Wednesday, January 16, 2013

ETMOOC: Questions from Alec

Yesterday, I attended the synchronous orientation to the Educational Technology and Media Massive Open Online Course (ETMOOC). Our facilitator or "Network Sherpa," Alec Couros ended the session with a couple of questions that I've heard before in regards to connected education that I tweeted out:

How am I making my learning visible?
I think many of my colleagues would question why they needed to make their learning visible. They attend training, apply what resonates with them in their instruction, but the thought of sharing that learning out, is not something they are used to doing. It isn't necessarily part of their culture. There are exceptions, but many have not bought in to Dean's "Moral Obligation to Share."
For me, I jumped in to the concept of sharing and being connected a long time ago. I try to post some of my thinking on my blog here, or tweet out articles/posts I read that I think are relevant, but often my blog posts are notes from sessions that I attend at conferences or workshops, such as the post below this one. I haven't taken the information jotted down, synthesized it, and created new meaning for others to benefit from as often as I should. 

How am I contributing to the learning of others?
My hope is that what I do share has value for those that read the blog, or see my posts on Twitter. For most of my colleagues, though, time is a big constraint to their participation in the networks available to them. There are so many demands on classroom teachers today, that I am amazed how those that do stay active have time in the day to engage!

Be a learning sherpa!
I like the sherpa metaphor when it comes to my role helping staff. I consider myself to be a servant to the needs of staff and the students they serve. 
My sherpa experience through the years.
While writing this, I went back and looked at the post I wrote back in December of 2008 after I first heard the term "Network Sherpa." It's definitely worth a read, especially the comments. It certainly was interesting for me to reflect back on what I was thinking 4+ years ago...
In some ways, there are a few more folks traveling up the mountain with me in my district, but not quite as many as I'd hoped. As we expand our Bring Your Own Device initiative and provide more access for students, I hope that will change. 
As always, I would love people's thoughts and comments!


Kristen Swanson said...

Thanks so much for sharing your ideas on transparency. I agree with you, most of my colleagues are not used to sharing in such a hyper-connected way. However, each day brings them closer and closer to the top of the mountain! We are leaders, we are sherpas, but most importantly, we are learners!

Michael Walker said...

Kristen, Thanks for the comment. I think modeling and living the life of a connected educator is a great way to lead. I just wish we could get up the hill a bit faster!