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Showing posts from March, 2017

Fife - The Grand Tour Day 1 Introduction

So my tour started in Edinburgh and the Hilton Grosvenor was kind enough to host me.  It was in a great old building with long narrow hallways with low ceilings -- the signs were helpful but I still managed to hit my head several times.  However, once you opened your room's door, the space opened up, the room was large and modern and the ceiling was wonderfully high.  But "Mind Your Head" became a useful motto for the entire trip -- for reasons not always associated with concussions.

My first visit was to Queen Anne High School, in Fife, about 30 minutes outside of Edinburgh, on the other side of the River (pay attention, that will be important later).  They are building an absolutely beautiful bridge to aid in traffic - it should open in May. I was fortunately delivered there by Ian Stuart (@IanStuart66) who had been an educator and is now working as a consultant with notosh, helping schools think differently. He had graciously spent time arranging the visit and was kind…

Observations

I had the opportunity to visit a school just outside of Edinburgh yesterday. While my overall intent was to look at the use of OneNote and Office365, what resonated with me so strongly was the fluidity with which both educators approached their classes.  I admit, I was taking notes furiously.  So much so that I often felt rude because I wanted to make sure I captured both what they said but also what they did and how they did it.
It reminded me of once reading how they built the first bread machines.  Random thought, I know.  The engineer in charge of making a machine that replicated a human baker had, of course, interviewed bakers to get an idea of how they manipulated and molded the dough.  While the bakers had tried to describe in words what they did it was only by watching them intensely and for a long time that they noticed that the bakers hadn't adequately described the "twisty-stretch" that was one of the most important manoeuvres in bread production.
And that was…

The #OneNote Grand Tour - Evolving Questions

So while my hometown undergoes a rare March Break blizzard, I'm enjoying 13C and sun in beautiful Edinburgh. It's quite enjoyable to be relaxing in a coffee shop watching the Scottish go about their daily tasks while I get caught up on emails, blogs, tweets and the like.  (Don't worry, I was a tourist yesterday).
Today I start my school visits and so before I head out, I thought I'd best outline my curiosity.

When we laid out the initial structure of the OneNote, there's no question it was pushing on continuous feedback -- we wanted a way of taking advantage of digital ink, audio and video to support student learning both while in the classroom space but especially when the students are not physically present.  We are a very active school with extracurriculars (sports, service, international travel) that it was important to be able to engage students in the formative cycle even if they couldn't be present in class.  So, one of my questions will be "How has…

The #OneNote Grand Tour - Part 0

In the summer of 2012, I started a new position at Appleby College.  Moving from math teacher to "indeterminate job title"1 meant that for the first time in 20 years, I would not be in the classroom.  The goal of the school was to make technology use meaningful at the School by working directly with the folks in IT, while retaining the link to the teaching faculty.  And the first result of that project was our OneNote Binder which engendered what would become Microsoft's OneNote ClassNotebook.
I'll never forget sketching out on the whiteboard the structure that Jason Llorin, our programmer, would bring to life in my OneNote.

Fast forward to the spring of 2016.  Our School, through the generosity of our parent community, has a travel grant that teachers can apply to for support in doing their own independent research.  And so I submitted one to look at how our initial work with OneNote has travelled around the world.  We want to see how others use it in different coun…