This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Welcome to June.  It’s been a sweltering week here and there are Maple keys everywhere.  Such is Spring in Essex County.  I hope that it’s nice wherever you happen to be reading this from.  I hope that you enjoy a digital trip through some of the latest from Ontario Edubloggers.

Social Media and the Classroom: No longer a question of “if”.

From Matthew Morris, a post that could just stand with the title.

It also becomes more important when you realize that it’s the one media that shows all angles from issues “of the day”.  Certainly, there was at least one issue that hit the headlines this past week that needs to be addressed.  If you can’t count on your classroom teacher to answer questions about things, who else?

I find his observation sad.

Instead of teaching it, it seems that we are doing the opposite. Instead of having conversations about its obvious use and impact on our students, we are banning it from our classrooms, schools, and school boards.

Awesome Humans Project

This post from Jennifer Aston is a timely followup to Matthew’s.  If people are wondering what “good” can come from social media, take a look at what her class is doing.

Curating and sharing inspiring and passionate videos is the order of the day here.  It’s a terrific concept and one that can easily be replicated (or joined with her class).  It’s so easy to find the negative and the cat videos but to find something that truly inspires?

I hope that things end up being forward facing so that everyone on the internet can be inspired by these student curations.  If there ever was a rationale for a class wiki or website …

Jennifer is good enough to share her criteria for the project here.

Curate Your ‘Self’

For many, the internet is all about the “current moment”.  People will read or retweet something and then move on.

The truly serious about curating resources will find some way to keep track and organizing them.  In this post, Helen DeWaard tells us how she does things.  And, she got a badge for her efforts!

I think I’ve found a digital soulmate.


This reminds me of a presentation that I did at one of the early BIT conferences.  I described how I try to manage my end of things.  It’s an easy concept to describe but a very difficult one to work into a regular routine so that it’s easily maintained.

Helen’s tools?

A few of the curation tools I currently use include DiigoHypothes.isPinterest, and Zotero

Who’s Driving This Playground?

Before Terry Greene signs off for the summer (and for a good reason – read his blog post and then send him congratulations…)


He has, indeed, been doing a great job working with people to extend themselves.  At least some of the work is available here.

The Can Ripper – Flinn Scientific Canada

Science teachers do the coolest things.

If you have a pop can, some water, and some copper(II) chloride handy (I was fresh out), this post describes an experiment when you can the can dissolve from the inside out.

There’s a link there to the complete experiment including some cautions should you want to give it a try.

Once Upon a Time…

When I landed on this post from Lynn Thomas, I thought I had somehow taken a medieval wrong turn.

But not.

This is a wonderful post about how the brain works and responds to stories.

In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Kazuo Ishiguro said: “Stories are about one person saying to another: This is the way it feels to me. Can you understand what I’m saying? Does it also feel this way to you?” Stories spark that kind of deep understanding and nurture empathy. That’s why it is more important than ever that we encourage and assist students to listen to each other’s stories and tell their own.

Of particular interest, click on the link that takes you to an infographic that talks about how your brain responds to different types of Content Formats.


I’m pretty sure that I would have done lots of mapping by this time of year (I love the concepts) but Lisa Corbett found herself a little short in social studies and geometry and so set out to rectify that.  Timing isn’t terribly crucial; we’re just starting June.

What comes next will only be truly appreciated by teachers.  Her students did some rock painting and hiding and marking the spot with an X.

You’ll have to click through and read what happens when you bring kindergarten students, landmarks, and map reading/interpretation into things.  And it was outside too.

What an awesome story!  Thanks, Lisa.

The Media that Makes Us …

You know, this is why you blog.  You never know what connections can fall out of things.  I’ve known Andy Forgrave forever it seems.  But, it was my Sunday post “Whatever Happened to … CMT Television?” and his response to it – too long for a reply so he wrote a post of his own that gave me insights I didn’t know.

I didn’t know:

  • he grew up in Owen Sound (north of where I grew up)
  • his only television station was CKNX (it was a major channel for us)
  • he had a roof-mounted antenna (we did too and had to go outside to turn it)
  • he also listened to CKLW from Windsor (especially at times, they were able to crank up their broadcast … I remember at one time it was the #1 station in Atlanta Georgia)
  • he was on Reach for the Top (or as they called it when I made the team Scrape the Bottom)
  • he remembers Circle 8 Ranch (I do too; it was a parental favourite)

He really brought back memories and amplified things for me.  BUT, he missed Don Messer’s Jubilee.  If you can hang in until the 2:20 mark, you’ll see what passed for a moon walk back then.

What another wonderful week of blog reading!  Thanks to all the above.

Please take some time to click through and read the original posts and perhaps drop off a comment or two.  Let’s encourage people to keep sharing such great thoughts.

Then, make sure that you follow these folks on Twitter.


OTR Links 06/01/2018

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