This Week in Ontario Edublogs

As I write this post, I’m at the Ontario Teachers’ Federation “Teaching, Learning & Technology Conference.”  We’re at the end of the first day and what a day it was!  Great activities but it’s always wonderful to see so many professional educators interested in learning new skills and techniques to make the magic happen in classrooms across the province in a couple of weeks.

It’s a great opportunity to renew friendships and make new ones.  I shared my thoughts about “The Best PD” this morning and one of my slides described what I really feel about blogging.  BLOGGING = THINKING = BLOGGING.  I firmly believe that and look forward to seeing if some new blogs fall out of the event.  I know that Marie Swift did a session about making Blogging the Backbone of your Classroom.  I wish I could have seen it but I was doing my own session about Hopscotch at the time.

There definitely was a continuation of blogging happening across the province.  Here’s some of what caught my attention this week.

Spaghetti Bridge Teaser

You can never get too early a start and Brian Aspinall has already posted to his class website one of their first science investigations.

I hope his students and parents are following the blog and try this at home before school starts.  Then, the enrichment can begin from day 1.

A Tribute to my Dad on his Retirement from Education

Things will be different in the Avon Maitland District School Board with Jeff Reaburn’s retirement.  Jamie Weir wrote this wonderful summary to honour him on his retirement.

The #BIT14 committee will benefit as Jeff has volunteered to serve on the committee for this year’s conference.  He’s doing such a wonderful job and I can certainly appreciate Jamie’s kind words.

I know that all of us wish Jeff so many good things in his retirement.

The Wire 106

Coming soon to your internet radio, another education station!

Andy Forgrave writes a nice post announcing the launch of this new station initiated by Jim Groom.  This is such a terrific concept bringing together so much that’s available when you use the best of student efforts and marry it with technology.  It will be interesting to “watch” the launch.

If you’re interested more in this form of broadcasting, make sure you register for #BIT14.  Andy will be leading the learning there.

3 Reasons I Go to Edcamp

I think that some of the most compelling posts come from people who have attended an Edcamp.

This time, it was Sue Dunlop who attended Edcamp Leadership.

She commented nicely on the takeaways for her.  You can’t help but get onside when someone talks about being “challenged” and “stretched”.

I liked the list of three that she mentioned.

  • The Unconference Model;
  • Connections;
  • Learning.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could say that about every professional learning session?

Perhaps that should be the learning goal for all educators – attend just one edcamp in the upcoming year and make some new connections – particularly ones that are pushing you away from your comfort zone.

What another nice collection of posting.  Thanks to these people – take the time to read the entire post.

When you’re done there, check out the complete collection of Ontario Educational Bloggers here.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

This is the third post in a row written using Windows Live Writer.  That means that I’ve been using Windows for three days in a row.  That’s a modern day record!  I notice that it’s Live Writer 2011.  I wonder if there’s been an upgrade?  I recall reading recently that it might go open source.  That would be awesome.

Back on topic … here’s some great posting from Ontario Edubloggers from this past week.

A Letter to a New Teacher

On the Voice of Canadian Education blog, Stephen Hurley issued this challenge.


If you could write a letter to a first year teacher, what advice would you pass along.

He gives some perspective – what an administrator might say, what a student might say, what a teacher might say, what an outsider might say, …

I think it’s a great idea and I’m going to accept the challenge and write a blog post over the weekend sharing my thoughts.

Thanks for the inspiration, Stephen.

My Thoughts on the Peel District School Board’s Social Media Guidelines for Staff and Teachers

Fred Galang shares some of his thoughts about the Peel DSB’s social media guidelines.

Recently, the Peel District School Board released their social media guideline for staff and teachers. As much as I applaud their initiative (they’ll be the first to outline such guidelines for social media use in detail), there were a few items that sparked a healthy convo with my Tweeps over the last two days. Without the risk of repeating myself, I’ll simply address the most contentious for me.

