Archive for October, 2012


Our team of teachers decided to use these three prompts to guide our work with students and their writing.

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First things first:  A thanks to the team from edcampSWO 2012!

The event would never have taken place without the dedicated efforts of:

@shannonhazel, teacher GECDSB

@mraspinall, teacher LKDSB

@globeandtims, teacher WECDSB

@TOBluejay12, administrator GECDSB

@CCHBiology, teacher WECDSB

@mrwideen, teacher GECDSB

@mrswideen, teacher GECDSB

Thanks also too:

@knightchris, consultant GECDSB

@sadone, administrator / consultant WECDSB

N.Fegahli, teacher GECDSB

The Students from Catholic Central Highschool (for being our welcome, sign in and video crew!)

These individuals came through huge in order to secure sponsors, get t-shirts made, take care of food, troubleshoot technology, create websites and SM and generate ticket sales.  They did all of this splendidly in order to pull off the first event of its kind at the University of Windsor, Faculty of Education.  It is rather interesting to note that all of our plans were done through google+, hangout, email, twitter DMs, texts and one 45 minute f2f meeting.  Preparations begin on the car ride home from edcampDetroit in May and ended the morning of October 13, 2012.  Amazing times we live in!

Preparing for an edcamp is scary.  As I stated the morning of the event; you make all the plans, secure the venue, pump out your message via SM/Blogs and then pray people will show up.  And that is not the end of it.  After you have 80+ educators in the room you then start to pray, even beg, for folks to sign up on the matrix board to facilitate a conversation, evoke a question or present and share some valued information.  Prayers were answered (thanks Chad and Ian) as we had 65% of our ticket takers show up, 15 % send regrets and 20% no shows.  As for #2, because of the participant driven Professional Learning, we offered  21 sessions: 10 conversations and 11 presentations.

Our session matrix had 21 options!

The University of Windsor, Faculty of Education, and specifically Dean Clinton Beckford and Dr. Finney Cherian were our gracious hosts on the day of the event.  The University provided the space, the custodial staff and free WiFi for the day to edcampSWO.  Without this location the day would never have run so smoothly.  Hosting an edcamp at the Faculty of Education brought with it an inherent feeling of professionalism and eliminated any chance that the locale would determine specific board dominance.  We came together to learn and we learned differently on Saturday.  We learned with autonomy by offering, selecting and participating in learning that we determined we needed based on our reflections and dialogue.  As a result educators left with new ideas, action steps and most likely something new to try with kids on Monday!  Most also left with plans to hit #edcampDetroit in May!

Thanks to all participants that came and stepped up to the plate.  We look forward to hearing about your work with students as a result of your learning at edcampSWO!

We had a great day.  While reflecting on the learning at the Rock Bottom afterglow we secured two more edcampSWO leaders!  We also guaranteed that there will be an edcampSWO 2013.

I have a call to make to Dean Beckford first thing tomorrow morning!

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I decided my life wasn’t busy enough to give up on my passion for writing. I realize that the only way I will get better at it is to do it. So. . . The 30 Day Blogging Challenge. . .

I’m making a commitment to write every-other day for the next 30 days. My wife is in this challenge with me. We will be taking turns blogging over the course of the next month. Who needs to wait for the first of the month to start a 30 day challenge. Not us obviously.

Writing has been difficult for me of late. I have not made the time to do so. I have a bunch to write about just haven’t made the time to write. I’ve come to understand that the longer I put this off the harder it is to just sit down and do it. I challenged @infinebalance in an attempt to support her writer’s block and in an effort to get me writing.

My wife writes over at InFineBalance.com. Her blog is a fitness, kids, work, mostly food endeavour. Go check her blog out and you will find a recipe for some delicious morsel that does no harm to animals or the environment. You can also follow her on twitter @infinebalance.

Tag you’re it.

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Dear Excited Edcampers (South Western Ontario style!)

Thank you for registering for edcampSWO 2012. We are excited to learn with you during this innovative event. The intent of this email is to remind you of your registration for the event and provide logistical information you may need to prepare for the day.

1. Arrival for edcampSWO is Saturday, October, 13, 2012 we
will be together from 8:30 am. until 4:30 pm. (Have your raffle tickets ready because we will be closing the day together with a raffle.) Lunch will be on your own from 11:45 am until 1:00 pm.
(There are a number of restaurants close to the university.)

2. The University of Windsor has provided edcampSWO with free use of their facilities, A/V equipment, wifi and custodial services. edcampSWO is providing all the coffee, doughnuts and bagels you can consume. Let us support this prospering university in a small way by paying the parking fee for their lot. At the University, park in lot Q next to the Education
Building (where event is being held) or in lot S across the street. Here is a parking lot map for the University of Windsor: http://web2.uwindsor.ca/pac/campusmap/pdfs/ParkingMap.pdf

3. Complimentary Wifi access will be available to all participants while at the University. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is strongly encouraged as is sharing your learning at edcampSWO by using the hashtag #edcampSWO.

4. At edcampSWO, the workshops are crowdsourced and decided when everyone arrives that day. As all learning is participant driven you are encouraged to consider facilitating learning, leading a conversation or sharing some work you are passionate about. AV equipment (projector and speakers) will be available for your use.

The fun does not end at the U, come join us at Rock Bottom on Sandwich St. http://www.rockbottom.ca at 4:30 for complimentary appetizers.

Looking forward to a great edcamp,

edcampSWO Organizers

Hosted by edcamp SWO
Saturday, 13 October 2012 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM (EDT)
University of Windsor, Faculty of Education Building, 401 Sunset Ave, Windsor, ON N9B 3P4


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I run on October 21, 2012. I run 26 miles. My last long distance trainer was 22. It was challenging in a “lying face down on Sandwich Street at mile 21” kinda way. “Get up, you can do it.” My training partner said from her bike. She had been following me and I did not know it.

I am prepared for the pain. Tricia found this text to help inspire my work towards the weekend of the 21st.

Interestingly enough this text also provides me with a window into my challenges in leadership circles.

Long distance running is personal and political, but even more, it’s transcendental. You transcend “normal” behavior as well as your own expectations. Over time, this serial transcendence plateaus at a different idea of “normal.” Through this beautiful, empowering process, you locate and relocate your identity. You constantly create new conceptions of what’s possible and those new concepts become part of you. The key here is this: You then become more involved with the world as an agent of change. You rage a bit. And this entire process is modeled. Others witness it; many are moved by it—they change for the better. In this ongoing empowerment and transcendence, you are a public model, whether or not you think so. When you start running seventy miles a week, the people around you will eventually take notice and become curious. It’s an exceptional thing.

(James McWilliams — historian, activist — published on the blog, Myths About The Vegetarian Myth.)

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