Assuming Responsibility for Our Own Learning

I had to share this blog post with you as it resonated with me. I have been learning a great deal about motivation in the past weeks as I have been thinking about engagement in professional learning (vs. professional development), and the notion of the mindset that we ought to be seeking when hiring.


I would encourage you to have a read (it is short!) ! Post your thinking to #nmcblog if you wish!

Does one become a “Lead Learner” in any organization if no one knows what they are learning?

5 responses

  1. This reminds me of the old “education is a journey, not a destination” line that used to affix the old Lake Superior Board of Education material back when I was a student. It’s true, though – education is ongoing and it’s driven by those learning. I love the model that I am a learner with my students instead of someone who stands at the front knowing all, (which is a silly model because these students know so, so much!)

    In the last few weeks, it’s been so great to see the visible shift of administrators within our board joining social media and sharing their learning. I hope this shift continues and we get to a point where it’s only natural for administrators – and educators – to use these tools regularly. I tip my hat to those who have taken the plunge. I know it’s been a bit of a plunge for some, especially when, only a few years ago, the Ontario College of Teachers released their Professionally Advisory on electronic communication and social media. We’ve been able to successfully overcome those challenges and embrace the benefits of open, shared learning. Look at how far we’ve come!

    So, back to your question: Do we know what we are learning? I think we’re all learning different things, but we’re sharing that learning through these great tools so we can sort of cross-learn from one another. Our ultimate goal is to improve education for our students. Now that we’re all online, (or many of us, anyway) it’s time to start making the learning visible.

    Some final thoughts about learning and visible learning:
    -Twitter seems to be the best tool for our collective learning. Do we need more professional learning (such a great term – so much better than professional development!) on Twitter? What about extensions like using smart devices for pictures, Tweetdeck for organization, making sure you’re not a “Twitter Egg”?
    -How can we share our learning? Who can we identify as models to follow?
    -How can we get the last few stragglers on board? Imagine if we achieved the 100% connected goal. Suddenly our large geographic area isn’t so large.

    I have to go back to my own professional learning, which involves diaper changes, crying, nap schedules, and breast pumps, (the latter is not for me. I promise). Thank you for sharing some good inspiration for writing!)


    1. Congratulations to you and your wife on the birth of your daughter! What a magical time for you! Savour every moment! And share lots of pictures. Loved the one on twitter.

      Thanks for your post! As always, you get me thinking. I am particularly interested in your last question -” How can we get the last few stragglers on board? Imagine if we achieved the 100% connected goal. Suddenly our large geographic area isn’t so large.” as this has been the question on the table at many discussions! It is so true…I cannot believe how much more connected to our educators, to the world, that I now feel. I wish to share that feeling with everyone…it is amazing. We are in this together, and we need to make our learning visible if we wish to inspire others. Sharing with them the incentive is truly necessary! It is about modelling the learning mindset we want to see happen in all of our roles (regardless of role) and in every classroom and ensuring that everyone has the skills, the incentive, the vision, resources and perhaps even an individual action plan! Those are the key components of complex change. But we are well on our way…we need to ensure that all of those components are in place…I wonder if they are missing for some?

      Enjoy that beautiful little one!! Congrats again!


  2. I remember when I was in teacher’s college 25+ years ago how upset I was with the content of many of the courses I was taking…For instance in media studies we were being shown how to use a Gestetner which was the forerunner for the photocopier. What made the lesson so nonsensical was the fact that at the time you would be hard pressed to find a Gestetner in any school in the country. If you did it would likely be on a shelf gathering dust in a storage cupboard. Schools had long ago replaced the clunky machines with photocopiers. Yet here we were – young teachers about to start our careers using yesterday’s technology! The prof was as antiquated as the Gestetner! His professional learning had obviously ended long ago and we his students suffered as a result.

    It doesn’t happen often but occasionally I walk into a school and I see student projects presented on bristol board. I cringe as recall my own experience. Our students today are technology savvy. They can navigate their way through the internet with the click of a mouse, they can produce and edit video and they can design 3D graphics and I am only scratching the surface of all that they know. I am sure they could show me programs I have never heard of, and teach me things I can only imagine. So what must our students think when we present them with a piece of bristol board and give them the outline for an assignment. If you hear them mumble something under their breath…they are likely saying “Gestetner”!

    . Why do we insist students turn their technology off when they enter the classroom?
    . Why must they present their work using a medium that we chose?
    . What professional learning are you pursuing to keep up with technology?
    .Why not have a student teach a lesson using a program or a technology device?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I laughed as you aged yourself in that response, Dave.

      I have to disagree with your Bristol board analogy, though. When given choice, students still opt for this dated, papery form of presentation goodness. Why? They like to see their work – and the work of others – displayed around the room. It’s also a more tactile style of learning and creating.

      I cringe when a tool is used just for the sake of using it. For example, just using Prezi to suggest one is a digitally-connected educator is ineffective. No matter the tool, whether digital or not, has benefits and drawbacks and must be implemented correctly in the classroom. It’s unfair to say one is “better” than the other without context.

      If that were true, we should probably start burning our books, then.

      Your questions are good, but I think adding the following is important:

      -How can we teach students to choose the best tool for the job?


      1. Sorry – I have some grammatical errors in that post. You can blame two hours of sleep caused by a new baby for that one. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Monday Morning Musings

Living & Learning in a social, mobile world - Mr. Wilson's Teaching Website

Michelle Cyrenne Parrish

Learning & Teaching

Big Ideas in Education

A Blog by Deborah McCallum

Northern Art Teacher

Teaching, Learning, Creating

Stacey Wallwin

Learning, Sharing and a Leap of Faith


Connecting to Learn

Becoming a Connected Learner

To be or not to be ... my journey

Nakina Public School

Igniting a Passion for Learning

Director's Newsletter

Inspiring our students to succeed and make a difference

Connected Principals

Sharing. Learning. Leading.

radical eyes for equity

Confronting "our rigid refusal to look at ourselves" (James Baldwin)

Granted, and...

thoughts on education by Grant Wiggins

Modelling the Conditions for Learning

Putting the Conceptual into Practice

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: