doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It’s time for some Friday morning reading. Check out these great posts from Ontario Edubloggers.

Mathland Actually

I was intrigued to find out just what Jim Cash was going to blog about after reading the title. I expected to find a review of some program that includes Mathland in its title. There are so many that have used this.

The inspiration for Mathland comes from Mindstorms and so it’s a natural that so many software developers might have wanted to make the connection.

This wasn’t the tact that Jim used though. He reminds us that Mathematics can be seen everywhere if you take the time to look. In fact, anytime you see reflection, patterns, provable answers, etc. you’re looking at something that has its base in Mathematics. That’s part of the joy and wonder of it.

In the post, Jim makes connections to Music, Toys, Poetry, Prose, Rap, and Nature. He’s encouraging readers to check in with their view of where Mathematics can be lived and enjoyed. Stephen Hurley and I had a crack at a few during our voicEd radio show. How about you?

I’m sure that Jim would love to hear from you.

Hatching a PLN

There’s so much to take away from this post from Terry Greene. You’ll need to read it a few times to catch it all.

It all started with an opportunity – Terry had 25 minutes at a staff meeting to explain Twitter.

If you’re a good user of Twitter, you know that that’s hardly enough.

Terry elected to create a presentation to get the job done based on the “Create an Adventure” model.

It’s well worth going through. He has five sections.

Pick your own Twitter adventure!

Adjust the Tuning

Those of us that were never principals have no idea about what goes into running a school.

But running a school is more than running things during this school year.

As Sue Bruyns points out, it involves planning for the future. On her radar presently are two big events –

  • Interviewing potential new staff members – I talked to her at EdCampLondon and her school population is exploding
  • Kindergarten open house – parents are dropping off their most precious thing and need to be assured that this is going to go well

The tact that Sue takes is that these aren’t simply “to-do”s for her but “to-experience”s. It’s an interesting spin and her writing puts you right in the middle of her thinking.

What Do You Do On A Perfect Day?

My first reaction to this title from Aviva Dunsiger was “Bottle it”!

In education, such beasts are few and far between – if you get to experience them at all!

In Aviva’s case, she picks up her camera and takes movies of the activities that are happening.

It’s great to see students who are motivated and self-directed. Of course, in teacher talk, this happened…

We spent a lot of time standing back and watching play. We commented to each other on what we saw, and recorded the students and the use of the space.

Let’s be truthful though. It’s April/May and the whole scenario didn’t happen overnight. It’s the result of 80% of the school year kicking in, students understanding what they do, resources being made freely available and kid-accessible and a desire to do what they’re doing.

I would suggest this is more about great teaching than dumb luck.

Happy 40th Anniversary AML!

I internally remarked that ECOO (Educational Computing Organization of Ontario) is in its 40th year as well. Is this a coincidence?

Diana Maliszewski is on the board of AML this year and so got a chance to celebrate with colleagues. 40 years is such a remarkable milestone. My congratulations.

So, why is this important? Haven’t we “done” media literacy?

Think back 40 years – if you can. Think of how the world has changed.

One of the big events in 1979 was the partial nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania.

We didn’t have 24 hour news channels then. I can’t even remember how I heard about it. Probably it was the 6pm news or in a newspaper the next day. How would that be reported today?

  • there would be all kinds of helicopters flying over the unit giving us up close, high-definition pictures
  • we’d have varying news sources giving
    • a scientific explanation
    • on the site interviews with a resident at a vegetable farm next door
    • thoughts and prayers from politicians
    • reports that some foreign entity had bombed the place
    • replays of coverage showing the actual moment of the problem from any of the hundreds of citizen journalists with web enabled cameras
    • a comparison of the damage with other similar events from the past
  • claims that the reports are all faked
  • and lots of other things

How do we understand and interpret this? History is unfolding in front of our eyes daily. Absolutely, we need to be understanding media literacy. We need the efforts of this group more than ever.

Where am I in the #ExtendmOOC Conversation?

One of the pleasant wins from Terry Greene’s post was the lead to this new Ontario blogger.

Sarah Wendorf is part of the #ExtendOntario group and takes a moment and a blog post to see where she fits into the project. Apparently, she’s the red dot.

This post is a collection of her learning and thinking about being connected. Given the source, my first thought was “Terry packs a lot into a 25 minute presentation…”

Sorry, Terry, but that would just be wrong. But that shouldn’t hold you back from understanding her post.

She really gets it. In the post, Sarah uses the following headings

  • Meet new folks
  • Connecting with existing folks
  • Get new ideas
  • Read other people’s blogs
  • Find inspiration
  • Follow and join hashtags
  • Bounce ideas and suggestions
  • Invite new ideas in
  • Share resources
  • Find new resources
  • Learn new things
  • Join communities
  • Save things I come across
  • Create
  • Give recognition
  • Messaging
  • Events and webinars
  • Sharing photos
  • This GIF

and gives concrete examples of how this applies to her directly.

What stands out to me is that, even if you’re just a little red dot (and aren’t we all), the fact that that little red dot connects to a whole lot more dots can lead to the most powerful learning you can have – if you let it.

Math Links for Week Ending May 3rd, 2019

I like taking a drive by David Petro’s blog for my moment of Mathematics enjoyment. He does another great job this week.

My takeaways …

  • Back pocket questions
  • How I wish I’d taught maths
  • What do you think is the biggest barrier to excelling in math?
  • Math before breakfast

And I just had to steal this.

Why not spend a few moments and drive by these blogs posts and drop off a comment. There’s great inspiration to be had.

My big list of Ontario Edubloggers is available here and those that we’ve chatted about on This Week in Ontario Edublogs on voicEd radio are available here.

Then, follow these great bloggers on Twitter.

This post comes from:

If you read it anywhere else without attribution, it’s not the original.


7 responses to “This Week in Ontario Edublogs”

  1. Thanks Doug! I really appreciate how you connect bloggers together here through this weekly post, but I also appreciate how you included my post as part of this discussion. I really liked your insights around this blog post, as well as the ones that both you and Stephen shared on the radio show. It was really interesting listening to both of you on Wednesday night, as Paula and I actually had a similar discussion after school before listening to your show. The truth is that these perfect — or almost perfect — days have continued (minus maybe the tidying up, but that is a whole different story 🙂 ), and we find this so often at this time of the year. Could it be the “flow” idea? I think it might. I wonder if others find the same during these last few months of school.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll bet that it has everything to do with the flow. Jim has volunteered to come on voicEd Radio and talk about flow. I hope that it happens.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for highlighting my blog Doug! Lovely to “meet” you as well via Terry Greene. This is again why Twitter has been such a valuable tool for me in connecting to educators around Ontario and beyond. I’m glad you both found my blog post to be good examples of how Twitter can be used as a PLN tool. I followed the others in this post, and again, thanks for continuing to help extend my PLN!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My pleasure, Sarah. Terry has been a great portal to things beyond K12 and social media. I was pleased to find your blog as a result of his efforts.


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