I just found out about this blog from Shyama Sunder. It’s a wrap up summary and reflection of her time in EDU 498, a course taken a while ago at a Faculty of Education. Unless I missed it, the actual name of the Faculty didn’t appear anywhere but that’s OK.
The content is a summary of four modules taken. There is a nice summary of each of the modules and the enthusiasm she has comes through loudly and clearly.
Readers of this blog know that I’m not a fan of the SAMR model but it was included as content. If it had any value, I would see if as helpful for experienced teachers trying to embrace technology. I don’t see the wisdom of talking about it to teachers learning how to teach. Why not just teach how to do it properly to begin with? What value is there in demonstrating less than exemplary lessons?
In the post, Shyama makes reference to a book that everyone needs to read “Never Send a Human to Do a Machine’s Job” by Yong Zhao, Goaming Zhang, Jing Lei, and Wei Qiu. That’s a book that should be in every school library and would make for an awesome and progressive book talk.
This blog is referenced on her Twitter profile and there’s no forwarding address. It would be interesting to see her pick up blogging in her professional life.
Jamey Byers wrote this post so that others wouldn’t have to!
I remember being at a conference once – I think it was in Denver – and Robert Martellacci came up to me and asked if I knew that one of the prominent speakers had liked a link from an adult film star showing a picture of herself. I hadn’t noticed; I’m not in the habit of checking out what people have saved as liked. Maybe I should?
Actually, maybe I should check what I’ve got in my likes! Phew. Other than some egotistic stuff, I think I’m good. (I’m also snooty – go back to the very first one!)
Jamey points out that there’s a new, more private feature available to us on Twitter.
With the addition of the bookmarks function in Twitter you now have the ability to not only like a tweet, but to save it to your private list of bookmarks that are strictly just for your eyes only.
I wonder how many people are using the feature. I’m certainly not. Maybe I should.
Matthew Oldridge is now playing in the big leagues with this post on Edutopia. I remember when he was a guy I interviewed for this blog.
He brings his obvious love and passion for Mathematics to this new forum and I hope that people are inspired by his wisdom. Comments are not allowed so there’s no traditional way of knowing.
Truer words were never spoken than these…
The amount of play in “serious” academic topics like mathematics is inversely proportional, it seems, to the age of students, but this does not have to be the case. A playful pedagogy of mathematics can be codified and made real, rigorous, and authentic.
I’ve studied a lot of mathematics over the years and certainly those teachers/professors that I remember best love mathematics; it came across that way, and their playful approach made learning fun and worthwhile.
Can you think of a better testament to give an educator?
Jennifer Casa-Todd is one of those people that I’ve seldom met in real life and yet I feel like I know so much about her. She was another person I had the opportunity to interview. I also had the opportunity to help with her book Social LEADia. This should be on bookshelves everywhere.
I enjoy her writing and most of her posts come across as a personal message to me. Such in the power of her writing.
I struggle with the notion of “balance”. The current context is that it involves being connected and not doing other things – like reading a book. I’m always leary of people who make such claims. Isn’t it just exchanging one form of engagement for another? And, hasn’t social media engagement earned its way into our lives?
I like Jennifer’s reasoned approach…
Social media is here to stay and is a part of the fabric of business, politics, and education. Instead of a fast, I suggest the following strategies:
You’ll have to read her post to see if the strategies make sense to you!
without warning or explanation, they started talking and, just like that, resumed their friendship from three years ago when they were six. Hours later, after the park, the corner store, the house; after basketball and jungle gyms and ice cream; after talking and laughing and wrestling, they parted reluctantly, already asking when they could see each other again.
Here’s a quote from Amanda Potts’ recent post.
I’ll bet that you could drop that sentence into any conversation or writing that you might have and provide your own characters.
It might be:
meeting up at an annual conference
a class reunion from your old high school
reuniting with a staff after a summer vacation
and the list goes on. Friendship is such an tangible and yet intangible concept. This post describes a pair of friendships that easily fall into the above.
Those on Facebook will know that a friend to many will be returning to Canada after a couple of years overseas. I’ll bet we all will reunite in this fashion at the Bring IT, Together Conference.
