Saturday, January 15, 2011


I was sitting in a PD session with Bernajean Porter on Fri. and was thinking about how fortunate I am to have been a part of this professional learning. She has taught us about essential questions (rigor, heat, authenticity, how to cultivate knowledge producers, essential questions, higher order thinking transformative use of technology and much more) and digital products/multi-media (brainstorming, storyboarding, voice-overs, the writing process, the seven steps for producing digital products and much more).

She has a blog which contains much of what one needs to know to produce great digital products. I am so happy to have a better framework for digital products in my room and can hardly wait to share it with my students and colleagues. I am so proud of our board, the Saskatoon Board of Education, for having spent the time and money on such a worthy project. It is an honor to be a pilot school with so many other skilled teachers from other schools. I am looking forward to the next step in the process.

It is an exciting time to be a teacher. There is so much to learn about new technology and the power it has to transform the classroom. If I may use Joe Bower's short hand, Bernajean is all about:

good pedagogy + effective technology = good teaching

There are definitely times when I feel uncomfortable with access to such great information, tools and resources. I remember when I started my journey to transform my classroom. I had read enough, taught enough, talked enough. I had come to a time in my career when I knew I couldn't teach the same way again. I had to transform my class into the 21st century. I am making great progress and proud of what I have accomplished. There are reasons for me to be uncomfortable. Substantive change is not always easy and not always smooth. I feel uncomfortable when:
  1. My great ideas don't always result in great classroom practice.
  2. Extensive reading and networking reveal to me that others seem to be farther long than me.
  3. I write about change, I claim to know something about it, yet I am not there yet in my own classroom.
  4. I feel like no matter how hard I work I am not keeping up rapid advances in technology. There are so many tools that I am unaware of or have never used.
Primarily, I am pumped about the possibilities for deep learning in all of our classrooms. Learning that is beyond what we ever imagined possible. Being uncomfortable is a small price to pay. I know too much to stay the same.


  1. I agree that we are fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience that type of professional development. As many of our conversations have gone...where do we go now? I am excited but weary about whether I'm navigating correctly. Thanks to you and you're wise words (though I know you will deflect this praise) for helping me utilize my new-found knowledge in effective ways! Cheers!

  2. Miss G

    always a pleasure to hear from you, I consider you a mentor of mine and would love to be working on this stuff with you for quite some time, I have a lot to learn from you. I agree with you I am not sure where we go from here, better teaching? More sleepless nights? It's exciting to think that we might have a part in defining that direction!