This is why we do it


I was actually out of town yesterday but my phone was still connected to back home. It was getting a workout with notifications.

The whole thing started innocently enough…for me anyway.

It was in last Friday’s This Week in Ontario Edublogs post here that I took a real interest in a post by Debbie Donsky.  She had a rather long title for it “Listen with Compassion and Act with Love The Roles We Play and the Impact We Have as Educators“.  It was a rather long post, consistent with the length of the title.

It caught the blog reading eye of Aviva Dunsiger who shared her thoughts…

… a nice reply by Debbie…

As a result, Aviva was inspired to write a post based on her thoughts inspired by the original post.

This Is My Story. What’s Yours?

I enjoyed reading both posts.  They represent the thinking of two passionate educators.

Stepping back from the posts, I can’t help but think about the bigger social media part of all this.  I know Aviva personally and through her interactions online; I know Debbie but only from her thoughts that she elects to publish.  I can’t comment on whether the two ladies know each other.

But what made this all happen?

It wasn’t like the two of them happened to sit down together at a school staff meeting.  It wasn’t even something more social than sitting together at a coffee shop.

Instead, it was one person who decided that she would share her thoughts with the world.  Then, it was another person who happened to find the post, promoted it, and then was inspired to write a blog post of her own.  It’s the sort of professional dialogue that education has wanted to have for years.

How many times have we all sat in a lecture hall or district provided PD and listened to a certain extent to someone who talks, gets their money, and then goes home?  Interaction optional.

This whole interaction between the two of them wasn’t passive.  It was incredibly interactive and brought anyone who was connected into its midst.  Although my phone was beeping and vibrating, I couldn’t be part of it in real time.  It was only when I got home and got caught up that I found it.  That’s OK too; we can’t be online 24/7.  If you weren’t part of it on Sunday, follow the links above.

I can’t help but ponder over how many other great thoughts and sharing goes on; but by policy or choice, it resides behind some school district’s wall of protection.

Had Debbie originally written and posted her thoughts that way, the world would never have had the choice to read and reflect about her message.

Both messages didn’t get vetted by a superior officer and there was no disclaimer that “this message doesn’t reflect the values of anyone else”.  It was just two professionals speaking from the heart.

Isn’t this just a great wakeup message for those making decisions?

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Happy Friday, everyone!  It’s time to take a wander around the education web as seen though the keyboards of Ontario Edubloggers.  And, once again this week, I had a discussion about what I had collected at that point with Stephen Hurley on Voiced radio on Wednesday.  He pushed me to do some thinking about the topics and you’ll note his influence, I’m sure.


Quebec City Vigil

The first post is on a serious topic.

Jennifer Aston happened to be vacationing in Quebec City when the attack on the mosque happened and it was so close to where she was staying.  The post should have you rethinking just what we are and who we are.

I can’t imagine what this parent with her family was thinking about at that moment.  Thankfully, she wasn’t at the wrong place at the wrong time.

There’s wonderful advice here.

But we have to do the opposite of that.  We need empathy not indifference to fight the fear mongering that is relentless in the news these days.  We need to build bridges, not walls…


Listen with Compassion and Act with Love

This post, from Debbie Donsky, will challenge your beliefs as an educator.  She sets the stage with this statement of her personal belief…

Every child who is in our care, every caregiver who steps through our doors, every staff member who supports the important work we do, has potential to change the trajectory of another person.

Into the discussion, she brings a different perspective dealing with helicoptering parenting.  She challenges an article and its take on parenting.

I found myself agreeing with her.

Hopefully, when you’re done, you’ll be checking your own sense of empathy.


Always Prepare for Teaching; Always Prepare for Surprises

This post from Enzo Ciardelli brought a smile to this Computer Science teacher’s face.  But first, his experience.

I do not want to downplay the importance of precise planning. I can recall a huge sign in teacher’s college that read: “Those who fail to plan also plan to fail.”

Trite advice from a Faculty of Education!

