An important reminder


In the beginning, or at least close to the beginning, there was Yahoo!.  It’s still here today.

For many of us, it was how we searched.  Later, it was the best place to go for news.  It still is a terrific news portal and my dentist has it on the computer monitor to read while I’m waiting in the chair. 

Then, along comes the offer of free email.

Free!

How could I go wrong?

Just provide a little information in case you forget your password and your email account is created.  It’s just for you, and protected by your email and password combination.

What could go wrong?

Well, unless you’re hiding off the grid, we know today that many login credentials were stolen from the service.

Oddly enough, any story or even a mention of the situation was missing from the Yahoo! Portal today.

If you dig around enough, you’ll find instructions about what to do if you think you’ve been hacked.

There’s good advice there and also from this CNN report.

It’s good advice for everyone and certainly worthy of a discussion with students who are old enough to be signing up for internet services.  It is something to be worried about; if you’ve ever taken a course on ethical hacking, you know how powerful the good guy tools can be.  Can you imagine what the criminals have?

There’s plenty of advice about what to do when things like this happen.  It is important to secure that account – it’s not just your login and password that is at risk.  It’s every other system that you may have used the same information on and, if you truthfully answered things about mother’s maiden name, birthday, etc. a user profile about you can be created.

It’s also a reminder that, if you are self-hosting things yourself, you need to be constantly keeping things up to date with security patches.  For many of us who prefer not to get involved with that on an ongoing basis, using a service like WordPress which has a great deal more to lose than I do, makes so much sense.

In all this, I can’t help but wonder.  If someone broke into my house, I’d call the police and there would be an all out attempt to capture whoever did it.  What happens in these hacking cases?  Stories indicated that it might have done by a “state-sponsored actor”, whatever that is.  It would certainly be comforting to read a story that police or other officials are busy tracking this actor down.  After all, there are claims that this person is selling the information.  As they say on television, “follow the money”.

In the meantime, it’s just a wakeup to us all to do good things to protect our own information. 

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


I was at a bit of a crossroads with my collection of Ontario Edublogs last week and so sought some advice from readers.  Those that responded in public and in private were very convincing.  I’ll leave things the way they are for the present.  There are some new things that I read this week.  Check them out.  You may notice a theme.


Teaching as a creative act

Even as I create this post, I’m chatting with a friend about the use of a template as a way to use technology in the classroom.  Jim Cash, in this post, talks about relationships and learning.  There’s also the element of respect.  When you’re working with a template, you expect that most results will be reasonably similar.  Does that illustrate respect for the learner?  Allowing students to become creative honours their efforts.  As the title to the post implies, it can only happen when the teacher and teaching is creative.  There’s nothing much creative about photoglopping a black line master or the digital equivalent – handing out a template of a file for completion.

I see relationships and learning as very closely related; both are creative acts. They are creative because every day they need to be nurtured, utilized, examined, improved, and remade. The heart of constructivism is that knowledge, skills and values are built over time in socially safe and growth-focused environments. Knowledge building is never done.


Teaching is a Creative Act

In Jim’s post, he indicated that he was tagged along with a number of others to get involved with the discussion about teaching being a creative act.  The original tagger was Matthew Oldridge and he shared his thoughts in this post.

I had to smile at this paragraph in his post.

When I started out teaching, I thought I was “supposed” to come up with brand new lessons every day. That’s what I thought the job was, but then, if I was stuck for ideas, I would feel bad.

I know that, as a new computer science / data processing teacher, I absolutely had to come up with new lessons and ideas.  There was no formal curriculum; there was no textbook; there really was no experience I could draw on except for my own.  It made for some very short nights, making up content for all the classes.  In the long run, I think it worked out for the best.  It was only after I got my permanent contract that I found out that there was a department budget for resources and then dared approach my department to get my share.  To be honest, I couldn’t find anything that fit the bill.  So, like I would suggest virtually every computer science teacher does, I did a backward design from what I wanted the students to learn to the activities, to the lessons, to the introductions.


