Sunday, January 31, 2010

Being Human quote of the day...

``Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.``

- Douglas Adams

Would you wear the same clothes your mom wore in 1950? So why do we accept the fact our schools look the same as they did 50 years ago?

Welcome to the future ... actually, this reality check video is three years old already.

If you are showing up to class and looking at the back of someone's head, you're in the wrong place.

Technology can both shape (ie: how things are done) and extend (from where things are done) the 'classroom'.

Once a week in the computer lab just doesnt cut it! But just hitting the lab every day isn't 'teaching with technology'. Teachers need to learn (and need time to learn) how to utilize current tools to truly reach every student.

Take a look at this if you agree:

Techno Education from Richard Walker on Vimeo.

Digital Storytelling with 4 year olds @ IML

In early November, the IML hosted a group of 4-year-old preschool students, who learned about video cameras, story structure and basic editing in a revised version of our Digital Storytelling and Recombinant Narrative Workshop. The students responded exceptionally well, using their love of stories as a foundation for thinking through screen-based narrative.

Founded in 1998 in conversations between filmmaker George Lucas and School of Cinematic Arts Dean Elizabeth Daley, the IML empowers students and faculty in the use of images, video, audio and interactivity for critical and creative expression. This video highlights the IML’s contributions to the contemporary transformation of education taking place internationally in response to new tools and technologies.

See the IML story here:

IML: Background and Philosophy from on Vimeo.

Check this out too ...

What Is the IML? from on Vimeo.

Text is here ... get used to it! Better yet - use the skill to engage learners!

American teens sent an average of 80 text messages a day in the fourth quarter of 2008, almost double the average the year before.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Professional development for educators needs to change. We know this.

Traditional in-service days or two-hour workshops just no longer work in a world where learning is anytime, anywhere, with anyone.

If you too know that the old model isn't working any longer, and if you're looking for a professional development experience that blends the best of Web 2.0 tools with a commitment to long-term, job-embedded learning, we invite you to consider joining one of 15 Powerful Learning Practice (PLP) cohorts now being formed for the 2010-11 school year.

Led by co-founders Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Will Richardson, over 3,000 teachers in PLP cohorts from across the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia have already learned how to move both their personal and professional learning practice forward to embrace the great opportunities that social online learning tools have created. This year, we're looking for 1,500 more teachers to join us.

Powerful Learning Practice offers what no other PD experience out there does: a blend of face to face and online interaction over a 7-8 month period led by a collection of the most experienced, passionate educators in the field. And we do it not by delivering a course but by creating a community — a community of educator learners who support each others' efforts to improve their own practice throughout.
And it works."

See: Powerful Learning Practice Cohorts:

Collaborative Learning with Wikis

Wikis for Education!

Click! ... and take a look!

A Wonderful Learning Platform

Ontario Skills Passport:

The Ontario Skills Passport is a tool that ALL teachers can use to scaffold learning experiences on. Any Curriculum - Any grade! I am going to use it to teach a College Course in Leadership Development this winter!

Teachers - Give it a try! Contact me if you have queries or ideas!

Those who dont consider yourselves teachers ... Take a look and if you'd like your kids working on these skills, ask you child's school how (not if) they are using this provincially funded tool!

Here's a look at the skills ...


1) Reading Text :
The comprehension of text consisting of sentences and paragraphs.

2) Writing :
The preparation of written materials for a variety of purposes.

3) Document Use :
The use of labels, lists, signs, graphs, charts, tables, forms, and other similar materials.

4) Computer Use :
The use of any type of computerized technology.

5) Oral Communication :
The use of speech for a variety of purposes.


1) Money Math :
The use of mathematical skills in making financial transactions, such as handling cash, preparing bills, and making payments.

2) Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting :
Planning for the best use of time and money, as well as monitoring of the use of time and money.

3) Measurement and Calculation :
The measurement and calculation of quantities, areas, volumes, and/or distances.

4) Data Analysis :
The collection and analysis of data in numerical form.

5) Numerical Estimation :
The production of estimates in numerical terms.


1) Job Task Planning and Organizing :
The planning and organization of one’s own work.

2) Decision Making :
The making of any type of decision, using appropriate information.

3) Problem Solving :
The identification and solving of problems.

