Tag Archives: learning

recommendation engines

i read a great article in time (here) this past weekend that focused on how recommendation engines function.  i would have MUCH preferred to be reading it on the iPad, however TIME hasn’t gotten their act together in pricing that sucker out, so for now i am sticking with the print version…i digress.  i never thought about first, how many places give me recommendations, and second, how those work.  i know facebook gives them to me, that is just based on simple commonalities, likewise with amazon.  if a bought a book by that author, then i might like other books by that author or something else in the genre.  rarely will i get a recommendation that is 180 degree different that the book that i ordered.  although, as far as amazon goes, i have thrown a monkey wrench in the whole deal because i order books on behalf of myself, my wife and my son who all have radically different reading tastes.  i don’t use netflix, so that part of the article was interesting but i couldn’t make connections to the life that i lead.  pandora radio has been a fascination because i use it and the music genome project is amazing, each song could be broken down to 100’s of attributes.  read the linked article for more about that gig.

i was thinking about how we could use a recommendation in professional learning.  if you took this course, you might like this course as well.  what attributes could our professional learning experiences be broken down in to?  we often simply focus on topic or grade level, but perhaps there are other threads that run though our trainings that might be of interest in our continued work.  instead of the music genome project, we need the professonal learning genome project.  would we like what we saw?  would some unsettling conversations arise out of what we are offering and what teachers are taking?

Leave a comment

Posted by on June 1, 2010 in cube life


Tags: , , ,

professional learning toolbox

i was directed to a great blog that outlines 25 tools that make up a professional learning toolbox.   i was surprised (really) at how well i had the tools covered.  follow the link and look for yourself; view the slideshare that is posted and see if your toolbox is in order.  if there was a score to be kept, i had 23 of the 25 tools covered.  they use broad areas for most of them, however some delve into the more niche tools for was we do as professional learning folk.  take a quick swim through the slideshare and see how you stack up.

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 15, 2009 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , ,

what are you learning to do?

on my run a few days ago i was thinking about learning to do something new, i was thinking about something specific, but i’ll leave that for another time.  what my thought then branched out to, as i have a tendency of doing, was to imagine what the answer would be if i asked my colleagues what they were learning to do?  i started to think about specific answers that people might give.  i wondered if they would choose something that would surprise us (my vision has us sitting in a circle…don’t ask) and catch us off guard or if that answers would be soft, as in something they really weren’t passionate about but made the decision to learn because their job required it or they felt they had to.  so i guess learning can be looked at in two categories – learning we want to do and learning we have to do.  i think we all know where most students would say their learning falls and likewise what most teachers that we work with would say.  either way, i think that a person who is going to engage a group in learning needs to be in the midst of learning themselves (hopefully not the same content though).  its easy to forget the struggle that people go through as they learn.

1 Comment

Posted by on July 24, 2009 in Uncategorized



no snake oil here

its no easy task to craft the perfect argument and i feel like that might be what i’m gearing up for on june10th.  like everyone in my group, technology seems to be consuming us recently, but it’s not in the way you might guess.  in the face of so many reasons to not embrace the ease and innovation that technological tools can bring us,  i am finding it difficult to gear up for all the “yes, but” moments that our technology mini conference may bring.  on the one hand, why would someone sign up for a 2 day technology focused professional learning event just to show up and talk about why these things cannot be done but stranger things have been known to happen.  i’m trying to prep myself by running through all the possible barriers that might be brought to light but in this case the best defense may be a good offense.  in thinking about how we roll out these tools and the messages we send early, and often, we might be able to head some of this off at the pass.  doesn’t it stand to reason that if we can highlight the invaluable aspects of these tools and really build the desire to make them a part of the classroom then our job may be done?  that is why i believe that so much hinges on the “wow” factor.  what is going to be done in our breakout sessions in the first ten minutes (brain rules anyone?) that is going to give you not only the right to be heard but also hook the audience and allow them to see the concrete possibilities for their classrooms and also the limit possibilities that exist when these tools are used appropriately?  the countdown is officially on, and one way or another my questions are going to be answered in a short 21 days.  i have no magic answers, or special catch phrases that are guaranteed to work and win the crowds over, we’re just going to have to bank on their vision and ability to see what can be done.

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 25, 2009 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , ,