This Week in Ontario Edublogs


I can’t help but think that we’ve been so lucky with the warm weather and that things are going to catch up with us. I had to be in Windsor this morning (yesterday morning as you read this on Friday) and had a long walk along the waterfront trail at the foot of Ouellette Avenue and took a couple of pictures.

http://www.greatcanadianflag.com/

But, this post isn’t about me. You’re here to great some great content from Ontario Edubloggers. Read on.


The deafening silence of university presidents

At times, those of us from K-12 kind of forget about universities and the leadership potential that they have. Yes, we know of the Faculties of Education but the reach is obviously so much greater. Thanks to Charles for writing this post and sharing his outrage that their voices were quiet during the recent episode with CUPE.

As luck would have it, they might have a chance to speak up next week. Hopefully, they’ve read Charles’ blog post and are rethinking their silence.

To emphasize the point, Charles reminds us of this poem.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

https://www.paih.org/first-they-came-the-poem-of-protest

TRAUMA IN THE CLASSROOM

From the TESL Ontario blog, this is a powerful couple of blog posts about trauma in the classroom as non-English speakers arrive ready to learn.

I think we’ve all had that student that comes in and has challenges with the language. However, in most cases, they knew that they were coming to Canada and had hopefully worked on language development.

With what’s happening these days, there are people that are just getting up and leaving and don’t have the preparation. That presents a whole new experience.

The first post talks about the children:

  • What we know 
  • What we learned
  • What we think

It’s not easy but, as educators, you do get to go home at night and recalibrate. The second post brought out the emotion in me as it talks about the effects on teachers – I’d never heard of the expression “vicarious trauma” but I sure have now:

  • How can vicarious trauma be addressed?
  • Where can I learn more?

If you find yourself in this position or you have a colleague who is, this pair of posts is worth the time to read. After all, you can still go home at night but it is difficult to recalibrate when you’re the one with the issues.


The Sound of Paper #SOL2022

This was so my life in the classroom. There was paper for every lousy stinking thing that was going on. As I mentioned in the voicEd Radio show, we had every colour of paper that you could have stuff duplicated on. Boring me opted for white because supposedly, it was a bit cheaper.

The colour blue though was reserved for the principal and every Friday at noon, we got the “Blue Memo” which outlined everything scheduled to happen in the next week. The rule around the school was “if it’s not on the Blue Memo, it doesn’t happen”.

There’s a mindset that goes with publishing to paper. Darn it, if I’ve taken the time to put my thoughts and inspiration to paper, you need to read it. As Melanie points out, if you try to stay on top of things, that pile can get pretty big.

But, paper isn’t just paper anymore!

We’ve embraced the notion of ePaper and email as a proxy for paper because it’s cheaper and, quite frankly, can be edited before distribution and, at times, makes the concept of proofreading a lost art.

It does stack up and Melanie gives us a real visual of her life with paper of all sorts. I had to smile when she talks about turning to a podcast – is that the next new paper? At this point, you can multitask by working and listening to a podcast but will that evolve too? Imagine your next staff meeting as a podcast …


Fluent in Math

It pained me to read this post. Diane does a good analysis and I appreciate that. But, I’ve always loved Mathematics and I suppose that I’d be one of the people that might talk about Mathematics as being a universal language. As a Mathematics graduate from Waterloo, I had a richness of classmates and professors from all over the world and so it flowed nicely for me. It’s not like I was a genius; I had to work my butt off but it was work that I enjoyed. While I’ve long cleaned out my bookshelves of textbooks from my university days, I still have some Mathematics books. I love this one and still pull it out every now and again just to read and work my way through a problem.

Diane challenges the notion that Mathematics is universal and makes a good discussion about each.

  • Vocabulary
  • Multiple Meaning Words (this one had me laughing because it is absolutely true)
  • Word problems (this one had be uncontrollably laughing on the voicEd show as I visualized this)
  • Different algorithms and notations
  • Different expectations of student role
  • Culturally-embedded word problems
  • Exhaustion

Old Fellas New Music Episode 34

Paul and Bob Kennedy do a nice job with this podcast. 9 songs, 1 hour and a great bit of conversation and insight between the songs.

