Teachers Teaching Teachers @UOttawaEdu

The final week of the teacher education program is upon us at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Education — and it is punctuated by a two-day series of professional learning seminars for teacher education candidates. I’ll be presenting to a group of students today on online inquiry. My presentation brings together some of my current thinking and understanding on this issue. The presentation starts by framing the importance of online inquiry for today’s learners. It provides a few facts to frame our thinking about the complexities of the digital literacies landscapes our learners must navigate. It offers some research on the strategies that expert online readers and researchers use as they construct an integrated understanding of a topic using multiple information sources. It provides some information on teaching methods that have been shown to support, at least in part, the development of fundamental online inquiry strategies.

Most importantly, I hope the session prompts students to generate their questions about digital literacies, and gets them thinking critically about how to support digital literacies learning through their own teaching practices.

Here is the link to the presentation: http://bit.ly/onlineinquiry

Curating a collection of professional conversations for Pre-service Teachers

I am privileged to teach pre-service teachers in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa.

This semester, I’ve been teaching a course focused on fundamental concepts, frameworks and practices for unit and lesson design. It’s called PED 3141 (we use #PED3141 to share resources on Twitter). Because I am new to UOttawa and to this course, I wasn’t sure how things were going to go. It quickly became obvious to me that my pre-service teachers, in the first months of their professional program, would benefit from access to a range of perspectives on how to design learning experiences for diverse learners from people who do this work every day — teachers. I have therefore started what I hope will grow into a vibrant and incredibly useful collection of short conversations with practicing teachers. The conversations will focus on particular topics or issues that new teachers are learning to think about (and that experienced teachers continue to think about!)

I recorded the first two conversations this month. They both focus on differentiation of instruction to meet all students’ needs in the complex ecologies of our classrooms.

The first one is with Angela F, an Ontario Certified Teacher working in a school board west of Toronto.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nv_6m8HqgDs]

The second one is with Jennifer A.. She is a Certified Teacher and Professional Coach with expertise in special education. She works in a school district in the greater Los Angeles region of California.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gO1JXMzxDME]

Thank you Angela and Jennifer for your insights and for sharing your knowledge with pre-service colleagues.