In the beginning, there were shiny things. People flocked to shiny things and made a place in the classroom whether they were good or not. I’m looking at you – Clickers.
As shiny things kept on invading classrooms, the good thinkers got us thinking that maybe we should be looking beyond these things into exactly how they are used, are they effective, are they worth the cost, etc.
We never looked back. Well, at ISTE there are still 30 tools in 30 minutes sessions. For the most part, we never looked back.
So, now comes Bonnie Stewart and
I have a new project I’m really excited about. Even if it kinda goes against just about EVERYTHING I’ve said about tech in education over the past, uh, decade.
I’ve read this post at least a dozen times and there are so many out of post links that will take you to rabbit holes that didn’t know they were hosting rabbits!
The proposed results?
The fact that it’s 2019 is loud and clear with the inclusion of “data surveillance”.
This looks incredibly interesting and will use social media for good for the description and dissemination of content. Read the post and get ready to follow. And, Bonnie is looking for some pilot locations if you’re interested.
This TWIOE post seems to have been focused on people I’ve interviewed! This time, it’s David Carruthers.
As we’ve noticed recently, David is going to be doing some magic as he returns to the classroom after having been the “Tech Guy” at the board office for a while.
He sets the standard with his bottom line.
Bottom line, if being labelled a “tech guy” takes these reflections into consideration, I’m extremely proud of this label. I don’t see the technology in front of students as just a bunch of devices. This doesn’t excite me. Instead, I see tremendous potential.
Some words of advice here – you’ll always be known as the “Tech Guy” so wear it. There are worse things to be known for. You’ve built relationships throughout your district so don’t be surprised when you get some panic emails for help. I still get them. The most enjoyable are about report cards which have had many incarnations since I last formally supported them. The really cool thing happens when these relationships develop your learning because someone wants to share something new with you.
On a political note, things are likely to be difficult for a while as cutbacks affect districts throughout the province. I hope that school districts are wise enough to continue to put insightful “Tech Guys” in areas of support centrally. We know that anyone can click a mouse or use a keyboard these days. True progress comes when you have people like David that see the connection and the potential because they bring a strong background in teaching to such a support position.
As always, there’s a powerful collection of thoughts from these wonderful Ontario Edubloggers. Make sure you’re following them on Twitter.
It was a fun show on Wednesday with This Week in Ontario Edublogs on voicEd Radio. In addition to my regular discussion with Stephen Hurley, we were joined by The BeastEDU – Andrea Kerr and Kelly Mackay. By the end of the hour, I think I was almost able to tell the difference between the two of them. Recognizing Stephen was easy…
TheBeastEDU (Andrea and Kelly) penned this post in typical Beast fashion. A sketchnote, a provocation, and a conversation.
So, if someone gave you the keys to a rocket ship, would you take it for a ride? It was a premise for “going for it” in education as well as a tribute to a supportive superintendent. I found myself nodding in agreement. They were telling my story.
Over the course of my career away from the classroom, I was fortunate enough to witness the leadership of four superintendents I reported to. Unlike Cathy in this post, they all had different leadership styles. There were some leadership styles that I appreciated and some that I had challenges with (but in a good way, I think). Beyond that, all of them were very supportive in their own ways and I hold all of them to a very high standard.
This post tags some very real attributes in education and leadership – Team, respect empathy, listening, pressure, urgency, and purpose.
Above all, though, I like to read about other’s reflections about growth and being supported in this growth. The best leaders do more than just hand over the keys.
This is a story that I couldn’t begin to tell as I’ve had no experience raising a child with autism. I’ve followed the news; I’ve read the many reports but it’s not nearly the same as dealing with it first hand.
Alanna King has and shares a story about being a parent dealing with the realities of raising such a child. I know the child and he has had the opportunity to be an assistant at Minds on Media at the Bring IT, Together conference. For the past couple of years, he’s helped his father with a virtual reality station and does so admirably.
It’s sad to read Alanna’s description of coverage being like an umbrella that is shrinking. It comes as no surprise that there are the best supports in bigger communities. If you don’t live there, you just don’t get the same level of support. This support wanes as children become older.
Alanna is a strong woman and for her to use the term “intimidating” helps paint the picture she’s describing. Cutbacks in support can’t help but appear to be shortsighted and you wonder about the long term future for these children.
