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.

Headed to Niagara Falls


By the time this post goes live, I’ll be up and getting things ready tomorrow morning for the trip to Niagara Falls and the Bring IT, Together Conference.

Things are a little different this year; knock wood but I don’t have the bad cold that I did last year. That was brutal. I didn’t want to get in the proximity of anyone. That makes for a lonely conference.

It seems like a long time since 2013 and 2014. Those were the years that Cyndie Jacobs and I co-chaired the conference. It also was the beginning of a relationship with the folks at OASBO-ICT. That sparks good memories like Cathy Their’s amazing organizing ability and Chris Demers leading the jam sessions for musicians.

I have so many good memories (albeit after the fact) of worrying that moving to the beautiful new convention centre might not be a good move financially. As it turned out, we made an amazing amount of profit in those years with jam packed attendance. So many, in fact, that our successors were considering moving away from the theatre since it was standing room only for us. I also remember impressing upon the centre for the need for really good wifi and the assurances that it was there and then the panic when they sat in the control room noting that everyone in the audience had at least one screen in front of them! Never underestimate teachers.

Cyndie and I and a terrific committee has a couple of great years marked by ensuring that there were administration, technical and French language strands for those in attendance. We also had a self-driven mission to ensure that there were significant social events so that the collegiality could extend well into the evening hours. It’s nice to see that this has continued.

I’ve given a hand to subsequent committees as a member and just for being asked since then. Of course, last year, I was president of ECOO and past-president this year.

I’ve gone to conferences hosted by ECOO for years and do typically offer to do a session. It’s also good memories to think of the locations over the years for the event. Who could forget the Regal Constellation and all the spacey rooms? Or the night the power went out in Toronto! I’ve led discussions, workshops, break-out sessions, worked and presented at Minds on Media, and have been a featured speaker as well. I’ve never had the pleasure of doing an Ignite or Keynote session.

I also have a fond memory of the team approach to addressing Web 2.0 in the classroom with my good friend Zoe Branigan-Pipe. She still claims that her team beat mine.

So, what’s in the books for this year? I went back to see what sessions I had selected when I registered. I remember it being a tough job and I can see why. I hope that I actually get to go to those sessions. I’m a sucker for getting hijacked by others and losing my sense of time in the Exhibit Hall. I’m looking forward to Derek Tangredi as keynote; he was phenomenal at #ECOOcamp Owen Sound. I haven’t heard Angela Stockman speak before so this will be a treat.

Beyond that, Stephen Hurley and I will be broadcasting our This Week in Ontario Edublogs show live from the conference floor. I normally announce the blog posts on Wednesday but will do it now in case these folks are in attendance and want to join us. Stephen says his new mobile setup has four microphones so there’s room. Here’s what is on tap.

  • Cyber Dissonance: The Struggle for Access, Privacy & Control in our Networked World – Tim King
  • A Journey with Sketchnotes – Tina Zita
  • Walking in a New Way – the Ottawa Indigenous WalkPaul McGuire
  • Autumn Math WalkDeanna McLennan
  • How To Self Engineer A Learning CommunityRola Tibshirani

On Thursday at noon, the ECOO Annual General Meeting will take place. I get to do a couple of things here.

  • Recognize three outstanding ECOO members with Life Membership
  • Introduce the new Board of Directors

And then I’m done. There will be a new past-president and I’m out. I feel a sigh of relief coming on right now.

Above and beyond all of this, the conference is about people and making connections. That’s far and away the most important takeaway. I get immense satisfaction with matching a real life “how are you” with a Twitter or other social media presence. I’ve never been disappointed in that respect. There are just so many Ontario Educators doing so many amazing and interesting things.

It all starts on Wednesday morning and I’m really looking forward to it. Will I see you there? They do take walk-ins if you haven’t registered yet!

#ECOOcamp Peterborough


Following the success of the two #ECOOcamps in Owen Sound, the Educational Computing Organization of Ontario (ECOO) is pleased to be working with the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board and the Peterborough, Victoria, Northumberland and Clarington Catholic School Board to bring you #ECOOcamp Peterborough.

ECOOcampPTBO

This will be ECOO’s first summer #ECOOcamp – look to a full day of learning on Tuesday, August 27, 2019.  #ECOOcamp Peterborough will provide participants with practical hands-on learning just in time for the 2019-20 school year.

Once again, ECOO will be using the services of TeachOntario to collect and share resources and discussions. 

http://www.ecoo.org/ecoocamp

Registration is now open here.

Pre #BIT14 Interview with Derrick Schellenberg and Brian Aspinall


Michelle Cordy (@cordym on Twitter) continued her series of interviews leading to the Bring IT, Together Conference in Niagara Falls on November 5-7, 2014.

Last night, she talked to Derrick Schellenberg (@Mr_Schellenberg) and Brian Aspinall (@mraspinall) about their sessions.  This time, the focus was on inquiry in the classroom.  Both Derrick and Brian have TLLP projects and they served as the basis for the interview.

It was a rainy, rainy night here last night and I was unable to get a good, reliable connection to watch the interview live last night.  There are parts of the interview where internet connections were definitely an issue.  I guess I don’t have a monopoly on that.  Anyway, you can enjoy the interview since it was recorded.

Look for shout outs to Royan Lee, David Fife, and James Cowper and their blogs.

Michelle’s previous interviews leading into the #BIT14 conference…

A #BIT14 Twitter Chat


A number of Ontario (and other places … first two participants were from Australia and Singapore) educators came together for the first of a number of Twitter Chats leading into the 2014 Bring IT, Together Conference.  The conference will be held in Niagara Falls, ON on November 5-7.  There are still a few days for people to submit session proposals for the conference so the hopes were that the content of the chat might lend some inspiration for those experiencing writer’s block getting their proposals ready.  The topic?

“Your biggest challenge integrating technology into the classroom/school”.

A Storify of the chat transcript is located here.

chat

A big thanks to those who joined in.  Look for another chat in the near future designed to get people thinking and meeting about computer and technology before the actual conference.