This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Friday morning is cleanup time in my browser.  I typically have the blog posts that I want highlighted in this post open since my This Week in Ontario Edublogs show on voicEd Radio on Wednesday.  It’s always a clean start when I’m done!

What would we do in a world without browser tabs?  Oh, yeah, have a multitude of bookmark files…


Creators of Content through Gaming via the micro:bit

There really is nothing like playing around with a micro:bit connected to your computer.  You can do all kinds of things with it, and it’s priced so affordably.  In this post, Derek Tangredi takes us a little further.

The greater benefit I see in making games is that it provides ample opportunity for subject integration.  Attempting to create fully immersive experiences while adhering to intended outcomes can be daunting for some and these “maker” based projects can provide that landscape.

This post is a true “maker” post.  I can say that because the project starts with a cardboard box.  When you’re done, you’ve created your own arcade.

Derek includes a couple of videos to help you thought the process.


Google Input

I had previously talked about the Preserve our Language Project and the amazing job that these students had done with creating an Ojibway keyboard for the Macintosh computer.

This project is a team effort by Rayne, Gene, Tarcisius, Joan, and principal Mike Filipetti.

The latest check in to their site reveals that the project continues and their efforts are now available in the Google Input Tools.

keyboard

You can try it out online or get the extension or Android application.

This project continues to amaze and impress me.  When was the last time you did something that will change a part of the world?


Leading to Win or Leading to Grow

Those who would post quotes to social media and then hope that others share them would be well advised to read this post from Anne Marie Luce.

After reading her post, I think that the best advice for anyone who plays in the “leading” area needs to think about the long run.  The short little blast that gets you some sort of fame quickly fades.  The leader that works hard to create more leaders by bringing out the best in people are in there for the right reasons and for the duration.

Building leaders and capacity is hard work.  Anne Marie links to a blog post that inspired this one and it’s certainly equally as inspirational.

I like her notion of a healthy organization.

How do we create a healthy organization that ignites passion in others and allows them to take risks to explore it?

As the March Break comes to an end, perhaps a few moments to reflect on your own organization is in order.  Would you consider it to be healthy?  If not, what can you do about it?


Analogy for ‘Learning’

So, Helen DeWaard shares her homework for Ontario Extend in this post.  It was in response to a provocation

misunderstood

You’re probably thinking about your own discipline right now and I’m sure that the answer to that question could lead to a number of discussions.

One of the areas that Helen brings into play is that of prior knowledge.  I think that most of us assume that this is a good thing.  But, is it always?

In our radio show, Stephen Hurley and I talked a bit about mathematics and the challenges that can exist.

  • going from one teacher to another or one school to another with different approaches to mathematics
  • mom and dad helping with homework
  • the after school paid homework services
  • …  add your own

How many variations on a topic is possible?  Any chance that there’s a misunderstanding anywhere?


#TableTalkED

Last week, we looked at “Filled to the Brim”.  The concept was to get together and talk professionally outside of the school.  This is a nice continuation of the concept by Tina Zita where she describes a Saturday afternoon with a nice bunch of Ontario Educators.  I’d call is a “school of Ontario Educators” but that sounds a little fishy.

The topics, as outlined in the post seemed to settle around.

  • Relationships
  • Balance
  • Ideas

As I looked around the boardroom table picture from the post, I see some familiar faces, lots of food and no technology.

I thought this was a bit peculiar since the meeting was hosted by startup Soapbox which has an interesting application that looks like it could be used to start or continue these conversations.


Student Digital Leadership in action

One of the faces around the table was Jennifer Casa-Todd who blogged to make the connection between student social activism and some of the points in her book SocialLEADia.

I particularly like her advance warning because I feel the same way.

I have been watching the #NeverAgain movement over the past week. I am always reluctant to share anything overly political; especially when it comes to American politics, because I know that as an outsider things look simplistic when indeed they may be very complicated.

The actions that happened this week prove, without question, that students have a voice and can be passionate about their cause.  I happened to be at a television set and flipped through a number of news channels during the walkouts on Wednesday.  It was interesting to note which news channels had coverage and actually reporters on the ground reporting live and honouring student voice.  There was one news channel that didn’t even mention it.

No wonder students are so frustrated looking for a solution that, as an outsider, seems so easy to resolve.

Politicians need to be keenly aware of the message of students signing up to vote for the first time and to vote for those who have a viable platform based upon their safety.


Temporal Prejudices

Tim King was inspired by a sharing of a story about Winston Churchill to write this post.

He sets the context.

I’ve seen people time and again criticize those who lived before them as being immoral and somehow answerable to the laughable ethics of our own time. That article on Churchill, a man who lived at the end of the British Empire and spent much of his career trying to hold the tattered pieces of it together, often using the same kind of bombastic rhetoric you still see today, is no doubt accurate, but the re-defining of statements made over a century ago based on modern values is neither fair nor particularly useful, unless you’re a politician trying to win a point.

The whole blog post got me thinking, in particular how education handles topics like this.  I’m thinking, in particular, of a Grade 11 History class.  For our studies, we had “The Book”.  It was given to us at the first of the year and it was “the truth” and we just learned what was enclosed in the book.

I like where Tim takes this.  I suspect, that under scrutiny, we didn’t view topics from the enlightened view of an objective historian.  We did try to picture the past and relate it to the life that we were currently living.

Even when we would research the biography of a historic figure, it was through the eyes of the biographer and they wouldn’t have been chosen for their objectivity but for their ability to write something that’s pleasing.

In today’s world, not only do we have a Biography Channel on television, but we have more news and resources that would just be unfathomable to those in Churchill’s time.  We have so many versions of the truth available for any topic.  If we don’t like the coverage on a particular channel, we just change the channel until we get something that we want.

What will those who follow us think of us?


Why It’s Time to End Publicly Funded of Catholic Schools in 2018

When I talk to my US friends, they really find it unbelievable that we have so many publically funded schools in Ontario.  We’ve just been accustomed to it.  As an aside, they’re really impressed that we have a Computer Studies curriculum available for every school.

In this post, and consider that it’s posted on an ETFO website, Deborah Weston takes on this question and provides opinion and statistics to argue for a change.

We’re coming up on a Spring Ontario election.  Will this be a position that one or more of the political parties adopt?


And, with one final click, I’ve closed off the last remaining tab and I think my computer is breathing a sigh of relief.  Between the original blog posts and the supporting resources, I had almost 30 tabs open.

But, please do take the time to read through and check out all of these wonderful posts and drop off a comment if you’re inspired.  The, check out the rest of the Ontario Edubloggers in this Livebinder.

And, follow these great bloggers.

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