This Week in Ontario Edublogs

This week was a bit different.  Quite often, I’m tagged by a person to let me know that they’ve created a blog post.  In this edition, I was tagged twice just to make sure that I knew about their efforts.  I think that it’s kind of neat that people would do it.  It lets me know that they’re proud of their writing.

If you look at the URL to this post, you’ll see a 297 at the end of it.  When you have a post with the same title, WordPress appends a number to make sure that the URL is unique.  So, according to the numbering system, we’re approaching 300 posts with the the same title “This Week in Ontario Edublogs”!  Now, there is truth in numbers.  There have been times where I’ve messed up with the title so the number is actually a bit higher.  Who knows?  This might actually have been the 300th post.  Or 301st.  Or…

It doesn’t really matter; it’s just a celebration of the great thinking that gets posted to the blogs of Ontario Edubloggers.

Measuring or mattering?

The first such tag came from Lisa Noble who relates a story about her son and the Honour Roll at school.  With a show of empathy, his concern was about the reaction that came from others.

I have a fairly resilient kid, so he wasn’t particularly shamed by what was posted, but I also have an empathetic kid, who was looking at friends who were crying (or trying not to), and obviously struggling. One very talented child, who had achieved an average above 90, was repeating “it’s not good enough” to herself.

I know that around our supper table, it was a standing joke with my father who always asked when I got an 89, “why didn’t you get a 90?”  I remember joking back once letting him know that I wanted to leave some room for improvement.

I’m sure that the school felt the posting was a celebration of excellence but when the comment from a child says that her high mark wasn’t “good enough”, you have to wonder if there might be a better way of doing things.  A list with names could end up being a platform for shaming for more than just those who didn’t make the list.

Leadership is Oft-time Sensitive

The second tagging with a blog post came from Sylvain Lacasse.  This tagging stood out because he noted that this was going to be his first post in English.  I tried to find the original Twitter tagging and, as I mentioned on the This Week in Ontario Edublogs radio show, I couldn’t find it.  Sylvain was good enough to listen to the show and share it with me again.


Now, Sylvain and I don’t know each other but I suspect that we’re pretty close to years of experience with technology because as he notes

When I first became a teacher, YouTube did not exist. Google stocks were not newsworthy. Apple was just a fruit… well, the tech savvy company existed, but everyone instinctively thought of apple as a fruit, nothing else. USB keys were the new technology. WordPerfect 5.1 was phenomenal and computers were, thankfully, operated by Windows 95.

Let me just stand on a soapbox here and note that WordPerfect 5.1 was the best word processor ever.  Still is.  Bar none.

I wonder, back in those good old days, if folks were as fascinated with the study of leadership as we are today.  That’s the real message in Sylvain’s post where he compares Fixed and Growth Mindset through a lens of time management.  I’d never made, or even tried to make the connection before.  Read to see if you buy into his premise and you might have a whole different approach to things.

Personal Reflection – Stage – Week 1

Another thing that didn’t exist back in the WordPerfect 5.1 days is the concept of blogging.  Sarah Lalonde (interviewed here) uses her blog to write about reflections of her new job.  Congratulations, Sarah!

The titles that she chooses to reflect on include

  • Building relationships
  • Confidence
  • Cell Phone usage
  • Looking forward

They’re all good topics and noteworthy.  I think it’s important that she’s not focussed on a subject in particular or testing.  Instead, she’s stepped back and taken a meta look at the past week.  I think this approach, done regularly, will serve her well in her career.

I guess it’s our current reality that “Cell Phone usage” makes the list for a new teacher.  Sigh.

Documenting and reflecting is good.  I wonder how many others in her class are doing the same thing?

We’ll have to follow her growth in the profession by following along in her blog.

I’m a Podcaster!

Congratulations to Ramona Meharg for taking the leap, after having been prodded by Stephen Hurley at the Bring IT, Together Conference last fall.

