Monday, March 31, 2014

NOII Symposium Featured Speaker: Chris Kennedy

We’re gearing up for the annual NOII Symposium on May 2nd and 3rd at the Hilton Airport Hotel in Richmond. Have you registered yet? Space is limited so please register online as soon as possible.  

We are fortunate to have a number of thoughtful, engaging featured speakers sharing their time and ideas with us at the Symposium this year. One of these individuals is Chris Kennedy, the Superintendent of Schools in the West Vancouver School District and board member for the Canadian Education Association (CEA). Chris is a leading voice in education in British Columbia and beyond, regularly sharing ideas around personalized learning, professional development, social media, technology in the classroom, and more through his blog and twitter @chrkennedy. In 2012 he was named Canada’s Top Education Blogger

His passion for education is evident in his writing and through his presentations. Check out a few of his recent articles, including how SD 45 is monitoring the impact of self-regulation instructional methods, suggestions and tools for educators to engage with social media as part of their professional practice, or his thought-provoking Top 3 Lists. We’ve also included below his recent talk at Tedx West Vancouver ED.

We’ll share more about other featured speakers in coming weeks. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Register for the NOII Symposium - May 2 & 3, 2014

We hope you will join us for the upcoming NOII Symposium on May 2 & 3, 2014. The theme for this year's event is Stories of Change: Pictures of Possibility, featuring innovative leadership in education in BC and beyond.  The featured speakers include:

·         David Istance, Director of the Innovative Learning Environment Research Study, OECD
·         Chris Kennedy, Superintendent of Schools, West Vancouver
·         Anthony Mackay, CEO of the Centre for Strategic Education Melbourne, Australia
·         Laura Tait, Director of Instruction, Nanaimo Ladysmith School District
·         Diane Turner, Superintendent of Schools, Delta School District
·         Richard Wagamese, Author of Indian Horse and Ragged Company

Space is limited so please REGISTER ONLINE NOW.  Looking forward to seeing you there!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Spirals of Inquiry: for equity and quality

Do you have a friend or colleague who is new to the inquiry-based learning approach and looking to learn more?  Or perhaps someone looking to re-invigorate their teaching and learning practice with new evidence-based strategies? Spirals of Inquiry: for equity and quality is into the sixth printing and is available to order now. This handbook offers specific inquiry tools, research evidence and examples from practice in BC schools that will assist in conceptualizing inquiry-based learning and developing strategies for shifting thinking and practice. It presents an approachable and yet innovative framework for inquiry that is now influencing schools and districts across BC and in other parts of the world. Proceeds from book sales will go directly to inquiring schools.  For information on how to order, click here

Friday, March 7, 2014

Feedback on learning

Carol Dweck's work on the growth and fixed mindset has had a profound influence on Linda's and my thinking. The connection between the kind of feedback we provide to learners and the impact on mindsets is clearly and succinctly explained in this  clip from Dylan Wiliam. We think this short video could be very useful in helping parents understand the reasons why teachers are changing the ways in which feedback is provided. See what you think and let us know.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Learners Taking Charge of Their Own Learning

Chris Watkins
" Let the beginning and the end of our didactics be: seek and find the methods where the teacher teaches less but those who sit in the desks learn more. Let schools have less rush, less antipathy and less vain effort, but more well-being, convenience and permanent gain."
               Jan Amos Comenius (1632) The Great Didactic

We talk a lot about the importance of learners owning their own learning and that at its essence this is what Assessment For Learning is all about.  Based on the opening quote from Comenius, apparently making the shift from teacher ownership to learner ownership is somewhat easier said than done!

Chris Watkins from the  Institute of Education at the University of London has provided a very useful short article that uses a driving metaphor "Learners in the driving seat" to describe classroom practices that build greater engagement and motivation. He talks about the current climate in England as one that may be having counter-productive effects in the classroom.  He cites Maryellen Weimer who put it this way:
  • The more structured we make the environment, the more structure students need.
  • The more we decide for students, the more they expect us to decide.
  • The more motivation we provide, the less they find within themselves.
  • The more responsibility for learning we try to assume, the less they accept on their own.
  • The more control we exert, the more restive their response. 
He also makes some very good points about the importance of making very clear the purpose of learning  - and building in more choice.  See what you think.

Despite the challenges of making the shift in ownership,  we are seeing many examples in BC where teachers are finding powerful ways to engage learners and we are looking forward to featuring some of these initiatives at the symposium May 2-3.

Look forward to seeing many of you there!