This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It never fails to impress me that there are so many interesting things coming from Ontario Education Bloggers. There’s great sharing happening regularly.  I hope that you take the time to enjoy.

From Parents/School Advocates…
Sheila Stewart did a little reflective thinking about her purpose on Twitter.

I wonder if I’m the annoying type?

For me, I think that it’s the collective wisdom and insights that I get from engaging with those I do daily.  For me, it’s on both Twitter and Facebook.  I step back and times and just wonder what learning would be like without those I follow and, in particular, the Ontario Educators.  It would be pretty boring.  I find that the daily conversations spiral my learning.  You can’t buy that sort of professional growth.

From Trustees, Higher Education
There wasn’t anything new in this category this week so…

Just thought I’d share this image that I shared in a blog post about Ubuntu wallpapers.  I really like it.

From Principals, VPs, and Administrators
Donna Fry got to go to the DeLC Forum this past week.  (only it has a new name now)  I had Forum envy.  I always used to enjoy the Forum and having discussions while having a meeting of the minds.  And, she got to do it on her birthday.  I hope they bought her a cake.

From her blog post, it was obvious that there was some great conversations happening.  Donna tossed out a few questions that arose from the discussions there.

1)  Absolutely.  I know that there is an interest in targeting young ladies but young men are missing the coding opportunities as well.  When the current Computer Studies document was under revision, I was pretty vocal that the Grade 10 Course should be compulsory.  Lost that one.  Sadly, most students and parents focus on the making sure that they cover the compulsory courses and pass the Grade 10 literacy test.  There is so much more that secondary schools can offer – like Computer Studies, the Arts, Technological Studies.  I think that there’s an element that believes students will get the requisite skills by accident.  Then, we wonder why they do silly things in social media, can’t understand why they can’t connect to the internet, don’t understand HTML at least at a rudimentary level, can’t program a GPS, much less a robot, …

2)  I think that we’ve never been in a better position of addressing visual literacy skills.  The tools that are available to us through OSAPAC licensing or free Read/Write Web applications are so powerful.  We just need to tap into them.  Digital storytelling is so powerful, but limited in areas.  We could use a unit somewhere in the curriculum to learn how to design infographics.  Think of the visual literacy.  Think of the data manipulation.  Think of the mathematics.

3)  I think that the answer to #3 also applies to #2 and to #1.  We need to stop treating computer use as a separate concept called “computer literacy” as if it’s something else to learn.  What’s really and truly needed is professional learning opportunities delivered via the subject councils for meaningful and engaging activities.  Instead of looking stuff up or writing a report in a word processor, why aren’t we creating meaningful projects in all subject areas?  Why aren’t we inviting personal devices to the classroom and making the most from them?

4)  I’ve never understood what “being smart” means.  What I’d settle for is being just a bit better than I was yesterday.

From K-12 Educators
Erin Paynter‘s most recent post reminded me why my wife doesn’t allow me to talk “office” when we’re out for supper lest someone overhears.  I always thought it was suitable to her – she’s in the medical profession and who wants to hear about needles and drugs – but education is everyone’s business, isn’t it?

In this case, Erin listened to a conversation about social media in schools.  I suspect that it may well be a conversation that could hear in many places, not just where she happened to have dinner.

Erin’s answer is to draw a parallel to a teenager learning to drive a car.  We don’t expect that to happen by happenstance.  In fact, many people pay commercial services to teach students how to drive.

So, if we don’t teach responsible computer use in schools, within the educational context, do we leave it to Mom and Dad to do it at home?  Or, perhaps some person sitting next to them at a coffee shop or restaurant?  Or, perhaps it’s a “do it yourself” project in the school cafeteria?

From Consultants and SATs
I like a good success story and Michael Redfearn shares a great one within his own district.  It started with a humble iPod and grew to incorporate more technologies and, eventually, a Teacher Learning and Leadership Program project.

You’ve got to like the enthusiasm that’s coming through in his writing.

I hope that the classroom continues to enjoy success in their efforts and that Michael blogs again about the progress made.  Or, perhaps the classroom itself will begin to share by themselves.  It sounds like they would be a great addition to our list of Ontario Edubloggers.

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OTR Links 05/25/2012

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