This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Welcome to my weekly wander around the blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers.  As always, there’s some terrific reading.  For those of you who expected also to hear the Wednesday show on VoiceED Canada, Stephen is currently off the grid.  We’ll return when he gets back on the grid in August.

A Mathematics Blueprint: Designing a Comprehensive Mathematics Program

Rochelle Tkach offers a nice post that nicely summarizes so many things about the curriculum designing process.

Screenshot 2017-07-20 at 11.54.57.png

She ties it so well to Mathematics but certainly the principles apply in all areas.

Do we need to learn how to play?

There’s a great deal to think about in this post from Aviva Dunsiger.  She reflects on the experience of people leaving her workshop that was first a post of hers that I talked about last week.

I Packed. I Came. I Shared. And Now I’m Left Wondering.

Both generated some nice discussions.

The big message in all of this is about participants indicating that they were through by leaving a session.  I think that we need to respect people’s choices and decisions, even though they may not follow our expectations as to how things should end up.

I have to give Aviva credit for taking her thoughts online; it could have all kinds of different responses from people.

Even more important, in addition to her thoughts, there are a large collection of responses varying with all kinds of messages and support.  These thoughts are truly gold and should help Aviva and others design the very best professional experiences.

Map Out Your Online Course

Continuing on the theme of planning and learning, I offer this post from Tracy Sherriff.

Her context is about an online course …

So where do you start? Well, I always tell my clients to start with creating a mind map. A mind map is really just a visual brain dump of all the things that you could teach about. You can create your mind map on paper or use the digital tool of your choice. Use colour and imagery to enhance your map. It’s actually quite fun!

… and that’s certainly her intent and it makes reading the post worthwhile.

But, what if you opened the door to other things?

Wouldn’t the same principles apply to designing professional learning experiences?

Differentiated Instruction: comparing 2 subjects

There’s differentiation, and then there’s differentiation.  Are they different?

You may not have thought of it in those terms but Mark Chubb has and does in this post.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to meet the various needs of students in our classrooms lately. If we think about it, we are REALLY good at differentiated instruction in subjects like writing, yet, we struggle to do differentiated instruction well in subjects like math. Why is this???

The rest of the post will hopefully have you thinking differently about differentiation.  Does one size truly fit all disciplines?

This is a very interesting post and there’s even more rich content in the replies.

Good Leaders Read…A Lot

Perhaps this is the litmus test to apply to those who would be leaders in your life and especially for yourself …

Sue Dunlop asserts that

Great leaders also always seek to improve. They want to learn and to get better. They’re never satisfied with good enough. Reading is part of that continuous improvement. How else can you explore new ideas and create new schema?

Here’s an idea.

For the first staff meeting at the end of August/first of September, instead of going around the room asking “How did you spend your summer holidays?” you ask the question “What did you read over the summer?”.

Don’t let your principal off the hook either.

What Does an Innovating Leader Look Like?

OK, so we’ve established that leaders read.

I challenged Paul McGuire to expand on his thoughts about leadership in education.  And, he delivers in this post.

His perspective is as principal and one of his suggestions surrounds professional learning.

Teachers should be in control of their own learning, just as students need to be in control. Educators need to know that their voice matters and that the running of the school is a collective endeavour.

We’re all familiar with the Annual Learning Plan and hopefully, it’s not become a piece of lip service.  Does the ALP allow for the type of growth that Paul describes?

It’s not an easy scenario to manage.  On the one hand, you have to respect the wishes for teachers and their personal learning.  On the other hand, you have the directives from the Board Office and the Ministry of Education.

How, indeed, does the Innovating Leader make it?

I’m going to continue to challenge Paul on this and have plans to write about my own thoughts.  I think that this is a discussion that can only improve things among leaders.

Nudging the OneNote Staff Notebook Permissions

Long time Evernote user here.  But, I’m giving OneNote another chance this summer.  For me to learn how a new program works, I have to use it exclusively for as many tasks as possible and sometimes struggle when I hit a bump in the road.  In addition, I try to read as much about it as possible.

Part of my morning reads include having a section on Flipboard devoted to OneNote and another very important part of my learning is reading Cal Armstrong’s blog when he shares his tips and trick about the software.

I see so many who use OneNote at such a cursory level.  That would include me, I guess.

In this post, Cal takes us on a tutorial with Staff OneNotes and sharing workspaces.

The post is a good tutorial for how to set this up.  If your school uses OneNote, you might want to take Cal’s post to heart and give it a shot.  If it makes everyone more productive, winners all around!

