And She Did!


Recently, I wrote a blog post “Successful Blog Posts“.  It was in response to a post by Libby Taylor.  I took her original five points, analysed them with respect to “doug…off the record” and added a sixth of my own.

My call to action was a challenge to Sylvia Duckworth to create one of her lovely Sketchnotes from the points in the post.

And She Did!

Check it out below.

Thanks so much, Sylvia.  You’ve done a wonderful job.  This image is a 640×480 version of the sketchnote.  If you’d like a copy of the original, you can find it here.  We’ve talked before about using her works as posters in the classroom.  This would be awesome to have for the blogging classroom.

Kudos go to Sylvia and her super power.  You’ve knocked another one out of the park, my friend.

A Flipboard collection of her works is located here.

 

OTR Links 07/06/2015


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

Yes, You Can


I had a chance to do a quick workshop at Tim Horton’s the other day. 

I ran into someone I used to work with and she showed me one of the summer projects that she was working on.

It was essentially to collect data from students and bring it into a spreadsheet for the students to analyse.  That’s always a fun and very useful activity and can be used to address expectations from the mathematics (and other) curriculums.

The tool being used to collect the data was a Google Form and it worked nicely.  The plan was to collect the data from there, export it in Excel format and then use Excel to work with the data, reformat it, draw some charts, reach some conclusions, etc. 

I asked this question “I thought you were an Office 365 Board”.

I got this response “Yeah, but you can’t do forms with it”.

Me – “I’m pretty sure you can.  Let’s take a look at your Excel Online.”

Now, creating a form isn’t as explicit as it is in Sheets but it’s right there in the middle of the ribbon of a new spreadsheet.

The term is “Survey” and it’s a clickable button.

And, you’re off.

You have all the functionality that you probably could use in a form or data collection tool.  The response types include Text, Paragraph Text, Number, Date, Time, Yes/No, or your own Choice.

The button itself has the options for viewing, editing, deleting, and most importantly sharing when you’re done.

It’s equally as slick for creating, publishing, and sharing.  The results are immediately gathered into an Excel Online spreadsheet which then can be shared, manipulated, filtered, etc. as you will.

The end result for the students will be exactly the same.  But, by doing everything in one spot, it’s a bit less work for the teacher and you don’t need to have two different online accounts to pull it off.

OTR Links 07/05/2015


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

Stop It Already


I didn’t attend the ISTE Conference this year.  As I noted yesterday, it’s never held on a July 4 but it was on a July 1.  I enjoyed time with family and fireworks instead. 

At the same time, social media does allow you to track the conversations.  Fortunately, you can follow the discussions with the hashtag #ISTE15.  So, you can live the experience vicariously if you so desire.

I did a bit but felt that I needed to put on my filter a little more than usual.

I didn’t go running through the streets screaming but I could have. 

Over and over, I’d read “So and So says that it’s about the pedagogy and not the technology”.

So, why is “So and So” at the conference then?  Well, from this seat, many are people who write books and speak publically for a living and are trying to get a little notoriety.  Good for them and obviously the credibility has been developed with some to the point that what they say is important.  But how many times do we need to hear it?

I mean, really?

It’s the year 2015.

We’ve lived through so many models and so many attempts to perfect the educational system.  We know that or have always known that learning is a community event with all kinds of social actions and, importantly, relevancy in the eyes of students and parents.  Students so that they maintain focus and parents who want success and will stand fully behind a teacher that engages and pushes students to be constantly learning and improving.

A message from Wayne Hulley has always stuck with me.  “Nobody wakes up in the morning wondering how they’re going to screw up today”.  I’d like to take some liberty with his message and note that nobody goes to a technology conference to find a new piece of technology that will replace the job of teaching in their classroom.

That clearly is the job of teachers.  Instead, people attend conferences to listen to leading colleagues who want to share successes with technology (or whatever else the focus is of the conference).  They want to walk the exhibit hall and engage with vendors who have a relevant product and know how it fits into education.  People attend because they want to refine their craft and make their classroom a more powerful place to learn.

To that end, I just find the original quote a disservice to the profession and an insult to teachers who are doing their best to learn.

Does anyone hear that message and do a forehead slap “Wow we’ve been doing it wrong all these years.”

OTR Links 07/04/2015


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

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


It’s the first week of July.  That’s always nice.  If things would just warm up, it would be even better!  While waiting, check out these recent posts from some Ontario Educators.


Makerspace, Inquiry and Minecraft – Enrichment and Innovation Centre

Zoe Branigan-Pipe took her wisdom and expertise south to the ISTE Conference in Philadelphia.

Ever notice that this “international” conference is never held on July 4?  There’s no qualms about part of it being on July 1 though.

Anyway, Zoe teases us with what she plans to cover in her session.  Hopefully, there’s a followup post coming to let us know how it went.


The Microsoft OneNote Project – Ensuring Success For All Students

There are all kinds of people sharing information about the use of Google Apps for Education online.  I’ve mentioned before how there’s a real shortage of ideas and tips for those who use the Microsoft equivalent.  Diana Mancuso shares a list of ways that OneNote helps students.  Part of the list appears below – go to the original post to see the rest.

It should be noted that the blog post was sponsored by Microsoft Canada.

Near the bottom, she shares a link to the TDSB Assistive Technology Blog.  This looks like a great resource and worthy of bookmarking.


I’m Sorry!

Well, at least we now know that Aviva Dunsiger is not perfect.

Could there be a place with more “ears” than a school?

Comments get shared quickly among students and staff and, of course, often the original message gets lost.  I’m sorry to hear that this happened to anybody but Aviva’s post is a reminder that our reputation and self-worth can be hurt so quickly with just a short comment or action.


Regrets, We’ve All Had a Few

Of all the years that I’ve known, David Fife, I didn’t know that he was a musician.  In this post, David shares his thoughts about not keeping up with his music.

That really struck home with me.  I wanted to play the guitar in Grade 2.  The only problem was that my fingers weren’t long enough to go around the neck of the guitar.  So, my parents bought me lessons on a steel guitar.  For about the next 8 years, I learned every country and western and Hawaiian song ever made.  When I hit high school, I most certainly lost interest.  I haven’t lost the guitar though.  It’s made every move that I’ve ever made.  I might just pick it up and see if I still have that ol’ twang.


A Voice for My Students

Vilma Manahan was a new blogger that I discovered this past week.

The first post really struck a note with me.  It’s a collection of notes from the students written to her.  It’s an opportunity for the students to visit them over the summer and take part of a summer challenge that she’s posed to the students.  It will be interesting to follow up in the fall to see if it worked.  In the meantime, the notes are just awesome to read.  Student voice can be so powerful.


As always, this has been just a wonderful collection of posts from Ontario Edubloggers. Please take the time to read them in their entirety.  If you’re taking an AQ course this summer and creating your own blog, please take a moment to let me know at the form provided.