This Week in Ontario Edublogs

How about some cool reading as you head into a warm weekend? Well, at least it’s supposed to be warm around here. From the blogs of Ontario Edubloggers, here’s some of my recent reading.

The Fear of Writing: Finding Your Voice When Writing within an Organization

This past week, I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Debbie Donsky and also read a terrific post from here. It’s your digital daily double.

Writing and publishing has never been easier with social media tools. This may put you in a spot at times. Debbie shares this bit of advice including the resource from her district.

At this point, every board will have Social Media Guidelines for Staff. Here are the guidelines for my board. These guidelines stress that there is no personal vs professional social media accounts. As educators, as cited from the Ontario College of Teachers guidelines, we are always held to the highest moral standard. We will always represent our school, board, and system when we post. We must be mindful of board polices as they relate to human rights, equity and inclusivity as well as character education. We must reflect the board’s mission, vision and values.

There are so many angles to all of this. As always, the high road should be the road sought but that doesn’t necessarily make it easy. By promoting some progressive thought, others might see that as a professional slam against them. Only in education would you write potentially for an audience who does professional judgement and assessment for a living.

Another area that has always had me wondering was the writing of textbooks and other resources to make a few extra bucks. I know the standard answer is to do 100% of it on your own time which only makes sense – you’re working while at work. And yet, there are the resources and learning that you’ve had from your day job. Should your employer get a piece of the action?

That strays away from the original premise of Debbie’s well reasoned and presented thoughts. They definitely are great advice.

K is for Knowledge

As we know, Lynn Thomas is blogging her way through the alphabet and this post finds her at the letter K – for knowledge.

I was really interested in here thoughts about this. In many circles, “Knowledge” is a four letter word with some.

Firstly, we have too often thought that knowledge is somehow inferior to critical skills or creativity. This notion is reinforced in the minds of so many teachers by the lazy, but ubiquitous, use of Bloom’s taxonomy pyramid in teacher training, where knowledge is at the bottom of the pyramid.

It’s sad to read this; obviously the comment comes from someone who hasn’t thought enough of Bloom’s work to understand it well.

Read Lynn’s post to understand her interpretation (which I agree with and I think was Bloom’s original intent) about foundations and not rankings and you’ll be off to a good start.

As for Google, it’s not the answer to everything. Just this morning, I went into the back of my memory for some reason and wanted to know the context for “Conquistador Boots”. Think I could find it? I was sure that it came from WKRP in Cincinnati. And, I was wrong. Even 10 pages into Google, I couldn’t find it.

p.s. dog walking helped bring it forward

p.p.s. of course, once I remember, I had forgotten why I wanted to know this in the first place


This is something that’s very near and dear to my heart. I’m almost positive that it wasn’t termed that when I was going to the Faculty of Education or in my first few years of teaching.

But, at some point in my career, I took a course on Peer Coaching and that may well have been the very first time that I heard the term and began practicing it.

This was the topic of a Twitter chat by some educators lead by TESL Ontario. The conversation is captured here in this Wakelet.

Elearning: How to make the inevitable more than a cash grab

Tim King provides a nice list of ways to make Elearning work and are at the bottom of the post which chronicles his experience with learning at a distance. Some of the examples that Tim includes like Correspondence Education, I don’t put in the same category as Elearning. My own experience in this field was being called in and out to organize and support things with my old district.

We had our own collaborative that used the Ministry’s LMS of the day but were able to offer our own professional learning opportunities differently because we were smaller. Reading Tim’s summary, I wonder if we happened to be in the same room at the same time with this.

Tim does give a reasoned approach to his logic but it fails when you try to think it through. Plain and simple, his plan is too expensive. The stated goal by the Ministry is increased class sizes rather than face to face and the method of delivery is still open to speculation.

He offers some great suggestions but I don’t see them happening in my crystal ball. I hope that I’m wrong.

Actually, we could start by all agreeing to use Elearning, eLearning, e-Learning, E-learning as the name for this beast. Then, make sure that it’s implemented correctly.

Maybe the powers that be will read Tim’s post for inspiration.

Cultivating the Culture Code

One of the things that I really enjoy when reading the musings from Sue Bruyns is that they’re often a reflection of the culture of her school and those who surround her.

She takes us on a trip through the book “Culture Code” and shares some examples from the book and some of the actions that she’s taken this summer as a result.

Page after page, I was drawn to the stories of leaders, who throughout history all found themselves at a turning point where they needed to create, cultivate or change culture.  I found myself filling the margins with notes, exclamation marks and/or question marks.  Phrases and sentences became underlined once and in some cases twice.  So much of what Coyle penned resonated with my current practice.

It’s nice to read a professional journal/book that agrees with your current practice but the value comes when the examples push you on to bigger and better things.

Sue’s school is experiencing a growth in population; at EdCampLDN, she shared that the portable classrooms were on the way.

I like the way that she views this as a challenge to “get into this together”. Hopefully, there will be inspirational moments from this book to help her and staff move along with this.

Friday Two Cents: The Language Of Art

Congratulations to Paul Gauchi for completing another Additional Qualifications course. This one was in Visual Arts.

I had to smile when he talked about the language of Visual Arts. We all have our own collection of buzzwords. As Paul notes, word walls are common in Mathematics and Language.

On behalf of Computer Science teachers, we don’t hold a back seat to any subject area when it comes to buzzwords.

But, back to Paul.

He shares a couple of Word Wall graphics for Visual Arts that he created (and watermarked). Could this set a trend for this and other subjects?

How Do You Define Beauty?

Isn’t Beauty in the eye of the beholder?

In the eyes of Aviva Dunsiger, it appears to be evidence of learning.

If you follow Aviva, you know that she’s forever taking and posting pictures. In this case, she went back into her Instagram account and leads us through a series of photos of read kids doing real things.

Before you skim and say “ya, ya, kids…”, check out her running commentary. Aviva asks probing questions to get you to see and appreciate what she, as the teacher, saw.

It was a very interesting and much fun activity. Indulge yourself.

I hope that you can take a few moments and work your way through the original posts. There is a nice collection of good thinking and reflecting.

Then, make sure that you’re following these people on Twitter.

  • @DebbieDonsky
  • @THOMLYNN101
  • @teslontario
  • @tk1ng
  • @sbruyns
  • @PCMalteseFalcon
  • @avivaloca

This is part of a regular Friday series of great blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers. You can read them all here.

This post came from:

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


OTR Links 07/26/2019

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