Tag: Ontario Edublogger

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It’s always refreshing and a pleasure to read the thoughts and sharing of Ontario Educators.  My own challenge is deciding which to include in this weekly post.  Please read on; I think that there are some great choices below.

Greetings from Cochrane Alberta

I don’t recall when I first met Patti Henderson but our paths keep crossing.  She’s got an incredible photographic eye and, when she lived in Toronto, shared some interesting pictures from her perspective.  She always seems to see something that I would have missed.

Now, we all like to refer to our blogs as journeys but recently Patti is having a different type of journey.  She’s headed out to Alberta for a new adventure and sharing pictures of her adventure.

The best pictures are on her SmugMug account.  There’s some great documentation of her journey.  Check them out.

Getting Started ~ Library Research Information Guide for Graduate Students

Denise Horoky from the Faculty of Education at the University of Western Ontario offers this blog post as an offer to graduate students.

It seems like an incredible offer.  I can’t imagine anyone not taking her up on the offer.

I think that this is a wonderful model that could be offered by any teacher librarian.  It’s almost a challenge for the student to be unsuccessful!

Parental Involvement

Yesterday, I shared a blog post “Young Canadians in a Wired World“.  I’m mulling around in my mind a followup post.  Tim King, however, jumped at the opportunity to share his thoughts.

I’ll admit this.  I don’t think I’ve seen the word “feral” used in a blog post.

Tim focused his thoughts on the Parental Involvement piece.

Graduation Caps and Gaps

When graduation day comes along, it’s the end of a run for students and teachers.  At my old high school, we used to graduate outside with chairs on the asphalt circle in front of the school.  If you’ve never enjoyed the sun and humidity of Essex County, be glad.  Put on cap and gown (and we as staff all wore our university hoods) and you’ve got the late afternoon sun beating down and the heat from the asphalt radiating up.  You’re so glad when it’s over.

Sheila Stewart’s post reminds us that it’s not over for the parents.  Sure, they’re beaming with pride during the ceremony but they’ve got to worry about the next steps.  Read her post to get some interesting insights.

As she points out there are “no easy answers”.

I really enjoyed the reading from this week.  I hope that you’ll take the time to read the complete posts at the links provided above.  There’s a great deal to think about.

You can check out the complete collection of Ontario Edubloggers here or here.  If you’re an blogger yourself and you’re not listed, please complete the form and you will be.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It’s Christmas Week but that didn’t stop the blogging from Ontario Edubloggers.  Here’s some of what I caught this week.


What Would You Do?

I think that David Fife’s latest post points out the very worst of social media and a disturbing trend.  We all got a giggle with the “United Breaks Guitars” bit and now it seems that many people take to social media to complain about issues that are better handled in person.

In this case, it was a community member railing against a school using an anonymous Twitter account.  David asks “What would you do?”

It’s pretty difficult to deal with issues if the complainer doesn’t at least identify her/himself.  Certainly the worst that could be done would be to respond on Twitter.  Anyone who’s ever gone through a flame war knows that you can’t have a successful resolution online.  It only deteriorates.  Yet, if it’s ignored, it’s probably going to continue.  I think taking the high, professional road offers a contrast to the ranter that might get some results.  If it’s legitimate concerns, invite the complainer into the school to talk about the concerns.  That’s how solutions are found; not by public shaming.

In the same way, I think that sites like Rate My Teacher or Rate My Professor just serve to amplify the very worst in social media.  If you don’t have the ability to take on an issue up front, then hiding behind an anonymous handle is just wrong.  It would be interesting to se the response of this parent (if it is one) if their child was bullied online by an anonymous account.


In case you missed her posts the first time through, Eva Thompson teased us with this Twitter message.

In doing so, she refreshed some of the content from her blog that she had posted earlier.


Why Anne is a Slow Writer:  Reason #1

Intrigued by the title, I was drawn in to find out why.  Even this dog person could possibly understand the pictures that go with this post…

… and story!


Education Library Blog

The blog from the Faculty of Education at the University of Western Ontario is worth bookmarking and reading daily.  Denise Horoky, who I interviewed here keeps the site fresh many times daily from stories from all over.

It’s wonderful to have someone who has already curated the best of the best for you to enjoy.

