This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Happy Friday – Work Day, PD Day, Re-organization Day – wherever you fit!


CELEBRATING 100 EPISODES – E100

One hundred of anything is a pretty amazing milestone.

The EduGals (Rachel Johnson and Katie Attwell) were approaching their own milestone and want to do something different from their regular technology themed podcasts. They reached out to Stephen Hurley and me to interview them and we jumped at the chance to be on their 100th podcast.

What sort of things would someone ask? If you listened to their podcast, you’d know what we decided. If you missed the podcast, you can always listen to it now from their website. Or, if you want a readable summary of things, check out this post.

And, to send them off on a successful second one hundred, what better than Beverley Mahood and Radio 101.


What To Do If Our Classrooms Aren’t Safe

I thought that this post from Marie was particularly timely. Driving by schools these days, you see both students and teachers running maskless. As Marie campaigns, she’s asked what’s a parent to do?

It’s a good question – she takes it and runs with it.

Her background in education comes through loudly and clearly. Definitely, you should start any of this with a conversation with the classroom teachers and the leaders within the school.

There are times when this may not work and Marie provides a series of suggestions that escalate if you’re not getting support.

It really is sad that we’re not officially reporting numbers across the province and Marie has done some of her own research that will make you wonder why more isn’t being done.


Crooked Paths are the Ones that Lead to Enlightenment

So many of us were educated in a different time. So many that are recommending the path to enlightenment come from that different time.

Read Tim’s post and you’ll be thinking that we’re living in a time when it’s not necessarily business as usual.

Ours was a time when there was a clearly defined flow from elementary to secondary to college/university and you just had to follow it to enjoy success.

We’ve long since started talking about the world of work and the value that it has as a destination. We’ve talked about taking a year between secondary school and post-secondary education. In the post, Tim talks about an individual who gives an opinion about that “gap” year.

Tim shares his own path and some of his challenges to get where he is today. I suspect that many of us didn’t follow that fluid path.

Post-secondary education also didn’t require giving up your first borne to be able to afford things like rent, tuition, etc.

It’s a different world out there.


Sick

Talk to any teacher and they’ll tell you that they’ll drag themselves into work rather than go through the process of writing lesson plans for someone else to follow. More often than not, the good intentions don’t come through.

Aviva shares with us a most recent situation of her being sick and still making herself available for an interview. There was no more information about the interview and Stephen and I made an assumption about it.

It turns out that we were wrong and Aviva clued us in via private message afterwards.

It’s an exciting message and I won’t let the cat out of the bag – Aviva will undoubtedly blog about it when she sees fit to talk about it in public.

The bigger question still remains about what to do if you’re sick.


Who Am I?

This was a much different post than usual from Matthew.

He pulls back the curtain and shares some of his personal faith and superstitious activity as a youth who would have loved to have been accepted into a Division 1 school with a football program. I had no idea there were 363 schools!

Given our closeness to the Detroit Media, we get bombarded by University of Michigan, Michigan State University, University of Notre Dame, and Ohio University media all the time. Matthew had his eye on a couple other Big 10 schools.

Obviously, it’s very personal but also highlights the challenges that a Canadian athlete has being recognized south of the border. I know one of my best friends felt that his path was to shine at Laurier and let that open a path for him.

The big winner in all this is the Ontario Educational system which ended up with a great teacher in Matthew.


Old Fellas New Music Episode 31 Notes

They’re back!

The Old Fellas are back sharing some new music with us via podcast and this post. There’s a nice list of new music to listen to and I’m always appreciative of it. There were some familiar names here.

The list they’re sharing this time is:

  • The Beths – Knees Deep
  • Orville Peck, Shania Twain – Legends Never Die
  • Glorious Sons – Pink Motel
  • Blue Stones – Shakin’ Off the Dust
  • Blue Rodeo – When You Were Wild
  • Crystal Eyes – 2000 years
  • Rosie Tucker – Barbara Ann
  • Sudan Archives – Selfish Soul
  • Cheap Trick – So it Goes

My favourite from the list is this one from Blue Rodeo and it’s kind of cheating because I’ve always been a fan of Blue Rodeo.


We need to deal with data privacy in our classrooms

Writing for University Affairs, I found this so interesting.

When I was on the OSAPAC group, we had the Ministry’s lawyers available to analyse the legal terms and agreements that would come with the licensing of any software title. If we had their approval, it moved the licensing process along.

Today’s classrooms – elementary, secondary, post-secondary – mostly deal with anything but software that’s licensed and installed on their computers. Instead, many great resources are available in a browser and online. As Bonnie notes, and I’m as bad as anyone, not clicking on terms and conditions agreement. I just want to get to the site I’m accessing. I may have just agreed to anything.

These days, I do it on my own computer and I do use an advertising blocker and a cookie auto-delete utility to get a feeling of safety but I’m not naive enough to think that I’m 100% protected.

Data privacy is such an important issue these days and it’s not just in your classroom; it’s everyone’s classroom. Heck, even using your district’s computer system means agreeing to their terms and conditions.

Do we even read that? I hope that she follows this post with more research and recommendations about how this could be addressed province-wide. It’s no small task.


And there we go – another great collection of blog posts. Please take the time to read them all and drop off a comment if you’re so inclined.

Then, follow these folks on Twitter.

  • EduGals – @Edugals
  • Marie Snyder – @MarieSnyder27
  • Tim King – @tk1ng
  • Aviva Dunsiger – @avivaloca
  • Matthew Morris – @callmemrmorris
  • Paul McGuire – @mcguirp
  • Bonnie Stewart – @bonstewart

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Another Friday, another TWIOE blogpost. Can you ever get enough of this?

By the way, I am always looking for new bloggers to add to my collection. Are you one or do you know one? If so, please reach out.


Welcome to 5-1; I promise to …

I’m a big fan of Cameron’s approach. Simply, he has a class blog and he writes a provocation and the students respond in the comments. Genius. I don’t know why others don’t do this. It’s a great use of technology, does something easily accessed by mom and dad and can address so many curriculum expectations.

This is the first one of the year – it’s not too late for you to start your own class blog – and the first activity is to have students lay out three promises for the year.

To show what it looks like, Cameron shares his promises to the class.

  • Give 110%
  • Listen to you
  • Expect amazing things

You know you’ve made an impact when a former student chimes in.


First Impressions

If you’ve ever had kids go to high school, you’ve lived through this. Inspection by mom and dad before you’re allowed to leave the house is like a rite of passage. My mom did it to my brother and me and I felt compelled to do the same for my kids. Apparently, Amanda is the same way.

She shares a nice story which I’m sure that most parents will agree with. I totally agree with her observation of sweatpants. I’d also throw sleep pants and slippers into the same category.

And, there’s the wisdom of youth. While buying into the concept of “you only make a first impression once”, it applies only to the first day of school!


What improv has taught me about instructional coaching

I thought that this was a very vulnerable, lovely story that I suspect that so many of us could identify with. I know that I could.

As a teenager, Alexandra shares some of the challenges getting involved with a number of things in school and ended up, by luck, getting involved with improv. She beats herself up a bit by indicating that she had trouble with punchlines.

Kudos to her for sticking with it and it serves her well today is a world where she identifies

Fissures between teachers, coaches, departments, and schools

It’s always a tough time for coaches to go into classrooms because we all know the only person who truly appreciates a change. (got that punchline, Alexandra?)

But I’ve got to believe that it’s harder than ever these days given the unique situation that we all find ourselves living in. I’m glad to read that she’s not going it along and has a group of teammates to fall back on.


Long Range Planning as a Teacher Librarian

As I mentioned on the voicEd Radio show and I’ll repeat it here. Elizabeth didn’t have to write this post.

She’s shifted away from the teacher-librarian position to having a class of her own. She really could have just shut the library door and moved on. Most teacher-librarians can’t do that. They recognize that their position is unique in the school, needing to know all curricula to be supportive to all teachers and students.

In this post, she shares some of her thoughts for long-range planning for all who might assume this role. She’s also not so egotistic to let on that it’s all her original thinking; she gives a shoutout to a fellow teacher-librarian.

It’s a reminder that they can’t and don’t do it along; there’s a whole network of teacher-librarians who need to meet however they can – these days online – to help encourage each other on to bigger and better things.


Serendipity?

You have to feel for David going on an Alaska cruise – it’s a lovely cruise, by the way – and then end up contracting Covid and being locked in a cabin onboard and then even longer in a hotel in British Columbia before being released.

Photo by Peter Hansen on Unsplash

In the meantime, his wife who tested negative, gets to go home and remain in contact via networking. I think I would expect my wife to send me some food that wouldn’t be available in the hotel.

In this case, she sends him some goodies that turn into the serendipity that he alludes to in the title of the post. You’ll have to read his post to find out what it is but a bit of a spoiler here – we could all benefit.


Friday Two Cents: Two Ears to Listen Twice as Much 

It’s the sign of the times although podcasting has been around for years and years. More people are starting to listen to them and I think that’s awesome. I listen to Crime Junkie often when I’m out for a walk.

Paul offers three of his favourites:

  • The Bridge 
  • The Rest is History
  • We Didn’t Start The Fire: The History Podcast

I think I’ll tune in and listen to these. They sound interesting and Paul gives a nice review for each.

Oh, and I do listen to TWIOE on Thursdays to see how badly my mannerisms come through on live radio. I need to be more like Peter Mansbridge in that aspect.


Handling #SOL2022

I’m a sucker for one-word blog post titles. It goes against every bit of advice that I’ve ever had about blogging and yet when I see one, I quickly click and get to it.

I thought that perhaps the topic was going to be something to do with “hands” from the introductory sentence.

Again with the hook.

But no, it gets a little philosophical and appreciative of a neighbour who is handling life’s difficulties so well.

I feel for Melanie who wants to be in that situation. Here’s a person who needs a hug; you can’t do that but you can click through and read her post.


Please enjoy these wonderful blog posts and then follow these bloggers on Twitter.

  • Cameron Steltman – @MrSteltman
  • Amanda Potts – @Ahpotts
  • Alexandra Woods – @XanWoods
  • Elizabeth Lyons – @mrslyonslibrary
  • David Garlick – @dgarlick13
  • Paul Gauchi – @PCMalteseFalcon
  • Melanie White – @WhiteRoomRadio

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


It was good to be back Wednesday morning on voicEd Radio and talk about some blog posts. Amanda Potts guested this week and we talked about a number of things; one being the incredible flower pictures that she shares on Facebook. I figured she had a full set of camera gear; it turns out that she uses her smartphone. I feel so unworthy. I need to up my game.


Presenting

This was a reminder for me that there’s a first time for everything. In this case, Amanda partnered with Melanie White to do a presentation. She notes that, as teachers, we do it all the time but the big difference here was that people paid to go to this conference and hear her among others.

I thought that this was a wonderful discussion of anguishing over and tweaking a presentation before going live to make sure that it’s perfect. Amanda, I can tell you that now you’re on the speaking tour <grin>, you’ll do it all the time. There’s nothing so embarrassing as reusing an old presentation that has reference to a previous location. I always appreciate it when a presenter goes that extra mile and you can tell that there’s a reference to the presentation’s current location or audience.

Nerves are always good, I find. It keeps you at the top of your game.


Getting Ready for School: A Television Interview

Speaking of nerves…

When you’ve written a book, that opens a lot of doors for you. When you’ve written THE book on students and social media, you’ll get people like Global TV wanting you to appear on their television show to share your expertise.

That was the case for Jennifer. Good choice, Global.

Her post dovetails so nicely with Amanda’s because she shares her own nervous moments. There were five four points that she wanted to address. The whole interview was a 2-minute deal and Jennifer was a part of it, not all of it. So, in typical television fashion, things were edited to meet the time allotment. Her enthusiasm does come through loudly and clearly.

Anyone who has ever done something like this knows that you walk away saying “I wish I’d said that” and Jennifer was no exception. Her extra thoughts appear bolded in this post.

Her book SocialLEADia is something that every teacher needs in their arsenal when dealing with students and social media. It should be in every school library.


Those Last Three Years

I suspect that everyone is thinking about the return to school in a much deeper manner than normal this year. Will this be the year that things return to normal or whatever normal will be going forward?

The true professional gets better every year in the profession. They understand students, teachers, and learning, just that much better with experience. Matthew questions whether he and other educators are better now than before.

Maybe teaching during the pandemic didn’t make me a better teacher in the moment. But maybe it has the potential to make us better educators tomorrow.  

