This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Welcome to another Friday and a chance to get caught up on some of the amazing writing from Ontario Edubloggers.

Here’s hoping it’s like riding a bike…

After a few years at the Ministry of Education working on behalf of all educators, Brenda Sherry returns to her school district.  This time, as a vice-principal.

Any new job is always a source of anxiety so I could completely understanding her wondering about what it’s going to be like.  As she notes, there’s a difference between little feet in the hallways and

policy and international education systems from 30, 000 feet

Knowing Brenda, I know that she’ll knock it out of the park in the role.

It sounds like her principal understands the value that Brenda brings to the school and her teaching load deals with media literacy.  What a perfect fit!  As a partner behind the amazing Minds on Media, she’s curated the best of the state of the art in media for years.

I look forward to reading further updates on how it’s going and to meeting her face to face at the Bring IT, Together conference in November.


OK, so you’re a principal with a vice-principal and the two of you are the administrative team at a school with 735 students and 120 staff.

Your vice-principal is gone for professional learning and you’re “it”.


Ann Marie Luce feels like a “single parent” when this happened to her!  It also gave her the chance to reflect on the things that make for a good administrative partnership team.

1. Frequent, open and honest communication.
2. Similar core values and beliefs about teaching and learning.
3. Passion: Not for one another obviously but for improvement.
4. Collaboration

There are actually a dozen attributes that she lists; you’ll have to click through and visit her blog to read the rest.

Other folks, doing stuff in OneNote

Cal Armstrong’s latest post uses OneNote as an example but the principle behind it isn’t necessarily limited to that product.  It could apply to any collaborative online tool that you’re using.

You log in to do some work only to find that someone else is already there.  What do you do?  I’ll admit that I’ve been in the same circumstance but have never thought to commit my thoughts to a blog post like Cal did.  You haven’t lived, for example, until you have an online meeting with a collaborative agenda where people are changing the agenda mid meeting!

I started to think about myself and my habits.  I’m not always an accurate typer.  I often fire my thoughts off as quickly as I can and then go back and fix spelling/grammar errors (or at least the ones that I find) later.  Or, I’ll go back and proofread.  Or, I’ll even leave a note to myself in the middle of entry.  What if there are other people in the document at the same time as me watching me to things my way?  Does this confirm that I’ve totally lost my mind?  Stick around in that document long enough and you will see me making my thinking very visible.

Imagine being a teacher in a document late at night thinking you’re alone only to find students in there working as well.  What would you do?  Cal lets you know what he did when it happened.

I really enjoyed reading the article for the “how to” from OneNote but the real value was thinking about myself in that setting.

What would you do?

Thank Goodness for Gears

How cool is it that bicycles hit two blog posts in the same week?  This time from Sue Bruyns.

The post starts off by letting us know of an accident that she had and the recovery process and then the anxiety of getting back on a bicycle again.  I think everyone would be a little tentative the first time through.

Ah, but there’s an educational twist coming in the post.


It begs the question – how many gears does your educational bicycle have?

Pitter Patter

In one day, I heard this expression from my youth twice.  I hadn’t heard it for years.  The first time was on the latest episode of “Still Standing” and the second was in this post from Terry Greene.

When last we heard from Terry, he warned us that he would be quiet this summer with the impending arrival of a new family member.  With fall’s return though, he’s back at it.

Pitter Patter, let’s get at ‘er

It’s going to be a busy fall for Terry with the new arrival, back to Extend Ontario, Gettin’ Air on voicEd Radio, and the OpenPatchbook collections.

Head on over to Terry’s blog for the details.

Leaving Good Tracks: CNIE Sudbury 2018

So, living on one end of the 401, I can appreciate the sense of excitement that Jessica O’Reilly had when the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education’s annual conference came to Sudbury.  It’s a reality for most of us that conferences tend to be in big places like Toronto or London and we have to go there.  It must be nice to have it in your backyard.

The post is a real tribute to the concept of connections.  I’ve mentioned it many times that, for me, it’s what remains after a conference is over.  Even when there are absolutely terrific sessions and speakers, memories of them fade, but the connections remain long after.

In so many ways, the people who gathered at CNIE are open educators. Open to sharing, learning, debating, collaborating. Open to celebrating others’ successes and learning from our failures. 

I’ll admit to being hooked on the learning and subsequent sharing that’s coming from the Extend Ontario initiative.  They’re really getting it.

And sharing it out loud.

Happy New Year!

Only in education, can you universally use that expression for the first week in September; it was the title of a post from Shelly Vohra.

Of course, there was great excitement for teachers returning to the classroom and it’s one of the real benefits of being a teacher – being able to start all over again with new and returning students – and for the technology using educator, new and returning technologies.

Shelly gives us a peek at the tools that she’s going to embrace.

  • Flipgrid
  • Canva
  • Instagram
  • Goosechase
  • Kahoot!
  • Google Forms
  • Twitter
  • Mentimeter
  • Tiki-toki
  • Infographics
  • GIFs

Now, while I’ve listed them, Shelly goes into detail with exactly how she plans to use each of the tools.  Are there new titles there for you?  Check out her post for the details.

I hope that you can find the time to click through and enjoy these posts in their entirety.   And, if you’re from Ontario and are a blogger yourself, fill out the form and you’ll be added to the collection.

There’s always something new, thoughtful, and original to push your thinking.

You can follow the above bloggers on Twitter.


OTR Links 09/21/2018

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