Ontario voices


If you listened to This Week in Ontario Edublogs on voicEd Radio yesterday morning, you would have heard Stephen and me make reference to a new series of podcasts that Stephen was involved with.

Stephen was commissioned (volunteerissioned?) by ECOO to have interviews with a number of Ontario educators who are on the front lines, teaching in these challenging times. The series is titled Ontario: Learning Together at Home.

I did know that Aviva Dunsiger had been on the podcast as I’d already listened to her thoughts and that was all that was posted.

Soon, a number of other podcasts appeared

  • Aviva Dunsiger
  • Tim King
  • Jason Trinh
  • Colin Jagoe
  • Alanna King
  • Danika Tipping

The list of names wasn’t terribly surprising. Many of the individuals have been presenters at provincial conferences for years. Jason was a new name for me so I listened to him with extra interest. To this point, he was a name on one of my Ontario Educator lists. Now, I know a great deal more about the gentleman.

I found their insights interesting. They come from different disciplines and panels (I was surprised there weren’t more elementary educators). Even geographically, they were nicely spread across at least Southern Ontario. Of course, the husband and wife team are a great deal closer!

Stephen let it slip that there’s another one in the pipeline.

Their stories are short and I think you will immediately empathize with them. They do reveal some important insights about how they’re getting through the current situation.

I would encourage you to visit the voicEd Radio site and listen to one or more of these. It’s a nice reminder that all teachers are on this ship together.

On a personal note, as a person who doesn’t get out much these days, it was absolutely terrific to hear all these recognizable voices again and visualize them in the rolls that they describe. I’ve been in sessions led by them all. Thank you to each of you so much for sharing your stories.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


It’s anything but business as usual, my friends. Please stay safe.

Here are some of the latest great reading I’ve done from the blogs of Ontario Edubloggers. Please help me keep the Livebinder up to date. If your blog doesn’t appear there, please consider adding it. If you have a blog there and have abandoned it, let me know so that I can take it down.


Podcasting with students

From Jennifer Casa-Todd, an interesting post about Podcasting with students. Podcasting isn’t new; as long as there was Audacity and a microphone on a computer, people have been recording themselves talking about things.

There appears to be a renewed interest lately and I’d like to think that we’re celebrating everyone’s voice more than ever. In this case, and it comes as no surprise since it’s from Jennifer, the focus here is about amplifying student voice.

Jennifer shares her experiences here and has collected resources in a Wakelet document for all to enjoy.

You can’t possibly disagree with her reasons for why you’d want to podcast with students. It’s never been as easy to do as it is today.


Teachers, Copyright, and Fair Dealing: Know your rights and know your limits!

I feel kind of bad about this but I missed Fair Dealing Week.

Thanks to Peter Beens though for raising the importance of Fair Dealing when considering classroom resources. He reminds us of the Fair Dealing Decision Tool.

Through navigation, you’re only a click or two away from advice about whether or not you can use a particular resource in your classroom.

More details about Fair Dealing can be found here.


100 Episodes: Looking Back and Learning Forward

One of the truly nice people that I’ve had the pleasure to meet on social media is Ramona Meharg. Our paths have crossed a number of times, in a number of different ways.

Obviously, I’m a fan of her blog but I’m also a fan of her Podcast series “I Wish I Knew Edu“.

Through her podcast, she introduces us to a number of educators who discuss things that they wish they’d known when they got into education. I was honoured to be #3 in her list which now has hit

Hundred Points on Google Android 10.0

Congratulations, Ramona. The first 100 are the hardest!

Check out her post for a little history of how she got there.


Getting On Board With Your Children’s Interests

Given that may people will be enjoying their family for three weeks this March, this post from the Umbrella Project couldn’t come at a better time!

There’s a suggestion there that would have been great for last summer. But, hopefully, you can remember some of the activities that children raved about from back then!

We can best support our child’s sense of purpose by noticing their sparks of interest and presenting them with a range of possibilities that align with those intrinsic interests. It’s tempting to think we know what is best for our children, but imposing these ideas on them rarely builds the purpose we were hoping for. Here are some direct tips to help you out:

Unfortunately, the infographic that is alluded to in the post was not accessible by me. But, there is a link to a Facebook page where you’ll find all kinds of great ideas.

And, for students, information about a $500 Scholarship!


Tweets of Engagement?

In Sheila Stewart’s latest post, she takes on recent changes to the way that Twitter has changed what you see when you log in after having been away for a while.

At the risk of disagreeing with Sheila, I kind of like the approach – at least when I find value in the content that Twitter shares for me.

