Ontario voices

If you listened to This Week in Ontario Edublogs on voicEd Radio yesterday morning, you would have heard Stephen and me make reference to a new series of podcasts that Stephen was involved with.

Stephen was commissioned (volunteerissioned?) by ECOO to have interviews with a number of Ontario educators who are on the front lines, teaching in these challenging times. The series is titled Ontario: Learning Together at Home.

I did know that Aviva Dunsiger had been on the podcast as I’d already listened to her thoughts and that was all that was posted.

Soon, a number of other podcasts appeared

  • Aviva Dunsiger
  • Tim King
  • Jason Trinh
  • Colin Jagoe
  • Alanna King
  • Danika Tipping

The list of names wasn’t terribly surprising. Many of the individuals have been presenters at provincial conferences for years. Jason was a new name for me so I listened to him with extra interest. To this point, he was a name on one of my Ontario Educator lists. Now, I know a great deal more about the gentleman.

I found their insights interesting. They come from different disciplines and panels (I was surprised there weren’t more elementary educators). Even geographically, they were nicely spread across at least Southern Ontario. Of course, the husband and wife team are a great deal closer!

Stephen let it slip that there’s another one in the pipeline.

Their stories are short and I think you will immediately empathize with them. They do reveal some important insights about how they’re getting through the current situation.

I would encourage you to visit the voicEd Radio site and listen to one or more of these. It’s a nice reminder that all teachers are on this ship together.

On a personal note, as a person who doesn’t get out much these days, it was absolutely terrific to hear all these recognizable voices again and visualize them in the rolls that they describe. I’ve been in sessions led by them all. Thank you to each of you so much for sharing your stories.

4 thoughts on “Ontario voices

  1. Thank you for sharing these here! I’ve been trying to listen to all of them as they come out, but I’ve missed a few. Your post was a good reminder for me to check out some more.



  2. Hi Doug!

    Thanks for highlighting this initiative! If Stephen let slip that there is another episode in the pipeline, then he is being very modest about the scope of this project. We are working to make the series as inclusive and as representative of the province as possible — seeking to reflect both elementary and secondary panels, the north and the south, urban and rural, public and catholic, English and French. Behind the scenes we have a virtual map with colour-coded virtual pins on it — ultimately we may include it as a navigation interface once the number of episodes warrants. Although the series intends to focus on classroom educators, there will also be some folks with central rules sharing their voices in the near future.

    Jason is the latest addition to the ECOO Board of Directors, having joined us last month by appointment to fill a mid-term vacancy. In addition to the perspective he brings via his hybrid teacher role within TDSB, Jason brings his experience with #DigCitTO, initially a face-to-face event that had been scheduled to take place at OISE, which successfully pivoted to an online event that took place this past Saturday. We very much appreciate the calm and reasoned input that Jason offered during our COVID-19 response planning.

    Chief among our intent behind the Ontario: Learning Together at Home podcast is to highlight the reality that this situation is a new one for everyone. Although some ECOO members have had some experience with distance learning, none, until very recently, have had experience with #EmergencyRemoteLearning — and thus we are all sorting this out at the same time. I imagine you’ve seen the animated GIF of the three dogs jumping (or not) into the wheat field, accompanied by the caption, “everyone entered distance learning differently,” and we are trying to validate that experience for all Ontario educators. It is enlightening to hear the constant reflection captured in the #LearningTogetherAtHome series — nobody has walked into this experience with the answers fully formed in advance.


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