A big shout-out goes to Peter Beens for creating this project and keeping it going for us. He’s written a program that scrapes polling data in advance of the upcoming provincial election and shares it with us.

He makes no attempt to hide his political feelings and provides his thoughts as to we should vote for, by riding.

Of course, when I saw his first announcement of this project, I had to check it out and see what he’d done. Secondly, I had to look at my riding (Essex) to make sure that he’d tagged a former student Ron LeClair as the person to vote for around here.

Then, I took a tour around the province looking at riding where I’d lived in the past. You can check out the data in the spreadsheet that he’s created.

I thought that the whole effort was a terrific exercise in what you can do with data that’s freely available. Now that the current government has dropped its budget, you know that we’re going to hear all kinds of political activity leading into the June election.

Peter, if you’re reading this, it would be an interesting exercise to do a snapshot of the polling before the election call and to compare it with ongoing opinions as the campaigning begins.

Thanks for doing this.


OTR Links 04/30/2022

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

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

I enjoyed some great reading this week from Ontario Edubloggers. Check them out!

Teaching new teachers in 2022

Here’s a post from Paul that will make you think. He’s musing over what teacher candidates should experience in their Faculty of Education experience.

He provides a nice summary of the way that things are done now and shout outs go to Associate Teachers and the Faculty Supervisors who made the practicuum expereince worthwhile. Teacher education would be a different experience without them.

But, is it enough? I did the high school, university, and then one year at the Faculty, got my certifications and then was sent on the road to teach – to presumably have my own classroom, subject, and students for the next 30+ years. We’ve always done it this way.

We’ve heard a lot about “lifelong learner” and I like to think that was me. I attended all the PD Days, got additional certifications, and joined professional associations. Is that enough?

I certainly didn’t think so and did my best to try and stay on top of things. It’s easy to see; that’s what everyone does or should do. Is it enough? Paul’s post will have you questioning that.

Numbers and Levels and Rubrics and Grades – Check #SOL2022

I suspect that Melanie speaks for the bulk of the profession when she notes the anguish and questions that go into producing some sort of mark and comment for the end of the semester.

It’s always amazing that the educational system expects that you can summarize an entire term of work in this manner.

Is there a better way? As you read the post, I’m sure that you’ll be nodding in agreement at Melanie’s thoughts. If you have a better suggestion, I’m sure that she’ll be open for it.

As educators, we live in a world of assessment and evaluation and I’ve seen so many attempts at making it better over the years. We haven’t nailed it yet because we keep asking these important questions.

Upcoming Units and Advanced Notice

Openness and transparency are the big keywords – nothing should be hidden from students and parents and sprung on them at the last minute. We all get that. Academics are all over this.

What happens in the real world?

Diana shares three experiences

  • Health – Human Development and Sexual Health
    What could go wrong? Shouldn’t every student be taught? What are the logistics if they’re not?
  • Social Studies – Communities in Canada 1780-1850 (& Minecraft)
    If you know Diana, you know that she’s a big Minecraft fan and, in this case, likes to make the connections between the game and communities – are the students all in?
  • Media – Cakes
    I would never have made the connection between the two like Diana does and her explanation makes sense but kids are kids

In this post, Diana proves what a masterful storyteller she can be and you’ll be smiling and maybe even laughing at with her.

The Story of Water

You’re probably not going to read this post for the words but rather for the intention and the links. My understanding of poetry goes about as deep as The Lady of Shalott but there are artisans of this craft, Jessica is certainly one, and she uses her reach to support others in their pursuits.

For three years now, she has compiled writings from poets into a digital eChapBook for Earth Day. The theme for the authors this year was “The Story of Water” and I found myself reading the book from beginning to end. It was just so interesting to find out what was next!

This isn’t the first time she’s done this – it’s actually the third time and links to the previous works are in the post.

What a magnificent and generous endeavour! There really is good, very good, in this world.

