Tag Archives: visible thinking

Curating Visible Learning in #onted

We hope you have enjoyed the work of two Ontario bloggers over the past two days, Leigh Cassell and Michelle Parrish.

After two years of promoting connected learners, OSSEMOOC is updating its blogroll to feature active education bloggers in Ontario and beyond.  You can see to the right  ——>

how we are adding ACTIVE blogs to the site, curated so that you can find what you are looking for.

Please share your blog information with us in the form below.  We will be removing links to blogs that are no longer active.

Thank you for your dedication to making your learning and thinking visible to others.

If you are not a blogger, please continue to visit this site so you might learn from your colleagues, and see examples of educators who believe in building our knowledge together.

Featured image shared under a Creative Commons Attribution – Non-commercial license by Thomas Hawk.


May 6, 2015: What Are Other Educators Thinking?

Let’s learn to find and follow the blogs other educators are writing.



Ten Minutes of Connecting Day 2 (here)


7 p.m. EDT: #onedchat Achieving Excellence!  Follow the hashtag on Twitter, and participate if you already have an account.


Find two blogs that are interesting to you.  Use suggestions you find in the Ten Minutes of Connecting Day 2 Resource, or choose blogs from the margins of this page, or from the Ontario Educators site.

Follow the blogs by email.  Next week, we will ask what you have learned from these blogs so far, so get ready to share!

Later this week we will ask other educators to share their favourite blogs with our newly connected leaders.

Ten Minutes of Connecting: Day 24 – Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Blog

Yesterday we looked at the options available for educators to begin a personal/professional blog for free.  Today, we hope you will take ten minutes to actually begin creating your personal space for sharing and curating.

Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution - Non-commercial license by Thomas Hawk
Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution – Non-commercial license by Thomas Hawk

We will guide you through the process of starting a blog at wordpress.com.  The process is quite similar for other hosting sites, and all sites have extensive support available to walk you through the process of setting up your blog.

Begin at www.wordpress.com

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Begin entering the information.  Your username will appear when you make comments on other WordPress blogs, so consider carefully what you want that to be, and be sure that it is reflective of you (i.e., your real name or your Twitter handle are good options).

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Consider carefully the “blog address” as this is what you will use to drive readers to your site.  Keep it simple and reflective of who you are.

Take a screenshot, or carefully record the set up information so that you will be able to log back into your site.

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You are provided with a number of options.  For now, we will stick with the free version.  Choose “create blog”.

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WordPress.com will now “walk you through” a number of steps to create your blog.  Consider the purpose of your blog as you create a title and tagline (all of these can be edited later).


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At some point in the process you will be asked to verify your account through the email address you originally provided.

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In the email message, you will see an option to follow beginner tutorials.

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You may need to log into your site from the email message.  Use the information you carefully recorded when you set up the blog.

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When you are creating a blog, there are two “sides” or “views” in the process.  There is the public side, which is what others see when they visit your blog at the URL you have chosen.  For example, it’s what you see right now at https://ossemooc.wordpress.com/.

When people navigate to my new blog, they see this front page, but with their own login information on the top black navigation bar.

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The “other” side or view is the dashboard, where you create your posts and design your site.

To access your dashboard from your public view, click on the name of your blog in the top left, and choose dashboard.

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WordPress.com has provided an excellent instructional video to help you understand and navigate the dashboard side of your blog.

Take some time to watch the video and play with some of the features on your new site.

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Access the video here: https://v0.wordpress.com/player.swf?v=1.03

Below are some further resources to help you navigate and learn the dashboard side of your blog.

WordPress.com Get Started Tutorials

WordPress.com Quick Start Guide

WordPress TV: Understanding the Dashboard

Ten Minutes of Connecting: Day 23 – Yes, It’s Time to Start Your Own Blog!

Much of the work we have done so far in getting connected has been about where to find information on the web, and how to share the valuable information with others.

Shared by Dafyd Jones under a Creative Commons Attribution - Non-Commercial - Share-Alike License.
Shared by Dafyd Jones under a Creative Commons Attribution – Non-Commercial – Share-Alike License.

But what if nobody created any of the resources you are sharing?

