This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Part 2.

I can hear my editors already.  He’s found a new way to make mistakes – posting the same post twice?

Not this time.

There was just so much good stuff on Ontario Educator blogs that I was hesitant to put them all together in one huge post yesterday.  Instead, I thought I’d break them into two.  So, consider this a continuation from yesterday.

How do solar panels work?

From the STAO blog, the answer to something I’ve always wondered.  Just how do solar panels work?  We’re surrounded by solar farms here and I guess I just assumed that they worked by magic.  Here’s a post with video to help understand.

Who Is Colouring For?

During my morning reads, last week, I read and shared an article about Colouring.  I was never much of an artist and never thought that I’d make colouring skills a discipline.  Today, we’re seeing colouring books for people of all ages so I must definitely be in the minority.  The article struck a chord with Aviva Dunsiger who wrote this post about it.  Of additional interest are the comments.

The target of the comments seemed to be about making colouring a discipline by itself.  At that level, I guess I can understand.

But, I stand back a bit and think about it.  I’ve seen kids dig in with their crayons and work on drawing, colouring, drawing over colouring, with a real flourish.  There may well come a time when they lose that enthusiasm but I’d hate to think that we would pull the plug on the activity because it doesn’t fit into some sort of literacy program.  I remember teaching Marketing and advertising is certainly a topic as is creating posters and billboards.

As with anything, I think a balanced exposure to many experiences are important.  I’d really hate to see it banned because it doesn’t fit into someone’s definition of at 21st century skill.  Hey, even Photoshop has colouring tools and textures.

Aviva concludes with:

Maybe with colouring, we just have to stop pretending that it’s Art, and instead, explore its potential for self-regulation. Maybe those students that need it most will choose a colouring option when they need it, and for others, it doesn’t have to happen at all. What do you think? Am I being too hard on “colouring,” or is it just a matter of re-purposing it to maybe meet a different need than I intended to meet many years ago? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

I do think she is being too hard on colouring.  What if it is a child’s way of expression, her way of doing art.  Is that a bad thing?  How will she know that she might like it unless given a chance to apply it academically?

Of course, I think that students should also learn to hand write.  I know that that would put me in disfavour with some too.

3 Ways to Use Entrepreneurship in Your Classroom

This post. by Rusul Alrubail is a nice followup to one of her previous posts  – On Solutions-Based Thinking & Why Education Needs It.  Both are terrific reads and anyone who teaches an introduction to Business or Entrepreneurial Studies course will immediately identify.

I like her “ways” and would recommend that the premise behind them not be limited to just Business Education courses.

  • Introduce goal-oriented learning
  • Encourage solution-based thinking
  • Provide an opportunity for Storytelling

Read her post to see how she fleshes out each of these and I think that you’ll definitely agree.

OneWordONT – 2015 and 2016

Donna Fry jumped in with her take on the OneWord meme.  She reflected on her word for 2015 and then offered one for 2016.

Along the way, she managed to include pornography in the discussion.

I like her thoughts about leading professional learning events but I don’t think it’s particularly new to anyone who has ever lead a session dealing with technology and been successful at it.  No two people arrive with the same needs or prior knowledge.  To sit and git or get a laid on performance just doesn’t cut it or respect the learner.  Whenever this discussion arises, I think of first year Accounting at University.  The entire course was on tape and the professor just clicked the move ahead button every time an audible beep was heard.  I always thought that would be a great gig to have.  I could never find one though.

Click through to find out what her word for 2016 is.

the end of comments in a flattening media-hierarchy

One of the bizarre things that happens during any controversial topic that’s posted in any media – is what I’ve described “every whacko with a keyboard” shows up to comment.  Sometimes they use their real identify; other times it’s a phony.

So, in this post Tim King takes a look at the Toronto Star’s decision to turn off comments to news stories.  As he notes, he’s done it to his personal blog for a while now.  He still encourages interaction through sharing, and hopefully is OK with a post like this where I snag part of his screen and comments on it.

I see the logic.  The general public isn’t necessarily ready or mature enough to engage in productive conversation.  When you whack the “Publish” button, you have no idea who, friend or foe, is going to read your thoughts and then be inspired to comment.  Believe it or not, you can disagree without being disagreeable.  I know that many educators were really torn with all the comments attached to news stories with the recent job actions in Ontario, for example.

In this post, Tim gives a very thoughtful and reasoned explanation for doing what he did and reflects on a society that may not be mature enough to hand it when they are allowed to comment.  It’s an interesting read with plenty of supporting articles.

It would be a great discussion to have with students talking about digital literacy, presence, and responsibilities.


Colleen Rose’ latest post took me a few reads before I really took in what she was talking about.

First read; it was about art and I just didn’t totally appreciate her message.

But there was something about it take engaged me for a second and then a third read.

If you remove the subject discipline of Art from the read, you could substitute just about any discipline and get her message.

I love her development on the theme of Renegade.  I would hope that any progressive educator would as well.  Making the right connections and inspiring others is so much the reason why we who are connected, do so.

Plus, who can’t enjoy a good piece of sketch work.

As you can see, it was a very good week of reading.  I just couldn’t keep all this good stuff to myself.  Thanks to everyone for continuing to stir the pot and share your thoughts.  It really is appreciated.


OTR Links 01/09/2016

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