There’s no doubt that educators will have become better in their use of technology. Nerdy me hopes that that translates to better things in the classroom now that everyone is headed back there. Time will tell, I suppose.

Educators that read this blog know that they’ve been thinking about the return all summer. For those not in education, Matthew shares insights on what’s really going through an educator’s mind as September looms.


BACK TO  SCHOOL: POST-SECONDARY EDITION

I never had the opportunity to teach my own kids and I suspect they’re eternally grateful for that. It actually wasn’t possible since I never lived in the community where I taught.

For Vera, this will be the third time teaching students that are the same age as her own children. That’s an interesting observation and I wonder how many other educators have made that it. I know that it never occurred to me.

Vera points out that her twins were very helpful in giving her insights as a parent about their growth and development and how it helped her understand those students in her class.

The other takeaway for me what that I had no idea where Holland College is. I do now.


August Interlude

August is always an interesting month for me. My birthday was mid-month and from that day on, it was a family reunion, and then gearing up for the return to school – both as a kid and later as a teacher.

We spend a great deal of time these days just sitting on the patio and listening to music and lately the crickets have been singing along.

In the post, Sheila shares some quotes about August and one included the crickets.

“The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last forever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year – the days when summer is changing into autumn – the crickets spread the rumor of sadness and change.” – E.B. White

I thought it was an interesting tribute to a month that isn’t quite July or quite September.


Slice of (Summer) Life

Here’s a post that brought a big, big smile to my face.

As parents, I think we all try to make special moments for our kids. In Lisa’s case, it was to take them to swim in all five of the Great Lakes this summer.

This is a wonderful story about how the family met that goal.

I know that Lake St. Clair isn’t one of the five Great Lakes but it’s a pretty good lake. I could take her to some pretty cool beaches if she’s interested in doing that next year. We walked the dog at Belle River yesterday and the beach was packed. A little further north, Mitchell’s Bay is a favourite location as well.


Magic? Or Is It?

If you need a song to listen to while you read this. Maybe we can see why some students are hesitant to participate.

A wise person once told me that teaching is the nearest thing to performing real magic that you can get. It seemed a little hokey at the time but I came to appreciate it. Quite frankly, I’d forgotten about that until I read Aviva’s latest.

There’s an interesting story about a “camper” who was in the hallway and how things changed for her. It’s a great read; make sure you do it.

Once you get the whole context, you’ll appreciate Aviva’s closing thought.

While we might not have a wand or a magic spell to address all of these scenarios, Ms. Ung shows us that with love, time, support, and a combination of deliberate decisions, we can all work a little magic of our own.


I hope that you can find to click through and read all of these wonderful posts. Are you inspired to write your own? If so, reach out and let me know.

And, make sure that you’re following these bloggers.

  • Amanda Potts – @Ahpotts
  • Jennifer Casa-Todd – @jcasatodd
  • Matthew Morris – @callmemrmorris
  • Vera Teschow – @schlagzeug_usw
  • Sheila Stewart – @sheilaspeaking
  • Lisa Corbett – @LisaCorbett0261
  • Aviva Dunsiger – @avivaloca

This week’s TWIOE show on voicEdRadio

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


I had a free Wednesday morning this week as Stephen was off and away. However, we’re back next week and Amanda Potts will be joining us.


The Level of our Systems

I know that Donna is technically not in Ontario any longer but when she writes, I read. I worked for a superintendent who was big in setting and trying to achieve goals. I had always worked on setting and working towards goals but it’s not always easy in the staffroom where conversations wander in different directions. What was special with him was that he would meet with me periodically to see how I was progressing and he shared his goals with me and asked how I thought he was progressing. After a while, I did become more honest!

In the post, Donna lists four goals from James Clear’s book.

  • Make it obvious
  • Make it attractive
  • Make it easy
  • Make it satisfying

There are a couple of things that I’ve always tried to do as well…

  • Make it visible – your next learning friend might just find you
  • Make it measurable – if you can’t measure it, how do you know if you’ve reached it?

Happy New Year: Back to School Part One

Shelly has been promising to write a blog post for a while now and she delivered! Yes, the summer has gone by so quickly but we know that it always does. I can tell you that, when you have a birthday mid-August, it’s even worse. You wait all July for it and then it happens – usually on a family reunion day – and the gifts are often back-to-school clothes! But enough about me.

