Restorative Practices

Notes from a presentation by Bruce Schenk:

Restorative Practices

Restorative Practices… A model for community relationships:

“Learning is enhanced by challenge and is impeded by threat.” Bruce Schenk – Restorative practices #SD43

Relationships are about sharing:

-Reduce negaitve -listen & acknowledge.

-Promote positive -be affirming.

-Encourage expressing of emotions.

SHAME – An emotion we want to reduce… How do we deal with it:
Attack others (lash out or blame)
Attack self
– defense mechanisms that we can talk through if there is trust and students can open up.

“The gift of shame is spirituality” Roy Henry Vickers (a podcast – The 7 emotions and their gifts).

imageChallenge AND Support… Need both when dealing with shame & negative behaviour.
– Separate behaviour from value of the person.

Luke Skywalker's Hand - May The 4th Be With You! :)

‘Watching’ you

Here is an interesting article I read a few months ago:

Apple CEO: Watch is saving lives – Business Insider

Apple COO Jeff Williams:

Apple has gotten “a ton of emails where people say the Watch actually saved their life,” he says.

“The only thing on the Apple Watch from a medical standpoint is the heart rate sensor,” he says.

And while anyone can talk their own wrist pulse anytime, “having the information readily available and passively tracked in the background has proved to be profound, in a way we didn’t anticipate,” he adds.

“We’ve gotten so many emails where people or their cardiologist have written us and said, ‘This person detected something on their Watch and came in and they had a life threatening situation. If we had not intervened, they probably would have died.”

So, continuous heart rate monitoring can be very valuable, and the article also mentions a Fitbit detecting a woman’s sleep apnea… What’s next?

I can remember my mom having a health issue and she had to carry around a heart monitor for several days. It was bulky, strapped on to her, and needed to be unplugged from her when she showered. It was an inconvenient interruption to her life, but it provided important information for her doctor.

Imagine a few years from now when you go to your doctor and say, I’ve noticed an issue where my heart starts racing even though I’m not exercising… and your doctor says, that’s interesting, will you please download your last month’s data onto my tablet? A couple clicks later your doctor knows when this happened, your step count for the day, the last time you exercised, your blood pressure, your heart rate, your sugar levels, the oxygen levels of your blood, and a whole host of other data that she has at her finger tips.

She won’t have to say, I think I need to run some tests, but rather she will have a plethora of historical data that actually extends beyond what she might have tested for. She might have advice to share that she would not have known to share if you hadn’t provided her with this data. Maybe she injects a small sensor under your skin so that your watch can provide her with more information. And then you can set your watch to ping your doctor the next time you have an issue.

And then the next time the health issue does happen, your phone actually warns you before you feel your heart racing. As the sensation hits you, you get a text message from your doctor saying, “Don’t worry, it will pass, set an appointment with me next week, we will work to settle this down”… or, “Are you with someone that can drive you to the hospital? I’ll meet you there.” This might be a bit scary, but not as scary as the text message not happening and you having a medical issue that is much better or far worse than you think.

Yes, there are some worrisome questions like ‘who owns this data’, and privacy is a concern, but this is really exciting and can become something that saves your life more than once. The issue of private data being shared is something we will all have to figure out. People are already working on this, listen to CBC Spark with Nora Young to learn more: How to empower patients with medical data.

On a lighter side, maybe this watch that you wear (or maybe it’s a cyborg-like addition to your body rather than something you wear) can actually help you maintain a better lifestyle. Maybe it knows you are on a diet and locks the fridge when you try to get into it after 8pm, or it beeps incessantly and annoyingly when you are eating something unhealthy. Or it reminds you that you have missed your scheduled workout and prompts you to set up a ‘make-up’ time.

We are entering an interesting time of wearable technology and some time soon, accessories like watches might be watching us far more than we are watching them!

Luke Skywalker's Hand - May The 4th Be With You! :)

Luke Skywalker’s Hand – May The 4th Be With You! :)


Student Presentations

Today I got to watch 3 teams from the YELL class, Coquitlam Open Learning‘s Entrepreneurship 12 Course, practice their presentations for the YELL finals happening this Saturday.

Students from Coquitlam, Richmond and West Vancouver will compete again this year, at YELL Canada’s 3rd Annual Venture Challenge – “A Dialogue in Youth Entrepreneurship”.