But we all paid attention to it.

How does it look in reality?  You’ll smile as you read his discussion of “reconciliation” with his students.  His amazement is a reminder that, no matter how hard he planned, he didn’t see the discussion coming.

In Computer Science, you plan thorough lessons.  There will be times when you work through a problem with a class, modelling what you think will be the best way and algorithm to solve the problem.  Then, you give them a problem to solve on their own and in a class of 25, you might end up with 26 different approaches.  Were they not paying attention?

The bottom line is to remember that you’re teaching students – not machines.  Everyone has their own baggage, er, perspective and good teachers will not be blindsided by those surprises.


What do you choose to learn about when you’re not at school?

Brandon Grasley starts this very short post with this interesting question that led to a discussion with one of his students.  It culminates with an appreciation for curiosity.

Every teacher is in a position to customize any lesson for students.  It’s what separates real people teaching from computer teaching.  Why wouldn’t you take the time to understand their interests and modify your lesson to embrace that?

But, let’s go further.  Why wouldn’t a teacher share with students just what it is that they’re learning when they’re not at school.  The easy answer would be to talk about lesson preparation for the next day.  But what about personal interests?  Why wouldn’t you want students to know that you’re studying for a Masters degree, learning how to curl, understanding how to knit, trying to understand how a new programming language works, …

Imagine a classroom where everyone is recognized as a real human being constantly learning – and not just at school.


Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You Had

I remember my Grade 13 Calculus teacher.  I’ll admit – hey, I’m proud of this; I did well in mathematics.  On one exam, I got 99%.  I missed one little thing that stopped a perfect score.  She took the time to comment.

“You Idot”!!!!!

Spelling mistake hers!  I guess that you can take a spin on what the intent of her comment was.  I kept that exam in a filing cabinet for years until a spring cleaning saw it head to the recycling bin.  Regardless, I always thought that if I got a chance to teach mathematics, I’d want to be like her.  But I’d check my spelling.  <grin>

Kyle Pearce takes the time to review this book written by Tracy Zager.  Actually, his review isn’t about the content; it’s about the author describing a number of different ways to read the book.  My first thought was that it might be a good book study for mathematics teachers.

In my discussion with Stephen Hurley about this, he made reference to a report that he co-authored for the Canadian Education Association. Teaching the Way We Aspire to
Teach: Now and in the Future.  It’s a very good read.

Of course, Kyle will want to teach the way that a certain university professor modelled for him.


Positive or Negative: There is always a choice

I now have confirmation that Jennifer Casa-Todd is a better person than I am with her recent post.  As the father of two girls, I took huge offence to the comment and hashtag #dresslikeawoman.

She notes, “The easiest response is to take offence”.  I guess I took the easy route.

We did share this thought in common “What does that even mean?”

Jennifer takes the time to put things into her own context and shares her own thoughts.  In the meantime, I was still stuck on the words.

The post has some interesting supporting likes and Jennifer created a Storify document to accumulate some of the comments from the hashtag.


The message from the top educational systems in the world

This was a new blog for me to read.

Bill Ferguson does a nice summary of the educational messages from his reading.

The countries I looked at are almost always near the top of the educational standards lists. Finland, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada, China, Shanghai, Taiwan, and Poland among others. All have amazing similarities.

I found it a very interesting read and found myself agreeing with most of what is contained in the post.  It doesn’t come as a surprise since Canada was on the list.  It’s an interesting inclusion since education in Canada is a provincial responsibility.

The post concludes with some recommendations.  I’m not sure that I agree with all of them; they add great financial expenses onto teachers but if systems agree that they’re important enough to do, they should find a way to make them affordable.  Or, even better yet, as a part of the professional learning program.


The Teaching Hub: Week Six, Winter 2017

If you read my post yesterday, you know that I’m a big fan of being open with professional learning.

This post from Fleming College shows that they’re out in the open with plans for their upcoming Teaching and Learning Day.

