This Week in Ontario Edublogs

I’m not even going to mention the weather.  Let’s just get to some of the great stuff from the blogs of Ontario Educators this past week.


Hacking the OneNote Classroom Notebook

Hacking the OneNote Class Notebook Part II

In Ontario, there are essentially two choices that schools have made as they look to move to the cloud.  By far and away, the biggest is the Google Apps for Education crowd.  There’s a dynamic community of folks who are constantly sharing articles, projects, videos, tutorials, etc.  They have their summits and communities which promote their learnings and implementation.  When I open my Zite reader, the Google Apps category is just full of stories and ideas.  On the other hand, when I open the Office 365 category, it’s just a steady stream of calls for help because people can’t get this or that to work.

So, it was really refreshing to see what Cal Armstrong is sharing.  A while back, he shared how he documents student projects on his Surface and even talked about the work of students on snowy days!  In these recent posts, Cal shares a couple of the “hacks” that he uses to end up with a solution for student portfolios.

His tutorials are complete with screen captures to take you through the process.  Like all good things, it’s great to see this done by an Ontario Educator and used in the Ontario context.  If your district uses Office 365, Cal’s blog is a great place to follow.  It would be nice to see others sharing their learning online too.  There’s a link at the end of the post to add your blog.


Activity 8-When You Can’t Be 2 Places at Once

I think this is genius.  I wish that this ability was around when I had my computer science classroom.  When an Occasional Teacher is assigned for your coverage, they don’t necessary have the understandings that you, as classroom teacher, have.  Even if they do, they’re hopping on a train in motion and it’s difficult to keep the momentum.  Occasional Teachers have one of the toughest jobs in education!

Myria Mallette solved the problem for her replacement by writing a book!

If there ever was a testimony for making your resources electronic so that they can be repurposed, this may well be it!

She had digital materials and turned them into a book for her teacher and students using Google Book Creator.  What a terrific idea.  I immediately thought of other uses for this technique like shaking things up in the classroom every now and again or to provide the lesson for a student who missed the class or to use as review or to show parents that technology is used effectively in the classroom or to impress your superintendent during a performance review or to collaborate with another teacher addressing the same content or ….

This just in…

As I’m proofreading this blog post, a Twitter message just arrived from Myria.  She’s got a new post “Activity 9: First Hand-How #Coding Helped Me #csk8 #oncsed


Reminder…Practice what you Preach!

I worked with a person once who was “blogging’s biggest advocate” for teachers and students.  Asked about blogging, all the good reasons could be recited – sharing, growth, literacy…  When I asked to see her blog, the answer was surprising…”Well, I don’t actually blog myself”.

She, and other people like that, need to read Nicole Beuckelare’s post.

The last line is worth repeating “it’s hard to motivate others when you don’t practice what you preach!

Then, a quick visit to Donna Fry’s “Where is your blog?” provides much motivation as to the why and how.

I’ve got nothing more to add.  This says it all.


Coding and Math

This may be your inspirational read for the day.  There has been lots said recently about coding in the classroom.  Many people participated in the Hour of Code and put in their 60 minutes.  Hopefully, they realize that it’s not done at that point.

Jonathon So is incredibly visible about the experience in his classroom.  From getting started, to sharing projects, to refining/remixing, to reflection on the experience, it’s all in this blog post.

If you read his reflection carefully, you’ll notice that he’s not talking about learning the programming language (Scratch) but he’s talking about how the student dug deeper in to the subject content.  In this case, he’s talking about mathematics.

It doesn’t get much better than this.


Using Brainpop, iPads, and Padlet to learn about the Water Cycle

I’ve been a fan of Padlet since it was Wallwisher.  It’s a terrific collaboration space and, if you can work a sticky note, you can use Padlet.  Over its life, it has become accessible on so many platforms.

In this blog post, Kristeen Wideen talks about how her class used the technology on their iPads as part of their exploration about the Water Cycle.  Padlet turns out to be a great organizer for this activity.

As you read the post, take a step back from the use of technology and look at all of the components in the lesson.  It starts with reading a story, watching a video, and takes off from there.  The whole experience is a great example of how you bring in technology where it’s appropriate and how you use the other tools in your arsenal when they are more appropriate.


In case you missed it….

Digital Footprint by Sylvia

I’m always in awe of how artists see the world and do what they do.  It’s so far removed from my skillset that it isn’t funny.  I’ve tried to create my own Sketchnotes but, quite frankly, they’re pathetic.

Not so with Sylvia Duckworth.  Her latest creation uses resources from down under as inspiration.

In the post, I track back to find where she got her inspiration and found some additional resources.


What a wonderful bunch of reading this week.  Thanks so much for those who continue to help the online community read and constantly learn.  Please check out all of the posts at the links provided and the complete list of Ontario Edubloggers here.  If you’re an Ontario educational blogger yourself, there’s a link there to add yourself.

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