In best teacher-librarian fashion, Alanna leaves us with a reference to a book that she describes as one of the best resources she can recommend.
And, some wise words…
after all if you’ve met one person with autism….you’ve met one person with autism.
It’s not the first time either. After 10 years in education, it is now a given that I will go to sleep on the last day of school reflective, happy, and excited about the past, present, and future of this calling.
One of the powerful things about blogging is that it gives people a platform and a readership with potential reach that is unlike any other medium.
Will Gourley shares a message that I suspect that most teachers feel and might share with their family in the past. Now, with a few keystrokes, Will’s shared with the world.
And yet, things are different this year, as we know. September may well re-ignite the excitement for some, that some will be smaller in number and many of the rules and gains made through years of collective bargaining and improvements to the profession will be rolled back.
Will’s excitement takes a turn because of this reality and he slaps you with a wakeup call and offers some suggestions about what you can do for the profession over the summer.
I have shared my thoughts with my MPP and yet he sits in opposition. He is vocal, to be sure, but the Twitter message Will shares in the post is a sad reminder that it’s not business as usual.
My apologies to Terry Greene. I read the title to this post way too quickly and thought that he was going to do some sort of Hitch Hiker’s Guide thing.
Instead, it was a summary of Terry’s time spend with eCampus Ontario. It was a busy time for him which he summarizes in paragraphs devoted to:
I know that the reason for his secondment was to help others in his learning community grow and improve their profession. I suspect that he’s the person who has learned the most.
Readers of this blog know that I’ve followed Terry’s work and I’m so thankful that he’s turned me on to many other post-secondary bloggers who have become open in their sharing of their thoughts. Due to his efforts, my reading list has become longer and richer.
Thanks so much, Terry and I wish you all the best as your return to Fleming.
I love the resurgence of interests in podcasts and podcasting. Years ago, it was a big thing; imagine speaking into a computer and then having someone else download and listen to it.
Then, it kind of went off the rails when the notion of vlogging came along and everyone headed to places like Youtube where you could take the concept further and add video to your message. Then, somehow, video became all things, including silly things, and people started to realize that audio is often all that you need to get your message across. Plus, it fits nicely onto an MP3 player and is very portable.
In this post, Arianna Lambert lets us know that she’s headed back to the classroom and plans to make podcasting a significant resource for her students.
She’s done her research; as you wade your way through the post, you’ll see all kinds of podcasts that she plans to use. And, that’s great.
I would suggest that it shouldn’t stop there though. Being a consumer of podcasts is one thing and certainly a powerful thing. But, the next step is to become a podcaster yourself. Do the research, plan the script, record the message, share the message, and reflect on the message.
This sounds like a wonderful opportunity that Fair Chance Learning provided for some students.
Students were presented with an essential question on the theme of Sustainability, asked to define problems to solve and then design solutions as a response to the challenge.
Over the years, we’ve had Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Technology, Family Studies, and more competitions. I always had a Computer Science team that would compete with other schools solving problems. It’s a way to scaffold regular learning and let students really shine.
In this post, the challenge now becomes Making.
If you enjoy reading student reflections on a theme, you’ll really enjoy this post. After a quick description of the event, student reflections are captured and shared.
I wonder what more Maker Challenges are in the future.
You’ll have to admit; this is a wonderful collection of blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers. Please take the time to click through and enjoy the original posts.
Then, make sure that you’re following these folks on Twitter.
And this version appears on Saturday. Friday was a travel day for me and I figured that I’d get time when I returned home to write the post. But, we were on the tarmac at Sky Harbour Airport and that sure takes the energy out of you. Plus, I was in the second to last row on the airplane and everyone seemed to want to take use of the washroom. A laptop on a dinner tray doesn’t work well for me.
But, I managed to get this written on Friday to appear this morning. Enjoy the latest from Ontario Edubloggers.
I think that many educators who have called it a career at the end of the June by their own decision or externally would benefit from this post from Paul McGuire.
There comes a time for all of us to close off the teaching gig and then move on.
just finally relax
take on another job
become supply teachers
or other things
There’s lots to think about. What do you plan to do with life after teaching?
