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As a teacher, I see that my profession is often compared to the private sector. Metrics including wages, hours, pensions, and contracts are measured against private corporations. While there is certain value that can be ascertained from specific comparisons, it must also be recognized that public and private services are notoriously difficult to adequately compare.... Continue Reading →

How Movies Teach Manhood

An interesting TED talk from Colin Stokes, the director of communications for Citizen Schools. Citizen Schools is an American nonprofit organization that partners with various public schools around the US to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Its stated mission is "educating children and strengthening communities". When Stokes' 3-year-old son caught a glimpse of... Continue Reading →

How People Learn

How do people learn?  There's a lot of information out there, so it's difficult to filter out the myths from the facts on how to best facilitate learning. It's a seemingly simple question - how do people learn? - with an intricately complicated answer. Educational psychology and behavioural and cognitive sciences attempt to guide pedagogy... Continue Reading →

The What and How of Teaching

Curriculum is ever-changing, so why aren't our methods? Curriculum and teaching as a field of study has been laden with debate on a variety of superficial and deeper issues. Kieran Egan, professor at Simon Fraser University, explores this deeper in his article published in the Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies entitled What... Continue Reading →

The 6 Secrets of Change

Michael Fullan offers tremendous insight into leadership and elements of change and achievement. One of the most influential works entitled, The Six Secrets of Change: What the Best Leaders Do to Help Their Organizations Survive and Thrive, explore organizational change in a school system as opposed to a hard and fast approach. Fullan refers to... Continue Reading →

Transitioning to University

Elated. Proud. Confused. The general sentiment felt by many students in grades 11 and 12. Elated that summer's here. Warm weather anyone? Proud that they've completed high school. Acceptance letter in hand, the world is their oyster. Confused. How does this whole university thing work? Let's put our students a step ahead of the pack... Continue Reading →

Medical Apps: To be Trusted?

Guest Blogger: Dr. Stephen Chow, M.D. University of Mississippi Medical Center Division of Gastroenterology "False assurances and false panics add to patient anxiety and jeopardized patient well-being." 3:00 AM approaches, and I’m paged for a new admission with hypertensive urgency (very high blood pressure). In taking the patient's history, we had a great conversation about... Continue Reading →

BYOD: Technology NOT just a Tool

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) More and more school boards are adopting their own BYOD policy. Although there are a few cautions to this type of policy, such as security of property, but the advantages are tremendous. BYOD policies allow for collaboration because students can share devices, it adds extra tools to make lessons engaging through... Continue Reading →

Want to Help Someone? Shut Up and Listen!

We tend to offer our help in a way that we want help, but not necessarily how the receiver wants the help. Ernesto Sirolli, founder of the Sirolli Institute, created an international non-profit institution that teaches this doctrine. It helps community leaders understand, establish, and maintain sustainable economic development projects, specializing in developing areas like Kenya and... Continue Reading →

Social Media in the Classroom

Imagine a world where resources were limited to what was found in the classroom or the school closet known as the "Curriculum Materials Room." Picture a world where students wrote letters with pen and paper to communicate with other students and adults outside of the building. Due to postage costs, the teacher either sent the... Continue Reading →

Social Media in Education

“The term social media refers to user-generated content that is shared online through technologies ‘that promote engagement, sharing, and collaboration”  Examples: Micro-blogging (Twitter, Maang) Social and professional networking sites (Facebook, Edmodo, Pinterest) Video and photo sharing websites (Instagram, YouTube, Flickr) Weblogs or ‘blogs’ (WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr) Wikis (Wikipedia) Forums and discussion boards (Google Groups)  ... Continue Reading →

Digital Navigation 101

When students are tasked with doing some online research, you can bet the vast majority turn to their old friend Google. It’s reliable, surfaces a variety of sources (like Wikipedia!) and will give you the most relevant answer in the shortest amount of time. Great, right? Well, not really. There’s a lot more to online... Continue Reading →

8 Key Factors of School Effectiveness

A recent study by EQAO confirms 8 key factors that can provide a foundation to guide principals in their school-improvement efforts. It was taken from over 25 years.   1. Strong and Effective Principal Leadership Puts children first by placing a strong belief in capabilities of students and teachers. Leaders are highly visible, actively supervising... Continue Reading →

Word of the day: Turquerie

Turquerie. Our word of the day. Turquerie -- A historical term increasing in usage and popularity. It refers to the orientalist fashion in Western Europe from the 16th to 18th centuries for imitating aspects of Turkish art and culture. The Wikipedia page was authored by the author of this blog (me!). Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turquerie

Teaching Students Digital Literacy

As our educational environment changes, so too do the desires of our students. From flipping the classroom to 21st Century Education, our experiences are evolving with time and technology. Teaching students to evaluate information and navigate in our society are foundational skills they need to become successful and competitive in the workforce. Is there a right... Continue Reading →

Critical Thinking – Map Projections

Learning to Divide the World: Education at Empire's End by John Willinsky  In this post, I discuss some of Willinsky's thoughts and how it has shaped some of my teaching. Willinsky captures the essence of the current educational problems through the exploration of the past and the dominance of the imperial powers. When the European explores... Continue Reading →

Infographics in Eduation

Infographics are visual representations of information, data, and/or knowledge. The purpose of an infographic is to break down complex information and present it in a clear and concise way. For students, infographics are useful because it allows them to deconstruct information in another format while retaining their attention because of visuals. For teachers, infographics offer a... Continue Reading →

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