Ontario Edublogs Scooped


When I originally started the concept of putting all of the Ontario Edubloggers together in one spot, I thought that ScoopIt! would be the tool to provide a solution to this task.  The promise and descriptor sounded so good.  ScoopIt! would wander the web and report back to me links that it found.  So, I asked it to find me Ontario Edubloggers, bloggers, education, Ontario, Ontario bloggers, and a bunch of other things.  ScoopIt! returns links to me daily but they’re not what I’m looking for.  I guess Ontario Edubloggers aren’t tagging in the manner that I thought.  It does support a thought that I had that we need to be teaching students how to tag so that their content can be found by others.  Anyway, that’s not the point today.  ScoopIt! does return great stories for me but just not what I was looking for.  So, instead, I created the Ontario EduBlogger LiveBinder instead.  That works out nicely and with the incorporation of the Google Form, I have been adding to the collection as new blogs are created and shared.

I still wanted to do something with ScoopIt! though.  At the same time, I wanted to dig into QR (Quick Response) codes more.  I’ve heard speakers and certainly read from others about how QR Codes are going to revolutionize everything but have seen very few examples that really turn my crank.  I’m not sure this is a crank turner yet but I did create a QR version of the Ontario Edublogger list that is fully accessible by your Smartphone camera with the appropriate software.  I use something called Barcode Scanner and Google Goggles (thanks, @pbeens) on my Android and it works nicely.  If nothing else, you can do a demonstration of the website with your camera for others to show how the concept of QR works.  And, just for the record, the old fashioned mouse clicking on the link works too…

So, here’s the deal.  Go to the website http://www.scoop.it/t/ontario-edublogs or scan here.

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Each of the blogs has its own unique QR Code.  Just scan the code for the blog that you want and away you go to read it.  As I was doing this, I was reminded of being with my friend Johanna as students checked out books from her library.  She would flip in her binder to the student’s name to scan their info as she checked their books out.

I must admit that it took a bit of time to put this together.  However, those that know me know that I can be a little obsessive and compulsive and so I did stick to it until I was complete.  Here are the steps in case you ever want to do something like this.

0) Install the QR-Code tag for Google Chrome and open the Original LiveBinder.  Create a new ScoopIt! page.

1) Click on a link to open it in the LiveBinder and then right click to open the original blog.

2) Click the QR-Code tag to generate the QR-Code in a new window.  Save the code to your hard drive.

3) Go back and copy the URL to the blog.

4) In ScoopIt!, create a new post.

5) Paste the URL into the appropriate field.  ScoopIt! is neat now as it visits the URL and harvests info about the blog including an image to identify the blog.

6) Override the image that ScoopIt! provided above and upload the QR-Code in its place.

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7) Save the entry.

8) Repeat a ga-zillion times.  It was only after creating about 5 of these that the concept of ga-zillion kicked in but I really liked the look and so decided that it was worth continuing.

9) Test the images to make sure that you haven’t missed one and that they all go to the desired resource.  If there are people watching while you’re doing this, be prepared for all kinds of comments as you hold your Smartphone up to the screen.

Eventually, you hit ga-zillion and you’re done.

So, the ScoopIt! page is now created and I can use it (and you can too) should the time and place be necessary to demonstrate QR codes.

The process wasn’t actually painful.  Putting together the original LiveBinder took longer and it served nicely as source material for this page.  With this page, viewers can subscribe to an RSS feed and even suggest other content to be added.  These suggestions go to the curator (me) and I add them when notified.

So, if you have a Smartphone, give it a shot.  Any suggestions or corrections should be sent to the curator!

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


It was yet another good reading if you’re checking out the Edublogs from Ontario Educators.  You can check out the entire list at http://livebinders.com/play/play_or_edit?id=52544 and see all of the great things that are flying off the fingers of Ontario educators.

From Trustees and Higher Education
Robert Hunking shed some light on the recent consultations from the Ministry of Education dealing with its Early Childhood/Best Start Child and Family Centres.  The program draws a question about the funding from the author.

