This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Well, that was a quick week.  Best day had to be yesterday, at least in the morning.

For your next week inspiration, check out some of these great blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers.


Back in the day was better (because now is often unbearable)

Will Gourley’s post on the Heart and Art Blog made me smile as he wrote about the challenges that faced teenagers 40 years ago.  It was like a checklist of my teenage years except that I didn’t own headphones at the time.  But, I could crank up the radio…

Of course, we didn’t have social media back then.  Heck, we didn’t even have FM radio but who needed it when there was the Big 8 CKLW?

Will relates that part of his teaching load this year includes working with students in his role of Guidance Counsellor and shares that the same problems exist today.  Perhaps they’re even amplified.  We do have programs and supports in place but are they enough?

I like the disjoint that he describes between the education system and the medical system.  He’s right.  There’s enough disconnect between your own personal kids 1-2-3-4?  but consider all the students in your charge.  How can you provide the support that they so often need?

Will pleads

Our students need help.

Is anyone listening?


Counting

Given that it was March Break, Lisa Corbett was good enough to join This Week in Ontario Edublogs on Wednesday morning and I got a chance on the air to ask a question that has been bugging me and that was – who was the audience for her posts?

  • other teachers?
  • herself?
  • her parents?

Given that she has a 2/3 split, the audience could hardly be her students.  Listen to the show for her answer.

On the show, she shares what a gold mine she found at a yard sale!  It looks like castoffs from a Mardi Gras somewhere.

I found it interesting to read her take on a traditional French game in the classroom as she incorporates this jewelry into skip counting and other things.  Such good mathematics instruction and I had to smile at how she and her class was aware of modulo although not necessarily explicitly stated.

Only teachers can repurpose things found at yard sales for a class of students!


“You aren’t what I was expecting…”

If people were exactly what we thought they were when we first meet them, it’s hardly worth the effort.  There’s something special about meeting someone for the first time, particularly when you may have known their digital self for a long time.  In real life, they may be something different.

That was the situation Debbie Donsky found herself in and she makes the claim that the above was said to her by a host of a professional learning session that Debbie was to keynote.  I would hope that the person who said it intended it as a compliment.  On the other hand, it could lead Debbie to want to know the answer to “What were you actually expecting?”  The “looked at me — up and down –” was particularly disturbing.

In her mind, Debbie interpreted the situation to mean “you don’t look like a principal”.  So, she did what any 21st Century learner would do – she Googled the concept.  What does Google think a principal should look like?  Her screen capture is included in the post.  This was equally as disturbing because it looks like she should shave and wear a coat and tie.

I tested her hypotheses on a couple of other search engine and got a little more diverse results.  A little anyway.

Fortunately, Debbie has a good support team around here and it was great to see Ron St. Louis’ name pop up.  I hadn’t heard about him for a long time.  There is a positive message about taking on a new role to be learned from this post and it has nothing to do with clothing.


How Do We Use Our Powerful Words For Good?

TL;DR – use them to enhance the conversation and not close it off.

So, self-proclaimed “Educational Troublemaker” Aviva Dunsiger tells of a story where she was challenged by a colleague over a blog post.  It seems that this person saw herself, and not in a flattering way, in one of Aviva’s blog post.

Guess what?

All bloggers need a frame of reference when they create a post.  It may be themselves; it might be their environment; or often, an amalgam of various people and practices.

My suggestion is that anyone who finds offence may have very thin skin or may be reading more into things than are necessary or just personalizing it too much.  I think I know Aviva enough to know that she wouldn’t name names and then attack the person.  She would be challenging what she sees in action and then questioning it … in purple.

She correctly identifies the best approach to take if you can’t ignore it.  Engage in a conversation; perhaps there’s a misunderstanding or there’s an opportunity to learn and self correct.


Too Random, Or Not Random Enough: Student Misunderstandings About Probability In Coin Flipping

I love a good post that gets me thinking mathematically and that’s what this one from Matthew Oldridge did for me.  I get excited when others get excited about mathematics.

In the post, he talks about dice rolling, coins flipping, and spinners spinning.

All of them are excellent ways to create data collections, small and large, at no cost in the classroom.  Matthew encourages a deeper looking and includes a lesson about coin flipping.

Lots of concepts are there in living colour.  It could also lead to a discussion of dependent and independent events as well as sample size.  It also took me back to some really fun events in computer science talking about pseudo-random numbers generated by computer and how to use them to encode messages.  Of course, a real life example is a look towards encryption that we rely on every day.

All this was generated from a simple flip of a coin.  There’s some fascinating reading about how to understand the 50/50 assertion.  I love this stuff.


Writer’s Self-Regulation Project

One of the wins from having Lisa Corbett as co-host for the voicEd Radio show was that I found out about her “other blog”.

It’s a team effort created as part of a TLLP Project.  If there is any doubt about the value of the TLLP, it should dispelled after working your way through this very public sharing of learning.

and it goes back much, much further.  I have lots of reading to do to catch up.


Twitter – To Reply or Reply All?

A quick lesson to Twitter users appears in this post from Jen Giffen.

Getting a reply to a Twitter message which was obviously intended for one person but going to a group of people can be annoying – particularly when you don’t care or you have a thin skin.  (That’s twice I’ve mentioned thin skin in this post)

Twitter is different from email programs in that there is no specific REPLY or REPLY ALL options…

With a couple of screen captures, Jen shares how you can either be:

  • less annoying
  • the person that stops community building by including everyone in messages 😀

Your take?

At a bare minimum, it’s something that every Twitter user should know.  And, you should know how to do it in Tweetdeck and Hootsuite if that’s your tool of choice.


Please take a few moments to click through and read the original posts.

Then, for more, follow these great bloggers.

This post is part of a regular Friday feature.  Click here for all past issues.

This post was originally posted to:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

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

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “This Week in Ontario Edublogs

  1. Thanks for including my post here, Doug, among so many other ones. I loved listening live to the VoicEd Radio Show this week, and seeing how the discussion then may have — or have not — influenced your post. In terms of my own, I will say two things:

    1) You know me and my colour choices well. 🙂
    2) Thin or thick skin, when we see ourselves in blog posts and not in the most flattering of ways (as I did recently), it’s not easy. I think that Stephen’s comment in the radio show was key: we have to find ways to keep the discussion open. Then we can get past these comments, but when that doesn’t happen, the choice of what to do next becomes a lot more challenging … and maybe leads to a blog post like mine. 🙂

    Now to do some of my Friday morning reading!
    Aviva

Comments are closed.