Teacher, Speaker, Coder, Maker
I am a teacher, learner, thinker, author, problem solver and question asker. I speak professionally on the topics of 21st century education, assessment and evaluation and have given three TEDx talks on education reform.
I have had a life-long fascination with innovative people and strive to be one myself. In high school I began writing software for local businesses and was featured in the media as someone to watch. My research in coding and computational thinking inspired colleagues to nominate me for the Prime Minister's Award For Teaching Excellence.
Shameless plug: I won.
Certificate of Achievement Recipient
I have worked with ministries, union teams, district teams, school teams, corporate teams and individuals by providing thought leadership around new pedagogies and best practices. My passions are rooted in the belief that all students can reach their potential if given a fair chance, and that technology can be the vehicle to uncover human potential.
I have given keynotes nationally and internationally and don't much care for worksheets. I am passionate about inspiring people to create rich, curious seeking individuals in classrooms built on a community of trust, risk-taking and a freedom to fail. I believe "maker" is more of a culture than a space and love watching leaders, teachers and students engaged in hands on, kinaesthetic activities.
Sometimes I like to build web tools, apps and widgets to further progress education or just to share my own learning. Feel free to explore these examples and share them further:
University of Windsor
University of Windsor
I have delivered keynotes, panel discussions, workshops, webinars and professional development courses nationally and internationally. I speak from the heart, ask difficult questions and strive to inspire others with stories of student and teacher success.
Spreading ideas, the reason behind TED and TEDx, lends itself to being a connected educator. Educators living in isolation today have chosen to do so. I am constantly inspired by teachers and leaders at every event I attend. The passion, creativity and innovation I have experienced only allow me to share ideas further. I feel very fortunate to get to travel, speak, listen and learn.
TEDxKitchenerED - Hacking The Classroom: In this passionate talk, I make a case for the importance of exposing youth to the principles of coding and computational thinking to prepare them for a rapidly changing future. Watch it!
TEDxChathamKent - Beyond Rote Learning: We used to attend school because that is where the knowledge was. Rote learning is still relevant, but it is more important for today's students to apply knowledge in a deeper way. Watch it!
TEDxChathamKent - Education Reform: It’s time to rethink best practices. Knowledge is readily available and we must teach and model an inquiry approach to learning. Not just in the classroom, but in industry. We must act as curators – people who collect, organize and share content with one another to continue to further progress. We must teach students to decipher and filter what is important. We must teach adults to do the same. Watch it!
I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I never thought I was any good at it but must admit I significantly improve the more I do it. I suppose that is a biased opinion.
I have to laugh when I think back to grade two. This was the year I received my first (but not last!) C letter grade. Boy how the world has changed. In those days we weren't writing paragraphs or novels. My C letter grade was a direct result of not being able to script the alphabet. The repetitive nature of scripting characters, not even sentences, wasn't something I was fond of or very good at. I certainly wasn't terrible, just couldn't master specific letters.
Today, many argue that handwriting is dead. I'll leave my own opinion for you to infer. Anyway, the notion of sharing ideas through text remains and has gotten much simpler. Here are some of my favourite posts. If you wish to see my entire blog archive, click here.
I am fascinated by the notion of capturing real time moments. We live in a world of endless archive and immediate access. Sometimes I vlog, sometimes I speak and sometimes I make tutorial videos. Capturing learning on camera is a thing of beauty. Imagine small children discovering new ideas for the first time and being able to share that with friends and family across the globe.
I am a firm believer in portfolios as criteria for assessment and evaluation. Documentation is changing the rules and, as educators, we should be documenting our learning as well as our student's learning. Here are a few highlights from my own journey.
You may wish to also check out my YouTube channel.