Part of what appeals to me about social media has always been the ability to break out of whatever bubble I have surrounded myself with. It challenges my assumptions and takes me off in different directions.

On the other hand, there’s the flip side of this. There will be people that I don’t know that end up reading my stuff out of the blue for them. I wonder what they think about it – and by extension, me.

Sheila explores the concept that Twitter’s actions move your content from semi-private to more public. Therein is a reminder that we’ve known for a long time “don’t do stupid things”.

If nothing else, it’s a wakeup call to think about how you use social media and for what. Did you agree to be this open when you signed up or would you consider making all your messages private or locked only for followers like Sheila is thinking?


I know that I addressed the efforts of these two ladies on Monday’s post but I’d like to bring it forward again this Friday in case you missed it. I think it’s a great call to action for all educators during these challenging times. Rather than just sharing the efforts of some company who is providing some activities for home use, consider publishing your own list of activities and resources that are Canadian content and based on expectations from the Ontario Curriculum.

Please note that all activities don’t involved learning how to use Zoom, Skype, Meet or some other online service from scratch. There are amazing things that can be done otherwise.

Deb Weston – Stay Home Activities for Kids

Upon hearing that my students could be at home for up to 3 weeks due to an “extended March Break”, I started putting a list together of “kid” things to do. Once my students discovered I was writing this list, they gave me many more activities to keep kids busy at home.

Aviva Dunsiger – Kindergarten From Home: Here Are My Suggestions. What Are Yours?

Never would I have thought that I would need to write a post like this one, and yet, sometimes the unexpected happens. Every Friday, I start my day by reading Doug Peterson‘s This Week In Ontario Edublogs post. Just like with all of Doug’s blog posts, I know that he writes and schedules this Friday post the day before (often earlier in the day, I think). When he chose to include John Allan’s post, he wouldn’t have known that by Thursday evening we would all find out that Ontario schools would be closed for an additional two weeks following the March Break.


Please click through and enjoy all of these terrific posts.

Then, follow the authors on Twitter.

  • Jennifer Casa-Todd – @JCasaTodd
  • Peter Beens – @pbeens
  • Ramona Meharg – @RamonaMeharg
  • The Umbrella Project – @umbrellapjct
  • Sheila Stewart – @SheilaSpeaking
  • Deb Weston – @DrDWestonPhD
  • Aviva Dunsiger – @avivaloca

This post appeared on:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


I just got back from walking the dog and my fingers are frozen. It’s so windy and I didn’t wear heavy enough gloves. But, I guess I can’t complain too much. Last night Lisa Corbett, Beth Lyons, and I exchanged screen captures of local temperatures. I guess we’re just balmy and I’m a wimp.

So, this Friday before the Holiday Break, how about treating yourself to some great blog writing from Ontario Educators?


Skype-A-Thon 2019

Maybe it’s just the circles I run in, but I haven’t read or heard much about Mystery Skypes for a while. It seems like not so long ago, it was the hottest thing in the classroom. Maybe people have abandoned the concept for Flipgrid?

So, it was interesting to read Zélia Tavares’ post about her class’ participation in a Skype-a-Thon event.

Students are inspired by experts as their share words of wisdom and students reflect on comments which they have found very inspiring when recommended to find their own networks and supports around the world to lift themselves and others up.

Imagine having the opportunity to talk with a Vice President of Microsoft! Wow.

Look for links in the post to skypeintheclassroom.com and skypeascientist.com.

This could be the tip of the iceberg. If you could have anyone Skype into your classroom for a visit, who would it be? Often, all you have to do is ask. I remember coming in via remote to a Leslie Boerkamp class.


The Grade 3 ‘Travelling Genius Bar’

From Jay Dubois’ recent blog post, a new word for me …

ADE-worthy

The ADE program has been around for a number of years so I imagine that it is indeed difficult to come up with a new project and description that would stand out from what’s already been done.

1:1 iPad Classroom? Been there, done that, kids got t-shirts

But Jay puts a worthy twist to the concept. His students become geniuses and take their expertise on the road to any class in the rest of the school that wants a piece of the iPad action.

Now that’s unique and interesting. There’s a video of the process in the blog post stored on Google Drive. I hope that doesn’t cause problems.


Reconnecting with my cultural roots

I still have to copy/paste Diana Maliszewski’s name when I make reference to her in a post! Sorry, Diana.

Diana really does get this open stuff though and there doesn’t come a post from her that I don’t learn something new. In this case, it’s sharing that part of her heritage comes from Guyana and the West Indies. I had no idea.

