The Not Perfect Hat Club

If you go to a meeting and find yourself brain numbed and frantic rather than invigorated and enthused, you are in the wrong group. We work and learn in groups and so it is important to pay attention to the fact that , as a teacher, as a leader you set the tone and atmosphere and control it. I went to the #aussieED PLN session on Sunday on Twitter not really ready to be there because I am on holidays. We have just done the worst bushfires in 30 years and then were plunged into winter weather instead of summer. My iPad then decided to keep disconnecting from the network and so I was stoking up my desktop computer so I could participate and keeping up with what was going on by using my smart phone. Not a good frame of mind for learning. Then magic happened. Brett Salakas, as our leader, was cheerful and welcoming. Everyone who came on was happy and friendly. I got properly connected as it all started and then it was full on for an hour which just flew by. In that time I learned, interacted, thought, engaged. At a million miles an hour with a lot of laughs. Good learning and a happy atmosphere changes you back from ho-hum to bright and productive. Now I have done my homework for this week, I can see I was wearing my Not Perfect Hat. I went in on that session anyway inspite of the technical hiccoughs and less than optimum frame of mind. I allowed others to get me to rise above it and find my real self. This whole PLN approach by Brett Salakas is breaking new ground and allowing us to free up our classroom thinking with regards to technology. The video lets us see real people with excellent skills and a lifetime of experience and hear their thinking and approaches… in our own time using any device. Technology means we can have a far reach and create a really dynamic entourage which will help us lift  us and our students into some authentic learning opportunities. Technology is about thinking in a technological way. Doing things naturally with technology which will invite higher level learning. In doing that we have to put on our Not Perfect Hat. We have to know we can be more fluent in our thinking and actions if we let go the things which hold us back from learning. The Not Perfect Hat Club itself is about using a real author to engage with students . She reads her stories and teaches students how to draw animals but uses all of that to support animal welfare in the real world. It is a bold concept. Marty Kelz and Jena Ball have combined to grow that concept from the CritterKins books. Brett Salakas has in turn  brought it to us through a webinar so we can enrich and broaden our thinking.

Marty Kelz sums it up on his blog, Been there, Did That, Doing it Again:

Any one and every one of us, regardless of age, can become a digital native, and in a very real sense we are all newbies, working to learn and harness the power of social media to network and build community. It’s just another literacy. What’s important is that we remember what lies at the heart of education. That heart is not gaming, coding or tests. It is and will always remain the stories we tell, and the older we get the better, wiser and hopefully more entertaining storytellers we become. ~ Marty Keltz

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