This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Friday already!  Here’s what caught my attention this week.


Lessons We Can Learn From The Early Years

Shelley Pike formed a blog post around this excerpt from an ETFO professional magazine.

It seems so logical.  As Shelley notes, young children shouldn’t have a monopoly on this approach. Shouldn’t it be good for all students?  It would engage and make relevant.  Plus, it answers the question “When are we going to use this stuff?”

A change in approach will require a change in mindset.  Right now, the teaching of mathematics is one that requires that you “get it all covered”.  The best implementors will be those who understand the mathematics and can focus on the connections.  If you’re struggling with the concepts, there’s little time left for anything else.


What’s the Big Deal About Blogs?

Colleen Rose was talking to a group of principals about her ventures into blogging and, perfectly, put all of her thoughts down in a blog.  Great concept.  Even better, she took the time to create a very well thought out explanation that explains the “Big Deal”.

She’s covered so much.  This is a post worth bookmarking and bringing back when you need it.

The good news is that her post is still available and, if you’re having difficulties explaining the concept to your own principal, she’s done all the leg work.

What I really liked was the inclusion of this graphic…

What a great way to summarize the whole process in a picture.


Inappropriate Use of Technology

Lorraine Boulos tells a sad story about what happened with students in her school had a moment of weakness and just did what kids sometimes do — make unfortunate choices.

The result was a pretty dramatic move by her principal.  Devices were banned from the school.

It’s a tough scenario.  Without further details, one can only guess as to what happened.

The terrific storms that went through our area last night brought back an elementary school memory of mine.  The principal very clearly came on during the morning announcements forbidding us from going down to the playground during recess and lunch.  It was a drop of maybe a couple of metres but was enough to catch the water.

Of course, a few of the lads had to test it out and were caught.

The consequences?  The entire school was subject to an indoor recess for the next week.  We students paid the price because we couldn’t let off steam.  The teachers certainly paid the price trying to keep the lid on things and then deal with students who hadn’t exercised.  I wish I could remember what the reaction of the parents was.

But I do remember thinking how stupid and unfair it was to penalize everyone for the choices of a couple.  We couldn’t even get back at them – they were some of the biggest kids in the school.

Surely there’s a better way to intelligently deal with situations like this.


Does Liz Sandals Hate Twitter?

Trust Andrew Campbell to take on injustices wherever he sees them.  This time, it was the lack of use of Twitter by the Minister of Education.

Andrew analyses what he deems to be a missed opportunity for connecting with constituents on the issues of the day.  Certainly education is a very visible issue of the day.

There was a time when news was carefully crafted and strategically released along with photo opportunities.  I agree with Andrew about the need for immediate communications.  Do we really have to wait until the time is right and the message is perfect before releasing it.  My inclination is no and I am probably a bad example.  I like to shoot from the hip and call things as I see them, the moment I see them.

Those who follow Andrew know that he’s a player then.  As I write this, he’s in a “discussion” about the MOU between ETFO and the Ministry.

On the other hand, I remember a quote I heard once and that was that the primary goal of anyone elected to political office is to work on getting re-elected.

Is not having a Twitter ID a strategic move?  Is it a political move?  Is it just not know about the technology?  I think I would prefer that politicians engage with the population.  It’s immediate and timely.


A TouchDevelop Tip

I try not to promote my own blog posts on This Week In… but I just want to direct you to one of the more exciting Computer Science applications that I’ve seen in quite some time.  In this post, I go from nothing to developing a simple application that can run on any device.

This is a great exemplar as to what BYOD brings to the classroom.

Please check out the complete posts above and give them some blogular love by liking their efforts or leaving a comment!

You can read the entire collection of Ontario Edubloggers here.  If you’re from Ontario and blog about education, please complete the form and I’ll add you to the collection.  It would be great to have you join us.

Thanks for dropping by and reading.


OTR Links 06/14/2013

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