Check out some of the great writing from Ontario Edubloggers.
This was an interesting read provided by Sue Dunlop. I think we’re all seen people post about “one word” or various spins on the concept with the goal of self-improvement or at least self-change.
Sue’s approach is a little different and inspired by Gretchen Rubin.
Sue has goals and shares 20 of them with us. There are some interesting choices in her list. Some look like fun; some are pretty serious; some are things that I can’t do …
You’ll have to hop over to her blog to see her list.
I was a bit disappointed that cycling down the Red Hill Valley Parkway didn’t make the list!
How Do You Write with Honesty and Courage?
Jessica Outram starts this post with an interesting collection of questions.
What does it mean to write with honesty and courage? What is the relationship between the writer and her work? Do you sometimes step back and look at what you are writing as an opportunity to gain self-awareness or as a practice of self-development?
Those are interesting questions that, quite frankly, I hadn’t even thought about – at least until now.
I immediately thought about the difference between writing fiction and non-fiction. It seems to me that fiction would be more difficult to write since you wouldn’t necessarily have exact facts at your fingertips. You’d have to remember the characters and facts (or otherwise keep track) so that you’re consistent. Non-fiction would be easier, I think since you’re writing from real life experiences.
In terms of her last question, personally I think I’d select self-development but just the fact that she includes self-awareness in the question makes me wonder just how much I’m missing.
In the post, she reveals how she writes. It’s a great provocation and I think I need to pay more attention to my routines.
The Art of Questioning on Math Assessments
You have to stop and read this post from Heather Theijsmeijer! It may well change your practice for good when it comes to asking questions in mathematics.
I don’t care who you are. You grew up learning mathematics old school. Or, as Heather identifies it “Traditionally”.
Basically, your teacher gave you questions and you generated answers. Mathematics as we know it.
But what if there’s a different approach and Heather describes this so nicely in the post. What if the student could choose the level of their question in advance?
There’s a great argument for a change in practice here, along with rationale. Good stuff.
I’m also wondering if there’s an opportunity for teacher to monitor student self-efficacy over time. An increase in this would speak volumes about a teacher’s effect and a student’s confidence in the material even before working through a problem.
I’m not aware of any textbook that is available using this approach. Writing opportunity?
Street View Photography and Land-Based Learning in Peawanuck, Ontario
I don’t know when I’ve been this excited reading about a project. We all know about Google Street View and mapping. We know that you can use real pictures to tell stories about a community.
Years ago, I had written a post about My Childhood Community. I was so proud of it at the time.
Now, I’m totally embarrassed after reading about this project.
The blog post is really a teaser to get you to click through to the project results. Since I’d never heard of Peawanuck before, I used their map (after zooming out) to determine just where it is.
Then you dig into what the students did and how they share their work.
What an opportunity to tap into local resources and share the story with the world!
My sympathies go out to Tim King as a result of running into many walls trying to do something in his school. The same type of thing has happened to me more times than I’d like to admit.
But that was then, this is now.
As Tim notes, there was a time when we would have to limp along because the computers that we were trying to use were underpowered.
We currently live in a world where we have dynamite kick-butt computers and we have lesser powered machines like iPads and Chromebooks and yet we can do amazing things because the common thread is being connected to the internet.
What happens when that doesn’t work?
Read Tim’s post of frustration and you’ll see from his perspective.
I find an important question from all of this is just who determines what applications are important enough to make sure they work and what other non-critical things are allowed to run at the same time.
Bandwidth is important. I remember when I was chair of the Bring IT, Together conference. We kept asking and were assured that they had enough. That was until the opening keynote and looking down at over 1000 educators all with computers, tablets, phones, on and at the ready. It’s our reality in this day and age.
The huge message coming from Peter Cameron’s post to me is to acknowledge that there are resources far richer and more contemporary than what you’re going to find in any textbooks. Student in Mr. Cameron’s class are real beneficiaries of his vision and planning.
It has been a while since Peter had blogged but it certainly looks like he’s been busy. Really busy.
Peter’s connections have built such an interesting collection and he shares a wonderful story along the way. Regular readers of this blog know that I’m a big fan of his work.
Be prepared to follow a large number of links that will take you to the things that Peter has done over the last while.
Sharing one person’s story and connecting with them can create ripple effects that can turn into a wave of action and change.
If you find any post that references David Thornburg, you know that it will be strong in research, very observational and with the best for students heading into the future at the forefront.
David was brought to the Western Regional Computer Advisory Committee as a keynote speaker a number of times. I always looked forward to subsequent meetings with my superintendent because I always did my best to ensure that he was at the sessions. He listened to David and was inspired by his thoughts.
One of his biggest complaints was school districts that would build new schools without regard for input from parents, students, and teachers. I still remember him saying “How can you leave the most important people out of that conversation?”
Shelly Vohra brought back so many of these powerful memories of those discussions in this blog post.
She addresses learning environments and making the idea learning space. Spoiler – it isn’t all about the “stuff”.
This is a longer post but is absolutely worth the read and to forward it to colleagues if you’re in the position of being able to design learning spaces.
Oh yes! Another wonderful collections of blog posts.
Please take the time to click through and read them all in their entirety. There’s great thinking happening here.
Then, make sure you’re following these people on Twitter.
- Sue Dunlop – @Dunlop_Sue
- Jessica Outram – @jessicaoutram
- Heather Theijsmeijer – @htheijsmeijer
- Melissa Lavoie – @MelizzaLavoie
- Tim King – @mechsymp
- Peter Cameron – @cherandpete
- Shelly Vohra – @raspberryberet3
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If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.
Please share your thoughts here. I’d enjoy reading them.