In the beginning, teacher use of social media was really experimental.  I can recall being involved with the OTF Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century series.  In some quarters, there was a wish that there would be rules or guidelines.  I remember having the discussion at the time and we agreed that you just couldn’t put it all into a one pager.  The best advice we got still applies to day “Don’t do stupid things.”

I absolutely agree with Fred’s concerns.  I never was a fan or rules.  They always define a line between someone’s concept of what’s right and what’s wrong.  If you’ve ever been in a classroom, you know that’s an immediate red flag for students to determine where that line actually is. 

My sense is that the document still has the mentality that social media is a “think” that can be clearly defined and all the negatives drawn from it.  The document does identify concerns, particularly about student privacy.  Instead of a social media document that defines that, wouldn’t it make more sense to expand any existing privacy resource to include cautions? 

I do wonder about the concept of having a person and a professional account.  We’ve all seen people try to manage that and post from the wrong account.  What would happen if students actually found out that you’re human and are a fan of the Detroit Tigers?  Certainly the world wouldn’t end.

I still like the original advice “Don’t do stupid things.”

Royan Lee also wrote about the same thing and garnered some comments from Ontario Educators well worth the reading.

How BYOD/T is Getting Easier, How it’s Getting Harder

Not to belittle Royan’s other post, I really like what he did when he tackled the topic of BYOD/T again.

It’s to his credit that he’s identified in one of the comments as a “pioneer”.  He’s certainly been very vocal and open about his experiences over the time that devices were welcomed in his class.  He addressed these in detail in an interview that I had with him.

Royan’s just generally a great guy.  I recall sitting next to him watching his kids swimming and we were just chatting.  I still remember thinking “this guy is going to change the world, one class at a time”.  He’s very vocal but not the sort of evangelist that exudes a “follow me or begone” approach.

In a world where some are debating the merits of BYOD, Royan speaks with the mature voice of experience. 

If you’re collecting a list of definitive resources about BYOT, you need to include this post. 

Dean Shareski did.

Yearning For The Printed Photograph

Facebook friends know that I had a major life event this past week.  I was there with my phone taking pictures and sharing them on Facebook with friends.  It’s fast and efficient and you get to see them all just as quickly as I can post them.  Not all of them were absolute perfection but they were from my eyes.

My wife, on the other hand, goes a more traditional route.  Even though she has a digital camera, it’s off to Shopper’s to get printed copies of them.  She likes the more permanent record of them and the fact that she can put them in an album and leave them on a shelf.

Aviva Dunsiger reflected on the value of the printed photograph.  I couldn’t help but think that this approach (and grudgingly my wife’s) will stand the test of time.


I think it’s testament to family history and the eye of the photographer that someone later on can use the word “incredible” to describe their efforts.

It makes you wonder about the legacy of images that those of us share online.  I know that I do keep a copy on backup here but there still a trip into town away from being put in an album.  There’s merit in that – one of my own favourite throwback pictures is of two buzzcut kids with their grandmother. 

There probably is a preferable half-way meeting of the technologies to satisfy both worlds. 

Check out Aviva’s entire post as she takes a look at both sides of the discussion.  There’s some pretty wise insights and, as per Aviva’s normal, a bunch of questions to ask yourself.

Thanks everyone for continuing to write and inspire.  Please take the time to enjoy the entire posts and all of the postings from Ontario Edubloggers.  There’s always some great writing happening.

And, while writing this, I downloaded the latest Live Writer to see if I have the latest.  I might have to hang around Windows for another day or so…

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

I had someone ask me why this blog post every week and also, why on Friday?

Two questions, and there’s not a scientific reason for them.  I do this post to help direct people to the blogs of great Ontario Education Bloggers.  Sometimes, your voice can just get lost so this is my attempt to help shout it out.  Secondly, why Friday?  I suppose that it could be any day of the week – it just made sense to me to do it on Friday since it complements the #FollowFriday or #FF shoutouts that people give.  Nothing more or nothing less.  It’s not earth shattering; it’s just something that I decided to do.

Here’s some of what I enjoyed reading this past week.

