This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It’s been a really bizarre week around here.  Internet outages have been too frequent, all because a storm went through.  I thought that we were back to normal but the plug got pulled in the middle of the voicEd Radio version of This Week in Ontario Edublogs.  (Details of a frustrating day in yesterday’s post)  Isn’t technology wonderful?

But, I’m back up and running today and would like to offer the following as interesting and motivational reading for this Friday morning.

You’ve got to love Ontario Edubloggers.


I DJ in my classroom

This was an interesting post title.  I think a more expected one would be “I’m the ringmaster of a three ring circus in my classroom”!

Melanie Lefebvre shares a success story that involves music playing as students enter the classroom.  It’s not as bizarre as you might think; if you think of many of the public places that you go, there’s always something playing in the background.  Doctor office, shopping centres, …There may well be a psychological reason why.  I remember at Windsor Raceway a marching tune would come over the speakers when it was time to get up to wager and people did.

When you think about it, perhaps it only makes sense.  Many classrooms these days have what it takes – a computer and speakers, so why not?  If that describes your classroom, why not give it a try and see if you have the same success that Melanie did.  Let her know via a comment to her blog post.

Of course, she may have created a monster by allowing requests via exit tickets but at least her students are paying attention and are now engaged in the process.


The Slow Horse Out of the Gate

Eva Thompson needs a pick me up.  When you read this post, she details a rough start to her year.  

September is an exciting part of teaching.  You get a do-over and don’t necessarily carry the baggage from previous classrooms forward.

Not all goes well though.  I can think of all kinds of room for challenges during this month …

  • new colleagues
  • new adminstration
  • new timetables
  • new students
  • new subjects to teach
  • newly installed technology
  • not enough portable classrooms
  • reorganization day
  • just finding a new school if you’re centrally assigned
  • add you own here or as a comment to Eva’s post

So, Eva, like you say – shrug off September and have a great October!


Essential 21st Century Skill: Managing Digital Footprints

That internet thing has opened a whole area of concern for parents and teachers.  Add to that, the ease of modifying your footprint instantly with a couple of taps on your smartphone.

Fortunately, for education, social media services have a minimum age so there’s no problem.  Right?

Not so for Kyleen Gray – and it should apply equally to all classroom teachers.  Just what kind of digital footprint should a person have?  I really like her proactive approach of encouraging students to get it right the first time instead of the negative approach of teaching how to do damage control.

Kyleen offers some great thoughts to help in the planning and reminds us that perhaps it’s not just students that need a reminder – how about colleagues?  

She provides a wonderful list of things that she’s planning to do.  It’s well worth the time to click through and read.


Behind Gym’s Door

I also really like this post from Andrea Haefele.  

My past would have been guilty of some of the description she provides.

My memory about Physical Education in secondary school was truly “Gym”.  We did all the things that Andrea talks about in her post.  We played dodgeball, we practiced for the school teams, there definitely was the athletic group that got more than their share of time in the activity.

And we had gym uniforms and wearing them was tracked.  So was showering.

Is that enough?

Our children and youth deserve more than just a gym. They deserve a Health and Physical Education curriculum that helps them develop an understanding of what they need in order to make a commitment to lifelong healthy, active living and develop the capacity to live satisfying, productive lives.

Now, before I convey the wrong message, maybe we did only it wasn’t as explicitly stated as we do now.  We did learn a skill? that was only used at school – square dancing.

If you haven’t seen Debbie Donsky’s TEDx talk, it’s embedded so that you can.  Andrea ties the essence of this talk to her message.


Join us to celebrate Global Dignity Day 2018!

Olivia Bechthold and Peter Skillen extend an invitation to all classes to get involved with this year’s Global Dignity Day.  October 17 includes a video conference with keynote speakers and more to follow.

What better way to collect thoughts from everywhere than via social media.  They suggest…

  •  Invite students to discuss what dignity means to them in the classroom and in their individual lives;
  • Invite students to capture that meaning by sharing a Facebook or Twitter post, along with the #TeamHuman tag;
  • All of these posts will be aggregated by Global Dignity’s twitter bot and then showcased on the #TeamHuman impact map housed on the website. This will serve to celebrate our collective humanity and impact!

Follow the hashtag on Twitter here.


Get Going with Google Expeditions

One of the promises of technology enabled learning is the ability to take us places that we’ve never been before – all while sitting in front of our keyboards.

How to do it and make it worthwhile is always the challenge.  Here may be the best advice on this topic for you.

David Carruthers is a real fan of Google Expeditions and lets us know that we don’t necessarily have to have the headsets.  But, it’s definitely worth it.  I remember my first experience with this concept at a Bring IT, Together Conference.  I remember thinking that this truly delivered on the promise.

If you don’t have headsets in your classroom or school, check your media centre or post a message to others in your district.  There may be a bunch just waiting to be used.  If not, forward David’s post to your principal.  It’s still early in the year and there may be an opportunity to get some for your school.

In this post, David takes you from first steps to the final experience.

It will be an activity they won’t soon forget!


One month in… Glows & grows

I had never heard of the concept of “glows and grows” until I read this post from Peter LeBlanc.

But, here’s his list.

Glow #1 – dedicated to the school staff and the choices that they make

Glow #2 – thoughts about FSL in the school

Grow #1 – being visible

I would say that’s a nice start back at the helm of a school after time at the board office.  Of course, you’ll have to click through and see how Peter fleshes it all out.


Please take the time to click through and read these terrific posts in their entirety.  There’s lots of inspiration and good learning to be had.  You can follow these bloggers on Twitter

@ProfMelLefebvre

@leftyeva

@TCHevolution

@andreahaefele

@peterskillen

@dcarruthersedu

@LeBlancPeter

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