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Sean

  • Sean wrote a new post, The Creative Process, on the site Spark iLearning 5 months ago

    In response to this month’s blog challenge, I decided to write about the Creative Process, which in most cases, is, or should be, synonymous with the Learning Process.

    Check out The Creative Process video to […]

  • Sean posted a new activity comment 5 months, 2 weeks ago

    Hey Joel,
    Always great to connect with you and learn with you!

    I too believe in the Marigold Effect as the importance of surrounding yourself with like-minded people. I find this becomes especially true at work as some of the people I surround myself with at work are not always the people I hang out with…

    One of the things about your…[Read more]

  • Sean posted a new activity comment 8 months ago

    Hey Uzay,

    Thanks for your comment and your prompts to explain further… I totally understand that sometimes I go too quick to extremes and can often forget to balance out the vision with the reality of the education system, which as you say, follows a curriculum and has assessments and a pre-determined path.

    I don’t think the extreme to which…[Read more]

  • In The Learning Rich Classroom post, I outlined what I notice to be three impediments in creating a learning rich classroom. Namely, curriculum, standardization and bureaucracy, and poorly implemented technology […]

    • Sean replied 8 months ago

      Hey Uzay,

      Thanks for your comment and your prompts to explain further… I totally understand that sometimes I go too quick to extremes and can often forget to balance out the vision with the reality of the education system, which as you say, follows a curriculum and has assessments and a pre-determined path.

      I don’t think the extreme to which I am advocating for and the current realities of our educational institutions can marry and mesh into a cohesive balance, however. I think they are diametrically opposed and I think it’s the institution, standardization and structure that make it all too impossible to truly create intrinsically motivated and self-directed students and truly rich learning experiences.

      Of course, we can make a lesson plan, whether on paper, Google Docs, or in our heads but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to become a learning rich experience. I was referring to these one-sized fits all curricula that lays out your teaching point, your prompts, your active engagements, your chart papers etc. If we create the lesson plans ourselves, which you say you are doing, I am sure that you have taken your students into consideration and tried to make it relevant. However, my argument is that trying as best as we can to make something relevant, doesn’t necessarily make it relevant. Curriculum doesn’t seem to leave room for independent inquiry and self-motivated learning. Nor does it permit the flexibility that all of our teachers and our students really need.

      Your question about the high school level…that has always been the biggest complication in truly transforming our education system. If we are to experiment with alternative theories of teaching and learning in primary and middle school, by the time students get to high school, the perpetuating structure of the system gets repeated because of the inherent structure of high school, grades, college applications and post-secondary institutions. This is why I think the whole thing needs to be overhauled.

      Is there a balance? Is it either or? These are the conundrums that I am perplexed by daily!

  • Well, it feels like this has been a long time coming! Not only have I been working on this idea for around a year and a half, but I have been blogging about it for the passed few months so I sincerely hope that t […]

    • Hi Sean,

      I am completely, mind-boggling impressed by the video you and your school put together. I can’t believe the level of collaboration and commitment that kind of project must have taken. Although upon viewing the ‘making of,’ I had a small laugh at the “1000’s of mails back and forth’ and have a bit of an insight…

      I also had a look at your lipdubs–such a great concept–the single take video–I’m not sure if you answered it at some point, but with what equipment do you take such smooth, seamless shots?

      Your school looks absolutely amazing to work at, from the innovative use of media creation in the classroom to the enthusiasm of the staff and students. Just wow.

      Thanks so much for sharing this amazing project!

      Holly

  • Does it come as a surprise to anyone who has ever read my blog posts, that I am obsessed with Educational Philosophies?

    I find myself constantly learning, considering, tweaking, honing and sharing my […]

  • In filmmaking, the process is most effectively broken up into three stages: pre-production, production and post production. This post will focus on these three stages as it relates to […]

  • #thisismyschool is hands down, the largest scale and most meaningful project I have ever been involved in. How could I not therefore use it as the backbone for my CoETaIL Course 5 final project? I know that I […]

  • Sean posted a new activity comment 1 year, 3 months ago

    Hahaha Kristi, funny enough, a few of us have been joking about creating that perfect environment! I’ll be sure to let you know 😉

    As for your comment, you are right, we can’t just replace 1 of the spokes. The entire wheel needs to be replaced. Just like the status quo one room school houses were replaced with the factory-model of school that the…[Read more]

  • Sean posted a new activity comment 1 year, 3 months ago

    Hey Miriam,

    I agree that we are quite fortunate with our teacher and student access to technology! As you say, “I take for granted that each of my students will have their own personal device with access to the internet, 24-7.”

