2018 Year in Photos and Video

Once again, it almost didn’t happen. Not only have I been less diligent in my photo a day effort but realizing this year’s photo has been dominated by my new love made me thing it would be too boring. Then my wife reminded me how boring other years have been with golf and conference images.

If you doubt how boring those other years were check out the previous 10.

2008
2009
2010 (aka, the year I tried something crazy)
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017

After reading Alan’s annual post I was reminded that it’s not about a streak but a meaningful method to document life. It works for me. I will say the challenge was much greater in the first 4-5 years before mobile phones. Using a camera was sometimes awkward as well as it was far less automated in terms of uploading. Back then, my focus was to be mindful of my world and try to capture things some may find routine. While I still try and practice that, it certainly has become harder after 10s of thousands of photos later. Travelling lots makes this easier. This year was all about Harriet and I have … Read the rest

Digital Citizenship: Where Are We Now?

This tweet was initiated by a few folks who are very smart and who do really good work. 

Katia  I am Stronger

Jennifer  Social Ledia

Bonnie  Experience Required: Walking the Talk in Digital Teaching & Learning

All of their work as I said I believe is really important and you would do well to follow them and their work. Smart people indeed. They offer a positive, useful way of understanding media literacy. However, looking at this from another perspective has me thinking that we’ve adopted a bit of an “if you can’t beat them, join them”. Or “this stuff isn’t going away, let’s make the best of it” or “you can use technology for good or evil, let’s focus on the good” At one time or another I’ve likely used these phrases and even presented on them. … Read the rest

Technology as Distraction

This post was last updated on July 26th, 2018 at 01:58 pm

Like many before this post started with a tweet….

 

Today most inspirational messages, books and challenges to schools are to “prepare them for anything” or “future ready” or “solve big problems” or “change the world”, all good and valid messages. I’ve already shared my concerns over an overemphasis on innovation. I’m not saying these things aren’t important but I think what’s missing is recognizing that student health and well-being needs way more attention, emphasis on “way”. If we look historically at the purpose of school, it moved from a primary mission of knowledge distribution to job preparation. Health was an add-on at best and mental health wasn’t even on the radar until the last few years. Technology has fostered the conversation about a broader definition of jobs and future. Lagging way in the background is student health and well-being.

Certainly, that title I’ve … Read the rest

Still Amusing Ourselves To Death

As much as I love the ability to connect with current practitioners and other smart folks around innovative and interesting ideas in education, we have a wealth of knowledge that lives in the recent and more distant past that is often overlooked. The bombardment of “new” through current media offerings tends to overshadow the truths that have been shared, considered and proven over decades and centuries.

When it comes to understanding media and communications, there are no better thinkers out there than Neil Postman and Marshall McLuhan. If you’re reading this and have never heard of these men, I would highly encourage you to seek out their writings.

I just finished re-reading Amusing Ourselves to Death, Postman’s critique of the impact of television on our world.

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.

I suppose some might not be able to see the connection between television and the Internet and while there certainly are differences, I found the parallels to be glaring. Without doing a full review here, I simply … Read the rest

When Will We Get Serious about Teacher Stress?

This post was last updated on December 20th, 2017 at 10:55 am

I’m privileged to work with some of the very best educators around the world. I’m continually inspired and in awe of their expertise, energy and commitment to their craft. They are true artists.  I marvel at these artists and the different ways they approach teaching and learning.

Of late, I’ve become acutely aware of one sad commonality among these very good people. Teachers are stressed. One could argue teachers have always been stressed but I’m sensing something new and disturbing. Today’s headline confirms some of my hunches. I’m sure some will read this article and suggest teachers are weak or lazy or manipulative. However, it’s the increase that needs to be noted. Perhaps teachers are taking better care of themselves and thus are taking time to recover rather than bringing their sickness back to the classroom. If that’s the case I see a problem in a job that requires employees to take that much time off.

In Ontario, mental health and well-being is now a mandated goal. While I applaud that move, several educators questioned the strategies suggested that are designed to deal with the stress … Read the rest