This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Can there be nothing better than reading a good blog post that makes you think?  I don’t think so.  Here’s some of what I caught this past while.

Analyzing Art: How Do We Redefine “Beauty?”

Goodness knows that you don’t want me teaching or evaluating art.  Aviva Dunsiger takes us on a ride with her thoughts about artwork as it applies in school.  Just like we don’t expect every student to be that record breaking athlete, do we need every student to be the next great artist?  Isn’t it the effort and the ability to stick to it most important?  Or art appreciation when you get the opportunity to view other’s works?  I like that she and her teaching partner take the opportunity to share what every student generates.  Not award winning material by Aviva’s description but I’ll bet it’s a classic in the eyes of the student and their parents.

To extend this, I read a couple of articles recently that should give all who might wish to create something hope.  And, perhaps in the process, we challenge the notion that you might think you know what art is.

Part 3: Creativity and Innovation

These are two terms that you see together so often, but if you want to dive deeper, check out this post from Debbie Donsky.  I’ve been spinning about her thoughts about creativity and innovation.  Debbie shares her thoughts on the connections between the two.  What happens when you have one without the other?  If you’re a leader, what combination will generate success?  What combination will ensure that you have followers with the dedicated follow through?

It seems that creativity without innovation is like an idea without action. It reminds me of the Joel Barker quote: “Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.”

We’re Different – And Why?

Donna Fry’s latest post will give you plenty to think about if you believe that change is a part of every day life.  I like the concept of the ladder and how she applies it into her concept of “hierarchy”.  In its simplest, and perhaps an over-generalization, does the amount of progressive and new learning decrease as one climbs the ladder?  A couple of quick things come to mind as I type – I love typing and thinking and ideas flowing from my fingertips –

  • is it more important, the higher in the hierarchy to establish stability and continuity?
  • if you’re at the bottom rung, or lower, is it easier to just try stuff and accept that failure only extends to a smaller audience?
  • I liked how David Truss extended things to include students who are the perfect example of always trying the latest and newest “tool” and are great examples of being connected and learning the positives and negatives of that.

Entire companies have failed because they had “no clue” as Donna puts it.  Are educational institutions vulnerable to that as well or are they such an institution that they’ll be around no matter what.  A term that has always had mixed emotions with me is “best practices”. Depending upon who is speaking, that can have such a limited scope.  (a bizarre comparison but think about it)  The connected educator has the ability to peek into classrooms all over the world and read/see first hand what works and what doesn’t.  Does that get any credibility or does it have to appear in an official document / manuscript / research report and updated every now and again?

Autism POV

I think most educators are only too happy to support a good cause.  Diana Maliszewski, in this post, provides an extremely well written and researched article about the difference between Autism Awareness and Autism Acceptance.

I’m so happy that I have people that I follow, like Diana, that do their research and provide alternative things to consider.  The post contains links to articles supporting the argument including a chart following the money.  As Diana notes, it’s too bad that the chart doesn’t include a citation for its source.

Presentations that feel like home

I’ve got presentations on the mind.  The presentations committee for the upcoming BIT Conference has been watching the submissions coming in for the November conference.  The variety of topics is amazing.  Soon, there will come a time when presentations are accepted for the conference and then the presenters get to work.

In this post, written for the TESL Blog by Gwen Zeldenrust, the focus is on the ESL student and making presentations.  I can’t help but think that the “Home Model” described in the post is good advice for everyone who has to plan a presentation.

April 2016 Newsletter Insert

Sue Bruynslatest blog post is a one liner.

“link go the math newsletter”

So I did because she said to.

I got this blast from the past!  I used this activity when introducing spreadsheets to a group of teachers.  It’s fun to

  • determine the math rule
  • create the spreadsheet formula
  • create your own function and challenge your neighbour

And the neat thing is that it scales for student age.

#sgdsbtc #TwitterChallenge

Just as I was ready to post this and get away from the computer, I’m tagged in a Twitter message by Colleen Rose. It’s with respect to a month long Twitter Challenge from the Superior-Greenstone District School Board. The Twitter message took me to a message by Stacey Wallwin that includes this image showing the events for the month of April. Give them a read.

Apparently, Colleen thought following this noisy Twitter user is a good idea.

It’s an interesting progression of activities to be done on Twitter from the introductory to something that requires some research and development of skills. Very interesting and a nice model for other boards to follow. Well done.  I couldn’t track down a blog post describing what’s happening and what’s next but hopefully, Colleen or Stacey or someone from SGDSB can fill in the details for us.

And it’s another wonderful week of reading.  Thanks to the authors for the content and the sharing of resources/thinking.  I hope you can click through and enjoy the originals and drop them a comment or a like.  Then, check out the big list of Ontario Edubloggers.  There’s always great stuff happening there.


OTR Links 04/08/2016

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