They share their thoughts on the music (apparently this episode had Paul at the cottage – great internet access I might add) You can listen to the show at the second link above.

If that’s not enough, there’s a supporting blog post at the first link so all your modalities are addressed. I don’t always enjoy all the songs that they feature but if I wanted only my own likes, I’d do my own podcast. But, there’s always something to like and walk away with. I like that they do the heavy lifting and I just get to listen and enjoy.

This week, for me it was this collaboration from Allison Russell /Brandi Carlile – You Are Not Alone that stood out. Of course, we’ve all heard of Brandi Carlile and she’s with Elton John in his concert this weekend on his last tour. But, Allison Russell was new to me and what a beautiful voice and in both official languages.

Enjoy.


Bonding Over Basketball

Aviva shares a bit of her teaching history from Kindergarten to Grade 6 and has been at it long enough to know that there are some students that you bond with immediately and others that take a little work. She gives a shoutout to her friend Paula who she acknowledges has the gift.

I think that we all would confess that all (or at least mostly all) students can be reached out to and have a bit of a bond although education is definitely not a one size fits all.

I thoroughly enjoyed her story about her experience trying to reach them all and that there were some that were a real challenge for her. If they only would enjoy a good book with her!

Good teachers don’t give up and write them off; they continue to look for the road that leads to connection. We all do that.

One of the things that worked for me was the computer lab – when students were working, I always allowed them to play music which seemed to soothe the teenage mind well. To be inclusive, I needed to give everyone a chance to determine what we would listen to. It wasn’t always pleasant but we do what we need to do at times.

I think this is a great read for all educators but might also have a special place for those teacher candidates going on a practice teaching placement as a reminder that connections aren’t always easy and yet they’re so important.


#LearningInTheLoo: Cycles 1 & 2 of Implementing a #ThinkingClassroom

I’ve missed Laura’s Loo-worthy material. I had to check if I’d just missed them or she was busier on TikTok instead! As she notes, life gets in the road frequently of best intentions.

This is a two-parter about thoughts of the environment that leads to success for Thinking Classrooms. There’s great stuff there. I wonder if principals outside her school download and print these for staff (not in Blue and be mindful that Melanie might not get to it immediately).

These are one-page materials – it reminded me of creating what I called “One Page Wonders” and respects the audience by not delivering a book when a single page will do.


Do yourself a professional favour and read all of these terrific posts and then check out these awesome writers on Twitter.

  • Charles Pascal – @CEPascal
  • TESLOntario – @TESLOntario
  • Melanie White – @WhiteRoomRadio
  • Paul McGuire – @mcguirp
  • Aviva Dunsiger – @avivaloca
  • Laura Wheeler – @wheeler_laura

This Week in Ontario Edublogs on voicEd Radio

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This Week in Ontario Edublogs


This has just been an amazing week for the weather. Yes, it’s sweatshirt and toque in the morning but later on, it’s been t-shirt time. You can’t beat that.

Today is Remembrance Day. Please recognize.


Full-Serve Gas Stations And UDL: How Might The Two Connect?

I’ll be honest; I didn’t see the connection. I had a back and forth with Aviva about this and she updated her thinking in the post. During the voicEd Radio show, Stephen moved me a little closer to understanding the connection but I still don’t entirely see it.

But that’s not the big point of this post to me.

Regular readers know that Sunday mornings, this blog features a post called “Whatever happened to …“. For me, it’s a fun post that doesn’t require a whole lot of research and just my thoughts about a topic. I’ve written 337 posts with that title.

Aviva wrote her own “Whatever happened to …” post and it dealt with the shortage of Full-Serve Gas Stations in her world and did a great job. I think it’s much deeper than my fluffy ones are. I thought about around here and we have two self-serves in the town proper and one north of town and another south although it might technically be in Essex.