Blog Challenge: Teaching as a Creative Act

Also tagged in the post was Brandon Pachan.  It was a chance for me to add another name to the Ontario Educator list and the Ontario Edublogger list.

The post starts off with an insight that only teachers will get.  Parents just think the magic happens.

Teaching is a creative act because you are balancing the process with the product while engaging an audience that is diverse, unique and also part of the cast. Creativity thrives on limitations and obstacles.

He then identifies and comments on what he feels are limitations.

  • The Physical Space
  • The Cast & Crew
  • The Transition

I think that it’s also important to add “The Resources” to the list.  So many people are having to rework old resources to try and get new and contemporary results.  Or, perhaps you have the new resources but have had no time to determine how best to use them.  That, of course, leads to “time to collaborate”.


Sharing Interests to Prompt Self-directed Writing

Related to the theme is this powerful post from Tim King who, quite frankly, I’ve always pictured in the role of a technology teacher.  But, talk about teaching and creativity.

I’m back in the classroom again and teaching English for the first time in more than a year.  I took a senior essentials English class mainly because few people want to teach it (teachers like to teach people like themselves – in this case academically focused English students), and it fit my schedule.  Essentials English is just as it sounds.  These are weak English students who are getting what they need to graduate and get out into the workplace, they aren’t post-secondary bound and tend to find school pointless.

Huge kudos to Tim for reaching out to those students in this way.


Keep A “Plans and Ideas” Google Doc Open In A Tab, Always

While poking around Matthew Oldridge’s previous post, I found this one.  He describes a technique for never losing an idea by always having a tab open in his browser to curate those ideas.

I’ve tried a number of utilities including a Google document, Google Keep, Microsoft’s OneNote (grudgingly after somehow I lost all those notes at the Microsoft PIL Event), Evernote, in a blog editor, and in just a text document.  Ideas come at the strangest of times; for me it’s often while walking the dog which means a mobile solution.  I’d forget by the time I got home and he’d lose focus at the next mailbox.  I can access both OneNote and Keep on my watch and audio capture is so good.  Of course, if you use Office 365 instead of Google, you could do this with an open instance of Word.  The key is to find something that works reliably for you so that you don’t lose those gems of inspiration.


Minecraft Education Edition #MinecraftEE – Part 3: Digging Even Deeper

This is Part 3 of a three part series reviewing Minecraft for Education.  Check out the post for links to Part 1 and Part 2.  The post is attributed to @GumbyBlockhead but if you poke around, you’ll see who is behind this.

The whole three posts are a very complete look at the Education version of Minecraft, something I don’t have access to.  So, I do appreciate the walkthrough.

I learned so much – like how to change the weather.


An Interview with Matthew Oldridge

In case you missed it, earlier this week I had the chance to post an interview that I had with Mr. Oldridge.

I found it interesting to take a look a little deeper at what makes him tick and to get some of his thoughts about mathematics.

All my interviews can be found here.


Please take a moment to click through and read all these wonderful posts.  There’s always great stuff from Ontario Edubloggers.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Well, it’s one week down and how many more to go?  It’s been cruel for those of you who are part of this heat wave in non-airconditioned schools.  Hopefully, that will end starting today.  In the meantime, sit in front of the fan and check out these great posts from Ontario Edubloggers.


BACK TO SCHOOL – #BIT16 TO DO LIST

First off, check out the Bring IT, Together together site (follow the link above) to get a quick navigation lesson from Peter McAsh about how to get up and running for the November Ontario conference.  This is our conference, packed with presentations from fellow Ontario educators.  A few years ago when Cyndie Jacobs and I were co-chairs, we decided to add evening social events as part of the complete experience.  Now that I’m back on the committee, it’s exciting to see that the tradition is continuing.  I’m excited to participate in the BreakoutEDU event and to catch up with long time friends.  And, remember the Minds on Media experience?  It’s gone on overload and is now affectionately known as Mega Minds on Media and you have to check out the facilitators.  The program is shaping up nicely and all the sessions are posted to Lanyrd for you to check out.

Will I see you there?