 

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From Principals, VPs, and Administration
Shannon Smith post a very interesting post dealing with trust.  It garnered some nice replies to her commitment of trust in her schools.  It’s been a long time since I read a blog post twice but I found that I did this time.  A very well written post and something that all administrators should read and ponder.

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From K-12 Teachers
You can’t go far wrong with engagement if you’re working with Penguins.  In The Library Rantings of Mrs. R. Malo, take a wander through the eyes of a teacher librarian who spends some time time getting age appropriate reading.  It involved the new reading level recommendations from Google.  This could be a very handy tool for those looking for just the right resource.

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From Consultants and SATs
Educator Paul Cornies always has something interesting to read in his Quoteflections blog.  He always seems to find the interest, the odd, the good.  So good, he’s listed in the good section of Alltop.  Earlier this week, he blogged and shared some of his thoughts about trends.  I found that really interesting because I had blogged about trends myself.  His take was a little different.

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Stay in touch by visiting the LiveBinder above and see what’s happening.  That’s what I do.

At the LiveBinder site,  there is a form that will let you add your own favourite Ontario EduBlogger site to the mix.  That favourite person might well be you.  Let us know all about you.

Edublogs Awards – Day 3


 

Here’s Day 3 of my nominees for this year’s Edublogs Awards.  This morning takes me to some of the places that I head for resources and inspiration to continue to do whatever I need to do.  As with my previous posts, these nominees form major inspiration for what I do online. 

 

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Best resource sharing blog
Larry Ferlazzo calls everything “The Best of…” and his blog and he devotes considerable time, effort, and space to identifying resources for virtually everything that you might be interested about in education.  It’s a great place to go when you have something specific in mind.  He comments and annotates the resources that he identifies which is always handy to have before you spend the time wandering around an internet resource. 

 

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Best class blog
If I know what’s good for me, I’ve got to recognize the efforts that go into the efforts at Lawfield Elementary School in Hamilton and friend @zbpipe.  It’s hard to stay up with Zoe because she’s doing everything that she can with her students.  Whether it’s skyping with an author, working on her SMART Board, having an open-world test for her students, podcasting, or promoting each of her student blogs, this is one very active and connected classroom.  She documents her experiences online through Twitter and her blog is a launch pad to all of the opportunities made available to her students.  And, she uses the same theme as Larry Ferlazzo on Edublogs so you can’t go too far wrong.

 

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Best elearning / corporate education blog
It was tough to determine where to place this blog and so I’d like to nominate Angela Maiers in this category.  When I created my Alltop account, her RSS feed was the very first that I added and I haven’t looked back.  I had the opportunity to meet this wonderful person at the NECC Conference in Washington and was so impressed because the first thing that she did was listen to get the perspective of the conversation and then jumped in with her well-founded opinions.  Her online resource comes across in the same manner.  It’s not overwhelming, but you get a strong sense that she’s the master of gentle encouragement and her mission statement “Putting Learners and Learning First” really says it all.

 

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Lifetime achievement
It’s interesting that an awards competition that is 6 years old has a lifetime achievement award.  What really is a lifetime in the blogging world?  You would normally think of someone in a walker shuffling down the aisle to put up an award for this!  However, in my mind, there is one person that has made such a significant impact on the way that we think about using the connected world that it makes sense to nominate him.  I listened to Will Richardson at an NECC Conference and brought him into Ontario for his first speaking engagement at the Western RCAC Symposium a couple of years ago.  He stuck around for the second day and introduced consultants to the concept of blogs, wikis, and podcasts.  This was the inspiration that was necessary to set off a whole province on a new perspective of what it means to be connected and what it means for students.  Since that initial appearance, Will has been back many times, talking to Teacher-Librarians, Ontario Teacher Federation groups, school districts, and is now helping to guide the Ontario cohort of the Powerful Learning Practice.  He’s not ready for the walker but continues to exert a strong influence in this sphere.

I can’t imagine a time when I didn’t have access to the excellent resource that I’ve identified throughout this ordeal.   Whether any of the resources that I’ve identified over the past days “wins” or not, I’m just happy that I had the opportunity to identify them to those of you who drop by to take a look at my posts.  Voting concludes on December 16.  I hope that you’ll take the time to recognize those who have been identified here and on other blogs.