Queen: Youth wasted on the young – really?

OK, how timely was this post from Michael Redfearn?


I spent some time alone this week and played my way through some of my vinyl album collection.  And, I did play some Queen.  And, yes, one of the albums was “A Night at the Opera”.

Michael’s post deals with his thoughts from a recent concert in Toronto.  It’s difficult to think of Queen without Freddie Mercury but it sounds like the new Queen works.

I wonder if they’ll be playing locally?

Huron Skill Gap

A while back, Robert Hunking blogged questioning his blogging future.  Thankfully, he did not give it up.

In a recent post, he touches on an area of importance to many communities – a shortage of skilled trades.


Having grown up in Huron County, I read his post with interest.  Later, having worked two doors down from the Technology Consultant, I know how much effort goes into making that particular pathway important.  There are valuable life skills that  come from that discipline.  Robert points out that it’s awareness of guidance counsellors, teachers, etc. to make enrollment in these courses desirable and suitable for students.  I think it needs to go further though.  Parent need to know the importance.  Partnerships with post-secondary institutions need to be on board.  Money is required to make the facilities contemporary so that skills learned are modern and not left over from years old mentality.  At the CSTA Conference, when we toured the Universal Technical Institute, the message was clear and repeated numerous times.   They want Computer Science students in their programs.  Take a look at any modern car or walk into any modern plant and you’ll see that form of technology everywhere.  This type of thinking is required.  Are our schools prepared for it?

A Lesson from Baseball

Think about this…


Kristi Keery Bishop did.

While watching a baseball game, she made a comparison to the classroom.  It certainly is a good analogy for teacher to student, or administrator to staff.  Can the message stick for the school year?

When you think about it, it really is a nice parallel.  Except for the salaries of course…

Bending People to the Data

Tim King finishes his blog post with this bit of advice.


The rest of the post deals with data in our world, and of course, Tim takes it to education and makes some interesting points.

Give his post a read and see if it doesn’t give you some ammunition the next time someone wants to talk “data” with you….

What a great collection of posts.  Thanks to all the bloggers.  I hope that you can take a few moments to check them out.

Remember, if you’ve started a blog of your own or if there’s one that needs to be added to the collection, there’s a form available for the task here.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It’s too cold to go outside these past couple of days so people are taking time to blog!  We’re beneficiaries of their thoughts and opinions!

There is a space…

Sheila Stewart is pondering about his quote:

Going back in my mind to university days and psychology courses, I’m not sure that the statement could be taken literally.  But I think that there’s a great deal to think about – particularly in this digital age.  I smiled and thought of my recent post “You have about five seconds…”  In the digital world, I do find myself making decisions quicker – at one point, they might have been tempered by a long walk, but not necessarily now.  Maybe I should up that to six seconds.

Art Busking for Cancer!

Colleen Rose, a frequent blogger on her own Northern Art Teacher blog had an increased presence on Facebook recently.  She’s painting at the Thunder Bay Health Science’s Centre, collecting donations as she goes along, and her painting will be auctioned off at the end – all in the name of fundraising.  Awesome.

How To Create QR Codes To Use In Your Classroom

A few years ago, at EdCampQuinte, I led a session where we discussed the use of QR Codes.  The concept was very new at the time but there were a number of reasons, we decided, that made it worth the time and effort.  Now, they’re everywhere – enter a contest by scanning a code here, see the complete details of a new car by scanning there…  it takes away the necessity of waiting to get online and typing in a URL.  Just scan it and go.

In Belleville, we all agreed that the most painful thing in the world is to watch a primary or junior student type an address on the keyboard and get it right, the first time, and without mistake.  It’s even worse on iOS for young fingers since you have to go to special characters to just get the “/” key.  (not so on Android…)

So, speed and accuracy, are two great reasons.  And the fact that you can place QR Code anywhere makes for instant access as long as you have a QR Code reader.

Kristen Wideen explains how she creates and uses QR Codes in her classroom.

