I Nominate….


Best Resource Sharing Blog
Doug Peterson is the Computers in Education Program Consultant for The Greater Essex County District School Board in Southwestern Ontario. An educator since 1979, Doug has taught Data Processing, Computer Science, Accounting, General Business Studies, and Mathematics at the secondary school level and was the Director of Business Education at Sandwich Secondary School in Lasalle, Ontario.

Best New Blog


So much of what you write is reminiscent of discussions we had with folks at NECC this past June/July — the PLN movement IS gaining some traction, in no small part due to Twitter and the related social media and 2.0 explosion, but the numbers of folks who are diving in and embracing the concept seem to mirror the rush of the general educational population to embrace technology in general – that is to say, rushing very slowly.

Best Student Blog – Grade Six Student, Lawfield Elementary School

The new collaborative test is more for any type of student, independent, talkative, in the middle. It really helps build group and team work skills. Students also get one-on-one learning opportunities with friends and people in their class. With the normal test, most students feel uncomfortable with asking the teacher for help but perfectly fine with asking other students. This test also helps get ideas flowing through students minds. They get up, go sit with a few friends and they all exchange ideas. As long as the teacher goes around and makes sure all the students get the concept, this test would work perfectly in any classroom.

Best individual blog


In my view, open teaching goes well beyond the parameters of the Free and Open Source Software movement, beyond the advocacy of open content and copyleft licenses, and beyond open access. For open teaching, these are the important mechanisms, processes, and residuals, but they should not be viewed as the end goals in themselves. Rather, open teaching may facilitate our approach to social, collaborative, self-determined, and sustained, life-long learning.

Best educational use of a social networking service


Let me explain. The two classes are collaborating on a multi-part, multimedia project called MakerCulture – Taking Things Into Our Own Hands. It’s a deep, wide exploration of the world of artists, hackers, fabricators, activists and citizens who have decided that a DIY (do-it-yourself) approach to government, software, art, music and hardware is a valid response to global consumerism. It’s a fascinating feature full of astonishing gimcrackery and a sideshow tent full of characters. Great stories, no question.

It will be collaboratively published on rabble.ca and The Tyee. It’s the first time Western and Ryerson have worked together on a joint journalism project, and the first time rabble and The Tyee have co-published as series.

Best Blog Post

My kids both start school on Wednesday, so our schools have avoided all of this. Still, I hope they play the president’s message, regardless of whether it’s a motivational speech to work hard and pursue a love of learning or whether it’s a paean to Stalin, and then engage my kids in conversation about its merits, its flaws and its omissions. And better yet, I hope they take a step back and look at this “controversy” in the context of media analysis, information literacy, political dialogue and debate. Talk about a teachable moment.
But without that, any way you look at it, this is not a great moment for schools.

Best Tech Education Blog

Thoughts from a tech specialist…

Daily Bookmark Post 11/21/2009
Posted by Jerry Swiatek on November 21, 2009 |

“Want To Try Out Google Chrome OS For Yourself? Here’s How.”
tags: google

Global Collaboration Project

As part of our language program, students over 5000 km’s apart worked on the concepts and ideas from the song “With My Own Two Hands”, by Ben Harper. We were discussing remembrance day/thanksgiving and looking at the deeper meaning – the message in the song.


Collaborative Animoto with @techyturner @zbpipe @mikepoluck With My Own Two Hands Thanksgiving & Remembrance Day themed http://bit.ly/5r5wyB

Using google forms to schedule interviews

I am using a new method of scheduling parent teacher interviews. As many of you are already aware, every student uses Google docs to write, share and publish work. Google Forms is also a great tool that I have used with students to collect data, conduct surveys, and in this case, schedule interviews.
For parents or students in my class,
Please follow this link and pick a time that suits you best.
Interview Schedule

We’re not alone…

Please consider listening to this VOICE THREAD and commenting. I would love to share YOUR comments (and hear your voice) about how your participation in a Global Learning Network has helped you grow and change your methods as an educator.

Help me convince my audience of 40 leaders in educators who may not see completely the benefit of what we value so much.

Will Richardson OTF#09

Will Richardson, 2009 (OTF conference, Toronto Ontario)

The only way we can teach students to create, navigate and grow is if YOU (the educator) can create, navigate and grow your own personal learning network in a safe, responsible and ethical way. How do you teach kids to do this if you don’t do it yourself?

Will Richardson emphasizes that KIDS ARE doing this. Kids are creating and participating in on-line networks. Richardson walks us through the power of a Blog as both a reflective, informative and collaborative tool and admits that he is often surprise at the amount of passion and feedback that he receives Globally about issues in eduction arising everyday. This type of learning – Global Learning – can be practiced by anybody, anywhere but it takes a risk of change, of transparency and time.

Recently, a student of mine (Jacob) wrote in his blog about an assessment that I administered. The assessment was to be done collaboratively. I know that teachers have been using group work and collaborative skills already. The difference with this type of activity was that I did not put the students in groups. Jacob called his blog – “Is it Cheating or Collaborating”. In 24 hours, this student received more than 15 responses from educators across the world. Can you imagine the authentic writing experience felt by this young boy? Read Jacob’s post here: http://jacob213.edublogs.org/2009/11/05/cheating-or-callaborating/


Richardson is talking about how important it is for learners to be pushed, to be questioned, and to listen to many perspectives. “It is easy…” says Richardson, ” to immerse ourselves in a network of like minded people however, it is not a great learning environment. We want people in our learning environment to push us…to question us, to remind of where we are in our learning.

A Test with a Twist

Tonight I participated in a global discussion with #edchat about Differentiated Instruction in the classroom.


This has been an area of passion for me since I’ve started teaching, 9 years ago. I have always thought that D.I was simply good teaching – providing choice based on the learners need, interest and profile. Individualize the program, provide regular feedback and facilitate a student centered program. Accommodate. Modify. Listen. Understand. TEACH. I have come to realize that all of my students are on a modified program. The classroom is Universally Designed – first, through the infrastructure and second, through the program. Access to computers, interactive whiteboards, document cameras, speaker system, soundfields, ipods, and individualized lessons through a course management system. The result – student engagement. The result of student engagement is student learning.

Today more than ever we, as educators need to learn to take risks and move away from our own comfort area because true differentiation means that we are delivering content that is current and relevant to our students. Unfortunately, many of our schools and districts are still not providing the infrastructure for teachers to implement a truly relevant and current program- one that students want. One with tools that they know. One that allows access to multi-languages, text to speech software, graphic designing, voice threads, blogging and collaboration.

The discussion prompted me to give an example of how I am going to differentiate a Science Test based on our Biodiversity Unit (Ontario Curriculum). Students will use Google Forms (embedded into Learning.com) to answer a variety of questions that have been discussed. I am not looking for their ability to regurgitate information. I am looking for their ability to connect to what we have discussed. I am looking for their ability to use the resources in front of them to help the devise a good response and to use each other as collaborators. They are encouraged to talk throughout the assessment, to assist each other and to read and analyze information on the that we have read on the internet.

Reflection from a student

Example of the Google Form: here

Example of Voice Thread – for students who prefer to answer orally.