4) Finding Information :
The use of a variety of sources, including written text, people, computerized databases, and information systems. (See also Reading, Use of documents, Use of computers, and Oral communication above)."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Retention or Engagemant?

Recommendations for Increasing Retention in Ontario Colleges ...

Saw this today at

NOTE: ALL schools and organizations wanting to engage (retention sounds like we're tying them to a desk ...) Hmm. :)

1. Establish and Maintain a Student Success and Retention Committee.

2. Provide New Student Orientation which is open to families and partners of students.

3. Provide information on all learner support services that will be available to students including counseling, mentoring and tutoring. Introduce students to peers, faculty, advisers and counselors at this time.

4. Correctly identify at-risk students.

5. Use freshman surveys for all students entering college for the first time and for returning adult students to ensure that students have declared majors/degree goals and to identify students who are academically underprepared for college. Provide follow-up in subsequent years.

6. Improve service quality to students by improving peer interactions, being responsive to student complaints and expressed needs and by improving the quality of financial aid advising and career counseling/clarification services.

7. Have a common first year where students and faculty get to know one another. Use block scheduling to build learning communities among students and keep professors with the same students (Tinto, 1996).

8. Establish and market academic and social interaction opportunities.

9. Accurately determine attrition rate by tracking individual students. Establish an institutional research department capable of tracking students.

10. Conduct exit surveys to determine why students leave.

11. Conduct an institutional self-study to determine where improvements are necessary and where the institution is successful in retention strategies.

12. Institute a tangible reward system for good teaching and faculty advising.
"Autonomy-supportive teachers seek a student’s initiative; controlling teachers seek a students’s compliance.” – J Reeve et al., J of Ed Psych"

So many teachers (and other adult humans) speak of thier desire to see children 'taking responsibility'. Many of these adult humans would witness exactly what they desire if only they'd 'hand them the keys' ...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Two questions that can change your life ...

Watch! This is awesome - even if you dont buy the book ... which I recommend you do!

The twitter fitting 'summary' of this book Drive goes like this:

"Carrots and sticks are so last century. Drive says for 21st-century work we need to upgrade to autonomy, mastery and purpose."

Two questions that can change your life from Daniel Pink on Vimeo.

Confusing Harder With Better

Confusing Harder With Better

Monday, January 25, 2010

The passing of a wonderful man

KENNETH R. LANE Canadian Olympian.

It is with great sadness that the family of Ken Lane announces his passing on January 22, 2010 at the Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Ontario. Beloved husband of Madge for almost 60 years; loving father of Christine (Ray) Klassen, Laurel (John) Lane-Moore, Robin (Lew) Maginniss, Lisa (Brian) Lane-Henchey;.dear grandfather to Jordan (Tora), Lorian (Brock), Nathan, Josh (Jenn), Joel, Dana, Janine, Adam, Megan, Emily, Matthew and Patrick; and loving brother to Norm (Doris) Lane. Ken was predeceased by his brother Leslie (Jean) and sister Shirley.

Ken will be greatly missed by friends and family as many expressed their love and admiration for him prior to his passing. The family was most appreciative of the excellent care he received at the Princess Margaret Hospital. A special thanks to Dr. Shimmer, Jan Macraf, Dr. Letinski and all the nurses on the 15th and 18th floors. Ken was a lifetime member of the Balmy Beach Canoe Club where he developed a long association with sports, both as an athlete and a builder who has made an outstanding and extraordinary contribution to amateur sport in Canada. After returning from service in the Air Force, his first championship came in 1946 in the C-2 1,000 meters with his great friend of 76 years Hank Farintosh.

As the years passed, Ken won over 14 gold medals in international competitions to go along with 19 Canadian championships and of course the silver medal with partner Don Hawgood in the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games (a photo finish after 10,000 meters). It was the first medal won for Canada at those games. He continued winning championships in the masters class. His last race was in 1991. Ken was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 2003. As an administrator, he served as Treasurer of the Western Ontario Division of the Canadian Canoe Association from 1945-2000. Ken has served as Manager of the Canadian Canoe Team for the 1967 Pan Am Games and the 1972 Munich Olympics. He was an Official for the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. In 1974,