She’s fortunate to still have her parents as part of her life and Diana shares a story about making garlic pork. Now, by themselves, they can be two of my favourite foods and I suspect that all sausage comes flavoured with garlic. But, I’ll confess that I’ve never had the need to drink gin out of necessity. Barring access to Diana’s intellectual property, I checked out the recipe online.

http://www.caribbeanchoice.com/recipes/recipe.asp?recipe=318

Let stand for 1-4 days? Hmmm.

The second part of her heritage moment involves going to a charity luncheon. I can understand myself being intimidated by a new group but never thought that the Diana I know would! So, I found that interesting.

Kudos to Diana for making the effort to remain connected to her heritage and her parents at this time of the year.


Naming and Shaming

Just this week, we’ve seen the incident south of the border as a consequence for a politician and Paul McGuire does make reference to that.

This is really something terrible to watch. House Republican leaders are actually saying what Donald Trump does in his attempts to bribe the leader of Ukraine is OK because, well, he didn’t go through with it. He got caught, so no bribe happened.

The bulk of this post though, is focused on the formal naming and shaming done by the Minister of Education. Has this become the way of politics now? Instead of civil discourse, we just ignore facts and shoot from the hip? As Paul notes, many of the big claims, i.e. eLearning for everyone, have been been refuted.

When your minister knowingly doesn’t tell the truth. When he tries to use old-style bully techniques, when he apes the tactics of Republicans south of the border we have to realize that we are playing by a different set of rules.

I hope that the statements and posturizing are for the news media and that common sense prevails in negotiations.


Thanks Milan – Lessons Learned at #OEGlobal19

What an opportunity for Terry Greene. He got to attend the Open Education Global Conference in Milan.

In this post, he offers 10 lessons.

#1 is great – take a chance and maybe it will work out.

#7 what an incredible looking lecture hall

#8 and warning, this can be a time suck but a time suck in a good way

and finally

#6 is something that we’ve learned from international hockey friendship trips. Other people love Canadian stuff. I find that demonstrating Canadian currency is always a crowd pleaser.

All 10 are great to read, muse about, and make sure that you follow the links.


voicEd Radio

The podcast version of our live TWIOE show featuring these posts is available:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/20854909

Bonus Coverage

The risk of digital leadership

I like the message that’s explicitly stated in this post from Jennifer Casa-Todd. The post revolves around a bullying situation and she pulls out all the tried and true tools as recommendations for how to handle things.

I think, though, that there is another message that comes across in the suggestions that Jennifer offers. All of them are good but the message that I heard was try this, try that, try this, and don’t give up. Somewhere there is a solution.

And, if you don’t have the correct answer, do what the parent did. Turn to someone with more experience – in this case it was Jennifer. And, if you’re that “Jennifer” and you don’t have all the answers, don’t be hesitant to ask others.

Together we’re better.


An Interview with Leigh Cassell

And, in case you missed it, yesterday I posted an interview with Leigh Cassell. If you don’t know of Leigh, you may know of the Digital Human Library.

Leigh was good enough to take the time to answer a few of my questions for the interview. I learned more about this amazing person and the projects that she has her finger on. Give it a read and I’m sure that you’ll learn more and will be inspired.


I know that it’s a Friday and everyone is ready to recharge over the next little bit. I’d like to take the opportunity to wish you a safe and relaxing holidays. It’s my intention to keep learning and blogging but there might be a day or two break in there somewhere.

The podcast This Week in Ontario Edublogs won’t be recorded next week. After all, Wednesday is Christmas Day and Stephen and I have family. Look for something special in the following week though. Keep blogging yourself and let me know what you’re writing.

Make sure that you’re following these great Ontario Edubloggers.

  • @zeliamct
  • @Jay__Dubois
  • @MzMollyTL
  • @mcguirp
  • @greeneterry
  • @jcasatodd
  • @dHL_edu
  • @LeighCassell

This post comes from:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Well, as noted yesterday, it’s been a tough couple of days. As it turns out, despite all of the troubleshooting undertaken, the voicEd Radio edition of This Week in Ontario Edublogs ended up not being saved. Such are the challenges of live radio.

Never fear though – today is another day and here’s the blog version with the five posts that Stephen and I had a nice chat about and a couple of more.


Class Size and Composition Matters

On the ETFO Heart and Art blog, Deb Weston shares her thoughts backed with plenty of research and a lesson in history about classrooms. The key message is right up front.

Much has changed in the last few years with the promotion of student integration and inclusion of special education students into mainstream classrooms. This integration policy further resulted in closures of contained classrooms thus limiting alternate options for students with significant learning and behaviour needs.