Please take the time to click through and read all of these posts in their entirety.  There’s great learning to be had.

Did you start or restart a blog this summer?  Please add it to the Livebinder of Ontario Edublogs.

Make your micro:bit smile

In the registration bag at the CSTA Conference was a very nice surprise.  The folks from micro:bit gave one to participants.  What a nice piece of swag!

There are a number of starting points and, if you took a wander through the Exhibit Hall, you may have found one.  If you weren’t at the conference and have your own micro:bit, you can still use it.  If you don’t have your own micro:bit, you can still get a bit of the programming micro:bit experience with the on-screen editor and simulator.

The site comes from Microsoft and is called “MakeCode“.  You’re not limited to the micro:bit; there are resources for “Circuit Playground Express“, “Minecraft“, “Sparkfun Inventors Kit“, and “Chibi Chip“.

MakeCodeIf you’re experienced in the world of drag and drop, you should be off to the races.  If not, it’s an easy enough environment to get started.

The first micro:bit activity is to program the LEDs for a smile or frown depending upon whether button A or button B is pressed.

So, you set them up and maybe even modify them a bit.


You can even create LED animations.

The environment provides the simulator on the left, all of the possible blocks in the middle, and your workspace on the right of your screen.

The coding blocks in the middle give you a sense of everything that can be done if you’ve been waiting to get yourself or your school one.




What puts it over the top for me is that the block environment is not the only way to program your micro:bit.  There is a toggle that lets you switch between the drag and drop and the text based Javascript environment.

Computer Science diehards will appreciate seeing the actual code that makes the magic happen.  Of course, Computer Science diehards will take offence to my use of the word “magic”.  It’s really programming and logic in action!

What’s even more impressive is the spacing and indentation that makes the code easy to read (and debug).  It demonstrates right off the bat good principles for that.


The MakeCode website open up all kinds of possibilities for the classroom.  You owe it to yourself to click through and give the activities a whirl on your computer.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It was a little strange this week not doing the weekly radio show with Stephen Hurley to give an advance look at what would be in This Week in Ontario Edublogs.  Unfortunately, we were not able to connect on a time on Wednesday so you get to see them all here first! Great stuff from Ontario Edubloggers.

Don’t forget – if you’re an Ontario Educational blogger or you know of one, go to the landing back at the link above and add the link to the blog.  If you’re just looking to find new people to follow, I have the link to my Ontario Educator Twitter lists there as well.

Language, Culture & Math

Deborah McCallum is always good for providing a thought provoking post and this one doesn’t disappoint.  It’s a really powerful reminder that teachers are there for the entire package and not to cherry pick topics.

With so much emphasis on improving mathematics test scores, it’s easy to overlook this.

Screenshot 2017-07-13 at 07.01.43

‘Limited Pedagogy’ in the Past? I Don’t Think So!

I was thinking that maybe Peter Skillen had finally lost it.  Hadn’t he already blogged about this before?

Well, maybe, probably, yeah, definitely, …

But it’s a topic well worth repeating.

We didn’t have ‘limited pedagogy’. We had a robust and vibrant movement and approach based on the work of Jean PiagetJerome BrunerSeymour PapertFrank SmithLev VygotskyIvan IllichPaulo FreireA.S. Neill and countless others who promoted discovery learning, constructivism, student-centred approaches, open classrooms, active learning, multi-age learning groups, etc.

Check out Ontario’s Hall-Dennis Report (Living and Learning) of 1968.

The bizarre thing is that we didn’t have limited pedagogy in the past, in the past we had limited technology!  I can remember when the Ministry of Education provided three Icon computers per school.  Various sources were used to increase access to technology for students but the environment wasn’t perfect for a harmonious and easy use of technology in the classroom.  When you have to “take the kids to the lab”, it could easily be assumed that it was a special event that had nothing to do with regular teaching and the excellent pedagogy that was understood.

But those excuses lie in a past limited by funding and access.  We now have access and a marriage with good pedagogical practice should deliver on the promise.

Holy cow, it has generated a lot of discussion though.

I Packed. I Came. I Shared. And Now I’m Left Wondering.

If you’re a reader of Aviva Dunsiger’s work, you won’t be surprised about the wondering work.  I think that her “wondering” makes for an improved environment for her students.  We talk about inquiry and wonder being essential for students; why not for teachers?

This time, she’s wondering about people leaving her session early.

