This Week in Ontario Edublogs


There was a great deal of fun and interesting reading this past week throughout the list of Ontario Edublogs.  Some of my favourites…

Great Grey Owl snow-plunges and catches mouse!

Every blogger lives to hit one out of the park.  This past week, Brandon Grasley did exactly that.

Brandon had a photo blog entry based upon an event that he and his daughter witnessed right in their own backyard.  An owl was caught in the act of catching a mouse in the snow and Brandon was there to capture the event with his camera.  The blog entry features some great photos and is definitely worthy of all the hits that Brandon says that he got that day.  Please make him feel even better by clicking the link above and enjoying it.  This is definitely a collection of images worthy of bookmarking for future reference.


Great Timing

So, look what Brandon and his images started!  Colleen Rose reports that she’s seen her first grey owl.

Between Brandon and Colleen, I’m a little jealous as I look out my window and see mourning doves and sparrow at the bird feeder.


11 Important Considerations for incorporating First Nation, Metis, & Inuit teachings into the Curriculum

First Nations & Cultural Shifts: Issues that can be addressed in Education

Very timely, Deborah McCallum offers a couple of blog entries suggesting how to deal with First Nations, Metis and Inuit issues in the classroom.

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Given the stories that are in the news so often, students do have good questions and a great deal of curiosity.  These posts offer some great ideas.


The New Communication

One of my person preferences for blog readings are entries where people do some reflection very publically against a set of thoughts or ideas.  In this post, Tim Slack takes Michael Fullan’s 6 Cs necessary in education…

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…and evaluates his school within each of the 6.  It’s a good read.

How would your school stand up?  Are you doing as much or even more than Tim?  I’m sure that he’d be interested in your thoughts.


New Inquiry

Like so many, Jenni Van Rees is a little nervous about the whole inquiry process.  This time, it’s about “Objects and Materials” and in the latest entry talks about this nervousness and what it translated into practice for her grade 1 class.

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And the post is complete with pictures!  She very clearly explains how the students worked with the unit and made the learning their own!  Check it out.


Images from Commander Hadfield

From the ISS

I had a great time putting together some of the images that Commander Hadfield has shared from the International Space Station.  I used Storify to pull images together from Twitter.  I was very pleased with the result.  In the one post, I explain the process and, in the second, actually post to my blog from Storify itself.

But the story doesn’t end there.

On Twitter, I find out that Lisa Noble used it with her 5/6 class.  The result?

The class created a padlet with students sharing their favourite images.

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It’s always nice to see that your efforts turn into ideas for others.  Thanks, Lisa.  Sharing this made my day.

Please visit the blog entries identified about and, in fact, all of the Ontario Edubloggers for more ideas about the great things happening across the province.

The Role of the Teacher in the Now Century


For me, the highlight of the 2012 ECOO Conference occurred on the Thursday afternoon.  The last session of the day was a discussion among all of the conference keynote speakers.  Nora Young from CBC’s Spark led the discussion with John Seely Brown, Jaime Cassap, Donna Fry, and Michael Fullan.

The panelists all brought a unique angle to the discussion. It was important to have Michael to put an Ontario context to the discussion and Donna, not only brought Ontario to the table, but the reality of day to day education in her job as principal.

Nora showed her expertise as a host by keeping the conversation moving, on track and redirecting the panelists when necessary.  She had made her own recording of the discussion and parts made Spark last weekend as previously noted here.

Today, the entire panel discussion is available to the world through the ECOO website at this link.  If you were in attendance at the ECOO Conference, I think you’ll enjoy the replay.  If you missed the conference, please enjoy.

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Blogging About the ECOO Conference


It’s been a week already since the ECOO Conference in Toronto.  It was a great few days and certianly a lot of learning at the time.  How does it stick?  One of the ways is thanks to the blogging of folks that were there.  I set a Google Alert for #ECOO12.  I know that I would miss blog posts but hopefully, Google wouldn’t.  Here’s what we found….

The ECOO Experience #ecoo12

Scott Kemp presented at the conference and shared his thoughts plus his presentation slides “It’s Not About the Number – Learning Without Marks”.  I thought that the session was particularly timely.  There’s a lot of discussion about assessment and the value of our current system.

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ECOO 2012 – Learn in the NOW Century

I thought that I had missed my friend Diana Maliszewski.  She warned me that I wouldn’t recognize her at the conference and she was right.  I expected some sort of wild and whacky hair colour.  I didn’t know until after the fact that the Minecraft icon who bowed to me was actually Diana inside!

Her blog entry is actually her report to her principal about her reflections on the conference.

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Moving From Newsletters to Blogs – My Presentation-That-Never-Was at #ECOO12

This session was on my personal calendar to view.  After all, I had blogged previously “Your School Doesn’t Need a Newsletter”.  I had re-read the original post and was curious to see how closely aligned my thoughts were to Erin Paynter’s.  Sadly, I had to announce to the Thursday morning group that the session was cancelled.  However, Erin has at least provided the slideshow that would have been used.  A good Plan B.  Thanks, Erin.

