This Week in Ontario Edublogs

I just finished the “This Week in Ontario Edublogs” show with Stephen Hurley on voicEd Radio.  This one was a bit special since it was part of his 17 hour Radiothon.  (more below)  It was fun getting a chance to talk about the great things that come from the blogs of Ontario Edubloggers.

Why Media Lit is more than just posters and why we should care now more than ever…..

Just in time for back to school planning comes this post from Ruthie Sloan.  She makes an important observation by watching or rather listening to her own children and some of the words that they use.  It led to a feeling of parent guilt.

In this case, it was a matter of letting YouTube provide content for her children.  It wasn’t necessarily the content selected; it arose from YouTube making that suggestion after the desired video had been seen.  What content did it recommend?  From the post, it wasn’t what she expected.

This really serves as a strong reminder in a world where people become consumers of content.  Do you choose the content or is it chosen for you?  There’s also a stronger message there about the importance of creating your own rather than just consuming someone else’s.

Posters tend to provide a singular message and are good for what they do.  But, as noted here, they don’t go far enough.

In a perfect world, students would know how to handle this.  I’ll bet that Ruthie’s kids are now better able to handle it.  Now, what about the rest out there?

“Gradeless” Math 2.0

Heather Lye weaves a wonderful tale about a strategy for student engagement.  It happened in Semester 2 for her.

She used a strategy of student engagement by presenting a Learning Map for them and challenging them to put it together, thereby making and more importantly, understanding the desired connections better.

Students seemed to appreciate the transparency.

I know that I would have.  I had terrific mathematics teachers and professors and yet there was still the “game of math” education.  Sure, there’s the curriculum but there’s always the “game” of student guessing that goes into preparation for assessments.

What would happen if they actually knew what was expected of their learning beyond just assessment preparation?  What would happen if they understood the curriculum and how it affects them?  What a concept!

I think there’s a lot to be learned from the process described in this post.


I can think of many tools that make image maps.  I wonder if that’s what she has in mind.

Beyond “Right Wing” and “Left Wing”: Critical Thought In The Days of Echo Chambers

There was a time when there was a very clear difference between left wing and right wing.  You were either in one camp or the other.  In fact, as Matthew Oldridge notes, many of us remember a linear continuum that ran from communism to fascism.  Things were so easily classified.

But, as he notes, it many not always be that easy for us these days.  All that you need to do is turn to your favourite news coverage – pick a media, any media – and you can be exposed to whatever spin that you want on just about any issue.

A common one these days is the Health and Physical Education curriculum in Ontario.  Depending upon your spin, you could be referring to the 1998 or the curriculum used in 2015.

On any opinion, you don’t need to align yourself with any “Left Wing” or “Right Wing” philosophy.  It seems to me that you can cherry pick whatever you feel addresses your thoughts at any given point in time.

In that case, as Matthew points out…

Screenshot 2018-08-16 at 14.36.14

The key is “at this moment”.  If you later are proved wrong, or you decide you are wrong, the grown up thing to do is adjust.

I like Matthew’s assertion that the traditional left or right wing philosophy belongs in the 20th Century.  Your thoughts?  Let Matthew know.

In Cusco, the Navel of the Inca World

Paul McGuire is off to his Christie Lake Kids climb.  True to his word, he’s sharing pictures and blogging about the experience so those like me can follow along.

I’m impressed that he’s doing this but he’s doing so much more.

He’s listening to the stories of the land and understanding a bit of the history of the area.  He’s trying to learn about the Spanish effect on the Inca and the indigenous people’s history.  We’re the beneficiaries of his shared learning.  I’d encourage you to take advantage of it.

I found his interpretation of the Chakana very interesting and I’m looking forward to his next post coming from this adventure.

Junior Water Walkers

On a previous edition of This Week In Ontario Edublogs, I took a look at Peter Cameron’s  Blue Gold post.  It was a fascinating story of coincidence, local happenings, and understanding of the value of water to Indigenous peoples.

Peter follows his original post with this one and fleshes out his educational vision inspired by Nokomis Josephine Mandamin.

  • Have classrooms world-wide involved with the project
  • Adopt a body of water to learn about and protect
  • Reach out to your local Indigenous community for stories about the importance of the water
  • Follow the hashtag #JuniorWaterWalkers
  • Plot your classroom on a project map by completing this Junior Water Walkers form

Creating Beauty Using Proportion and Space

This summer, I am actively looking to see how people use mathematics intuitively and intentionally in their creative pursuits.  

How can you not be interested in a blog post that starts like this?

It’s from Krista Sarmatiuk and she’s digging into creations based on the St Jacobs and Aberfoyle Model Railway.  At a proportion of 1:48, this is all math.  Or maybe it’s all art.  Or maybe it’s both.  Or maybe it’s something different because of the amalgam of disciplines.  Whatever your spin, it’s such an interesting read.

Only an educator would do this work and the tie it back to elements in a curriculum document!

But go beyond the curriculum; follow the link to the source website and enjoy the concept.

There’s still a couple of weeks left in the summer.  You’ll want to make this a day trip.

The voicEd Summer Radiothon: This Is Going To Be EPIC!

Being part of the voicEd Radio team has made me look more critically at the work product of this blog and certainly aware of more great educators than I would have met otherwise.

This is the third Radiothon where Stephen Hurley assembles a group of voicEd regulars to produce a live broadcast – in this case, about 17 hours of it.

Started, perhaps on a whim, voicEd radio now features

  • 55 podcast offerings
  • over 2000 tracks of content

That’s a great deal of content.  Did you listen to part of the day?

It never fails to impress me, when assembling this post, the level of sharing and sophistication that comes from Ontario Edubloggers.  I hope that you can find the time to click through and read the original posts.

And then, follow up by adding them to your personal network of educators.


OTR Links 08/17/2018

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