I’m not sure who her intended audience is with this. Those who go to a classroom later today know what realities and challenges they face. Old timers like me will remember self-contained classrooms and even schools where specialized teachers could intensively help every student. We knew that not every student had the same pathway.

That’s not the reality today. In a few years, there will be teachers that will just have to listen to the stories of the good ol’ days. I certainly hope that Teacher Education is staying abreast of this; I know that my Faculty days didn’t cover anything about how to deal with such classrooms.

I think that the most shameful part of this post is the recognition of some parents that they can’t wait for the school system to test students for appropriate modifications and are paying for it themselves.

Students, Education Assistants, Teachers, Parents, Principals, School Districts are all aware of the challenges. It seems that it’s the province which guides the funding isn’t. Or isn’t listening.


Exam

Well, you know what they say about paybacks!

Amanda Potts takes a little retro-educational trip to take a course for upgrading. Kudos to her for that.

But, there’s one thing. Assessment, er, final exam!

Three hours of it.

I haven’t written a three hour exam since university so I felt for her. My most striking memory was hating those that finished early and got up and left. Are they really that much smarter than me?

Writing the exam at home bring in modern comforts like a tea for company during the time period but that also brings up new challenges.

I’ll admit to smiling when she describes the exam and how she attacks it just like we tell students to. Nobody starts on question 1 and then moves on. You plan strategically as she describes.

There are a couple of takeaways.

I’m lucky because I know I did well, but I have renewed empathy for my exam-hating students.

So congratulations to her and let’s hope that her “exam-hating students” will be the recipient of a different form of final assessment.


Digital Breakouts Using Google Forms

The concept of the breakout room has been big over the past couple of years. And, if is good enough to gain the attention of the general public, why not the classroom?

Shelly Vohra shares how she implemented a breakout strategy with her students. I think there’s a great deal of value for those of you who are considering this because Shelly describes step by step how she implemented things when she did it.

Since it has a digital component, Shelly used Google Forms as a strategic tool to do the deed. If Google products are used regularly, technology wouldn’t get in the road and mess things up.

There, except for a combination, lies the prize.

She describes a successful venture with her class.

Would such an approach work for you? Check out this site for even more details.


O is for Outside the Box

I’m not sure when I first heard the expression about “thinking outside the box” but I’m pretty sure that if I had a dollar for every time I heard it, I’d be fairly wealthy.

Lynn Thomas goes way beyond the superficial treatment often given by keynote speakers. Quite frankly, it’s used with the intent to inspire but I don’t know that it ever worked for me. I was always looking for exciting things to do; without them teaching can be a pretty boring profession. When you inspire students with thoughts about different things from a progressive and creative teacher, good things happen.

Have you ever seen a child take a big box and turn it into the coolest fort ever? No one said your box had to or should remain as is, using the box in a new way is all it takes.

I love the fact that she encourages you to consider that box and might have some success just modifying the box!

Of course, my focus is typically about technology and I think an Exhibit A might be those Breakout lessons described above.


Feeling the Ground by Getting Some Air

Terry Greene apparently has a fan club and members of that club asked him to blog on the WCET Frontiers website.

In this blog post, he shares the what, who, and how of his passion for podcasting.

What – just what is a podcast and why would someone want to create something like this? In particular what is “Gettin’ Air”, Terry’s podcast.

Who – now he’s just name dropping! Terry gives some indication of people he’s talked to and why. I like his criteria – Every one of my guests does important, interesting, and fabulous work

How – for the uninitiated, Terry shares his tools of the trade. Podcasting really isn’t a new thing and I had to smile thinking about the Snowball microphone. I used one of those in the 2000s. The problem I always had for long stints talking was feeling that I was nailed to the chair in one position because you don’t want to fade in and out!

I was glad to read that Terry is continually planning for the future. It will be interesting to see what he has in mind.


If we want our students to (insert word) it starts with us

Before I even read Jonathan So’s blog post, I tried a few different words – succeed, pass, win – of course, I used positive words.

Then, I read the post and got his message. Dare I say he’s thinking “out of the box”?

So, as a premise as both a parent and teacher he wonders how he can get students to try new things and will he have better success if he’s trying new things himself?

It’s an interesting concept that had me asking a couple of questions…

  • do the kids or students actually have to see you experience those new things or is just knowing that you doing them are good enough?
  • does trying something new give you empathy for something else – like, oh, writing a three hour exam, for example

Every now and again you’ll hear about the “need to fail in order to succeed”. I think the message here goes much further than that – there’s a meeting of the minds taking place that raises the stake significantly.


