This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Welcome to another Friday of great reading from the blogs of Ontario Edubloggers.  Here’s some of what I read this week.


Setting up WordPress for Online Learning (Part 1)

Richard Fouchaux gives a very detailed story of how he set up his own instance of WordPress.  This is Part 1 and Part 2 is to come.  I thought it was quite the coincidence since I had two questions about installing one’s own WordPress site.

His description and commentary will walk you through the steps.

I remember setting things up in test mode a few years ago.  As he notes, it’s not a quick process.  When I went to shift to production mode, I then found out that my ISP didn’t support WordPress.  Of course, there are other alternatives including hosts that claim to offer one-click installation.  I do also remember having discussions with others who didn’t want the hassle of the setup and, equally as important, the maintenance and updates of a site.  These insights made me back away from that direction and move to just blogging on the WordPress.com and Blogspot.com sites.  It’s not as elegant but has a certain appeal.  I do have appreciation for those who host their own and do their own maintenance.  I think it’s a case of there not really being a bad solution but you need to make sure that you’re covering everything if you host your own.  The description in this post is nice.


New Job!

One of the very best things about teaching is that you get a fresh start every school year.  New students, perhaps a new subject/grade level, sometimes a new curriculum, usually a chance to teach something with a different perspective or different tools.  One thing, it’s never boring.

Eva Thompson has a new job and shares her excitement about it in this blog post.

I am thrilled to start a new job this Fall with my Board. In recent years, I have been looking for new challenges and opportunities that go beyond the regular classroom. I was fortunate to work with some people who recognized this desire and offered tips and suggestions on how to reach this goal.

The naysayers of education need to tap into the excitement that she and everyone exudes when you get a chance to do things over again in September.  And, it’s not a two month vacation; it’s two months to think about and prepare for the new beginning.


Teachers Saves Lives

I think it’s appropriate that Albert Fong’s post follows Eva’s.

About 5 years into my career, I was starting to feel comfortable with the job. I have some experience and developed confidence in myself that this is something I can do for a long time. I could have (and was heading towards) a teacher’s equivalent of Groundhog Day. My lessons were set, on PowerPoint, I had different versions of similar tests, and I could see myself plateauing and coast for the next 25 years to retirement.

Thirty and out.

Fortunately, for Albert on a professional and personal level, he had an intervention.

Check out his post to see how his perspective has changed.

About 5 years into my career, I was starting to feel comfortable with the job. I have some experience and developed confidence in myself that this is something I can do for a long time. I could have (and was heading towards) a teacher’s equivalent of Groundhog Day. My lessons were set, on PowerPoint, I had different versions of similar tests, and I could see myself plateauing and coast for the next 25 years to retirement.


Journey to Canada: PD for librarians and Canada & World Studies teachers

The Ontario Teachers’ Federation is a great organization to work with.  Alanna King gets a chance this summer to share her expertise in an Ottawa event.

It sounds like a fabulous experience and the field trips look awesome.  Good luck Kate and Alanna.

The complete list of OTF summer offerings can be found here.


Defying gravity

I think so many of us were just lost for words when it came to the incident in Orlando and the impact that it has had on all, including those of us who reside north of the border.  Cal Armstrong reflects on what won’t change and what will change, not necessarily in Orlando, but in society in general and to him on a personal level.

Andrew, you’re wrong.  

And you have to be wrong. 

No, we’re not going to get a rational approach to gun ownership in the US, no we’re not going to remember that personal choice in religion stops at the end of your pew or prayer mat, or that engaging in political hate is any better than any kind of hate. 

But I’ll give you one change, Andrew. 

I’m moving “gay” from the last in the list of descriptors to the first.

It’s always a challenge in critical literacy to interpret the news reports and what gets included and wonder about what gets excluded by the news editors.  Cal takes all of that out of the picture by telling us his story via blog.  No third party interpretation is in the way of understanding here.


What Can You Learn From “My Brother Is Autistic?”

I’ve kind of turned away from watching TED Talks.  They were once the opportunity for people with passion or insights to share that with the world.  Now, so many of them turn out to be self-promotional (and it appears to be working for them) and I’ve just lost interest.  I guess, in a noisy world, you have to shout to be heard.  We’re certainly seeing that in politics.

But, Royan Lee’s talk in Kitchener turned back the trend and he got personal.  It was a return to the type of TED Talk that I used to enjoy.

It didn’t go unnoticed by Aviva Dunsiger either.  She provides a wonderful list of things to be learned from his talk and I think she nails it.

Not only did this generate this post, but it inspired her to write another from her very personal point of view.  My Sister Is Gifted.


 Let’s Go M.A.D Together!

Peter Cameron shared a quotation that all teachers ask.

The balance of the post talks about the M.A.D. experience in his classroom and the causes that it supported.  The list is quite impressive.

As classes wrap up for this school year and teachers start to think of things in fall, Peter offers this invitation.

peter

So, as you ponder how things might be different for your class for the fall, does this have a place?


It’s been another wonderful week of reading and sharing some of the very best from Ontario Edubloggers.  Of course, there’s much more.  Click through and check out the complete list and add your blog via form if it’s not there already.

And, as always, please click through and read the original blog posts and drop off a comment.

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