Screenshot 2017-07-13 at 07.15.55

These are good questions to search for answers.  There may well have been other circumstances.  Perhaps it was just the fact that it’s summer and it was nice outside.  Perhaps people could connect the dots and didn’t feel they needed the hands-on time.

There could be a million other reasons but I’m sure that Aviva’s wondering will result in a different approach in the future.

Perhaps do the “play” first and then tie the big concepts together afterwards?  We live in a PD environment where people are encouraged to “learn with their feet” and to move on if their needs aren’t being met.  That’s great in theory but how do you know where the session is ultimately headed?

#Iceland: Getting our bearings

Alanna King’s on holidays in Iceland with family.  This is one in a series of posts about a summer exploration there.

There’s a great description of what’s happening to the family as they take a look here and there.

I’m just surprised that Tim didn’t rent a motorcycle and leave it to Alanna and Max to catch up later.

The best part is the beautiful pictures that she’s sharing.


Making a Positive Impact

I’m not going to say much except to highlight this last line from Jennifer Casa-Todd’s post.

How might you make someone’s world brighter today?

It’s not always easy.

On my recent trip to Baltimore, I spent a lot of time in airports (I live in fear of missing my flight) and so I’ll try to strike up a conversation with people.  In one case, I offered my iPad to play a game on to a child who was a little wild.

Airport people like being left alone, I guess.

Attempting isn’t always appreciated but I hope that I never stop trying.

What Does an Innovating Leader Look Like?

I taunted Paul McGuire to write a post so I guess that I should include it here.

So, what does an innovating leader look like?

I would hope that you say “like me”.  I would also hope that you say “I lead by example” instead of “I lead by telling people what to do”.

I always see red flags when people use the term(s) “leader”, “innovator”, or “innovating leader” in their own bio or other places where they describe themselves.  That is indeed the lowest of the low hanging fruit.  Wind fall, perhaps.  It’s more impressive when others use that term to describe them.  Then, I sit up and notice.

Screenshot 2017-07-13 at 07.33.00

The best piece of advice I ever received came from my father.

Be humble.  You look good when you make others look better.

A long-overdue tribute

I’m always a sucker for a well-crafted blog post title and that’s what this was from Diana Maliszewski.

I started to read and got interested when she made reference to the Maker Festival in Toronto.  Then, somehow the topic turned to a special trip to Toronto.


Pictures and stories about an anniversary are really few and far between so I did read to the end.

Congratulations, you two.

There’s always something to love from the blogs of Ontario Edubloggers.  Please take the time to click through and read the entire posts and drop off a comment or two.  They’ll really appreciate it.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Well, summer is here although I read on social media of so many dedicated Ontario educators who are leading or taking AQ courses or who are on writing teams.  There are also dedicated bloggers who continue to share their thoughts.  Interestingly, not all are directly related to education.  And that’s OK too.  You should have license to write about whatever you’re thinking about.  Read on to see some of what I caught recently.

The Utterly Baffling Biker

Do you hear voices?  Tim King did.

It’s not uncommon to hear a radio from a motorcycle as it buzzes by on the road.  After all, a certain level of volume is required to make it listen-able.  But, if you’re standing on the front lawn watching them go by, it’s only there for a moment.

You’ll have to check out Tim’s thoughts when he was following someone with the radio cranked up.

Am I losing my mind? It took me several moments to realize that the three hundred pounder in beanie helmet, t-shirt and shorts on his baaiiiike in front of me had the radio so loud it was like I was in the front row of a concert, if it was a concert about carpet advertising.

Shopping For an Electric Car

I think that we all know that this will be our future.  It’s just a matter of when it happens.  Jennifer Aston shares her thoughts about shopping for an electric car.  To be honest, I wouldn’t have guessed that it would be hard to do.  I was wrong.

It was another wakeup call about values from her.  Thanks to her (and the Cheerios commercials), we didn’t put in our costly front garden plants this year but went instead for a collection of wild flowers.  Bring it on, bees.


Perhaps in order to really make a change, we all need to invest in those things that reflect our values.

It really is nice to have a blogging friend who can serve as a social conscience at times.  I’m not ready to buy an electric car just yet but I know it’s coming.  This, from a guy who has difficulty in keeping his phone and watch charged for an entire day.

Willingness To Persevere With Learning Experiences

Rola Tibshirani did an “end of year” reflections with her Grade 6 students and took to her blog to share.

These were the leading questions…


After sharing this, she draws some conclusions from student responses and then looks forward to next year.

