This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Welcome to the last Friday of May.  Can you believe that the end of the school year is so close?  I know that there are a lot of things on teacher plates right now – EQAO testing, track meets, report cards, making sure that the curriculum expectations have all been addressed, …

Despite this, please take a new moments to read and interact with these wonderful blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers.

People Respond: Education Issues in the Ontario 2018 Election

It’s hard to believe that the Ontario Election Day will soon be here.  Around here, we have to vote in a new location.  For years and years, it was at the local Italian club but it’s been sold and is now a popular restaurant.  Since it has a liquor license, that probably disqualifies it as a voting location!

Our new location is in the elementary school where our kids went.  It will be an interesting place to re-visit.  It’s also timely as this post from Paul McGuire notes – there has been a lot said this election but not enough about education.  That’s too bad since it’s one of the biggest areas of expenditure in the province.  Paul’s trying to rectify this in his post.  He shares a bit of a background and then is inviting people to add their education issues in an online survey.


Why not hop over to Paul’s blog and add your two cents worth in the two questions that he’s asking?  I did.  It’s anonymous and the neat thing is that Paul is making the results immediately available so that you can see what others are concerned about.

Here’s a tease.


Coming back to THIS IS IT moments

There will be a lot of newly graduated teachers from Faculties of Education within the past month.

They NEED to read this post from Tina Zita.

Curriculum, visions, futures, etc. are all academic when you read them or watch a video.

When you have a “THIS IS IT” moment, it all becomes perfectly clear.

Tina shares a wonderful story and reflection about a personal moment.  It will reinforce the message to anyone about why you got into the profession.

Suddenly all the beliefs about our learner, the role of the educator, the environment and the community were interwoven in front of me as I watched J creating in the bean bag chair. 


One of these new graduates is Sarah Lalonde who just spent the past two years in the teaching program.  Congratulations on surviving and now looking for a permanent placement and the start of a career.

In this post, she shares with us 20 things that she learned during her second year.  It’s an interesting list and I don’t think that you could challenge her placement of any of them on her list.  I had to smile at this one.

Technology will not always work and / or be on your side (prepare for a PLAN B,C,D…)

It’s so true.

But it’s not the only thing that will challenge your Plan A.  To this, I would add:

  • student absence on the day of their presentation and you need to fill in
  • the never ending interruptions to the best laid plans
    • fire drill
    • shortened period for school events
    • your own sickness
    • on call assignments
    • inclement weather days and delays (the worst are when only some of the buses are delayed)

So, let’s not just point the finger at technology (which certainly can have its issues).  It reinforces the truth that teachers in their profession are the most flexible people on the planet.

Board introduces new district website

Everyone wants to have a web presence and rushes to get it up.

Phew!  I’m done.  Let people come and marvel.

But that’s only part of the game.  Sure, you want to have people come and marvel.  More importantly, you want them to come back regularly.  In education, it shouldn’t be just to check to see if the buses are running.  There does come a time when you keep adding and adding and a good web presence becomes that multi-armed monster that we all hate.

The answer can be what Limestone DSB did.  Put up a brand new site.  It’s a chance to take another look at navigation, content, broken links, prioritization of content, etc.  I found it very responsive and interesting to find the sort of things that I’m on the lookout for.


How long has it been since your District put on a new coat of paint?  The Wayback Machine might be helpful in determining this.

A few more laps to go….

There does come a time in everyone’s career when the end is in sight.  It’s a personal decision as Sue Bruyns notes.

I admire their decision to take this next step in their journey, although I can’t even begin to imagine that next step in my own life.  They both “just knew” it was time and what a gift that must have been for them.

This post is a lovely tribute to colleagues who mirrored Sue’s professional and personal growth.

I ran into Sue at EdCampLondon (it was held in her school) and she still had the same interest and enthusiasm in education as always.  Good luck with “a few more laps”.

Printable Pentominoes

In these days of entrepreneurship and selling personal products, it’s nice to see an effort like Deanna McLennan’s.

If you have any question as to the value of pentominoes, you won’t after reading this post about how she uses them in her kindergarten class.

As she points out, you can buy them or, you can make your own.

The post has a link to a document where she shares and gives away a free set suitable for printing and laminating for use in your class.

Imagine if everyone did this.  We’d have far richer learning spaces without the cost.

Will VR Change How Students Learn Guest Post via Janice Baxter

In a guest post on Derek Tangredi’s blog by Janice Baxter, she shares some of her thoughts about Virtual Reality.

You can clearly see from the above examples that this new tech won’t just be limited to video games, smartphones, and entertainment. As VR becomes more and more advanced, it will continue to streamline basic to advanced education, provide simulated training platforms for expensive and/or dangerous scenarios, and inevitably change the way both children and adults learn and develop skills.

The post gives an interesting collection of resources and products to get the deed done.

Using computers for virtual reality isn’t a new concept.  Can you remember way back to “first person” shooter games like Doom or Castle Wolfenstein 3D?  There has always been this desire to humanize the interaction of the human with the computer.

The big difference is, of course, we have far better tools and applications these days.  Get caught up by checking out this post!

Someone once asked me about how someone gets to be interviewed for my blog.  The best thing I can say is to “be interesting” to me.  At any time, I have a number of interviews on the go.  It just so happened that I had a couple come complete and were posted to this blog this past week.

All of the interviews are available here.

Please take a moment to click through and read all these wonderful posts.  It’s your personal PD for today!

Then, make sure that you’re following them on Twitter.


OTR Links 05/25/2018

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