This post is definitely worth a read and share with colleagues interested in codes.  Now, there are so many utilities to help you create QR Codes.  There’s no excuse for not doing it.  Rather than a website, I have an extension in my browser – to do the trick for me.  Before and after EdCampQuinte, I had created a resource where I’ve tucked away things that I’ve found helpful.  I’ve added Kristen’s blog post to the resources.


I can remember when principals where members of Teachers federations and there was no question that they were true teachers in the profession.  I was so fortunate, having had three principals at my school and then a couple of supervising principals later on, to have worked with some of the best educators that I know.  Either that or they left me alone to avoid talking about computers.

But, I have seen principals take on different personas when they sit in the chair in the big office.  Some take the budget and spend to get the best resources into the school; some become the ultimate manager of the building; some become single-focused with EQAO within the building; some balance priorities; well, you get the point.  That they’re so diverse should be expected – after all they’re human too.

There were some interesting blog posts surrounding principals this week.

When Principals Meddle

Andrew Campbell takes on the diversity of skills and approaches among principals and questions the professional decision making that teachers are allowed to make.

Can’t We All Just “Get Along?”
Does “Getting Along” Mean That We Have To Agree?

Aviva Dunsiger jumped into the conversation with a couple of her own posts, including a comment from her vice-principal.  She seems to think that there might be some sort of middle ground where everyone “gets along”.

All three blog posts are interesting to read and think about.  I would suggest that anyone who will be taking on a position of added responsibility read and think – what kind of administrator do I want to be, keeping in mind the old adage about pleasing all the people some of the time…and really put a focus on what it’s going to take for true student achievement.

And then, there’s principals learning…

Technology – SAMR for Administrators The Edutopia series
Technology SAMR Model for Administrators – Part 2: Community Interaction The Edutopia Series

Paul McGuire is digging in to how the SAMR model could apply to administrators.

Before moving to any particular tool, Work makes a great point – time is a precious commodity for any school staff and we need to really examine if there are other ways to convey information beyond the traditional (yawn) staff meeting.

Becoming a Google Educator Vice-Principal…

Kelly Power is spending her energies becoming “Googley”, but in an administrative kind of way…

KellyThat’s a lot of Google.

I hope that you get a chance to read all of the above.  Some great resources and thinking from Ontario Educators.  You can check out my entire list here and please, please, if you’ve started your own blog, take a couple of minutes and complete the form so that your blog can be added to the list.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Sure, it’s summer, but at great time for reading and blogging…check out these from Ontario Edubloggers.

Can You Change Someone Else’s Belief?

Jennifer Aston tries to answer this question as a result of her summer reading.

It’s a good question and one that I suspect some administrators expect from a successful coach.  Of course, if it was completely possible and successful, all educators would have the same beliefs.  Are we not richer by our diversity of ideas?  Would a better question not be “Why would we want to change someone else’s belief?” or “Could we not build on the strength of our current belief?”

Understanding what can and can not be done, it seems to me, is one of the powerful strengths of a coach.

Everything I Know And Do On Social Media I Learned From My Students

It was the title that had me hooked to read this post from Royan Lee.

I suspect that the title was written with a bit of tongue in cheek but the points that he argues most certainly are refined by interaction with students.

It is an enjoyable read and does make you think.

If a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, How Many Lessons is That?

I can’t remember which racetrack it was but with two minutes to post time, marching music would play over the in house audio.  As an observer of human nature, I was amused with how the music would inspire people to get up and get in line to place wagers if they hadn’t already.

We experience music all over the place.  We experience sounds all over the place.  At the CSTA Conference, I was walking into the hotel – now you have to know that we were in the heart of St. Charles with wonderful Chicago traffic and noises somewhere.  And yet, this robin was sitting in a tree just singing her heart out.  Both my wife and I stopped in our tracks – it was in the middle of a driveway and so some traffic stopped as well – and we just listened to her.  There’s something so wonderful about hearing nature singing in that setting.

That’s the point of Rob Ridley’s post.

The question is – why not?  It can be so relaxing and non-distractive.

