I always enjoy reading blogs from Ontario Educators and sharing them during this post. It’s a constant reminder that there are so great thinkers out there and we’re so fortunate to have them sharing their thoughts with us.
Tim King takes us back, way back, in terms of the way that we collect music. Then, he gives us a history of music in his life from cassettes to CDs to streaming music. Along the way, he notes that we may have lost something in the process – the deep tracks. When you bought a cassette, you listened to all eight songs and enjoyed them all. Now, with streaming, you just go directly to the latest hit. And the service recommends what you listen to next. Are we losing something? I think so. I can’t tell you how often my favourite song on an album never made it to the radio.
Streaming on the web contains some issues as well – distraction if you’re driving, and the cost of streaming which we know is high in Canada.
Where Tim dropped the ball though was he didn’t go back far enough – to vinyl records which just might be making a comeback! And, to show that we didn’t always think outside the box, I saw something like this at a car show recently.
What’s really cool about Tim’s post is the interaction on Twitter. This post is now going to be considered a media resource for an AQ course. I’m impressed.
Speaking of Media…
I found myself thinking that my concept of reading is the same as Aviva Dunsiger. I pick up a book, start on page one, and then read until I get done.
Apparently not, as Aviva found out over dinner at the BIT Conference.
Michelle gave an alternative perspective. She said that maybe the problem is how we view “reading.” We’re looking at reading as “finishing a book,” but what about the reading that happens in video games? Some games require so much reading and thinking that completing a game would be equivalent to finishing an incredibly long book. And students need to read, and think about what they read, in order to meet with success, finish the game, and get the points.
I’m not totally convinced but there is a certain amount of logic that rings true. Click through and read Aviva’s post and see where you stand.
One thing you can say about Paul McGuire – he’s not afraid to take a chance.
In this post, he shares his story about Edcamp Ottawa and the 75 educators there that spent a day learning. It’s good reading and Paul identifies what he calls “new learning”. In that bundle he includes voicEd Radio, MADPD, … The fact that the observation comes from an Edcamp adds that layer as well. It wasn’t just the blog; he was podcasting from there too.
But there was one paragraph that rubbed me the wrong way and I called him out on it.
I would love to see some of the big school boards promote MADPD or Voiced Radio on their Twitter feed or take a leading role by encouraging their educators to take part in these new approaches.
My challenge is with him identifying only big school boards. While they may be big in organization, the typical teacher is most impacted by the work world around her/him. So, in a school with a school population of 500, does the need change if you’re in a large board or a small board?
I hope not because when you look, it’s all about professional growth for individual teachers and the learning that happens with that one student.
I’m not a real fan of Ignite formats as it seems to me that they’re the exact opposite of engagement with an audience as the presenter focuses on getting the message out in the time limits and according to the speed of the slides. Very often, a good message can get lost in the technicalities.
But, never lose the sight of a good message and David Carruthers had a wonderful set of content for his Ignite talk.
- Don’t Lower the Bar to Meet Diminished Expectations
- Publicly Celebrate Achievements
- Connect to the Heart by Cultivating Relationships and Instilling Trust
- Lead by Example
- Listen to Concerns
There’s some terrific ideas there that would be awesome for a full blown presentation with lots of give and take with an audience. He breaks out his thoughts about each in the post.
After the BIT17 conference, Eva Thompson fired off three blog posts outlining her experience. Any one of them would be good enough for a conference report to her supervisor and I’d encourage you to read them all.
I thoroughly enjoyed this post of random thoughts from a conference. I pulled out four that really resonated with me.
- Me too. My hotel had five floors and over the course of the event and going in and out of the hotel many times, the elevator was NEVER on my floor. Now, I get that it might not be on the fifth floor where my room was but you’d think just once it would have been sitting on the ground floor. And then it was slow too!
- Sitting in the last row of the theatre
- That’s absolutely me. Particularly if there’s a speaker that I want to hear, I like being able to just focus. And, there’s something creepy about taking notes on your computer with someone looking over your shoulder.
- Chocolate chip muffin for breakfast
- Why not treat yourself? Family’s not there to see that you’re breaking the rules a bit. That’s my rationale anyway. I did pay attention this time; there were so many IHOP restaurants in Niagara Falls.
- My laptop bag is not comfortable
- I have a knapsack and a pull bag. I prefer the pull bag that follows me on the floor. I typically have two of three computers and the chargers that go with them. They’re really heavy. Don’t criticize me – I see others who shift from shoulder to shoulder to ease the pain. If you get good with the pull bag, you can easily get on and off an escalator without breaking stride.
If you weren’t able to attend this summit, Zelia Capitão-Tavares shares a pretty inclusive summary of the day with links to the speakers.
It sounds like a typical day where “futurists” were telling the audience everything that’s wrong in education and how “change starts with you”.
The real meat for me in this post were the comments from Zelia’s students.
As each of the speakers shared virtually or live on stage, my students attentively listened to the messages, making connections to their own experiences and reflecting on potential for changes in their own environments. Sure, I smiled every once in awhile as they turned to me and whispered, “Ms.T we are already doing this”, “Ms.T you have already set us up with these choices”, and “They are talking about our classroom”. However, our side discussions were more intriguing as they asked questions of clarification, “why are they saying only star students get to do things”, “what do they mean by pockets of innovation”, “why do teachers teach to the test” and “what does teaching and learning in silos mean?”
Are these speakers out of touch with the realities today’s students face? Maybe these students need to invite them to their classroom to get a dose of reality. Good teachers ARE doing these things.
I hope that Ms. T. took the kids to McDonald’s or for ice cream afterwards. What great comments.
It sounds like they truly get it.
I love this post from Mark Chubb for many reasons.
He starts with a picture of a Grade 2 geometry activity. It’s pretty straight forward.
All he asks is a simple question. Pick a shape and report how many of them you find in the picture.
In the real teaching world, you’d just turn to the back of the book and get the answer. Would you actually do the activity yourself?
But the responders to Mark’s post are all teachers and they have many different answers and takes on the question.
Now, let’s go back to the concept of testing where you’re not looking at a process – just to get the right answer. After all, this is mathematics, right?
If teachers have all these questions, how can we possible blame a child for being confused?
I hope that you’ve stuck with me this far. It’s yet again another great week of reading. Please click through and read the entire posts and drop off a comment.
And, join Stephen Hurley and me Wednesday mornings at 9:15 on voicEd Radio where we chat about some of the great posts of the week.