Slice of Life: Published

Really short blog post here by Lisa Corbett and I’ll summarize it.

She wrote something and got paid for it.

The comments to her post are much longer than Lisa’s actual post. That’s always a good thing.

You can fact check me if you wish but I’d bet real money that Tolstoy’s first writing wasn’t “War and Peace”.

In Lisa’s case, I can see all kinds of things.

  • she’s now published – things like that are important for resumes
  • her ego just got stroked – someone likes her stuff enough to publish it
  • she’s going to be more likely to write something publishable again
  • a whole lot of people that Lisa doesn’t know just read her thoughts
  • she’s on her way to being an authorative voice in another medium beyond her blog(s)
  • she probably had a professional proofreader to make her content look masterful
  • that ice cream is going to taste extra special

So, congratulations, Lisa! Remember us little guys struggling to write blog posts on your way up the publishing ladder.


What a lovely collection of blog posts! There’s a great deal of terrific writing and a little something there for everything. Please take the time to click through and read the original posts.

Follow these people on Twitter:

  • @dr_weston_PhD
  • @Ahpotts
  • @raspberryberet3
  • @thomlynn101
  • @greeneterry
  • @MrSoclassroom
  • @LisaCorbett0261

I’m sorry that the radio version didn’t go live. You missed Stephen with a bad case of the hiccups.

The blog post originated on:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


The last week in August is always a strange one. It seems to pass so quickly, you have one last blast at Labour Day and then …

At least, there are always some great blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers to enrich the time.

Enjoy.


Podcast PD?

Up first is a post from Beth Lyons. Here, she’s wondering whether podcasting is professional development. It’s an interesting question. There are many participants in the podcasting experience.

  • the listener
  • the podcaster
  • guests to interact with the podcaster

I don’t think that there’s anyway that you can say with a blanket statement that podcasts are professional development any more than saying that all books fit the same purpose. Today, there are podcasts for just about anything and certainly not all would fit into the PD category.

So what does?

I’d suggest that one of the best sources for determining value comes from ETFO in their guide to elementary educators.

Make your plan an extension of the professional development you are already doing.

If you can find a podcast that meets that guide, I can’t think of any reason why you would even ask the question.


Standardized bodies < Accepting & Celebrating Difference

It’s always been difficult to understand body differences. Especially for teenagers. It’s easy to argue that it’s much more difficult these days.

The difference?

All that you have to do is turn on the television or surf social media and before long, you’ll run into products designed to help you get that perfectly shaped body.

Laura Elliott takes on this notion and encourages readers of her post to consider the difference between being fit and being healthy.

Her discussion blows apart the notion that everyone can look the same and encourages you to look beyond that. It’s wise advice and may have you questioning the value of things like the Beep Test as a measurement for all. There are alternatives!


I Think My Neighbors Think I’m Selling Dope

This isn’t a post that I could write but Matthew Morris could – and did.

Recently, he moved and is now a part of a condo community but, according to the post, he hasn’t been accepted into that community as of yet.

In the elevator, I try to extend my courtesies with “good mornings” and “what floor?” with folks who happen to share the space with me. I’ve been met with cold responses and void eye contact.

Beyond the fact that he’s young, a person of colour, he’s a teacher. Consequently, he doesn’t go to work during the usual times in these summer months.

It’s a very personal post describing his life as he see it currently. I hope that it makes you think. Then, he does a shift and asks you to think of those students in your classroom where perhaps you have made or will make assumptions about.

He helps by having you walk in his shoes.


Nurturing Guilt

Twenty-five years is a long time to carry guilt. Fortunately, Melanie White is able to celebrate the benefits of being a mother of a child with difficulties. She describes that awful feeling of feeling of suspecting to have been responsible in some way by her actions during pregnancy.

I hadn’t really thought about this but Melanie points out that there are many types of guilt…

white guilt, colonial guilt, childhood guilt, sibling guilt, parental guilt, teacher guilt

The notion of colonial guilt is taking her focus with the Grade 11 Indigenous Studies course on her horizon. If her K-12 education was anything like mine, we didn’t know then what we know now. Now she’s teaching it as she comes to grip with it.

She’s not alone. Is she speaking for a much bigger audience across the province?


My River, My Mountain- A Day of Learning with Jennifer Abrams

I really enjoy reading educators’ reflections about their own professional learning. After all, I can’t be everywhere first hand but can live and learn vicariously. I did that with Noa Daniels’ post as the vehicle.