Of course, our recording would have been interrupted by the jerk who honked his horn and gestured for us to get moving from the middle of the driveway.  We did but the robin had left by the time we got safely to the side of the road.

Canadian Canoe Museum Paddle Found!

This post isn’t from my usual list of Ontario Educators but it just flowed so nicely from Rob’s post that I felt compelled to do it.

If you’re going out recording, keep your eye out for paddles!

The Void

Robert Hunking asks the questions that many of us bloggers do all the time.

Regardless, I hope that he can answer in the affirmative.  It’s sad when you see reflective or commentary blogs go away.

I really do hope that you can take the time to support the above bloggers with a quick link to their blog post.  I’m sure that they’ll appreciate it.  Check out the complete list of Ontario Edubloggers here.  And, if you’ve started a blog this summer for whatever reason, add the link in the form so that we can all enjoy it.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It’s summer time but the blogging doesn’t stop!  Here’s some of the things that caught my reading eye this week.

Storify: CaneLearn summit for K-12 Online & Blended Learning

This past week was the CANeLearn Summit in Toronto.  While I couldn’t be there, the next best thing is to keep an eye on those who were fortunate enough to go and share their learning.

Fortunately, Alanna King got to go and she created a Storify of the thoughts and sharing coming from the event.

Using Social Media as a Teaching Tool

I like how Kristen Wideen has shared her philosophy of using Social Media.  More than that, there’s a great message in the title of this post.  Social Media is not a pedagogy; as she notes, it’s a Teaching Tool.

It’s good teaching that makes all the difference in the world.  Social Media easily extends the reach beyond the classroom.  Read on to find out at least one benefit of being connected.

A few weeks ago we were working on writing a persuasive letter.  I wanted to make this an authentic task so as a class, we brainstormed a list of things that we could persuade our principal to buy or let us do.  My students agreed that they wanted to persuade our principal into buying us a bird feeder to put outside our observation window.  My students came up with the idea to post the letters on their blogs and then tweet them directly to our principal on Twitter.  Students tweeted their letters and got responses from not only the principal.  We received a bird feeder and birdseed on behalf of our Director of Education, a bird house that one of our students made and a humming bird feeder from my mom.

The classroom teacher will tell you that the bird feeder is chump change in the big scheme of things.  Read past the bird feeder to see the process followed and how social media facilitated the process.  That’s where the huge value lies.

Learning Something New

Angie Harrison describes nicely the process of inquiry to lead into this post.

Then, she turns the tables.  She wants to take on some personal learning – crocheting – using the same principles as in her classroom.  Where do you turn to learn in the 21st Century?  How do you learn?  Check out how she’s approaching things this summer.

Is Fear Good or Bad? “21st Century Learning” and #edtech Can’t Make Up Its Mind

Royan Lee takes on the concept of fear and addresses a couple of things that we seem to take as given…

He’s promised not to talk this way anymore.  In the post, he explains why…

I hope to follow up this discussion with Royan at the BringITTogether Conference.  By that time, he’ll be a few months into a new gig and will the opportunity to deal with this first hand.

I Dream Of Desks

So, Aviva Dunsiger got a chance to visit her new classroom for the fall and now she’s dreaming of desks.  The things that makes teachers old before their time!

In all my teaching career, I think the only time I fretted about desks was the one class of Grade 9 Mathematics that I taught.  I had 35 students packed into my room set for 24.  In the computer science classroom, sitting in one spot consistently just doesn’t happen after the first couple of days, and only then for attendance and learning names.

What I like about the picture that Aviva shared in the post is that she appears to have pretty close to a blank slate.  Once she gets through dreaming or nightmaring about things, she could make it anything that she wants.  More importantly, she can make it whatever works for her and her students.

I hope there’s a followup post coming so that we know how this story ends.

What a wonderful collection of sharing this week.  Thanks, Alanna, Kristen, Angie, Royan, and Aviva.  You’re really demonstrating how to keep the bar set high!