Emily Naing, one of last year’s students from the Coquitlam team, that went to the finals (and came a close second to the overall winner), started us off with a little motivation and she answered questions about her experience last year. Emily is continuing the development of the pitch her team gave… with the help of a $300,000 grant that her team got after the finals. She spoke about how 2nd place actually pushed her team to prove themselves even more than if they got the 1st place spot. I still remember the email her team sent the night of the finals:


This is SWAVE from the venture challenge. We were so impacted by the connections made today that we are determined to keep moving forward with our idea. We hope to enter more business competitions and ventures and hope to actually develop a prototype with adequate research. If there are any connections you can refer us to, or if you (the founders) would like to support us in our journey with this product, please reply to our email.

Thank you so much,

Founders of Swave


Watching the presentations, I realize how important it is for us to give students authentic opportunities to first develop, then present their ideas. Although all the groups had things to work on, there was obvious passion and interest in doing a great presentation.

I think the competition is healthy. I also think the idea of presenting to real investors and/or business school profs, increases the stakes. And I think that we need to proved authentic avenues for students to present beyond the walls of our schools.

Good luck to all the teams on Saturday!


World Markets and Apps

Two apps have made me realize how the world is changing. These apps are very popular, but not here in North America. Here, a very popular app for connecting with others for business (as well as socially) is Slack – a messaging app for teams.

However, pop over to India and WhatsApp is the cool tool that everyone is using. “Simple. Personal. Real Time Messaging.”

And hop over to China (as I did just recently) and WeChat is the tool that is already ‘Connecting a half billion people’… A HALF A BILLION PEOPLE!


One of my students, Brandon Mayhew, was invited to the Facebook F8 Developer’s conference, and he wrote about Mark Zukerberg’s opening presentation and an ongoing theme he heard, “4.1 Billion was repeated several times at the event and that’s the number of people that aren’t connected to the internet, over the next few years facebook plans on investing heavily on infrastructure to help connect these people in these remote regions of the globe.”

As an interesting aside, Facebook bought WhatsApp… for 19 Billion Dollars!

When over 1/3 of the world’s population lives in just two countries, and when those countries are on a fast track to get everyone connected… it is easy to see that if you were building an app, you’d want it to be used in other countries beyond North America, and specifically in China and India.

Soon, you are going to see some of the top apps start in other countries and the American/Canadian market will be an afterthought. In fact it has already happened… WeChat was ‘Made in China’!

Challenging myself to write

I consider myself a blogger, but in the last year and a half to two years I’ve been writing very little. I realize that in my 10th year of blogging that I’d go through times when my writing would ebb or decrease, but this seems to be a slump that I’m not getting out of.

What’s weird is that I still think in blog posts. I come up with ideas, and I start writing them in my head… But they never get to ‘paper’, or rather, they never go digital.

So here is my attempt to change that. After being untouched for a long time, my daily-ink will go daily… For the month of May.

If I’m truly inspired, I’ll write something to share on my pair-a-dimes blog, but I will put something here daily.

I’m doing this because I believe that I am most enthusiastic and passionate about my job when I’m blogging about education, and I miss the ‘me’ that used to blog regularly… I hope this process helps get that ‘creative-thinking’ part of me back! 🙂

Blurred but not yet Blended


[ Source: ]

Blended learning is a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online delivery of content and instruction with some element of student control over time, place, path or pace. …

Just making a simple point that blended learning is not about ‘adding’ digital media and digital tools.

I’ve said before: The future of education will be open and distributed.

Go to Wikipedia FIRST


I hope that the 2012 statistic that 73% of teachers prohibit Wikipedia for research is wrong! For years I have told students (and my own kids but they don’t necessarily listen to me) that Wikipedia should be the FIRST place to go. It’s amazing how many people buy into the idea that ‘it isn’t accurate’ and then not only believe this, but propagate the message too!

I don’t think only going to Wikipedia qualifies as comprehensive research, but I do think it is a great place to START. Wikipedia is a great place to go to learn background information and learn about related terms and topics.

It’s also fun to link-hop too. Pick a random subject, read about it, follow an interesting link, and repeat 5 or 6 times and you are off on a learning adventure with a mystery ending. For example, where else could I go and get from Pythagoras to Pearl Jam in just 5 clicks! 🙂

The Socratic Process ~ 6 Steps of Questioning


…And on that note:
Truly Questioning Everything
How much of what we do at school is done because TTWWADI (That’s The Way We Always Do It)?
What ‘norm’ can you question and challenge in school? What ‘practice’ bugs you about the way things are done, that you have the courage to change?
The questions in the image above are great for students… And if we are honest with ourselves, for us too!

How to do Research – Kentucky Virtual Library

You need to go to the page… it’s interactive!

The Kentucky Virtual Library presents: How to do Research

(Click to open page)

(Click to open page)