About Scott Kinkoph

I am the lead technology teacher for grades 3-8, education coach, and teacher at the Middle School in Brecksville-Broadview Heights Schools. My role has shifted dramatically in the last three from a classroom teacher to a most of the time tech integrationist while teaching tech classes. While tech is a passion of mine, I'm just as passionate about helping teachers move forward in three areas: pedagogy, leadership, and technology. In my teaching community I focus on helping other teachers shift pedagogical practices while integrating technology. In all of my connected spaces I focus my voice towards the education reformation and shifting #edu thinking about how to best educate children. I believe that teachers need personal education coaches as much as students need personalized learning. Thanks for visiting my blog and hope you get a lot out of it during your short stay!

PLCs push problem solving

I just finished participating in my first #OHedchat on the topic of PLC’s. For some time I have been concerned with the direction PLC’s are taking in my building wondering if the tact being taken is the right one. Having read the thoughts of others in the chat it’s pretty clear the way we are headed is the wrong one.

I am not an expert on Professional Learning Communities but firmly believe that they exist for educators to come together to learn about topics important to us and solve building problems.  If teachers come together for a meeting placed on a calendar then it is just that, a meeting and meetings do not share the same characteristic function as does a PLC.  PLC’s are meant to allow free exploration of education topics key to the practice and transformation of teachers. PLC’s allow choice as the method by which to learn vs. being told what to learn.

PLC’s embody Learnership.  Learnership is the idea that educators at any level combine leadership, pedagogy and technology in a way that leads to deeper learning by the student and teacher.  A PLC is all teachers but they must be willing to participate in the learning process showing each other how to lead learning and be a learner in the process.  If a PLC were a meeting then there is one person who sets the agenda and directs the outcome,  however in Learnership everyone has the opportunity to lead and learn as a learner.

PLC’s are meant to extend and deepen teacher learning on a variety of topics that are not tied to a meeting.  Where I work this is the case and there is little learning going on so teachers are left with an inaccurate idea of a true PLC.

How do PLC’s run in your school or district?

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Are you that teacher? Teach through learnership

Today I had an interesting conversation with a colleague that led to a statement:  I’m the teacher and I am in control.

Really?  Are you totally in control?

300What about the kid(s) who do not turn in homework and frustrate you to no end?  What about the all of the doodles in margins of notes that demonstrate the outrageous boredom students are experiencing in your class?  What about the students you know should be passing tests, or at least scoring better on tests, and are not? Are you really in control? Clearly not so ask the tough question now:  Why are you struggling to reach learners knowing you are doing everything possible, but are addressing the right things?

You are missing a vital piece of practice – learnership.  Combine leadership, pedagogy, and technology.  Are you learning with your students, or standing in front demanding they learn?  Are there opportunities to build knowledge in your class, or are you giving every answer and note to your students? Do offer opportunities to learn using technology – BYOD or other? Today’s teacher has to do things differently.

Learnership offers you a chance to stop being the dictator and become the learning guide – the one with the ultimate expertise to lead learning to a new plane.  Of course, there is always a choice.  Status quo or change.  Be relevant or irrelevant.  Transform to lead students into the 21st century or disintegrate into abyss of boredom.

To be an education leader today means you have to give up the power in favor of the learning.

photo credit: Σταύρος via photopin cc

Learnership toddler steps

There is a point where leadership, learning, and technology converge is called learnership.  In my previous post I called this the new pedagogy because we need to rethink and transform  how education will look like in the future.

Learnership as reforming you

Who are you?  Why do you teach?  More importantly, how do you teach?  Teaching is knowing how to get students to learn.  This is not creating a writing a lesson plan that structures learning so much so as to now allow for any creativity as the learning moves forward.  Rigid teaching says nothing about the student and only about the teacher.  This is why I asked who you are, why you teach, and how you go about this.

My idea of learnership allows the teacher to leader and learner using technology.  The teacher side of us lets us explain or describe what students should learn but do so along side them giving everyone a clear picture of learnership as learning together.  This concept of learning together is nothing new, but it is usually ignored in the classroom because students are thought of as not knowing as much as the teacher.

Empowering the learner

Stuck in customsMy role in education is to empower students to be a learner and not just learning – learning how to learn.  I do this in a technology class to develop their awareness of how they learn using learnership bringing together technology and pedagogy.  Students see me not as their teacher but someone who is interested in learning with them as I listen and they teach me what they know.  In the midst of class I am purposefully developing their digital tool belt or the webware they can use to demonstrate what they know and create their own content. The empowerment is using digital tools in ways they deem necessary to pull together a variety of information creating a portal so to speak of how kids think and what they have learned.

How to develop learnership – the beginning

It begins by admitting, and this is hard to do, that as a teacher you are not the focal point of the classroom and even though your title sets you apart from the kids, the title means nothing if students are not engaged, are disinterested, are not progressing based on summative assessments, are doodling, are not anxious to be in your room, and are lazy.  Admitting and careful reflection allows you to see what you do and you how do it differently.  There will be not one part of your philosophy that you do not question and reform.  Teaching strategies will transform because you see yourself as a learner and as a learner you want more than just a lesson, you want an experience.  The experience takes you to a different place in life, perspective is altered, and you transform.  What you used to  do is pale and gross.  How you thought about learning seemed to simple.  Your perspective about students shifts from learning from you to learning from each other.

It all begins with you analyzing and asking  hard questions about you as a teacher.  When reality strikes, learnership takes over and you lead as a learner not as a teacher.

photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc