Sunday, November 30, 2008

Awakening Possibilites

The entire event was ustreamed and there would be a live audience, with "magic koolaid" to start the conversations in the room. There was enough firepower in these presenters to make anyone present in the audience think about changing their pedagogy and working to make differences in their students lives.

A big thanks to Andy Mckiel who worked tirelessly to pull the event off. He has endless energy and a passion that separates him from his counterparts in the province. He is making a difference in his school division. I hope others follow his lead..... but I doubt that will happen. My goal of the evening was to make classrooms look like this

instead of this.
Street School 1st grade 55-56 Mrs D'Amato

In my 5 minutes I shared many different ways to take some first steps. Begin the journey down the path of creating assignments and teaching in a way that your students will respond to with enthusiasm.

Until now I have failed to mention that there were twice as many people in the ustream room than there was in the f2f room at the RRCC campus that night. And it was not just anyone in the chatroom. I was privileged to see so many influential edubloggers from my network tuning in after they had just eaten a large turkey dinner. I am honoured and thank you for joining all of us virtually at Awakening possibilities.

But why can't we get more people out to these events. What does it take to see that kids are doing and living differently now. The teaching that has sustained you for so long does not captivate the imaginations of kids and does not prepare them for work in this century. I look to the west and see the interesting intermingling of preservice teacher instruction.

Saskatchewan has the model for success. Look at Moose Jaw. Dean has this town hopping and Kathy teaches grade 1 in such a way I wish I as 6. When you look at the preservice educators in this province none of them are given courses in this technology and the powerful teaching opportunities that it gives to students. Saskatchewan has Alec. He does it right over and over again.

Manitoba wake up. You have some of the best edublogger minds yet you shun us and make us feel like we are not worth your time. The rest of the community knows that we are knowledgeable in what we are saying yet you have no idea who we are.

So to the 20 of you who were present in the room, thanks for being there. You saw the best from Saskatchewan, Dean, Kathy, Alec, one of the best in the world Jeff, and some Manitobians that make a difference, Darren, John, Clarence and me. I hope that you all tell 2 friends and they tell two friends and....

Maybe we can change the province after all.


Erin Remple said...

Chris, last year's conference rocked my world. I had a huge paradigm shift. I'm a better teacher because of it. I'm not yet using the tools you mentioned (physical resources being what they are at my school) in my classes. However, those tools have changed how I teach (and how I view presentations!). I have moved from Manitoba to a very rural school in Alberta and those tools have kept me from being isolated. Following the Manitoba Greats has opened my eyes to a whole new world.

I went to an excellent conference last week about assessment. There was only a smattering of talk about using tech in teaching/assessing. Because of my experience at last year's unconference, I kept waiting to hear how the learning/conversations would continue online. Sadly, I left disappointed. Two years ago,I wouldn't have known that the best conferences/presentations allow for that continued learning.

Know that the efforts you (and the other Manitoba Greats) have made a difference in this teacher's life.

Mr. H said...

Thanks for the comment. I appreciate your words. Sometimes it takes 2 paragraphs to keep on fighting the fight.

I will continue to follow you on twitter and read your blog.

Thx I needed the pick me up

John Evans said...


You are a role model to all teachers in Manitoba in your pedagogical application of technology. I mention you, Darren and Clarence every time I'm asked for exemplars in the classroom.

Please keep doing the important work you do!


Mr. H said...

Thanks John but once again we get this stuff. Hmm 4 teachers in a pool of thousands. Why can't the others see through the trees.

Hey you are one of the few government guy"s who gets it and earn's their $$.

Your kind words make a Sunday night pass a bit easier.

James Dykstra said...

You guys aren't alone. While I couldn't make it out to the evening, I'm trying to do the things you guys are advocating, and we're slowly converting staff members here. It will come.

Mr. H said...

Thanks James. Not being the only drops in the bucket makes us feel better. Tell 2 friends and so on.....