This Week in Ontario Edublogs

 

Yes, it’s summer but the great content just keeps on coming.  Thanks to Ontario Edubloggers, there was some great learning and thinking for me over the past while.  Some of the highlights…

Teaching Out Loud – If Practice Makes Perfect…But Let Them See The Practice
Stephen Hurley had a pair of posts dealing with the concept of practice.  His context was that of a musician.  I smiled a bit as I thought of my own practice when I was learning the steel guitar as a youth.  (hardly learning a Beethoven Sonata as Stephen notes in his blog!)

When I practiced, it was upstairs in my bedroom and it was expected that it would be loud enough so that it was apparent that we were getting our money’s worth but not loud enough to really disrupt the rest of the house.  So, every strum was audiolly transparent.  Stephen asks to think deeper.  Why should your practice be somehow secret?

If success is measured only when you’re perfect, nothing would ever get done.  We get better when we practice.  We get better when we get constructive feedback.  There’s only one way to do this, it seems, and that’s to open yourself up.  After all, the CFL, the NHL, and any sports league has a pre-season that’s quite open before the season.  Musicians will have a free concert or two or play at a local pub before going on the road.  If these professions are open in this way, then why not education?  Isn’t blogging the perfect platform for practice and open sharing of your thinking?  Goodness knows I can use all the practice and refinement that I can get.  Shouldn’t we all?


Tapping into Teen Minds – Mac OS X Mountain Lion Provides Great Improvements

I’ve been waiting for a blog post about this.  With my bad internet connection, I’d have to go somewhere with fast internet anyway to purchase and download the latest Macintosh OS Upgrade.  So, I haven’t.  I still remember all the problems that I had with the last upgrade.  I think I’ve manage to wrestle them to the ground.  The Intel Core 2 Duo processor really seems to be maxed out with what I’ve got running now.  Do I want to put it through more with this upgrade?

I’ve read of a number of ways to turn off the notifications and all the social integration into Mountain Lion so I think I could handle that.  I’m going to have to wade my way through Kyle’s very thorough review of why he thinks that this is a must for the classroom.

The Mobile Learner – Will Voice Dictation Change the Nature of Writing?

While so many are still evaluating mobile technology and having “pilot” programs to see if it makes sense, Rob DeLorenzo not only has embraced the concept but it pushing hard to make us think about what it really means.  He has gotten by the question “D’uh, will this work” and is moving towards “let’s make the most of it”.
His thoughts that oral communication might replace traditional writing pushes me too far at this time.  I know that I can type better than I can speak.  If you question your abilities, try writing a sentence and then try podcasting the same thing.  Which will be perfect?  I grew up in a system that expected perfect in product and so have the whole writing process committed to habit.  I have too many mannerisms in my speaking to do the same thing without multiple chances.
It’s a good post – it really pushed my thinking.  I’m not there personally, but I can see where there may be some that are ready to give it a shot.

Webtools for Learners, Teachers, and Beginners – Copyright – a Different Understanding – Kirby Ferguson
I remember in high school labouring over a story for hours on end for an English class.  It involved vampires.  I was really proud of the work and turned it in thinking that maybe just once I could impress my teacher with something creative.  I got it back with a 0 and a claim that I stole the idea from someone else.

That’s a real shame because how many permutations on a vampire story / legend can there be?  It really was an honest, written by me effort.  I wish that I’d read the TED video that Joan Vinall-Cox shared on her blog this week.  I wonder if I could have explained everything away as a subconscious remix?

Through the examples of a Bob Dylan, Steve Jobs, or a Henry Ford, the talk really is an interesting look at the intent and application of copyright.  It made me think that perhaps we should more formally embrace the concepts of remixing.  What do you think?


Thanks to all the above for creating and sharing some thoughtful posts this week.  I really enjoyed your works.
You can read these and all the posts from Ontario Educators by starting at this link.  If you’re an Ontario Edublogger and want to be added to the list, just complete the form at the site and you will be added to the list.

 

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