    This is true and I think I have become an entirely different teacher as I have tried to integrate technology.

    I…[Read more]

  • Sean posted a new activity comment 1 year, 3 months ago

    Hey Dema,

    I like how you express your feelings towards play despite the pressures to teach the curriculum and all the work that is often associated with work.

    It’s true, if school isn’t fun, students won’t be engaged. Like you said, “Play and work do not need to be divided; both are not mutually exclusive ideas.” Maybe we can even try to…[Read more]

  • I love ideas and I am rarely at a loss for ideas…I often have too many though and I often cannot choose which one I like better… This is no different as I prepare for Course 4 Final Project. I even tried to […]

  • I thought I would just blog about some of my ideas for the course 5 final project but then I wanted to engage the connected power of the internet and my PLN so I decided to try one of the Twitter polls. However, […]

  • Sean posted a new activity comment 1 year, 3 months ago

    You’re right Lindsay…I do believe that polarization within schools certainly mimic the polarization so often modeled in society! I too am guilty of polarization…just check out my rant on curriculum in The Learning Rich Classroom. It’s so easy to demonize and criticize…rather than incorporating, synthesizing and creating a balance. I like the…[Read more]

  • When I think back to my favorite memories in school I immediately I think about recess, PE, drama and hanging out with my friends. If I think about my favorite moments as a learner, they were times where I felt […]

  • Sean posted a new activity comment 1 year, 3 months ago

    Hey Noura, you’ll see a lot of agreement with you comment in Part 3.

    Looking forward to reading your post!

  • If you are tuning in for Part 3 of The Past, Present and Future blog series than you are in the right place! In Part 1, we looked back into the past to consider some of the origins of the educational system as we […]

    • Hahaha Kristi, funny enough, a few of us have been joking about creating that perfect environment! I’ll be sure to let you know 😉

      As for your comment, you are right, we can’t just replace 1 of the spokes. The entire wheel needs to be replaced. Just like the status quo one room school houses were replaced with the factory-model of school that the Committee of Ten proposed around a century ago.

      We are prime for reinventing the wheel…and I am trying…and if we all try…then it’ll get done!

  • As I said in Part 1 of this Past, Present and Future blog series, I am captivated by looking at how our perceptions of curriculum and education have changed over time. In this post, I will be focusing on the […]

    • Sigh…. and we shall wait some more unfortunately, Sean! You will hate reading my blog post…
      I think it’s because the education sector is not on a clear path yet. We are being pulled in many directions, all same in theory, but different in practice. We need to present a united front, and most importantly we need to rethink the purpose of school. It’s not about using technology to become sci-fi schools (after all that’s not the point, or is it and I am missing the point). Technology’s presence (or should I say easy access to information because of technology) will force us to rethink the purpose of school since learning and information is accessible. That is the nuance we need to understand. Don’t you think?

  • It’s official, we have arrived upon what must be one of my most favorite topics in education; the changes. I am obsessed with the changes in education. I revel in comparing past, present and future pedagogies. I […]

    • Hi Sean,

      I really enjoyed reading your blog post as I have been thinking deeply about some of the ideas that you brought up in this post. Recently, my school’s administration has been advocating that we as teachers learn more about ‘inquiry based education’ including the ideas of Professor Guy Claxton out of the UK. The conversations during Professional Development days have been about the benefits and challenges of this approach to education. You write about the randomness of curriculum and the academic nature of schooling. As an IB Geography teacher, I have been feeling that in many cases my students are completely trained to not be inquiry learners, but rather just be knowledge acquirers, despite attempts that I might make to be inquiry based during lessons. One thing that I realized is that by making inquiry something that happens as ‘once-offs’ during lessons isn’t doing much. A few students will get into the activity on that particular day, but others just want the notes and ask where the powerpoint presentation is. I am considering making a new course proposal next year at my school, which might be called Challenges in Geography or something similar. I’d like it to be inquiry based, with student projects being what drives the curriculum. I’d like to ‘grade’ students on typically non-academic criterion like ‘planning’, ‘adjusting’, ‘communicating’, and ‘reflecting’ – almost like the design cycle that you might find in a Design Tech course. Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for sharing your post and helping me to continue to learn from those out there in COETAIL who are thinking along the same lines as I am at the moment.

  • Sean posted a new activity comment 1 year, 4 months ago

    Hey Lizzie,

    Thanks for the comment! I can see that you are just as frustrated with the tech fearmongering as I am, especially as you have seen all the benefits as a teacher and for your students.

    Funny though that all the comments on this post thus far have been in agreement. I guess on CoETaIL we are all just preaching to the choir. I wonder…[Read more]

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