This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Can you believe that we’re approaching the end of July already?  Where did the month go?  It’s going to be a nice weekend around here: Explore the Shore, and the Car Crazy Show.

It’s always a great week when there is lots of thinking from Ontario Educators.  Here’s some of what I caught.


#WeLeadBy Student Digital Leadership at its best

I had the honour of helping review Jennifer Casa-Todd’s book as she was writing it.  I do remember one disagreement that we had, albeit friendly, when I challenged her on some concept she wanted to include.  I remember my comment “Haven’t we got past that?”.  Her comment was that we hadn’t in some districts.  So sad.

On the other hand, there are some incredible things that are happening and Jennifer uses social media to showcase the best of it.  In this post, she illustrates how she practices what she preaches and tweets.  It’s all about the process for a province wide student Twitter chat.  There are interesting reflections on her process, background work, and the people that she’s met.

This is well worth the time to read and affirm to yourself that the kids are alright.

I’ve always been a social media and leadership fanatic. I’m honored to be able to combine the two and show my student digital leadership! What an amazing experience I know’ll known I’ll never forget.


IBL and learning

When was the last time that you seriously thought about what learning truly means.  All of us who have ever been in a classroom will think that we know.  As I read this post from Julie Balen, I can’t help but wonder if what we think might be too narrow.

Watt and Coyler tell us that IBL is influenced by constructivism (page 4), and they also acknowledge that IBL is only one pedagogy amongst many that we decide to use based on our knowledge of how our students learn. This point is important, and it is why I have begun the book study by thinking about what learning means.

As noted in the title, she’s focusing on Inquiry Based Learning and her observations will have you thinking.

The concluding paragraph of questions is set in the context of students in Grade 9 and 10.  I can’t help but think that it’s too late by that time but that can be reality for many.  It’s one of the few places where you pull together students from so many disparate backgrounds.


Hubbub! Coding a First Nations’ Game of Chance

Have you read any good code lately?  If the answer is no or you’re just curious, check out this project from Brian Aspinall.

The game is based upon a dice game and there’s a link to the background of the game in Brian’s post.

But then, follow the link in the post, and you’ll be playing.  After a moment, you’ll want to look behind the scenes to see how things are actually coded.

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But don’t stop there.  The power of Scratch lies in the ability for you to remix his work.


Part1: Summers are for resting, recharging and retooling

Read this first.

This process really does take a week-and-a-half, or two. My body doesn’t recognize vacation mode until 7 days have passed…otherwise my body things it might just be a long weekend, or Spring Break. Once I’m grounded, present, and connected…I can move forward to reading and other intentional activities that make me feel alive, and help me to RECHARGE ! That’s for next time!
Thanks for joining me.

That’s at the bottom of Heidi Solway’s post of July 20.

It does take a while for summer holiday mode to kick in!  I loved reading about her summer routine.

Any bets on when Part 2 will be posted?


MUSLIM GIRLS MAKING CHANGE

One of the joys about reading blogs is going places where you’d never go other wise.  This post, from Rusul Alrubail, is one of them.

Thanks to her wonderful blog, I now know about MGMC.

Muslim Girls Making Change, or MGMC, is a youth based slam poetry group that started over a little more than a year ago. As a group (us being four teens in high school), we often felt that our voices weren’t being heard or that they weren’t important.

And now so do you!

The post is an interview that will give you some insights about the why and how of this group.

Could the concept be replicated in your school?


Minecraft and Stop Motion Animation

I enjoy reading what teachers are doing with Minecraft in the classroom.  Scott Renaud shares what’s going on in his classroom and where he intends to take it.

It’s an interesting read and also a call for collaborators.

That is where we are going and what our plan is, we would love to connect and work with like minded educators from around the world, if this sounds like something you may be interested in please reach out to me and join our team.


A SUMMERTIME TEACHING ADVENTURE

From the TESL Ontario blog, here’s an interesting insight to teaching overseas.

I found teaching overseas enabled me to be far more vulnerable since nobody knew me. There was simply less reason to worry. After all, in two weeks, I would likely never see these students again. It was a very different perspective to approach the class with. To be honest, it was kind of fun and sometimes scary at the same time.

This was another concept that I never thought I’d have the opportunity to even think about and so enjoyed reading about the whole process.

The post concludes with four tips about things to consider if this appeals to you.


Thanks to all of the above for continuing to blog, post, and share their thoughts over the summer.  It’s appreciated.  How about YOU?  Have you blogged recently?

Please take a moment to show your appreciation to them by clicking through and sharing a comment on their posts.

