A Learner's Journey

MYSA Travelling Scholars

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During the week, I was fortunate enough to attend the workshop with George and Alec Couros organised through the MYSA Travelling Scholars program. I have been following George and Alec for a few months on twitter and knew this would be a fantastic learning opportunity –  and I wasn’t wrong. 

The day was titled “Anywhere, anytime, anyone: transitioning toward 21st Century learning.” It was a small intimate group and by the end of the session, many new connections had been made. Some of the things that stuck with me are:

Schools as centres for learning, not just for students but for all staff as well. Sounds obvious but I often feel the learning needs of staff can be easily overlooked. If our students see us trying new things and learning with them, that is extremely powerful and most likely liberating for both students and teacher. I have had many opportunities in the last couple of years to allow students to teach me something that they know and it certainly brings out the best in them. I have been blown away with what they are capable of when I am prepared to hand over to them and share the learning process.

Innovation – George spoke about the need to stop talking and start doing! Sometimes, you need to go out on a limb, take a chance and just give it a go. I have found value in this approach recently in my own classroom and some of the things I have tried have worked and some not so well. We so readily tell our students that making mistakes is how we learn but can often be reticent to face that in ourselves. I firmly believe that our schools need a clear pathway toward creating a school climate that allows for personalised, relevant and rigorous learning but it can be all too easy to get bogged down in the discussions and never get around to the action.

Connection – so important for all education stakeholders. We all crave it and how rewarding it is when it is achieved. George spoke passionately about how technology can actually work to personalise education and enable us to connect deeply with our students. This is a challenging idea for many teachers who feel very cautious about the ‘risks’ associated with social media.

One of the quotes of the day was “Put it out there and let the world decide!”  I guess in starting this blog, that is exactly what I am doing!

I have placed Geroge’s blog on the blogroll – it is well worth a regular look.

Thanks to George and Alec for inspiring Melbourne teachers and for being such innovative and engaging educators.

 

4 Comments

  1. What a fantastic blog post Mary! You captured the total essence of the workshop and it is wonderful that you are ‘putting it out there’.
    George was our keynote at our CEGSA 2012 state conference and he inspired many of our delegates to share and connect online using blogs and Twitter. I have never seen such a positive reaction from so many educators after just one keynote! George was especially clear about being yourself online and keeping it real. Suddenly, people who were cartoon avatars and eggs put up photos of themselves – it was exciting to see the changes.
    We are all still connecting and collaborating here in South Australia, with notable changes happening already!
    Well done and thanks for sharing!
    Tina 🙂

    • Thanks so much Tina for your encouragement. It does feel quite exposed to just put your thoughts out there but liberating too! I followed your CEGSA Conference via twitter and followed up on many of the interesting things presented there. Seemed like a great conference and a testament to the power of connecting to other educators. Look forward to connecting via our students sometime soon!
      Mary

  2. Wow!fantastic Mary. I look forward to following you on your journey. I know I will learn lots!
    Chris

    • Thanks for your encouragement Chris. Having supporters like you is just wonderful and gives me the impetus to keep going.Look forward to many more conversations in the office at school about our latest discoveries!

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