Your presence online is valuable because others are creating and sharing with you.  You are a valuable part of your own PLN.  Creating and sharing back with your colleagues is an important part of the process, and a valuable aspect of your own professional learning.

Today we start supporting you in the process of creating your own blog.

Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution - Non-Commercial - Share-Alike License by Dekuwa.
Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution – Non-Commercial – Share-Alike License by Dekuwa.

You can’t create a blog in ten minutes, so we have broken the process down into a series of easy steps.  Our goal is to have your blog live online before the end of this 30-day series.

Are you ready?

First, what do we mean by the word “blog”? We need to have a shared understanding of what a blog is.

Edublogs, one of many possible platforms for your blog, has created this instructional video that will give you the basics of what a blog is in under four minutes!

The next step in setting up your own blog is making a decision about what platform you will use to host your blog.  Many educators use one platform for student blogs and a different platform for their personal blog.  How should you decide?

Edublogs recently did a survey of bloggers, asking about their platform of choice.  Reading their comments might help you with your decision.

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Of course, asking your PLN on Twitter what platform they use and why is an awesome use of your Professional Learning Network to support you in your work.

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If your friends are already blogging, ask them what they use and why.

Once you have made your decision, it’s easy to sign up for a free blog.

(OSSEMOOC is currently using a WordPress.com site, and as we work through the components of blogs this week, we will be using examples from our own WordPress.com site.  If you are really new to Web 2.0 tools, you may want to start with a WordPress.com blog and follow our tutorials.  Once you understand the fundamentals, you can switch to any hosting site of your choice.)

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If you are already a blogger, what tips can you offer new bloggers?


Personal Blogging – a fantastic step-by-step guide by Edublog’s Sue Waters.



Ten Minutes of Connecting: Day 22 – Making Thinking Visible Through Blogging

As we move into the last week of our “10 minutes of Connecting” series, we continue on from our thinking about Collecting – Connecting – Curating – Collaborating to Creating and Sharing.

One of the easiest ways to own your own creative digital space is to start your own blog.

Shared under a Creative Commons attribution - non-commercial - Share-alike license by Konrad Glogowski
Shared under a Creative Commons attribution – non-commercial – Share-alike license by Konrad Glogowski

You have already started your “blogging” work by contributing to the “microblog” Twitter.  When 140 characters isn’t enough, you need to create your own space to share your thinking and learning.

There are many reasons to start your own blog.  Today we are considering the purpose of blogs, and how they can help us in our own learning.

Many leaders start blogs as a way to help publicize and share the great work being done at their school.

Others make their personal growth plan visible to their school community.

Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution License by Christian Schnettelker
Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution License by Christian Schnettelker

A blog can be a place to share resources and learning plans for a group of learners.

Some leaders use their blog as a professional portfolio, demonstrating the work they do in each area of the leadership framework.

Take some time today to look at the blogs posted in the margins of this page.  This time, look for the purpose of the blog.

How can blogging help you in your work as a lead learner?

Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution - Non-commercial - Share-alike license by Giulia Forsythe
Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution – Non-commercial – Share-alike license by Giulia Forsythe


Blogging Resources for Teachers: Sue Waters

Blogging With Your Students: Langwitches Blog

Why Teachers Should Have Blogs: George Couros

The Need for Courageous Leadership: George Couros

Documenting for Learning:  Langwitches Blog

Visible Thinking Routines for Bloggers: Langwitches Blog

How to Grow a Blog – Konrad Glogowski


Ten Minutes of Connecting: Day 12 – A Deeper Look at ‘Curation’ in Professional Practice

Over the past few days we have been looking at tools to help us share valuable information and learning with others in our Professional Learning Network.  By sharing, you are telling others that you believe something is worth their time.  It is also a way for you to sort the content you want to look into more deeply in the future.

Content curation can be deeper than simply organizing information.  In the video below, Robin Good compares curation with choosing food when you are hungry.  When we need to find information on a topic, “Googling it” isn’t enough any more.  There is just too much out there.  We want a deeper understanding.  We want to read an explanation of the topic – a remix of sorts.

Similarly, when we are hungry, just going to a fast food outlet and grabbing the quickest thing on the menu is not necessarily what we want.  We would like something more substantial.  We want to be able to choose the restaurant and then enjoy what the restaurant has to offer.