This is wonderful advice…
This is OK if you realize you need to make a transition to another stage of life. You can’t be like the man on the plane or Charles Darwin lamenting that your best years are behind you. You have to remake yourself.
Aviva Dunsiger was inspired by another blog post to dig into this topic.
As a secondary school teacher, I’m unable to empathize with the actual details and the process that Aviva describes with her younger students. I can tell you though that there are moments with teenagers where you go through the same situation.
I think most educators could identify with a moment like that.
It’s how you respond and handle it that will mark the successful resolution to a situation.
I’m also mindful of the power that we have as educators. Recently, I flew back and forth from Detroit to Phoenix to the CSTA Conference. In both cases, I had the honour of sitting across the aisle with children that were having a tough time. I’ll be honest; sitting for 4 hours and then 6 hours made me squeamish as well. And, I knew what to expect in terms of the noise and ear popping, etc. Not so, my travel mates.
It was interesting to see how the parents handled it with their escalating techniques which, as escalating towards the end, would have landed a teacher in trouble.
But, ever the educator, I had a few fun/younger applications on my iPad that I could share and give the parent a break for maybe 15-20 minutes. I found the struggles described in Aviva and Andrea’s posts interesting. In all cases, we were constrained somehow. One of the young ladies on the plane had some developmental challenges as well. There was nowhere else to go so it had to be handled en route.
Heather Lye describes an end of year thought process that I think many can identify with.
In the classroom, there really isn’t any coasting. You’ve got your foot on the pedal the whole time and then it’s the end of the year and everything stops.
Heather notes that this year is different.
It is hard for me to admit that I am struggling with the idea of summer this year.
While the end of the school year goodbyes are typically, “Goodbye and see you in September”, for many this year it won’t be. Because of what’s happening provincially, the “deck” will be substantially shrunk and shuffled way more than in any other year.
You absolutely should visit her blog and respond to this comment.
Today we watched the first graduating class of our school cross the stage. But we also watched the system, as we currently know it, walk out the door at the end of the day.
This will be ECOO’s first summer #ECOOcamp – look to a full day of learning on Tuesday, August 27, 2019. #ECOOcamp Peterborough will provide participants with practical hands-on learning just in time for the 2019-20 school year.
Once again, ECOO will be using the services of TeachOntario to collect and share resources and discussions.
There are some amazing things that can happen when you share the best of ideas and opportunities. Brenda Sherry does this in this post.
She’s been well versed in the Exploring by the Seat of your Pants project in a number of professional learning events that she’s been a part of. Recently, she actually got to bring the power of connections to a classroom in her own school.
Junior students got to participate in an interaction with a Canadian marine biologist. Along with students from many other diverse places.
When you think about the traditional guest speaker, they drop in and talk and leave. The power in this model is that it’s recorded and shared via YouTube. In this way, you can revisit the event and also use it in other years. Heck, since it’s publically available, you’re not just limited to the one that your class used.
It sounds like a wonderful learning experience happened. The big takeaway for you, reader, is how to get involved in your own classroom by bringing an expert into there. Details are included in Brenda’s post.
You can’t argue with statistics. In this post on the Heart and Art blog, Michelle Fenn sets the stage.
According to a recent report* by ICTC (the Information and Technology Information Council) Canadian women represent about 50% of the overall workforce but represent only 25% of the technology industry workforce.
We’ve known this forever, it seems, and yet the inequities still exist. Michelle offers some good suggestions to help change things in your own school.
I think it needs to go further though. If we know that this is a problem then there should be an educational way to fix it. But, until it becomes a compulsory part of the curriculum, we’re left with good people trying their best. That pales in comparison to what can happen if it’s done systemically and supported well with a common set of tools and pedagogy.
In addition to the suggestions in the post, check out the NCWIT website for updates on their activities and for free resources.
Until the situation is formally recognized though, students will still be subjected to hit and miss approaches and cutesy little standalone professional learning activities.
A secondary school teacher who is doing something about this is Tim King. This post details his efforts and observations as he takes an all-female team to the Cybertitan competition.
Tim weaves an interesting story involving both observation and action.
Some of these observations are disturbing.
– where are all the girls?