What a great way to honour and respect student voice.


Peter Beens also gave his students a chance for one last kick at the teacher.  He didn’t share the responses but did share the tool that he used with the students.

Knowing Peter, it’s not surprising that he used a Google Form to help collect the data.


Just like Rola, it’s a wonderful opportunity to give students the opportunity to pay their experiences forward to the next class.

It’s also an opportunity to formally have students reflect on the course.

Presumably, in both cases, the survey was done during class to get 100% participation.  Having tried to collect evaluations from conferences and other PD events, I know how hard it is to get people to respond.

Is leadership an innovative endeavour? – Response to George Couros

I was really curious to read Paul McGuire’s thoughts on this.  In his retirement, he’s known for making some brutally frank observations via his blog.

I would suspect that, if you ask any leader in education, that they would self-identify themselves as innovative.

It’s got to be a challenge; all of the administrative details could conceivably keep you nailed to a desk doing paperwork all day long.  I’m thinking principals here, based on Paul’s background.

It begs the question – and maybe Paul will write about it some day – what does an innovating leader look like?

In the meantime …

My concern is that the urge to innovate seems to dissipate the higher people reach up the leadership ladder. There is certainly more pressure to follow the company line and as this pressure increases, the ability to innovate declines.

Three Principles for Math Teachers

Only three?

Matthew Oldridge identifies three in this post.

  • Know the Big Ideas of Mathematics that are in your Curriculum
  • Be More Interesting
  • Listen To and Talk to Kids

Each of these points are nicely fleshed out with his thoughts and some great pictures.

The ideas don’t have to be unique and earth shattering.  I think that the middle point is good advice for anyone; not just teachers of mathematics.

Like this … who hasn’t seen this problem?


I remember this being the basis for a computer science problem – it went something like – position a chess knight in the top left square.  From there, it will make three moves.  Where could it possibly end up?

Sometimes, great things can emerge from the traditional.

Lessons from a Try A Tri

I’ll confess – this was a great title for a blog post.  Not that I wouldn’t want to read Jen Giffen’s stuff anyway, but I just had to know what she was talking about.

In this case, it was a mini-triathlon that she and a number of colleagues did before work.  With all the concern about student inactivity, why wouldn’t it work for teachers as well?  The effort that they had was pretty intensive.

We ran 2.5KM, biked 8.75KM and swam 400m

Now, that’s a morning wakeup call.

You’ll have to read the entire post as she ties in thoughts about teamwork but there’s one sentence that affirms that Royan Lee is the gentleman that we know him to be.

How’s that for “outside the box”.  While Stephen Hurley and I were discussing this on VoiceED Radio, Derek Rhodenizer talked about a PD event where he took his staff fishing.

I was concerned that the first week of summer holidays might bring a shortage of great posts from Ontario Edubloggers.  I’m glad that those above proved me wrong.

If you’re a blogger yourself, keep at it.  I hope to catch your thoughts online.

Each week, I share some of these posts with Stephen Hurley on VoiceED radio.  They’re all archived here.  You can check out our weekly program live Wednesday mornings at 9:15.

Random learning

Learning, or at least getting started to learn, is relatively easy for the self-motivated learner.  You think of a topic that you’d like to learn or learn more about and then proceed to do the heavy lifting.

The key is knowing what it is that you want to learn.

What if you allowed the learning to be random?

Part of what I do on a daily basis is done this way.

In my Quora account, I have the service send me a daily digest.  In this digest, I will end up with about four questions from this crowd-sources Q&A resource.

And I’m off to read about them and maybe even more…

This morning, I learned:

Ah, the learning is sweet.

Now, you have to fully recognize and appreciate that the questions and answers are crowd created so there may be topics that are NSFW.  And, not everyone is a genius with  every topic but it’s really appreciated when an expert comes along with the right answers and resources to support it.  But, at the same time, there’s nothing that stops you from asking that burning question that’s always bothered you or to provide a good answer to someone else’s question.

If this appeals to you, head over to Quora and sign up.  You’ll be glad you did and it might just help you win those trivia arguments.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Here we are.  The last collection of awesome reading from the blogs of Ontario Edubloggers for this school year.  It’s another inspirational collection.

Flip or Flop? – Student Perceptions of Flipped Teaching

I wouldn’t normally include a post that is just a slideshow presentation.  But, I was really intrigued by the information here from Camille Rutherford.  It’s a very nice summary of attitudes and observations about the various components of a flipped classroom environment.  There’s lots to think about in this collection of Student Perceptions.


