This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It was another week of inspirational posts from the fingertips of great Ontario Edubloggers.  There’s always a wide variety of content and posts ready to keep you thinking.  Way to go, friends.  Here are a few of the great reads that I had a chance to enjoy.


Self Portraits
Augmented Reality for International Dot Day
Dot Day 2013

I’m going to bundle these posts from Debbie Axiak and Colleen Rose together just due to the fact that they’re all visual arts related.  Two of them were reports about Dot Day and what it looked like in their classes.  I’m so clearly not an artist in this sense and I have nothing but awe for those who do have the gift.  In these posts, they share some of the techniques and final productions from their students.  Absolutely awesome stuff.  I really like the fact that they’re sharing all of this with whoever happens to drop by their blogs.  I hope that you’re one of them.  There are some wonderful products showcased.






On the Tip of Their Tongue – Use Audio for Assessment and Evaluation



Zoe Branigan-Pipe takes on the challenge of alternate strategies to the pen and paper assignment.  Ever the artist herself, Zoe makes the connection with audio and multimedia as the answer.  I’ve learned so much just talking with her about the use of the Livescribe pen.  That’s one of the strategies that she offers in the post.  Thanks to her, I always have mine in my computer bag and will use it when computer note taking (my preferred method) isn’t practical or convenient.

This is a very good read to help expand your thinking about options.


How Do We Make It Personal?

Aviva Dunsiger alerted me to her administrator’s blog yesterday morning.  I checked it out and added it to the ScoopIT! page and LiveBinder.  After checking out the posts, of course.

The latest post “How Do We Make It Personal?” really defines the teaching condition.  I like the comparison Kristi draws to dealing with her own children compared to a class full of students with differing needs.



I think we all know that one size doesn’t fit all.  I admire the goal of finding student choice and voice.  If you’ve got the answer, drop by her blog and let her know in the comments.  And, please cc: me because I’d like to know too.


School Leadership, Parent Engagement & Change

Tracy Bachellier takes some of the work from her MEd program.  She wrestles with:

  • leadership and management
  • change and culture

and manages to weave together a pretty insightful discussion about progress, always with school improvement and student achievement in mind.  She’s not naïve enough to think that it stops within the walls of the building and asks about the impact of school districts and school boards.



She draws inspiration from some posts from Chris Wejr and provides those links to extend her thoughts.  It’s pretty cool that Chris drops by and shares a comment to her post.


Thanks to these (and others) for continuing to blog and share your thoughts.  It’s just great reading.  Please visit their blogs and give them support.  The entire collection of Ontario Edublogs is located here.  If you’re blogging, please complete the form provided there so that I can add you to this wonderful collection.


This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Here are some of the great things that I read from Ontario Edubloggers this past week.  Check out the complete blog posts and the entire LiveBinder of content here.

Descriptive Feedback and Assessment – What my students in Fiji taught me

Jaclyn Calder spent the month of July in Fiji with a group of students.  Did she come back with a good tan?  Maybe – in this blog post, she shares with us that she learned a great deal more.

In addition to her personal reflections, a separate blog was created to document the event, complete with student blogging efforts.


A Why to Live

Paul Cornies always creates thought provoking posts about quotations from others.

If there is any doubt, or any question, check out the collection of quotes from Viktor Frankl at this post.


How to Setup your Office 365 Email on your iOS (iPad/iPhone) Device

Eric Wideen is moving to a new platform for his school email.  In this screencast, he shows how to access Office 365 using the standard iOS email program.  This might be of a lot of use to those in a similar situation.


Creating the Conditions for Potential

Andy Forgrave has long been a support of ds106, its philosophy, its application, and its extension.  I recall a few years ago sitting on Diane Bedard’s outdoor deck with Andy and Alan Levine talking, learning, and taking a slice of ds106 time.  Andy’s post, when you get right down to it, is a referral to a recent post by Alan.

I think back to that night on the deck and you could tell that this wasn’t a lock step procedure for broadcasting success.  In fact, there was nothing canned about the whole thing.  Alan was “technically” in charge since he provided the technology but the real value was in the discussion.  On that evening, it just flowed.  I remember my contribution which nobody on the deck saw coming – in fact, I’m not sure I saw it coming – but Alan asked me something to the effect of what had changed my life recently.  As it would have it, I had just returned from a trip to Goderich where I was still shaken by what I had seen as damage from the tornado that had ripped the guts out of the Square.  There was no recipe for the evening, the power came from the fact that it just flowed out.  In his post, Alan talks about how the magic of ds106 happens.  He’s got it dead on.

If you’re interested in this, certainly get involved in ds106.  If you want to have a discussion about the concept of broadcasting, look for “The Hive” at the 2013 Conference.  Andy, as well as a number of others, will be taking The Hive to the convention centre and are there to help you think of magical moments for your students.


Thanks so much for all of the Ontario Edubloggers who continue to share over the summer for those of us who are ready to read and learn.  If you are an Ontario Edublogger and want to be added to the collection, just go here and add your details.