As educators, how can we begin to think more critically about the information we are taking in?  How can we more effectively share that information with our network?

Curation is also a reflective process.  Reflecting on content helps us remember it more clearly, and to build on it as we take in more information.

Sue Waters has written extensively on the process of curation.

Click on the image to read the full article.
Click on the image to read the full article.


As important as curation is for our own professional learning, it can be argued that students need to learn curation as a key 21 C skill/competency.


Click the image to find the original post at edumanity.com.
Click the image to find the original post at edumanity.com.


Barbara Bray explores this topic further in her blog, and asks, “If  you don’t take the time to read the contents and just Scoop-it, then is the resource really useful and valuable?

Curation skills can include:

  • understanding keywords and tags
  • scanning text
  • reading and summarizing content
  • building connections
  • choosing appropriate resources
  • sharing resources
  • promoting and branding topic”

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Certainly content curation skills are important for educators, as we model the kind of learning we want for our students.

How do we properly attribute the information we are sharing?  This is a poorly understood aspect of online curation. If you want to explore further, this post attempts to address the issue: The Curator’s Code.  You can find more here: Brain Pickings on the Curator’s Code.

Honouring your source of information is the underlying thinking behind the idea of a curator’s code.  For example, if Mark posts a terrific article on Twitter, and I go and read it, I wouldn’t share it on Twitter again without adding via @markwcarbone, just to demonstrate that Mark shared it first and sent me off to learn from it.  Honouring your source is always the best practice when sharing and remixing.

Take a few minutes today to consider the role of curation in your professional life (both sharing and learning), and as a critical skill for our students.  We have posted some reading below, as well as a video conversation on the topic of curation.

As we work through this week we will explore tools for deeper levels of curation – more than just sharing links.



Sue Waters: Curation – Creatively Filtering Content

Barbara Bray’s Curation Scoop.It Page

Students Build Knowledge Together: Langwitches Blog

Edudemic:  20 Free and Fun Ways to Curate Web Content

50 Ways to Curate and Share Web Content

Curation as a Tool for Teaching and Learning

Robin Good on Curation:

Ten Minutes of Connecting: Day 2 – What are other educators thinking?

(If you are just starting today, Day 1 can be found here.)

In our first video yesterday, we watched how learning is all about putting simple concepts together into more complex thinking.

When we consider what it means to be a connected learner, we can break it down into several components:

  • Collecting information
  • Connecting
  • Curating
  • Collaborating and Co-learning
  • Creating and Remixing
  • Sharing

Today we are going to focus on how we can efficiently gather information.  Where can we go to find out what other educators are thinking and doing?  How do we stay current with knowledge about learning?

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Kristina B via Compfight cc

In Ontario, many educators deprivatize their practice and make their thinking and learning visible through blogging.  You can find an extensive list of Ontario “edubloggers” (curated by Doug Peterson) here.  As well, the left side of this page has links to school and system leader blogs in Ontario. The right side of this page has links to a number of Ontario educators who are leading learning  by participating in connected learning through OSSEMOOC.

In your ten minutes of connecting today, take some time to read what other Ontario bloggers have written. How does their thinking align with yours? What new ideas have they shared? What is working/not working for them? What opportunities exist for further connection and collaboration?

We have suggested some Ontario bloggers below.  In our resources section for today, you will find more links to other blogs of interest to educators, suggested collections, and some other thinking about the importance of blogging.

As you browse and read, consider following the blog to get automatic email updates when a new post arrives.  Most blogs have a “follow” button or a place to subscribe.

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If you like the blog, why not check out the blogs that the writer follows?  There is often a link to this information on the website.

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Is reading blogs already part of your daily routine? Please share your favourite blogs in the comments.