Check out these blog posts and more at the Ontario Edublogger Livebinder.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Happy Last Friday, Ontario Educators.  Thanks so much for sharing your learning over the course of the school year.  It’s wonderful that you’re continually thinking and growing professionally through your blogs.  Some of the great stuff I read this past week…

Skype and Learning

A wonderful post from Joan Vinall Cox brought out some emotions on this end of the keyboard when I read it.  Joan shares how she uses Skype to stay in touch with her 92 year old father.

Kudos to your dad, Joan.  I wish I could do the same.


Donna Fry took a few moments to reflect on an article “Learning Is Non-Linear. Why Not Curriculum?“.  In her post, she shared a thought from a former principal.

I had read the original article as well.  A lot of it makes sense but requires a new set of thinking and planning.  We have the philosophy that we can’t move ahead until a certain amount of student understanding has been achieved.  I had to smile when I think about online learning and how units or lessons are “released” when ready.

I also have visions of ISUs but recognize that they are for a short time frame.

I can see it working with motivated students on a limited basis.  I’m having difficulties seeing an implementation that goes beyond that and being successful for all students.

Turn your computer into a ‘Mystery Machine’

Stacey Manzerolle offers a suggestion for planning for the fall.

In a nutshell, she describes the process of the Mystery Skype classroom.  It is an activity designed to exploit the connected classroom.  I’ve heard from so many people about the successes that they’ve had with the approach.  It’s worth checking out.

The Metaphor Project: Creating A Way Station for Change Agents

I thought that Stephen Hurley’s post about his launch of the Metaphor Project would be a perfect launch into summer.  At this time, people have more time to look around and investigate just a little closer.

I think he kicked off his project nicely with the video that he shared.  I had seen it earlier and got focused on the technology behind it which I found fascinating.  However, he shifted things by asking us to consider what it means about change in the organization.  And, he provided a few prompts.

Stepping back though, I took a different angle.  Without the movie, if you asked me what happens when a drop hits a watery surface, I think I would have had one answer.  It was only by slowing the process down and really paying attention that I realize my assumption would be incorrect.

Is that the takeaway?  Do we see better when we slow down and take the time to challenge our assumptions?

What a wonderful way to start thinking about things for the summer!  Thanks, Stephen.

I never fail to get inspired by the thoughts and openness of Ontario Educators.  Please make sure that you check out these posts and all the ones from Ontario Educators here.

Perhaps this summer you’re taking an AQ course or you’re going to take the leap and start your own blog.  Please consider adding it to the form at the Ontario Educators page.  I’d love to add your wisdom to the others.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It was another week of inspirational reading from my friends / colleagues in Ontario who are sharing their learning and thinking via their blogs.  I can’t recall what I was reading but the question was posed “Should teachers blog or has it become too passé.  (Accent is mine – it was from a blog that clearly was English only…)  Anyway, I would submit that anyone who doesn’t see the value of teachers blogging just doesn’t get it.  Learning today is much more than waiting for the edict to arrive via a staff meeting or a memo.  I would expect that any job in education whether it be for a new teacher or any teacher aspiring for a position of added responsibility should include reference to the applicant’s blog where they openly and publicly reflect upon their practice.

Here’s some of the good stuff I read this week.

Project Based Learning: Don’t Start with a Question

I’ve said it before – I wish that I had met Peter Skillen a long time ago.  His thinking always pushes mine.  He’s not aware of any box so he can’t “think outside the box” – he just thinks – and shares.

I remember a conversation that he and I had once where he has expressed frustration with the pedagogues who implemented policy at the board level by attending a single presentation, asked the presenter for his slides, and off they went.  No deep thinking about the impact of implementation without understanding what’s going on.

In this post, Peter takes on a fresh look at the concept of PBL with a different approach to the project and then extends it to a flip.  It’s a very good read.  I’d suggest that you read it at least twice so that you don’t miss or misunderstand his message.

I shared it on Twitter and got some interesting responses, including a response from Craig Kemp…

which led me to a reflection of his own.