I can remember when self-serve was a real novelty and you got to save 3 or 4 cents per litre and, these days, that’s a good and welcome thing. Who wouldn’t want to with every fillup?

It turns out that one of those is Aviva – and with her new job, she’s doing more driving than ever. In the post, she reveals something about herself and the reason why she wants to and needs to use full-serve. It’s an interesting read and makes me wonder how many others are in the same boat as Aviva?


October Multiple Choice for English Teachers

For me, this amplified another skill that Amanda has – the ability to write humour and satire. I did laugh out loud at a couple of the questions (particularly option 4 for the questions…)

Here’s one….

  • How often do you eat lunch?
    • Daily. With my students. I supervise a club every day. Interactions with students are paramount.
    • Every day. With my colleagues.
    • I mean, I eat…
    • I keep forgetting to pack a lunch. Yesterday I gave a student some money when he took a “bathroom break” and he brought me a McDonald’s hamburger and some fries.

This was such a wonderful break from all the serious stuff that is happening these days.

Do yourself a favour and take her quiz. You might end up laughing real tears like I did!


New Approaches to Old Favourites

Have you ever wanted to see Diana in a French Maid outfit? Then, this is the post for you.

It started innocently and professionally…

In Grade 2 Social Studies, one of the expectations is “compare ways in which some traditions have been celebrated over multiple generations in their family and identify some of the main reasons for changes in these traditions”. Lately, this expectation has gotten easier to teach, as COVID has forced many changes.

Then, we turn to pumpkin carving. But, finally dressing for Hallowe’en.

Now, many teachers will dress for Hallowe’en – we were encouraged not to at my school because it was supposed to be just another academic day. Many teachers did anyway and I eventually did dig out my cowboy boots and farm gear. How sad is it that I still had it?

But, you wear the costume and you do it for the kids.

Operative word here is “the costume”.

Diana had a number of costume changes during her day. Who does that? Well, Diana, of course. She’s one in a million and one of the absolutely most wonderful connections that I’ve made on social media that has turned into a connection in real life.


Emperor penguins choose to be endangered

Doug was on fire at the keyboard this week. I counted three blog posts from him that made me smile. As Stephen noted on the show, it takes a very special talent to write satire. Maybe we should lock Doug and Amanda up in a room with a computer and not allow them out until they produce something.

According to Doug’s reporting, there was a failed attempt to write an all-penguin version of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and the penguins did not take it well and agreed to be added to the world’s endangered list.

Who thinks of stuff like that? Certainly not me; just glad that Doug’s around to keep it fresh.

Also, check out these other posts from his creative mind and keyboard.

Extinction not all that bad who knew

Bug out

Late breaking related news: Tim Hortons brand soup base recalled for containing insects (Thanks, Doug, for this late breaking news…)


The Power of Parenting: Stepping back to connect with your strong-willed child

This week’s podcast featured an interview with Allison Livingston on Lynn’s podcast.

As a former principal, Lynn would be perfectly placed to have this particular conversation. As a parent of three, I wondered what parent wouldn’t think that they had dealt with strong-willed children.

I found it an interesting conversation that would be of interest to educators and parents everywhere. I felt a little sorry that it ended; I’m sure the two of them could have carried that conversation on much longer than the 30 minutes they did.

It’s packed with all kinds of tips and observations and Lynn is good enough to include a transcript of the conversation so that you can enjoy it at a different level. I enjoy conversations but also like to replay the message at time and I find a transcript is more helpful than trying to move the scrubber bar.


Can Art Make a Difference?

I think that most people would respond to this question with a resounding yes.

Colleen is generously devoting the product of her amazing painting skills as a fundraiser for Health Care in Nipigon and Thunder Bay.

This generous offering is in remembrance of a friend that Colleen lost this year. Complete details are in the post.


smashing pumpkin spiced thinking – school edition

Well, Will, I happen to like pumpkin pie. I don’t know if that follows from the title of the post. On the other hand, I’m not a fan of most other things that happen to be pumpkin spiced just because they can.