In this case, it was professional development with Jennifer Abrams.

Noa has identified equity as one of her personal goals for this academic year. To help her focus, she includes ten questions about her practice that deserve her focus.

I think that the list of ten questions casts the net very widely. It’s going to be a challenge to address all the questions effectively. But who doesn’t like a professional challenge.

I went through the same process once with a superintendent and he challenged me to create similar questions and then identify specific things that would let me know if I had been successful.


Podcasts on Youth Development

From Conrad Glogowski, a short blog announcement about updates to his research newsletter. Conrad encourages you to subscribe to the newsletter entitled Youth Development Today.

As a teaser, you can click through and read a couple of newsletters focused on:

  • Youth Mental Health
  • The Teenage Brain

Preserving and Listening to Soundscapes

In this post, Krista McCracken introduces us to a podcast series called Forest 404. The premise is interesting…

The podcast is set in a futuristic 24th Century, in a time after a massive data crash and in a era in which forests and much of the natural world no longer exist.

As a result, she started thinking about the concept of the Soundscape, including a bit of a history. I followed some of the links that she provides and very quickly found myself down an audio rabbit hole. Admittedly, by today’s standards, some of the resources are older but certainly the content is not dated. In fact, it may be more realistic today than when originally created.

I found the whole idea interesting. And, it made me make sure that my backups are working.


Please take some time to click through and read these original posts. They’ll definitely take you in interesting directions.

Then, follow these bloggers on Twitter to expand your learning network.

This post originally appeared on:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

It’s not the original if you read it anywhere else.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Crickets!

That’s the big sign for me that summer is coming to an end. Around here, they’re doing their thing 24/7.

It’s Thursday morning as I write this and considerably cooler so all the windows and patio doors are open. And, the crickets are chirping in harmony.

Read on for some great posts from Ontario Edubloggers.


L is for Light

Lynn Thomas was a special guest host on This Week in Ontario Edublogs on voicEd Radio this week. We had a great discussion with her and then dug into this post from her.

As regular readers know, Lynn is working her way through the alphabet on her blog and is up to L. She saw that as light and took a shine to the various phases of an educator’s day.

As you read it, I’m sure that you’ll empathize with just how long an educator’s day can be.

The thing about daylight made me smile as a former football coach. When you start football season, daylight isn’t an issue. But, towards the end of the season, you’re playing under the lights.


A Guy Walks into a Bar

This post from The Beast was a very difficult one to include. It’s a hard post to read with a sharing about privilege that will make you stop and think. It’s even harder to read when you do recognize and admit to your own privilege.

I recognize my own and it’s all the clearer when you go through inspection before boarding a flight. I almost felt relief when I was pulled aside and patted down going through security in Phoenix. I looked over my shoulder and saw the “area of concern” which was in my hip pocket. It was my new wallet that has RFID protection and that messed with the scanning device.

Back to the post, I think that you can’t help but feel empathy as part of this discussion that indeed takes place in a bar. If you’re like me, reading the post once doesn’t do it justice.

I wonder if educators are more sensitive to things as we’re paid to observe and to try and level the playing field.

Nothing, and I mean nothing works people up into their defense mode like a big ol’ chat about their place in the world and how hard they had to work for it so therefore they do not have privilege but rather they have earned everything that has ever happened to them


Further Reflections after Faith in the System Podcast

For all the blogging that I’ve done, I don’t know that I could write something as eye opening and candidly honest as Diana Maliszewski does in this post.

It was a personal reflection after having appeared on the voicEd radio show “Faith in the System”. In the podcast, Diana opens up and shares her thoughts about her own faith and devotion to her religion. The post also includes photos of younger Diana which I’d never seen before.

I’ve known Diana for a number of years and I know many things about her professionally. I was astounded by the number of things that she said that she wish she’d said on the show.

  • Teacher Librarian integrating technology
  • her teaching schedule
  • maker culture vs maker movement
  • Minecraft
  • her children

I don’t know that I’ve ever had a conversation with her that didn’t include one or more of these topics. I can’t believe that she didn’t mention them on the show.

But, what she did focus on is included in this rather lengthy post and I now know far more about the life of Diana than I did before reading it.


TMB Withdrawal

I’ve been waiting to read about and see the pictures from the Climb for Kids. Heather Swail and Paul McGuire participated in and it was Heather that was first to the gate with the images.

This post is more than just a collection of pictures from the climb through the Alps which I kind of expected.

Instead, she shares the story of long days, steep climbs, comradery, and a bonding with not only the mountain and the climb but with those she was climbing with.