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ECOO12 – BYOD Panel Discussion

Mark Carbone and I have had this discussion lots of time.  Over this period, the focus has shifted from “Is this a good idea” to “How do we make it work?” to “We need to step back and evaluate this going forward”.  In fact, it was the focus of my keynote at the summer CATC Camp a couple of years ago.  At ECOO, Mark assembled a panel to continue the discussion.

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In the post, Mark lays out the format of the conversation including their guiding questions.

Sticking Your Neck Out

One of the keynote speakers at ECOO had an impact away from the conference.  Colleen Rose shared a quote from Michael Fullan that her principal Donna Fry had shared with her.  This quote is indeed worthy of thought.

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Take a Risk- Tales from ECOO

@hendylou shared her thoughts continuing the theme of risk taking by sharing some of her thoughts during the panel discussion.

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The focus that John Seely Brown noted about the bottom fixing itself is very interesting.  Instead of the top down “One and Done” approach to PD, it really amplifies the notion that professional learning is continuous and needs to be personalized.  In the quest for personalization, we need to be willing to take those risks and fail in order to learn.  Absolutely.

Let’s Play! Now Let’s Document!

Early Years’ teachers always seem to be able to on what’s truly important.  Jocelyn Schmidt talked about her presentation at the ECOO conference.  It sounded like there was a great turnout, noting that she was overwhelmed by those who were in attendance.  And they all weren’t full-day kindergarten teachers.

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I really liked the brainstorming wordmap that was provided on the blog.  She must have really enjoyed the time that John Seely Brown’s comments on Montessori.

‘Digital Storytelling’ presentation at ECOO

What would a technology conference be without sessions about digital storytelling?

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I had to smile at the comment that digital story telling is one of the things that her students do best.  What better testament for the effective use of technology?  When you think of all of the pedagogical and technological learnings that one needs to be successful, wouldn’t it be great if everyone could make that claim?

Forming an ECOO Presentation

Every wonder what goes into a success conference presentation?  Tim King read a book.  Actually three books that helped him frame his discussion.

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The message in this session is important for all to hear.  You can’t just stick 25 boxes in a room and call it computer integration.  Who cares if 25 kids can type 25 stories in a word processor at the same time?  Tim explored how to try to reach the promise that technology affords.  It doesn’t look like the traditional setup.

ECOO 12

Camille Rutherford had an interesting presentation. “Using Technology to Support the Distribution of School Leadership”

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We’re using the technology for everything else.  Why not distributed leadership?  Can there be no better evidence that we need to have everyone onside and learning?

Minecraft Madness and Play at ECOO 2012

This was where Diana was headed!  What can mining and Minecraft bring to the classroom?

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I think that it’s so cool that Liam found a group of students ready to sit in on his session.  They had to be from Royan Lee’s group.  I think it’s also cool that they were there to learn along with their teachers.  Did you ever think we’d see that?  Often students come to a conference to work on a panel and then leave.

Excitement for #ecoo12

And, why not go to a conference for some quality time with your dad?

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That was one of Jamie Weir’s goals for the conference.  (I also wanted to talk to her dad!)  I didn’t get the chance but hopefully she did.  I did get an opportunity to have a nice chat with Jamie which was one of the highlights of the conference for me.  As she notes, it’s always nice to get together and chat with people that we learn with daily.

There were lots of great posts describing the ECOO experience.  Thanks everyone for sharing.  If I missed yours, blame Google and please let me know!

You can read these blog posts at the original site and all of the great blogs from Ontario Educators here.

Mobile for ECOO 2012


 

Yesterday was a great planning day.  Those of us on the ECOO 2012 Planning Committee got together to continue the process of making sure that everything is all set for this year’s conference on October 25, 26.  The preconference on the 24th adds even more value to the conference attendees.

As I blogged earlier, the conference promises to be the most social ever – we’ve even got a Facebook page where we’re sharing some of the exciting sessions, one day at a time, highlighting the awesome sessions that will be offered by Ontario educators.  The hashtag is in place – #ECOO12 and folks are already discussing in anticipation.

What would a good technology conference be without an app?  We’ve got you covered there as well.  We’re using the Lanyrd service to assemble and schedule all the component pieces.  With an audience using such diverse technologies, it only makes sense to push the web application for those who like to plan ahead and explore everything!

So, check it out on your mobile at http://m.lanyrd.com/2012/ecoo12/ or on your desktop at http://lanyrd.com/2012/ecoo12/.

Here you’ll be able to explore the event, plan your conference, see who’s attending, and read speaker biographies.

From top to bottom, there are great events with content designed to appeal to everyone.  Nora Young is but one of the keynote speakers and she’s going to host a panel discussion of the other keynote speakers:  Jaime Casap, John Seely Brown, and Michael Fullan.

The Committee is excited to see how all the pieces are starting to fall into place.  Please take the time to bookmark the web application so that you can join in on the excitement and I hope to see you there.