This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Happy Friday.  It won’t be long now.

Please check out some of the great works of Ontario Edubloggers that I’ve read recently.


WHY MY PLN IS MY MOST VALUABLE RESOURCE

In response to the challenge that I issued earlier in this week, David Carruthers poked a couple of members of what he considers his own PLN and shared some of what resonated with his from Sylvia Duckworth’s Sketchnote.

While I tagged people in my original post, he highlights concepts.

It works well and I’ll bet you’ll be in agreement with his post.

There are a few districts that really work the concept of the digital Personal Learning Network.  Sure, there are lots of individual Twitter accounts sharing classroom pictures with parents, but Thames Valley has always been a great place to go to see educators nicely engaged and learning with each other and indeed the educational world.


20 Ideas for Celebrating Aboriginal Culture in Your Class

Just in time for next Tuesday, some ideas about Aboriginal Culture for your classroom from David Sornberger.

  1. inviting an Indigenous guest speakers, e.g., an Elder, to speak on local history as well as on contemporary issues
  2. plan a community activity with a partner (partners could be an on-reserve school or school district)
  3. arts and crafts display or workshop
  4. Indigenous language workshop
  5. playing traditional or contemporary games (e.g. lacrosse)
  6. preparing a display of items such as treaties, arts and books

More at his original post.


Minecraft: Spatial Sense, Structures & Growing Patterns

Brian Aspinall’s latest post is actually a YouTube video dealing with this topic.

After watching the video, if you’re in search for more, check out a new creation from Brian.  It’s a separate blog called “Hour of Curiosity“.


Hour of Curiosity

Who’s Brian trying to kid?

If you can do all this in an hour, then put on your super hero costume and head to the front of the line.

You have to feel just a bit sorry for those trying to play catch up with all the excitement that coding and other activities offer.  In this one spot, look for some supporting materials and a desire to collect even more.

The Hour of Curiosity is not a scheduled event. Rather it is a place for teachers to get comfortable with coding, augmented reality, Minecraft and MaKey MaKey. Some resources are meant for PD opportunities, some are classroom activities and some are student examples.


5 Vintage and Powerful Teaching Moves That You Don’t Need an App For

Royan Lee is always on the move and he’s done it again.

Stepping back from the App obsession, are there indeed things that need to be considered for their merit in the classroom.  We have 1:1 classrooms, 1:1 wannabees, 1:1 wishers, lab walkers, shared devices, and all the rest.  But is that all?

Royan argues successfully, with examples, about great alternatives.

I shudder when I think of computer science classrooms where students get a problem, sit down at the computer, and begin coding.  When they hit the wall, and they will, often they don’t know why.  If they’d only planned first…

Technology can lead to powerful results but that shouldn’t be the only game in town.

Drop by Royan’s blog and drop off your most powerful non-app idea.


A world full of materials!

Joanne Babalis’ is a natural followup to Royan’s.

The world is filled with materials, and I have already started to introduce them to my five month old son.  Each day he discovers new objects, colours, books, and makes it quite clear what interests him.  When I was invited back to the Louise Kool & Galt, a company that specializes in early childhood furniture and materials, I thought that it would be a great chance for us to explore!  While I was there, we also planned one of our upcoming #CTInquiry sessions that will be held within their board room.

The pictures are from a visit to the company so don’t be too jealous that this is passed off as a typical classroom.  However, it is full of ideas.

There’s not an app in sight.  Well, except for the one that took the pictures, perhaps.


Ça prend du développement professionnel peronnalisé

Another argument for personalized professional development from Joël McLean.

He makes, once again, the argument for why professional development isn’t always successful.

I think that it’s time to encourage all who would be involved in professional learning opportunities to consider his points.

If it’s not personal and relevant, it’s going to be less likely to have long term effects.  So often, professional learning leaders run sessions that are of interest to them.  How about the audience?  Aren’t they the most important people in the room?  How many times do we need to sit and listen to someone pontificate about the works of <<blah blah>> and his theories.  How many times is that message forgotten on the drive home?  Or how many times do you go to a summit to see someone show off some obscure feature of a piece of software that has no useful purpose other than to show off during the session?  If that’s the case, isn’t there a better way?

A great Sketchnote introduces us to the post.


SOLVE THE QUESTION

From the TESL Ontario blog, Laila Al-Sbeinati shares a lesson in conversation that has worked for her.

It’s not your typical Q&A but rather A&Q.

It’s a powerful technique in computer science; give the students the answer and they have to determine how it was generated.  It forces deeper thinking than going the other route where they may already have a partial plan in place.  So, I can see why it would work so well for her.  I like her descriptions of how she actually made it work.  I think that it’s more of a puzzle presentation which adds even more engagement potential.  You’re left with a starter collection of eight answers.


Thanks again everyone for sharing your thoughts and blog leadership.

Please make sure to drop by these blogs to read them in their entirety and leave a comment or two.  Bloggers like that sort of thing.

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