Ken was one of the founders of Canoe Ontario and served as its first President. In a lifetime of service to sport, he has served as a Commodore, Flag Officer, President, Treasurer, Director, numerous committees, Announcer, Historian and was always the voice of reason. His awards include the highest CCA award for a volunteer, the R. Edgar Gilbert Award in the builder category. Ken was also the recipient of the Queen's Jubilee Award for volunteer service. Ken was active as a volunteer in canoeing and continued to be a fundraiser extraordinaire at age 86. He also competed in another sport - squash, introduced to him while at the University of Toronto, Victoria College. After graduating in 1949, he continued to compete and won the Ontario Singles Championship in 1974. He also won numerous Canadian Masters Championships to go with several medals in the World Masters Competition. Ken continued to play doubles squash with a group of mature players until the age of 85.

In July 2009 after 7 months of leukemia treatments, Ken competed in his final golf tournament and finished first in the retirees category. Ken was a lifelong avid player of duplicate bridge, partnered with his wife Madge and he also played in a men's league. Ken was a past President of the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club, where he was an active member for 50 years. He also enjoyed a long relationship with the Toronto Racquet Club.

Ken enjoyed a long and distinguished 38-year career at Sears Canada Inc. After taking early retirement in 1984, he continued to serve as part of the Sears Forum Group. On the day of Ken's final Sears Forum meeting in December 2009, he was receiving two chemo treatments at the hospital. When the first treatment was completed, he took a taxi to the meeting where he delivered the closing note address, then returned to the hospital to complete his treatment.

Ken treasured his family time with his wife Madge and his four daughters Christine, Laurel, Robin and Lisa and their families. He also travelled extensively during a very busy and active 24 years of retirement. Funeral service will be held on Thursday, January 28 at 1 p.m. at the St. Nicholas Church, 1512 Kingston Rd., Toronto. Friends will be welcomed at the Balmy Beach Canoe Club to celebrate Ken's life following the service. If desired, donations to the Princess Margaret Foundation, leukemia cancer research would be appreciated.

Condolence and memories may be sent to the McDougall and Brown website McDougall and Brown Funeral Home 2900 Kingston Rd., Toronto, Ontario 416-267-4656.



Olympic Travel Calculator - TRY IT!

2010 Travel and Accommodations Calculator


Friday, January 22, 2010

You can ...

I can ..

be aware - see the change
be enabled - ie: be changed
be empowered - to lead the change.

You can!

Lost Dog? I don't think so...

Millions of people who otherwise would be completely lost in their minds and in endless past and future concerns are taken back by their dog or cat into the present moment, again and again, and

Reminded of the Joy of Being.

Thanks Teri ... :)

How HSBC Clean Air Achievers can ENGAGE students!

The following poem was 'acted out' by three students from Collingwood Collegiate this week at the Celebration of their HSBC Clean Air Achievers program. Written by Grant S, it was a real highlight! Again - Many thanks to CCI teacher Shawn Gibson for his vision!

The Story of the Three Trees – Morgan, Mo and Fraser

The air is filled
Filled with CO2
Which trees absorb
As they always do
The gas is stored
Inside it’s trunk.
And in the ground
Where roots are sunk

The Trees were dancing,
In the forest so green,
When all of a sudden,
A car got mean.
The tree named Morgan
Collapsed in a heap
And left all the others
To sadly weep

Out of Mo’s body
Carbon was released
Into the atmosphere
And away from the deceased
But Down to the trees
The carbon came back
Into the forest
And Into Zack

Then along came a man
Of a very large build
Who sent a small shiver
And left the trees chilled
The logger approached
A tree named Fraser
He swung his axe
It cut like a razor

The tree was dragged
To a place of fire
Poor Fraser was burned
On this industrial pyre
But just like poor Morgan
Carbon was emitted
and to the environment
A crime was committed

This cycle continues
Absorbed and gone
Until it is meddled with
Like what’s going on
We are poisoning our air
With our cars on the road
Increasing carbon levels
Until earth explodes!

That is the story
Of three little trees
Who because of humans
Were brought to their knees

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Learning to 'be'...

"Look at a tree, a flower, a plant.

Let your awareness rest upon it.

How still it is, how deeply rooted in being.

Allow nature to teach you stillness.

Everything natural ~ every flower, tree, and animal ~ has important lessons to teach us if we would only

Stop, Look, and Listen.

