Fifty Days of Sketching

Fifty Days of Sketching with #Sketch50 from

Follow my own “growth mindset” as I accept a sketching challenge to improve my art and my message.

Thank you to all Sketch50 creators and participants for learning with me. By sharing our work, we learned from each other.

Thank you authors for the awesome prompts and badges.

Had such fun learning and creating– while learning more each day. From basic shapes to lettering and stick people, improving these skills gives me more confidence to do more. We even were encouraged to try animation. I used both DoInk and Sketchbook Motion.

Want to try: Just join in now at and start your challenge today!

My Flickr Sketch50 Album:

Agency #immooc


What is best for the learner?

Whether student or teacher, what is best for each as learner is that which builds the capacity to learn and invent on their own with the freedom to act to forge their futures and make the world better because of it. We need to build the capacity of knowledge to empower learners with the confidence that they can invent their world.

To be truly empowered, people need both ownership and autonomy.

George Couros, Innovator’s Mindset

How do we frame our work together as educators and with students, all learners, so that we own what we do, with autonomy in our journeys? How do we grow agency in our teachers and students?


Build Trust and Relationships

First step: slide into the path of our students or another teacher to understand each other, to know where we’re from. Build time to listen. Listen. Trust in their choices. Creating an environment of trust warms the willingness to engage; it empowers people with their own agency to make a difference. It’s ripples radiate throughout the community: trust is the sunshine that warms the soul. It builds confidence to risk, to know failure will not be met in a negative way, but as a process to learn, and so builds resilience.

As leaders in education, our job is not to control those whom we serve but to unleash their talent.

George Couros, Innovator’s Mindset

Teachers are prepared with professional knowledge; trust them to do so.

Students are prepared with curiosity; trust them to use it.

Disrupt the Routine

Next step: Disrupt the usual. Share leadership: gather solutions and insights from staff, or as teachers, from students. Expect discord in the dialogue:

Innovation often comes from conflict and disagreement, not in an adversarial way but in a way that promotes divergent thinking…to actually create a better idea– perhaps one that merges multiple, shared ideas.

George Couros, Innovator’s Mindset

Step Out of The Way

Third step: Once the idea that voices are not only heard, but also become a contribution to solutions, then the willingness to participate actively increases. Whether in improving school programs as teachers or developing pathways to learning projects as students, once the doing has been their choice with their voice, the foundation of agency grows.

Teachers own and offer their ideas, collaborating with others to improve student learning. Students own their learning, thinking as authors, mathematicians, historians, scientists, musicians, artists, engineers, leaders, etc. Yes, both teachers and students become leaders: organizers, designers, collaborators, being flexible and team players. They see themselves as creators rather than consumers, contributors rather than recipients.

Celebrate the Culture

Fourth Step: Reflect on the growth. Review for improvement. Once the community of learners, educators and students, moves towards the mindset that each is a vital participant, leading or following as needed, then step back and reflect on what worked and why. Share successes. Soon what didn’t work will come forward. Design next steps from both. And begin the transparency of reflective processes to continue the development of a culture of learning and a culture of innovation. That might look like blogs or portfolios, but sharing is key to continued reflective practice.

Share Innovation

Finally, identify how the journey has created new and better solutions and processes for the school or classroom. Celebrate the innovative ideas, successful or needing revision: each risk comes from the willingness of everyone to build a better community within the school and without. Celebrate and share in social media so others can learn, the community is informed, and progress is curated. The feedback locally and globally will add ideas and further innovation.

Continue the Journey


George Couros suggests  the above five steps to continue the foundation for an innovative culture.  What would that look like?
Lay the Foundation.jpg

An innovative culture builds agency, whereby its participants feel trusted, are confident to voice ideas, co-create solutions, own the process, and act in collaboration with other participants to make the community better. Educators and students alike learn and grow w together in such a culture.

As we discussed progress in developing the foundation for innovation in our Voxer group, a Google Slices for crowdsourcing suggestions and experiences for  innovative professional development or meetings awaits your participation so we all can share in an open way to bring an innovative culture to our own situations with the input of all participants.  Please enjoy, use, and add your own:

I want to be better

I want to be better. I know my colleagues do too. We’ve sat around dinner tables together sharing ideas and planning ways to improve our teaching through our many years together.

I want to be better. I saw this tweet from Will Chamberlain and thought it was so important, I retweeted it and took a snapshot of it.

I want to be better. So I spend time reading, searching, discussing, learning, taking webinars, joining groups, and trying new technologies that just might ignite that spark of personal learning for them.  Because that’s where we’re headed: personalized or personal learning.

My summer time on my own is my personal learning, but it is really for my family, my classroom, my students, and my peers. It’s because I want to be better.

I need to be better. I need to be ready.

Flickr CC by Henriksent  Flickr CC By humboldthead Flickr CC By haikugirloz
What have I been learning?  In between grandkids, tweeting, and walking the dog, here are a few of my summer learning projects:
  • I learned how to create ePubs for iPads. I can create lessons for students, or teach students to create ePubs for each other or younger students.
  • I joined Digital Is to learn more about Digital Writing for my reading and writing classes.
  • I joined and participate in P2PU in the Digital Literacy group, again to learn more about and connect with digital educators.  P2PU are sponsoring a presentation created by myself and my “connected educator colleague” Denise Krebs called Extend the Conversation. Denise and I have only met through blogging, tweeting, and Google Plus hangouts, yet we have also collaborated with each other and our students, and are planning for this presentation.
  • I joined and am presenting for Connected Educator Month, which also has an active group in P2PU
  •  I am taking a PBLU class recommended to me by my colleague Tracy Watanbe so I can better implement our Tech Plan with Problem/Project based learning. I’m excited about the project I’m working on because it relates to Angela Maiers #choose2matter project, which I also joined.

I want to be better. I need to be ready, and I #choose2matter.

I know my colleagues have been learning and thinking and resting too. I hope they share their learning with others. And just in case some of you need a quick refresher of what’s happening at Connected Educator Month, here are a few places you can go, courtesy of my  P2PU Connected Educator Group.  Which one will you attend?

Common Core


Web Resources

And here’s a Classroom 20 exclusive: LiveBinder of Free Professional Development

I want to be better; I need to be ready. How about you? What’s  has your personalized learning looked like this summer?

Please remember this is a school-related site. Model digital citizenship. Thank you.