My Phone

Heck yes, Royan Lee.  I completely sympathise with each and every point you describe in your post.  The post could have been called “Ode to Doug’s Phone”.

As Royan notes,

My mobile phone is with me at all times. Have you seen those posters at public swimming pools which remind parents to be at an arm’s length of their little children? I basically take that approach with my phone.

I would add that my own Moto 360 is useless without my phone in listening distance.

And, my two factor authentication requires the phone to be at hand.  I’d hate to get locked out; how would I ever blog?

My current fascination is to watch Penn and Teller’s Fool Us television show and look up the hints that Penn gives during his assessment of the performers.  Guess how?

How did I live before this?

And, if it’s good for us to learn and use the tools, why isn’t it the same for students?  Daily, there are new uses for the technology for us.  There are also times when we know that technology use is inappropriate.  Why shouldn’t we honour that with students?


Cover Artists

I like it when people share their deepest thoughts on topics and Colleen Rose does so in this post about Cover Artists.

I don’t necessarily agree with her.  If bands didn’t cover others, could you imagine a bar or a high school dance that couldn’t afford to bring in the original but can afford to bring in a band that covers others.  And sometimes the cover is better than the original in a tribute to them.

I’m a big Bruce Springsteen fan and really enjoy the “Cover Me” show on Tuesday evenings when they play music from bands that have covered the E Street and songs that the E Street Band have covered.  I like to think that cover bands are pushed to be at least as good as the original.

To make my point, Colleen, please enjoy this cover of John Fogerty’s Rockin’ All Over the World.


What is a Mindset, more specifically, a Growth Mindset

As the school year starts, if you need a kick start about growth mindsets, check out Michael Quinn’s post to parents.

It’s not a huge post and certainly doesn’t dig too deeply into the academics of a growth mindset.  But, it does set the table for parents and students to understand what’s happening in his classroom.  

I think it’s a good start towards keeping parents in the loop and would suggest that it would be a nice way to start a parent/teacher interview.


Teaching Hub: Post Two, Week One

I think that any person or department whose reason for existence is to support instructors could take a lesson from this post from the Learning Design Department at Fleming College.  I found it via a post from Alana Callan so I’ll give the first credit to her.  If you follow the link on the site, you’ll see that she’s part of a support team.

It’s awesome to see the supports that they’re putting into place for the staff there.

And they have badges.  What’s not to like?


MENTAL HEALTH AS A PRIORITY: WHAT’S DIGITAL IDENTITY GOT TO DO WITH IT?

I mentioned this post, by Donna Fry, last week and I think it’s important enough that it’s worth repeating.

It’s about a presentation that she shared with North Bay and DSBONE.

Of course, there are varying levels to consider.

She was kind enough to share her slidedeck on the post.  It’s intriguing to click your way through and I can almost hear her voice in the background.

Take a few minutes to click your way through and think about this so important topic.


Teacher Learning and Leadership Program Project – Part 1

These projects are always interesting to read about and imagine just what the results might be.  So what if it was delayed by a work action or a pregnancy?

The important part is that the project is back on the rails and this lengthy post gives Jennifer Aston a chance to talk about it

The goal of our project is to connect students with other French speakers beyond the walls of the classroom using iPads.  Each of the lead team teachers has received 5 mini iPads, a VGA lightning cord, 5 Belkin Splitters and Otterboxes for the iPads.  We are going to be measuring the effects of this type of authentic French speaking and listening opportunities on FSL learning with pre and post surveys for teachers and students as well as some digital documentation and blogs.  Will student confidence increase?  Will their understanding of “why” learn French increase?  Will they see themselves more as French speakers in the world?

And the best part is that she’s headed to the BIT Conference (see the instructions above to get registered) and will be looking for connections.

It doesn’t get much better than that.


As always, thanks to the great thinking and sharing from these bloggers.  If you’re blogging yourself, please take a moment to complete the form here and I’ll get you added to the collection.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


It’s Friday again.  Soon, once school starts, this will be the day to look forward to for some.  Over the summer, it’s sort of a countdown day.  Regardless, it’s time to take in some great reading from Ontario Edubloggers.


