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Ben Wilkoff
Works at Denver Public Schools
Attended University of Denver
Lives in Littleton, Co
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Ben Wilkoff

commented on a post on Blogger.
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Our empathy for one another is at the heart of what we can do together. We are limited by our own capacity to understand the person sitting across from us, and it shows in the classrooms and schools that do it best. 

I really like how you are asking yourself and others to take a step back and try to learn more about the context for those you serve. However, I think the modeling going on in those moments might be even more important than the act itself. You are showing everyone what it is like to engage in the process of listening and empathizing. You are showing the value of not hiding our diverse backgrounds, but rather being able to talk about them and support from all sides. 

While empathy is important to ensure your kids are safe and well cared for, it is also important for those who get those things from their home life. For those that already have meals at home and time with a parent to troubleshoot math problems, they need to see why and how empathy can change a school.

P.S. This comment is a part of the #C4C15 project. Find out more here: http://learningischange.com/blog/2014/12/27/c4c15/
I was walking down the hallway of one of my schools the other day and passed three students who all smiled from ear to ear and waved when they saw me.  There is nothing like being the principal of an elementary school; there ...
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Dan Butler's profile photoKeith Murray's profile photo
 
Appreciate your thoughts, Ben and taking the time to comment on this post.  Modeling the way is so very important and probably the best leadership strategy that I have.  Think about how great our system could be if we had all members see things from the perspectives of others.  Thank you for connecting. 

Dan
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Ben Wilkoff

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What a wonderful trip. I know most people are not going to want to see all 106 "moments", but the only way that I can share it with my family, is to make it public. Enjoy!
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It was indeed. 
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Normally, I wouldn't post a Tweet within Google+, but I am kind of excited about what is possible here. With this tweet you can add your name and twitter handle to a google spreadsheet automatically.

If you want to read a bit more about how this works, here is the blog post: http://learningischange.com/blog/2015/03/04/use-a-single-click-to-add-your-name-email-address-and-twitter-handle-to-a-google-spreadsheet/
Add a location to your Tweets. When you tweet with a location, Twitter stores that location. You can switch location on/off before each Tweet and always have the option to delete your location history. Learn more. Turn location on. Not now. Turn off location ...
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I'm curious to hear how other folks are using an Professional Learning Profile to help personalize for teachers and leaders?
Personalization is hard--but not for the reasons that you may be thinking. Choosing the right content and software is daunting. Creating adaptive paths for learning is extremely complex. Developing sets of competencies for your learners is an arduous task. But, none of these are the truly hard pa
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Ben Wilkoff

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This is such a deep reflection. Thank you for sharing it and for encouraging us all to "check in." I have done a bunch of that today, and I am going to need a whole bunch more processing time to understand it. 
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Ben Wilkoff

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I love the way in which you have framed this question to students, as they are the ones who most directly are going to be served by better PD. 

One thought I have, though, is how we might take this further. Could we, for instance, allow students to specifically request "better teaching" in a specific area when they run into an issue within their school? Could they provide feedback on more systemic issues they see for how teachers might improve their practice?

I'm also intrigued by just how many of these kids talked about better collaboration between teachers. It is as if they are the only ones that see how arbitrary the separations of the different subjects are. How can we make good on these requests?

Again, thank you for sharing the viewpoint of your students about professional learning. It is my sincere hope that we include students much more in these kinds of conversations.

P.S. This comment is a part of the #C4C15 project. Find out more here: http://bit.ly/C4C15
A couple weeks ago, my buddy John Stevens asked this on Twitter: Great question. I decided I'd actually ask my students what they thought teachers should focus on during our professional development. Here's what they had to...
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+Barth Quenzer Excellent!
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Ben Wilkoff

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Alright, I have definitely been trying to figure this out for the last hour or so, and I would really like to move on to a different problem. Any help would be most appreciated.

I'm trying to create a function that I can run "on form submit" that will create a new google drive folder. I would like the folder id to be populated into a column within the spreadsheet so that I can then use Autocrat to create documents within the folder (also upon form submit). Ideally, this function would also check to see if the folder with that name already exists and would not create it but rather put the Folder ID of the already created folder within the cell so that someone who fills out the form for the first time gets a new folder, but someone who is filling the form out for the second or third time would still use the same folder (although, the error logic I am describing is not a requirement). 

