This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It’s Friday and time to share my recent reading from awesome Ontario Edubloggers.  Please enjoy.

Art is a Verb

Art, artistry, reflection, insomnia, a mind that won’t shut down all come through in this recent post from Colleen Rose.  Then, it takes an unexpected turn and reach in the comments.

The entirety of it is humbling.

The Tyranny of Choice

I stumbled into this new blog from Marc Hodgkinson just watching the conversation in one of my Twitter Ontario Educators list.  It appears that Marc is now going visible after tinkering here and there.  The list of reasons for blogging should resonate with readers and most certainly are great rules to live blog by.

I really like point #5 – it’s the rationale and license I gave myself when I decided to call this blog “Off the Record”.  Think and post now.  Just get it out there.  With your reach and feedback, you can refine your thinking later.  If you keep it inside, you miss out on so much.

Free Service ~ Full text of journal articles delivered directly to your device

Now, here’s a real deal from the Faculty of Education at the University of Western Ontario.  So convenient and it has the potential to educate an entire Faculty at once.  What a service.  I wonder if the Faculty would create a MOOC for web literacy that we could all join and benefit from?

For the school teacher-librarian, it could be replicated on a smaller basis via a Learning Commons blog and have your school staff subscribe to email updates.  It wouldn’t be as big but would be an opportunity to inform the entire school whenever something new is happening … oh, and parents, students, board office decision makers…

Blogging for English Language Learners

Rusul Alrubail shares a blog post that she originally wrote for Edutopia about the power of blogging for English Language Learners.  It’s a very complete analysis of the power that comes from blogging and how it can be exploited in the ELL classroom.

I understand that the original target was the ELL classroom but I’d be hard pressed to look at any of those and say that they have a monopoly on this wonderful tool/technique.  Wouldn’t all of the above apply to YOUR classroom?

While not originally keyed by Rusul, she had shared another’s post this week that I think is a must read and contemplate post.  Yes, English is My First Language.

Expanding My Students’ PLN through Mine – on Twitter

I think everyone has seen that cartoon with the caption “On the Internet Nobody Knows You’re a Dog”.  Could it be the most famous internet cartoon of all time?  It might be – after all, it has its own Wikipedia page.

That was my immediate thought on this post by Anna Bartosik.  She’s an ESL teacher in higher ed and through a Twitter chat made a connection with someone.

She didn’t put two and two together immediately but eventually found out that she’d connected with an elementary school teacher after they agreed to connect.

And then she asked how old my kids are. I realized that we were in two different worlds – higher education adults and elementary school children. I mentioned, with a sinking heart, that I have adult ESL learners.

You’ve got to head over to her post to see how this one ends.

Reconsidering Reading

If I could sum up my interpretation of Aviva Dunsiger’s post about reading, it would be “Education Kills the Love of Reading”.  Her summary of how she incorporates reading into her classroom appears below.

The last one really strikes a note with me.  I did have to smile a bit as I read her post.  In my computer science classroom, I had my own library.  I subscribed to a number of technical journals and magazines (for the kids, of course) and they got put into the cupboard for those computers in society moments or time when we’d take a break from programming to do some recreational reading.  But, the rules were mine.  The students had to read from my choices and couldn’t just pull out their current novel.   I suspect all classrooms took the same approach.

When does a student get to read recreationally?  In library period (if you have one?)  At home?  Shouldn’t reading happen when the desire to read hits?  Have we over analysed and over scheduled it and killed the love as a result?

Maybe instead of yet another reading / literacy consultant coming up with a new strategy, they could take a look at those kids who enjoy reading and find out what makes them that way.  Do struggling readers struggle because they’ve been labelled that way?

As always, my virtual walk through of the provincial thinking and sharing has been interesting.  Please take a moment to visit these blog posts in their entirety and share some thoughts with the authors if you feel inspired.

The complete list of Ontario Edubloggers (that I know about) can be found here.  I’m always looking to expand the collection so, if you’re blogging and not there, please add yourself.


OTR Links 08/07/2015

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