Now, I’ll never be confused for a learned man, but I was strangely drawn to a recent post “The End of an Era for Academia.edu and Other Academic Networks?


Thanks to those who keep writing and contribute.  It’s always inspiring to read a good blog post.

Check out the blogs at the links above or you can get the entire collection of Ontario Edubloggers here.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

The frustrating thing about my Friday post  is boiling down the great writing that’s happening with Ontario Edubloggers into three or four of the best articles!  I did and these really caught my interest.

Sign Up For The January Blogging Community Session Now!

Blogging is good; building a community based on that blogging is even better.  Check out this global opportunity from Kristen Wideen’s blog.



Nathan Hall has curated a list of “no registration” resources for student use.  There are two advantages to this – one is respect for student privacy and the other is the ability to just use the tool rather than worrying about registration, logging on, passwords, etc.

We’ve got to get him to add Brian Aspinall’s work to this list!


Three Steps to Better Leadership

I love this post.  It takes a very reflective educator and leader to do some reflection and make admissions as well as a “next steps” plan online.  Sue Dunlop shares what she considers three steps to becoming a better leader.  It’s hard to argue with any of her thoughts but I think we can ALL benefit right now from her third step.



This is the million dollar question for education.  Read Donna Fry’s thoughts about the topic.  Life was so much easier when we just plain acknowledged that teachers were the holders of all information and students arrives to get their share of it!


Use of Language

This is a little different.  I’m going to highlight a response in one of my posts.


Brandon Grasley had a very thoughtful reply to a post that I had about language.  On the surface, his recommendations make a great deal of sense.  Spot and an error?  Just go back and fix it.  If you look further back in my blog this week, I did an analytic that included how many people read this blog.  The number that have opted to receive it via email far outweigh those who visit online.  Plus there’s the RSS readers and reader surfaces like Flipboard.  These may get their copy from the original post so even if I go through and fix any mistake that I find, those who are readers of the blog not using the blog, will have the original copy which has the errors!  Maybe there should be a warning that if you subscribe by email that you may get errors!


Please check out these blogs in their entirety.  There’s some great reading and room for reflection there.

As always, my complete collection of Ontario Edublogs is located here.  Check them all out!  The list continues to grow and, if you’re in Ontario Education and not listed, add yourself to the form and you will be.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Here’s a most recent roundup of things of interest coming from the fingertips of Ontario Edubloggers.  As always, a great collection of wisdom shares.  Check them out and pass along to your colleagues.

How Do You Jump Into the Pool?

Kristi Kerry Bishop posed a question about change in school that inspired a number of replies, including one from me.  It’s good reading, both from the perspective of a teacher and an administrator.  I was inspired, as a teacher, to share a big moment of change for me as a first year teacher.  Hint, it involved a sweating vice-principal with a big grin on his face.  Change has to be something carefully thought through.

I remember the advice given to me by a colleague as we car pooled to my first professional development session.  “Beware of anyone who says I’m from the Board Office and I’m here to help you.”  There’s a danger in statements like that and their effectiveness.  It’s like “I read a book on PLNs | Collaborative Inquiry | Inquiry in the Classroom | ” and now we’re going to do it.  There needs to be an element of readiness and part of that is laying the ground work.

In this case, my reply was inspired by a personal event and also by the quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

Got ideas of your own?  Add them to her replies.


Another Brick in the Wall

Peter Skillen, as luck would have it, has the perfect blog post to address at least some of Kerri’s concerns.

He expands on his thoughts in the post with a number of “bricks”.

  • Practise what you Preach
  • We perpetuate myths through one-line wisdoms
  • We need to educate – not subjugate
  • We are ferociously fickle. We ‘surf the surface’
  • It IS about the tools
  • Educate the public

If this doesn’t make you think….


Students as Teachers:  Week 2 in the Makerbot 3D Classroom

As noted earlier in the blog and on hers, Heather Durnin has a new tool for her classroom and is using her Makerbot printer for “exciting, vigorous learning” in her classroom.  The blog post talks about the excitement that the students have and anything that gets kids working over the lunch hour has to be good.  I like the pictures that she shares in the post; it appears to be one very excited classroom.