Take a moment to check out their agenda for the day.  It’s got to be comforting to read that they’re dealing with the same issues that you are.


I always say this but it really is an interesting collection of reading from Ontario Edubloggers.  Please take a moment to drop by these posts, do a read, and then add your thoughts via comment.

 

Free images done right


I’m always keeping an eye out for sources for images and photographs suitable for the classroom.  “Photos for Class” is something that foots the bill and handles things in a very unique and appropriate manner.

Off I went to check it out and did my standard search for “House”.

I got a nice selection of interesting photos.

You’ll read about the details and the goals of the project on the front page.  The results come from Flickr, are licensed under Creative Commons for public use and are school appropriate.  

Looking good.

I did what any student would; I selected the first image that came back.  A nice house and the Download link put it on my computer.  

The result?

It’s a nice, full sized image that could be used or adjusted as needed.

But look at the bottom of the image.

Photos for Class does the work of providing the reference and attribution by attaching it to the image.  For many uses, this is just perfect.

I’m still a big fan of students creating their own images but it’s not always possible or necessary.

Also, there will be a time and a place where you want to formally discuss attribution and licensing.  But, if having it done for you automatically suits your needs, check out this resource.

Beyond Blogging – A New Tab


This past week was fun pulling together some examples how Ontario Educators have gone beyond the blog.  It was so interesting to explore the efforts of:

  • Rolland Chidiac
  • Alice Aspinall
  • Peter McAsh
  • Aviva Dunsiger

I then decided that I wanted to make sure that their efforts didn’t just fade into blog scrolling history.

So, I added a new tab to my collection of Ontario Edubloggers.

Four links hardly make a collection so I’ve added to the list.

I just know that this is the tip of the iceberg.

If you’re an Ontario Educator creating media that’s publically available, is a series, and taps into Ontario education like these do, please complete the form here and I’ll happily add you to the collection.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Welcome to another Friday.  It’s time for me to share some of the wonderful reading from the fingertips of Ontario Edubloggers.  Read on and click through to read some exceptional blog posts.


Sick

There may well be more information about sickness and being sick in this post from Debbie Donsky than you would ever want to read in one place.  I waffled between smiling and getting worried about myself.  I’m certainly glad that I took the time to get the flu shot.  Now, if I could only shake this persistent cold and cough.

My worries are grounded in my insecurities about my worthiness, ability, strength and body. I have heard that if we don’t listen to what our body needs, our body screams back at us. Hopefully this time I heard it.

She shares her thoughts about sickness and a support network that’s in place.  It’s wonderful that that network exists and I hope that things work out for her.  Do you have such a network?


Stop the Insanity – Redefining Success For Exceptional Learners

An embedded thought that runs through this post from Laurie Azzi is that of “YET”.  For everyone, there is that moment when “YET” is met.

Albert Einstein spoke to this reality when he said, “ Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

There is no YET for that fish and for some students, there will be no YET unless we redefine what success means in the education system.  We need to redefine what it means to be a reader and writer in this digital age.

Laurie speaks to the need to understand what “YET” means for every student.  As long as a standard is defined that applies equally to all students, there will be those that never reach it.  This post, including the story from Helen Keller and a powerful moment of insight, will get you thinking and hopefully gain an insight as to just what success might mean.


Developing Thoughts on Multilingualism

Jennifer Aston concludes this post with this thought.

We are not a “melting pot”.  We have the right to practice different religions, celebrate different cultures and speak different languages in Canada.  And if I can borrow the idea from a colleague from a few years back, we’re more like a salad.  We can retain our identities.  While French and English are important, we also need to recognize that we are more than this.  So how can we reflect this better in our school system?

Given what’s happening in the world at this time, it’s a very profound message that should make all pause and feel good about being a Canadian educator.  But, are we doing enough?  So many efforts have gone into promoting bilingualism.  Do we stop there?  Thoughts from the post dig into Danish, Oneida, and Arabic.  What is the cultural price to be paid when a school system chooses to overlook?

