This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It’s now warm enough to call it spring and looking forward to summer. It’s been forever since I’ve seen 30 degree weather but we’re getting it how. It’s also time to look at creations from some Ontario Edubloggers like we do around here every Friday morning.

Young Children’s Book Awareness as Media Literacy

On the Association for Media Literacy blog, Neil shares some thoughts about parenting along with getting kids to read. In particular, he focuses on two books:


As would be expected from AML, he delves into the message generated by the media as he tears into both books. Tears deeply.

A good children’s book is a mixture of text and imagery and both are analyzed here.

I found it a good discussion and that it pointed out many things that might go unmissed. In addition, a collection of Extensions for working with materials lets you get the most from the resources.

I found his interpretation of the student response to reading a paper book to reading something digital on a tablet interesting. Particularly these days, digital may be the only option for students for course materials. This is a challenge to be addressed, for sure.

Respectful emails

I’ll be honest. When I read the title to Cal Armstrong’s post, I was expecting something different. Email has become a required utility for us and, by us, I guess I have to admit that it’s mostly old people. As Cal notes, students are using other tools to communicate.

Anyway, I thought the post might be about teaching the art of success communication with students. I don’t know that it’s addressed enough and that we just assume that it’s an extension to a conversation or regular writing. I think those of us who are successful recognize that it’s a whole different skillset that we’re really not taught.

But that’s still not the message of his post.

He focuses on a new feature with Outlook that should and does give people pause before they click on that send button. The feature allows you to set office hours on your account and warns someone sending an email that they’re trying to correspond outside those hours. So, if students aren’t using email – who will get this message? I suspect it geared toward colleagues and administrators who need a reply on their time and not yours (or Cal’s).

I think it’s an interesting feature but I wonder if people will pay attention to it. Or, if they do in the short run out of courtesy, will the respect be around for the long run?

Measuring what really matters!

Charles Pascal is always good for a post to make me think and this was no different … plus it featured a real rabbit hole to go down.

He talks about the work from the Atkinson Foundation and the desire to measure what really matters for Canadian. Charles points out that the GDP is typically used and I suspect it’s to appeal to businesses and that it’s relatively easy to calculate if you’re a statistician.

Charles tells us that there needs to be more and directs us to the Canadian Index of Well-being. There’s your rabbit hole.

So much good reading, thinking, and personal reflection happened here as a result of this post.

Apology: What does it really mean?

After reading this post from Debbie Donsky, I realized that my apologies over the years may have been so superficial. I still remember my mother:

Apologize to your brother and mean it

Debbie introduces us to

Several years ago, I heard Rania El Mugammar speak and she shared this concept of “The Anatomy of an Apology”.

What follows is Debbie’s discussion of each of the five points in the anatomy. She then takes us to current issues where we have politicians and governments apologizing on our behalf. I know that we’re all quick to say “I’m sorry” but this goes so much deeper.

It’s not a short read but it’s definitely something that needs to be on your reading list.

A Letter To My Younger Self, Circa 1990

I think we may all have seen this sort of thing before. I know that I was in a professional development session once where we were encouraged to write a letter to ourselves as a first year teacher as the starting point for a reflection.

I’ve never actually seen anyone write that letter so personally and then post it publically for the world to see. That’s what you’ll see in Matthew Oldridge’s post. He’s writing inspiration to himself as a teenager.

For many of us, the teenage years were so rough. For many of us who have had teenagers of our own and survived, it hasn’t got any easier.

I felt that Matthew could easily have been writing about the teenage me in this post. It was joyous and emotional all at the same time.

The cool part is that he promises to write again when he turns 75 to address the person that he is right now. Maybe by then, we’ll have figured out COVID and how to return to normal.


It’s probably unfair to comment on Sheila Stewart’s post since, as she notes, she writes it from the heart. It’s a personal reflection about being vaccinated to head off the COVID-19 virus.

Should anyone be expected to be offered up as a sacrifice for the greater cause?

People have been encouraged to “get the first shot available” and I think we’ve all seen our Premier and our Prime Minister getting their shots “live” to encourage all of us to follow. Then, there are the conspiracy theorists who are questioning whether it was live vaccine without thinking of the professional repercussions to the person who administered the dose.

Living in the shadow of the Michigan media, we’ve seen various incentives (financial and otherwise) to get people to get vaccinated. They are attractive but you have to live on the other side of the border to get them.

I’ll stop there without sharing my opinion because this is Sheila’s post. Click through and read her logic; I know that it’s something that we’re all dealing with.

Sheila offers a personal, thoughtful perspective on it.

Prachi’s Challenge – Student Voice “Leadership” Passion Project.

In these days, it is so exciting to see students rising and shining and Zoe Branigan-Pipe shares such a wonderful story.

Prachi is a grade 7 student in Hamilton-Wentworth and is working to inspire others. Zoe shares this collection of links.

But, here’s the real challenge which you’ll find a bit further down Zoe’s post.

It’s done in Minecraft and uses a blueprint to describe an energy efficient home. Looking through the list of specifications is like designing that perfect house. I wonder if those involved might look around their own home to see if some of the ideas can be incorporated in the real worl.

In these days of COVID, it’s such a great thing to see that the kids are all right.

Please find some time to click through and read these wonderful posts. Then, follow these bloggers on Twitter. They deserve your attention!

  • Association for Media Literacy – @A_M_L_
  • Cal Armstrong – @sig225
  • Charles Pascal – @CEPascal
  • Debbie Donsky – @DebbieDonsky
  • Matthew Oldridge – @MatthewOldridge
  • Sheila Stewart – @SheilaSpeaking
  • Zoe Branigan-Pipe – @zbpipe

This week’s Live Show on voicEd Radio can be found here:


OTR Links 05/21/2021

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