I don’t have the greatest of Internet access speeds so could really identify with the thoughts about video.  Short and concise works.  Great advice if you’re thinking of exploring this concept.

I am still in a silo.

This post, from Chris Cluff hit a little close to home with me.  I’ll bet that it does with you too.  Our silos are our comfort zones and it really takes a strong person to break out of that silo and see what is in other’s silos.  I found that when I would do presentations to particular groups, that I’d have to think my way through their silo and what was in there to be effective.

For Chris, it wasn’t a huge leap from a personal silo to reflect upon the silo that comes from building one’s brand and how that springs from having a book deal hit social media.

I hadn’t thought about it; but when you’ve put your thoughts into book form, it’s pretty permanent and you need to be true to that.  I know that, for this blog, I’ve given myself license to change my mind depending upon what I’m currently thinking/exploring.  If I’m wrong or change my mind, I can just delete the offending post or offer a correction.  If it was in permanent form, I’d have to say “Buy my new, improved book”.

My not-polished list of signals to think through

This is an older post from Brandon Grasley.  When I first read it, I didn’t know what to do with the content.  As we approach summer holidays, I revisited it and can see some interesting spins on his not-polished list.

In particular, I cherry picked these…

  • Analog renaissance
  • Quiet
  • mental health awareness
  • Inefficient activities

They sounds like a pretty good plan for the summer as teachers re-charge.  Check out his post where he addresses each with specific examples.

How do you define success?

Answer that question in your mind before you go any further.






You probably came up with at least some of the first three ideas from this blog post from Joel McLean.

  • Learning
  • Failing
  • Inspiring someone

With apologies to Joel, those are pretty standard fare.  Good concepts but I suspect you can see them easily.

It’s actually the fourth point that he makes that really got me thinking.  The message is even stronger when you look at the graphic that goes with it.

  • You are not a leader until you have produced another leader who can produce another leader

If you pause and think this through, it’s a pretty powerful and yet tough order.  How would you even measure that?  Perhaps he’ll flesh that out in a future post.

The Feelings Part of Feedback

Eva Thompson gives a think through about feedback and its importance.  If there’s one thing to take away from her post, it’s this.

My point is feedback elicits an emotional response.

I immediately thought of an experience that struck me emotionally.  It was first year university in one of those big classes.  You write the final exam and the professor or teaching assistant let me know that I can get a marked copy of my exam outside the professor’s office on such and such a date.

Well, it turns out that that date was after the marks were submitted to the registrar.  I did go to get my copy and there were big cardboard boxes outside the professor’s office.  I had to find my section and then look for the Ps.  They were wrapped in an elastic band.  Fortunately, it didn’t take too long to get to the Pets but I saw a lot of other names and marks on the way.  When I finally got mine, there was one mark on the outside and a couple of dash marks on the inside.  There’s my feedback.

When you consider that new teachers go from university to the classroom, there really is a need for professional learning about the importance of feedback and how best to do it.  Eva’s got a great post to get them thinking…

Ontario Math Links

David Petro gives us a neat collection of mathematics links.  Yes, I know, as you read this you don’t have any students to enjoy them with.

So, enjoy them by yourself!


Check out this graph showing super heros at the box office.

Can you tell who is:

  • Wonder Woman
  • Suicide Squad
  • Batman v Superman
  • Man of Steel

I won’t spoil it … you’ll have to click through to the original post to see the answers.

Putting others first can cost lives in emergencies

It’s never like this in the movies.  In the movies, the hero throws caution to the wind and fights the elements and the environment to be the saviour.

This research from the University of Waterloo suggests that’s not the best way to handle emergencies.

The study, which used computer modeling of a flooded subway station

I hope that you’re never in a situation where you’re called upon to choose.

It’s an interesting read and may not be quite what you would predict.

Please take the time to click though and read the posts in their entirety.  There’s some great thinking and writing there; all originating in Ontario.

Check out the complete collection of Ontario Educational Blogs.  There’s always some great stuff there.  If you start a blog over the summer, make sure that you fill out the form and get it added to the Livebinder.


At the ISTE Conference this year, a revised version of the ISTE Standards for Educators has been made available.


You need to register for a free account and give ISTE an idea of your teaching status and what you plan to use the standards for.  In my mind, there are so many opportunities.

