Everything Is A Draft

Call whatever you are doing, creating, studying, or learning, a draft, a work in progress, or a design cycle. Remind yourself that learning is a process that leads to more learning and improvement, not to perfection.

In the realm of education, we often refer to the process of designing learning experiences as an iterative cycle similar to this.


When we engage in this cycle of instructional design, we find ourselves always in the middle of something. We are engaged in a work in progress. Any part of the cycle, should include constant feedback, discussion, and reflection so that we can learn and improve. Great educators take the time to have conversations about what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, how they’re doing it, how it’s going, and what’s next.

When we work with students, we want them to apply a similar model. Throughout the model, we want students to reflect on their learning, provide feedback to others, and adjust their actions as they go. We want them to engage in something like this when they work on a project, task, or inquiry.


In the middle of our cycles, we sometimes run into these challenges:

  • We insert some kind of final product or assessment and assume that the cycle ends there
  • We get attached to the idea of a final product or assessment and stop sharing our progress and ideas until it is perfect

As a consequence, our learning slows or stops, and we assume that no one can learn from our partial, unfinished, or imperfect experiences so we don’t share them. Think about all of the missed opportunities for learning! Consider the ways in which development cycles are continuous in the world beyond the classroom, and where the goal is not to be perfect, but to grow and improve. Here are just a few examples:

  • Software and app developers release new versions and iterations of their products (sometimes daily, it seems)
  • Hardware manufacturers create new versions every year (think about the newest ________ you’d like to buy, such as a smartphone, tablet, laptop, television, game console, washing machine, air conditioner, power tool, etc.)
  • Fashion designers contribute to new trends, building upon each other, changing every season as well as over time (think leggings, skinny ties, and fringe bangs)
  • Car manufacturers release new models every few years
  • Chefs refine their recipes and take inspiration from trends in health, food sourcing, and cultural inspirations
  • Athletes and their coaches constantly develop new training goals, techniques, skills, and strategies
  • Businesses change their focuses, products, approaches, and markets, and develop over time
  • Medical researchers build on partial and ongoing research across their communities

It’s time to rethink what ongoing learning really means. In what ways do final products put an end to a cycle? Should the end of a unit, course, semester, or school year result in the end of a learning cycle? How can sharing your works in progress or unfinished learning experiences help to propel the learning of everyone forward? How can we create a culture that accepts drafts and builds upon them? How can we apply learning from one situation to the next, even when it seems as though the two have nothing in common?

The act of creating and publishing something online (such as this blog post) is a part of my own reflection and learning cycle. It will lead to more. And I’m not afraid to share and gather your feedback. Because this is a draft.

Counting Down to ISTE! Join Me and Learn About Effective PD

Stephanie Chan photo

My bags are packed. I’m ready to go…to ISTE 2013! I am looking forward to joining everyone in San Antonio soon. This will be my first time at ISTE. I am incredibly excited about learning with passionate, skilled and knowledgeable educators and students, and having a ton of fun while I’m at it!

I am also excited to be presenting the results of research that I conducted, along with focuses that I have undertaken as a result of my findings. During my research, I followed a group of four diverse high school teachers and experienced a year in their work as they used technology with their students. I learned so much from what they did, what they said, and what they thought. Their incredible openness and honesty has directly influenced my approach to support and professional learning around educational technology.

My presentation will be targeted, fun and full of useful strategies and resources. Here are the details. I hope you will join me! I also invite you to stay connected on Twitter @TechPudding

Topic: Experiences of High School Teachers in their Use of Educational Technology 

Monday, June 24, 2013 – 4:15-5:15 pm, SACC 101; Table 2
Format: Roundtable research presentation
Presenter: Stephanie Chan, Educational Technology Specialist
Calgary Board of Education, Alberta, Canada 


What Makes Effective Professional Learning?

