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Who Killed Amanda Todd? Too Many Clues In This Room
Posted on: October 12th, 2012
by Stephen Hurley
8 Comments »
Who Killed Amanda Todd? Too Many Clues In This Room

I was devastated to wake this morning to read this article in the Toronto Star.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1270262–b-c-victim-of-cyber-bullying-commits-suicide

Amanda Todd, according the article, committed suicide this week but, in reading through the published details of the last few years, including the video that she posted on YouTube just a few weeks ago, I’m overwhelmed by the complexity of Amanda’s story. There are too many clues in this room and, although school officials say that Amanda was being helped and supported, it became obvious this week that those supports were not enough.

Over a decade ago, I began working with the Peel Regional Police on a district-wide Cyberbullying program. At that time, not many people had ever heard of the term and many of the dimensions of the problem had, at that time, not been clearly defined. Now the term cyberbullying has become a well-used “box” to tuck away certain examples of unwanted behaviour. But, Amanda Todd’s story runs much deeper than this. In fact, labelling it as a case of cyberbullying sweeps so many other things under the carpet. For sure, technology has something to do with the tragic demise of Amanda Todd, but gathering all of the threads of her story and placing it “over here” as a case of cyberbullying could cause us to miss many of the other factors involved.… Read the rest

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whiteboardtable
Posted on: October 10th, 2012
by Stephen Hurley
3 Comments »
A Smart Idea? I’m Dying for Someone to Try This

I posted this piece back in May, and I’m posting it again here because I presented the idea to the salespeople who were in yesterday to present to us the latest and greatest. They kind of just stared at me. You may do the same, but there may be someone out there that might be able to run with it!

So here’s a way that I think the use of Interactive Whiteboards could transform the dynamic of your classroom. It’s not really about the new technology; instead, it’s about the technology that your new IWB is replacing.

You walk in on Monday morning to discover that the tech department in your district has finally made it to your school to install the new IWB that was ordered sometime last year. They arrive after you have left for the day on Friday, so it’s a surprise to return after the weekend to find that something new has been added to the landscape of your classroom. Lots of questions are probably circulating in your mind, including, “How do I turn this thing on?” and “What happened to the science lesson that I written out before I left on Friday?

But here’s the question that I would be asking.… Read the rest

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addamsfamily
Posted on: October 8th, 2012
by Stephen Hurley
3 Comments »
Let’s Do Away With the Family Photo!

Well, another Thanksgiving has come and gone, as has another occasion for one of the most abused and dreaded of our family’s traditions: the Family Photo.

My wife and her mother are both scrapbookers and take their cameras with them everywhere. In fact, if anyone would be eligible for a photo-implant (when it becomes available) it would be my loving spouse, Zoe! And, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate her commitment to capturing the various events and outings in which we participate–especially as our two boys continue to experience things for the first time.

I do, however, object rather strongly to the formality of some of her shots: how important it is that everyone is looking at the camera, smiling, posed, framed! And nowhere is this more irritating and uncomfortable than in that ultimate manipulation known as the Famiy Photo.

You know the drill: everyone at a family gathering is forced to stop what they’re doing, put down their glass of whatever, wait for what seems to be an eternity for everyone to congregate in one place, ensure that all participants are appropriately and tastefully placed, set the camera timer so that the photographer is not left out of the picture, wait for the agreed upon command, designed to coax smiles out of everyone, to be barked (!), check the photo…and repeat if necessary.… Read the rest

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