1. Our school indeed had square dancing in all gym classes in junior and senior high school at the same time; they tied it in with the town Halloween block party (put on by merchants to reduce vandalism). Sort of became “engaged” because we looked forward to the party – hundreds of squares!!!

    My immediate reaction was the “compliant” use as you kind of alluded to as well. But I can’t think of a substitute. I’m bothered somewhat by the definition statement for itas well. I think my biggest issue is the implication that students are to learn topics simply because some authority tells them they must – not a very good reason even if that’s true!!! I.e., I think both the teachers AND the students need to strive to ideally eliminate compliant items (practically minimize such items for as many students as possible.

    Possible “Quick Definition Statements” suggestions:

    Compliant (Controled???): Learning material provided because are told to do so.

    Engaged: Learning material provided because determined doing so is of value.

    Empowered: Learning material chosen (within constraints or guidelines) because we chose topic of value to us.

    I realize these are anything but brief!!! But to me, they represent the three levels of CEE. I hope I’ve constructively contributed to the conversation. My personal goal as an educator was to always seek to maximize the time in “empowered” and minimize the time in “compliant.” (Sadly, many educators would see “teach to the test” as important compliant!!!)

    • George

      Great points John! Really has me thinking about the terminology. Definitely meant this to be a starting point for my learning and I appreciate you sharing your ideas!

  2. I’ve been chatting with teachers a lot about SAMR lately and we’ve also shared it with many of our administrators. One of the things I try to stress with teachers is that I don’t want them to see it as “one more thing”. For me, I think where SAMR holds a lot of its value is it creates a common vocabulary to reflect around among teachers and administrators. I like what you said about some of our best learning can still happen without the technology. This is also something important to remind teachers about when talking about SAMR or a 1:1 initiative – that it’s ok (and necessary) to have times when students aren’t using the tech. There seems to be a common misconception that students need to be plugged into their technology for ever facet of their learning.

    • George

      I agree with you Kyle. I think SAMR has a great place in schools to start a conversation, but not something to be held to. I think one of the problems that I encounter is that because I talk about technology a lot, people assume that I think people need to be connected all of the time, which is not the case. I just don’t have to really talk about how to use a pencil since many of us kind of have that down. Does that make any sense or am I Friday babbling?

  3. Hey Pal,

    First, here’s to hoping that you are well and happy! You deserve it.

    Second, I dig this post. I think that Compliant, Engaged and Empowered is something that people can get their heads wrapped around — and that’s the key to any successful change effort.

    I think the only think I’d push against is the phrase “learning is meaningful to the individual.”

    For whatever reason, the whole “personalized learning” movement is rubbing me the wrong way right now. It seems to send the message that it is okay for people to isolate themselves. What matters to ME is more important that what happens to WE thinking.

    While I totally get that people should pursue their own interests and passions — and totally agree that in schools, that never happens — I think the core of what we need to develop in schools are students who stand ready to look outward instead of inward. Students who see that they have shared interests with others — and shared interests with their communities. And more importantly, students who realize that they have a responsibility to their community.

    Not college ready. Not career ready. COMMUNITY ready.

    Not learning because it matters to ME. Learning because it matters to WE.

    Does this make sense?

    (If it doesn’t, I’m screwed because it’s been rolling around in my head for months!)

    Rock on,

    • George

      That’s a tough one…do you think that it can be both? Because the idea of “community” can mean something different. Growing up in small-town Canada, the “we” thinking was very hockey oriented, when the “me” thinking wanted to learn basketball. When do we have to become divergent in our learning that is applicable to us? What if you live in a community that is not accepting of you? Then what?

      I know what you are saying but I think community has to be more broadly defined. I also don’t like the “career and college ready” stuff but we never talk about, you know, since we live in Canada 🙂

      • I feel conflicted between the two: individual and community.

        Just wondering if ‘community’ is not an unrecognised part of ‘individual’ in that we never actually learn alone. It always involves others. One of the things that has rolled around my head is the idea that we are all ‘connected’ and that when people say that they ‘don’t have time’ to be a connected educator that maybe they are missing the point. http://readwriterespond.com/?p=29 I think that the bigger challenge is how to differentiate between the work of the group and the individual, something that the ATC21s project has been trying to grapple with (http://readwriterespond.com/?p=36). Not sure if it makes sense and if I have totally misunderstood what you are both trying to say.

        Sometimes I don’t get to the comments as I often read posts via phone and Feedly, glad I didn’t miss these.

  4. Chris Lynch

    CCE makes sense. i have pondered the building relationships stuff for years ( popular teachers may have had good relationships with kids but didn’t necessarily teach them much) and then read Leadbeaters take – it’s about building LEARNING relationships. In the same way your suggestions takes the engagement stuff further. It emphasizes doing something with the learning as a result of the engagement. I too posted Ferriters visual on a Google community this year and it acted as a real provocation and caused quite a good discussion in am online space. Thanks for blogs which take my thinking to deeper level

  5. pennyetal

    I agree with this in so many ways, but I want to point out that “teachers doing report cards” as an example of things they do even though they are not engaged does not quite equate to asking students to work on materials simply because teachers want them to; they are not the same kind of Compliance. A teacher has a job that they receive intrinsic and extrinsic rewards from. So they are motivated to do the less pleasant tasks because they want to keep their jobs, they like most of their jobs, they want to inform parents, etc; they have motivations once-removed. For students, what is the comparative reward? To get a good grade? Not necessarily healthy. To not get into trouble? Quite sad and a whole other conversation. To enable some far-distant, as-yet-nebulous accomplishment? Not likely. I don’t have an answer, I’m just proposing that much of what is used as examples of the boring stuff we as adults do because we must, the purported samples of real world “buckling down”, actually do have healthy, rational motivations behind them, but can the same be said for many school activities that require Capital-C Compliance?

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