Now, the standards aren’t enforceable on Ontario Educators but there is no equivalent here.  Our focus is largely on good teaching principles and there should be no apologies for that.  However, these standards mesh nicely with those who wish to be well rounded educators, advocates, leaders, and learners.

What stands out for me are the concepts of:

  • global learning connections
  • ways to enable student voice and competencies
  • effective use of technology in the classroom with a section specific to design

The actual document is a short read and a quick skim if you’re so inclined.  But, if you’re serious about this, each of the points in the document should serve as a launch pad to your own personal approach and philosophy of teaching and teaching effectively with the use of technology.

Beyond that, there’s a very serious message for school districts.  With a workload that is absolutely full, teachers can’t be expected to do all this on their own.  A comprehensive system of support and professional learning opportunities will support educators in their quest.  Professional learning departments should sit back and ask themselves if they’re providing the environment and setting the table for educators to enjoy success.  Are you providing opportunities for classroom teachers to learn and become leaders?

For the educator, I think that the standards provide a wonderful guide to designing a portfolio of learning.  Can you provide personal examples of proof and comment on each of the standards as they relate to you?  If not, does this provide a framework for your own learning this summer and to the future?

Are you the “Empowered Professional?”


A “No-Bullying Proposal” Webquest

Yesterday’s “Whatever happened to …” post took me back to working with Webquests.  In the body, I commented:

In reality, there’s nothing that requires that it be completed in a Google Doc. It could be a regular word processing document with links embedded or a Microsoft Word Online or OneNote document. It could be created with anything that contains links. It could even be a webpage! What a concept!

It occurred to me that I left out a really important medium – the blog post!  Many people use their personal blog just like others use web authoring tools.  It can be such a powerful tool.  Or, many others will use a installation for a complete website.  It’s a great authoring tool and, for many, replaces learning HTML or working with a webpage editor.  So, I thought – why not an example of a Webquest as a blog post?

I’d actually blogged about this particular Webquest a few years ago.  At that time, I took the original backup from my hard drive and placed it on my own website.  Since most of my publishing is done on this blog these days, I decided to see if I could move it here.  And, it was relatively easy.

The original Webquest was actually a collection of webpages, all linked together.  For this purpose, I decided to put all the pages together in one spot.  I also lost the Flash navigation buttons.  Who uses Flash these days?  Does your current browser even support it?

The point?  Just to demonstrate another way to publish a Webquest.  Oh, and to remove the dead links in the original Webquest and replace them with ones that are working.

Here goes …

A “No-Bullying Proposal” Webquest


Everyone has the right to feel safe coming to school. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. In this webquest, you are going to work in groups of four to create a proposal to do something about it!

Your school is a great place to learn, play and to have friends. Nobody likes to be bullied.

The Task

Your group’s job is to create a presentation which describes the topic of bullying, identifies the roles of different people, and makes a recommendation about what your school should do to make it a safer place.

In researching this topic, you’ll find that any “bullying situation” has a person being bullied, a person doing the bullying, people that watch and do nothing, and finally people that watch and do something about it.

Your group will create a presentation showing the results of your findings. You may use Kidpix, Hyperstudio, or your Presentations software to show the results of your research. Blank templates for each are available by clicking on the links above and downloading. The templates are just there to get you started. Add as much graphics, text and additional pages as you feel are necessary.

Your group may find using a Graphic Organizer helpful in determining the content and the flow of your presentation.

Your final presentation should be at least 10 minutes long.

The Process

Group Members:
In your group, you will have the following to research. Each member of your group should research one of these people. You will take the results of your research and put them into your proposal.


Photo Credit: Tim Lydy Flickr via Compfight cc

  • Person Being Bullied:
    This person will research just what it feels like to be bullied.
  • Person Doing the Bullying:
    This person will research what it feels like to bully people.
  • Disinterested Bystander:
    This person will research the type of person who watches bullying happen and does nothing about it.
  • Mediator:
    The person will research the type of person who watches bullying happen and breaks in to try to stop it.

Your group will have two days to research the jobs described above. Keep track of your research in your notebook or in a word processor. You will need it later as you create your presentation.

Internet Resources

The internet websites listed below contain valuable information that will help your group research the topic of bullying. Visit the site and organize the important information that you find. You will use this information in your presentation.

Anti-Bullying Network



Bullying Statistics

Social Media Bullying Has Become A Serious Problem

Stop Bullying

What is Bullying?


Below is a rubric that will describe the elements of your work that will be assessed during this Webquest. While the ability to understand what you find on the Internet is important, your ability to apply it using your own words and then create the formal presentation is important as well.

