This Week in Ontario Edublogs

The Canadian dollar is pretty weak compared to the US dollar on this date.  So, forget about cross-border shopping and read some great thoughts from Ontario Edubloggers.  (Besides, you should be shopping Canadian anyway…)

Gratitude in Partnership

Now here’s a post from Tracy Sherriff that everyone can take to heart.  It’s timely since this is the US Thanksgiving week but it’s something that could/should be done daily.  Everyone likes to be appreciated.  Normally, the sentiment is given in the form of tips for managers to build relationships with those that they supervise.  That’s important.  But, as Tracy notes, why does it have to stop there?

When was the last time you told your spouse or your supervisor or the parents of the children in your care that you appreciate something that they did?  So often, we think of the negative moments – we all have them – but for all of these, I believe generally that people try to do their best and do the right thing.  It’s easy to see a leader doing it but how about the other way around?

It’s not an easy thing to do at times.  I think back to one superintendent that was my supervisor.  He had to do a lot of crappy things as part of his job and I did try to show my appreciation for what he did periodically.  I wish that I had done it more often.

Some ICS3 assignments in Java

Here’s an offer that no teacher of Computer Studies can ignore from Brandon Grasley.

I wrote a few practice tasks for my online ICS class for using loops and arrays, as well as a challenge task for anyone who’s interested. You’re welcome to use them in your classes if you like.

I freely admit to being a hoarder.  If you were to search my hard drive, I’m sure that you’d say to yourself “What on earth does he keep that for?”

Until that really good Computer Studies book comes along and a school budget actually supports the purchase of it as opposed to all the other things that are bought, Computer Studies teachers are always looking for ideas to try to inspire young programmers.

In this post, Brandon shares some of the problems that he’s assigned to his ICS class and offers them up for anyone interesting in taking them.

Tina Zita

OK, this is another one of those resources that aren’t your traditional blog post but certainly are worthy of note because of their value and the fact that it was created by an Ontario educator.  In this case, Tina Zita created a free iBook titled “Jump In Becoming a Connector Educator”.

The interactive iBook is a nice coverage of social media with a bent towards education.  She includes references to other Ontario Educators in various places.  It makes you feel like a great Follow Friday.  If there’s someone who’s getting started with social media or you want an idea of what publishing on this platform could look like, it’s most certainly worth the download.  Share the link with someone you know can benefit from it.

And, for the record … I aced the quiz.

It Is Just No Longer An Option.

And, if you need a second opinion to sell the concept, just point them to the recent post by Katie Maenpaa.

She quotes Stacey Wallwin and the logic is so true.  Would you accept those excuses in any other subject area?

Yet, we hear the same lame excuses over and over again.  We see technology/computer consultants who aren’t working hard to promote the message and support colleagues in their learning.  If they’re not leading, where’s the motivation to follow? 

It’s so frustrating, particularly on the heels of the BIT Conference where Ontario shares such great ideas, that there still are classes where technology is either not or underused.

Puzzling Over French Immersion

So, apparently, I ruined Jennifer Aston’s morning but it’s also disconcerting that my morning habits are so predictable.

One of the articles that I had read and shared caught her ire.

It was about something obviously near and dear to her – French Immersion and the challenges that school districts face in meeting the demands by parents and students.  Like I’ve said so often, it’s nice to have to solve this problem.  Meeting the demand?  Jennifer takes on the assumptions from the article from her perspective.

Together, we agreed that there are no quick and easy solutions but did muse a bit over an idea that might be worth considering.

Beginner’s Guide: Week 1 of the iPad Project

I love this post.  If I could sum it up in one word – TRUTH.

How many times have we heard reports from teachers, principals, and superintendents about how you just put an iPad in front of a student and magic happens.  They’re transformed into self-motivated learners exceeding all expectations.  Is it a face saving stance lest they lose the technology?  Or a fear of acknowledging that there’s work to be done?

Anna Bartosik is working an iPad project with her adult learners and so is open and candid about how it’s going and the observations from her students.  She’s collecting data to support the points raised in the post.

Either that, or she’s found of cadre of learners that could include me whose first instinct is to try everything possible with the new devices.  Some of it might even be related to the task at hand.

I’m not sure that I’ve ever read anything that’s this openly honest about the process.  And, I agree – Google Docs on mobile is vastly different from the desktop!

Rethinking the Classroom

I wasn’t the only one who was inspired to do some thinking after hearing Heidi Siwak’s keynote at the Bring IT, Together Conference.  Emmet Mellow shares his take on her thoughts in this recently added blog to the Ontario collection.

Emmet offers some ideas available to teachers to try to emulate some of what Heidi describes as happening in her classroom.

Yes, it truly has been another great week of reading and sharing among Ontario Edubloggers.  I hope that you can spend a few moments to read and support these bloggers and their thoughts.  If you’re blogging and your blog doesn’t appear in the collection, do what Emmet did.  Fill out the form on the landing page and I’ll be happy to add you and read your insights.

OTR Links 11/27/2015

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