The Seeds of Self-Compassion

Brad writes this post for the TeachBetter Blog. It’s actually a summary of a podcast interview that he did with Lisa Baylis.

He starts wtih a TL;DR which is a shame. You’re going to at least want to read the post because there’s all kinds of inspiration there about “Self-Compassion”. I don’t know that it’s an expression that I’ve ever heard but it make so much sense.

The big themes are:

  • Mindfulness
  • Loving-kindness
  • Common humanity

Who doesn’t need a lot of this these days?

The Dilemma

I love my work and my students. I miss them. I want to be there. Precisely for those reasons, I look at my RAT, look hard at those two red lines, and know that I am about to call in sick for tomorrow. After that, I’ll get to work on another lesson plan.

This final paragraph summariizes Amanda’s dilemma to a “T”.

Yes, she’s contracted COVID and share the story and the timeline with us. According to the Health Unit and the Ministry of Education, she should be back in the classroom.

My heart just sank as I read through the entire post. I understand the mentality that you have when you stay home from school and someone else fills in. Unless some sort of super hero shows up, it’s not the same. They might be able to approximate the teaching of the content but teaching is much more than that and Amanda nails it.

I truly hope that she’s well and back at it by the time this post goes live.

Where have you seen Indigenous Canadian Art lately?

I have seen Indigenous Canadian Art more and more in the media. It’s often now used as a background for politicians.

As noted in the post, you may have noticed it

  • Behind Andrea Horvath’s head on my TV screen.  
  • Behind Stephen Lecce’s frame as he makes another announcement on Twitter.  
  • At the shopping mall in the winter coat section. 

And, of course, at museums everywhere if you have one that’s open for visiting.

I think that this is appropriate for the AML blog and it’s worth personally noting but also showing and discussing in classrooms. I’m glad that this post was written; as I said, I’ve noticed it but didn’t make the connection to Media Literacy.

Thanks for that.

Please click through and read all these wonderful post.

Then, follow these folks on Twitter.

  • Paul McGuire – @mcguirp
  • Melanie White – @WhiteRoomRadio
  • Diana Maliszewski – @MzMollyTl
  • Jessica Outram – @jessicaoutram
  • Brad Hughes – @brad_hughes
  • Amanda Potts – @Ahpotts
  • Association for Media Literacy – @A_M_L_

This Week in Ontario Edublogs on voicEd Radio

OTR Links 04/29/2022

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

What’s in a name?

The biggest news in education this past couple of days was the renaming of Ryerson University to Toronto Metropolitan University. As I look at the building in this picture, I see both the name Ryerson and RU.

Thanks, Google Maps

Reportedly, there was a list of 2500+ suggested names that were shortlisted and Toronto Metropolitan University was chosen. The reason for the name change goes back to residential schools and I think we all recall the tearing down of Ryerson’s statue last summer.

This brought back memories for me of another university name change – Waterloo Lutheran University to Wilfrid Laurier University. There was a sense of continuity with the abbreviation WLU.

Not so, in this case. It’s a complete break from the previous name and there will be an enormous effort made to make all the name changes. Definitely, all the signage on and in the buildings will be changed. If you’ve ever walked the campus, you know that there’s naming everywhere. (just like any other university)

A wise business person once told me that you can forget everything but you’ll still succeed in business if you remember their name. Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) will undoubtedly embark on a mission to let everyone know the new name and to build their “New Chapter”.

There will be a great deal of work ahead removing all of the existing signage and replacing it with the new identity. I suspect that it will be expedited to the best of abilities to make the switch. The university is quick to note that it’s a name change and their core values remain the same. Guidance about the changes and how to proceed, including getting a reissue of your degree with the new university name, can be found here.

We also live in a heavily digital world. In addition to the physical signs, there’s all the work that will be required to change web pages, social media, email addresses, etc. That won’t happen overnight but it’s already showing at the university website and related resources.

I can’t imagine all of the work and effort that will be required to make all this happen. It all reinforces the importance of a name and is a reminder to all of us that our name and identity is what’s outward facing.