How Do You Want Families to Feel on the First Day of School?

I had this wonderful post from Sue Dunlop all queued up and had so many of my own thoughts ready to go.  As a parent, I was always super nervous for my kids as they prepared for that opening day.  Probably the most nervous night of all was the night before the first day of Kindergarten.  We weren’t really prepared; we just had our own fond or not-so-fond memories.  Kids today have it so much easier with things like the “First Ride” program to help ease into things.  We just had a photocopied piece of paper indicating -ish bus times.  The saddest part, as a teacher, was that I couldn’t be there to send her off on the bus.  I did call my wife afterwards to get the scoop.  The cool thing was that she never looked back.  The kid’s all right.  There’s so much in Sue’s post; it’s really worth the read.  My thoughts are superseded by a post from Stephen Hurley.

Back To School: The Family Context

There’s your Friday motivation from two of my favourite writers.


Introduction – How can we make eLearning more accessible?

I’ll leave the introduction to this blog to Donna Fry.


A GLOBAL Welcome Back!

If you consider yourself a connected educator and that you have a connected classroom, then consider Peter Cameron’s offer.  He’s looking to START the year with his class connected to as many as possible.  It’s not an experiment; he’s done this before and celebrates 75 messages from the first day of school last year.  He wants more.

I know that here are global projects offered from all over the world.  <grin>  Many fail but here’s one with a proven track record and stated deliverables.  If you’re considering something like that for this year, here’s your chance for success.


Regrets of a First Year Teacher

Brian Aspinall shares an interesting post that I suspect would apply to so many – that first day in front of the class and how you’re going to establish superiority.  Doesn’t this history resonate for all?

However, I went to school in quiet hierarchical rows and I learned to teach at the Faculty in very similar settings. I was complimented for getting them to conform so I continued to dictate because I needed to impress the hiring committee. There existed a silo / fishbowl in that best practice was shared in the staffroom and I wasn’t up to par based solely on the volume of my class.

I feel compelled to point out that the desks at the Faculty were nailed to the floor in our computer lab – but hopefully, he remembers that the chairs moved.  But didn’t we all go through that moment on our first day?  For me, at a secondary school teaching a Grade 12 class, I was only a few years older than the students.  I felt I needed to prove who was boss.  Looking back now, what a bunch of wasted time and energy.

It doesn’t matter how or where you start your teaching profession, I think that the key message from his post is that no matter what, you’re going to inherit a whack of baggage.  What you do with it will determine how quickly you’re able to be successful.


Learn. UnLearn. ReLearn. Repeat.

I think this is a perfect read from Jennifer Casa-Todd to tack on to Brian’s post.  It could just as easily have been the title from his post.

Here’s your inspiration to read her post.  She uses these words…

  • Risk-taker
  • Networked
  • Resilient

She builds the post around those words and applies them to her own learning.  I would suggest that they’re easily transferable.

A few other teasers from her post …

  • change
  • complain
  • panic
  • generous

How can you not check it out?


Summer Reading: Good to Great

Heather Theijsmeijer will be assuming a new role with her district this fall.  Of course, we all wish her the very best in her endeavours.

I remember when I left the classroom and moved into a leadership role within the district.  As the starting date loomed, I had the feelings of excitement and doom filling my mind.  Both answered the question “What did you get yourself into?”

Heather’s asking and answering questions and elaborating.

  • What is my educational passion?
  • What drives the educational engine of my position?
  • What am I best at?

It’s never easy.  I look forward to reading of her successes this upcoming year.


A View From the Side of the Road

There are a number of things that go into a great blog post for me.

One is a great story, another is an educational insight, another is a turn that takes me as reader on a path not predicted, and yet another is an affirmation that the kids are all right.

Sue Bruyns has them all in this wonderful post about her educational trip to the Dominican, a road trip in a van, and the people involved.  And a great opportunity to muse.

I can’t help but wonder if we’re giving our children the right things to watch and engage with.  The young boy, at the side of the road in the Dominican, certainly didn’t need reminders about paying attention ~ his view from the side of the road was enough!


