Okay. So I have now been to two OTRK12 sessions in a row. We will not mention the adventure that getting home was yesterday, but, in the year between last year’s and this year’s, I have increased my Twitter use dramatically, begun blogging again (I used to have a photo blog, check it out if you want: www.jaremy.blogspot.com,) closed my Facebook account (no longer needed to know colour of socks people were wearing, and nor did I believe if I forwarded a prayer, some poor soul may be cured of cancer. Sorry, call me helplessly lost soul of the Enlightenment) and learned a lot more about educational technology. Also I have apparently unlearned lessons long ago acquired in regards to the shame and pitfalls of run on sentences.
So, now the question is what is next? Where do we go from here? I have personally taught now three successful Elearning courses using the LMS and am currently running a coop course through blended learning. I have retweeted about 200 links and ideas that I have not had time to go back and investigate. I have chatted with many teachers and educational technology leaders (thanks to @wallwinS for her work in giving me ideas with coop!) and have learned a lot. However, I am not in the classroom, and this is where all this stuff needs to be, right?
So, what next, I say? I remember this feeling last year after OTRK12. I remember as the realities of administration eroded the minutes I had at my disposal, I remember thinking in June: “wow, what did I do with what I had?”. Sadly, the answer was: “not enough”. So, as I was drifting to sleep in a motel in Wawa, Ontario (a long story), I was brought back to a conversation I had with our ADSB team as we traveled to Billy Bishop and were stuck in the Lakeshore traffic. We were all talking about what next, and our thoughts could easily be summed up in one sentence: Let’s start somewhere. Just start something. Begin now, begin somewhere. Much like the Leafs have to start tonight with the first shift, and then move on to the second shift, etc, what is my first shift going to be?
Well, I have decided. What all of this needs is a unifying force, a way to get everyone started somewhere, and that central pillar, that must anchor the tech movement of teachers in Hornepayne, Ontario can be the LMS system we all have access to. Does not mean everyone has the same starting point, end point or journeys on their way, but, it means we are all drinking the same kool-aid and using the same highway.
So, I am resolved. we are all going to start looking at the LMS as a tool that everyone can use for something. It might mean that a teacher in 4-5-6 has his grade 6 kids going through science and technology material while he teaches a lesson to grades 4-5. It might mean that an ENG1D teacher uses the LMS as her class website, and does nothing more than post news there. It could mean that an ENG4C teacher uses it as his entire entry point for all kids and parents. It could mean many things. However, because it is one system, with one expert out there (@bgrasley…:D) and perhaps most importantly, one system for kids, that is where we are going. Not sure where we will end up. The dreamer in me sees many possibilities. The realist in me has already tempered my dreams. I am hoping we land somewhere in between for now.
So, ideas and thoughts on where I want to go. Now to get the rest of the people and animals on the Ark. Haven’t really thought that one out yet! Stay tuned.