This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It’s another week ending and a chance to share with you some of the great blogging that I’ve enjoyed reading from Ontario Edubloggers.


Undercover Boss

On the ETFO Heart and Art Blog, Will Gourley tries to draw a parallel between the television show and education. The whole premise of the show is that the “boss” gets a lesson in the reality of the business by working with employees and, as a result, positive changes are made in the business.

It’s an interesting concept and makes for a great bit of television. Would it happen in real life? Well, maybe. Would it happen in education? Probably not.

After the required inspections, how often do administrators come into the classroom? Think about it and you’re probably thinking – never, or at least seldom. Sure, they might stick their head in the door once in a while but do they make a commitment to being immersed in a classroom routine and learning? Now, the reality is that they have other commitments and visiting every classroom for extended period of time in a school just isn’t workable.

But, move up the food chain a bit. Teachers know that they’re constantly being evaluated sight unseen by politicians in charge of the big provincial budget. Sure, there’s the odd photo opportunity that we all know is staged for perfection to make the school or initiative or politician look good. The reality of the day to day grind goes unnoticed. When was the last time that a politician was there to intervene in a fight, deal with angry parents, interact with the police and a student, or sit down to try to inspire learning in that student who just doesn’t get it no matter how much she tries?

Citation practices, using databases, and literature reviews #MyResearch

This post, from Anna Bartosik, wasn’t what I had expected from the title. I was kind of thinking that it might be “how to” type of post.

But, she confirmed what I’ve frustratingly known over the years of reading educational research. I’m sure that it happens in all disciplines. It came from a podcast she was listening to.

Heathers rhetorically asked how many people have read a journal article and googled something that was mentioned in a paper, found the citation, and appended it to their own paper, without reading it? Scholars are citing the top results, and Heathers wonders if these are lazy citation research methods and whether appropriate citations are being ignored.

I like her use of the term “lazy”. If you think about it, how many times have you seen Carol Dweck or Seymour Papert references in articles that you’ve read? Have the quoters actually read their works or are they just repeating a quote used by someone else in a similar article?

Or even worse, you read an article where an author mentions research from the same publishing company? Is this evidence of true objective research?

I think you’ll enjoy reading this blog post. I know that I did and also be true to Anna and read and listen to the references that she includes at the bottom of the post!

Swimming with my fish! Do it ALL!!

This is another post where I was mentally mislead from the title! I had another idea about what “swimming with the fishes” might mean but Joe Archer instead looks at the analogy “Do fish realize they’re wet?” which is a lovely question in itself.

There was a time when integration was the 10/10 for use of technology in the classroom. It implied finding a way for the technology to meld into the current practice to make it better.

Joe takes it to another level. Can you get 11/10?

The post was inspired by comments by students from one year to pass along to the next year’s incoming class.

This message popped out from the writing.

Archer does it ALL, you are in good hands

Now, I’d have that printed and framed and put on a wall. But that’s just humble me.

Joe uses the statement to give us a look at his thoughts about pedagogy, growth, and use of technology by himself and students in their learning space.

Read the post and you may get the feeling that aiming for integration isn’t aiming high enough any more.

UX/UI Design with Canada Learning Code

I still remember the first time that I saw “UX/UI” and thought that they’d spelled UNIX wrong. Such is the life of the nerdy.

Alanna King indicates, in this post, that she has followed Canada Learning Code with interest but hadn’t pulled the trigger to attend coding workshops with worry that “I would be completely out of my element”. I find that interesting since there are a couple of technology experts in her household that could be reached out to!

But, a recent offering wasn’t necessarily about coding, but about user interface and user design so she did pull the trigger. And, the post shows that she learned a great deal. It reminded me of the Women in Technology workshops that we used to offer Grade 7 and 8 girls.

I found her reporting pretty in depth and philosophical about design. The ketchup bottles definitely show the different between experience and design.

There was a big takeway for me; I had never heard of the Marvel app before. Alanna shares her group’s work via link in the post.

Designing the Learning Environment : Why students, pedagogy and critical reflection should come first

This post, from Rob Cannone is another one of those that I’ve read that I can’t help but feel could be used at a Faculty of Education. I really agreed with his descriptions and discussion of:

  • Pedagogy
  • Student Voice and Choice
  • Socio-Cultural Implications to Consider

I liked that he tied real experiences to each of the topics and provides links to more detail.

The last point did give me pause. I hadn’t thought about the “financial privilege” that some teachers might have and its effects on others. I’m still thinking about this and I can picture a walkthrough of many schools and can understand his opinion perfectly.

Implementing Survivor Mode into Student Learning in Minecraft EE

On the Fair Chance Learning blog, Ryan Magill shares a really, really interesting story about using Minecraft with his students and how it was tied to a book that he used with his Grade 6 students.

Survival Mode immerses his students into an environment in Northern Canada as a result of an airplane accident.

They built and survived in their environment as they read the book.

There was also a chance for a natural disaster, courtesy of Ryan, that really ups the ante in terms of survival.

The whole post tells an interesting story that, if you’re a Minecraft user or maybe just curious, might want to explore.

K Cups Math Resource Page

Normally, I visit Peter Cameron’s blog to see what kind of stories and learning that he’s sharing. Recently, I took a walk into his “website” and ran across this resource.

I can appreciate the ease and convenience of Keurig cups. But, I’m a little too frugal to buy them for home and opt for the refillable container instead. But, in your school, you just might have something like this in the staff room or you may opt to use them at home. Bottom line is that I sure hope that you recycle them rather than the alternative.

But, if you check out Peter’s resource here, you’ll be inspired with a number of activities to use in your mathematics classroom. There are more ways to use these things that you may have missed.

Please take the time to click through and read these terrific posts in their entirety. You’ll be glad that you did!

And, make sure that you’re following them on Twitter.

  • @WillGourley
  • @ambartosik
  • @ArcherJoe
  • @banana29
  • @mr_robcannone
  • @FCLEdu
  • @cherandpete

This post originally appeared on:

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


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