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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Embedding a Blog as Your Course News Stream

What do you do for inquisitive parents who want to know what’s going on in their child’s classroom if the class is entirely locked away inside an LMS? (I’m switching to the term vLE, so I’ll start using that now). The options for parents are a little limited. The parent can be set up with an Auditor role and be able to log in and see what’s going on inside,…

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The end of the computer lab

The age of computer labs is coming to a close. At least I think it should.  Computer labs just need to go away. We don’t have ‘pencil labs’ or ‘crayon labs,’ so we don’t need computer labs. A room dedicated to one particular learning tool doesn’t seem to make sense now. Sure, at one time a special room was needed for computers because of the nature of the older technology….

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Students Take Aim at Antiquated Classroom Technology with ‘Mock a Difference’ Campaign

(Orginally appeared on http://highschoolbreakingnews.blogspot.ca/  Sept 1, 2013).   Students across Ontario are increasing pressure on teachers to upgrade their antiquated teaching habits as the “Mock a Difference” (MaD) movement gains momentum. Feeling they have waited far too long, Ontario students have begun to take educational technology reform into their own hands. The MaD movement simply exhorts students to hurl light hearted but serious mockery on teachers whenever they use antiquated technology…

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“Oh, I’m not a computer person.”

I’m not a real fan of math. I blame a grade five teacher that used competitive multiplication games that humiliated me. Before that, I liked math. Ever since I’ve felt that I have some sort of a math disease. I was so happy when I discovered the word “dyscalculia” in teacher’s college. That’s what I have! My brain is just not able to process math… Bollocks! I’m bad at math…

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Instagram Anchor Charts

I recently came across a really cool idea through a fellow Ontario eLC, Katie Maenpaa.  A teacher in her board came up with a way to bring more of her real-world classroom into her online one with a miniscule amount of extra work. Jen Kruse, a grade 7 teacher at Holy Saviour School in Marathon, takes pictures of her classroom anchor charts with Instagram on her smartphone. After embedding the…

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Using a Quiz as a Learning Activity/Adventure

This blog post is about eLearning and Blended learning in Ontario using D2L. If none of that applies to you, well, you might as well read something else. 🙂 This post is in response to some ideas put forth by my colleague, Brandon Grasley, on his blog. That post can be found here. http://bgrasley.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/thinking-about-course-design-in-e-learning-and-blended-learning/ Brandon wants to rescue eLearning courses from the strangle-hold that the html content page has on…

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Digital Palimpsests

 Paper used to be expensive. Centuries ago, writers, coveting their scarce paper resources, would sometimes wash away their words or paint over them in order to reuse the paper. A print form of wiping the slate clean, except with this method the original message remained beneath the new words, hidden vestiges of previous thoughts now abandoned or deemed unworthy of the limited paper supply. Those words laid covered for centuries…

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