Below is my guest blog post for Iowa Communities of Practice and Innovation. IACoPi is leading the way for creating online/face-to-face blended courses which will be housed in a state repository for all districts to access. It is exciting work and MNW has three teachers involved in the project. Thanks to Kayla Gaskill, Marcey Gerke, and Andy Jacobsen for their dedication and hard work. For more information, visit the IACoPi blog.
As I think the importance of the Iowa Communities of Practice and Innovation work and what it means for school communities, teachers, and students, I think about an article written by
Bernie Trilling and Charles Fadel entitled, “I Just Want My Kid to be Happy…and Successful.” The authors express what we, and particular parents, all want for our students. They say we want all kids to be, “Happy, motivated, college-bound, work-ready and prepped for success…”
So, what does this mean? My connections with my own work and learning are a simple example. My definition of work has changed. Because of technology, I can now conduct my work from anywhere and it is more driven by results rather than driven by time and place. But more importantly, the way I learn has changed dramatically. My learning has changed from attending meetings and trainings, reading books and articles written by a handful of tried and true experts in the field of education, to attending webinars, reading blogs, websites and comments of experts and practitioners from all over the world. Some are educators, some are not. While I still value my face-to-face meetings with colleagues, my learning has expanded to include a greater community, and I depend on this new personal learning network as I learn, share, and do my job. My thinking has been challenged in ways that I never thought possible. I have become much more of an independent learner which in turn has motivated me to stretch and learn more. As I think of the IACoPi work, and the blended learning courses the teams are creating, I imagine students experiencing similar changes as we move away from the traditional classroom, instruction and learning. How exciting!
The IACoPi teams are truly pioneers in the field of online learning. I want to thank Nancy Movall, the IACoPi leaders, and Iowa teachers who are creating the blended courses. Together you are reshaping what it means to teach and learn in Iowa.