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

This post is clearly written from an elementary school perspective. I had to smile when I think of the difference as Shelly lays out three things for us to consider. If you want to read her thoughts, they’re well described and laid out in her post. Read it. Here’s how her points would translate to my classroom.

  • Desks/Chairs – I had the smallest classroom in the school. It sat 24 comfortably which is perfect for Computer Science. The year I had 36 in a Mathematics class was nuts. I had tables which sat two people, three rows deep and two tables on each side of a centre aisle. The first period of the first day of class was the only time the chairs were normal, facing the front. After that, the chair would be moved into different collaborative working spaces. (and often social gathering spaces…)
  • Bulletin Boards – I never did a bulletin board in my entire career. Computer Science is a communications program of study and so students would sign up to make a bulletin board over the course of our time together. The Marketing room with all its resources was just across the hall and so convenient. There were some amazing things put on display about some sort of computer topic. (they typically had to research it; shhh, don’t let them know it’s educational)
  • Student Materials – I never had the opportunity to teach students with their own laptops taking notes but I think I’d do it in a heartbeat and spend some time talking about folders and organization for saving things. In my time, students brought their own binders, etc. and a quick look around the classroom let you know who had money for fancy binders and who didn’t or just didn’t care.

Real-Life Math: 2 Simple Strategies for Joyful Math Talk

Alice has a teaser on her blog about this post but you’ll have to click here to enjoy it.

I love this from the concluding of the post.

The important thing to remember when doing math talks is that they should be natural and not too forced. What I mean by this is that memorizing a script of questions will not necessarily produce the results we want as educators. With practice (by you and your students), the conversation will begin to flow, and the questioning will become more organic. What matters is that we are trying to present these everyday scenarios to our students so that they know that math is all around them and part of their lives beyond the classroom.

I’m not completely unbiased with this since I went to university to study mathematics but I’ve had my share of mathematics teachers over the years. When I think of the ones that really inspired me, problems were always framed in the narrative of a story. The very best ones had a puzzle element to them as well. There’s a different feeling you get when you’re involved in a story or a puzzle. You end up enjoying things and there was no quote to get X number of questions done before moving on.

This article is rich in a philosophy that I can really appreciate. She gives concrete examples from photographs and nature and that just seems to be so natural. The talks can turn towards the abstract in the hands of a great mathematics communicator.


Uprooting

I’m a sucker for Amanda’s one-word titles and they always draw me in, unlike some titles that can be a paragraph long and I can just say pass. I know that the advice is to go the other way but what she does works for me.

So, uprooting what?

If you’ve been following Amanda, you’ll know that she’s been on holiday and that’s awesome. One of the big concerns about holidays is keeping your homestead under control while away. Apparently, dandelions were kind of a big deal here!

Amanda, you brought back a memory of a trip from my youth. We had a dog named Peter. Yeah, I know Peter Peterson. Anyway, we drove to see the Calgary Stampede, Banff, Jasper, and then the Pacific Ocean. We had intended to camp every night in this heavy canvas tent. Our luck was terrible; it would rain and so the next night we’d be in a hotel rather than camping. It wasn’t a great trip but we were away for two weeks. I’m not sure where Peter was boarded but, when we came home, our house was alive — with fleas. Without a dog and flea powder to keep them under control, they went nuts.

Having a house sitter or someone devoted to maintaining things makes so much sense for extended holidays.


Project Learning Tree – Seeking Teachers Grades 7-12

This is more of an opportunity (and you have a week to apply) for educators looking to do some curriculum writing to benefit the profession with a focus on forests. Topics to include.

  • Global perspective on climate change and the role of forests in mitigating climate change.
  • Carbon footprint and carbon offsetting, with a focus on how these relate to forests
  • Sustainable forestry practices and how they can help fight climate change and enhance forest resilience.
  • Indigenous perspectives on climate change and forests.
  • Implications of climate change to local forests and communities
  • Benefits of urban forests for tackling climate change and impact of climate change on urban forests
  • Environmental careers related to forests that contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Action being taken to protect trees, and forests in the light of global climate change projections and actions youth can take.

Getting Buy In For Ungrading

“Ungrading” is one of those buzzwords that you hear periodically. I’ve been in the audience of plenty of educational speakers who talk about upsetting the educational system by ungrading students.

