This Week in Ontario Edublogs

I can’t believe that people have energy to blog after the three days in Niagara Falls.  But, I was wrong.  There continue to be incredible insights from Ontario Educators.  Here’s some of what I enjoyed this week.


That guy

I stumbled into a conversation, mid-conversation, with Lisa Noble and others online.  That’s my lead in to confess that I didn’t understand the whole conversation and was complete wrong about what was discussed.

Later, Lisa fleshed out her thoughts from that conversation and the resulting blog post really affirmed that I didn’t know what the specifics were at the time.

But, I will say, this is one of the more important blog posts that I’ve ready recently.


Down the Rabbit Hole

When it comes to enjoying blog posts, I suppose that I’m as bad as anyone.  I read, nod my head, and then move on to something else.  The important part, responding to the post, often I overlook.

Sue Bruyns, who I actually got to meet for the first time at the Bring IT, Together conference offered a post based on a relatively simple question.

In this case, not only did I comment, I think I wrote an entire blog post in response to her thoughts.

I found it very promising to run into people in similar leadership positions to Sue at the conference and I was happy to meet so many of them.  I find it incredibly sad that there are leaders in the province who couldn’t be bothered to attend or others that are there and know it all, often shutting out the great ideas and connections that were there for the taking.


The More Things Change ~ Reflections from #BIT14

David Fife talks about the composition of the audience at #BIT14.  In a way, he’s right, but in a way he’s wrong.  Four years ago, attendance was at 500; this year it was well over 1500.  So, there definitely were new people that were in attendance.  I had a chat with Harry from Waterloo Region who had money to sponsor folks to go and he deliberately chose half of those he sent as people who’d never gone to a technology conference before.

Yet, Ron Canuel’s message was really resonating with some …

David says – Maybe the simple answer is to do what Ron challenged all the attendees to do for next year’s conference. Bring someone new. Someone who has never been to an educational technology conference. Because in Ron’s words “change requires courage. Early adaptors don’t convince, mid-adaptors do.”

I know that, personally, I met all kinds of new people.  And yet, they did have the common thread that they were technology users and adopters.  To coin a Huron County expression, I didn’t meet anyone who had just fallen off the turnip truck.  

I’ll just close by quoting myself, having said this over and over again at the conference “This is a nice problem to have to solve.”

Only this time, I mean it.


ECOO 2014 Reflections

I think I should get extra points for actually recognizing Diana Maliszewski in her Minecraft outfit.  A couple of years ago, her efforts just flew over my head.  Not this year, and I made a point of saying hi – but apparently she couldn’t hear inside the cardboard box.

True confession – I have to copy/paste her last name every time I use it.

If you weren’t able to attend the conference, check out Diana’s post.  It’s her reflections from all of the sessions that she attended like this one “Youth on YouTube by Royan Lee, Saman Rajabian and Katya Katsnelson

3 Key Points:
1. Both YouTube stars watched YouTube and thought that they could do it, so they started. Both individuals became bored and dissatisfied with their early videos and this prompted them to change focus.
2. Katya’s tips for success are to be confident, strong, unique, and enjoy what you do. Saman’s tips for success are do what you like, stay consistent, don’t let low views or jealousy get in your way, and don’t do it for money or fame.
3. These high school students say that Mr. Lee was the teacher that used the most technology with them and that their current teachers do not know about their popular YouTube channels (with the exception of Saman’s principal, who arranged to let him get a work experience credit in high school for his YouTube work). They don’t use their YouTube skills often in class, although one made a Romeo & Juliet video.

And folks, Diana is testament that people can use Lanyrd.


Bits and Pieces from #BIT14

Speaking of summarizing the conference, check out Brian Smith’s video.


The Learning That Happens Outside Of The Room

Aviva Dunsiger has to win the award for the most posts inspired by a conference and the most questions asked as she’s writing her posts.

It inspired me to write another blog post in reply to her thoughts.

The one point that really got my fingers going was the concept of walking out in the middle of a session because it wasn’t fulfilling her needs.  The “Rule of Two Feet” was commonly mentioned throughout the conference but there were a couple of things that made me question that.

1)  Maybe it’s not that the session isn’t meeting my needs, maybe it’s addressing a need that I didn’t know I had.  Generally, these days my identified needs can be fulfilled by doing an internet search and finding what I want;

2)  Most teacher-speakers aren’t professional speakers.  Awareness of time remaining can be a challenge – it often is that the really important good stuff comes out as a rush at the end of the presentation!


Why Leadership Now? Reflections on My First Session of Leadership 1

There’s nothing better than a new blog to read.

Sadly, I don’t know who the author of this blog is…she’s from Hamilton-Wentworth and in her sixth year of teaching.

She does ask a good question….

I think my answer would be “Why NOT Leadership Now?”

If the course is good and nicely addresses Leadership in Education and Life, why wouldn’t it be appropriate now?  Imagine a school or a district with people who understand Leadership and what it can bring to the classroom.  I think that the nay-sayers would say that a school wouldn’t function with a staff of leaders – I would counter that all teachers are strong by nature and that’s what drew them into the profession in the first place.  Imagine Professional Learning that respects the learner and isn’t the sort of top down issue driven Professional Development that’s seen so often.


Top of the ski jump

A new Ontario Educational Blogger – this time a principal from Lambton-Kent, Chris Moore dives into the deep end.

That’s about as good a mission statement for an administrator’s blog as any.

It’s a risk – readers and commenters could be students, teachers, other principals, your superintendent, some jerk in Essex County.

But, I’ll extend the same advice as I would to anyone – you can’t help but learn and refine by committing your thoughts to the digital.  You won’t always be right and the comment section is there to extend the conversation.  Just consider the management style of someone who refuses to commit….


There was so much more written and shared over the past week and, obviously, most were inspired by the #BIT14 conference and the two edCamps that followed.

As I sat in my hotel room preparing, I became aware of Eventifier.  It was tracking the conference here and the blogs about the conference here.  Not everything that it captured was totally relevant but it was a pretty good starting point.  You can also check Twitter messages tagged with #BIT14.

Please check out these excellent blog posts and the entire collection of Ontario Edubloggers here or here.  You just might find something new to read!

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