You’ll leave this post thinking.


The inauguration in my school library learning commons

Why indeed would an Ontario school choose to broadcast the inauguration of a United States president?

Alanna King addresses the “why” from a literacy perspective.

Living on the other side of the U.S. border has its challenges for a small town teacher-librarian.  While we dance around the idea of Canadian identity and what that means when our culture is represented, Canadian publishers in all media forms are still driven by American markets and American values.  So populating a library with well-loved material of  CanCon isn’t always what pleases the staff and students because we’ve been  gorging ourselves on the fire hose of American content.  But the direction of Trump’s politics is certainly affecting my library just 150 km from our border.  It is our mandate to give equal weight to the voices in my school respectfully, responsibly and compassionately.

Alanna concludes by confirming to us that she made the right choice.  The questions of inquiry from the students are very important.  If they follow through looking for answers, it may be the most important civics lesson that they learn this year.

There’s a big renewed interest in George Orwell’s 1984.  I wonder how many copies are in Alanna’s library.

Want to read it online?  Check it out here.


Doing It For The Likes

The opening question from Matthew Morris is something that all teachers who deal with technology in the classroom must come to grips with.  Whether it’s school computers or that little invasive device in their pockets, there will be times when you don’t have their undivided attention to the current classroom task.

What do you do when you teach a classroom of students who are more concerned with the number of likes they get on a selfie than the number of percentage points they earn on a math test?

If there ever was an insight into the rationale that we need to blow up what schools have traditionally done, it comes through loudly and clearly in his post.  Sure, we give lip service to embracing technology but how effective can it be if only done every now and again, a school district chooses a set of tools that were designed for a generation ago, contemporary tools are blocked from entering the building, …

I’m not sure that we’re looking for students to “like” a lesson delivered via an LMS (although the concept is intriguing), there’s a strong message here that all need to read and relate to their own reality.

Do we need to offer more of this?


Beyond Shapes

This was a new blog for me to read this week.  It deals with mathematics and coding and this article is written by a teacher candidate at Western University.  There’s a very comprehensive report on the experience of teacher candidates working with teachers in Thames Valley to investigate coding in their classroom. It sounds like an awesome experience for all.

The post concludes with this…

While creating shapes in Scratch works as a tremendous introduction to coding, the potential in Scratch extends much further than simply movements and drawings.  It’s easy to be tricked by its simple, colourful, block based user interface, but the fact of the matter is that Scratch is a powerful tool with endless possibilities.

I think this nails the experience for so many.  It’s easy to hop on the “Hour of Code” bandwagon or have an expert come in to work with teachers and/or students for an hour or two to check off the box that says “We did coding”.  How many times do you see a Twitter message or a superintendent let everyone know that “we support coding”?

If it’s going to make a substantial difference and have an impact in the classroom, more digging is required.  Is your system just doing it for the moment?  The real impact will only come when a committed effort is made to ensure that there is ongoing and persistent professional learning opportunities for all.  Every school district has a Computer Consultant and/or teacher coaches devoted to technology or mathematics or literacy.  What have they provided for you lately?


#1 Trick for Beating Procrastination

Have you noticed how your most insightful and creative ideas that have nothing to do with your work only come to you when you are on a deadline? For example, in the middle of you working on your project, suddenly it dawns on you that you need to wash all the dishes in the sink or else you can’t work on your project.  Or you glance at your home office and notice it’s too messy and it needs a vacuum right away.

I thought I was the only one that this happens to!  It happens to me all the time.  I thought it was just me being easily distracted.

Now, I can add Shadi Yazdan to the group.  How about you?

I like the trick that is described in the post.  It may well be worth a shot.

In the time that it took to write this, I think I have about four or five ideas that need addressing….


Wow!

Yet another wonderful week of reading and inspiration from Ontario Edubloggers.

