Monday, March 27, 2017

Closing the Rings

What is it about this little Activity Tracker on my Apple watch that has me obsessed? This question continues to pop into my mind nearly every time I check my wrist, which admittedly is quite a bit. Did it track my walk down the hallway to the restroom? Why is it telling me I need to stand when I am standing? Yes! I hit my "Move" goal before the end of the work day! Awesome! It counted my brisk walk to the printer as exercise! You get the point! And, please tell me that I'm not alone in this obsession! :)
Over the last week or so I have decided that immediate feedback on the progress towards reaching my goal is the culprit of my obsession. Everyday, the goal is to close each of the three rings (Move, Exercise, and Stand). In one glance, I can tell whether I'm "active" enough according to my Activity Tracker and how close I am to reaching my goal. And as I reflect on my obsession with "closing the rings," I started thinking about how this could be applied in education and how feedback is predominantly given. How often do students turn in an assignment only to wait days or even weeks before they get feedback on whether or not they mastered their goal? Who gives the feedback in the classroom? Does it always have to be the teacher? How long do teachers wait to hear feedback after an administrator has been in their classroom? Is there a way to give instant feedback to teachers or students to keep them moving towards their goal? 
If closing the rings keeps me motivated daily, how can feedback be used to propel the learning in our classrooms and schools? (I'm going to let that settle in your mind for a bit. Check back for a future post about ways to give feedback. Of course, if you have a favorite way to give instant feedback, please share in the comments section.)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Back in the Saddle!

I have wanted to get back to blogging for quite some time, but haven't taken the time to do so. In fact, I just recently finished reading Hacking Leadership. While reading, I wrote some reflections but for some reason used paper and pen. (Those who know me are probably picking themselves up off the floor after reading the "paper and pen" part of that last sentence!) But this week is the week to get back in the saddle, the blogging saddle!

I am participating in the Innovator's Mindset Massive Online Open Course, or #IMMOOC, and reading The Innovator's Mindset by George Couros. Within the first three days of #IMMOOC, I have already been inspired by the facilitators in this YouTube Live event, as well as all of the educators sharing their thoughts to the hashtag on Twitter and Facebook. One of my favorite takeaways from the YouTube chat was from author, AJ Juliani. He stressed the importance of the learning process when innovating, rather than the final, polished product. Perhaps this is why I haven't blogged in a while ... too focused on the polished post rather than getting my thoughts and ideas down to share them with others. Yikes! Because I was so focused on a polished product (i.e. blog post), I haven't shared any ideas or reflections, much less inspirations in quite some time. Thus, I've become a hoarder of information. Am I benefiting myself or anyone else by hoarding instead of sharing? Isn't the reflection piece a key component to truly synthesizing what I've learned?! I know this, yet I haven't been practicing this and modeling this for others. Well, the "buck" (cheesy horse pun intended!) stops here! I'm back in the saddle and am committing to blogging at least once a month! After all, we learn from those who share and I want to be a contributor to my PLN, not just a consumer. (George Couros eloquently reiterates the importance of sharing over on his blog. You can read it here.)