Saturday, August 22, 2015

A new voyage - 'Being Present'

I am in the fortunate position of being part of the 'Voyager Cross-School Collaborative Inquiry and Collective Wisdom Programme' with Dr. Vikram Murthy, Director of the Academy for Collaborate Futures as Lecturer.

This inquiry will enable participants to seek deep information, demonstrate insightful behaviour and enable productive change.

Our first session was set around the framework of 'Being Present' and we were challenged with many questions and affirmations.
  • "What have you done today to make you feel proud?" 
  • "Are we changing as fast as the world around us?"
  • "Life is very interesting / thought provoking. Wherever you are, be there!"

One of the many challenges was to understand ourselves by using a metaphor to identify three positive and three negative personality traits as we thought we are seen through the eyes of our colleagues. This one made me think...! 

By using an online tool [beforehand], we identified our five top Signature Strengths and I got to understand that my personality is more that just a trait. We were encouraged to use our Signature Strengths at work often to bring about high performance in our groups and organisations.

What do you 'see/experience' your work as?
1. A job that you do for the paycheck?
2. A career where you mark achievements through money, but also advancement?
3. A calling where you see your work as contributing to the greater good?

We explored the eight elements of flow and learnt how flow occurs when the challenges you face connects with your abilities to meet them.  In fact, to recognise the full value of flow, one must realize that you can enjoy anything if the elements of flow are present.  

  • When you can find a way to use your Signature Strengths at work, you could see your work as contributing to the greater good and you [too], can have a calling.
  • Flow offers an opportunity to improve the quality of existence. It is necessary to enjoy the steps taken towards attaining a goal, and not [just] from actually reaching it.
  • I have gained [an interesting] personal insight into my feelings and motivation from using the JoHari framework to identify my 'Open Self', 'Hidden Self', 'Blind Self' and 'Unknown Self' through a multi-person activity.

Next Step:
  • To do a flow audit of my own work and to draft useful lessons for my own work-life.

~ "If we missed the moment, we miss the clues. In the present, when we allow ourselves to fully live there, we are restored, made wiser, made deeper and happier." 
- Marianne Williamson ~

Friday, August 14, 2015

Teaching practice and Learning opportunities

I was fortunate enough to visit yet another school, leading the way around MLP. One thing that stood out was how students were able to talk about their learning. That was a good indicator that students own their learning.

I could see that students enjoy sharing and collaborating with others. (using Google Docs in their learning)

  • As learning should be purposeful and rewarding, granting students with choices in how and what they learn will play an important part in learning having meaning.
  • Students should evaluate their own learning to be able to tell if they are making progress.
  • It is important to create learning spaces to the needs of different types of learners.
  • Some students will take longer than others and should be permitted to work at their own level and pace.
Summing up:
A learning environment should be such as space that students don't want to leave.


~ "Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere." - Chinese Proverb ~

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The hunt is still on...

This weekend I learnt that the platform I have been using with my 5 year old students for their ePortfolios will be moving to paid memberships in September. 

When reading the content of the email, I became really frustrated as I have been using Kidblog for a number of years successfully with my students. After a while I realised that although I felt disappointed that I now had to look for other alternatives, I had to look at the positive in this situation.

I am aware of Easy Blog Jr, but I need something that can also work on Notebooks. So I had been asking on Twitter if anyone knew of an easy platform to use with junior students to blog.  

One platform that stood out was Blogger.  As a Blogger user myself, I was happy to hear that one can't go past Blogger. I was already considering this, but then... the age requirements for students to have Gmail accounts is actually 13 years or older. 

I also had concerns about how my 5 year old students will be able to logon with remembering a gmail account and password. Again there was a solution offered that I could QR code the logon details. That was a brilliant idea, but I wondered how that would work when students were choosing to use Notebooks.

I am no closer to a solution yet and the hunt is still on! Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

~ "Don't get discouraged. It is often the last key that opens the lock" - Unknown ~