Please take a few moments to click through and read the original posts.  There’s a lot of good thinking there.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


It’s Friday and a time for a blogging tour of the province.  You don’t have to look any further for the good stuff than that created by Ontario Edubloggers.  Here’s some of what I read and had stick lately.


Letting Go Again

We often hear that “students own the learning” and adjust the classroom to honour that.  It’s great to read about those who now respect that philosophy and adjust things accordingly.  But, the learning is the only thing that happens in the classroom community.  There are all kinds of other things that make for a smooth running environment.  Aviva Dunsiger itemizes some of the things that come to her mind in this post and then, in Aviva fashion, asks questions and wonders…

I can’t help but wonder (now she’s got me doing it) if this isn’t a good activity for everyone to do with their own classroom.  Sure, the students own the learning but who owns every other element for success?  Isn’t that part of the learning as well?  Why not treat it as such?  If there ever was a “call to action” post to refine your classroom, this is it.


Bringing Back 10 Posts

Speaking of calls to action, check out Tina Zita’s latest.  If you need that shove to get consistent with your blogging or even starting, consider opting in to her 10 posts in 10 days challenge.

It may sound daunting but it really shouldn’t be.  She’s not asking you to write the next great epic novel.

Just jot down 10 things and turn them into 10 posts and away you go.  You don’t even have to commit 10 days if you are busy.  You could write 10 posts in one sitting or spread them out a bit and schedule them to appear for 10 days in a row.

The key is just to do it.  It will make you grow as a thinker and blogger.  You have that special genius that makes things work in your classroom or you have observed 10 things that you’d like to write about.  Why not do it?

It might just be the start of something beautiful.


Equation Strips

David Petro shares a very interesting lesson plan for Grade 7s involving a method to visualize linear equations.

In Ontario our grade 7 students are introduced to solving simple equations in the form ax + b = c where the values of a, b and c are whole numbers. We think it’s a good idea for them to start by having some sort of visual representation of each equation. In this activity, students are given 16 cards that correspond to 16 equations represented as strips (the top and bottom of the strips represent the left and right sides of the equations). Students solve for x given the strips and then rewrite the algebraic form equation.

I’ll bet that so many use a graph as the first option when dealing with this topic.  This is an alternative that might well turn into a quicker understanding of the concept.

Resources included!

I like the concept for classrooms and it’s a terrific example for all as to how to share resources via Google Drive and FirstClass.


Listen and Be Honest

Powerful advice is included in this post from Sue Dunlop.  She’s honest and open about her position in life.

The post will hopefully give you pause to think about this topic.

Sue provides a nice collection of relevant links to support her position.


REFLECTIONS ON #YRDSBQUEST

From the KNAER-RECRAE blog, a look at the YRDSBQUEST event through the eyes of Melinda Phuong, an intern with the organization.

If you weren’t able to attend, check out what caught her attention.

  • RECONCILIATION WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF CANADA
  • A STUDENT MESSAGE ON REFUGEES
  • REFUGEE EDUCATION
  • A CULTURE OF “YES” TO BRING BACK THE JOY OF LEARNING
  • ISSUE + GIFT = CHANGE
  • DEEP LEARNING ON AN INTERNATIONAL SCALE
  • ACCESSIBLE LEARNING
  • LEADERS OF TODAY AND TOMORROW

Do Cuts Hurt?

Unlike Matthew Morris, there were times when I did get cut from a particular sporting team.

I do remember the teams that I did make though and, if I think hard about it, some of the ones that I didn’t.  There were also teams that I just didn’t try out for.  They were just not for me.  I specifically remember football and the irony that I ended up coaching it at secondary school.  It’s a unique sport; I don’t think we ever cut anyone.  It’s nice to have big numbers for practices.  Where the real issue kicks in is when you realize that you really have to work hard at getting everyone in to play during the season.  There are other sports that never existed when I was in school as well.  I’m thinking about skipping in particular.  A friend of mine has a son who really excels at competitive skipping.

