From the Ontario Educational Bloggers list, some of this week’s highlights.
From Consultants and SATs
Zoe Branigan-Pipe recently had a wonderful opportunity that she undertook as a moment for reflection. She represented Ontario Teachers at a conference in Israel at the request of the Ontario Ministry of Education and, of course, blogged about the experience.
It’s not a quick or short read as she wanted to include so many details. My takeaway from her post was her observation about how good Ontario teachers have things compared to other jurisdictions. She pulls in some nice quotes to support her points. You should definitely take a look at it and compare the scenarios she describes with your own.
From K-12 Teachers
I really don’t know who @FlyontheCWall is. But, a #FollowFriday released on a Thursday is kind of special. That drew me to the Classroom Wall blog where I re-read an older blog post about an Ancient Greece activity done with Grade 5 students.
The “Ancient Greece Job Fair” sounded like a great deal of fun. What a neat concept to have the students doing some research about Ancient Greece with a specific purpose in mind.
The other thing that intrigued me was the format used for the activity. It’s almost Webquest in style and I really liked the combination of research and writing that was incorporated.
If you were to drive by Kristen Wideen’s school recently, you might have been surprised to see kids outside with iPads. Little kids? iPads? Angry Birds outside? Of course not.
They were learning about spiders and bugs. Reading books, writing facts, and now getting close up was all a nice mixture of learning activity.
After the pictures were taken, they used Skitch to diagram their real life subjects. What a great idea! And then, of course, share them on the blog so that parents and others can enjoy and appreciate their work.
From Principals, VPs, and Administrators
I got a double whammy on this blog post. I had the terrific opportunity to meet with Mark Carbone for lunch recently where we had a quick chat about this and then it was also available for reading on his blog.
Can you imagine your CIO taking the time to visit a high school to talk with students about their learning? In more than a cursory fashion? With a plan in mind?
That’s what happened when Mark visited @msjweir’s secondary school English classroom. To frame the visit, they had a discussion about a recent activity and the impact that technology had on it.
This is another blog entry that I hope Mark follows up with and shares the results. In particular, once the students have had the joy and experience of using the technology, how about question #3? What would be the effect of removing technology once it’s part of the way that they do business?
From Parent/School Advocates
Sheila Stewart questions some of the rationale for the use of technology in a post that she called Misconceptions.
In a way, I can see part of her argument about assumptions about the use of technology at home.
But, I would argue that we might make the same assumptions about trips to the museum, or mental math at the grocery story (which, by the way, my kids still hate me for having them do), or healthy lifestyles in both physical activities and diet. We might make assumptions or might not make assumptions but we still teach everyone history or healthy living at schools. Why wouldn’t we also be teaching digital citizenship, computer skills, problem solving, etc.? Quite frankly, the biggest difference is there isn’t a formal curriculum with specific expectations. Formally adopting “Together for Learning” would be a nice start.
Check out these blogs and more at the Ontario Edubloggers LiveBinder document. If you’re an Ontario Educator, submit the URL of your blog to add to the group.