This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Happy Friday the 13th and last Friday before the Spring Break.  It’s been another week of incredible reading from some of the Ontario Educators’ blogging that I enjoyed.  I hope that you’ll find these motivating.

Keep Focused

My morning inspiration is always a look at Paul Cornies’ blog.  I don’t know how he does it but he’s always able to find something relevant to kick-start the brain.  Have you considered starting your class thinking about some of the wisdom he shares?

Paul’s morning blog is like the perfect Christmas present.  You don’t know what to expect but you can’t wait until morning to upwrap it.

TVO on the Road: Thunder Bay

TVOntario took its The Agenda show on a road trip and ended up in Thunder Bay.  Colleen Rose drove in to town for the taping and shared her thoughts about her experience there and the projects that were the topic of the show.  (With, of course, a slant towards The Arts)  She had already had connections with the show and had previously blogged about it when her students had the opportunity to interview Roy MacGregor.

As a result of the show, she’s inspired to be involved with the projects.

Of course, she’ll be blogging about it so that we can follow along.

Good News ~ More and more eBooks are “arriving” into the Education Library

I’ve always been impressed with the social presence that the Education Library at Western.  I did have a wonderful opportunity to interview the brains behind the social, Denise Horoky a while back and follow the Twitter account and the blog from the library.  There’s always something new happening in that library as you’ll notice from this post.  It’s not just about books; a recent post is asking for input about the strategic process for libraries at the university.


If you’re a teacher-librarian and looking for a model for how you might continue to promote your library or learning commons, you can’t go wrong by following the posts here and using them as a model for your own.

And, if you believe in social media convergence, this was just posted to my Twitter timeline as I’m writing this post.

Reflections on a Successful EDTech Day for Teachers

Jennifer Todd-Casa is one of my frequent contacts on social media and she posted about an EdTech Day held last weekend for educators from the York Region Catholic District School Board.


As I read her post, I thought to myself – wow, they have everything.  Ignite sessions, breakout sessions, a Director of Education who showed up to support them on the weekend and even a CoffeeEDU modelled after the Learning Space from the Bring IT, Together Conference.  I know how many details go into that conference so couldn’t help but be impressed with the amount of work that went into this.  Shouldn’t all school districts be doing something like this?  There’s so much to learn and so little time.  Kudos to the professionals that showed up on the weekend for some professional learning.  Jennifer has volunteered her experience if you’re interested.

A Google Site was created to shared the resources from the day.

Oral Presentation Descriptive Feedback
Selection_132If there ever was a condemnation for assessment in the past, Jamie Weir has it nailed in this opening paragraph in her blog post.  It reminds me of the use of a couple of terms that I’ve heard recently – feedback and feedforward – the difference between commenting on what’s done versus commenting on the process to improve.

With this challenge, Jamie takes the rest of the post to share how she plans to address this and change the student mindset.

I think it’s a worthy challenge for teachers and students everywhere.

Classroom Makeover – Part 1

I don’t know about your place but, around here, when I lose control of the television remote, the channel quickly changes to one of those shows where homes, rooms, and/or people get madeover.  So, I’m somewhat acquainted with the process.

Maybe a new series could be created to show classroom makeovers!  If so, Heather Theijsmeijer’s classroom would be up for an episode.

Here’s the original picture of the room…

You’ll have to read the rest of Heather’s post to see what a little IKEA can do in classroom transformation.

Heather does a quick pro/con about the changes and, since this is a Part 1 post, there’s bound to be more to come.

p.s. I had those chairs, only mine were orange and black.

I Chose a Few Small Over One Large

There’s some really good advice in Eva Thompson’s post although if you follow here on Twitter, the recent pictures tell a different idea of small than what I would have!


I like the logic in what she says.  I know that some computer science classrooms assign huge massive programs/assignments to test the concepts in class.  I understand part of the logic because real life applications are seldom small.  On the other hand, not every computer science student is going to write the next workable spreadsheet application.  The bigger the assignment, the more involved it becomes, and the more opportunities for frustration with no exit point.  My preference was always a collection of problems to solve that are smaller in duration.  I always felt that many opportunities gave more chances for success and satisfaction.  And, if an assignment set had five or six programs, students could put one on the back burner and work on another.  I think we all know that the mind continues to work in the background and revisiting the frustrating problem a bit later all of a sudden can result in success.

An Interview With @MrsKonecny – My Grade 1 Students Have Become Coding Experts

Brian Aspinall posts the results of an interview with a teacher of Grade 1 students experiencing coding in the classroom.  It was great to see examples of LightBot.  The curriculum connection was in mathematics…


…and certainly LightBot shines (groan) in the application.

There was also an off-computer portion which was terrific to see.  One misconception about computer science is that it’s just a bunch of nerdy activities on computer.  Computer Science teachers know that it’s much more than that.  Off computer simulations, tracing, logic and design yield much better results than sitting at a computer wondering what to do first.

Please take the time to check out these posts and all the great efforts from Ontario Educators.  There’s always some good sharing happening.


OTR Links 03/13/2015

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