The Global Search for Education: Our Global Top 12 Teacher Blogs

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post about the importance of sharing, here are the Huffington Post’s top picks for teacher blog posts in 2014. I know I have my reading cut out for me this weekend!

Everybody was blogging in 2014, and especially teachers. We asked The Global Search for Education editorial team and our blogging advisors to submit their favorite teacher blogs and blog posts from around the world….


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3 Reasons Why You Should Share and 3 Things You can Do to Start Sharing

This is a very good, impassioned plea for sharing from Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano (Langwitches Blog).

I can attest to the fact that maintaining a blog allows me to work through an issue, or take a minute to properly review an app. However, where I need to do better is in commenting on other people’s social media. I am a terrible lurker, which unfortunately makes it more of a monologue instead of a conversation…

Also, there are many ways to share. I like the blog format because, well, I’m long-winded. But perhaps your sharing might be best suited to the 140 characters of Twitter. Share your success and join the conversation!

I am back on my soapbox… …because I continue to see great things happening in classrooms, but get blank stares, when I ask, if these things are being shared beyond the school building. …becau…


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7 Ways You Can Use Texting to Your Advantage in the Classroom | Edudemic

I found this article surprisingly enlightening. I am not one of those people who are especially worried about texting abbreviations being the large meteor that destroys our ability to write, but neither have I given much thought to the hidden benefits of texting either.

There were a couple of ideas about texting from a linguistic perspective that I found fascinating:

Students may abbreviate and make up their own words, but they do so in grammatically correct and consistent manners. In fact, when they make up their own words, they’re subconsciously thinking about what kind of speech it is, and ordering it in their text accordingly. What’s more, when they’re abbreviating or inventing, they’re also paying close attention to the phonology of the word. That is, they’re keeping the letters they know they need to communicate the gist of the original world, or they’re riffing on a sound or concept in a way that will be intuitive for the other person to decode. Phonological awareness is directly related to our ability to read, and so texting can help both create and foster readers.

There are also some very creative ways you can incorporate the language of texting in your classes. A few that stood out for me was using it to translate Shakespeare – how would Hamlet sound as text messages? I am also intrigued with the idea of using texting abbreviations for note-taking. Students are already finding ways to get meaning across in shorthand- why not use that same language for note-taking?

Check it out- I guarantee you won’t see texting in the same way again!


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Notions de base sur la confidentialité Facebook

I got a message from Facebook this morning saying that they are changing their privacy policy on January 1, 2015. Here is the message:

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 8.33.29 AMI have link the Facebook Basics page below (Although I linked to the English side, for some reason it shows up in French – but if you click on the link, it turns back to English. I think it is suffering from a bout of the Mondays…)

Another thing you might want to check out is their new Data Policy, which they lay out in an easy-to-understand, un-intimidating format. As such, it is also kind of terrifying:

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And it goes on. If you are a Facebook user, I highly recommend taking some time before January to read through their policy as well as their privacy tips. I know I will.

Nous sommes là pour vous aider à vivre l’expérience que vous souhaitez. Découvrez comment protéger votre confidentialité sur Facebook.


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The Secret Language of Girls on Instagram

Thanks for sharing Mary-Kate!

This article by Rachel Simmons (author of Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls) highlights what is to me one of the more discomfiting uses of social media by teen girls – as a tool for for measuring self-worth and gaining approval by their peers (the ways in which this can backfire are numerous and terrifying).

I know as a parent, the one thing I want for my daughters is for them to find self-worth in their actions and own inner mettle, not in the amount of likes they get on instagram.  Yet certain aspects of social media lends themselves to the teenage brain- the heightened need for rewards (and likes are the best rewards). The insecurity and angst that are par for the course in puberty that makes it so they are in constant need of reassurance.

So what can adults do? Honestly? Not much except be aware. Realise that the ways they are using social media is directly related to where they are at in their development. Banning it would be worse than useless. Denigrating it positively harmful.  But having meaningful, non-judgemental conversations could go a long way to putting their online life into perspective.

Girls have quietly repurposed the photo-sharing app into a barometer for popularity, friendship status and self-worth. Here’s how they’re using it.


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To Conclude Media Literacy Week: Faking it: 4 ways companies can deceive you online

I saw this article in my newsfeed and thought it was perfect to share for the last day of Media Literacy week. I remember reading a while ago I read about how people would pad their comments section with positive reviews, but the service where you can buy friends or views was news to me. Good reminder to take everything with a grain of salt, especially if it’s online…

Most of us check out a company online before we decide where to spend our money. CBC’s Marketplace investigated how businesses can artificially inflate their online credibility through paid testimonials and fake reviews.


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Trafalgar doesn’t shy away from social media – Montreal Families – November 2014 – Montreal

Check out this wonderful article Alissa Sklar wrote about our social media policy (ok, ok, it is a bit of shameless promotion. So sue me…) And since I am already on that bandwagon, let me share with you a link to a reblog on our PD Gamification (It is a bit meta, but hey. It’s Friday We can get away with anything, right?). The wonderful mugs of Ms. Loupelle and Ms. Brown feature prominently on the Showbie website!

Trafalgar School for Girls in Montreal shares its social media policy for students.


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This Is How Google Recommends You Stay Safe Online | Edudemic

This is a handy dandy chart from Google about how to stay safe online. However, many of these points require some mediation with students. I am thinking of using it as a guideline for some of my Digital Citizenship workshops….

The Internet can be a scary place. There are people on the web who are looking to take advantage of you for their own personal gain. There. I said it. These people are likely looking to confuse or convince you that they are someone you should be sharing important information with. In an effort to …


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Social Media and Parents

Last night, the wonderful Alissa Sklar gave a talk at our school to a group of parents interested/concerned/anxious about their children and the online world. They learned a little more about the teenage brain as it relates to their kids’ online use, the importance of teaching impulse control and how teaching digital citizenship is a partnership between school and home.

And then this morning, I came across this from Common Sense media about how to have an ongoing discussion with the parents. I am really intrigued by the idea of this program which has three components:

  1. First, host a teen panel for parents. Let the parents hear from other kids how they use social media, what is important to them, how it makes them feel.
  2. Then organize several discussion groups through out the year on different subjects, some ranging from pure technical know-hows to more philosophical discussions.
  3. Share the amazing toolbox of resources they have put together.

It will take me a minute to process this idea, but it might be the perfect time to implement this, especially after Alissa’s very galvanizing introduction to the topic…

Any thoughts?

Common Sense Media improves the lives of kids and families by providing independent reviews, age ratings, & other information about all types of media.


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Digital Citizenship

About a week ago, Sandra Bebbington, of the wonderful gamification workshop I attended, sent me a comment letting me know about the following site she’s been collaborating on. It is entitled

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 9.25.54 AM

It provides great videos, tips and lesson plans tailored for the teacher in Quebec. From how to use social media in the classroom to email etiquette to letter writing, this is an amazing resource.

Check it out!