Clouds and Records

For those who are fear mongering that education is selling out to big corporations about student data without thinking it through, you need to take a look at Mark Carbone’s recent post.  The OASBO people are taking this topic very seriously.  As Mark notes,

 “The provincial committee is examining school board privacy and records management considerations
for business functions as they relate to cloud computing.”

As visible evidence, a recent meeting of OASBO folks online with a Google Hangout, the conversation was recorded and made available for anyone who wants to take the time to view it.  Mark has it embedded into his post.


100th Post: Welcoming an administrator to blogging

Congratulations to Brandon Grasley on the occasion of his 100th blog post.

I think the post speaks to his qualities as an educator helping other educators.  Many bloggers, upon reaching such a milestone would blog about “me“, “hey, it’s my 100th” or the like.  In Brandon’s case, he used his post to promote the blogging efforts of another educator.

Doesn’t that speak volumes about him on a personal level and on a more global level how we can use the blogging platform to build a better place for all of us to learn online?  Let’s join Brandon in welcoming David Jaremy to the world of blogging.



#RCAC13 Final Program

If you’re able to make it to London on December 5, you’ll absolutely get a great day of Professional Learning at the Western Regional Computer Advisory Committee’s Annual Symposium.  It’s just one day in length but you’ll get a chance to hear two inspirational keynote speakers – Travis Allen and Gary Stager – as well as attend sessions from educational leaders from the Western Ontario region.

Oh, and you’ll have a wonderful Christmas dinner.

Full disclosure – I’ve been asked to co-chair the conference again with Doug Sadler.  It’s been a local event that I’ve been so passionate about since my first year as a consultant with the Essex County Board of Education.  I always used to bring my superintendent and key principals to hear what’s happening in other school districts just up the 401.  Every other school district would do the same thing and we would serve to push each other to greater and greater things.  It’s a full days of ideas and inspiration.

As Rodd Lucier notes:


You’ve got to admit – it’s another great week of reading and ideas from some of the educational leaders in the province.  Thanks to the above and to everyone in the Ontario Edublogger list for keeping us engaged and thinking about the big issues in Ontario Education.  Please take the time to visit the blog entries above and see if you don’t agree.

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  http://biologyinfiji.edublogs.org 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

It was another great week of blogging from Ontario Edubloggers.  Here are a few things that caught my eye.


Nathan Hall wrote one of those posts that make you think.  He spent a post talking about value.  It’s worth a read and reflection.  I might spend some time later and use this as inspiration for a post of my own.  I particularly liked his collection of things associated with the word “worth”.


Bonus to the post – interested in ELT?  You might well be interested in the Blog Carnival!  http://eltresearchblogcarnival.wordpress.com/


Golf: My New Pub Experience!

Everyone who’s ever teed it up has a golf story and Stephen Hurley is no exception.  I hope that he at least stops the conversation while his friends are putting!


I’m sure that the fact that most golf courses have a pub onsight is not lost on Stephen.


Thoughts on School Design

I lived through the concept of School Design with a former superintendent.  My old district designed themed schools and we all had our input and opportunity to share thoughts and philosophy with him.  Interestingly, when all is said and done, the heart of a school are the students and teachers that will live and learn there for 10 months of the year.  David Fife shares some of this thoughts as he gets ready to move into his new school for the fall.



The Reach of Educational Blogging

I think that every blogger wonders about the reach of her/his blog and their entries.  You can get totally lost in analytics if you choose to.  I find it fascinating to speculate on what makes one post here more popular than others.  Sheila Stewart’s recent post takes it personal as she shares some of her reflections about blogging.

I thought it was a great read after reading Nathan’s post on value.



Connected Through Inquiry

Joanne Babalis’ recent  post is a nice call to action for those who are serious about inquiry in their classroom.  She’s looking for participants so if you’re one of those curious, read what she’s offering.


In the spirit of timing is everything, I ran across this resource today as I was assembling this post – Building Children’s Understanding of the World through Environmental Inquiry – ow.ly/nxKgT

Thanks to the above for their inspirational posts.  I thoroughly enjoy reading and learning from their content.  There’s a little something for everyone; check out these terrific posts.  You can see the entire collection of Ontario Edublogs here.  The most recent additions are at the top of this ScoopIT! page.