I hated podcasting.  It wasn’t the media form or the tools or the software or the results.  It was generating the results.  I found myself searching for perfection and editing/re-editing content to get it right.  I recognize that I have certain mannerisms and the recurring desire to cough.  With the right tool, in my case it was Audacity, I could spend all kinds of time editing these things out.

For me, doing the radio show on Wednesday mornings with Stephen Hurley is so much easier.  There are no retakes, if I make an audio uuuuuhhh, it stays in.  If I need to cough, I mute myself while he’s speaking and then unmute.

But, enough about me.  In Ramona’s first podcast, she interviews Heather Jacobi (audio link here).  I thought that the execution of the recording was quite impressive.  Both came across as being very professional in their discussion with each other.  So, nicely done, ladies.

Ramona has an interesting niche for the talk which I hope turns into an ongoing series – “I Wish I Knew – EDU“.  Interviewing experienced teachers and learning what they wish they knew back when.  It could be very interesting.

Opportunities Abound Outside Your Comfort Zone

Of course they do.  But, how many people take advantage of them?  It’s so much easier to stay in that comfort zone.  After all, that’s how it got its name.

Lynn Thomas talks about how she embraced this.  There is a sad story of some family history and then she turns to her personal opportunities as a member of a Digital Learning Team.

I think that we can all agree that mastering technology for yourself can be a challenge.  I’ve always found that the way that I approach technology use personally has a “Doug” slant to it and isn’t necessarily applicable to others.  On a personal level, “whatever gets the job done” is often good enough.

Things change when you work with others.  They have different skill sets, attitudes, approaches, desires, and varying levels as to how far they want to go in their learning.  Lynn talks about taking on the challenges of  D2L, OneNote, Class Notebook, and Flipgrid as a start and then much more.

It is indeed challenging to reach out to people at so many different levels, so many different technologies, and so many different directions.  Kudos to her.


Lisa Corbett describes an interesting activity she used for a no-bus day but it would work for any mathematics class on any day.

#WODB stands for What One Doesn’t Belong.  I remember activities like this being a pretty regular thing in my primary class.  It requires observation, logic, pattern/shape recognition, and then the ability to explain your choice well enough to convince others that you have the correct solution.

Because, you see, the best of these puzzles don’t have one absolutely correct answer.  How dare it call itself mathematics?  (tongue in cheek)

Can YOU determine which one doesn’t belong and come up with a convincing reason?

My 31 Flavours Dilemna

Of course, with a title like that, you know that ice cream is going to factor somewhere into this post from Eva Thompson.

Now, while we don’t have the store that made the number 31 famous, we do have the Waterfront Ice Cream Parlour in town and they have a layout that resembles what Eva describes.  The “problem” is in having so many choices.  You see, the lineup to get served snakes around the front of the cases and, on a hot summer night, it’s really long.  So, you have to choose wisely when you see it or you may have passed your choice and there’s no going back without bothering those following you.

Now, Eva’s blog is about education and the ice cream story is nice.  But, the relevancy lies in the educational planning that she’s doing.  A whole semester of it and it appears that it’s a little overwhelming for the students.

I have the whole semester planned out, but the students aren’t really ready to have it presented to them in this fashion.  In the past, I tried to just mention 2 things at a time and get immediate sign ups. Students will not sign up for an event at the end of May when it’s on the beginning of February. Who knows what can happen between now and then? And frankly, I don’t blame them.

It’s an interesting scenario but, as I read how Eva’s presenting it, I can see that there may be just too much for students to process at a single sitting.  I’d be willing to bet that she’d be interested in your suggestions via comment.

As I noted in the introduction, this week was a bit different.  I’m impressed that I’m concluding by noting that it’s been another great collection of blogs again.  As always.

Check out the original posts and drop off a comment.  They’ll appreciate it.  And, tagging me works – look at Lisa and Sylvain.

Finally, your call to action – make sure that you add these Twitter accounts to your learning network.

OTR Links 03/02/2018

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