Will uses the pumpkin analogy to take us into a discussion of following the crowd. Like Will, in my first year, I wanted to follow what I thought was the tried and true way of teaching things.

The problem, for me anyway, was the excitement of being the teacher did not equate to the excitement that I had learning as a student. Of course, in the computer programming classroom, the state of technology and its power had changed. As a student, I learned one way. As a classroom teacher, I had to teach to students who learned roughly 6 x 25 different way.

I really enjoyed reading about how Will reminisced about how his teaching practice changed when he realized that he had to move on and grow in the profession. I like to think I did; I like to think that all teachers do, albeit at different rates and in different ways.

If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration to spur you along professionally, then you need to click through and read this wonderful post.


It’s another Friday where we can celebrate some wonderful writing from Ontario Educators. Do yourself a professional favour and click through to enjoy.

Then, as Will would say, add value to your PLN and follow these folks on Twitter.

  • Aviva Dunsiger – @avivaloca
  • Amanda Potts – @Ahpotts
  • Diana Maliszewski – @MzMollyTL
  • Doug McDowall – @dougzone2_1
  • Lynn McLaughlin – @lynnmcla
  • Colleen Rose – @ColleenKR
  • Will Gourley – @WillGourley

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

A new Twitter in the works?


You can’t get by without reading or seeing reports from Twitter as Elon Musk takes over.

When I first saw the video, I thought that he was bringing his favourite monitor to his new office. Then, I watched the rest of the video and I didn’t get it. But that’s OK; I suspect that there will be a lot of things that I don’t get coming up in the next while.

These days, I’m finding Twitter less and less useful for my purposes. I’m not alone.

Exclusive: Twitter is losing its most active users, internal documents show

I was going to take a guess but Twitter has it on record so I just looked at my join date.

I know exactly where I was when I joined. I was in a workshop led by Will Richardson who was talking about the importance of connections and statements like “together we’re smarter” had me convinced. I bought into the concept and joined immediately. It required a lot of work to make it happen and be of real value but, in the end, it was the best professional learning that I’d ever done for myself.

I haven’t regretted doing so but, like the author above, I’ve noticed that it’s less helpful these days.

Back in the day, we would have

  • hashtags for everything
  • Tweetups at conferences
  • FollowFridays
  • Pictures of food (OK, it wasn’t always professional)
  • Twitter lists and sharing of those lists
  • and probably a lot more if I continue to reminisce

Things are certainly different these days. I still maintain the FollowFriday thing and people seem to appreciate the connections. I think anyway. I still get pumped when it generates a new follower and the first thing I check is whether or not they have a blog and are from Ontario because I love to follow them.

It’s always been worth it to me. I truly do love to read blog posts, particularly about education. I find them to be truer and more authentic that news releases or articles written because some reporter has a deadline to meet. But most of all, I’m impressed when someone’s writing teaches me something new or leads me to find out more about things.

These days, I’m seeing more dead or dying Twitter accounts and abandoned Blogs than ever.

I don’t think that it’s necessarily that people have abandoned platforms but I get the sense that people are more scrollers on social media than in the past. In the past, there was value and worth by creating something or being supportive by sharing the works of someone else. It was a Personal Learning Network at its best.

Now, my timelines seems to be full of Wordle results or memes retweeted from somewhere else.

Musk claims that he wants to take us back to the concept of the town square where people gather to chat. Earlier in the summer, we walked the “Square” in Goderich (it really isn’t a square) on a Saturday and Sunday morning when the markets were set up. People had their own tables and were so welcoming to talk about what they were selling and some even recommended a fellow vendor when we asked for something they didn’t have. It was exhilarating to take do it.

There really was a sense of wanting to help each other out. It reminds me of the good old days of Twitter.

Can Musk take us back to that?

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


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

This Week in Ontario Edublogs on voicEd Radio