Welcome to another Friday of great reading from some of the group of Ontario Edubloggers. I hope that you find some inspiration and ideas from these posts I’ve read recently.
You know, I’ve “exited” a number of jobs of various sorts but have never had an exit interview that I can remember. I think we all take a job and like to think we’re going to leave things better off than they were before we started. And, probably things were never finished and we had plans on how to improve and make things better for whoever follows us.
I guess maybe it doesn’t happen because it takes a courageous person to conduct the interview knowing that all of the comments might not be positive.
Ann Marie Luce is having a turnover of 20 teachers at her school and she is conducting exit interviews. Each is given 40 minutes for the interview so if you do the math, it’s a pretty big commitment.
In the post, she does describe her philosophy and reasons for doing this, as well as the questions used to frame the discussion.
I hope that the experience gives her much rich feedback to enable her to create an even better learning experience for her students.
Sort of related to this is this post from Terry Greene at the PressEd Conference. Terry describes the open patchwork project and how it’s used to collect thoughts from post-secondary students as they handle their time at school.
I couldn’t help but reflect on my own post-secondary experience. It was anything but the environment of today’s student. We weren’t connected; we didn’t have open courses; we didn’t have instructors that were putting their learning online as they were teaching.
We were, I guess, what you would call pretty traditional. Our resources involved textbooks, professors, and teaching assistants. They certainly weren’t available 24/7 and just a click away. You had to make appointments for consults and it was for a specific time.
All of this was running through my mind as I enjoyed the curation of student content that Terry did for this. We’re anywhere but in Kansas anymore!
A highlight from this post was this great graphic by Samantha Pitcher.
With apologies to Peter Cameron, I expected a summary of life online for whatever the topic happened to be.
Peter, along with a number of other educators were rewarded for their work by National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions with a nature learning trip to Sitka, Alaska.
A lesser classroom would have had plans for an occasional teacher while their regular teacher was out on a Professional Learning activity. Not in Mr. Cameron’s.
Peter had the students doing research and plotted the entire adventure on a Google Tour Builder. He remained connected to the classroom via social media.
Everyone sure seemed to get a great deal of bang for their educational buck.
It’s just too bad that, to get to Seattle from Thunder Bay, you have to go through Toronto.
I keep checking in to Lynn Thomas’ blog as she’s working her way through the alphabet. Recently, she’s celebrating H.
Her take was that “H was for Happy”.
The whole premise was that happy students and happy environments make for the best learning environment. I think it’s difficulty to disagree, especially when you look at the opposite – what does unhappiness in the classroom or your life bring? Certainly not the desire to learn.
Turns out, it has far more to offer than a sunny disposition and feeling contented. Parents are right to want happiness in their children albeit it is unlikely they know the science of why.
Her approach goes way beyond scratching the surface and brings into play research into happiness. There are lots of links to lots of resources to make it worth your while – including lesson plans and resources for teaching happiness.
There’s nothing quite like a look into someone’s library. Beth Lyons takes us inside hers. Take a peek.
By itself, a picture or two may not tell the whole story and advocating for her learning space is the major focus here. Beth shares a couple of custom infographics that she created to share with everyone the great learning and the great opportunities that are there inside Mrs. Lyon’s library.
I can’t help but think that those infographics should be posted in every classroom in the school to help students as they turn to assignments and projects and they’re wondering where they might begin.
There’s much to enjoy about this advocacy post. Obviously, the infographic, but the social media connection is right there. This library won’t get lost!
Shouldn’t everyone be doing this?
I suspect that the quick and easy answer is “Of course, we are unbiased.” Read on with this long discussion from Debbie Donsky. Her school did more than skim the surface on this question.
It starts with caterpillar problems offered to different classes.
The series of questions shared with staff were:
K-1: A kindergarten class needs 2 leaves each day to feed 1 caterpillar. How many leaves would they need each day for 3 caterpillars?
Grades 2- 3: A third grade class needs four leaves each day to feed its two caterpillars. How many leaves would they need each day for 12 caterpillars?
Grades 4–6: A fifth grade class needs five leaves each day to feed its two caterpillars. How many leaves would they need each day for a) 12 caterpillars? b)15 caterpillars?
The questions were given and observations with discussions during a debriefing are shared in this post.
Debbie shares a deep analysis of the process and the discussion. It wouldn’t be fair for me to try and capture that here; you’ll have to click through and read it in all its original context on the post.
Sheila Stewart starts with
I have been thinking about my experiences online and on social media in the past few years and what has impacted my experiences and participation. There is a lot of pondering: “Is it just me, or is it the web?”; “Is it the world, or the web?”; “Have ‘things’ changed, or have I?”
I guess I can take a bit of the credit for starting this thinking on a recent blog post but I was originally inspired by the writing of Bonnie Stewart. To answer Sheila’s questions, working and interacting on line have definitely changed.
And, I mean working and interacting in the most literal of meanings. When the sample who were online and connected was smaller, I think that people were more devoted and focussed about what they were doing – and were serious about it.
Today, there are more people than ever connected and they bring abilities and mindsets from all over the place. It’s easy to see a few (I was going to use the word “bad actors” but that’s maybe not fair) different actors use the technology and its abilities to do things far differently from what we did. As I said in my post, people seem to need to shock and scream loudly to get attention focused on them. Whatever happened to collaboration? Maybe that’s a topic for a Sunday.
I’ll bet that a read of Sheila’s post will have you scratching your head and coming up with your own theories.
I hope that you have time this Friday or through the weekend to take a few clicks and enjoy these posts in their original locations.
Then, follow these people on Twitter.
This Week in Ontario Edublogs is a recurring Friday morning post highlighting some of the great blogging happening in Ontario. Are you an Ontario blogger that I don’t know about? Let me know! I’d love to add you to this collection. There’s a form at the link above to add your details.
This post appeared originally at:
If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.