doug — off the record

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This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Summer vacation is here and teachers are kicking back for two months at the cottage, right?  Hardly!  One of the things that make education in Ontario so superb is the amount of professionalism that goes on – even on vacation days.  I am so proud to highlight some of the excellent reading from Ontario Edublogs this past week.


Canada Day – Our Ed’s Okay

First of all, a confession.  I’m sorry Diana but I can never remember how to spell your last name so it’s always a copy/paste job.  Diana Maliszewski took some time while I was dodging thunderstorms on Canada Day to reflect on her own personal practice and also the positives of education in the province.  If you need some inspiration and sense of well-being, check out this post.


Changing My Mind About PD

Tim King is off to summer school for himself.  Tim’s reflecting about his own approach to professional learning as he takes on an Additional Qualification course this summer.
It is so easy to get negative but Tim provides his own thoughts about making his work positive.  Additional Qualification courses are one of those mystery things for the general public.  How many know that it’s a month of travel to a course or working online.  The courses are not cheap and come from the teacher’s pocket.
When they’re done, you’re in a great position to control your own personal direction.  People take the courses for a variety of purposes.  While I graduated from the Faculty of Education with specialists in Mathematics and Computer Science, I went back four or five years to pick up Business qualifications in Data Processing and Accounting.  I never really had aspirations to teach Accounting but ended up with a couple of sections once qualified.  It was a great deal of fun.  Beyond the course content, you could branch into personal financing, purchasing cars, bringing in chartered accountants as guest speakers.  We even had a car salesperson come in to explain the whole process.  It was great for everyone.
Beyond the course content, the connections that you make with others around the province are priceless.  Like all professional development endeavours, it’s up to each individual to find ways to maximize the experience.  It sounds like Tim’s off to a great start!
Of course, going to take an AQ course is only one way to grow professionally.  Julie Balen is participating in an online book talk around Alan November’s “Who Owns the Learning?”
As she participates in the study, Julie is blogging about her own thoughts as elements of the book ring true for her.  In addition to the book, she talks about being inspired by one of November’s TED talks.
She’s picked a great educator and book to work with.  We had the pleasure to have Alan November keynote a couple of Western RCAC Symposiums a few years ago.  He has a definite speaking style and really helped many in the audience shape a vision for the use of technology in Western Ontario classrooms.

Heather Leatham has experimented with using the Google 20% concept with her classroom.  As the school year came to an end, she surveyed her students for their thoughts and provided the results for us.  The post also features her own reflections about the project and the impact in her classroom.
It’s a very good read and the concept seems to be catching and spreading.  She’s going to continue it in September.   I think it’s wonderful, not only to experiment with the concept, but to share it with other professionals via her blog.
I’ll look forward to seeing what happens in the fall.
Such great reading this week.  Thanks to those who continue to write and share.  Please visit their blogs and drop off a comment or two if you’re inclined.  You can check out the complete list of Ontario Edubloggers here.  As I’ve mentioned many times, these are the ones that I know about.  If you’re blogging and not in the Livebinder, please add your details via the form and you will be.

One response to “This Week in Ontario Edublogs”

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