This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Welcome to the Friday of a new Ontario.

Read these wonderful insights from Ontario Edubloggers.

Do we celebrate what matters most?

As we approach celebration time in education, Anne Marie Luce’s post may give you pause to think about just what sorts of celebrations we enjoy in education.  We all know and expect awards for the highest overall mark, the highest in this subject area, the graduation from Grade 8 to Grade 9 and what that normally means.

You’ll wonder if we’re not really missing out on opportunities to celebrate even better things in Anne Marie’s post.  How about that student that worked so so hard to move from a C to a B.  Or, any of the other success stories that she identifies in the post.

We’ve all heard the expression that everyone has their own battles and we do try to recognize them but how about recognizing that there are people that are enjoying personal successes that don’t hit the radar for the traditional rewards?

The Interview as PD

One of the beauties of Eva Thompson’s writing is that she shares stories I suspect that we all can see ourselves in her shoes.

I would suggest that this post about interviewing falls into that category.  I could see myself at every juncture in this post.

An interview doesn’t make me interact with the intended audience, show my subject knowledge, planning skills, or genuine desire to help students. An interview makes me feel like my future is in the palms of a few others and I must convince them I am the best fit in the next 30 minutes or I am out of luck. How are these things possibly connected I thought to myself.

In particular, I thought back to getting a job and my first interview after completing work at the Faculty of Education.  How could such a newbie land a job?

Then, there were the followup interviews throughout.

Is it the critical nature of being a teacher that we see the negatives?

Does anyone ever exit an interview with a “I nailed it” attitude?

I know that I never did.  There was always the “why didn’t I say that” thought.

Perhaps I should be thanking all of those people who interviewed me, got past how I performed, and was able to see my potential.

Mapping my Extend PLN

Welcome Steven Secord to our little group of educational bloggers.  I ran across his account with some interaction last week in posts from Terry Greene and Helen DeWaard.  So, I figured he must run in their circles.

An activity from the Extend eCampus Ontario asked participants to map their PLN and that’s what’s happening in this post.


Is this an activity that everyone who says “I gots a PLN” should do?

Scratch vs. Swift Playgrounds

I’ve never read anything negative about Swift Playgrounds which is pretty typical in the Apple Fan-People world.  For many, Apple can’t do anything wrong.  And Swift Playgrounds falls into that category.

Jim Cash takes a critical look, not necessarily as the construct of the language, but rather about the practicality of learning the language with the strict confines of classroom time.  If you read Jim’s work, you know that he’s a big fan of Scratch and makes that clear in this post.

His discussion about “Coding to Learn” and “Learning to Code” is worthy of reading and consideration if you’re wondering about one or the other.  Scratch definitely had the early start in Ontario and the drag and drop interface hits a sweet spot for many educators.

Jim argues that it doesn’t make sense to drop all that to move to another language.  Indeed, the time to learn and the educational benefits most definitely need to be considered if you’re thinking of making the move.

Personally, I’d like to hear of the successes from anyone who has made the move.  Drop me a link if you’re in that boat.


There’s a lot to like about this post from Peter Beens.

Yes, it’s another introduction to programming and includes the mandatory “Hello World” program.


The presentation is a reminder that some languages are not all-inclusive like a Scratch is, for example.  Many classrooms across the province use Python in the ICS courses and the presentation here runs a nice gauntlet of things that students learn, including a challenge or two at the end.


The other thing to like is just plain sharing the presentation.  More people should do that.

I think that one of the things that makes you feel good as a blogger is to inspire someone to comment on your thoughts or, even better, to inspire a post by someone else.

This was the case when Aviva Dunsiger wrote an original post and then Paul McGuire followed up with a post on his own.

I did find myself agreeing and disagreeing with their posts and I respect them for sharing their thoughts.

In Paul’s case, it was career ending.

Adults always have the right to opt out, but that comes down to leaving the organization. In my case, speaking critically about my school board meant that I would be suspended without pay. So, I complied.
This was not a good situation, but I did have the option to opt out and I did. I left the organization and I started to write. From a social-emotional perspective, this is a good thing.

It all stemmed from an action that Aviva took to opt out of part of a professional learning activity and use self-regulation as her rationale.

Personally, I found myself recently in such a situation.  At the OTF Curriculum Forum, we had a number of activities designed by the various Arts subject associations.  This definitely is not my comfort zone, to say the least.  My first reaction was to wonder if anyone would notice if I went missing!  But then I realized that these people had put forth the effort and design on the activity.  Beyond that though, I realized that by participating, I could see them at their best in their profession.  I’m still not going to be a critic at the Art Gallery of Ontario, but I did get a chance to witness experts in their field use questioning and activities techniques appropriately.

Someone recently mentioned that education was the last frontier where we can try and fail and it’s not the end of the world.  I just hope that self-regulation doesn’t become the easy answer for students to avoid trying.

I think my answer to Aviva’s question

Are there times when, even as an adult, you also choose “not to comply” for the sake of Self-Reg? I guess the troublemaker in me continues to exist.

is no.  Personally, often I don’t like to be pushed but the inner me is still curious enough to at least give it a shot.

Both of these posts should be on your reading and thoughtful consideration list for this Friday.

It never fails to impress me the scope and thought that go into the posts from these wonderful Ontario Educational bloggers.

Please take a moment to click through to read and enjoy their musings for a Friday.

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



3 thoughts on “This Week in Ontario Edublogs

  1. Thanks for including my post as part of your collection here, Doug! You always give us a lot to think about each week. Your reply to my post might be inspiring another blog post or maybe another comment here. I’m still thinking things through.

    Have a great Friday! Now off to do some wonderful reading thanks to you!

    Liked by 1 person

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