This Week in Ontario Edublogs

I hope that everyone had a relaxing March Break.  Despite this, or maybe because of this, there was still some great reading from Ontario Edubloggers.  Here’s some of it.


#MyWorkflow: Stepan Pruchnicky

Royan Lee was the very first person that I ever interviewed for this blog.  He had posted something to his blog that intrigued me and I wanted to know more.  That resulted in the interview that started a bunch of others.

Over the past while, Royan’s taking to interviewing others on his blog.  It gives him (and us, through his post) the chance to look at others and their #workflow just a bit deeper.  The latest to be interviewed is Stepan Pruchnicky.

The #MyWorkflow series asks educators who are active creators on social media to share how they do their work. Today we speak to a guy who defies categorization, my good friend Stepan Pruchnicky. 

Many of us following this “name easily spelled” individual on social media.  Click through to get a better understanding of a “guy who defies categorization”.

If you enjoyed that, Royan’s got some others that have been interviewed with the same questions and format.

It’s an interesting concept for a series.  I hope that he keeps it going.

p.s. Aviva looks like she’s on a roll.  Her interview with Royan wasn’t enough – she extends it on her own blog “An FDK Addendum To #MyWorkFlow“.


Semester 2 Start

Eva Thompson had been missing in action on the blog scene for a while.  It’s good to see her back online.  She gives us a bit of reason why she hasn’t been around but we’re just glad that she’s back at the keyboard.

It sounds like she’s got a great schedule this semester and this descriptor of her students is testament to that.

This semester as well, I have a number of students preparing for college and are eager to learn skills they will need in the coming years. They are actively asking for help, seeking learning opportunities, accessing the additional materials I post, looking for editing help, and asking meaningful questions. This makes me engaged in my learning as well. I seek out those extras, sit down with students more and more after class, happily find those supplemental activities.

Does it get better than that?

Perhaps she’ll flesh out this in more detail in subsequent posts.


Integrating Technology for Student Learning IT Summit

Kyle Pearce recently did a presentation…

The topic?

Now, there’s nothing better than being in attendance.  That way, you get the wit and wisdom of the presenter and the chance to talk and work with others in groups. The next best thing is to watch the video.  Finally, when all else fails, work your way through the slide deck.  That’s what you get here and it’s 112 slides long.

You’re left to create your own commentary.


Using Delve to Board up your School

There’s never a shortage of posts excitedly proclaiming success with Google Apps in the classroom.  There are far fewer for the Microsoft Office 365 Suite.  Either they’re on the Microsoft blog and conform to their standards or they’re just non-existent.  I like it when Cal Armstrong takes the time to share some of his insights.  I’ve respected his opinion on things for a long time.  Recently, he was patient enough to work through an Excel problem with me. 

In this post, he talks about using Delve.  I’ll admit that I’ve read this post and his previous one a few times.  My instance of Office 365 doesn’t include Delve so it was entirely new to me.

It’s something that I really would be interested in playing around with.  It appears to be a document organizer/dashboard that’s smart enough to help you set priorities.

I know that I have my own way of organizing this sort of thing but I’m intrigued by Cal’s description of its functionality.  Anyone else using it?


Tech-Enabled Teacher Leaders How technology is redistributing school leadership

I made reference to this article, by Dr. Camille Rutherford, in yesterday’s post.  In the article, Camille takes us on a virtual walkthrough of classrooms across the country and shows us specific examples of leadership.  Our friend Aviva made the article.

It’s a post that’s long but worth reading a few times.  There’s a very strong message there about leadership and the changing distribution of it.  The references that she makes are real and valid examples that will make you wonder “Why aren’t more doing this?”  if you’re a teacher and “I need to support this” if you’re the traditional leader within a school district.

The thing is that this is given generously, and without hesitation.  I think we all appreciate the unselfish sharing and leading of others.  Just yesterday, Jennifer Casa-Todd really said it nicely.

Disclosure – Off the Record does appear in the article at the end.  Not for the deep insights, humour, thoughtful planning, and visioning of the author <grin> but for the weekly roundup of blog posts that I’ve read as I wander around reading Ontario Edublogs.  I’ve long supported the notion of leaders using social media to share and lead and this post puts it in wonderful terms.  I was happy to see that the concept of great education blogging leaders was recognised.

If you share one thing with your school leadership after the break, make it this one.


How Might We Make School the Best Place to Learn? (Google Innovation Academy – Part 1)

If you’ve ever been to the Google Headquarters, you can’t help but be “blown away” with the possibilities.  Erica Armstrong writes about her experiences there with a focus on how employees there learn.

Most certainly, there’s no way that a school could physically replicate what happens there.  It’s hard to rationalise a school system where teachers have to buy their own paper for the photocopier with snacks and food available around every corner.

But, if you go beyond the physical and move to the need to learn and the excitement to learn, maybe it is possible to replicate that.  After all, isn’t it the mandate to make schools the best place to learn?  If not there, where?

This is Post #1 from a series about the Google Innovation Academy.


Measuring Innovation

Could there be any more abused word in education than “innovation”?

How many people have it in their job title or description?  How many people describe themselves that way in their profile?

A few years ago, there were speakers going around telling us that we were falling behind because we weren’t innovating.  Now, they’re telling us we’re falling behind because we are innovating – but doing it wrong.

How many people claim to be innovators because they have “technology stuff” in their classroom?  How many people buy new “stuff” so that they can claim to be innovative but haven’t changed their teaching practice as a result?  I just wait until I hear someone claim to be innovative because they have a class set of Apple watches and now the kids can tell the time whenever they want.  

So, if it’s there, then it should be able to be measured, right?  A brave person might put a rubric or label on it.  That’s a 6 on the innovation scale.  Or, another brave person might say you can’t measure it.

Or, the realist might analyse it like Tina Zita does in this post.

I like her thinking.  The concept is very personal so why not treat it as such.  In that way, you can decide what innovation means and not someone external to your whole process.   Do you really need to hold your practice up against others so that you can win the innovation race? 


Once again, it’s been a terrific week of blogging, reading, and thinking – all from the keyboards of wonderful Ontario Edubloggers.  Please take a moment to click through and check out all of these blog posts.  You can’t help but learn and start thinking.  Don’t forget to follow their blogs and them on Twitter!

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