Some sports will take every body that shows up and that’s great for inclusion.  But, as Matthew notes, there are some sports where only a limited number make the team.  His observations of watching students come to see if they “made it” are a real POV for educators.  I’ll bet that he’d appreciate comments about how you handle the situation in your reality.


Do students think we should be using social media in school?

Jennifer Casa-Todd finishes off a post that she’d started earlier.  It was about the use of social media in school.  She admits that her sample may be skewed but that’s OK.  It was interesting to see her statistics and analysis of it.  I thought that the comments were interesting.

As I read the responses, I can’t help but wonder if these are original thoughts from students or are they parroting when they hear from their teachers or parents or other media.

There’s a link in the post that is supposed to go to a summary but does go instead to her questionnaire.  It’s worth clicking through to see what was asked and, if Jennifer reads this post, hopefully, she’s share the link to results with us.


Yet again, this has been for me another wonderful collection illustrating the great thinking that goes on throughout the province.  Please click through and show each some blogging love with a comment or two.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Welcome to Friday and it’s a 13th too.  Check out some of the great reading that I enjoyed this past while.


SOCIAL MEDIA & DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP

So much in this post that Rusul Alrubial references from an article in the New York Times makes so much sense.  She nicely summarizes it at the bottom of the post.  Schools that wish to send home a message to parents about their involvement with social media would be well advised to take a read and incorporate it into their message.  Basically, it means that kids can definitely figure out the technology given enough time but it’s the parent and school interaction that add the “social” and the “responsible” part into the mix.

I think that this table from the post deserves more than a passing glance.  There’s much to be read into it and many takeways.


The Best Gift

Diana Maliszewski started the post in a fun way talking about a Christmas gift that she received.  Rather than run out and spend all kinds of money, it was created by her sister and shipped just in time for gift opening.  It was a nice, warm start to the post.  There was a bit of librarian critique to the content that was interesting to note but then it got a bit serious.

After a flurry of texts exalting her amazing gift, we discovered that there were actually more comics that she had created using Bitstrips, but when the site closed, she was unable to access or upload her work.

It was, for me, a sad reminder that the Bitstrips application was no longer available to Ontario Educators.  Acquired through the OESS process, it made a huge difference in how educators used technology in the classroom.  It was a creation, making application available to all long before the current focus on “creating”.  It was central to so many workshops and presentations that I gave.  Then, with a message on the OSAPAC website, it was no longer available.

In its place is Pixton for Schools.  Will it have the same impact?

Sadly, it wasn’t the focus of any presentations at the Bring IT, Together conference.  That’s too bad.  Back in the day, Ivan or Danuta and I would have made it a part of our “Freshly Minted Software” series.

Hopefully, school districts are rolling on professional learning for this application so that teachers can continue to enable students to create in the classroom.

In the meantime, I really feel for Diana.  I think we all know what happens when a favourite application is no longer available either by licensing or updates or closing.  All that time and effort learning its uses and nuances shot.


Professional Learning: Does it work?

Speaking of Professional Learning….

Deborah McCallum takes on this question with a well reasoned post.  I like her summary of strategies to avoid change.  My context is, of course, in education.

I think she’s nailed it with these points.  She concludes with a question.

What are your personal insights on this?

A topic near and dear to my heart.

My answer is “yes” but I need to qualify it with an “only if” …

Sadly, I think that schools and school districts by their action plans put into force a system where it’s so easy to avoid the change.  If Professional Learning is limited to the big one day PD Day and you get to spend an hour on a topic, you’re guaranteed to fail.  Attendance at these events are compulsory and an opportunity to put a check mark on the chart that says “Provides PD”.  Maybe next year, we’ll get to Step 2.

