This Week in Ontario Edublogs

I thought that we were about ready for Spring but I guess it was a faux Spring. Nonetheless, don’t forget to adjust your clocks this weekend. Is this the last time we do it?

Time in the Pandemic: It was a week ago, or maybe three months ago…

On the This Week in Ontario Edublogs show, Stephen Hurley and I had a lot of fun with this post from Debbie Donsky. It took us to Yogi Berra and his classic “It’s deja vu all over again”.

Debbie takes a number of looks at the concept of time as it affects her and probably affects us all. How many times have we truly have to stop and think about just what day of the week it actually is? Her analysis gives a thoughtful comparison between circular and linear time. That really made me stop and do some reflection; after all education most certainly is linear from September to June but apply that to a circular reality. Maybe it goes a long way to describing the frustration that so many feel these days.

The star of this excellent post is an embedded sketchnote she composed while doing a book study with Colinda Clyne. Don’t skim it; enjoy what Debbie captures and think about it just a bit. You’ll be glad you did.

But, time … this post brought back a memory of this awesome Jim Croce song.

Living in an Information Rich World

In Tim King’s recent post, I can come down firmly on both sides of the fence of the issue he discusses. The connected me agrees totally with his assertion that we have information available to us any time, any where these days. Why should a student have to interrupt a lesson to ask a question that’s easily Googled or Ducked on her personal device?

On the other hand, Tim as teacher, is the authority in the classroom. Why should a student have to immediately delve through all the misinformation and advertising and distractions that going online looking for answers entails? After all, Tim knows the answer. The student’s reality may also be one where other teachers have followed the great “ban” of cell phones in the classroom and so searching personally isn’t an option.

For me, the message in this post goes beyond Tim’s frustration in this particular instance. It’s a reminder that we haven’t got our act together consistently throughout Ontario classrooms. If it was my classroom, I would side with Tim’s philosophy and use the opportunity to reinforce the notion that we want kids to be self-directed learners.

An Overview of the”new”OSSLT Online Testing Format (2021)

The first run of the online OSSLT went over so well, let’s double down again this year. What could go wrong?

If you need a flashback, Kyleen Gray takes you back.

If you’ve successfully wiped EQAO’s last disastrous attempt at an online administration of the OSSLT from your memory, let me jog it by taking a look at my blog from 2016: Online OSSLT: Titanic Disaster.

There are three areas in this thought provoking post:

  • What’s new? (with a dozen points…)
  • How to prepare students
  • What’s next?

I think that the Titanic comparison is unfair. The folks on the Titanic didn’t have prior knowledge of what could happen.

Thinking about the power in our classrooms or more importantly time to rethink the power in our classroom

I remember now why I try to have short titles for my blog posts! Jonathan So’s rather longish title kept me thinking about what he might talk about before I even got to the heart of his discussion.

It’s something as simple as “cameras on” in the online classroom to bring forth the notion of control and compliance in the classroom for Jonathan. I thought it was rather insightful; I’m not a fan of long term camera use since I tend to do other things beside looking at the green light. I’ll get up and stretch – my watch will let me know if I’m sitting for over an hour – I like to look around and stretch my eyes rather than stare forward – and undoubtedly more than what needs to be discussed here.

Jonathan brings in elements of Matthew Morris’ TEDx talk where he addresses his philosophy and 1-1 discussion with students in a kinder, gentler format.

I felt that he did a really comprehensive job analysing more than just cameras but an entire reliance on compliance for a school system to survive. There’s lots more to think about than the little green light!

Space for. Space from.

Beth Lyons follows up on her February monthly word “permission” with one for March “Space”.

In my mind, they flow so nicely together.

We’re all living in incredibly strange times and so the notion of giving oneself permission to have more space makes so much sense.

We know that things are different in 2021 so it just isn’t logical to try and fit life as usual into the real world that we’re all living in right now. Is it fair to try and squeeze all the current initiatives that teachers are involved with (and Beth names a few) into today’s real world. Or, is it time to refocus on what’s really important.

Here’s to you, Beth, a young Alan Jackson and the real world.

Chords 9/31 #SOL2021

If you’re a follower of Melania White’s blog, you’ll know that she’s on fire as of late. There’s all kinds of incredible inspiration there to get you thinking but Rush’s 2112 had me open a new tab to listen while I went back to the top and re-read her post

Music seems to have been always a big divisor between parents and children. I think I lucked out; my parents didn’t play music. That was the domain for me in my room.

But, for my own kids, only one of them appreciate good music to this day. At least by my standards. There are still things that confuse me – how can you like Tom Morello and hate Bruce Springsteen? My favourite line when they were younger was “I paid a dime and got a Nickleback”. We resolved this ongoing conflict one Christmas with headphones as gifts. I still prefer to listen to music this way with my own and also in a really dark room.

And Melanie’s description of partying in high school makes me wonder if I met her in a previous life…

Open a door, open up to the world

This was a real bonus for me. I opened my browser to find that Joel McLean had published this new post this morning.

The post is well sectioned with inspiration.

  • Prendre une CHANCE
  • Chercher l’AMÉLIORATION
  • Faire avec PASSION
  • Travailler avec ARDEUR
  • Voir le BIEN
  • Avoir un impact EXPONENTIEL

All of the sections contains very inspirational pieces of advice. So, don’t skip any of them.

But, I really hung my hat on the advice he received from his parents. It deals with accomplishment and commitment. It’s tough in the best of times but how about these days? It would be easy to roll over and just give up. But, a stronger person would persevere. I know that this blog readers are in the latter.

Please take some time to enjoy all these posts and then follow these bloggers on Twitter.

  • Debbie Donsky – @DebbieDonsky
  • Tim King – @tk1ng
  • Kyleen Gray – @TCHevolution
  • Jonathan So – @MrSoClassroom
  • Beth Lyons – @MrsLyonsLibrary
  • Melanie White – @WhiteRoomRadio
  • Joel Mclean – @jprofnb


The Wednesday morning podcast on voicEd Radio is available here:


OTR Links 03/12/2021

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