This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Good morning! It’s time for my weekly roundup of some of the great blogging that I read from Ontario Educators. I hope that this gives you a bit of inspiration for today and beyond.

Slice of Life: Quiet

You know, when you write a blog post, it just gets something off your chest. The more you get off your chest, knowing that you can always revisit it, can be empowering. I wish that more people did that.

Lisa Corbett shares insights to the teacher day that I’ll bet that all teachers can nod their heads while reading it. It’s all about the challenges of finding a quiet space in a school. It’s not an easy task.

There are:

  • students – d’uh
  • teachers who want to chat
  • the noises and creaks that come from a building
  • that darned public address system
  • administrators who are addressing their needs and it requires a conversation
  • and I’m sure that you could name more…

Lisa got me thinking about quietness and it really is disturbing to think how difficult it is. In a lot of other jobs, there are options but not in education. My favourite hiding space was in the book room but there really was no place to sit. Ultimately, the only quiet time for me was to arrive at 6am as the caretaker opened the door and then go to my workspace. It doesn’t seem fair that a person should have to do that.

Lots of people chimed in on Lisa’s post. Do you have any ideas to add?


In society, there are always things that need to be changed or could be changed. Part of the process may involve petitioning for change. That was where Terry Whitmell was for this post.

I suspect that most of us have been asked to sign a petition at some point and maybe you’ve given a great deal of thought adding your name and maybe you just signed because you knew the person who asked you to sign.

But that’s so old school.

In the blog post, Terry shares that the petition that she signed is electronic. On the surface, it appears to be just an attempt to use today’s tools and save a few trees.

In her reflection, Terry mentions that there is a fallout to doing things this way. The recipient of the survey will now have her email address, maybe even identified as spam. I have to think – will the distribution of the email stop there or does it get spread further? Is she opening the door for a return bout of spam? Does she now get blacklisted somewhere for her actions?

It’s a modern step beyond one I recall – “Save the Whales” and something to consider before you sign to something like this. Maybe it’s time to have a disposable email address for this purpose?

Hello Yellow Little Free Library

This is awesome. I was tagged in the announcement of this post and appreciate Amy Bowker for doing this. Back in the summer, a similar post was noticed when she shared her thoughts about Little Free Libraries.

I don’t know about your neck of the woods but they are plentiful in Essex County. When you read Amy’s post, you’ll see a map where they’re located in the Ottawa Region. They’re everywhere.

So, she’s got the ultimate gift – her own library. In the post, she shares her story; it’s more than just tapping a post into the ground and opening for business. There are lots of pictures and deep thoughts in how it’s going to play out too!

I suspect that this will be the first of a number of posts as she observes human behaviour around her Little Library. She’s a teacher, after all, and people watching is what teachers do. When we did the show originally on voicEd Radio, I mentioned that there is one in a neighbourhood just west of us where the owner makes sure that the books are on a certain topic. I’ve always wondered about people that own their own libraries. Do they censor? Do they check out any new books added before the general public in case they want to read it themselves?

Amy must have listened to the show because she shared her thoughts on Twitter.

I wonder where Amy will take this? It’s fun to speculate since she’s in an occupation that is so book-oriented. If nothing else, it should raise the literacy rate in her own neighbourhood!

How to prepare for exam season

I suspect that most students don’t like this up and coming season. Exams are those mission critical, make it or break it events that are a ritual to learning. In this post, the Seven Generations Education Institute outline some very good tips for students and flesh them out nicely.

It’s not a lecture and is very helpful. I think that we can attribute television shows like Friends making getting together in coffee shops kind of a thing to do. I know that it’s not uncommon to walk down Dalhousie Street here in town and see students at it, laptops open, books aside them, deep in conversation. The teacher in me loves it.

Here is their list in point form – complete details are in the post.

  • Create a study schedule
  • Limit distractions
  • Organize a study group
  • Find what study method works for you
  • Reward yourself
  • Develop a pre-exam routine

There’s one of the tips that seems logical but not for me. “Find what study method works for you”. I was only taught one and my parents reinforced it so that’s the only way that I ever studied for exams. I did well academically so it did work for me. And yet, I wonder — is there something better that I should have done that would have worked better for me? The problem with exams is that they’re typically a one shot event. I guess I was always afraid to try something different that might not work.

I really appreciate the look at “Limit distractions”. That’s a real concern and we see daily how little beeps or notifications can throw off a train of thought. It’s a very important concept and I’m glad to see it included here, along with resources.

The 500 – #344 – Berlin – Lou Reed

I’m a big fan of what Marc Hodgkinson’s doing with his treatment of top albums from Rolling Stone magazine. I don’t bring every post into this Friday recap but I do read all your posts, Marc.

Before this post, if you asked me about Lou Reed, I would have responded with “Walk on the Wild Side”. It was so popular and controversial at the time. It was a commercial success to be sure.

In this post, Marc brings in the Berlin album and it was an entire collection of new songs for me to listen to and, for that, I’m thankful.

Marc decided that “Sad Song” would be his pick to add to his playlist.

More relevant than ever

Anne-Marie Kees claims this as a “moment of social media weakness”. After reading her post, I think she should appreciate her moment of weakness because it inspired such a powerful post.

The inspiration came from brands that “are dying out”. I was kind of surprised at some of the brands that she name – I love Campbell’s Soup and have fond memories of driving by when going on dates in Listowel. It changed.

Anne-Marie uses this as inspiration to reflect on her own school. That’s a good activity for all; schools carry their own brand in their community. We’re going through the process of building a new school locally by closing two schools with their own very strong community branding and it’s causing all kinds of issues.

Anne-Marie talks about things that she sees unique to Lakefield

  • We are committed to being even more affordable
  • We are working hard to be even more inclusive
  • We are building on our strength to become an environmental leader

It’s a powerful read and I that any leader in an academic institution should be challenged to reflect on their own branding and impact in their community of learners.

Open scholarship: Twitter autoethnography? A chat with Lenandlar Singh

Open Scholarship: We need to make peer review valuable

From Dave Cormier, a couple of posts and a couple of recordings highlighted in each of the posts.

I’ll freely admit; I had no idea what “autoethnography” meant before I read Dave’s first post and listened to the discussion. I thought that the concept was interesting, particularly coming from someone who works in a post secondary setting. You’ve got to love a Windsor – Guyana conversation.

They were great discussions and had me thinking of possibilities. Dave also got thinking about it and I like the fact that he shares his thoughts from the interviews as thinking points for reading after listening. There is a sense of the time for me of trying to make open scholarship fit into the mold of traditional scholarship as I know it.

I freely admit that I lived and worked in a traditional setting and I find this whole notion challenging to get my head around. I appreciated listening to the conversations and Dave’s thoughts. I thought he nailed the challenge when he talked about posting some research thoughts at one moment and then the next moment showing a picture of a sandwich. You’d never do that in traditional academia.

For me, anyway, it’s an interesting concept and I look for more of it.

Please take the time to read these great posts. There’s so much there.

Then, follow these people on Twitter.

  • Lisa Corbett – @LisaCorbett0261
  • Terry Whitmell – @TerryWhitmell
  • Amy Bowker – @amyebowker
  • Seven Generations Education Institute – @7GenerationsEd
  • Marc Hodgkinson – @Mr_H_Teacher
  • Anne-Marie Kee – @AMKeeLCS
  • Dave Cormier – @davecormier

This week’s voicEd Radio Show.


OTR Links 11/19/2021

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