Wednesday, July 17, 2013

At the Fork on the Trail-Cyber PD #3

for hosting the collaborative learning opportunity.
At the Fork on the Trail
Cyber PD #3


As I finished reading the last two chapters (5&6) of Who Owns the Learning?, I realized that  I've come to the end of the book with a choice of two trails on which to continue. I can head down the safe trail, the sure trail, the one that I've been following for a long time! Or I can follow the new trail. The trail that will not yet be marked, muddy and somewhat unsteady but full of learning adventures and students who are creating, collaborating and communicating with the world. This trail I'm envisioning has more teamwork, choice and opportunities for creating which occur more frequently while using digital tools to make it happen...

After reading Chapter 5 and 6, there is no doubt that the roles of global communicator and collaborator are necessary to foster the "sharing" with others to make the work purposeful and meaningful in the world. In the book, the examples shared from Garth Holman's and Mike Pennington's classes provided evidence that kids owning their learning makes a difference! Learning about teaching students empathy and understanding of other views by doing more detailed command searches for different points of view was also valuable. Thanks to Alan November for sharing how to set the searches to get a different points of view about topics being researched.
One of the concepts that I really keyed in on was the idea of the "computer side chats" that Garth and Mike shared from their work together.  I connected with both of them via Twitter to let them know.  I heard back from Mike with this tweet:
We also shared these tweets:
These tweets lead me to consider other times when collaboration grew because of having a buddy to check-in with (Instructional Rounds, Literacy Coaching, Ready Schools) and see how things were going.  I think checking in with a buddy raised the level of accountability and also support for what was to be accomplished.   So how could we as a community of learners (Cyber PD)  support each other so that this learning (so new for many of us) continues to grow?

Additionally, over the course of reading these chapters, some other collaborating took place. I connected with Julie Balen and she used popcorn maker to add a video scribe I made to her creation...totally fun!  We are also hoping to get the Coggle I started up and running-another way to collaborate on a web via the internet.  Also, I connected with Lesa Haney on her S'more.  I love the idea of how it can be linked and shared as well.  Finally, connecting with everyone on Pinterest for our CyberPD board started by Cathy Mere was fun as well!  As I mull over all of the fun ways collaboration happened, I am thinking about what this would look like for the students...

Think, think, think...I'm still pondering the solid plans that will need to be in place for the learners traveling on this path...I'm still unsure as to how this looks in the primary grades, but I know I will get there-the GPS is loaded with the destination. I just need to enter a few more details and have some more support in place.  Then, I will hit "start"!
What do your plans look like? Which trail will you head for?  How will you seek support to grow your learning?


  1. I'm glad I came to your post after Jill's. I read all the tools you've tried and all the plans you have and I must stop, breathe, and remind myself that I can only do what I can do...not what someone else can do!

    Sounds like you'll have a great year on this "road less traveled" that you've chosen!! Go for it!!

  2. Hey Amy,

    Here are some connections that you may be interested in:

    The Global Read Aloud is a super event to kick off the year (Sept 30 to Nov 7)

    Another option to explore is Kinderpals, which brings K and grade 1 classes together. Tasha Cowdy is a great source at Yokohama International School (; so is Jason Graham at Bandung International School (; and two Canadian teachers Karen Lireman ( Michelle Hiebert (

    Jason does really cool things with his grade one's re; global learning.

    Will try Coggle this weekend, I hope. When I do I will Tweet out to you. Thanks for collaborating!

  3. Amy,
    You have really lifted the discussion of this book in our learning community. The way you have taken a collaborative approach to all the tools has been helpful. We have had Internet issues during the event, but I look forward to giving them a try.

    Your trail analogy was perfect. It sort of gives the freedom to wander, to try things out, to slow at times and to move on when necessary.

    Thanks for all you have shared. I think you have illustrated the true meaning of this book through your actions across this event.


  4. Amy, I just learned so much from your post, took notes as I read, and then your video scribe was just great. Can't wait to try it out. My mind is whirling again, and just like others, start with a few things at a time, then see where that 'path' leads to greater understanding on students' parts too. Thanks very much!

  5. Amy,

    I love how you, Julie and Lesa have jumped in and explored new tools and ways of sharing what you are learning. You are giving the rest of us a great trail to follow. I can't wait to see how things go for you and your class this year.


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