OTR Links 07/28/2017


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Maybe this will help


Do you ever walk into a room and then forget why you went there?  It happens all the time here!

Even worse is the digital equivalent.  As I read or work on something on my computer, I’ll use it as a launchpad to do something else.  If it’s a link, I’ll right-click a link and open a tab to remind me and, hopefully, get around to it later.

Sometimes, though, that isn’t sufficient.  So, I’ll use a Keep or OneNote document to keep track of things.  I just have to remember to visit them to do whatever it was that I was supposed to do.

Yesterday, I think I may have found a better solution.

It’s called the Papier extension.

It’s the ultimate in minimalism but fancy formatting and every feature under the sun isn’t what I need.  I just need a place to make a quick note so that I don’t forget.  Papier might be the answer.

It replaces the New Tab feature in the Chrome browser.  Now when I open a new tab, I just get a wide open whitespace to do some typing.  (Or blackspace if I turn on Night Mode)

Then, I make my note.

There are a few features available via menu or shortcut.

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Essentially, you just open the tab and start typing.  It remembers the content every time you open the tab.  The nice thing is that it’s all kept in the browser and you don’t have to leave to go anywhere else to use it.

I’m going to give it a try and see if it helps my memory.

I just hope that I remember to click on post to share this.

 

OTR Links 07/27/2017


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Is set and forget good?


I think we all would like to think that we set up a computer, set up services, set up this and that, and we’re good for time immemorial.

That might work if you were in total control of everything.  But, if this world of computer updates and services that we use changing, I’m convinced that’s not a good approach.

So, I do and recommend to others that they check their settings and see just what it is that you’re allowing to be shared – and with whom.

It will take a few minutes but it’s a good summer cleanup / checkup activity.

There are three biggies for me.

  1.  Google.  https://myaccount.google.com/privacy
    Screenshot 2017-07-25 at 09.22.40
    It’s not just for search anymore.  You watch videos, manage documents, buy things, search for things, share things, use social media, log into other services using your Google account.  Just what are you sharing with the world?
    Log into your Google account and then follow the link above and double check.  You may be surprised at just how much information is available and how you’re sharing it.
  2. Facebook.  https://www.facebook.com/settings?tab=account
    Screenshot 2017-07-25 at 09.17.47Of course, all of the above applies to Facebook as well.  But, there’s a little more since Facebook is all about the sharing of information and, often, very personal information.  In addition to working your way down the list, pay special attention to the Privacy section and see just who is able to see your content.
  3. Twitter.  https://twitter.com/settings/account
    Screenshot 2017-07-25 at 09.21.06You know, for 140 characters, there are certainly all kinds of settings that can be tweaked to make sure that you’re getting the most from the experience.  Most of these settings should be familiar now once you’re checked your Google and Facebook settings.  An important one to check is “Apps”.  Just how many applications and services have you given access to your Twitter account to?  You might be surprised.  Revoking the ones that you’re currently not using is a good idea.

Do you feel safer and more confident about your online presence now?  Of course, these three are just the biggies.  If you have a Bing, Yahoo!, Zoho, or more accounts, it’s worth checking out to make sure that it’s all good on your end.  Things do change since you set up your original account.

It’s just a nice rainy day activity.

Put it in your calendar as a recurring event.

OTR Links 07/26/2017


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Response to Spammers


I realized that I’ve been missing acknowledgement to an element of the blogging experience – spammers!  I take a look at some of the comments that Akismet blocks from public view every now and again and they always generate a smile.

Sometimes, it’s just too good to not share.  Of course, a good spammer will include a link to some site that will do things like add to an advertisement counter or give you a dose of malware or something.  I’d never knowingly repeat those links or include them here but some of the comments intended to entice people to click through are priceless.

It does beg the question – does it actually work and get some people to fall for it?

They do detract from the wonderful people who do give some good feedback on posts.

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Here are some of the latest of the most recent 514 that have been caught …


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Somehow, this is refreshing news for this blogger …


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I hate when that happens.


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I have this uncanny feeling that you’re just here to cause trouble.


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There are no discussion boards that go to the depths and the level of research that is done here.  Plus, the quality of the legitimate comments is second to none.  Don’t waste your time.  There’s only one doug — off the record.


Screenshot 2017-07-24 at 19.56.56

You obviously don’t know me.  My curling iron days are long behind me!

Even curling it with a straightener won’t work.  Does that even make sense?


and the list goes on and on.

I can’t imagine the work involved if I had to filter this stuff out manually.

Blech!