This Week in Ontario Edublogs

And, it’s another Friday. It’s time to share some great blogging from around the province.

The College Drop-In

Terry Greene is back and active on his blog with an interesting announcement. He’s involved with another project through eCampusOntario. You’ll recall that he was very actively involved earlier in an Extend project for educators. He called that the Empowered Educator. You’ll recall that that introduced us to a number of educators through a voicEd Radio show and their blogs.

This time, the target are learners that are interested in returning to higher education but not necessarily to the full program, rather being involved with micro-credentialing. He calls these the Liberated Learners.

It’s an interesting concept and, of course, you can read more at the post on Terry’s blog. If his commitment to this project is the same as his last, we’ll look forward to many more blog posts keeping us up to date.

All this and he still manages to work skateboarding into the post …


From the TESL Ontario blog, this post from Svjetlana Vrbanic, is a wonderful reminder for educators who are interested in their personal well being. She takes on the issue of brain breaks.

It’s a condition of the teacher beast that we’ll throw everything that we have at the profession. Just look at yourself; how many evenings have you spent developing lessons or overworking on the weekends?

As noted in the post, when you’re teaching face to face, there are moments to take a pause and refresh. It’s different when you’re online as there’s a sense for a need to be “on” all the time.

In the post, there are five suggestions for ways to take a brain break. They all seem like great suggestions but your call to action is to add your favourite way to take care of yourself.

Do you have suggestions to add?

10 years later – Takeaways from Learning in Online Spaces

Tina Zita was a little hesitant to share this post and I can guess why. The current reality for many folks isn’t pleasant and so it’s just natural to suspect how your audience might receive it.

I do appreciate her writing and sharing it though. With 10 years of experience, she should have and does have some great tips, suggestions, and observations about the process.

I found the one “The Environment is still the 3rd Teacher” to be really intriguing. In a perfect world, a teacher is generally in control of the learning environment. We arrange desks, decorate, place centres and technology, etc. Much of this has been removed from so many. All the techniques to sterilize the classroom, for example, has created a completely different environment. Emergency movement to teaching on line isn’t much different. After ten years, Tina would have developed ways to make the learning environment unique to her. Those thrust into the situation this past year had no input – they were just told that they had to do it. Many times, an educator wasn’t even involved in the selection of the environment; it was made by others for whatever reason and/or agenda.

The full slate of topics addressed by Tina are:

  • The Learner is still the centre
  • The Environment is still the 3rd Teacher
  • Start Slow – Less is More
  • Choice
  • Replicate the Experience not the Task
  • Sometimes Things Don’t Go as Planned

There’s a great deal of personal reflection here which makes this post an important one to read.

I truly was embarrassed and guilty as charged when she talked about Digital Clutter. Just sayin’


Motivated by an edition of The Drive by Chey and Pav, Lise Farquhar focuses on the use of words “the” and “my”.

It was during the show that Chey made a personal adjustment in his use of “the students” versus “my students”.

It’s a little thing but, taken in its totality, it has a strong message and caught Lisa’s attention. In fact, she was moved to write a blog post about it.

Lisa takes this opportunity to share her thoughts. Read the post – what do you think?

To the grads of 2021 – spend this summer driving with music: and other lessons from Lisa Damour

From Laura Elliott, a post that really emphasizes the commitment to student well-being. This time, the message is to the graduates of 2021 in an address by Lisa Damour.

I like the way she addresses three big ideas:

  • Weightlifting & the Pandemic
  • Soft Fascination
  • University is NOT the best 4 years of one’s life

So much of this post resonated with me but I had an instant flashback when she mentions driving around with music in the car. For my friends and me, that was our great Friday and Saturday night routine. It built friendships and took us away from the concerns of the day. Our concerns pale in comparison to today but I had this tune immediately playing in my head.

“Oh how I wish we were back on the road again”

The 500 – #370 – Mott – Mott The Hoople

Marc Hodgkinson’s latest post in his music countdown instantly planted an earworm for me. (even though the song wasn’t on this album)

I wish I had a dime for every time I’ve heard this song.

My big takeaway – I didn’t realize the David Bowie connection revealed by guest blogger Claudio Sossi.

You’ll have to head over and read the post. Marc continues to do a nice job of sharing his reflections on great music. You might just join me in reading all of his posts.

Summer Breeze

And, another guest blogger – this time on Richard Erdmann’s blog. A great title and another great song.

Michelle is the guest blogger here and I had to smile at her observation that we’ve gone, and typically go, from winter to summer in Ontario. What is this spring of which she speaks?

She describes a wonderful summer that the two of them have planned whether it be at home or if they happen to be able to travel. I wish them all the best and I really want to do the same things they’re planning.

May their glasses continue to be half-full.

Please click through and enjoy all these wonderful posts.

Then, follow them on Twitter.

  • Terry Greene – @greeneterry
  • Svjetlana Vrbanic – @lanavrb
  • Tina Zita – @tina_zita
  • Lise Farquhar – @L_Farquhar_IB
  • Laura Elliott – @lauraelliottPhD
  • Marc Hodgkinson – @Mr_H_Teacher
  • Richard Erdmann – @rerdmann

The show, recorded live on voicEd Radio can be found here.


OTR Links 05/28/2021

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