational environment that support learning for creativity. Please note that I use the words teach, teacher, student, schooling distinctly from educator, learner, etc.)
The Pearson get-together yesterday was only one instance of a gathering of educators in one space where the beginnings of conversations about the future of learning, social media, technology, communities, pedagogies, business took place. Conversations at grass-roots edCamps are continual (to date, there have been eight instances in Ontario, edCampHamilton takes place this coming weekend), conversations at events like the annual ECOO conference (#ecoo13 bringITtogether.ca October 23-25 in Niagara Falls) are in preparation, and the conversation is ongoing during the in-between times at events like the annual August Unplugd.ca retreat in Algonquin Park. And of course these discussions occur all the time online, and at other events outside the boundaries of our province. Anyone should feel that it’s okay to share their thoughts on these issues.
Unfortunately, it is all too easy to marginalize / ignore / dismiss / avoid that which we do not understand, or that which we fear, or not to focus attention on that great big elephant over there in the corner of the room in the hopes that it is just a figment and will go away if we wait long enough. It can be too easy to say, “that’s not my job,” or “that’s above my pay grade,” , or to feel ignored, or to delegate our collective responsibilities to someone appointed to “deal with it,” or, after countless attempts, to give up in frustration and stop trying to make a difference. That we develop and exercise our voice as part of a collaborative effort remains one of the most important — and social — potentials that social media provides for us. For this reason, it is important — dare I say, critical — that educators understand and act to see that it clearly understood by our learners (and, by extension, society) as we move forward. Why should we let our learners be subject only to the dominant Voices of the traditional institutions and publishing agents? Should we not seek to empower everyone with an educated Voice?
Perhaps it’s time to see and ensure that our role as educators extends beyond the boundaries of our classroom walls — in the same way that we seek to integrate the external world within them.
Where is Learning going?
I invite you to join in this conversation, here, and with the authors of other posts written in conjunction with this event.
This weekend, a number of Ontario educators active in the sphere of social media will be gathering in Toronto to converse about the role of social media in learning and in schools, courtesy of Pearson Canada.
Many of the participants are already known to one another through online interactions via social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and have had opportunities become familiar with the works of one another via blogs, online webinars, and other mediated means. But a significant number have also had the oh-so-familiar experience of meeting for the first time face-to-face, and in many cases have been gathering periodically in recent years at events like the OTF Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century conferences, the annual ECOO Conference (#ecoo13 bringITtogether.ca) or Minds on Media events, or get-togethers like the Google Apps for Education Ontario Summit, held this past Saturday and Sunday in Kitchener, Ontario.
If you are interested in following the conversations via Twitter, you may wish to access one of the following:
Courtesy of the Martin Hawksey (@mhawksey) TAGS5 google script code, the tweets are being captured now and will be available as an archive after the event. There’s always lots of goodness in the raw feed. But I’m also hoping to tap into an online webinar that Martin is offering tomorrow, where he will be sharing some of his experience in unpacking the interactions stored within such collections of data — perhaps I’ll be able to share some insights coming out of this collection — in addition to insights that will no doubt come from the experience itself.
You know, the stuff that goes on in the interaction space between the tweets …