This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It’s been a couple of weeks since I took a spin around the great Ontario Edublog universe so it’s time to catch up.  The Livebinder of the content remains at:  If you’re an Ontario Edublogger and would like to be added to the collection, just follow the link and complete the form to be added.

Here are some interesting finds…

Visualizing the Native Apps vs. Web Apps Debate
Rob DeLorenzo shared an infographic comparing the issues of developing web content.  Do you build a Mobile App or a Mobile Website?  I think there’s a desire of content owners to be able to say “We gots an app”.  That’s why you see so many of them.  I read a number of online newspapers and actually started downloading a few of the apps for the services.  But, I’ve found them to be flaky – including the local newspaper and so stopped doing so.  It still takes time to load the content and there’s nothing more frustrating than watching an app crash in front of your eyes.  It might make sense if you’re only going to read one or two places but, for my money, I prefer to visit a website that really supports both traditional browser and mobile browsers.  Wordpress has a setting to present a mobile version of your blog and I have that turned on for visitors.  In my opinion, The Star has the best mobile browser interface of the newspapers that I read.


Car Games
Stephen Hurley re-introduced me to a game that I wish I’d played as a child.  Instead, it was a game from a workshop icebreaker.  He called it Car Games and it’s a word recognition / prediction game for kids to play to kill the boredom of a long drive.  It’s particularly helpful in the summer time when we’re all more likely to be headed for a long drive.


Strengthening Compassion Via Half Brother & Project Nim
I always enjoy reading about what’s happening in Heather Durnin‘s class. Her class has partnered with Clarence Fisher’s class on so many things and their use of technology just appears to make everything fall into place so easily.  In her recent post, she spends some time reflecting on activities from the past year.  Reflection is a good activity for everyone.  Since she teachers a 7/8 split, some of her students will move on to a Grade 9 class and new settings.  Here’s hoping that their learnings continue there.

What a great learning activity to support a Red Maple novel!


Teens and Texting
Sheila Stewart opened up a bit about the Stewart household. Educators are dealing with the concept of portable technology and how it potentially can become distracting in the classroom.  She’s now dealing with it at home!  It’s another example of technology growing quicker than society’s ability to understand its implications.  So, what do you do when the technology is there, always on.  Some of the “help” that she got from repliers talked about shutting it down or turning it off.  I think that’s the first inclination by most people but I can’t help but think that it’s the same answer to classroom argument – applying old rules to new situations.  I think that there will be a solution but it needs to come from the user and not be imposed externally.  We’ve gone through the same thing here and we just continue with whatever activity that we’re going to do and leave it to our kids to follow.  It took a while but technology and family manage to co-exist.  It’s not easy though.


Honourable Mention
While not specifically a blog post, but rather a letter to the editor.  Greg Weiler from the Waterloo Region ETFO wrote a reasoned piece to the Editor.  He very eloquently talked about the negotiations between the teacher federations and the Government of Ontario.  It’s a good read.  As with most things online, make sure that you read the replies to get a sense of public sentiment.

Thanks to those who continue to share their thoughts over the summer.  It’s testiment to the professionalism of the teaching profession that thoughts and learning continue through the break.


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