Your presentation will be given to an audience. Your group needs to practice your presentation so that you can be persuasive. Remember, you’re trying to make a difference here.

Beginning Developing Accomplished Exemplary
of ideas
– for a
limited range of simple purposes

– for a
limited range of simple purposes


– for a
variety of simple purposes

– in a
mechanical and sequential way

– for
specific purposes

appropriately and logically

– for a
wide variety of purposes and in a wide variety of

appropriately and in complex and logical ways

of language conventions (spelling, grammar, punctuation, and
– with
– with
several minor errors and/or omissions
– with a
few minor errors and/or omissions

Communication – for a
limited range of simple purposes


– for a
variety of simple purposes

– with
some clarity and some precision

– for
specific purposes

– clearly
and precisely

– for a
wide variety of purposes and in a wide variety of

– clearly,
precisely, and confidently

new information skills and knowledge to solve the problems
and make decisions.
– with
– with
several minor errors and/or omissions
– with a
few minor errors and/or omissions

information skills and knowledge to enrich personal life and
contribute to society.

– for a
limited range of simple purposes
– for a
variety of simple purposes
– for
specific purposes
– for a
wide variety of purposes and in a wide variety of


Wow! I’ll bet that you didn’t realize that bullying was such a big and important topic. By now, you should have a pretty good idea about just how big the problem is and know a little more about people who are involved in a bullying situation.

Your presentation should be shown to others: students, your teachers, your principals, your parents. Hey, you could even put it on your school’s website.

Together, if everyone works together and knows more and more about the topic of bullying, your school and community will be a safer place.


Expectations from:
Ontario Ministry of Education Language Arts Curriculum
Ontario School Library Association Information Studies Curriculum

Created by:
Doug Peterson
Computers in the Classroom Consultant
Greater Essex County District School Board

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It’s time for my weekly wander around the province checking out great blogs posts.  Enjoy the works from Ontario Edubloggers.


I Was a Bad Teacher Today

Everyone has an off day.  What makes it rise to the elevation of “bad” though belongs in the eye of the first person.  That first person in this post is Peter Skillen.

I’ve had many a conversation with Peter about the good, the bad, and the ugly in education.  He definitely is a person that you want to make that type of connection with.

I also think I know where some of the buttons are that you can push to get him going.  Recently, a blogger pushed one of them and Peter pushed back.  The sacred moment this time around?  Failing to recognize the big shoulders of those we stand on today.

This educator was absolutely well-intentioned but there were errors in the definitions and in the representation of educational pedagogies of previous recent decades.

If you do a study of the history of teaching pedagogy, it is rich with solid research.  If you look at the recent efforts, there’s more of a rush to get them out instead of researching them properly.  Just because it’s the newest and shiniest doesn’t always equate into the best.

We do stand on the shoulders of giants.  All of us should recognize this.

The Importance of Being Civil to Others

This is a natural followup to the above.  You can disagree without being disagreeable and that’s what quality people do.  However, you must remain civil in a kind society.  That wasn’t the case for Paul McGuire.  His words…

In a world that is growing crueler and less civil …

Paul’s good intentions drew him into a post from Andrew Campbell and a Twitter discussion that he captures and shares in this post.

Being civil should be the way things are done whether online or not.  I’m saddened deeply to read of Paul’s experience.

Free & Easy Green Screen Editing – How to Make Transparent Backgrounds

Here’s a tech tip from Laressa Aradj.  Green Screening isn’t a new concept.  We’ve been doing it for years.  I can recall going out and buying big screens of green velvet and our Clay Animation kits and the magic that we were able to make happen with the technique.

I always started my workshops by telling people that we were going to discover the secrets of being a weather person.  But, you have to be careful with what you wear; I remember my friend Nazreen volunteering me as a dummy for Hall Davidson’s keynote at ECOO a few years ago.  I was wearing a blue/green chequered shirt and the results were, well, disastrous.

But with the right clothes and the right tools, you and your class can be magic makers as well.  For Laressa’s post, the right tools are:

  • Mac, iPad, iPhone – “Instant Alpha” in Pages or Keynote
  • Chromebook or the Web – “LunaPic”

She’s also offering a challenge from her class to others to get involved with Pic Forward Global Green Screen Challenge.

Playing Games

What activity can’t be enhanced with the appropriate use of a game?

Peter Cameron has a number of observations from the success in his class.


