This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Can you believe that it’s November already?  Where does the time go?

Why don’t you invest some of it reading the thoughts from some great Ontario Edubloggers?

Missing my village…

There are a lot of different jobs in education.  All of them inevitably affect students but not all involve having your own classroom to look forward to everyday.

Heidi Solway is away from her own classroom this year and takes a few moments to share how things are going – in particular how she’s missing those familiar faces every morning.  If you’ve ever been a classroom teacher, you know the highs, the lows, the emotions, and everything that goes into a daily routine.

When you’re put into a new position, there’s always that transition time to learn the new job and all the nuances that go along with it.  At times, it can be a completely different situation.  It just takes time to grow into it.  It’s easy to forget the challenges of the first year classroom when you’re a few years away from it.  But you got over them!

Education has so many challenges, twists and turns, with great and small rewards.  Of course, they all differ depending upon what you’re currently doing.

I’m sure that Heidi will continue to have successes with the new position and I look forward to reading future posts as she lets us know how this new position affects her and the good that she’s able to accomplish.


New to our little blogging group this week in James Skidmore.  He’s another in the group from eCampusOntario and this post appears as part of the 9x9x25 challenge.

He nails it in the intro when he talks about visiting libraries which are based on the philosophy of “open”.  When you go to just about any other public place, it’s not long before you have good intentioned people surrounding you wanting to know if they can help you.  Or, many public places have you challenged by a reception desk that needs to approve your entry.

Sure, the same can be said about libraries but you can wander around looking here and there without challenge.  I think it’s inherent in librarians that they want to make their digs that open and friendly.

So, what’s the deal about “open”, particularly in higher education?

It’s the home for serious research and publishing.  Professors typically are expected to be publishing regularly and there are all kinds of prestigious journals that host all of their effort.

But imagine a world where that information is “open” and freely available to everyone.  There’s also another concept to this – what if the information was written and made openly available so that mere mortals could access and understand it?

Wouldn’t that be something?

In the spirit of openness, James includes a Padlet of information from a presentation that he gave on Open Access.  Interesting stuff.

Why I Use Twitter. Hint…It’s Not Self-Promotion

The concept of self-promotion is often the elephant in the social media room.

There was a time when someone’s stature was obtained by the opinions of others or through a public relations company.  These days, with social media, you can be your own publicist and promote yourself ad nauseum if you’re so inclined.  Your value comes from how you perceive yourself and not necessarily because you have some sort of super-human abilities.

In this post, David Carruthers shares his thoughts about what it is that he’s trying to do when he’s using Twitter.  It is consistent with how I view him as a person that I follow.

It’s a wise post and I would suggest that all users of social media should be encouraged to read, reflect, and chart their own actions with a reasoned plan.

Just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean that you should  do it.


I enjoyed this post from The Beast because I completely identified with the Richard in the story and analysis.

I’m certainly not an artist and it would be debatable whether or not I’m creative.  But, I’ve been in arts workshops where I was assured that we’re all creative in our own way.

But, I can sure remember classrooms and later on professional learning events where there was some sort of artistic activity designed for who knows what reason.  They never made sense to me and I always felt cheated that it was always some sort of “artsy” activity and not something “geeky”.  Terms used with a very liberal spin, of course.

As they say, “Resistance is futile”.

It’s education, after all.  The teacher runs the show and you quickly learn that going with the flow is the path of least resistance.  Finish the activity with some sort of pithy observation of yourself and you’re done.  Yep, Beast, I would be Richard.  Give me my Level 1 and let’s move on!

I really enjoyed the dialogue back and forth between Andrea and Kelly as they debrief the activity.  I wonder if my teachers ever talked about me and my participation in the same way.


DigCitSummitCA and the learning I choose not to share

I’ve seen Diana Maliszewski at so many professional learning events.  She’s usually up to her ears as organizer or presenter or facilitator or doing something to make sure that the event was successful.

At the DigCitSummitCA, her role – “I was *just* a participant.

Well, maybe more than that.  She describes herself as a butterfly as she flitted from session to session, conversation to conversation, to fill her day.

If nothing else, this post is a great reminder than professional learning events can and probably should be less about sitting and gitting and more of taking control of whatever’s available and making it work best for you.

Breaking with her regular routine…

Usually, when I attend a conference, on my blog I list the sessions I attended, a summary of the workshops, three key points and my “so what, now what” next step.

Maybe that’s something we should all try at our next events.

Including getting the all important selfies.

Forcing An Apple To Become An Orange

I think we all want to find that magic that makes mathematics successful for everyone.  So, when in my reading, I read an article about the success that Quebec was claiming to have, I shared it to Twitter for others to read and to automatically bookmark for my own purposes.

Tim King took issue with the premise.

He shares a not-so-happy story about his experiences in the Quebec education system in 1977 as a new to the province learner.


I can’t imagine growing up having to live like that.  Fortunately, Tim and family were able to move and that presented more opportunities for him.

In the post, Tim does an analysis of success in mathematics and concedes that the Quebec of today is different from the Quebec of 1977 but still…

If nothing else, Tim’s post had be doing some extra reading about mathematics instruction in Quebec and, for that, I thank him.

Reflection 9th Annual Canadian EdTech Innovation Summit

Other than the DigCitSummit, there was another game in the Toronto area recently and Zélia Capitão-Tavares had it covered.

In this case, it was the MindShareLearning EdTech Innovation Summit.

Its purpose?

Education and industry leaders came together to highlight, encourage and reflect on pedagogy over tools.

Zélia’s post contains a number of Twitter messages sharing what she observed and who she observed doing it.

The phrase “pedagogy over tools” always raises the hair on the back of my neck.  At times, I find it demeaning to educational professionals.

My wonderings …

  • is teaching with technology so difficult that educators abandon all they know and  resort to old techniques?
  • is the technology that we have in our classrooms just not ready for the classroom?
  • is there a shortage of good professional learning opportunities to show how technology can be used effectively?
  • if bad pedagogy really can be separated from the tool, who is selling the bad pedagogy?
  • why don’t more companies hire good teachers to develop resources and be the face of the company in the eyes of educators?

Wouldn’t that make for a great panel discussion?

Zélia’s Twitter messages indicate to me that she “gets it”.

Do you?

What a collection of thought provoking blog posts.  Please take a few moments and click through to read the original posts.  There’s so much good there.

This is part of a regular Friday series around here.  Read them all at this link.

And, take a few moments to expand your network of great thinkers by following these terrific bloggers on Twitter.

Will you be at the Bring IT, Together conference next week?  Please come up and introduce yourself.

On Tuesday,

  • I’ll be in the Minds on Media session bugging Brenda and Peter and exploring new things
  • In the afternoon, I intend to attend the voicEd Radio session with Stephen Hurley to try and understand the “other side” of what goes into a production

On Wednesday,

  • I have my own presentation about Hyperdocs in Room 221 at 10:00
  • I’ll be chairing ECOO’s Annual General Meeting at noon and have the pleasure of granting Life Membership to a number of past ECOO Builders
  • At 7:00, I’ll be at the world premiere of the movie “To The Orcas, With Love

When I can, I’ll be wandering the expanded Exhibit Hall.  At some point, Stephen Hurley and I will be recording our voicEd Radio show “This Week in Ontario Edublogs”.

and, of course, between times to quote my friend Diana, “I’ll be just a participant”.

Registration is still open.

OTR Links 11/02/2018

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