Providing effective professional learning is a complex challenge. How can we make the most of tight budgets and limited supports? Join me as I discuss a yearlong case study that profiled the everyday challenges and experiences of four high school teachers as they used educational technology with their students. Then learn about strategies and resources that can support effective PD engagement and design. Walk away with:

  • Insights into what works for edtech coaches, school leaders and PD providers
  • Strategies for planning and implementing successful edtech professional development for individuals, teams, schools and districts
  • Examples of district-wide professional learning initiatives that emphasize flexibility, choice, scalability, collaboration and informal learning
  • Access to free professional learning modules and templates that you can use to design professional learning to suit your needs and the needs of your staff

Presentation Resources

I am all about sharing! If you’d like to use and share my resources with others, please do! (If you do, please link back to techpudding.com so that we can all continue to expand our learning connections.)

Now I just have to get through this week. See you there!

And by the way, if you have questions or comments about my presentation materials, please write me a comment! You can help me improve them and perhaps I can answer some questions about it! Happy to learn with you.

12 Reasons Why I Use Twitter

TechPudding on Twitter

That’s me. On Twitter.

It’s been a long time since I last posted. In between, I (finally) discovered the power of microblogging on Twitter. I freely admit that I am late to the Twitter party and a beginner in many ways. It took me about three weeks to discover the elements of microblogging that appeal to me. Like any new innovation, you need a reason to use it, and to stick with it for a little while in order to see the potential.

12 Reasons Why I Use Twitter

  1. I have suddently discovered thousands of inspirational educators, creative ideas, and thought-provoking resources
  2. Sending out my thoughts into the great beyond is empowering and makes me think (for real or otherwise) that some people want to hear what I have to say
  3. I can find people who think like me
  4. I can find people who think differently from me
  5. I have discovered local (and by local I mean people in my community, city, province, and country) who are doing amazing work and I can actually connect with them – may I mention among many, Astronaut Chris Hadfield @Cmdr_Hadfield as part of my Professional Learning Network (PLN)?
  6. I can be a part of the massive network that influences what ideas, opinions and work gets shared across the world, and who it is shared with
  7. I can always find something fun, interesting, and useful in my network
  8. I sometimes get lost in Tweets, from one link to another, from one person to another. It’s like wandering through a forest wherever your feet take you and discovering everything along the way
  9. It’s really easy to set up an account and participate
  10. When you don’t have time to fully reflect by engaging in a deep discussion or writing a blog post, Twitter allows you to do a mini-reflection on the go or star interesting items to use later
  11. I hear local and world news not just from corporate news sources, but from real people
  12. I can Tweet about what interests me: communications and marketing, change management, edtech, and good television @TechPudding

Many tips and tricks have been written, shared, and yes, Tweeted about Twitter and microblogging. Here are a few of the best that I have found.

For New Tweeters

For Pro Tweeters

Tweeps I Follow

Here are just a few Tweeps out of the 1,300+ that I enjoy following. I try to follow people with a variety of viewpoints and expertise. There are so many–it’s best to start with a few by searching for terms that you are interested in or people that you already know about. I will feature some local Tweeps in a later post!

  • @MobileSyrup – An independent resource on mobile technology in Canada connecting to those who are mobile enthusiasts, professionals and shoppers
  • @web20classroom, Steven W. Anderson – An incredible educator and speaker with an excellent blog http://blog.web20classroom.org
  • @LDRB – LDRLB (pronounced leader lab) – An online think tank that shares insights from research on leadership, innovation, and strategy
  • @tomwhitby Tom Whitby – Prof of Edu (Ret). Founder: #Edchat, The EDU PLN, Edchat Radio Linkedin Tech-Using Profs
  • @oldaily Stephen Downes – A Canadian researcher and educator on the cutting edge of MOOCS, e-learning and new media
  • @gsiemens George Siemens – A Canadian professor and educator, also on the cutting edge of MOOCS, connectivist learning and edtech
  • @ChristensenInst Clayton Christensen Institute – A nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to improving the world through disruptive innovation
  • @ThisIsSethsBlog Seth Godin – Founder of http://Squidoo.com, author, and blogger
  • @Flocabulary Flocabulary – Flocabulary produces educational hip-hop music and some of it is free to use! There are a variety of themes from language arts to math

If you haven’t yet, will you give it a try? If you’re a microblogging fanatic, what’s the best part for you? Any tips to share (or Tweet)?

I invite you to try it out! And I invite you to follow me @TechPudding if you’re interested in communications, edtech, and leadership!