This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Each week as I prepare this blog post, I’m reminded of how many great Ontario Educators are working the social media world to share their latest thoughts, resources, ideas, opinion, and successes (failures but learning).  We’re so lucky that so many people do this.  I always find it difficult to narrow this post down to four or five that I’d like to promote. Thanks to all of you that keep inspiration and innovation alive.

Snacking and Dental Health
It’s always a good reminder to students and parents to keep their eyes open to just what effects that snacking can have on their health.  The traditional media so powerfully pushes the commercial messages from its sponsors and snacks certainly are there.  Glen Cairn Public School provided this information piece to those students and parents who visit their blog.


Related to this, Shadi Yazdan shared a lesson that she used with her class.

Health Lesson for All Ages
She used the power of visualization to get her point across.

Now that’s a very powerful and telling image.  Shadi shows some next steps once the students have looked at and understood the visual.  This certainly would be a visual that would be hard to ignore.  Definitely more powerful than reading the content labels.  However, a combination of reading the labels and seeing exactly what it translates to gives no excuse for missing the message.

Is the medium in the message?

Sheila Stewart had a reflective moment about how the use of social media has changed since her time online.  I think she fears that communication will end up being relegated solely to social media.  While there’s a time and place for it, I sure hope not.  In particular, she identifies three issues.


Those are three points that are very important for people to consider. My thoughts:

1) People should always be able to visit or chat in person. The skilled communicator know when to accelerate the conversation to that level and away from the social.
2) Bringing forth concerns are key and the earlier the better. That messge should be part of the communication plan given on the first day of school, if not before.
3) I’m not convinced that the voices of dissent will ever be happy using social media. If they’re looking for mud slinging, then an anonymous account signup and firing with guns ablazing is possible. (and should be ignored – engaging only makes it worse) Successful communication of dissent is always best handled face to face because it is seldom handled simply.

Using Mobile Devices to Increase Community Engagement

So, Sheila above is worried that the use of social media may cause some challenges.

Rob DeLorenzo is mulling around in his mind where they might fit in!


I agree with his assertion that, while those of us who do use tools like Twitter regularly often take its ubiquity for granted.  Even now, I use Twitter search before another type of search when I’m looking forward to a current event.

I hope that he is successful in growing the use as a communication tool with his community.  After all, the more that you communicate, the better the feeling of confidence in the school.

Hopefully, some of Sheila’s concerns influence his thinking about the big picture.  It’s always nice to walk around an issue and view it from all angles.  Rob notes in the post that he has just received a promotion to principal (congratulations, Rob).  He’s going to bring in a fresh contemporary approach and this blog post shows great potential.

The Power of Student Voice

Growing up, we had a large pond a couple of blocks away and we would go over and shovel the snow to make ourselves a skating rink.  All of the kids in the neighbourhood chipped in and we probably did a good job.  I don’t recall anyone falling in or broken ankles from a bad surface.  We were lucky that there were lots of us to work at it and generally we had cold winters so the surface was pretty good.

What do you do if you don’t have that facility?

Research it and put forth a business plan to the town administration!

That’s what Louise Robitaille’s grade 4/5 class did.


In the blog post, she talks about the plan the students put together and the research and work from persuasive writing, making a movies, podcasts, models, spreadsheets, to researching a location.  Then, they got to pitch their case to the mayor.  What an opportunity for the students.

The topper will be an invitation to a council meeting.  The deliverables may come too late for this year if Wiarton Willie is correct but maybe for next?  If nothing else, it sounds like a well engaged group of young people pulling together for a cause.  You’ve got to like that.

Please take some time to visit these blogs at the links above or check out the entire collection of Ontario Edubloggers here.

OTR Links 02/22/2013

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