This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Happy Friday! If you’re looking for some great blog posts, you’ve come to the right place. Ontario Edubloggers are the best!

Media Literacy: I’m Still Stuck on Selfies

A long, long time ago I had a superintendent who was a big Apple fanboy and he’d attended a conference where the speaker held up an iPod Classic and pronounced that the future was going to be like this device. You could store every song you’d ever want to listen to in it and do amazing things. I did get one of these devices as a result of that speaker and it was nice for music but not much else. I still have it. There were a lot of futuristic speakers who talked about this and subsequent devices being the future of education and that students would be able to access all the information in the world on it.

It was actually one of the times that these futurists were potentially right. Students do have these devices and can do amazing things like teaching their teacher

“They’ve tried to get me to dance with only my hands, showed me how to take pictures while still on a locked screen, save videos on platforms I thought were only for taking pictures in the moment, use prior content and layer it with music, then different music, and then different pictures.

But, do they really use it to the best advantage?

Matthew has some fun at his own expense sharing a story about his attempts to address media literacy with students who were more interested in knowing if he has a Facebook account.

How would you handle the scenario that he describes? Let’s face it; we’re all trailing somebody when it comes to technology. But, if you can learn from them, that’s got to be a good thing, right?

And, Matthew, I’ve been in situations like you described so many times. Enjoy the fact that you’re not arrogant enough to say that they’re wrong and that you are the only one with the correct answer. Keep on learning.

The Audacity

If you ever get the chance to hang out with Colleen, you need to do it. I had the good fortune to do so years ago when I was involved with the Educational Computing Organization of Ontario. You can have an engaging conversation with her about anything and secretly marvel when she doodles something marvellous like the time she caught me taking notes at a conference. I’ll always treasure this sketch of me. It’s my Twitter profile picture and I value her friendship so much that I doubt that I’ll ever change it.

She makes no apologies for being so artistic but takes to this post to talk about the audacity lesson she had while listening to a podcast. Nerdy me thought that she was going to talk about the software Audacity when I read the title.

In the post, she pretty much dissed me (I love it when I read the content of a post and make it personal) because I haven’t had the audacity to take on so many challenges and do something about them.

I think about something that I’ve done within the past six months. I sat on it for over a year before I decided to do it one day. The results? Well, they weren’t what I had expected and that was a little disappointing but I have comfort in knowing that I did it. It took a while before I pulled the trigger but pull I did.

Would I have done it sooner if she’d blogged and challenged me sooner? What other challenges will I take on? More importantly, what sorts of things do you have the audacity to do? Read Colleen’s post and get inspired to do it.

On Being a Bad Person

This is a long, perhaps difficult for you to read, post. I know that it was for me.

I like to think of things in black and white. That way, there are easy answers. Probably, in my mind, I would have thought that good and bad people would be easy to understand.

That is until I read Marie’s post where she addresses three things

The first was perhaps the easiest to see because very few people would ever be in the position of rescuing a drowning child. It’s one of those hypothetical things that are easy to embrace. So, it would be easy to see good and bad from reading the post. Marie messes with your mind though by giving a number of scenarios that might play out. Work your way through the scenarios and see if you have any easy answers.

The second is personal and I give her credit for sharing it but I would prefer not to comment.

The third deals with society’s treatment of Covid.

Covid is taking far more lives than drunk drivers and sober drivers,

We have no problems with cracking down on drunk drivers because it’s the absolutely right thing to do. Why is Covid different?

I’m still on the edge when it comes to Covid. We voted in the advance polls and stood in line between 45 minutes and an hour, with our masks on. We were absolutely in the minority. We could have taken those with masks on and easily got into a minivan.

If you’re like me, you won’t be able to read this blog post just once and then move on.

Creating Read-Aloud Calendars

I love this concept.

As the father of three kids, I can recall them bringing home monthly calendars that had been duplicated over and over again to the point where it became embarrassing to have them on the fridge when company came over.

As a workshop leader, I can remember showing people how to use KidPix or Microsoft Publisher to make cleaner, clearer, and importantly unique calendars

In this post, Jen, inspired by Elizabeth Lyons, uses Canva to create “read-aloud calendars”.

Now, these aren’t your normal classroom calendars – as Jen points out, it goes far further than that and addresses a literacy concern that she has and is using Elizabeth’s idea as inspiration for her own.

I’d suggest taking a look at this and seeing if it fits into your monthly routine.

Nicely done, ladies.

This Is Leadership – EP4: Gilles Séguin

On his Leadership podcast, Joel interviews Gilles Séguin, apparently a friend and they’re renewing that friendship while talking about leadership.