A Few Ontario Bloggers:

Sue Dunlop (Superintendent, HWDSB)

Brenda Sherry (Vice-Principal, UGDSB)


Paul McGuire (Principal, OCSB)

Brandon Grasley (Secondary Math/Computer ScienceTeacher/Lead, ADSB)

Julie Balen (Secondary English Teacher/Leader Wikwemikong Board of Education)

Aviva Dunsiger (Grade 1 Teacher, HWDSB)

Kim Figliomeni (Principal, SNCDSB)

Stacey Wallwin (TELT, SGDSB)

Katie Maenpaa (TELT, SNCDSB)


A Few Canadian bloggers:

George Couros (Division Principal, Parkland School Division, Alberta)

Kathy Cassidy (Grade 1 teacher, Author of Connected From The Start: Global Learning for the Primary Grades)

David Truss (Vice Principal of Coquitlam Open Learning & Lead Administrator of the Inquiry Hub at School District 43 (Coquitlam))  Update: Winner of the CEA Ken Spencer Award for Innovation, 2015

Dean Shareski (Community Manager for Discovery Education Canada)

Collaborative Blogging: Canadian Education Association



Some other blogs of interest to educators:

Jackie Gerstein (USA)

Diane Ravitch (USA)

Langwitches (Sylvia Rosenthal Tolisano, USA)

Tom Whitby (USA)

Pernille Ripp (USA)


Further Resources:

Ontario edubloggers

Ontario edubloggers (on CourseHelp.ca)

Isolation is now a choice educators make

Connected Principals




Ten Minutes of Connecting: Day 1 – Dedicating Time

If you are reading this, you already know that the world is changing, and you know that as a leader in education you need to be connected.  But where do you start?

This month, OSSEMOOC is taking you from beginner to connected in 10 minutes a day.

In education, we work long hours, and boundaries between home life and work can blur.  We know we need to learn, but finding the time is challenging.

If you can commit to finding 10 minutes to connect each day in November, we will help you establish some habits of connecting, creating and sharing that will start you on the road to becoming a connected leader.

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So let’s begin!

If you feel a bit unsure when it comes to technology, here is a great place to start working on your mindset for learning.


The next video is old (2008) but still relevant as we consider why taking the time to learn to be a connected leader is critical to the success of our students.


Now in our remaining three minutes, let’s consider the video that supports Ontario’s renewed vision in education (follow the link in green).  What are the needs of our students in today’s world?

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Ontario’s Renewed Vision

Video transcript:

“I’m an Ontario student, and my world is constantly changing.
I live in a world where technology is everywhere.
I can connect with a friend in another part of the globe, just as easily as I can with a friend down the street.
When I graduate high school, I will enter a world that is more competitive and connected than ever before.
My education will prepare me for that world.
My school will be a place where my friends and I can be successful, regardless of where we come from.
A place where we are inspired to learn by engaging teachers using new technology.
Our diversity will not be a barrier, but rather a reason for our success.
We will develop the strength of character to overcome obstacles and be resilient, whatever comes our way.
We will feel safe and welcome, and know that our well-being is supported inside and outside of school.
We will be the innovators, community builders, creators, skilled workers, entrepreneurs and leaders of tomorrow.
As an Ontario student, I will achieve excellence.”

In your last minute for today, consider the reasons why it is so important for education leaders to own their own learning, and to connect with other educators online.  Perhaps some of the resources posted below will be helpful to you.

Learning through online videos is just one of the many ways you can direct your own professional development.

Check back here tomorrow as we start looking at how Ontario education leaders are making their thinking and learning visible.

Stay connected!


Further Resources:

Connected Educators, Leaders and Schools

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Check out http://langwitches.org/blog/ for more insight into the whys and hows of being a connected leader.

Connected Educators

Connected Principals


Why do our students need connected leaders?

Why do we need connected leaders?

Connected Learners Need Connected Leaders

Learning from Ontario Educators

Here in Ontario, we love Fridays!

It’s not just because warm sweaters and jeans are finally acceptable work attire, but also because Doug Peterson is working his best magic in connecting Ontario educators and enabling the sharing we all need to do to keep up with change.

Doug’s #FollowFriday “Active Ontario Educators” posts on Twitter are the perfect starting place for new and old tweeters alike as we build our online PLNs in social media.

But what is really special, is Doug’s curated summary of the Ontario edublogs that impacted his thinking through the week.  What a great opportunity to sample the rich thinking this province has to offer.

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So as we embrace this last Friday of October, and think ahead to our November work in nurturing leaders into becoming “connected”, we want to thank Doug for his tireless efforts to connect our thinking in Ontario, and suggest that following Doug’s work is a great starting point for any Ontario educator looking to become a connected leader.

Happy Hallowe’en!