Pay Attention to These Folks

John Pederson is a fan of asking “Who has your attention?”   I would add to that and say, “Stop looking for great resources and start looking for great people”. I have no shortage of great people in my life many of whom are well known people in education and technology. But I love to share and find hidden gems, people that you may not be paying attention to but ought to. Here are three:

Darren Kuropatwa

Darren actually is fairly well known as a great presenter, storyteller, Math teacher and inventor of the Scribe Post. But lately he’s been doing something that’s inspired me in a few different ways and you may not be familiar with what he’s been up to. After many discussions around the challenge of blogging, Darren has been playing with an app called Social Cam and has been using it to offer daily or almost daily reflections of his learning called “While Walking”. Not only are these often provocative ideas that has enabled him to practice active reflection but it’s helped make him stronger connections in his local community. I’ve used this tool now a few times and have plans to incorporate it into our Read the rest

“The deleterious effect of gradings and its offspring”

This post was last updated on March 14th, 2018 at 11:54 am

It’s that time again when we get busy calculating grades to determine the winners and the losers. I realize few if any teachers think of it that way but to many, that’s how it comes across. You can argue that it’s simply a celebration of hard work and excellence. Maybe. Maybe not.

It’s been over a year since one of my students wrote a very heartfelt post about his younger brother. The aftermath of this post was quite powerful and led to  a big change. Read the comments, a few of which aren’t very nice to get the full picture. Kyle handled himself with integrity. I continue to point to this post as a great example of the power and potential of blogging.

But the whole grading and honour roll thing continues to be problem-some, at least for me.

All my kids have been on the honour roll. For them the grades were motivating and to be honest, they didn’t really work all that hard. Sure they studied and put in the effort but I know many students who worked much harder with poorer results. School … Read the rest

The ethics of blogging

This post was last updated on September 5th, 2011 at 11:03 am

While many have lamented the death of blogging, I’m not one of them. In fact, I still am not convinced of a better way to personalize your web experience. As an educator, I view them as learning spaces where metacognition is king. That’s not the thrust of this post but I wanted to make that clear.

My pre-service teachers are required to blog. I take great pleasure as they take ownership of those spaces and begin to share their passions, question things and connect ideas with others. One of my students has recently purchased his own domain name and hosting space. I don’t expect everyone to do that but applaud his efforts.  The other day he posted a pretty compelling argument that questioned the practice at the school his brother attends. He did not identify the school. I’m sure a little investigation could have revealed the school but this was not the point of the post. His post was meant to illuminate a larger discussion of equity and student recognition. He got several comments and generated some good discussion.

A few days later the principal of the … Read the rest