#IMMOOC: Part III - Unleashing Talent

 Featuring Kara Welty

Kara Welty describes herself as "an educator, mentor teacher, technology integrationist, writer, and speaker. I believe in energetic, transformational, and innovative learning that breaks boundaries for kids."  (link)
Her energy, passion, and enthusiasm shines through as she shared her strategies as she began a new journey, on a new area, with a number of new leaders. Check out Kara's reflections here.

Kara's Strategies:

  • Using 'The Innovator's Mindset' and Voxer - asked questions, relationships, who we are, our beliefs, how we transform together.
  • Asking questions - feedback - what would be helpful? goals? role models. What about this? Collaborative, organic, developing systems. It becomes a conversation. 
  • TRUST is everything - solid foundation


Strengths Based Leadership

  • lead from your strengths
  • Have you looked at your strengths - with team - work with others and understand (Gallup StrengthsFinder)

Powerful Learning first, Technology Second

Technology is just a tool
Technology can be used to:

  • enhance deep learning
  • transform
  • offer opportunities
  • personalise
  • accelerate learning
  • be inclusive
We MUST consider what the purpose is, and how might we enhance the learning experience through the use of technology.

Professional Learning & Development design
Kara's thoughts:

1. Prior PLD - who have I in the room? Learner? not one size fits all
2. How might we go global?
3. Balance between organic / educamp / structured too
4. Empower Teachers to lead - to lean in
5. Connect with other experts
6. Have FUN
7. Adapt/adjust on the fly!

Universal Design for Learning

Adding to this, I use a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework, developed by Chrissie Butler, CORE Education. This enables me to ensure I am catering to the edges, not just down the middle. This has transformed my teaching, leading and learning - as I truly feel now I am equipped with a framework, and a way of being which empowers me to be inclusive. It guides me to consider my audience, the purpose, potential barriers, and what we can put in place in advance (universal supports) which will ultimately benefit everyone.
Further links:

  • UDL in the Cloud (a must read/purchase)  - a shout out to Katie Novak and her Dad, Tom Thibodeau. #ProfReading. 
  •  CAST_UDL, and additional CORE Education links can be found here. 
Designing inclusive learning environments

Rapid Fire - final thoughts from #IMMOOC participants

  • Innovation = collaborative learning
  • Purpose of Learning?
  • Cooperative learning
  • Reflection - metacognitive
  • Focusing on the learners - what do you want them to know and do? Learning design will be for them.

Wero / Challenge:

Strengths-Based Approaches

"great leaders practice balancing trust and autonomy while providing strong mentorship" (Couros, 2015, p. 127)

  • How might we create the conditions for creating an innovator's mindset culture? 
  • What does this look like? Sound like?
  • How might we create opportunities to prototype? Explore? Play? Reflect? Share? 
  • Are we ensuring that we are modelling this as leaders?
  • How do we draw on the strengths of others - we are ALL learners and can all be leaders of change.

Culturally Responsive 

George asked what's missing?

One of the things that I am wondering is identity?
 - can your learners see themselves in the classroom? School? Learning Design? 
- how are you engaging whānau / community / iwi?
At CORE Education's recent ULearn16, Janelle Riki- Waaka's presentation was well received, and spot on! You can read the blogpost written by Nichole Gully here

Engaging Māori students and whānau in future focused education

Less is More

Finally, one of my mantra's - something I feel so strongly about. In teaching, leading, and learning there seems to be a huge pressure to cover EVERYTHING. What about if we consider:

  • What do our learners need for their future - the knowledge, dispositions, and skills required?
  • How might we strive for: 

Less, Better!
(note the comma!)