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repurposing learning

January 26, 2013


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Learning in the “presence of those who are absent” (Rheingold, 2002, p. 196) can be uplifting, however the #etmooc carnival currently enticing from a Google+/ Twitter/ Blackboard collaborate zone-near-you also amplifies each participant’s metacognitive process to repurpose and synthesise connected learning, as illustrated above.

This learning looks messy. Chaotic. And it’s loud –  the equivalent of an amplifier going to 11. Like Nigel, I’m feeling brain freeze:

brain scan

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Here’s a catalogue of my learning praxis this week:

  • undertook Cognitive Coaching program over 4 days with a group of school leaders – this felt more like a traditional linear mode of learning with rich content, modelled practice, skilled delivery (collaborative processes, questioning skills, fluid timing), and follow up planned both in online forums, as well as our second workshop series in April; thus, we are connected
  • trawled the Twitter stream each morning over breakfast to check resources, share ideas and follow #etmooc – this is a bracing refresher like bodysurfing, or gokarting with pitstops to monitor gauges, oil plugs and valves
  • shared grifted finds and categorised via Scoopit, Diigo & Pinterest boards according to perceived audience/ criteria – here I feel I am in analytical mode classifying, sieving and capturing that which meets my needs, as well as the needs of those I share resources with in a professional learning network
  • engaged with educator’s blogs to inspire/ uplift and calibrate finer points of direction: is this right? can I refine? how might I do things differently? In this arena, I feel like a receptive beginner open to new ideas and adopting best *listening* practice. It helps allocating time for this – teatime, perhaps!

magnolia tea fire 028

  • Examples to illustrate include @whatedsaid’s blog post 10 Ways to Create a Learning Culture; Great lessons from @headguruteacher exploring probing questions; Dave Saunders’ musings on What Will My Contribution Beleveraged my own two-stroke startup because I responded to his reflective thinking – I felt encouraged by what I’d learned practicing Cognitive Coaching, and attempted an exchange as if we occupied the same space

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  • Scanning through the WordPress reader for interesting ideas yielded this fantastic critical thinking map shared by @loremipsem which is just what I need for visualising the means of building a learning culture in my new school setting (thanks, Louise!)
  • Friday was spent in catch-up mode viewing videos of our new unit Leading Assessment and Accountability at UWA. This one felt noisy, too, because of sound quality, and my own disruptive thought patterns – what have I missed? can I catch up? what are they talking about? (this last because a concept mapping activity that colleagues took part in may have been visible from on-high, but the cards they re-arranged were tantalisingly mystified. Gap in my knowledge right there…..which became a yawning chasm as the groups shared thinking on sheets papering a whiteboard and the camera failed to zoom


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To evaluate? Let’s probe: Twitter is fun and relatively simple to navigate once a network is established; #etmooc makes me feel a little more pressured to keep up. Since the onus is on me – I can only dig out gems based on effort I’m willing to expend within time constraints – there’s an itchy sense of imperative.

Then there’s uni. Guilt, here, definitely. Since I’ll be assessed (first task due March 8 is worth 40%), and because we return to work on Tuesday, there’s a need to prioritise that-which-looms-darkest.

Coaching has already proven its goldbar-worth due to honed reflective conversations I’ve been sharing around our house. Brilliant potential for amplifying learning with others as I focus on building a learning ecology. Want to iterate. Seriously addictive habitude.

And the way ahead? As above. The practice demands critical review; in order to refine learning-teaching with others, automaticity is the goal, and that requires ongoing attunement.

Play on.

Selected reference

Rheingold, H. (2002). Smart mobs: The next social revolution transforming cultures and communities in the age of instant access. Cambridge, MA: Basic Books.

Recommended reading

Thomas, D. & Seely Brown, J. (2011). A new culture of learning: cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Accessed January 26, 2013 from website:

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 26, 2013 9:31 pm

    Good morning Sam.
    Thanks for sharing your process for managing your “carnival”. As I feel I’m a newbie to the ed tech platform it helps to read about how others navigate (and view) the ocean of knowledge being shared.

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