PBL in Mathematics – Creating a Board Game

How’s that for keeping the conversation going?

A screenshot away from your own perfect worksheet!

I added a new blog entry to the list of Ontario Edubloggers this week.  Svetlana Lupasco is an ESL teacher – I’m somehow attracted to ESL teachers – maybe it’s the respect of being able to communicate in a variety of languages?  Maybe because it’s got to be one of the toughest jobs in education?  Maybe because they’re the ultimate users of differentiation?

The title of the post made me a little wary until I saw the context – it wasn’t about filling 15 minutes doing mindless repetition, but rather respecting the adult learner and putting the learning in context.

I found myself nodding in agreement with the message of the post.  I find that I do the same sort of thing in blogging or document creation.  Perhaps my goal is different but I think that the technique and rationale makes a great deal of sense.

And, the resources for images is noteworthy too.  “My two favourite free open-source websites are and

Tapping It Up A Notch: Pool Noodles

First of all, the concept of “noodle” has to be an Essex County thing.  Everyone knows they’re called woggles.

I know that this is an older post, judging by the date, but it’s a great application and certainly something for students to think about as they head home or to the local public pool.

It’s a great, practical application that students are sure to relate to.

I had to do a little mathematics like that myself this spring, only mine extended the concept further.  As I took the winter cover off the pool, I was sickened to see that a branch had torn a hole in the cover and the lovely stuff that accumulates on top managed to make the pool look more like a swamp.

Now, my pool is round, so fortunately, the woggle would bend.  Then, I had to shock the pool which required being able to calculate the volume of water in the pool to determine how much shock to add.

Don’t ever, ever question the fact that mathematics is everywhere!

Independent Study Projects – Semester 2 2013/2014

Emily Fitzpatrick shares some of the work that sprung from ISUs in computer science classes.

This computer science teacher found the post so interesting.

At its simplest, computer science can be a discipline where you watch the teacher demonstrate code and then modify it a bit for their own solutions. 

However, you raise the ante when you ask the question “Why” and expect well thought through responses.  This was a pleasure for me to read.

Why Write? Is Anyone Reading It?

I can’t believe that there’s a blogger alive that hasn’t asked that question and probably never totally satisfied with the answers.  I would suggest that, while you may not blog and change the world, you can always blog your thoughts, reflections, and either get confirmation or challenge yourself while writing.  If you’re looking for a world of reflective practice, this is absolutely the place to do it.

I think that Sue Bruyns absolutely nails the essence of blogging for that purpose in her opening sentence.

“Strolling down memory lane” is your absolutely perfect, bullet-proof, technique to let you know exactly how much you’ve grown professionally.  I would challenge anyone to come up with a better way to demonstrate personal growth other than blogging and reflecting regularly.

I hope that this is a reflection at one point in time and that she continues to blog.  As a leader within a school district, it demonstrates the type of leadership that is open, transparent, and so needed in an educational world that can be so quirky at times.

The downside to writing “This Week in Ontario Edublogs” is that I have to force myself to stop or I never would. 

I hope that you’re curious enough to follow the links above and, when you get your fill, check out the big list of Ontario Edubloggers.  There is always some incredibly good reading there.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It’s Friday and a chance for me to share some of the great reads that caught my attention this week.

I wish that there was room for more but you can always check them out yourself.  Links below or check them out here.

Attending to Details: Visual Supports in the Classroom

Andrea Kerr nails another really important concept about learning.  In a recent post, she explored and shared her thoughts about visual supports.  In particular, she identifies five supports:

This really hit home with me this week.  I had an opportunity to clean out some old workshop notes.  There were a couple that I really remember and a couple that I can’t even remember being at.  The difference?  My notes and the handouts for the ones that I remember were riddled with visuals, doodles, and images.  The others were just text and I must have taken the notes on my computer because they were printed on a laser printer.  It put this reading into focus.

My thoughts on DRM: Digital Rights Management

I can clearly see both sides of the discussion about digital rights.