I found this code snippet (in the answer) that I was able to play around with here: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/16460425/make-folders-from-spreadsheet-data-in-google-drive 

The only things that needed to be changed were moving from DocList to DriveApp and changing GetFolder to GetFoldersByName. If anyone has done anything like this or would like to take a stab, I would love it!
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Ben Wilkoff's profile photoJesse Spevack's profile photo
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Here is the documentation on setValue:
https://developers.google.com/apps-script/reference/spreadsheet/range#setValue(Object)

 var ss = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet();
 var sheet = ss.getSheets()[0];

 var cell = sheet.getRange("B2");
 cell.setValue(100);

Want to share me on your spreadsheet and code and I can take a crack at it?
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Ben Wilkoff

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I really like the way in which you have woven in the connectedness of hashtags and online communities into the connectedness of being a part of the same climate. Your imagery allows me to see just how the weather might affect our ability to connect and take part in these learning experiences.

Blogging together or noticing one another within a community space is something to celebrate, and yet we do not often pause to do so. The stillness of the weather is a great reminder for us all. I wonder if we need more cues for pausing, reflecting, and honoring the value that we are bringing to one another every day. 

P.S. This comment is a part of the #C4C15 project. Find out more here: http://learningischange.com/blog/2014/12/27/c4c15/
When winter decided to make its entrance this season, it announced itself through many a storm. Its story unfolded each month through news flashes across the states and the ins and outs of winter blasts. This week, winter roa...
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Ben, it is wonderful to connect with you through your #C4C15  hashtag that is meant to be a connector for those who reflect and connect via social media. Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my positive approach to being a part of nature as a means to connect my feelings to those in other parts of the world. 
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This is part 2 in the series on the model we are trying to create for Professional Learning in DPS. I'd love to hear more about how folks are thinking about this in their own schools/districts.
Last week, we shared the first part of a two part series on Personalized Professional Learning. Ben Wilkoff dives deeper into how teachers can engage in their learning once they’ve identified the strengths, needs, interests and constraints have been identified.By starting with the whole “Person” and
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Barth Quenzer's profile photoJessica Raleigh's profile photoKyle Beatty's profile photo
 
I love the focus on agency and efficacy as adult learners. All teachers should be encouraged develop action research questions that are personalized and collaborative. I can see how Project Cam Opener will play a central role in this shift. Thanks for laying the foundation for this important work!
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Ben Wilkoff

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I think you should research and write a book called "The Sustainable Teacher" filled with stories of those who have found balance and the structures and choices that have allowed them to do so. 
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Ben Wilkoff

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You were one of my favorite youtubers of all time. This took it up to 11. Your satire was both spot on and hilarious. Men's rights is such a ridiculous "movement." Equality doesn't look like advocating for one gender at the expense of the other. It also doesn't look like ignoring everything that has come before and looking at those (women) trying to reach for what is rightfully theirs (respect, justice, etc.) and belittling their efforts.

Thank you for this. Keep talking. Keep making important social change for youth and women. 
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+Carla Smith I find it excitingly funny how you both reject the connection between misandrists and feminists but support the same echo.
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Ben Wilkoff

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I am in love with your level of reflection. Your ability to pull apart all of the different elements of what constitutes professional learning is astounding.

Because I know which two sessions you are referring to, I feel like I have more context for this struggle than others might, but I am really interested in figuring out the idea of how you introduce someone to the concept of a PLN and have it matter in a way that sticks. I, like you, are rather stumped. It makes me think that we might want to ask our own PLN(s) for advice on this.

Anyway, thank you for this thinking. It has got me pondering what the specific things I want to change in my sessions will be. Hmm...
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Education
  • University of Denver
    English, 2001 - 2004
  • Chagrin Falls High School
    1998 - 2001
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March 15
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I Teach and Learn. A lot.
Introduction
Director of Personalized Professional Learning for #dpsk12. Passionate about Communities, #ReflectivePractice #vlogging, #curation and being human together. Learning is Change.
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Founded the Fellowship of Open Spokes
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Director of Personalized Professional Learning
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  • Denver Public Schools
    Director of Personalized Professional Learning, 2013 - present
    Ensures that every teacher, leader, and central office staff member have access to radical reflection, transparency, and choice in their professional learning.
  • 2 Red Chairs
    Learning Experience Designer, 2011 - 2013
  • Edmodo
    Online Community Manager, 2010 - 2011
  • Douglas County School District
    Online Learning and Technology Resource Specialist, 2004 - 2010
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