This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Looking back over the things that I read this past week from Ontario Edubloggers was once again an enjoyable task.  There is some great thinking to be had!

From Parents/Schools Advocates
I was on the OSAPAC committee when we recommended that the Ministry of Education license Bitstrips for Schools.  It has been a huge success with all kinds of uptake throughout the province.  I really enjoy reading cartoons created by kids.  They just get right to the point.

@bachtrac shares a cartoon created by her daughter.  It’s sort of a Harry Potter meets Homework.  And, yet, this Grade 5 student manages to embed an opinion about homework…

From Trustees, Higher Education
A year of Powerful Learning Practice can be one of the best learning a person can have.  I was able to work with three cohorts a couple of years back and it’s difficult to describe how not only do you learn so much, but you make the best friends for life.  I’ve mentioned a few times how one of the cohorts manages to get together a couple of times a year, even though we’re well distributed now, because we became such good co-learners and friends.

Alana Callan shares her year in the PLP in review via a blogpost and a Storify post.  I really like the concept of the Storify to pull together the year and reflect on her participation.  It was create to read.

And, you never know who or what will show up at these things…

From Principals, VPs, and Administrators
I read Lisa Neale’s post about “On ‘Being’ in Social Media” and I really liked how it started.  I thought that the Jung quote was very interesting and really got to the heart of the topic.

In a Wordle, she took considerable time to put together words that describe how she sees her involvement.

I thought that this really pulled together what she thinks of herself and, while I’ve met Lisa face to face a couple times, I probably know her better as an online being in the various social media.  To that end, I can see her there.

Then, the post took a turn I hadn’t expected.  She made reference to books that others had written about Social Media.  That part tempered the message for me.  It seems to me that “Being” in Social Media gives you the opportunity to invent yourself using the tools at your disposal and not to fall in line with what someone else describes it to be.  I don’t think you can effectively be “in” it without actually doing it.

Hamilton Wentworth is fortunate to have a principal leading the learning in social media.  It will be interesting to follow up and see how many she has managed to get on board and get “in”.

From K-12 Teachers
Kyle Pearce had the opportunity to work with iPads in a 1:1 environment in his secondary school mathematics classroom as part of a TLLP project.  In his latest blog post, he thought out loud about the need for styluses for student use.

It was an interesting read.

I’ve got a couple of styluses.  One I received for a Christmas present and the second I purchased myself after the first one broke.  I got it at BestBuy and can’t recall how much I paid for it.  It seemed like a good idea at the time but I found myself just not using it.  Typically, because it’s never accessible when I want to use a stylus.

So, it just sits around doing nothing.

Then, I got hooked playing Draw Something with @aforgrave.  I figured that the stylus would make me a better drawer.  In fact, my drawings seem to have gotten worse.  Maybe it’s the design of the stylus but I just find that the rubberized end gets dry and kind of skids across the screen.

So, it’s back to sitting around doing nothing.

Now, a Bluetooth keyboard was a great addition for creating and composing documents!

From Consultants and SATs
Brenda Sherry muses over teachers and technology as a result of listening to student voice on the topic.

Brenda’s teaching an AQ course and reflects on students having control over their learning.  Yet, we’re still asking questions like she does “I often wonder if we’ll be talking about this issue of  ”allowing” technology into classrooms  in 5 or 10 years,”

So, I wondered – what will it take?

  • a policy?
  • a requirement?
  • computing to appear on standardized tests?
  • an uprising by parents?
  • a revision of the curriculum?

Or, is it time for those who make these decisions to listen to the Zaks of this world?  Do you realize how outnumbered “the system” is if they ever get their voices together?  I’d love to see People for Education to incorporate this issue in a future report and to read their recommendations.

You can read the entire blog posts in the links embedded above or by visiting the list of Ontario Edubloggers here.

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