Her descriptions that go along with the pictures are rich.

Sharp, powerful joints of rock piercing the sky, massive white-gray glaciers glaring in the sun, velvet-green descents from sky to valley, stitched by rock. I miss the sound of cowbells from far-off and nearby meadows, ascending through trails in the forest with mountain larches caressing your face.

It’s a post that will make you tired just by reading it.


Using Technology to Drive Language Skills and Create Meaningful Learning Opportunities

From the Fair Chance Learning blog, a guest post from Kurtis Hartnell about an experience dealing with Minecraft in a Grade 3 setting. The setting was designed for students in a French Immersion classroom.

That was the wrinkle with this post.

There are many posts that talk of the virtues of collaboration and the amazing things that kids can do with Minecraft. They don’t really catch my attention any more because they are, well, about Minecraft.

That’s not the case here. The students were building Francoville and the post showed the typical engagement that comes from using Minecraft. Then, there’s the lesson for educators. As Kurtis observed, the students not only were immersed in the environments that they were creating, they were immersed in French as the language of conversation. The experience became more than just doing something cool with Minecraft. I was blown away by that notion.

And, there was a loaner 3D printer involved which is always interesting (I can watch them for hours) lent by HP and Fair Chance Learning.

There are also some interesting high resolution pictures of the classroom and kids using the technology. That’s always of interest to me.


How To Self Engineer A Learning Community?

I can still remember when social networking was young. Those that got there first described learning communities as something that was akin to magic. You just needed a Twitter account and miracles happened.

Well, maybe for them. I somehow missed out on the magic part.

I found that, for the long run and durability, for me it was a lot of work. It had promises of being something powerful on one day and turned out to be a massive waste of time the next. For me, I was truly building the ladder as I was climbing it.

I read Rola Tibshirani’s summary and thoughts about a year with students and their journey with great interest. It’s not a short post and the mixed media makes it a bit of a challenge to read. But, it’s worth the effort.

I like the collection of student observations; they add to the message that Rola is delivering. Not only can you see their thoughts working globally, but you get a sense of what it means to them locally.

I’d recommend this post to anyone who is considering working with kids and this social media thing. You’ll find out that it’s far more than just magic happening. It’s hard work, meaningful, and works best when it’s purposeful.


Reckless Abandon!

I had coffee recently with a friend who worked in the IT Department when I was in the Program Department. He had been going through his archives and found a sound file that he had created just for me. He knew that I was a big Law and Order fan, we were using FirstClass for an email system at that time and so he crafted this file as my notification sound.

Now, at the time, the neighbour in the office next to me was Nancy Drew. I always had music playing when I was working; that’s how I work best. My choice of country music wasn’t her favourite and so I did my best to keep it low but every email notification seemed so much louder. Anyway, he got me thinking about my friend Nancy. We’re friends on Facebook and I had read that she had started a blog. Cool! That’s right up my alley.

When I visited it, she has chosen to marry two things she’s quite passionate about – knitting and literacy.

So far, there are a couple of posts about her knitting and a promise of books to come. Let’s give her some blog lovin’ and drop by to read her thoughts and see what she’s making. She claims to be self-taught.


Please take the time to click through and read these posts in their entirety. I think you’ll enjoy what you see.

Then, follow these folks on Twitter.

  • @THOMLYNN101
  • @theBeastEDU
  • @MzMollyTL
  • @FCLEdu
  • @hbswail
  • @rolat

This posting originally appeared on:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


After a short hiatus, the voicEd Radio version of TWIOE was back on the air again this past Wednesday. I feared that I might need to be retrained but it was all good. It was great to have guest host Terry Greene on to share his thoughts.


What’s With All The Sharing?

Terry had recently written this post to his blog so, fortunately, we could talk about his writing with him “in the house”. The article was about a short webinar that he had given talking about three things that he’s been involved with.

  • Open Patchbooks
  • His podcast Gettin’ Air
  • Ontario Extend

Fortunately, he’s shared his slide deck for us to follow. The link is below.

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1kUWmoGuyjo2fPUSkpQI0pj9_2nzgDwy2Bw4U6EKAj20/edit?usp=sharing

He brought in a discussion about zombies and mountains – you’d got to read it and leaves us with this advice.

You can leave pieces of mountain all over the place via blog post


Interviewing My Domain

During the show, we had a chance to talk to Terry about some of the writing done by members of the Ontario Extend initiative and the first one came from Irene Stewart.