– A number of people (oddly all male) grumbled about the all-female wildcard spot
– taking an all-female crew to this event had me constantly seeing micro-aggressions I might have otherwise missed
– we were only there because we’re a girl’s team
– as she reached for the pen a boy from another team stepped in front of her like she wasn’t there
And there’s more. You need to set aside a significant amount of time to read this post where even creating the learning environment was not supported by the school district and the students had to build their own computers.
My apologies, in advance, to Sue Dunlop. When I saw the title of this post, I thought it read “Youse guys” and that it was going to be a fun little post about literacy.
Instead, it’s about the expression that is used to refer to a group of people.
yes, “guys’ is a male term, not a neutral one
From the post, it’s clear that Sue has either been in a group that was addressed this way or she saw it being used in that way. Either way, it inspired her to write about it.
She offers some alternatives to use in the post.
Most importantly, it’s a reminder that our choice of words is important. It serves as a reminder to me of the importance of an objective peer coach.
This applies to writing as well. I hope that I don’t use expressions that would offend; I would hope that readers feel comfortable enough to let me know when I do; and I would hope that I would take that as an opportunity to avoid doing it again.
One of the powerful things about blogging is that, at least for now, your thoughts will be there forever. (or until you delete it or the service goes away or … well, you get my meaning)
One of the things that Patt Olivieri will have a chance to do with her son is share this post when he’s old enough to fully appreciate it.
In education, we know all about assessment, evaluation, and data points. Our system and our jobs thrive on it. It’s one of the things that separate education workers from other workers. It’s scientific, artistic, and humanist all at the same time.
It’s not as powerful as a mother’s love for her child.
You see, my love, there is no test for all of this, no grade, no level that can ever capture the everyday, ordinary stuff that accumulates to the only stuff that can ever be measured in immeasurable ways.
Alanna King didn’t post this to her personal blog (at least not yet) so I kind of stumbled onto it on the Canadian School Libraries site.
It was great to see a former colleague quoted in Alanna’s post. A bit of trivia – her office had a window, mine didn’t.
There are two major topics that Alanna addresses in this post.
Why should teacher-librarians self-direct their professional development?
How should teacher-librarians find sources of professional development?
It was good to see that the Bring IT, Together Conference and #ECOOcamp made her list. It goes much further than that and you’ll find yourself tired when you read about Alanna’s endeavours and recognized that they’re all tacked on top of her day job, including writing this post.
There was another area that I thought she could have addressed more completely and, perhaps it’s in a future post, but in addition to her involvement as a participant in things, she is also a highly sought after presenter.
If you’ve ever been a presenter yourself, and what teacher hasn’t in some form, you know that the research and preparation that goes into that can be some of the best professional learning that you’ll ever do. Unlike the professional that repeats the same session over and over again, changing your topics and focus regularly keeps you from going stale.
Now, here’s something completely different from James Skidmore. It falls from a reflection on student abilities from a course that he just taught. He notes that they’re good readers but …
What they can’t do, however, or at least not do very well, is identify passages or quotations from the novel that can be used as the cornerstone for a commentary on the larger text, and then build a commentary based on that passage.
I’d never really thought about this. Now that I have, I would like to think that that is part of what I’m trying to do with these regular Friday posts. I guess it’s a bit of a confession that I try to apply this technique to blog posts which are, by design, short and typically focus on one thing. How would I make out in a larger text? I’ve never thought about it and I wonder.
James has done some research and finds that there isn’t much that has been done already. What to do? He’s going to make it a project for eCampusOntario Extend mOOC . You can read about it and there’s a link to a collaborative document in his post.
I wonder if there are any other teachers of Language that would be interested.
And that’s a wrap.
Like always, some great thinking from Ontario Educators. Please take the time to honour their efforts by clicking through and reading the original.
I’ve been playing around with Virtual Reality off and on ever since I heard of the concept. Most of the applications are pretty predictable – you know – explore a world that may or may not exist in real life because you can. You might experience something unique and different.
One thing that I’ve tried every now and again with limited success is to create my own virtual reality environment. I think that would be the ultimate use of technology and the concept. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is something that I need to grow in to and to have better equipment.
