This Week in Ontario Edublogs

In a conversation with Sheila Stewart yesterday, she asked what Valentine’s theme I was going to have in TWIOE.  I went along with it although I had no idea what she was talking about.  As I started this post, I figured I’d better take a look back at last year.  I guess I did make a reference to it.  This year?  I’ve got nothing.  But, there were some good reads to share, none the less.

Moving Beyond the Elements and Principles in #ArtsEd
What are you doing this weekend?  I may poke around with Zeega. I’d never heard about this until I read Colleen Rose’s post about it.  She’s always doing really interesting things in the arts and I was hooked when she said “These visual remixes allow the user to form new meaning by appropriating material that is free to play with.

Thanks, Colleen.

Learning From Today

In a regular year, visiting southern Ontario from the north is probably a warmup experience.  Well, maybe this year I’m told that it’s still warmer here in the south but you can’t deny brutal.  Aviva Dunsiger and her students had some northern Ontario visitors and, of course, she blogged about the experience.  I never minded visitors – in fact my door was always open and people would come in periodically and watch.  I do recall a visit from a superintendent my first year of teaching.  She was in the school for other reasons and I guess figured she’d knock off one of my observation requirements with a surprise visit.  You’d never get away with that these days.  She dropped in and it was life as usual.  A group of students on the computers, another group working on a problem in the classroom, another group doodling on the chalkboard, and I still remember her comment.  “I’ll come back sometime when you’re teaching”.  Be still my heart.

Anyway, Aviva shares her experience and reflects on her classroom technology practice.  It’s a nice read with her observations.  I also enjoyed the comments to the post and added my own.

What a wonderful story and opportunity for your students, Aviva. There’s a hidden message there that I think needs to be spelled out. Many time classroom visitors get to come and see a special lesson. The students are like fish out of water and you can really tell that it’s contrived. Your blog post and Richard’s comment reinforce to me that everything there was natural and part of their daily routine. I think that’s important to note and it’s this success that others should strive to achieve. Congratulations.

Serendipity: The next chapter of my story

Serendipity is sort of like the weather.  We all experience it but do nothing about it.  Joanne Marie Babalis takes it on and shares a really intriguing story of how serendipity changed her teaching practice, involving teacher-librarianship.  And, the post certainly ranks as one of the most colourful ones that I’ve enjoyed.  There are pictures of her serendipity everywhere!

Selection_092Check out what bigger “plan” is in store for her.

AirDropping Files in the Classroom

File David Carruther’s post under a solution to a problem.  I’ve heard people complain and give up because the wireless connection isn’t strong enough or consistent enough to use OneDrive or Google Drive in the classroom and have just given up.  David provides another solution – use the AirDrop feature and explains how it works.


To me, this is one of the great things about social media and sharing.  Rather than give up, look for alternatives and then share the best of them.  I’ll bet that this solution would be helpful to so many.  (There may be people who don’t even know that they have the problem!)

The always controversial “RT”

Earlier this week, I had been inspired by Tom Whitby’s post and responded with one of my own. 

I think some people would be happier if there was a rulebook about how to use social media.  Well, there isn’t, so we’re making the rules as we go.  Sheila Stewart took issue with the use of the RT.

Selection_094It’s another example of the self-promotion that seems to raise the ire of some folks.

As I was walking the dog this morning, enjoying the cold blast from Thunder Bay, I was thinking about her post and tried to equate it to real face-to-face life.  Picture three people at Tim Hortons.  Person 1 talks to Person 2 and Person 3 and says “I really liked what Person 2 says”.  Person 2 turns to Person 1 and Person 3 and says “Did you hear that? Person 1 really likes what I say.  Let me repeat it for you.”.  Picture yourself responding as that Person 1 or Person 3.  I can’t imagine it working in real life.  Why do we expect it to work in our digital lives?  What does work though is to use the moment to extend the conversation.

Pondering Professional Learning

I hate it when I miss a good discussion and I missed this one about professional learning.


Diana Maliszewski recounts a rather long discussion about professional learning and its impact on her.  The content is great and it sounds like she’s taking an AQ course that she’s happy with.

But, I think that the bigger issue is that she’s writing about it, interacting online, crediting a learning network, demonstrating growth in her profession, and an ongoing commitment to getting better.  All at the price of free.  That’s the bigger message being delivered here.  Are those who do creditation watching?

Grade 9 Learning Looks Like This!

And now for something completely different!  I sure don’t remember my Grade 9 being anything like this.  It’s an end of class reflection in Julie Balen’s class.


Flip your way through the embedded Google Slides document to see some summaries of growth mindset and learning.  I like it!

Again, another spectacular week of blogging, sharing, and professional growth from Ontario Educators.  Check out these posts and all the great sharing from Ontario Educators at this Livebinder.

4 thoughts on “This Week in Ontario Edublogs

  1. Well, I thought you had seasonal themes/references in the past, so I thought…. 🙂 Call it my challenge to you by next Feb. 14 🙂

    Thanks for the further conversation between our blog/posts. Enjoyed the 3 people in Tim’s example!

    Warmer… snowing here now… will send it along…


  2. We’ll take it. -22 this morning for the first dog walk of the day. Glad you liked my Tim’s reference. It took a long time to write it because nothing seemed to make sense and I’m not sure that it does even now. But, I think everyone knows the intention.


  3. I had to read it twice.. but I only had had one cup of coffee at that time 🙂 Maybe a diagram would help…tee hee, just kidding… it’s all good.


  4. Pingback: OTR Links 02/14/2015 | doug — off the record

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