Tag Archives: Web20

Web 2.0ing your staff meetings

I had an awesome conversation with WRDSB  Principal Mark McMath after school today. Over the fall, he has been experimenting with some ideas for bringing staff meetings to life by making them more interactive and focused on discussion rather than information distribution. Check out these great ideas!

  • collaborate on generating agendas by leveraging Google Docs
  • gather good news itmes through a shared Google Doc – check out this  Sample Good News doc
  • share links to video resources in a shared document
  • use  Today’s Meet  to generate a back channel discussion
  • summarize group discussion in an online (Google) doc
  • gather feedback via Google Forms
  • create a staff  video message  using a tool such as  ScreenCast-o-matic

Mark has enjoyed learning through his Professional Learning Network (PLN) on Twitter too.  He has found that Twitter connections provide a wealth of knowledge for personal use and sharing with staff.   He notes the importance of gaining comfort in jumping in and out of the information flow as it can be overwhelming.

Additional Resources

Follow  Mark McMath  on Twitter

Follow Cedarbrae PS on Twitter

Follow the #edwrdsb Twitter hashtag


Blogging with primary students

Today (Wed. May 29th, 2013)  I will be interviewing  Waterloo Region District School Board  teacher  Jenni van Rees  at 4:30 (EDT).

Our discussion topic:  blogging with primary students.

Catch the live broadcast by visiting the   QueST Radio 1-24   website.   I will also be writing an upcoming blog post featuring Jenni’s work in this area.


Call to #WRDSB teachers

Ed Doadt, Principal at Huron Heights Secondary School and I will be presenting at the Canadian Association of School Administrators (CASA) annual conference in July. The theme for this year is ‘Technology Meets Pedagogy: Hardware Meets Headware’. Our presentation will focus on how the use of web 2.0 and social media tools positively impact student learning and engagement.

If you have a great story to share about what has occurred in your classroom, we would love to hear from you.  Please  add your story/journey to our Google Doc.

~Mark & Ed

Skinny Down Your Technology

The other day I was reviewing some draft system communications with @maryhingley and she commented that we should “skinny this down” to a cleaner more streamlined document.  While the comment regarding the document  we were reviewing was bang on,  it also made a connection for me to an earlier conversation that day about the constant evolution of technology tools. The context of the technology tools dialogue was around the challenge of building capacity in teaching when the tools evolve so quickly.

Fact:  We are all on a continuous  learning curve, new technology,  new apps, new potential to improve improve learning. There is certainly plenty of discussion around the notion of welcoming teachers with this new ‘technology enabled learning’ world – online, web 2.0, anytime, anywhere, digital, shared documents, authentic audience (etc.).

As we become more thoughtful about professional learning, determining the best point(s) of entry and consider learning continuums for staff, there is a greater realization that it is too easy to overwhelm.  People need safe and doable entry points with high success rates.  The fact is, people do not need 100’s of tools to start on their journey.

Challenge:  a call to experienced teachers using web 2.0 and social media tools – skinny down your tool list

Categorize the software, apps and web 2.0 tools you use into the following categories:

a) must have, use daily, addresses some important need

b) use regularly (a few times a week but not daily)

c) once in a while (a few times per month)

d) tried it, don’t use it regularly at all

Skinny down your list and share your suite of must have tools in this google doc.  Include your name, twitter ID, blog/web site and must have list.

Thanks in advance for sharing.

Related Resources:

I just can’t imagine teaching without ….

Cross posted to VoicEd.ca


What’s in a Digital Footprint

As we spend more and more time online, one leaves a digital footprint – digital connections to our name which are part of your online presence. 

Personas is a component of the metropathologies, currently on display at the MIT museum by the Social Media Group. It uses sophisticated natural language processing and the Internet to create a data portrait of one’s aggregated online personaliy. In effect, Personas shows you how the Internet sees you.

Here’s how it works:  You enter your name, first and last only, no middle initials, titles etc. and Personas will dig through the Internet to search for information and attempts to characterize the person by fitting the information against a predetermined set of categories that an algorithmic process created from the total data set found. Each step of the multi-stage process is visualized. The final result is the representation of the seemingly authoritative personal ‘online’ profile (based on the data set).

Personas is a great example of data mining to build profiles from extensive quantities of information. As amazing as this process is, it is also an example showing inconsistencies and inadvertent errors that occur, mainly due to the lack of ability to separate data from multiple owners of the same name. In other words, if I run the process using ‘Mark Carbone’ the final profile presented will be based on the collective data for all of the  people with the name ‘Mark Carbone’, not just me. 

The algorithm fits the collected data against 23 categories, so it’s fairly comprehensive.  The categories include one called ‘illegal’ and I would bet that this would make many of us squirm a little …  I road tested a few names, including my own and this category exists for all the names I tested. None the less, this is a great example a powerful data mining tool.

As an example the representation of ‘Mark Carbone’ looks like



This is a very interesting technology. Click here to try  your name.  I am sure you will enjoy checking out Personas.  Have fun with the profiler.

~ Mark