I found Gilles’ observation on leadership and the hit that it’s taken during Covid very interesting. Who can argue that we look out for others less now than before?

He does share his thoughts about paying it forward and what we all can do. There are some great thoughts here and the bicycle story was awesome.

They turned the discussion toward students leaving high school and the challenges that they face. From my notes …

  • Challenges for students leaving high school 
    • Not everyone starts in the same place
    • Most people are oriented to results and not process
    • Not prepared academically or in life – we’ve made it easy for this generation – not doing them any favours by not making them do chores etc.
    • Buffalo run toward a storm to get through it quickly
    • Pillars – control your day, mindset, and process

I did do some personal fact-checking about buffalo running to a storm and couldn’t find anything definitive but it certainly generated a lot of discussion and that’s a good thing.

I always enjoy listening to inspirational speakers and so thoroughly enjoyed this podcast from beginning to end. At times, it felt like being in a keynote address at a conference. You just might feel that too.

What’s Now?

I’ve known Aviva long enough to remember the last time she had a big career move. It was all over Twitter – should she change her Twitter handle (she did) – will her knees hold up getting down on the floor and the ground with the littles, etc.

Well, she’s made another move and outlines it in this post. I remember a gentleman who was thrust into our Department that called people that moved into different positions “climbers” and it sounds like she had to deal with the same sort of questions.

  • Was I looking to become a principal?
  • Did I want to become a consultant?
  • Would I ever go back to the classroom?
  • Did I want a change of grades?

Those really aren’t fair questions but it goes with the process, I guess.

I get the sense through reading this and my interactions with her that this wasn’t an easy decision to make. Let’s face it; it’s never easy in education and probably any other profession. We all wish her luck.

Do you remember what her former Twitter handle was?

New Job? No Problem

How about this for timely commentary from the TESLOntario blog.

Like Aviva, Heather has assumed a new position. She didn’t mention if she got the questions about the motive for moving in the post but I’ll bet there is some overlap.

Instead, she’s laying out a plan for herself that is wise for anyone who moves to a new position.

  • Occupy a learner position 
  • Connect with your colleagues 
  • Bridge knowledge gaps

I know that we all wish her the best in her new position.

The best advice I ever got that still sticks with me – find out the name of the head secretary at any school that you visit and introduce yourself including their name in the conversation. It opens so many doors when the person who really runs the school is on your side.

I hope that you’ll agree that there is a whole lot of great reading (listening) again this week. Please find some time to appreciate it.

Then, connect with these folks on Twitter.

  • Matthew Morris – @callmemrmorris
  • Colleen Rose – @ColleenKR
  • Marie Snyder – @MarieSnyder27
  • Jen Aston – @mmejaston
  • Joel McLean – @jprofNB
  • Aviva Dunsiger – @avivaloca
  • Heather Donnelly on the TESL Blog – @TESLOntario

This Week in Ontario Edublogs on voicEd Radio

0:00 Stephen and Doug chat
0:10 Matthew Morris – Media Literacy: I’m Still Stuck on Selfies
0:20 Colleen Rose – The Audacity
0:30 Marie Snyder – On Being a Bad Person
0:40 Jen Aston – Creating Read-Aloud Calendars
0:50 Joel McLean – This Is Leadership – EP4: Gilles Séguin


5 responses to “This Week in Ontario Edublogs”

  1. adunsiger Avatar

    Thanks Doug for always connecting Ontario Edubloggers through this weekly post! I love reading your thoughts on what others wrote. As for me, this definitely wasn’t an easy decision, but I know it was the right one. It’s been an amazing couple of weeks. I might not know what I’ll do next, but I am loving every minute in the “now.”


    Liked by 1 person

  2. dougpete Avatar

    Glad to hear it, Aviva. Wishing you all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] I recently blogged about this topic, and while I like to stay focused on the present, it’s not always easy to do. It’s easy to be thinking about preparing students for the next grade or the next big […]


  4. My Week Ending 2022-10-23 – doug — off the record Avatar

    […] Friday – This Week in Ontario Edublogs […]


  5. colleenkr Avatar

    Nerdy you? Well, if you’re a nerd then so am I. In fact, I think it’s hard to be happy unless we’re a nerd or a geek because nerds and geeks find happiness in cool stuff.
    You have me curious to find out the thing you decided to do after sitting on it for so long! And you’re under an obligation to tell me unless you want to be one of those people who says “I have a secret but I can’t tell anyone”. ha!


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