Crowd-Sourcing Promising Practices ~ A Google Innovator Application

My Google Certified Innovator Application Video

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Finding Solutions to Problems

This is it.  I’m sharing my Google Innovator #LAX18 application video online.  My application took a lot of time, pivoting, confering and brainstorming.  I’ve thought, re-thought, changed directions and eventually come to a comfort level with a ‘problem’ in education for which I think energy is deserved for developing a potential solution.

I’m putting myself out there by blogging and tweeting about my idea as I want to practice what I “preach”.  Transparency.  Being okay with failure.  Earnestly hoping to be successful so that I can develop my own skills and amplify the voices of the many educators who have the GREATEST ideas to share, but not necessarily the platform.  I want crowd-sourced, cross-silo sharing to inspire both contract teachers and teacher candidates.  I want to turn the volume to 11 and help teachers find that perfect little bite of PD…just when they need it.

PD should be igniting passions, not fueling insecurities.

Cross your fingers and wish me luck on my application.   Lets celebrate and exchange ideas together.

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Why EdCamp?

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An opportunity to join the team for organizing the 2018 EdCamp London #edcampldn was one I jumped at.  I’ve actually never even heard of an EdCamp before, yet I knew the prospect of energetic teachers gathering for teacher talk, coffee, food and ignites was promising.

Was I ever impressed.

Basically in an EdCamp format participants arrive and jot down some topics of interest (literally all over the board) and the team then link together ideas into big themes and assign rooms in which participant-led conversations to happen.  It’s organized teacher talk time – with coffee and food!

How does a session, let’s say,  on ‘google sites’ come together? Naturally, in a room a few experienced teachers are there to share their expertise, potentially connecting their device to the projector. Others then start to share their experiences.  You get a feel for the room and ensure that everyone is getting something of value from the session (or they can move on to a different session if they like).

I observed educators sharing and celebrating ideas and new learning.  Beginners in one session are experts in another – it’s buzz-worthy experience where questions are safely posed and honestly addressed.  Because there are no official speakers, it felt more like an awesome prep where your favourite teachers are in the staff room at the same time.

Time flew, and I left in an amplified mood.  It’s feels great to share, and even better to learn.  I made new connections, grew my PLN, and had the opportunity to try something new (read below👇🏻).

The mood made this event a success.  Sharing, re-connecting, being inspired.  Imagine if PD days were like this?

Until next year, EdCamp.  Big thanks to some great educators in the photo above (David, Sue, Dawn and Heidi).  It was great to learn to the ropes from/with you!

IGNITEd

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20 slides. 15 seconds per slide that auto advance through a total of 5 minutes.  Fun math, an exercise in conciseness, and a healthy dose of practice time come along for the ride.

I jumped in, and wrote it in pen with commitment! (“Write it in pen” was the theme of my talk).  Why? Who knows. Haha – but I DO know.  Trying something a bit outside of my comfort zone has proven fruitful for me lately.  “Why not me?” my brain questions.  I say yes, and then figure it out along the way.

I often approach teaching this way.    I find inspiration for an idea that will engage students, and then find the curriculum that uncovers itself along the way.  There is always way more curriculum to link than you would first think.  Just try and name a literacy strand that doesn’t marry itself nicely to most subjects and projects. Integration, empowerment, choice and student voice are the vehicles that let us make curriculum meaningful.

I asked to go first for the Ignite talks at EdCamp London 2018.  I didn’t want to follow a seasoned pro on my first time out.  As it always goes, it was a blur in the minutes up to being handed the mic.  Then ‘go’ and the well oiled machine comes to life.   I had a blast.  The feedback was great.  The audience was forgiving – the audience was teachers and we can all recognize and empathize when risks are being taken.

Props to those seasoned speakers out there! What looks so organic is the result of hours and hours of fine tuning, practice and failing in front of audiences.  It’s not a natural gift – it’s an educator so excited to share good things that their energy pulls you in as they frame their experiences with a message or take away.  A joy to watch.

My message: try something new or different every day and write it in pen as a promise to yourself to take that risk.  Do it! And say yes to doing an ignite talk if you get the chance! You’ll be richer for the experience.