The Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation kicks in on Canada Day.  I guess that’s appropriate.  

My inbox has actually been more active than normal with the commercial services that have my email address wanting to meet the legal obligation of having me reconfirm that I want stuff from them.  I think it’s a bit funny – it’s like gun laws or the stop sign at Dalhousie and Murray Street in Amherstburg.  The law abiding are playing by the rules right from the outset.  Will everyone?

I’ve been following the legislation.  It’s interesting – will it really relieve us of the drudgery of unwanted spam email?  The resources that I’ve read and collected are shared here in this LiveBinder.  I’ve highlighted the actual legislation in red.  The whole process has generated a new computer term for me – the CEM (Commercial Electronic Message).

In the process of this research, I’ve run into a couple of interesting quizzes about spam and protection.

How did you do?  I’ll bet that the tech savvy reader that reads this blog aced it.

I was also curious to know about social media.  This Twitter message from Industry Canada’s verified account gets right to the point.

Controlling spam is just the beginning.  These fast facts explain how the legislation will roll out over time.

In the irony or ironies, many of the messages that companies are sending out asking for confirmation that I want to continue to get content from them are ending up in my spam folder!  

On the surface, this looks like it could be a good thing in the fight against unsolicited messages.  There are some exceptions to the law, and I’m sure that there are minds at work trying to find ways around the legislation.  

If you’ve found any exemplary materials about the CASL, please let me know and I’ll add them to the LiveBinder.

In the meantime, let’s hope that our spam count goes down on July 1.

OTR Links 06/30/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

You Can Start Planning Now! #BIT14

Your BringITTogether Committee has been working very hard at plans for Ontario’s Educational Technology Conference.  The group met online just this week to update each other on the activities of the various sub-committees.

The keynote speakers have been in place for some time now:

After a hugely successful call for proposals, a terrific set of one hour presentations have been selected.  The BringITTogether Conference is a partnership between ECOO and OASBO ICT.  The ECOO presenters are in place; look for the OASBO ICT sessions to be finalized over the summer.  This, all in preparation for the conference on November 5-7, 2014 in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

The program is in place.  Again this year, the BringITTogether Conference will be using Lanyrd for the online program.  You can see the conference in action at this link.

You can view the conference online at that link, or download the Lanyrd app to your portable device.

Download the application now or go online to explore.

2014-06-28 06.18.10

Each of the sessions has its own unique address in Lanyrd that you can share with anyone.  For example, frequent reader of this blog, Lisa Noble, will be presenting “How do we teach it if we’re not doing it? A discussion around curation, collaboration and creation.

The direct link to her session is –

With the Lanyrd application, you can start planning now as to which sessions you will attend.

It’s a great way to get connected and beginning the planning before you arrive.  It’s going to be a great three days.

OTR Links 06/29/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

You Never Know …

… where your next great blog post will come from.

Yesterday, Sue Waters, the Edublogger, wrote a wonderful post for the “new to Twitter” teacher.  The post was called “Hashtags, Twitter Chats and TweetDeck for Education“.  Pass it along to those who could use it.

Now, I’ve never met Sue face to face but certainly have communicated via Twitter on many occasions.  Yesterday was another time – both publically, and privately.


This was part of the public conversation.

In private, we chatted about a bunch of things and I commented that this post of hers would get a lot of traction with the Twitter community who are trying to bring colleagues along for the ride.

In part of our discussion, she mentioned that she didn’t know – that no blogger ever knows which post will be popular with readers.  

That’s really an interesting observation.

I thought about my own blog posts.  I’ll be honest – not all posts are created equally.  Some come as the result of hours of learning fraught with trial and error.  In that case, the post might be a procedural one and take forever to write, it seems.  The last thing that you want to do is omit something important.

The other type of post comes very easily.  Something sticks in my craw and I just sit at the keyboard and fire from the hip.  It can take minutes to write and click to publish the post.  Sometimes, I even feel a bit guilty about it.

I took a look through the statistics here and there’s one post that’s far and away the most popular.  It required zero research.  I needed no screen captures or step by step procedures.  It was just something that I needed to write for supportive reasons.  The post?  The Folly of Legislated Extra-Curriculars.  I just felt like I needed to say something about the topic.

It’s the type of post that might generate negative responses.  “Yah, and it snowed more back then too…”  And yet, somehow, it resonated with a bunch of people who decided to read it.  When I wrote the post, I had no idea that it might be popular.

So, I think that Sue was absolutely right.  You never know!

Except for one case … the poorly read post will be the one that you don’t write.  You’ve got to at least give it a chance. 

While Sue’s original article is a great bit of advice for those new to Twitter, I think that’s the best advice you can give to potential bloggers … you’ve got to start, you’ve got to write.  You never know how it’s going to be received.

OTR Links 06/28/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Happy Last Friday, Ontario Educators.  Thanks so much for sharing your learning over the course of the school year.  It’s wonderful that you’re continually thinking and growing professionally through your blogs.  Some of the great stuff I read this past week…

Skype and Learning

A wonderful post from Joan Vinall Cox brought out some emotions on this end of the keyboard when I read it.  Joan shares how she uses Skype to stay in touch with her 92 year old father.

Kudos to your dad, Joan.  I wish I could do the same.


Donna Fry took a few moments to reflect on an article “Learning Is Non-Linear. Why Not Curriculum?“.  In her post, she shared a thought from a former principal.

I had read the original article as well.  A lot of it makes sense but requires a new set of thinking and planning.  We have the philosophy that we can’t move ahead until a certain amount of student understanding has been achieved.  I had to smile when I think about online learning and how units or lessons are “released” when ready.

I also have visions of ISUs but recognize that they are for a short time frame.

I can see it working with motivated students on a limited basis.  I’m having difficulties seeing an implementation that goes beyond that and being successful for all students.

Turn your computer into a ‘Mystery Machine’

Stacey Manzerolle offers a suggestion for planning for the fall.

In a nutshell, she describes the process of the Mystery Skype classroom.  It is an activity designed to exploit the connected classroom.  I’ve heard from so many people about the successes that they’ve had with the approach.  It’s worth checking out.

The Metaphor Project: Creating A Way Station for Change Agents

I thought that Stephen Hurley’s post about his launch of the Metaphor Project would be a perfect launch into summer.  At this time, people have more time to look around and investigate just a little closer.

I think he kicked off his project nicely with the video that he shared.  I had seen it earlier and got focused on the technology behind it which I found fascinating.  However, he shifted things by asking us to consider what it means about change in the organization.  And, he provided a few prompts.

Stepping back though, I took a different angle.  Without the movie, if you asked me what happens when a drop hits a watery surface, I think I would have had one answer.  It was only by slowing the process down and really paying attention that I realize my assumption would be incorrect.

Is that the takeaway?  Do we see better when we slow down and take the time to challenge our assumptions?

What a wonderful way to start thinking about things for the summer!  Thanks, Stephen.

I never fail to get inspired by the thoughts and openness of Ontario Educators.  Please make sure that you check out these posts and all the ones from Ontario Educators here.

Perhaps this summer you’re taking an AQ course or you’re going to take the leap and start your own blog.  Please consider adding it to the form at the Ontario Educators page.  I’d love to add your wisdom to the others.