But, back to this post from Deborah McCallum. Her posts are always inspirational and have me thinking about things I might not have ordinarily thought of.
She was inspired by a post from Kyle Pearce about moving from the concrete to the abstract in mathematics. She talks about the opposite – going in the other direction – from abstract to concrete. I like her thinking and it enhances the original thoughts from Kyle’s post.
I think that this may be a new frontier for exploration. In Kyle’s original post, he uses a doughnut example. I think I’d really enjoy Deborah taking on the opposite direction and perhaps show how a concrete approach could turn into consolidation. And, what sort of gear would be required.
Is there room for both Kyle and Deborah’s thinking? I think so.
As Beate Planche correctly notes, education is full of constraints – resources, time, and priorities. It doesn’t take too much thinking before you can identify them.
I find time to be interesting. In a perfect world, it should meld to be just the required length. The reality is far from it. If you have a 75 minute class, darn it, everyone is going to be there for 75 minutes. Not a minute more; not a minute less. It doesn’t matter if you don’t need that time, you’ve got to be there anyway. The opposite to that would be the concept of an EdCamp where you can use your feet to move to a different topic if you’ve got the current one mastered. Yet, there’s the classroom where the concept of mastery is the same length for everyone!
Like the canvas analogy she uses at the conclusion, it’s not the canvas that should be of concern; it’s a constraint, it’s what you do with it that matters. Complainers would complain about the size of the canvas and it’s limits; the innovative would think about how to make the best of what’s available.
When you get your head around the reality that whatever constraints you face are real and you look at ways to work within them, momentum becomes possible.
So, I found a pair of blog posts from two of the people that helped make the #ECOOcamp a success – one from Jen Giffen and the other from Ramona Meharg.
They had different types of contributions – Jen was one of the keynote speakers and Ramona was a workshop presenter (x4).
Participants had the opportunity to learn from either or both of them.
I thought about the difference between their contributions. Jen would have had to have a message prepared that would have reached out and touched everyone in her keynote address. They might have been secondary school or elementary school educator as their background or an administrator. The message would have to be crafted to appeal to everyone if she’s going to be successful.
Ramona, on the other hand, would have had smaller, more focused sessions. People would have been with her because they were interested in the particular topic that she was addressing. And, they could vote with their feet if they were ready to move on.
A tale of two approaches certainly and both would be necessary for a successful day for participants. A common thread though, they both left having learned enough to comment on a presentation from Leslie Boerkamp and Nicole Batte. The leaders become the learners. Does it get much better than that?
I created a Wakelet of the Twitter conversation about the #ECOOcamp so that you can read what people were saying about the day! https://wke.lt/w/s/P5Md2L
Laura Elliott gives us a look inside the teaching profession that those on the outside might never realize. I don’t think I even thought about this until I landed my first job and had my own classes.
I think I probably entered the profession figuring that the toughest thing in a teenager’s school day was learning the content that I was teaching.
Laura opens our eyes to much more than that. Every teacher knows this – you’re with those students as they’re learning about themselves, about others, the interpersonal relationships, and so much more.
Laura’s focus in this post is about understanding their body. She speaks from experience having this directed her way from a gymnastics coach.
I will never forget my coach yelling into the change room during a snack break that he could “hear me getting fatter.” Wtf!?
If you’re a teacher, you need to read this to affirm that those things that you’re doing beyond your subject are so important. Students may not show up in your class because of this, but they can leave with so much more.
This post from Peter Cameron could easily pass as a tourist post for his beautiful area of the province.
Living in Thunder Bay, at the head of Lake Superior, provides ample opportunity to experience water at its finest. Cascading over large slabs of granite, tumbling over waterfalls, trickling through a moss lined creek or lapping at a sandy shore, water does something for my soul.
Peter takes this background and explains how it has impacted his teaching and his approach to the Junior Water Walker philosophy. I was going to use the word “project” but his approach indeed goes further than that – it truly is a philosophy that has had a big impact on his teaching.
Visit his blog, read his words, and use the images of his students to understand the complete package.
Every time I write this Friday post, I marvel at the depth and dedication to the teaching profession that come through in the thoughts featured. This week is no different. Please take a moment and enjoy the blog posts from these educators.