An Interview with Rodd Lucier

In case you missed it, I had the opportunity to interview Rodd Lucier (you may know him better as @thecleversheep) this week.  It was an interview. long in the creation, because there was so much to ask and I didn’t want to miss anything.


How’s that for a good collection of reading for your Friday morning?  Enjoy, and please take the time to drop off a comment or two for these wonderful bloggers.  Consider Peter’s offer to connect to his classroom

If you open the hamburger menu above, you can see the complete collection of TWIOE posts.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


It’s time, again, to take a look at the roundup of blogs and content that I enjoyed this past week contributed by Ontario Edubloggers.  Please follow along and see the thoughts/insights from these folks.


Remembering Seymour Papert in Ontario Education

I like to toss in Peter Skillen’s direction some of the superficial references to Seymour Papert’s work that are so often referenced and increasingly used to indicate why students need to code.  I guess it’s our society of 140 characters and sound bits that generate it but it really does a disservice to the amazing work of one of the owner of shoulders that we should all be standing on.

In this post, Peter reflects on some of the time that he spend with Dr. Papert and how Peter sees his influence on Ontario education.  I think that it’s a worthy inclusion to your reading.

Peter and I have been bantering back and forth about the opportunity to recognize Dr. Papert’s influence at the Bring IT, Together conference in November.  I hope that we can put together something appropriate to celebrate one of the great minds in education.


It’s not about the Tech…..

With apologies to Jonathan So, I really hate it when this is used as a title or in most references.  

The inspiration for his post came from a podcast and, in particular,

There was a line that I heard in the post that I just hit a big aha moment. Peter mentioned that the OTF Summer conference was titled “Pedagogy before Technology” and that he wasn’t fond of the title but that it was something that was current in education.

I think that, even the discussion, demeans the efforts of educators who are doing the best they can.  I keep thinking of a quote from Wayne Hulley “Nobody wakes up wondering how they’re going to screw up today”.

I think the last quote from Jonathan sums it up nicely…

I know that as teachers we also need time to learn new tools and how they work but first and foremost we need to understand what their purpose is and why we would be using them in the classroom. Love to hear your thoughts on this and if you haven’t heard it already listen to Rolland’s podcast some fantastic educators on there.

It’s a chicken and egg thing but has any other tool in technology been so scrutinized and criticized?  If you search history, there was a huge concern that ball point pens were just the “beginning of the end”.  Some teachers are new to effectively using technology and they need to be supported in their endeavours.  Those that have used it should be those who are supportive with examples and ideas.

Curriculum consultants and district leaders should constantly be providing learning opportunities for staff to learn no matter where they are in their learning.  If they’re not, well … you get what you get.

Education has toyed with the concept of Programmed Instruction, abandoned it, and moved on.  I just wish that the conversation would as well.


TELL 2016

Mark Renaud attended the Technology-Enabled Learning & Leading Institute 2016 this summer along with about 1000 of his closest colleagues.

In this post, he shares his highlights from conference.

It’s interesting to read his observations and hopefully further blog posts will give us an idea as to how they’ve made an impact in his school and to his leadership style.

There are lots of links to slidedecks from some of the presenters at the TVO website.  There’s much Google stuff there, most of the sessions are tagged “Beginner” and kudos to the presenters from my former board.


Collaborating with Colleagues using OneNote Staff Notebook

What about boards that have used Microsoft Office 365 instead of going the Google route though?

Andre Quaglia recently added his blog to the Ontario Edubloggers collection and I went back to a post of his from February.

I recently discovered the advantages of using OneNote Staff Notebooks as a collaborative tool to keep the momentum of conversations flowing after department meetings with teaching colleagues.

In the post, he shares three examples of using OneNote Staff Notebooks.

  • Creating an inventory of instructional technology
  • Verifying class textbook and planning
  • Discussion about how to allocate new classroom workspace

Time

One of the great things about blogging is that you can be or create anything you want.

In this post, Joan Vinall Cox shares a short poem about “Time”.

It’s a reminder to all of us that we’re getting older.


Squirrel!

