Over the last few days I have been exploring the OSSEMOOC blog.
One word: WOW!
It is a great resource for Ontario Educators who have any interest and experience in EdTech. There is no username or password to remember. It is just a wonderfully curated resource of blogs, live sessions, book chats, and 10 minutes learning modules by teachers, consultants, system leaders and other stakeholders in Ontario education. I feel like Alice down the rabbit hole...only I don’t have a lot of interest in finding my way home. There is so much to explore.
What I love most about OSSEMOOC is the mandate. About 6 years ago I joined Dr. Mary Kooy at OISEUoT for a study funded by a $250,000 grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. It was entitled: Teacher Learning that Matters: Expanding a Longitudinal Study into a Technology-Mediated Professional Community. (If you are interested, here is a great 3 minute audio file highlighting what we got out of the experience compiled by Mimi Masson -@.) [audio mp3="https://virtualgiff.edublogs.org/files/2016/07/Storytellers-SSHRC-Mimi-Masson-1rheu40.mp3"][/audio]
Through our exploration in this project we came up with a list of what makes great PD - and it is virtually the same:
- considers all learning preferences.
- allows for all levels of readiness.
- provides numerous entry points.
- is flexible.
- allows choice.
- respects limitations of time.
- supports a variety of learner interests.
- promotes the development of connections and connected learning.
- 10 Minute Learning Sessions. They offer 30 days of learning to get your feet wet (or wetter) with technology. The first session: Day 1 - Dedicating Time is a great place to start if you think you are reticent toward or "too busy" for tech.
- Use Flipagram as Promotion! - For their Innovators Mindsets Book Club they created this Flipagram to share on social media. I would normally do a slide deck and hope it moved forward an/or looped. This is a simple, yet genius, little hack.
- Use LiveBinders to curate websites! I used this about a decade ago and forgot how useful it can be. OSSEMOOC has a Live Binder linking to over 100 blogs by Ontario Educators...what a resource for quick, easy, as you need it PD! It is also a great classroom tool (like Symbaloo) for a one stop site for web links.
- Free Books! Who doesn’t love a free book. I can’t wait to get into It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens by Danah Boyd. Maybe I will even start a book chat with other high school teachers interested in Social Media and the Teenage experience.
- #PicAndPost! What a great idea for annotating and sharing text. OSSEEMOOC ran a activity wherein they asked community members to identify one thing they read that resonated with them. They were to grab a screenshot, annotate it with a sentence or two, and send it to OSSEMOOC via gmail. Selected pictures were shared and discussed. HUGE classroom implications here.
- Blogs are Still Important! My husband and I had a chat last night and he said “but haven’t blogs gone the way of the dodo bird?!”. Two days I may have agreed with him but then I read a great blog on OSSEMOOC about why writing and reading blogs is so important; short answer - blogs get around big corporation/capitalism/consumerism and allows for real voice. It struck me so much that I had started a blog for my kids to “write” (with thanks from a tool called EasyBlogger Jr I found on one of the blogs by a primary teacher in the LiveBinder that I failed to note - sorry!)