Good Friday morning.
Why not get a little smarter by reading some of these blog posts from great Ontario Edubloggers?
It’s the spring of the year, and under normal conditions, things would be ramping up towards graduation celebrations in schools. In this post from Sue Bruyns, she reflects on what it might look like for Grade 8 students. It’s a big deal to move from Grade 8 to Grade 9.
That’s not the only graduations that happen in our schools though. There’s kindergarten graduations as they move to Grade 1. Grade 12 students moving to whatever is next for them. Colleges and universities graduate students from there as well. And, quite frankly, there’s a sense of celebration at the end of any grade level as students move on to the next.
Depending upon the school, Sue describes a range of ways that formal celebrations take place. Even in Sue’s district there are a number of different types of celebrations, often based on history and also economics. Another set of big events are the big school trip as well.
So, Sue wonders if this is the opportunity for school districts to sit back and consider just what is happening at this time of year. Is it time to change the “business as usual” format to something more consistent. It’s an interesting look and topic to consider. I’m sure that Sue would appreciate hearing from you and what’s happening in your school.
In many classrooms, things are quite different and often teachers and students are learning from day to day. I’ve heard reports from some teachers that there are students who aren’t checking in as often as they might. I heard it first hand from a couple of kids that dropped by for a patio visit “We didn’t do anything … it’s boring!”
Noa Daniel has long used this very sophisticated approach for students doing their research and presenting results to classmates. This year, the focus is on the 17 Sustainable Goals. Since we live in different times, the regular face-to-face mode just won’t happen. Instead, elements of this might well be face-to-Zoom. They’re going to experience first hand what it looks like to present to the audience in this different mode!
The other thing that is apparent when you try to visualize this is that is not a short term event. There are many different things that are happening here and a student shouldn’t want to miss a step along the way. Noa’s approach has always intrigued me; it will be interesting to see how it plays out in today’s reality.
In addition to all of the planning that Noa shares, she includes a nice collection of student observations. They get it.
Terry Greene’s post is an opportunity for his to tie together a couple of posts he’s addressed in the recent past.
What impresses me about this post and the two previous ones is Terry’s focus on providing opportunities for students to share their voice.
It’s not something that we normally associate with higher education. I know that my own experience was rewarding but in a different, more traditional way.
As you work your way through Terry’s post, you’ll note all kinds of links to supporting documents and observations/recordings.
If you follow one link, I’d suggest this one to a slidedeck.
Here are the slides again from the session. The simple goal was to talk a bit about the who, what, when, where, why, how of it all and then to do it for real in a mini-interview from start to finish with the same mini-interviews we used in the Ideate session so that attendees could see it happen live.
You know, my heart goes out to Heather Swail. She’s been very open about the things that have happened this year, her last year, in education. First there was all the work stoppages and now the whole teaching at home thing.
I follow Paul McGuire on Instagram and lately he’s been posting pictures of their walks showing off the empty streets. It looks lonely, sad, and yet very artistic.
Back to Heather, this is a heart-warming post describing how she celebrated a birthday, a very special birthday. Head over to read how she celebrated the event and some of the unique gifts that she received.
And while you’re there – wish her a Happy Birthday.
From Diana Maliszewski, a rather long blog post but it’s OK because she posted it to three of the blogs that she contributes to.
Never having played the game, I found her post and description both engaging and intriguing. She calls the use of the game as cross-generational in its appeal. I was quite impressed with the 3D representation and lifelike depiction of characters in the game. It’s a long way, at least in appearance, from Minecraft, her previous love.
Of real interest to me was her observation about the values that are conveyed via the environment.
What does it mean to be a good citizen? This message is shared in so many ways in ACNH. Good citizens pick up litter, like fallen branches. They chat with their neighbours and bring them medicine when they are sick. They are active and wander the island. They donate items to the museum. They contribute to the prosperity of the island by buying and selling items from regular vendors (Timmy and Tommy, the Able Sisters) as well as visiting salespeople (CJ, Flick, Leif, Kicks, and even “shifty” characters like Redd the Fox who sells authentic and fake pieces of art).
I think any activities, even games that engage, and can work values into themselves should deserve a second look.
Right now, you can see organizations and people with websites publishing lists of resources for classroom use during learning at home initiatives.
Quite often, little thought goes into the curation of these. Here’s a link, here’s a link, here’s another link, … I addressed the concept of privacy of email addresses in a product (Private Relay) under development by Mozilla in my blog post yesterday.
Michelle Fenn’s post on the Heart and Art Blog took me back to the days when I evaluated and shared resources with my colleagues for a living. It’s not a copy/paste activity. There are so many things that you really should consider before your recommend others use it and have them used with children. Privacy, cost, longevity, and much more. Michelle has a list of 10 things that people need to consider while evaluating a resource.
I would add one point that I always argued strongly when I was on the OSAPAC Committee and that the language needs to be Canadian with Canadian spelling. I strongly objected to recommending a product that would have a student sit down and be faced with text written in another language.
I really like that Michelle considers Canadian software developers first (which should but doesn’t always result in Canadian spelling) and importantly that any information is stored on servers in Canada.
Jen Giffen got a request from Noa Daniel about how to turn on captions in a YouTube video. I thought that it might be helpful to others to know how it’s done and so brought it forward here.
It’s a short video with a whoops to prove that Jen is indeed human but will step you through the process.
Don’t you feel smarter now?
I hope that you clicked through and enjoyed the posts and learned a little something in the process.
Now, make sure you follow these great folks on Twitter.
- Sue Bruyns – @sbruyns
- Noa Daniel – @noasbobs
- Terry Greene – @greeneterry
- Heather Swail – @hbswail
- Diana Maliszewski – @mzmollytl
- Michelle Fenn – @Toadmummy
- Jen Giffen – @VirtualGiff
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