This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Martha Jez from Fair Chance Learning was our guest host on the voicEd Radio show This Week in Ontario Edublogs. I’ve known Martha for a number of years and had the chance to interview her here. I can’t believe that this was done in 2015. She was a delightful addition to the show and I learned a great deal from the interaction with her – including her being a volleyball player. She added some interesting content to the show and I’ll try to include some of it in the commentary below.

Esports: Getting Started

From the Fair Chance Learning blog, an interesting post to bring you up to speed if you’re new to the concept of esports. You’ll be excused if you wrestle with the word “esports”; it’s one of those new words that technology has brought to our language. It could just as easily be spelled e-sports or Esports and probably is, if you look in the right places.

In the post, there is a background as to the origins and the money behind the development of the concept.

Of particular interest was the section titled “Are esports important?” Read it; it might affirm what you know already or it may be a good introduction to the concept if you’re looking for a good rationale.

FC Gaming: Where Esports meets Education

After a look at the big picture, it was interesting to dig into where Fair Chance Learning stands with the concept. They’ve branded their esports with a logo and a section called FCGaming.

They’re not going it alone. The page highlights the partners in esports that they’re onside with. Click through each and you’ll see that a great deal of thought and effort has gone into the planning.

You’ll also find a link to an esports coaching clinic that you can attend later this summer.


This is such a powerful post from Sue Bruyns. Like the rest of us, we were not taught about residential institutions and so many of us are playing catch up to learn and try to understand. As Sue notes, she’ll “never get it”. That still doesn’t make the news of bodies found at the institutions any easier to take.

Sue wrote this post when the first 215 hit the news. You can see a premonition in Sue’s post when she says “Yet, not naïve to think that this is but a fraction of the over 4000 deaths of children while under the “care” of the residential school system.”

I’ll leave you with two things to ponder.

The first comes from Sue’s blog post.

How dare those institutions be referred to as “schools”.

The second came from Martha during the program. She had shared it in our collaborative notes and was strong enough to read it during the show. I never could have done it. She attributes it to a 12 year old student from Fort Frances.

“today I lay my ballet shoes for the little girl before me that did not have a choice.

today I wear my hair in braids for the little girl who had her braids cut from her body.

today I speak my language for the little girl who was abused for her mother tongue.

today I wear the ribbon skirt my mama made me for the little girl who was stripped of her clothing.

today I wear pieces of my regalia for the little girl who couldn’t.

today I play with my sisters and brothers for the little girl who was taken from her family.

today I hug and kiss my mom and dad for the little girl who couldn’t.

today I walk home for the little girl who never made it home.

today I offer my asema for the children before me, for my koko, my family, and my people.

today I ask for healing for the children before me, with me and after me.”

Even writing this and during proofreading, it brought out emotions in me.

Hiring in Education

Terry Whitmell applied for a teaching position at a Faculty of education and withholds the name of the university in this post.

She takes us through the steps that were required for the interview and her reaction to this. They seem pretty straight forward to me; I can’t imagine being interviewed in these COVID times but this seems to be a nice accommodation.

What will make you stop and think is the message describing how the successful candidate won out.

the candidate who was offered the position has worked in multiple university contexts in full-time roles and has a significant record of scholarship in curriculum studies

Let that sink in for a minute. Think about yourself applying for this position if you’re coming from K-12. Obviously, the first criteria is out. The second one might be possible if you take the time to research and be published. In a significant manner.

Terry points out the power and important of Action Research that happens in K-12 all the time. Does that count?

How does someone from K-12 get through the door to post-secondary positions? How can this disconnect be addressed? Do universities not value the practical experience from someone who actually worked there?


Writing for the TESLOntario blog, Daniela Greco-Giancola shares a story of how she inspired some writing in her classroom. To up the game, students were instructed that this would not be graded and that they were free to use translation software if necessary.

Their inspiration? “Using YouTube, I start the soundtrack to The Chronicle of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe; I have chosen a track called The Battle.”

I’ll make a guess on the video …

So, inspired, off they went to write and share their stories. I felt like a fly on the wall as I really could picture this happening.

The thing that I was left wondering is personal. I took a lot of French in elementary and secondary school. I did alright from a marks perspective. I do remember composing and writing in my mind in English, translating it, and creating something in French. Is that the goal or is it to think, compose, and write soley in the second language?

What struck me as remarkable about the exercise was the type of words that were used in the writing. I’m guessing that wouldn’t be part of the normal curriculum.

Z is for Zen, Zoos and Zoodles

Lynn Thomas has been working her way through the alphabet with blog posts so it’s only appropriate that we talk about the last one and her focus on the letter Z.

After such a bizarre year in our lives, we all need a moment of Zen.

But don’t stop there. There’s also zoos and zoodles.

Lynn shares this classic…

along with some calming food ideas.

We need to stop calling them “schools”

Another piece of wisdom from Martha took us to the 7 Generations Education Institute and ultimately their blog and this post.

I would recommend setting aside a few quiet moments to slowly read and digest the content from this post. You’ll read a poem and some deep insights.

You’ll do a full stop at the section “Schools do not require graveyards“.

Combine this sentiment with Sue’s observation above and it’s an action item that we can all move on. Until a better word comes along, I’m pledging to use the word institution instead.

I hope that you can take the time to read and appreciate the wisdom in these posts.

Then, follow them on Twitter.

  • @marthajez
  • @FCLedu
  • @sbruyns
  • @TerryWhitmell
  • @TESLOntario
  • @THOMLYNN101
  • @7GenerationsEd

This Week in Ontario Edublogs is live Wednesday mornings at 8:45. This week’s show is found here.


OTR Links 07/16/2021

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