doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Here’s a most recent roundup of things of interest coming from the fingertips of Ontario Edubloggers.  As always, a great collection of wisdom shares.  Check them out and pass along to your colleagues.

How Do You Jump Into the Pool?

Kristi Kerry Bishop posed a question about change in school that inspired a number of replies, including one from me.  It’s good reading, both from the perspective of a teacher and an administrator.  I was inspired, as a teacher, to share a big moment of change for me as a first year teacher.  Hint, it involved a sweating vice-principal with a big grin on his face.  Change has to be something carefully thought through.

I remember the advice given to me by a colleague as we car pooled to my first professional development session.  “Beware of anyone who says I’m from the Board Office and I’m here to help you.”  There’s a danger in statements like that and their effectiveness.  It’s like “I read a book on PLNs | Collaborative Inquiry | Inquiry in the Classroom | ” and now we’re going to do it.  There needs to be an element of readiness and part of that is laying the ground work.

In this case, my reply was inspired by a personal event and also by the quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

Got ideas of your own?  Add them to her replies.


Another Brick in the Wall

Peter Skillen, as luck would have it, has the perfect blog post to address at least some of Kerri’s concerns.

He expands on his thoughts in the post with a number of “bricks”.

  • Practise what you Preach
  • We perpetuate myths through one-line wisdoms
  • We need to educate – not subjugate
  • We are ferociously fickle. We ‘surf the surface’
  • It IS about the tools
  • Educate the public

If this doesn’t make you think….


Students as Teachers:  Week 2 in the Makerbot 3D Classroom

As noted earlier in the blog and on hers, Heather Durnin has a new tool for her classroom and is using her Makerbot printer for “exciting, vigorous learning” in her classroom.  The blog post talks about the excitement that the students have and anything that gets kids working over the lunch hour has to be good.  I like the pictures that she shares in the post; it appears to be one very excited classroom.


Clouds and Records

For those who are fear mongering that education is selling out to big corporations about student data without thinking it through, you need to take a look at Mark Carbone’s recent post.  The OASBO people are taking this topic very seriously.  As Mark notes,

 “The provincial committee is examining school board privacy and records management considerations
for business functions as they relate to cloud computing.”

As visible evidence, a recent meeting of OASBO folks online with a Google Hangout, the conversation was recorded and made available for anyone who wants to take the time to view it.  Mark has it embedded into his post.


100th Post: Welcoming an administrator to blogging

Congratulations to Brandon Grasley on the occasion of his 100th blog post.

I think the post speaks to his qualities as an educator helping other educators.  Many bloggers, upon reaching such a milestone would blog about “me“, “hey, it’s my 100th” or the like.  In Brandon’s case, he used his post to promote the blogging efforts of another educator.

Doesn’t that speak volumes about him on a personal level and on a more global level how we can use the blogging platform to build a better place for all of us to learn online?  Let’s join Brandon in welcoming David Jaremy to the world of blogging.



#RCAC13 Final Program

If you’re able to make it to London on December 5, you’ll absolutely get a great day of Professional Learning at the Western Regional Computer Advisory Committee’s Annual Symposium.  It’s just one day in length but you’ll get a chance to hear two inspirational keynote speakers – Travis Allen and Gary Stager – as well as attend sessions from educational leaders from the Western Ontario region.

Oh, and you’ll have a wonderful Christmas dinner.

Full disclosure – I’ve been asked to co-chair the conference again with Doug Sadler.  It’s been a local event that I’ve been so passionate about since my first year as a consultant with the Essex County Board of Education.  I always used to bring my superintendent and key principals to hear what’s happening in other school districts just up the 401.  Every other school district would do the same thing and we would serve to push each other to greater and greater things.  It’s a full days of ideas and inspiration.

As Rodd Lucier notes:


You’ve got to admit – it’s another great week of reading and ideas from some of the educational leaders in the province.  Thanks to the above and to everyone in the Ontario Edublogger list for keeping us engaged and thinking about the big issues in Ontario Education.  Please take the time to visit the blog entries above and see if you don’t agree.


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