Irene interviews her domain for this post. What an interesting premise. Part of the Ontario Extend project was registering and developing a domain. So, this coffee drinker went this route.

It’s an interesting interview. I enjoyed it and learn a bit more about how she feels about the concept. I think many of us have our own domains; I know that mine redirects to a Google Site. I used to develop it on my own server but found that doing updates for security got a bit tedious and so my approach is to have the name as a portal to the things that I’m doing. Irene does the same thing.

While owning one’s domain is a smart thing to do, I always wonder about those who let their domain go stale and perhaps not apply updates. It’s easy enough to get hacked if that’s the case. Plus, you also need to make sure that you re-register so that someone doesn’t nip in and hijack your domain because you neglected it.

It’s more of a concern to serious and popular domains; I can’t imagine anyone wanting to hijack mine.


So Why SoTL?

On of the Ontario Extends activities was to get involved with SoTL. It was something that was new to me and Terry shared this link. A short video helps with the explanation.

Jessica O’Reilly uses this post to reflect upon her own approach to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

Right from the first time I found myself in front of a classroom, I knew I needed to conduct research in education. Teaching and learning are incredibly complex activities, and as a twenty-something TA flung in front of a group of undergraduates, I was acutely aware of how little I knew about all of it.

If you’re an educator, chances are you’re nodding in agreement with her statement. What did you do about it?

Jessica is turning her concerns into a doctorate at Athabasca.

How’s that for commitment?

As an aside, Jessica brought back a term that I hadn’t heard in years – SCORM.


Social Media- What is it good for?

Well, Beth Lyons, that’s a million dollar question.

In fact, if there are a million people asked that question, you might get a million different answers. One topic that has been the focus of this discussion this summer is the concept of an #educelebrity. I shared my thoughts about it recently on this blog and Beth shares hers in this post.

She takes a reasoned approach and I found myself agreeing with her on so many of the points she makes.

She does identify a personal call to action that’s good advice for everyone.

  • Becoming intentional about who she follows
  • Make a list of what she can control and what she can’t
  • Question those she follows

It’s a much better approach than getting into a war of words over topics because, after all,


Day 3: Relax

Teachers have it so easy. Two months off.

It’s a time to relax but this post from Lisa Corbett describes a summer life that’s anything but.

Before I had children I was really good at relaxing

Could we agree that perhaps relaxing in the eyes of a teacher is just a different type of hectic? Except that you have better control of the timing of events throughout the day.

For many, the enjoyment of reading can be the relaxing activity that they crave and Lisa does indicates that she had a stack of summer reading. In the comments, it’s interesting to note that some of the reading includes professional reading.

I had to think of a Star Trek episode when Scotty chose technical manuals as a recreational activity!


A Lot More Good …

I don’t know about you but whenever I pass a police car or truck, I get this tightness in my chest and my eyes immediately drop to look at the speedometer of my vehicle hoping that I hadn’t exceeded the speed limit.

Certainly that’s part of their duties but this post from Aviva Dunsiger lets you know that there are other things too.

From her summer camp, one of the campers was destroyed that someone had stolen his and his mother’s bicycle. I know when I was that age, that was my primary form of transportation.

The camper wrote a letter to Hamilton-Wentworth police describing the bicycles. You just have to know that a teacher is involved. You also just have to know that Aviva would document it with social media.

But, you’ll have to read Aviva’s post to see how this unfortunate event ends.


Help! My child wants a YouTube channel

My son wanted one too and just went ahead and created it. He also contributed to channels for television shows that he worked on. My child is a big kid so he’s allowed to make decisions on his own.

What happens when they’re younger? That’s the focus of this post from Jennifer Casa-Todd. My first reaction was that the parent should be relieved that they got the question and that the child just didn’t go ahead without permission or guidance. After all, social media cred is important these days and YouTube can be that facilitator. Also, we need to recognize that in these days of privacy concerns and shows like Fail Army that people attempt to have the loudest voices and most outrageous content to try and get that cred.

That comes with all kinds of potential problems.

Jennifer does provide a thoughtful guide and approach that should focus the discussion to practical concerns and planning for a child looking to develop that channel. Like much Social Media, it can also suffer an early death if not maintained and interests turn to other things.


Please take some time to click through and read all of these wonderful posts from Ontario Edubloggers.

Then, make sure that you’re following them on Twitter.

  • @greeneterry
  • @IrenequStewart
  • @Cambrian_Jess
  • @LisaCorbett0261
  • @MrsLyonsLibrary
  • @avivaloca
  • @jcasatodd

This post is an original feature on:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

If you read it anywhere else, it’s not original.