Recently I had the pleasure of attending the 21st Century Learning Leadership Forum in Banff. We heard from Marc Prensky, Bruce Dixon, Mary Simon, Simon Jackson and more. There were Thought Provoking Festivals and Innovation Studios. The forum was very much focused on the ‘art of possiblity’. It was exciting to hear conversatin about our children (our future!) being successful at becoming what they want to be and what we want them to be.
Division Principal George Couros and I had the pleasure of presenting at this conference about Parkland School Division’s initiative for Innovative Teaching and Learning. This is one of a number of key iniatives underway in PSD to move us closer to our Ultimate Goal of Student Success and Well Being.
Marc Prensky spoke about getting comfortable at the conference. My first thought was I have been uncomfortable in this world of technology, connecting with the world and presenting. Then upon further reflection…I realized how I am truly embracing this world and most days enjoying it. We have opportunities we could have never imagined in Education.
Marc also spoke about daring to do what is right for kids. He focused on imag-u-cation…if we had the technology how would we use it to enhance our learning? He also spoke of teachers engaging ‘with’ kids and trusting children to teach teachers about technology. He shared his thoughts on how teachers used to teach students and now teachers and students accomplish real things together” Marc reminded us; “This generation shares everything”. As I listened, I felt uncomfortable. Wow…messy and scary work at times, going in unchartered territories and a quite a paradigm shift. Can we get it right? Then I reflected back to our vision of imaginaing, creating, exploring and dreaming! In Parkland School Division we have the permission to be innovative, risk takers and get it right in a changing global community.
In PSD we are gradually learning to become comfortable and embrace this “new world” and how we can use these amazing technology tools to enhance our learning and connect with the world so we can make a difference.
It is ok to be uncomfortable, but it is not ok to stop learning because we are in a world we don’t totally understand yet. The digital world is here, so how do we use it to support education and our ultimate goal of student success and well being? Enjoy the journey, challenge your comfort level, and we will probably be comfortable again. Well, at least comfortable for awhile!