It’s the last one “Math talk” that caught my attention and I read on to see how he uses the game Shut the Box with his class.

There is indeed so many great mathematics ideas in this activity.  Who would have thought that there could have been so much applied probability for students of this age?

Imagine the conversation when you roll a 4 and a 3.  Should you play a 1 or a 7?  Why?

And, they want to challenge classes outside their school to a game or two.  I think you just need to be warned that they’ve had some practice.

Additional Options for Programming/Coding Sphero

Sphero is one of the more popular robots that you can acquire for your classroom and program to do various things.  Derek Tangredi offers this post as a source for three additional applications to make your little roller do things.

Included in the post and with tutorials, you’ll find

1) Sphero Edu (aka Lightning Lab)

2) Coding with Chrome

3) Swift Playgrounds

The original inspiration for the post came from the fear that a common application was no longer going to be free.  (If you check the URL, you’ll get a hint)  I only have had experience with the first two applications.  I have a number of other applications that I’ve accumulated on my iPad for the purpose of playing around with Sphero.

The goal shouldn’t be for students to become fluent with more than one application as a way to add rigour into the process.  I’d evaluate all of the options available to you and choose the one that completely addresses your reason for coding with Sphero.

Alfred Thompson, just today, shared a terrific link in a blog post. The 5 Worst Ways to Teach Computer Science.  That, and Alfred’s post How to Teach Computer Science offer great advice for anyone teaching programming or coding.  Alfred’s sixth point is important – you don’t do everyone on the computer – is important.  Students should have solved the problem before they ever go near a computer or device and have a reasonable feeling that they’ll be successful.

Derek’s recommendation?  Well, you’ll have to click through to his post to find out!

Walking Forward Together

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

What a wonderful piece of wisdom and it summarizes this post from Laurie Azzi perfectly.  We’re treated to the hectic life of a teacher and I’m sure that all can empathize.

But the story also involves a flight to Toronto for an OECTA CLC project.

What strikes me, as I read the post, is how those who are successful, those who want to go far, pull together a fabulous team in order to make it happen.

Reading this post may take you to a different location but, if you’ve gone far, you’ll have made your own team.

Give her a read and you’ll want to take a moment yourself to reflect on all that goes together to make you successful.

An Interview with Hazel Mason

Have you ever sat in your classroom and thought “What are they thinking at the board office?”

I had the opportunity to interview Hazel Mason and found out.  For those of you who missed it, check it out.

Screenshot 2017-06-12 at 14.57.14

I hope that you enjoyed and took the opportunity to check out these posts.  Drop them off a comment if you have a moment.

Then, check out all of the great Ontario Edubloggers.

It’s getting ugly out there

On this computer, I have the following web browsers installed:

  • Safari
  • Opera
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Vivaldi

Why?  Well, because I can, I suppose.

But it’s a habit going back to creating web pages from scratch.  There were just a couple of web browsers that most people used and sometimes they rendered the output differently.  So, to stop the hate emails about “you’re site sux; it doesnt work”, you test it under every browser that you had to put in a tweak here and there to ensure compatibility.

As browsers matured, there was a coming together of features.  Compatibility issues seemed to go away and some websites actually tried to get you to get your act together with messages like:

“use of the site requires a modern web browser”

and suggestions like Firefox, Internet Explorer or Chrome would be there as well as links and advice for how to upgrade.  This was good, and helpful.

Increasingly, we’re starting to see the ugly again.  There’s a renewed refusal to run until you download and install a particular browser.  Or, advice that you should try a better browser experience by downloading and installing this browser.

Sometimes, you can “trick” the website by using an extension or add-on that changes the user agent on the fly in your browser.  So, even if you’re using one particular browser, it can identify itself to the website as another.  Or, here’s a helpful way of changing the browser agent in Chrome without an extension.  Look at the options…

Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 8.44.26 AM

Of course, all of this is a hassle.

For me, unless I really, really need to access the website and I’m using the wrong browser, I just pass and move on.

Not everyone has the option of switching browsers though.  I’m thinking in particular of education where the reality is that browsers are perhaps updated annually in the building of the classroom computer image.  It’s not inconceivable that a browser that was great at one time is rendered (groan) useless before its next update.  Or, there’s the perfect activity for your students that just won’t run with the browser that has been installed on your class computer.

I understand the business case for the developers.  Who wouldn’t want 100% market share and a reliable user experience?

I just hope that, somewhere along the line, the needs of the classroom hit their radar as well.