The Mediocrity Virus

So I'm sitting there with a room full of people who have just won the bronze medal world-wide in the most recent round of 'who's got the best education system'. After years of diligent effort and insightful leadership, Canada is ranked third worldwide in educational performance, and is very close…

EdCamp Waterloo

My second EdCamp in the past six months, I guess I'm hooked.  EdCamp Waterloo Region was, like EdCamp Toronto, a chance to break the mold on how PD is done to us.I volunteered before hand to do a first round session mainly because, after seeing the nerves and reticence at EdCampTO, I…

Failing Forward

Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.  - C.S. Lewis Four years ago I decided to show what we know in the information technology focused computer engineering course I teach at Centre Wellington DHS.  The Skills Canada I.T. and Networking Administration contest seemed…

A word about educational how-to videos

In the tragically depopulated videos suggesting how personalized assessment is to be done, cheerful teachers in half empty, quiet, ordered classrooms dealing with compliant, earnest, hard working children one on one, take a great deal of time reviewing their work in meaningful, specific ways. This is something I often see…

Hybridized Education

The Toyota Prius hybrid car is a series of expensive compromises.  Born at a time when we are transitioning from fossil fuels to electrical power, the Prius is a car that combines gas tanks, gas powered drive trains and engines with batteries, and electrical motors that do the same jobs more…

Own Your Digital Self

William Gibson (@greatdismal himself) on our changing mindscape: At the last Educational Computing Conference in Ontario, there were a lot of presentations on digital footprints.  In every case, a few, older Luddites were struggling against a perceived loss of privacy while everyone else was being (as @greatdismal says above so well) 'benignly…

Big Digital Magic

I'm really enjoying teaching English again, especially the university bound group I've got.  I don't have to worry about explaining why they are there as I do in many computer-tech classes.  The students come complete with their own resilience and competitive nature.  When you're not reduced to hand holding all…

Learning Goals & Success Criteria

Learning Goals & Success Criteria This past week we had a department heads visioning day.  One of the focuses (from the Ministry through the Board) was a concerted focus on clearly articulating learning goals and success criteria.  This goal/criteria approach has a lot of traction in current educational thinking.  Clearly…