This Week in Ontario Edublogs

What a week it’s been for weather! Could there be any more extremes for winter? This is the stuff colds are made from. It’s perfect for discovering a new blog to read!

It’s also been a great week for Ontario Edubloggers. Read on to catch up with some of the great thinking recently shared.

He may be right; I may be crazy

You haven’t been teaching long enough if this interaction with a habitually late student doesn’t resonate with you. Amanda Potts captures both the conversation and her emotions as she gives us a recounting of her interactions with a student.

It’s a reminder to us all that every minute counts. Because, if they don’t, you lose the solid rationale for punctuality.

It’s the “thanks” that gets me. I don’t keep him in at lunch. And I hope he’ll be on time tomorrow, but he probably won’t be. He may be right: I may be crazy.
Update, Wednesday morning: And… he was late again today. But he was in a good mood, and he sat down to read without complaint. Baby steps?

Let’s hope that the process is indeed baby steps and moves toward a solution that appeals to both Amanda and the student.

Do You Have A Safety Net?

One of my favourite “Dad Jokes”…

If at first you don’t succeed, maybe you’re not cut out for skydiving

That was my first thought when I saw the title in David Carruthers’ recent post. Then, I actually read the post to be pleasantly surprised that I was named in it. What did I do now?

As it turns out, David is reflecting on his recent appointment to the Educational Computing Organization of Ontario’s Board of Directors assuming the role of Conference Chair.

Having done this job twice myself, I know that it’s a big job that you can’t do alone and David and his Thames Valley crew passed the audition with flying colours at last year’s EdCampLDN!

David is wise enough to know that he can’t go it alone and so is seeking advice and insights from his network, he calls his safety net. What a great rationale for having that network in the first place.

Here’s hoping that his planning and network connections turn into the best conference ever, November 6-8, 2019. Get your requests to attend in early!

A New Year, Perspective From Experience

A discussion about the weather in Kenora last Friday with Tania Sterling led me on a Google Maps exploring expedition to reaffirm that I knew exactly where Kenora and Dryden were. Then, I headed off to the Keewatin Patricia DSB website to see what Tania has been up to lately in her leadership role there.

Proof there is no straight line path from Dryden to Kenora

As I poked about, I noted that the Director of Education, Sean Monteith had a blog. Of course, I’m a sucker for blog reading and gave it a click. I was expecting the same sort of bland “All the best in 2019 for our students” posts. Instead, I was given a real treat.

Sean comes across as a man of the community and shared the types of things that he enjoyed over the Christmas Break! I’d never seen a Director of Education share that they’d been out fishing. Given Tania’s weather context, you just had to know that it involved a chainsaw or an axe. In addition to this, some professional reading along with titles was related.

But, if I’m a member of the KPDSB learning community, I would definitely feel confident in direction after reading this.

Even with some level of uncertainty around provincial funding, staffing, and possibly even capital work, I am confident and prepared that any decision we face in 2019 will be made thoughtfully, measured against its value for kids and the system. I will add that decisions will be made (and with a level of assurance) that our experiences have aided our resolve and determination to take the right course for the system.

Coding with Microbits

The ETFO Heart and Art Blog is always a source of inspiration reading as real teachers share real stories and real experiences.

In this case, it was a post from Michelle Fenn about a recent Ontario Teachers’ Federation professional learning event – involving Micro:bits.

I really enjoy reading as people describe the possibilities when they learn to program. I especially like the fact that I’m not the only one with a messy desk while learning!

There’s an interesting activity described at the very beginning to encourage engagement. While designed for teachers, I don’t see any reason why it couldn’t be modified for students.

It’s also a reminder to us all of the terrific learning opportunities provided by the Ontario Teachers’ Federation. Let’s hope that they’re able to continue with them.

21st Century Skills: What Students Need Now or Just More of the Same Bad Ideas?

From the voicEd Radio blog and perhaps the longest title for a blog post I’ve seen in a long time is this post from TJ Hoogsteen.

It connected well with me.

What do YOU think of when someone says “21st Century Skills”. Goodness knows there are so many speakers and presenters that talk about them. But, are they really talking about something unique to the 21st Century?

The argument, as built out in this post, and certainly well supported by linked research articles is that there’s probably fewer new things under the sun than you’d think. Are 21st Century Skills significantly different than 20th Century Skills or 19th Century Skills?

Or, do we just have better tools and different ways to apply the sorts of skills that have always been around?

If the real 21st Century Skill is learning new things, haven’t we always done that?

Learning in the Loo: Collaborative Kahoot Quiz

C’mon – with a title like that you have to feel compelled to read this post from Laura Wheeler!

Many people are using Kahoot! in their classroom and the post was inspired by a student. How do you get action? Via Twitter, of course.

Kahoot! actually responded with an affirmative that the idea was a good one and provided a link on their site for how to do it.

Laura turned it into an instructional slide in a slide deck of quickie instructions that she posts in the staff washrooms throughout the school. The complete slide deck can be accessed here.

I remember when I had a group of CAITs – we created instructional things as well – we called them “One Sheet Wonders” to force them to appear on one page. What we missed was posting them in a place where everyone had nothing better to do than to read them!

This Week in Ontario Playlists – Doug Peterson’s P3

It was a great week for my ego. As noted above, I was mentioned in David Carruthers’ blog and now also in Noa Daniel’s. Last week, we had recorded my Personal Podcast Playlist.

The playlist concept was interesting and definitely quite personal. It was a great activity to go through and select one song for nostalgia, identify, and inspiration.

In addition to the podcast, Noa creates a blog post based on the experience. It was a complete package product and very professionally done. I really got the sense of pride in her work and am so thankful that I said yes when she asked.

A little anecdote – everyone who reads this blog knows that I walk my dog faithfully. This morning we were out and my iPod went completely dead. (although it reported itself as full when I left) I only had one song on my phone – I’ve never needed it for music before so we finished our walk listening to “Blues Man” about 4 or 5 times. When I arrived home, I did two things – started charging the iPod and also putting some songs on my phone.

Guess which were the first three I chose. Thanks, Noa.

Oh, and don’t miss the genius in the title she chose for the post!

As always, I hope that you click through and enjoy the original posts from these fabulous Ontario Edubloggers. You’ll be glad you did.

Then, make sure that you’re following them on Twitter for their ongoing sharing of thoughts and inspiration.

This post is part of a regular Friday series. You can read them all at the link above.

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If you read it anywhere else, it’s not original.


OTR Links 01/25/2019

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