This Week in Ontario Edublogs

What better way to end the week than by reading some inspirational thoughts from Ontario Educators.

Here’s some of what I caught this past week.

One Thing Everyone Needs

This message is something that everyone needs to take to heart.  It’s from a recent post from Sue Dunlop.  It’s not a long read so take a moment.

We all want to be noticed, valued and to belong. A big fanfare is not always needed, but those moments of quiet recognition that say, “I see you, and you are valued” are powerful.

In the education context, I think that we naturally think about a teacher’s recognition of a student.  Of course.

Then, you might want to turn to an administrator’s approach to staff.  Of course.

These are important reminders for everyone; it’s far too easy to forget when you get wrapped up in the course of the day.

But I think of one other time.

What if students were accustomed to coming up to a teacher at the end of a class and gives a similar message?  Wouldn’t that be something?  In education, we get it at Christmas time or at the end of the year.  How motivating it would be if the message came after a particularly challenging lesson where the teacher has laid awake for nights preparing and then really has to work it in the class..

Some advice I give my students

That’s a perfect lead in to this post from Brandon Grasley.  He shares his words of wisdom that he shares with his students.

Gems like:

“You won’t look back in ten years and wish you had been meaner in high school. No matter how nice you think you are now, when you’re older you’ll see it differently. So be kinder than you think you should be now.”

That niceness should also include an approach to the teacher.  We’ve all taught things that we weren’t 100% sure of.  Certainly, students recognize that they struggle with their learning at times.  Is teaching any different?

Leave Work at Work

These words of advice are fleshed out in this post from Matthew Morris.

I think that all educators are compassionate and want to do the very best.  They will bring home thoughts about the day and even reflect on how to cherish them or think of ways to avoid it in the future.  It’s the nature of the beast.  It’s a good suggestion; personally, I don’t think I could ever totally do it though.

Many Unanswered Questions About EQAO Online Test Failure

I don’t think there’s an educator in the province who wasn’t either directly affected or unaware of the issues that arose from the attempt at putting the EQAO OSSLT test online.  Andrew Campbell pulls together a number of his own thoughts and Twitter messages from people affected.  If you’re looking for a collection of them all in one place, it’s here.

It’s a huge undertaking when you think of all of the students accessing the test online at once, with different browsers – heck even getting enough computers available for students can be a challenge at times.  Consider all of the regular bandwidth use that a school district has on any given day and then this is added.  There were reports of success but, for the most part, there were issues resulting in the cancellation of the test.

I would love to be a fly on the wall as discussions are made to ensure that it doesn’t happen again when the stakes are even higher.

All of the reports are about the technology failures and finger pointing ensued.  There’s another aspect to all this; what about the students who anguish over their success?  After all, they need to pass the test in order to graduate.  So, they get started, or try to get started only to have the rug pulled from under them.

Andrew follows up on this post with another.

A Kids’ Guide to Canada – By Kids, For Kids Un guide du Canada – par des enfants, pour des enfants

In case you missed it, Cathy Beach was a guest blogger here yesterday.  If you’re any elementary school teacher looking for something unique and connected for Canada’s 150th, this might be the perfect project for you.


One of my favourite activities with learners is the “All About Me” exercise.  I’ve tried a number of different approaches over the years with success in all of them.  I’ve always felt that how learners respond is almost as important as the content of their response.  Rusul Alrubail shares here own thoughts and provides some questions of her own.

This certainly ties back to Sue’s post about about wanting to be recognized.  I think it’s also important to give an opportunity to explore their own thoughts about important global events of the day.  In the area of computer science, for example, the exercise can give students an opportunity to reflect on their own personal ethics.  There’s so much about privacy to get the conversation started.

Teaching Hub: Post Nine, Week Eight

This post, from the FlemingLDS team is rich in support for their clients.  Beyond that, they lay out a plan for a flipped learning event.  Would the same plan work at your school?

Do you know what “flipped learning” means? If you ask the Learning Design & Support Team, they’d probably tell you that it is either learning how to do a flip, or that you can learn anything whilst flipping on a trampoline. They try, they really do, but sometimes you gotta wonder about them.


Two things that make the Bring IT, Together conference unique go beyond the workshops, keynotes, and breakout sessions.  In this blog post, take a look at other ways that you can interact and grow with other Ontario Educators.

  • The Learning Space is a place for conversation. Facilitators are booked in to guide the conversation around some debatable topics.
  • The Innovation Stations grew out of a need for networking, conversation, and informal sharing. These are booths set up around the dining area during the lunch break on Thursday and Friday.


So, you’re going to go to the conference.  Great.

Beyond the learning, the conference is a terrific place to meet those people you interact with online.  Here are some tips to make the most from the event.

There. That’s got to do it. Your weekly fix for what’s going on around the province.  Did you know that you can read all of the past issues here?  If you’re an Ontario education blogger, consider adding yourself to the list.  Also, while I do a lot of reading, if you’ve written something you’d like me to read, please let me know.

OTR Links 10/28/2016

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