This Week in Ontario Edublogs


I need to start with an apology to my friend David Garlick. I featured his blog post last week but in the announcement on Twitter, I made a mistake in his handle. There’s no excuse for that on my part so my apologies, sir.

If this week is part of our “new reality”, I can handle the “new November” just fine. Yesterday, I went from sweatshirt, blue jeans, toque, gloves, to t-shirt, shorts, baseball hat to sweatshirt, blue jeans, jacket, toque. It was quite a ride.

This morning, as I type this, it’s sweatshirt and sleep pants but my glasses are fogging up after the dog walk. I may change before this post is computer. (as I proofread this, I’ve switched to a t-shirt)

It’s another great week to celebrate the amzing content created by Ontario Edubloggers. Enjoy. And, if you’re a blogger, make sure I know about you and your blog. I’d love to add you to this list.


WHY MY MORNING CHECK-INS MATTER SO MUCH TO MY STUDENTS

I found this very interesting because it wasn’t something that I would have done personally. As a secondary school teacher, we picked up a home room in Grade 9 and had them until Grade 12. It was a chance to be in touch with the students and help them with various things, academically or not. Not all students availed themselves of the opportunity but many did over the years. It’s interesting to run into some years later and they still remember some of the conversations that we had.

But, Chey goes way, way deeper than that.

As a middle-school teacher, he would certainly have the students for a much longer time than a secondary school home room teacher.

In Mr. Cheney’s class, you don’t come in, sit down, shut up, and get ready for work. In fact, it’s anything but that with encouragement to get up and move around at various activities and interact with other classmates.

I was particularly interested in reading how he handles

  • Courageous Conversations
  • Tough Talk Thursdays

along with his scheme to give every student voice in the process.

I’ll admit that I’ve never met him face to face and we’ve had some pretty engaging interactions online but I had the privilege of being in the audience to hear he and his partner Pawan Wander keynote at an ECOO online event last week. He does practice what he preaches.


Come and Visit Me in My Studio

There were a few different things going on in this post.

First, yes, I was curious to see what her studio looked like. It was certainly far tidier than my current workspace is…

If you do look over top the clock, you’ll see that I have an original Colleen Rose painting on the wall.

Are we a function of our workspace?

The second part of the post was about cheesy 1980s stuff which got me laughing outloud when I thought about The Friendly Giant. She encourages us to do some childish things and I took her up on that and did a number of things on that day including wiping out on my bicycle. We really didn’t have too many heavy duty things as a kid but…

Then, she gets serious again and asks herself some serious questions that I’m sure we all have asked ourselves. Make sure that you click through to read her post and think about them in your own context. They’re the type that you wish you were there in person and could just give her a hug and talk about them.


OpenAI Meditates on the Nature of Time

Nerdy me really enjoyed this post from Matthew. I think we’ve all seen Artificial Intelligence in the movies all over the place. Anything with Artificial Intelligence always seems to be the villain.

Once connected, they remain connected it seems!

Artificial Intelligence has sneaked up on us over the years. If you pause to think, so much has affected our lives but we don’t really apply that label; we just do it.

I used to do a whole workshop on editing old pictures – it’s not necessary now.

I tested Photoshop’s new AI tool for fixing old photos – and it’s seriously impressive

Matthew cites the Turing Test (great reading, by the way)

His example was to ask an Open AI application to write a meditation for him.

It was OK, I guess. It certainly was readable but I think my role as blogger is safe for the time being. He doesn’t draw a conclusion but leaves you, as reader, to think about it.


2022 Treasure Mountain 7 Research Symposium & Thinktank: MediaSmarts Keynote & Digital Tools and Expertise for Resilient Learning

How’s thaf for a long title?

Two of my favourite people to meet up with at a conference are Tim and Alanna. I think the best part is that they don’t pull punches when you talk to them and they’re not afraid to tell me I’m wrong when we’re chatting. I respect that.

They wrote a paper and delivered a presentation about

Our presentation was about how using industry standard project management tools and organizational strategies not only prepares students for life after graduation, but also provides them with the organizational tools they need to be both resilient and successful, even when our school systems stagger under the weight of multiple pandemic shut-downs. 

I found the presentation and the accompanying resource very interesting. Follow a couple of links and you can read the actual paper that they wrote. It was a nice look at their views of bridging the disaster of the past two years to today. Things have indeed changed. It’s not a terribly long paper so do take a read. It may make you change your approach to things.

I did crack a smile watching the presentation as I saw their back to back workspaces. I fondly remember being at Tim’s birthday party and was challenged to guess whose workspace was whose. I got it wrong.


May Tired in October? – E104

I always found that October was the “tiredest” that I ever got as a teacher. You’d like to think that things fall into place in September but they never seemed to. I like to think I was organized but, if you’re a teacher, you know that other priorties – from the board office, from the principal, from sports teams, can kick you in the teeth. So, in addition to doing what you need to do, you’re dealing with everything else.

Rachel and Katie outline what does it for them in this podcast.

  • New student information system (SIS)
  • Lots of newcomers!
  • Getting back to pre-covid organization
  • New classroom formats

I thought that they gave us a nice look inside their world and one of the topics was actually the inspiration for a blog post of mine earlier this week.

They offer some solutions and probably they would work in a perfect world. But when the pressure comes from the outside, it’s easier said than done. We all know that we haven’t returned to a perfect world either.

The EduGals is always a nice podcast to listen to and the two of them have some real world insights. Give them a listen.

I wish them a less stressful November.


Getting to know you, question #37

I guess if I’ve opened the door to podcasts, good TikTok content can’t be far behind. I’ve always enjoyed reading Laura’s blog and Learning in the Loo makes it worthwhile.

This is #37 of a series of Getting to know you videos.

What do you think is the best invention in the world?

There are no comments to this TikTok as I write this and I can understand why. I’m at a loss to come up with an answer myself. Of course, my Yeti and hot coffee is sitting here “Pick Me, Pick Me”.

I’m not big on TikTok; in fact I don’t even have an account and just basically stalk random videos. I did spend some time looking at her past videos and she does do a good job. It was a nice rabbit hole to fall into.

I was ready to say something about recording and driving at the same time until I realized that she was in the passenger seat.


A Poppy story

If football, we call this “calling your own number”. It’s happens when the quarterback keeps the ball and runs by himself.

I want to do this because it’s a true story and an important reminder to everyone to get out and buy yourself a Poppy and wear it with pride. Even last night, walking the Navy Yard with Jaimie, I saw a lot of people without one on. I guess I could cut them a little slack if it’s on their good clothes or their jacket and they weren’t wearing one. Seriously though, it only takes a second.

And, it’s not just for November 11.

Get one and wear it now.


I hope that you can find the time to click through and enjoy all this content.

Then, follow these folks on Twitter.

  • Chey Cheney – @mrccheney
  • Colleen Rose – @ColleenKR
  • Matthew Oldridge – @MatthewOldridge
  • Tim King – @tk1ng
  • Edugals – @EduGals
  • Laura Wheeler – @wheeler_laura

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OTR Links 11/04/2022


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