Just watching an animal closely can take you out of your mind and bring you into the present moment,

which is where the animal lives all the time ~

Surrender to life.

It's so wonderful to watch an animal,

because an animal has no opinion about itself.

It IS.

That is why the dog is so joyful.

and why the cat purrs."

Guardians of Being (Words of Eckhart Tolle with illustrations by Patrick McConnell)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Impossible Tree

Took this photo while riding my bike!

Can I really make a difference?

The rage is on ... people everywhere 'feeling' they are making a difference today - and the focus? Haiti. A wonderful 'cause' with so many people suffering ...

I only ask - why does it take an Earthquake to inspire this kind of collective human action?

Because it does. Lets not criticize good things. Lets just realize what moves humans that arent moved like this every day ...

And lets help out.

Say "I can ..."

I can be aware. And see whats out there. And feel it.

I can be enabled. And be changed. And want to DO something about what I feel.

I can be empowered - to LEAD the change - by acting on my feelings.

Make it a good day.

Do what makes you 'come alive'...

"Dont ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
(Howard Thurman)

And see how things change ...

And how you 'feel'...

Powered By 'Feel' ...

Just left Eastview High School, where I helped a grade nine Science class celebrate thier HSBC Clean Air Achievers program! Laurie Hodgson is a wonderful teacher, who worked extra hard to get this program up and running. Her accolades of the HSBC CAA program in terms of its' support (aka TZ) have reverberatted through the Simcoe County Science departments. More to come at Eastview and beyond!

Anyway - the kids did a wonderful job in reducing the GHGs they prduce by changing the way they transport themselves around.

I just love the way they talk - and the sparkle in thier eye - when they speak of the changes they made.

Anyway - some wonderful stories and discussion around making a difference. Of course we didn't just stick with ways to make a difference in terms of air quality ...

I find the greatest impact I can have when speaking with an audience is to help (inspire) them to think of the the things that truly make us feel good - and act on it.

So maybe your immediate thought upon reading that line is "how selfish, to think of (and act on) what makes one 'feel' good".

Think for a moment ... of all the things you 'do' ... Is there really anything that makes you feel 'good' - I mean completely 'good' - that isnt good for people or the planet?

Your reaction to balk at my statement is likley based on the images that entered your mind. The debauchery and excess that you likley connected my statement to is NOT what truly makes humans 'feel good'.

Having things doesnt make us feel good.

Acquiring things is simply an act that replaces the authentic 'good feelings' that humans are capable of. Getting more stuff makes us think we feel good.

The feeling we 'get' when we acquire more stuff is NOTHING compared to the feeling we feel ... when we contribute.

I ask people who question this to 'try it'. Go ahead - I dare you to do something that contributes to people or the planet ...

Now see how you feel.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Tinkering Towards Technology Fluency

Tinkering Towards Technology Fluency



Trust the spark within and find your own path

Trust the spark within and find your own path

This rocks....


What is YOUR definition?

HSBC Clean Air Achievers

Tomorrow I hit Collingwood Collegiate to celebrate the culmination of the HSBCClean Air Achievers program, a Clean Air Champions GHG reduction campaign that empowers students to make a change in their transportation habits. I can hardly wait to hear the stories and to share in their passion to change a few things ... and make a difference!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Olympic Spirit “Soars” Into Canadians’ Hearts

The Seven Olympic Values

Personal Growth

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Rules for Being Human

Rule One You Will Receive A Body.

You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.

Rule Two You Will Learn Lessons.

You are enrolled in a full-time, informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons, or you may think them irrelevant and stupid.

Rule Three There Are No Mistakes
Only Lessons.

Growth is a process of trial and error, of experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately”works”.

Rule Four A Lesson Is Repeated
Until It is Learned.

A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. Then you can go on to the next lesson.

Rule Five Learning Lessons Does Not End.

There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.

Rule Six “There” Is no Better Than “Here”.

When your “there” has become a “here”, you will simply obtain another “there” that again looks better than “here”.

Rule Seven Others Are Merely
Mirrors of You.

You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.

Rule Eight What You Make of Your Life
Is Up to You.

You have all the tools and resources you need; what you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.

Rule Nine The Answers Lie Within You.

The answers to life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen and trust.

If Life is a Game, These are the Rules Cherie Carter-Scott