Professional Learning and change to practice needs to be ongoing.  Teachers are not adverse to it.  Success happens when school districts offer ongoing, continuous sessions on topics that allow for grow in confidence for whatever the topic is.  Once the confidence happens, change is more likely to take place.  It doesn’t have to be formal either.  In fact, it may well work best when it’s not formal.  Maybe it’s me but when the memo would arrive that “Tomorrow is PLC Day”, I just knew that I had other things on my mind.  Why couldn’t it be done on my terms?  Some of the best change I ever did for myself was to meet with colleagues for breakfast at 6am to share our thoughts.  I know that others met informally for book talks.  In my case, it was software talks.  I remember a superintendent telling me once that they was afraid that it was a subversive activity and that all PD had to be controlled centrally.  That way, the message could be controlled.

Sigh.


Instead of “Rich Tasks”, Try “Variations on Tasks”, or “Classes of Tasks”

As I read this post from Matthew Oldridge, I was so much in agreement.  The notion of a “Rich Task” has always bugged me.  We talk about differentiating instruction, working with students at their level, meet them where they are, and then throw a “Rich Task” into the pedagogy bucket.

Does the same level of “richness” apply to every student?  I sure hope not.  Of the alternatives, that Matthew provides, I prefer “Variations” the best.  It doesn’t imply that we’re ranking the tasks somehow.  I like the thought that variations show that there are many ways to approaching topics.

Many of these short and simple questions wouldn’t be considered rich tasks on their own, but then again, what is. There are no rich tasks without thinking classrooms full of talking, thinking, conjecturing, and wondering students. Context is everything. When we say context, with respect to classrooms, we might really be talking about culture. What sorts of classroom cultures promote richness?


A Review: Professional Capital:Transforming Teaching in Every School

Stacey Wallwin read the book so you don’t have to.

Or, perhaps because of this post, you’ll ask your teacher-librarian or principal to add it to the professional library at your school.

I liked her summary of the takeaways she had from reading.

  • You can’t do it alone.
  • Teachers need to be a part of authentic, professional learning communities that both support and challenge their  ideas and contribute and support ongoing professional growth.
  • To support the rich potential of a PLN/PLC educators need to have a voice in the implementation.
  • It is morally imperative that as educators we see all students as own and make ourselves accountable to the learning of all these students.

In summary, she shares some of her thoughts about the rules of empowerment.  I couldn’t help but wonder – we talk about students owning the learning; shouldn’t the same apply to teachers.  As Stacey notes, success won’t come as a result of budgets or top down edicts or chasing the latest and greatest.


Numberless Word Problems

Jonathan So had moved his blog from Blogger to WordPress and was good enough to let me know so that I could update my Ontario Edublogger list.  I figured that the least I could do is check out his latest writing and he does share a good one.

There’s no more depressing textbook than a mathematics textbook.  Only there in education can you work for 15 minutes on a problem, then turn to the back of the textbook, look for page 146 and then the answer to question 27 only to find that it is 6.  You didn’t have that; so you’re clearly WRONG.  How depressing.  Fortunately, as students know, they can still get partial credit for showing your work and your thinking.

What if you took all the numbers out of the equation and just focused on the problem?

That’s the message in Jonathan’s post.  It’s filled with lots of great ideas and I’ll bet that you know the ferris wheel that’s at the heart of it.

In a world where you’d have some “experts” telling you that computational thinking is a separate entity, you’ll be inspired with the record of discussion that ensues.


As Technology Advances…

creating-a-culture-of-collaboration-as-technology-advances

Mark Renaud starts this post with a bit of wisdom that it never hurts to revisit and share with others.  I’m struck with the number of new teachers entering the profession with only a bare minimum of “effective learner” tools.

It’s not necessarily their fault.  They typically have relatively good computer skills but that’s not enough any more.  Of importance is staying abreast of new advances of both technology and the latest insights into effective pedagogy.

There were a couple of other posts above devoted to professional learning.  They make a nice bundle to read.

When was the last time that your principal expressed these concerns like Mark has?


It’s been yet another great week of sharing from the blogs of Ontario Edubloggers.  Please take a few moments to click through and read the entire posts mentioned above.

Until next week!