Listening to the Naysayers: Wisdom from the other side (Part 2)

4. “People are just interested in trends that are new and shiny.” Here’s an important one to take to heart. We in Ed Tech have a tendency to get excited about new possibilities when new technology comes out. We can sometimes let our interest in technology get ahead of the pedagogy, and that’s not good for students. I remember when Google Glass came out and various Ed Tech individuals were…

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Listening to the Naysayers: Wisdom from the other side (Part 1)

Sometimes I wish to roll my eyes at the naysayers who say that we shouldn’t be using technology in classrooms, or maybe just grab their shoulders and shake them. But, no worries, I refrain. It can be frustrating to work with those who don’t want to change. It seems, however, that I need to be a bit more patient. It isn’t always fear of change that motivates the hesitations to…

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À la rescousse! New French resources on coursehelp.ca

It’s sometimes forgotten that Ontario has four school systems, English Public, English Catholic, French Public and French Catholic. Now, the issue of whether or not that’s an efficient system aside, they each contain students that deserve our very best and we’re all in this together. Starting with ECOO’s Bring IT Together conference this year, I’ve noticed more of a welcoming attitude to the small French boards in Ontario. This year’s…

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A solution to my theme-design struggles – The Moosonee Theme Pack

Over the past two and a half years in this job, I’ve been struggling with trying to help teachers as well as other eLearning Contacts with course theme design, but it’s a tough go. It’s really hard!  I’m comfortable with graphic design and I was able to figure out most of the stuff myself, but it’s not easy to pass along, even with a teaching degree! In my position as…

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Do we really need to care about student “engagement”?

Do we busy teachers really need to concern ourselves with ‘student engagement’? Is entertaining our students, keeping them happy, and pandering to their elementary interests really our job? Well, it’s not exactly like that, but yes, engagement is our job. But why, some might add, do we need to focus on making the learning ‘engaging’ if that’s not what they will find in the workplace or postsecondary school? They are…

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OSSEMOOC Evening EdTech Discussions

I tried my first OSSEMOOC evening discussion today. If you’re not aware of what that is, it’s Ontario School and System Leaders Edtech MOOC (the C stands for ‘Community’ rather than course). I’ve been meaning to check it out for half a year now and I finally did. I totally found it really worth it! I talk to people about Digital Learning all the time. It’s my job. A lot…

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Have a look at the new Socrative 2.0

Socrative.com may have been around for a while now, but if you haven’t had a look at it recently or tried out their Socrative 2.0, it’s definitely worth a look. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a web-based student-response system that essentially replaces ‘Clickers’. They have iOS and Android apps, but I find the new web-based interface excellent and not worth the bother of app installation and then it’s…

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Teens scared to death of being embarrassed (Literally! Sort of)

“Oh, come on! It’s not that big of a deal.” Sometimes it seems like teens just exaggerate their social fears. Educators may want to roll their eyes and say, “Get over it! There’s so many more important things.” It turns out there’s more to it than teens being scared little drama-queens/kings. I’ve been working with a developmental theory for a while now, but I was recently pleased to discover that…

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Creating Awesome Online Discussions

We can use the discussion tool for so much more. With some tweaking, we can make a fairly boring tool into something that is engaging for students and increases the depth of student learning. I had the pleasure of giving a presentation called “A Tour of Blended Learning Ideas” with Maria Peraino (@marperaino) at the ‘On the Rise K-12” conference this year. Several of the ideas that Maria covered involved…

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