The problem with doing this, it seems to me, is that you need a plan. You can’t go to a PD session on a Friday and come back to work on Monday and implement ungrading.

What I like about this podcast and show now is that Rachel and Katie provide a plan. It includes a how-to and importantly, who should know that you’re actually doing it. They have a fan on Twitter with their advice.

I really enjoyed reading their thinking on this but there’s still a question that nags at me and that is “at what point”? Could a teacher new to the profession pull it off? My initial reaction is no but that prompts a follow-up question – ok, then at what point in the teacher career is it appropriate? Are there other resources that could guide the process?

The timing of their post is useful; it seems to me that going into an ungraded class in September makes a great deal of sense.


Naming system for heat waves being considered

Before I start, a little warning that if you get offended by bad words, this might not be the post for you to read.

However, if you like a little satire to reflect back on the warm summer that we had in 2022, you might enjoy reading and his suggestions for naming heatwaves.

dougzone22’s Alphabetical/Chronological Heat-Wave Naming Algorithm

Thanks, Doug McDowall

How hot has it been this summer? Usually, my birthday starts the discussion about when we should start thinking about closing the pool. Not this year. Heck, we didn’t even put the cover on last night. 29 degrees is just too warm.


I hope that you can find some time to enjoy these posts. Click through and enjoy.

Then, you can follow all these writers on Twitter.

  • Donna Fry – @fryed
  • Shelly Vohra – @raspberryberet3
  • Alice Aspinall – @EveryoneCanMath
  • Amanda Potts – @Ahpotts
  • Michael Frankfort – @mfrank_76
  • The Edugals – @EduGals
  • Doug McDowall – @dougzone2_1

This is a regular Friday feature around here. You can check out the past episodes here.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


I always hated this particular week since it’s the middle of August. Educators know that it’s the beginning of the end. It’s time to whip out that summer to-do list that’s been on hold while relaxing in July.


Recently, Ontario lost an outstanding teacher-librarian. While I never was a teacher-librarian, we had one of the best when I started teaching. He would listen to my needs as I struggled to fill those gaps that you never know about at Teachers’ College. He always seemed to have a book or other resource to fill that. I was constantly amazed that he had it, not being a computer guy. I’ve come to appreciate over the year that teacher-librarians network and learn with people all over the province and they are smarter together than they are apart. They have no qualms about reaching out to a colleague when needed.

This past week, two regulars here wrote blog posts as tributes to Caroline Freibauer. Both are powerful posts but I had a sense that they could provide something more personal and reached out to each to provide an audio clip to extend the message from their blogs. There was no question and it was done almost immediately after my request. I used them on my voicEd Radio show and I know enough of my own emotional limitations to not lead but rather close the show with them. I’m honoured to featured them both here at the top of this post.

For Caroline… Thank you.

Elizabeth’s was the first post that I had read. As the current President of the Ontario Schools Teacher-Librarian Association, she used her post to inform us all of the passing.

The post contains so much information in the teacher-librarian context but, to tell the truth, it’s great advice for anywhere in the profession.

I lost it at the end of Elizabeth’s audio clip when you could hear that she was struggling to finish.

Elizabeth’s Audio Clip

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zlxVUk_CQSFNKzOP_EkT49Y6qjG0NHhe/view?usp=sharing

Remembering Caroline

Then, I read Diana’s message. She talks about a panel discussion for something called “TLLP @ your LLC”. No buzzwords here; but buzz abbreviations but when your audience understands, …

Diana reflects on a number of achievements that involved Caroline. It was always good for the province. The impact from across the province is captured and shared in Twitter messages at the bottom of the post.

I lost it at:

One of the final gifts Caroline gave to us, posthumously, was the reason for us to reconnect in-person. COVID and circumstances had separated us, but Caroline got many of us back together again.

Thanks, Diana

Diana’s Audio Clip

Diana’s reflections –

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pGuNrcv3V5ZCpEmKfN88R5aL0FiAHftT/view


Life Long Learning with Stephen Hurley

David’s latest effort was the penning of The Principal Chronicles. I’ve mentioned this effort before and I bought the digital version when it became available because I couldn’t wait for the print one. If you go to the bottom of the link above, you’ll find reference to where you can obtain your own copy.