My classroom was probably the least desirable room in the school.  I don’t know whether it was the block design or the fact that we were air conditioned but there were a few rooms that had no outside windows.  I had one of them.

So, I can’t really empathise with Ashley Soltesz’ first day of school.

It’s actually distractions rather than squirrels that form the basis of the post.  We all have them.

She does end with a question that we all have – how do you handle distractions?


The question is not, “how best to teach mathematics?” The question, educator, is “how best for YOU to teach mathematics?”

After the title, the rest of Matthew Oldridge’s post is pretty much redundant!  When you’ve taken as many courses in mathematics as I have, you’d like to think that you’ve seen it all.

I’ve been drilled, investigated, explored, charted, drawn, programming, puzzled, heard mathematics jokes, …

Unfortunately, for most teachers, their last formal kick at mathematics would have been at a Faculty of Education which has to include that in amongst everything else for some teachers or focus on the teaching of difficult mathematics for those who would aspire to be secondary school specialists.

So, it comes as no surprise that some folks think that they have to chalk and talk in order to get their dollar and a quarter for the day.  Fortunately, we’re having the discussion about teaching and I really enjoyed the approach in Matthew’s post.  In true mathematics tradition, he illustrates with a chart…

I think that it’s a good read and anyone who will be teaching mathematics, at whatever level, would be well advised to read and consider their approach.  And, question when you’re advised to embrace “high impact strategies”.  To be sure, they can be good research, but don’t necessarily address your skill set or the learning needs of your students.


It’s absolutely another great week of reading.   Thanks to all the bloggers who contributed to my learning.  Please take a moment and drop by their posts (I’ve given you the links so it’s easy) and extend their conversations.  If you’re a blogger yourself, do what Andre did, and add yourself to the list.  I’d really like to have you included.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Here they are – hot off the press – and those from Southwest Ontario understand hot.  Great blog posts that I’ve read recently from Ontario Edubloggers.


Pokemon Go and Moral Panic

Andrew Campbell gives us a quick run down of the news stories surrounding this summer’s obsession, Pokemon Go.

But, as he notes…

andrew

I suspect that we won’t have heard the end of it as school starts.  You’ll stumble into all kinds of “good” educational ideas for its use already.  Brace yourself for more.  Then there will be another rash of “power down in the classroom” discussions.

Hopefully, the discussion will end soon and get back focused just on good teaching – with or without the use of technology.

Quite frankly, I’m not holding my breath.


Teacher Identity: It’s Such A Personal Thing

My head was bobbing in agreement with Stephen Hurley’s post.

stephen

As a first year teacher, I wanted to be an amalgam of the best teachers that I had ever had and wanted to distance myself from those who I felt weren’t so good.

Truth be told, over time, I realized that it was really, really hard to be that best teacher.  On the other hand, I got insights into what made the others the way that they were.

So, I eventually ended up being who I was.  Good, bad, ugly, I guess the final evaluation is in the minds of the students that I had.  The nice thing about education is that you get the opportunity for a fresh start every 12 months.  Not many other professions offer that luxury.

As you plan to head back to school, and I know that many of you have already been in to do this and that, give Stephen a read and see if he doesn’t help you with your plans.


Google Forms and Siri Unite For Recording Anecdotals and Classroom Walkthoughs

Brenda Sherry shares a marriage of technology that many might find helpful – using Siri and Google Forms to record anecdotal notes.  It’s complete with instructions and pictures if you’re interested.

brenda

The combination is a natural and her description certainly worked for her.

Like the commenter to the blog though, I had to wonder – what if you have different technologies?  Office 365, Android phones, Windows Phones (yes I know one person who loves his).

So, it was off to experiment here and it worked well with Android and Google Forms, Android and Windows 365.  Windows Phone?  Not available for testing!

Of course, the key is the ability to click into a field expecting text and then the little microphone that’s part of the keyboard.

The other key is a quiet background.


