This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It’s been another great week of reading blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers.  Some of what I caught appears below.

Please take a moment to click through and read their complete thoughts.


My New Work Flow

David Fife made sure that I didn’t miss this post from Jennifer Aston.  Jennifer and I had actually exchanged some thoughts about the topics she blogged about so it was like another deja vu to see it in that format.  But, the nice thing about blogging is that you get to see the thoughts completely in context.

If you read the post in its entirety, there is a great deal to be learned.

  • when you move your files and data to the cloud, “who” really owns it?
  • a decision made by the folks at the board office, or what was referred to with my former employer, “downtown” can have cascading effects throughout the district
  • related to that, it’s fair to ask “Is there a master plan?”
  • if you live by the cloud, you can die (or at least get a bit injured) by the cloud
  • YOU need to be in charge of everything or there are consequences
  • Linux isn’t a four letter word and puts you back in the driver’s seat of your computer
  • it’s nice to have a cadre of people that you can ask when these questions arise

There’s another one that I think that all educators need to consider.

When your students “check out” at Grade 6 or 8 or 12 or whenever, do you provide a mechanism for them to check out their work as well?


Literacy Tests: Not Just Kids’ Stuff

When I first read the title of Stephen Hurley’s post, I got myself ready for another rant and rationale to ditch standardized testing.

So, I felt like the victim of a bait and switch when I read the post.

He draws an interesting parallel between the literacy tests that we subject students to and the wedding speeches that so many of us have had to give.

So here’s to all of you who have been asked to give a speech or a toast at a wedding this summer. Embrace the opportunity, embrace the anxiety and remember—literacy tests are not just for kids. Whether we realize it or not, they are part of all of our lives—for the rest of our lives!

It’s a fun read and yet makes so many sense.

With the exception, of course, that students don’t go and do shots when the testing is over!


Advice for New Teachers

Who knows how many new teachers will be entering classrooms for the first time this fall?  Or how many people are making a career change by moving from one school to another.  Even that can be a culture change.  Matthew Oldridge has a wonderful post just full of advice.

He concludes with:

The post is full of good advice.

Except…

Well, maybe there will be a followup post about Parent/Teacher nights.


Coding in French

Larissa Aradj shares to her blog, a guest post from French teacher Ashley Soltesz, and an interesting take on teaching coding in French.

As noted, French teachers don’t always have access to the same collection of resources as the regular classroom teacher but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t find a way to make it happen.  In this case, it was to create Coding Blocks in the French language and allow students to create projects without the benefit of a computer.

What’s not to like?  It gets rid of one more excuse.

You don’t have to start from scratch.  <groan>  Check out the resources in this shared folder.


It IS about the Tools!

Opening Up My Technology Can Of Worms

I’m going to clump Peter Skillen and Aviva Dunsiger’s posts together here.

I’m not neutral on this topic.

It’s Not About the Technology

It Better Be About The Technology

and a bunch of others.  It’s a regular theme around here.   I still love this graphic.

I deliberately chose the word “neutral” above because I believe that the use of technology is not a neutral activity.

I touch technology every day.  It touches me every day.  I can only remember one moment where I wanted to scream and it was at one of those PD sessions that you’re forced to attend.  Normally, that doesn’t bother me but the presenter started out by asking, no demanding, that people turn off their technology so that we could listen to her.  Then, having shut that door for me, she went on to ramble about learning styles or something.

Technology isn’t neutral.

  • In the hands of a master teacher, you can have students create, explore, and do things that aren’t possible in any other way.  This is where the magic lies.
  • In the hands of a teacher that uses it for some menial task, it turns off students from even trying.
  • If it’s never used by a teacher, it’s just opportunity lost.

We lost one of the great Edtech minds this past week in Seymour Papert.  There was no bigger advocate for the technology using student.  By inheritance, we include the technology using teacher.  It’s 2016 – we shouldn’t have “computer teachers” – that belongs to our past where we had limited access to technology and an entire profession that was learning.  Those excuses just don’t cut it today.

Never has the profession had so many great things happening and discerning teachers using technology to its greatest ability.


An interview with Michelle Cordy

I’m going to call my own number here.

I had the wonderful opportunity of interviewing Michelle Cordy who delivered the closing keynote at the recent ISTE Conference.

Of course, I had to wait for her to return from a trip to Berlin to get things together but it did come together nicely.

We chatted about teaching different grades, research, 1:1 iPads, delivering the closing keynote at the ISTE Conference, and much more.  She gives a shout out to her five biggest influencers.  I think it’s a great read and I hope that you take the time to do so.


Thanks to all of the above for continuing to provide great thoughts for educators.  Drop by each blog for the complete content and leave a comment of your own if you’re so inclined.  They’ll appreciate it.

One thought on “This Week in Ontario Edublogs

  1. pbeens says:

    I’m always bothered by the wide use of the word “technology” when the authors should be writing “information and communications technology”.

    Some definitions:

    Technology: machinery and equipment developed from the application of scientific knowledge.

    ICT (information and communications technology – or technologies): an umbrella term that includes any communication device or application, encompassing: radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems and so on, as well as the various services and applications associated with them, such as videoconferencing and distance learning. ICTs are often spoken of in a particular context, such as ICTs in education, health care, or libraries. The term is somewhat more common outside of the United States.

    Yes, an iPad is technology, as are toothbrushes and toilets. But they are not the focus of the current discussion.

    ICT is.

    Like

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