This Week in Ontario Edublogs

And, it’s Friday.  Summer appeared to go away but it looks like it’s back.  But you know that Autumn is on the way with the dew in the morning and those crickets that are up all night.  None of this appears to have hampered Ontario Edubloggers though.  Here’s some of what I caught this week.


A Message Worth Sharing

I think that Aviva Dunsiger’s “message” is something more than just for sharing.  It’s a way of being, if you’re a teacher.  Witness this comment from a parent.

“I wish everyone felt that way. This is the first time somebody’s said this about my son.”

How often do we think that communication with parents should be to report misbehaviour or a problem or some other issue.  Every time I read something like this, I think of a message from Wayne Hulley that we need to heed.

“Parents send the best kid that they can to school.  They don’t keep the really good ones at home.”

We all like to hear and live success stories or anecdotes.

Why shouldn’t the parents of the students you teach?


Things Open

When I read the title of this post from Terry Greene, I bit my tongue and thought “Sure, they also close”.  I had no idea about the topic of the post so it was a natural response.  Then, I read the post.

Like most people I suspect, I got involved with social media via Twitter or Blogging and then took off from there.  In this post, Terry talks about his own journey into social media and it didn’t take the same route.  His journey started with ds106.  It’s been an interesting trip for him and it’s a reminder that we can make things whatever we want to be and where our interests take us.  I keep thinking that everyone should document their trip into social media.  That might make for an interesting blogging challenge.

How would I have even know about Terry?  Well, it was through the traditional route following Alana Callan into the Fleming Learning blog.  I’m really glad I did.

There are lots of takeaways from this post but this one really intrigues.

Volunteer with Virtually Connecting, where I get to be involved with and help others get access to educational conferences all over the world that we would not otherwise have access to. Another chance to connect with and have access to open thinkers around the world.

I’d never heard of the Virtually Connecting website before but I’m glad that I know now.  Thanks, Terry.


Computer Science in Ontario

This really isn’t a blog post but rather a couple of graphs posted to Grant Hutchison’s website.  This graph, in particular, has me thinking and questioning.

yearly_by_course

As we know, there are five courses of Computer Studies in Ontario and he’s graphed the enrolments of them from 2011 to 2013.

Looking at the graphs is a real teaser.  I think I’m going to blog and share my thoughts about this soon.


voicEd Radio Spotlight: Paul McGuire and the Importance of Getting Out of School

This was an interesting meld of media by Stephen Hurley.  He had interviewed Paul McGuire as part of his “In Conversation” series.  The radio program is a good listen by itself.

But, one of the topics inspired Stephen to supplement the radio show with a blog post.

There’s been lots written recently about teachers having little to no control over their professional learning.  So, here’s a twist.

But as Paul was telling his stories, I could literally sense a change in my breathing as he inspired a possibility in my mind. What might happen if, as a staff, we were to designate one PD day a year to do just what Paul did—get out of school and head out, two-by-two, out into the community. What if we were to head to the local shopping mall, the coffee shop, the library, the places of worship, the rec centre, the seniors residence, the local businesses and municipal offices to talk to people. Not all of them would have children in our school, but I would venture to guess that all of them would have something to say about their hopes and aspirations for their community.


Conall’s Assessment Story

We all learned mathematics (and everything else) in the method that Jon Orr describes “Lessons….homework …. repeat…then tests”.  However, he focuses in on one phrase about expectations in Ontario.

It doesn’t say “By next Friday, students will …”; it’s “By the end of the course, the student will …”.

That sort of blew up the traditional method.

Jon includes a video explaining his thoughts.  Don’t have time for the video?  Read the post where you also get the transcript.

It involves an application he and his class used to get the job done.

It’s a wonderful story about the power of the portfolio – not just for collecting artifacts anymore!


“Stay in Your Lane” is Bad Advice

On the Holiday Monday, I went to the harness races in Dresden.  I was kind of dreading the construction zone through Tilbury and Chatham and so decided to take another route and bypass that, much to the chagrin of my GPS.

Instead, I enjoyed a delightful trip that took me through Jeannette’s Creek and the twisty road along the Thames River, the bridge at Prairie Siding (is it ever opened?) and Paincourt.  It was a really refreshing trip.  The folks in Chatham-Kent suggest that you do this and become a “Detourist”.

In this post, Matthew Oldridge asks us if we ever consider moving to the other lane.  My immediate thought was travelling through Toronto where you have more than one other lane option!  The view is different; the trip is different …  How about you?  Do you move out of your comfortable lane every now and again to see what else is available?

You’ll be inspired by Matthew’s list of people who took to a different lane and succeeded.


I won’t post that

I think we all realize that there’s a line on social media that we don’t want to cross.  There are things that people don’t really want to know about us.  For example, I just finished walking the dog and I’m eating a banana.  Is your life any better knowing that?  Then, there are things that you shouldn’t know about me.  For example, well you shouldn’t know.

Diana Maliszewski addresses the topic as it applies to her.  In addition to the words of common sense that we includes, she bring in the College of Teachers.  So, with a bow on top, she nicely addresses the topic of sharing, over-sharing, and approaching or going over that line.

She also identifies areas that are deliberately missing from the persona that she projects online.

  • Specific details about my children
  • Complaints about specific people
  • Partying
  • Specific Politics

That’s a wise selection and she expands on each nicely.

This is a wonderful post and I would recommend that all read and consider her words.

Does the line that she draws for herself represent your line?


Once again, a wonderful collection of posts from Ontario Educators.  Please take the time to click through and read them in their entirety.  You’ll be glad you did.

Also, listen in on Wednesday mornings at 9:15 on VoiceEd Radio where Stephen Hurley and I take a run at some of the posts that will show up here.  Can’t make it?  All of the shows all archived here.

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