This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Welcome to a Friday before a long weekend.  It’s the last one of the school year but there’s something awesome about that!  Check out the following words of wisdom from Ontario Edubloggers.


Passwords

Jared Bennett reminds us that there are smart ways to handle the passwords on your accounts.  Using one really good one everywhere isn’t the way to do it!

Inspired by the message from Twitter to change passwords …

… Jared shares his thoughts about securities and encourages people to investigate the number of password managers that are available.  Quite honestly, I did that a couple of years ago and it’s made things so much easier.  A good password manager will create a highly cryptic password for you and save it encrypted online so that you can access it anywhere – even on your phone.

Thanks, sir, for the great advice and hopefully people will heed your words and become more secure as a result.  We are hearing rumblings of changes to logging in and that may be our reality someday.  But, for now, it’s a strong and unique password and two factor authentication whenever possible.

Working with students using classroom computers and a myriad of educational resources is another matter…


A New Teacher And Her Well-Being Strategy

If nothing else, all the discussion about mental health and life balance hasn’t been lost on Adriana Pietrantonio who used Laurie Azzi’s blog to share with us her plan for wellness as she leaves a Faculty of Education and heads to the education system for a profession.

I like her plan for taking care of herself.

  • Making sleep a priority
  • Going to the gym 3-4 times per week
  • Attending a yoga class once a week
  • Creating a weekly schedule to follow all my goals
  • Eat foods that make me feel stronger and healthier
  • Having open and honest communication with my family and friends about how I am feeling
  • Seek support from friends and peers when needed

I think a lot of people could benefit from this advice.


Life of an Ex-Student Teacher

I know that, after one year at a Faculty of Education, I was ready to wear the label “Ex-Student Teacher”.  I can only imagine what it feels like at the end of two years!

But Karaline Vlahopoulos claims to be ready to do that.

There’s a nice reflection on the program and tribute to those who touched her life for the part two years.  So, now it’s time to move on and get with the profession.

I know that we all wish her all the best as she rocks it.


3 Ways to Engage Students With Hard Fun

It was great to see that Brian Aspinall found his keyboard again and took time away from his boxers and carpool karaoke to share some thoughts about “Hard Fun”.

When you think about it, as teachers we can make anything “hard”.  Teachers lay awake at night looking for ways to make topics “fun” for it’s there that you reach that special level of engagement.  “Hard Fun” is an extra-special happening.

Seymour Papert makes an interesting argument here – http://www.papert.org/works.htmlIt’s not a long read but it is insightful.

In this case, Brian talks about:

  • Unplugged coding
  • Green Screen Public Service Announcements
  • Making With Minecraft

All three activities, he sees fitting the bill.

I would suggest that the Green Screen activities are at a special level because of the advanced scripting and necessarily collaboration of the students involved in the activity.  It’s a nice combination of writing, planning, timing, and working with technology.  Plus, posting it to the web increases the chances for bigger audience.  You can’t go wrong.


When Parking And Driving Is Like Lining Up And Getting Dressed …

When I read the title for this post from Aviva Dunsiger, I had no idea at all where she was going to take us with it.

If you’re a reader of Aviva, you know that she makes reference to her driving and parking abilities quite often.  As well, when you read her writing, you know that she always works a whack of questions into things as well.

As this post develops, we learn more about her history of driving (and parking) and some of the decisions that she made for herself in that respect. It was a far different story for me; I couldn’t wait until my 16th birthday to get my Beginner’s License.

Things are different in the classroom though.  Student choice isn’t always a thing and often student decision isn’t possible in a world that thrives on conformity.

aviva


STEAM Team Evolution

I don’t know about you, but I get tired just reading posts from Diana Maliszewski.

By the time you read this, her school’s family STEAM activity night will be over.

There will be stations that explore straws and connectors, squishy circuits, green screen technology, unplugged coding along with Scratch, Dash robots, and bird feeder construction with recycled materials. The bands will play, Mr. Roberts’ Girls in STEM group will sell bath bombs and candles, and vendors like Elmwood Electronics and Ellaminnow will be there.

I’ve seen Diane’s organization ability and her devotion to whatever she’s involved with.  I just know this will be spectacular.

I’m looking forward to reading her post next week when she reflects and sums up the activities.


Reflections on the implementation of PBLA

From the TESL Ontario blog, comes a post from Sridatt Lakhan.

Into the post, I marvel at how education loves its acronyms.  SBAs, SUAs, Ts, As, all make the post until we get to PBLAs.  (Portfolio Based Language Assessment)

The argument turns to a discussion of the need for national standards and syllabus.

The individual components of PBLA may have sound research behind it. However, the assessment of individualized tasks cannot lead to a national language strategy which has national benchmarks and competencies. A national syllabus is needed. National competencies are fine, but their current implementation and achievement (i.e. results focused) go against the grain of adult education (andragogy) in our learner-centered, liberal democratic society.


I hope that you can take some time to click through and ready all of these intriguing blog posts.  There’s a little something there for everyone.

And, make sure that you’re following this bloggers on Twitter.

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3 comments

  1. Doug, thanks for connecting Ontario Edubloggers, each week, through your blog posts! It’s always interesting to read your thoughts on the different posts. It reminds me again about the value in commenting: whether it be through a comment on a blog post or a separate post to reflect on the ones you read. While there are some blogs that I comment on frequently, I read much more than I end up replying to. You’re making me wonder about how might comment more.

    Aviva

    Like

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