This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Of all the things that I write about on this blog, my favourite ones happen on Fridays when I can share with you the enjoyment that I have in reading other people’s work.

This week is no different.  Check out some terrific blog posts.



Tammy Wilcox wrote a beautiful piece in the LDAWE Blog that I think everyone should read and pause to think about her words.  I think it should be read and reflected upon at every teacher pre-service course.

In the post, she describes learning about ADD/ADHD.  It’s very personal and I think every parent can empathize with it.  I’d suggest reading it a few times from different perspective.  Put yourself in the role of parent.  Put yourself in the role of student.  Put yourself in the role of the educator.

Can you think of a better piece to describe education, parenting, growing up, dealing with the unknown?


Media Projects

Imagine going to France to see a museum and walking away with all kinds of ideas for media in the classroom!  That’s what Angie Harrison did.

I totally agree with her synopsis…next to the Super Bowl is there a bigger media event than the Olympics?

Seeing an exhibit of keychains through the ages inspired her thoughts for ideas to enable educators to “seize the moment” and go beyond some of the simple activities that are so often found.  In the post, she provides a nice collection of starting points.  I’m sure that you can find even more and, if you do, make sure that you share them back.


Ode To An Amazing Journey: Or I Can’t Believe They Paid Me To Do This For 28 Years!

Michael Redfearn and I would cross paths occasionally.  Geographically, Waterloo Region and Essex County require a concerted effort to get from one to the other.  But, at Western RCAC Symposia, eLearningOntario events, and ECOO conferences did afford a chance to get together, at least in passing for a chat.

When you work regularly with someone, you do end up knowing when they’re ready to call it a day for their career and then move on.  Sadly, I had to find this by reading his blog.

He created a very nice, reflective piece that showed some of the highlights of a terrific career.

I wish him all the best as he takes on his next challenge.


What Do We Care About?

Donna Fry’s latest post talks about an issue that she is obviously very passionate about.  It made me think about things around here.  I’m a dog walker, cyclist, and driver on the local roads.

It’s not always safe for any of us.

As a dog walker, Jaimie and I often have to head to the shoulder and sometimes even further when the oncoming traffic doesn’t give us respect.  We walk against the traffic and keep our eyes open.  It’s amazing, especially first thing in the morning, to see people eating, drinking, applying makeup, and using a cell phone obviously not giving full attention to driving.

As a cyclist, I travel with the traffic.  I stop at stop signs and I signal.  It would be nice to enjoy the ride but you have to be constantly aware of your surroundings, people that don’t stop at stop signs, or cars that don’t give you much respect.

Donna speaks specifically of the road from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste. Marie but her plea should be heard by everyone who uses public roads.


Please take the time to visit these blogs and share your thoughts with the authors.

You can check out my entire collection of Ontario Edublogs here.

Did you start a blog this summer, either on your own or through an AQ course and are planning to continue it through the fall?  If so, please add the details to the form so that I can add you to the LiveBinder.


A Great Resource for Evernote

If you’re not using this magnificent program, you owe it to yourself.  From notetaking, to sharing, to web clipping, to integration with your other tools, Evernote has to be one of the very best tools that you can use to streamline your workflow.

Justin Stallings has created a very comprehensive Livebinder to support its use by educators.

Whether you’re a beginner and trying to determine what the buzz is all about, or you’re sold and are looking for tips, tricks, or browsers extensions to get the most from the program, or you’re an expert and looking for ways to exploit the program to make your digital life more productive, this Livebinder has it all.

Navigation in Livebinders is dead simple.  Just click on a tab of interest like “In the classroom” and …

…it opens to reveal web resources that Justin has arranged by topic.  The Livebinder experience is designed to make working with a collection of resource so handy.  There’s no leaving the original document to follow a link and get lost.  Clicking a link just opens the resource in the same window so that you can enjoy the current resource and move on to the next.

Regardless of your level of expertise with Evernote, I suspect there’s something new in this excellent collection for everyone.


A Couple Things Fell Into Place

I think this is cool.

1) In my regular Friday post, I ask Ontario Educators who do not have their blog listed here to complete the form so that I can add them to the Livebinder.

2) Shadi and Heather attended the Ontario Google Summit.  I know Shadi and had a quick conversation with her before her presentation in the library at Eastwood.

So, back to Point #1.  I get an entry in the collection document from @buttercuphll asking to list a new blog.  It’s called “The 20% Project”.  Rather than just adding it without checking, which would be a dumb thing, I flip over and check it out.  There are two posts. Eeeeeeeh.

Then I look at the date.  They’re from this week so that deserves a closer look.

Look I do and I’m impressed.  One of the points made at the Google Summit is that Google employees are allowed to devote 20% of their work hours towards personal projects.  In this project, the classes are going to take the same approach – devote 20% of their time to projects of their own initiative.  What a great concept and a natural since the district will be using Google Apps for Education.

The logic is there.  I wish them good luck and will be peeking in every now and again to see how it’s going!