During the voicEd Radio show, I just sat back and listened to David and Stephen talk about the learning that went into the latest spin from the book. With Stephen’s guidance (and editing), David is recording the stories and making them available as podcasts. All of the podcasts are available here.

David admits that he’s catching up on the technology creation side of things but appears to be doing nicely. He’s purchased some new gear and is doing a great job of recording those podcasts. I like the way that they’ve broken them down into easily listened to morsels.


On Anti-Racist Educating Provoking Bullying of White Kids

Bullying is an ugly thing. I can speak from this with experience. In elementary school, there was a guy who would wait for me at lunch just off the school property and we would physically go at it. It did have a happy ending though and we became close friends at secondary school for some reason. But I went for a while just dreading the bell.

After a bit of bullying history from Marie, she describes an activity that I can absolutely see happening. Someone goes to a workshop and they do the activity on a Friday with the intent to replicate it on Monday. The privilege walk is intended to separate students rather than bring them together. You’ve just got to believe that it would amplify any differences outside the classroom and that’s not a good thing.

What I found particularly depressing was Marie’s reporting of how marks for the exact same assignment differed because of the white-ness sounding of a child’s name. Think about that for a second. This is not new. It did take me back to a course I was taking at the Faculty of Education. We don’t seem to be getting better at it as a profession.

This is a powerful read and will hopefully help you adjust your practice a bit before school resumes next month.


Endurance Project: Democratizing Space

This is another of those “Damn, they never had that when I was in school”. I’m old enough to remember gathering around a small television to watch space travel events. That’s so antiquated to what’s going on here!

Marc, his school, and Fair Chance Learning along with IBM Space, SpaceX provide a simulation experience for students that is second to none. I found this to be a fascinating read. And, this is Grade 11 and 12 students.

Anyone who might be getting set to provide a conference message whether it be a session, day long workshop, or keynote address needs to take a look at this. Hearing about this real experience makes you think that it could be replicable for more classrooms and that’s always a good thing.


Twitter Through The Ages — Is It Time To Go Back To The Days Of Old?

I loved reading this post from Aviva. It brought back so many good memories.

She takes us back to a different time and a different type of Twitter. There was far fewer people involved and there seemed to be a great deal less noise at those times. My involvement predates Aviva and I bought the definitive book, Will Richardson’s Blogs, Wikis, and Podcasts book and we had Will speak at the Western RCAC Symposium plus do a full day workshop for us the following day. You can stop laughing now at the concept of buying a book for social media. Hey, it was in early times.

Once, I got the IT Department to unblock Twitter, it became my go-to for advice and daily learnings about education and technology. It remains that way today. I’ll joke to anyone that I’m very noisy between 5 and 6am. But, I’m all alone doing some self-directed reading and learning.

My inspiration from those days was Rodd Lucier who reminded us to be creators and not just consumers of information to make it the best of learning experiences. He was so wise. Thanks to his encouragement, I started this blog and keep hacking away at it.

Aviva takes us back a bit and celebrates the learning and the way that we used social media then and gives a present day example. It definitely has changed by today’s use and I’m not convinced that it’s for the better. I think that we need to remember that it’s an educational platform for us but a business platform for the Twitter company.


Sports Books for Middle School

Man, Kristy’s post takes me back.

In what we would call Middle School today, our library had a difficult time keeping sports books on the shelves. There were so many of us that wanted to read them and maybe a dozen that were actually available. (Doug’s memory may not be completely accurate.)

I do remember desperately wanting to read The Jim Thorpe Story. It was never on the shelves to borrow. It wasn’t at the town library either. I was fortunate enough to complain loudly enough that my parents bought me a copy for a Christmas present one year. I think I might have it around here somewhere still. Maybe finding this is a weekend project.

In Kristy’s post, she shares a list of books that you might helpful. There are affiliate links involved.


It was another great week of good reading for me. I hope that you can find the time to click through and read these blogs in their entirety.

Then, follow these folks on Twitter.

  • Elizabeth Lyons – @mrslyonslibrary
  • Diana Maliszewski – @MzMollyTL
  • David Garlick – @garlickd23 
  • Marie Snyder – @MarieSnyder27
  • Fair Chance Learning@FCLEdu
  • Aviva Dunsiger – @avivaloca
  • Kristy – @2peasandadog

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