I guess the defining moment for me is the recognition of the logic behind it.  By applying DRM to a product, the vendor is considering you guilty until you prove otherwise by paying money.

Read Brandon Grasley’s thoughts about DRM at this post.

I am totally in support of his concluding thought…except I wouldn’t say sorry.

To the publishers reading this, though: I sometimes decided to not purchase a work because it was DRMed and not available in the ecosystem I live in. I didn’t want to download another app or create another account, so you didn’t get my dollars, neither did your author, and I enjoyed someone else’s book. If you hadn’t DRMed it, I would have bought it. Sorry.

Classroom Collective

There is no link to this actual post but there is a great image.  Go to the link above and scroll down.

Apparently, this is an iGuy for the iPad.

My inner child wants one.  Father’s Day is coming, kids.

School Dress Codes

Sheila Stewart reminds us that there is a consultation process dealing with school dress code.

The whole notion is really foreign to me.  Going to high school, I only had two pairs of pants and a few shirts.  When I was 16, I got a job at the town pool and got a really nice double blue shirt that I wore to death.

When I started teaching, Grade 9 night had a presentation from the vice-principal who had one of those presentations indicating that if clothing was inappropriate, the students had to pick an alternative outfit from the lost and found box.  I don’t ever recall it being an issue.

I know times change and certainly so has the clothing styles.

It seems to me that the one voice that’s missing is the student voice.  They can be the voice of financial reality and common sense if they could be included.  Why aren’t they?

I also wonder if the consultation process that Sheila talks about applies to schools where there is a uniform in place.  Is there a consultation there?

Learning From Miss Molly!

Not to be confused with @MzMollyTL!

Aviva Dunsiger has had a rough couple weeks but, in a post, introduces us to Molly.

I remember the days of water dishes dwarfing puppies…

Please Bring Your Anger to the Carpet

Debbie Axiak describes a very interesting classroom activity as her students explore their emotions.

Read on to see some examples and comments about student’s thoughts about their own anger.

Thanks for dropping by and enjoying some of the awesome things that happen regularly in Ontario Edublogs.  You can pick and choose from the entire collection here.

If you’re blogging and not listed there, please add yourself.  I’ve love to read your blog.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

From a spammer this week…

I know this site gives quality based articles or reviews and other information, is there any other web site which gives these kinds
of data in quality?

Why yes.  Yes, there is.  They’re called Ontario Edubloggers.  If you had looked around, you might have found these blog posts this week.

Make it a Bestseller

Paul Cornies’ blog is always a source for morning inspiration with the quotes that he shares.

On Thursday, he posted a series of quotes and one of them should absolutely be on the walls of every classroom.

Student Scientists: Can you make a rainbow?

I want to be in this class!  Jocelyn Schmidt’s class had the tools and the inquiry desired to make a rainbow in their kindergarten class.  Read this post to see how they did it.

I feel so silly…I go the traditional route and wait for it to rain and then go outside hoping to find one.


In the search for the latest and greatest digital and electronic solutions to everything, mathematics is right in the midst.  Let’s not overlook the traditional games that help learn mathematics concepts.  Mary-Ann Fuduric shares how she uses traditional games like Yahtzee and others work with her students.

After all, games are all about probability, keeping score, patterns, …  Why wouldn’t you use them?

I’ve played them all!  Missing from the list is the wonderful game Mahjongg.

Teach Like A Designer

Andrea Kerr offers a thought provoking post about UDL and how technology can meld with the traditional to create an inclusive learning environment for all students.  To support her thesis, she’s included a pair of videos that really provide some insights.  It’s not a quick read, but I think it’s one well worth the time.

The ultimate goal is important…

The teacher can therefore plan and create a positive classroom environment, free of frustrations, bias, and exclusion.

Now, if our spammer friend would only take the time to look around, he/she/it would definitely be turned on by the thoughts of Ontario Edubloggers!

Check out these posts at the links provided and wander around the complete list.  The Livebinder is shared above but if you’d like the! version, click here.

Thanks so much for those who are blogging and sharing regularly.