Georgian Bay Sunset at McNab Rocks

This post, by Jessica Outram, brought back great memories from my youth.  Georgian Bay was a popular destination although I never understood the geography well enough to know where “McNab Rocks” is.  But, apparently Google Maps does (if this is indeed them)

If this is true, then we spent most of our time on the other side of the bay!  We were more Lion’s Head people.

Regardless, it’s beautiful and the post comes complete with some wonderful pictures.  It’s a reminder that you don’t have to have a long distance vacation if you’re in Ontario and you’re over the top if you get a chance to go out with the right people.


Crippling with Kindness

Diana Maliszewski has written a hugely powerful post that she’s delayed making public until now.  She’s shared, in the context of working with a blind student, a powerful message.  I never learned this in school.

However, I did learn about it in Scouts.  We were going to make a visit to a Senior’s home and, as Lord Baden-Powell would have us, we needed to “Be Prepared“.

I never needed the skills again until later at university where one of my classmates was blind.  He really resented when someone would just grab him, thinking that they were helping.

Not being there are continuously grabbing the keyboard is a powerful methodology when teaching computer science.  Not everyone “gets it” at the same moment and so are you really helping when you’re quick to inject yourself into the situation?

Diana concludes with her observations and some very good questions of herself, and I would suggest should be asked of everyone.


My Three Measures For Success

I was working on this post this morning when I got notification that Aviva Dunsiger had released a new post.  I wondered – what question is she asking now?

She lists and elaborates on three measures for success for herself.

  • Have students successfully self-regulate so that they are ready and able to learn
  • Meet and/or exceed the Board’s reading benchmarks by the end of Kindergarten
  • Help develop independent problem solvers

As I look at her list, three things come to my mind.

  • These are really ambitious goals – are they realistic?
  • Particularly with the first and last one, how does she plan to measure success?
  • Will she share these measures with the parents of her students?  If she does (although it could be argued that this blog post has done it), will she be accountable to them for results?

It’s good that she’s sharing her thinking and planning with us.  I wish her all the best and do hope that she’s successful.


How To Create a Culturally Responsive Classroom for Refugee & Migrant Students

This post, by Rusul Alrubail, is very appropriately timed as people are thinking about the new class(es) for the fall and what the future might bring.

That future might include some “refugee and migrant students”.

The post has two distinct parts

  • Strategies to try out in the classroom to help create a culturally responsive environment for all students:
  • How to Create A Welcoming Environment in the Classroom:

and there are some wonderful and helpful ideas in there.

I also thinking that the sharing of success stories from the local news media can be helpful.  And, if they aren’t doing enough, create your own success news and distribute your own news releases.

Sadly, there’s an elephant in the room as well as the US election steams ahead.  I shudder all the time as all formal news media, including Canadian ones, seem compelled to cover it.

I’ll look forward to the full release of the interview.


I know that these and other posts have given me a shot for thinking recently.  I hope that they do and that you drop by their blogs and leave a comment.  It will help to encourage the great blogging and thinking efforts.

Just when you thought your browser couldn’t do any more …


… you find out it can.

This is something that I think most sophisticated web users do anyway but now it can be done automatically.

It’s a wonderful example about how good things happen when great minds get involved.

Who hasn’t followed a link or a bookmark or a carefully curated website or a great blog only to find that it’s not where your computer thinks it should be and you get the dreaded 404 error message?  Good websites or browsers will often give you a customized message to let you know something is amiss but it’s still unnerving at times when you know that the resource should be there. Or, at least it was at one point.

If the website or resource has indeed gone away, who hasn’t used the Wayback Machine to find a resource from the past, captured as it constantly monitors the web.

Heck, you might even find the presence of a former employer.

If nothing else, it’s a reminder of how we were all learning to create content for the web.

A new project from Mozilla promises to solve this with “No More 404s”.  It’s part of the Firefox Test Pilot project and, if you enter a link that would normally generate a 404 error, Firefox will try to return a successful result by digging into the Wayback Machine for it.

There are other experiments in the Test Pilot program so check them out.  I find the “No More 404s” part most intriguing.

I predict that, if it’s successful, all browsers will eventually incorporate it or something like it.

It’s just a great idea.

Thoughts?