Posted by: lindapemik | September 9, 2011

Fall: the Season for Learning

Fall is here and my thoughts turn to going back to school…how traditional is that in this world of asynchronous, open online learning?

I have enrolled in Powerful Learning Practices free Web 2.0 course, a pre-game warm up.  Our second lesson, What is Web 2.0 and why does it matter,  asked us to review a number of videos, blogs and discussions about the web and its potential for changing the way we teach and learn.  I found myself still having an inner debate:

Do schools in Nunavut have an obligation to teach students to be knowledgeable digital learners?

With pros and cons still filling my head my position on this debate is YES.  Educators everywhere will do their students a great disservice if we do not prepare our students to be full participants in a society which is increasingly dependent on the Web.  That does not mean we ignore the “old” literacies, but that we recognize and teach the new literacies required to be successful in the 21st century as well.

Bottom line:  As a race, humans survive and thrive through adaptation.  Inuit are masters of adaptation and survival.  Systems, including education institutions also need to continually adapt.  Adaption to the exploding Web 2.0 world and learning to use new tools is a logical step forward for all people.  Those people and institutions who don’t adapt will be left behind.

So here I am learning to adapt…out in the open so to speak.  I am more knowledgeable about Web 2.0 now than I was last year at this time when I started this blog but still feeling overwhelmed by the numbers of apps and tools available.  I could play on the Web all day and all night and still not develop the ability to use most of the available tools effectively.  The time has come for me to focus my attention, set some specific learning goals for this year and practice using selected apps until I reach a comfort level with them.

Goal # 1:

Continue to engage in stimulating dialog about digital learning with fellow educators by

Goal # 2:

Contribute to the growing professional online community at Nunavut Arctic College by:

A connected coach uses techniques like appreciative inquiry, essential questions, and other cognitive coaching and deep thinking methods to help individuals and teams self-actualize in online spaces. Connected coaches are the social artists that help people think deeply about the learning that is taking place in the shared online environment.

Goal # 3

Learn to use more Web 2.0 tools by:

  • Experimenting with one new ( to me)  Web 2.0 tool every time I post to Learning Out in the Open

Tool for today:

Pics4Learning is a copyright-friendly image library for teachers and students. The Pics4Learning collection consists of thousands of images that have been donated by students, teachers, and amateur photographers. Unlike many Internet sites, permission has been granted for teachers and students to use all of the images donated to the Pics4Learning collection.

Come along and learn with me.  I guarantee that you will be challenged and might even have fun.

Higher Learning

Feel free to share your professional learning goals with us by leaving a comment below. (Click on the comments tag above the post).

Go on inspire us!



  1. Dear Linda,

    Thank you for this thoughtful post.

    I would be pleased to do what I can to support my teaching colleagues in Nunavut on their 21st Century learning journey.

    From a fellow traveler.


    Bill Belsey

  2. Hello Linda,
    Glad to see another northern teacher in Change 11. I agree wholeheartedly with your thoughts on adaptation – and commend you for braving the waters yourself. Do you find it a challenge to engage learners in deep thinking? Most of the adults I teach are conditioned to expect me to give answers. When I feel we’ve engaged in some successful deeper exploration, my students wonder if we can get back to “school work.” 🙂

    The connected coach course looks interesting. I end up doing a surprising amount of coaching via Skype, but it is mainly informal, often with people in offices who need assistance to get a job done. I’m trying to expand it to some students interested in working from home. I’m taking an on-line course “Teaching & Learning at a Distance” through Aurora College in a couple of weeks. It would be great to compare notes.

  3. Great post Linda! After reading it, though, I must admit my weakness: we’re only two weeks into the MOOC, and I’m so overwhelmed I tend to block a lot of really good ‘creative thinking opportunities’ out!

    I started with good intentions and even scheduled time around when I would experiment with new tools and update my blog but, because I didn’t make it ‘public’ like you did in your post, I don’t really feel accountable to anyone. I think I’ll change that tonight (that is, if my internet actually works from home).

    Thanks for the push! The Arctic College needs more people like you and Jamie – and any other NAC colleagues out there of which I’m unaware.



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