doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It’s the Friday of the Bring IT, Together Conference.  It’s been great so far and I’m looking forward to a spectacular closing day.  Some of the best minds in Ontario education are here, talking and sharing.  Of course, they’re also contributing to their blogs.  Here’s some of what I read this past week.

What is Planning Time? Can we improve current models?

We’ve heard so much about the need for more planning time over the past while with the collective agreements in the news.  In this post, Deborah McCallum addresses here thoughts on the planning model.

I think most people think of planning time as lesson plan creation time and, certainly, that’s important.  But, in true “big ideas” format, she takes us much deeper than that.

When she talks about school leaders, it takes on a vision of global (well, at least within the school) teams focusing now on the next lesson but the instruction and assessment well-being of the school.  I hope that she continues to elaborate her thoughts on this.

#PoppyTalk – Making Sure We ALL Remember

This is an important post for all educators to read.  I recall working selling poppies as a Scout, marching to the cenotaph, the assemblies in school, …  We can never take those too lightly and it really is important to remember.

Allison Fuisz addresses this in her post and also proposes the use of the hashtag #PoppyTalk to share resources, thoughts, and observations.  It’s something that everyone can take part in.

I remember just being so emotional about the definition of “cenotaph“.  A remembrance of someone buried somewhere else.  A lot of people went, and a lot of people didn’t come home.

I shared this with the hashtag – it’s a collection of Ontario cenotaphs.  –

I was shocked that Amherstburg’s wasn’t there so went and took some pictures of my own.

I’d recommend visiting the Flickr site to see pictures within your community.  Talk about what a cenotaph is – many will visit on November 11 but do they truly understand?  And, if your community isn’t there, why not take pictures of your own?

How Do We Celebrate The Holidays?

Post Hallowe’en, Aviva Dunsiger got involved in a discussion about celebrations at school.

As long as there have been schools, there has been this discussion.  Sensitivity to culture, political, religious and more rules the thinking of people planning the best for students and schools.  You want to be inclusive and non-political but I would suggest that you can’t be that way completely.

My first year of university was an eye opener for me.  Nothing seemed to be formally celebrated.  Every day was learning as usual.  Even Christmas Day, most everything was open because there were students that didn’t have a home to return to.

Is that the ultimate answer?  Instead of trying to be everything to everyone, just cut it out completely?

An Interview with Shelly Terrell
An Interview with Rusul Alrubail

In case you missed it, I had two interviews come to a conclusion this week.  Because of the way that I do the interviews, (I try to respect their time and let them do it on their own time), both concluded at roughly the same time.  Consequently, they went into this blog back to back.  It was unique for me.  Doing the interviews takes a lot of time and I do lots of research as I add the questions.  Maybe it borders on online stalking?

I’m a huge fan of these ladies’ thinking, writing, and leadership.  I was delighted when both agreed to their interviews.

What I didn’t see coming was a tie that binds the two of them and I’m going to share my thoughts on that in a post this weekend.  If you didn’t have a chance to read either or both interview, please take the time now.

Creativity, Remixing, & the Law

Life used to be so simple when it came to plagiarizing.  It was simple – copy someone else’s work and hand it in, get caught, get zero.  No questions asked.

Into the battle of today’s digital world…

  • You can lift other people’s work and hope you don’t get caught
  • You can lift other people’s work, modify it a bit, and call it your own
  • You can use Creative Commons works
  • You can try to understand how “fair use” or “fair dealing” works and work within the boundaries.  Canadians absolutely need to know the difference

Jennifer Casa-Todd digs into the topic with some wonderful resources and an invitation to remix her work.


It’s a nice presentation of some of the issues surrounding this.  Including Doug Belshaw’s work is really important.  Bookmark this one.

Curation for the classroom (and for you!)

This isn’t technically a blog post but actually a link to Lisa Noble’s descriptor for her session at the BIT 2015 Conference.

. Come and learn how to build instant textbooks with real-world contexts and content that you can easily share with your students, and look at ways to invite your students to show their learning by creating their own.

Read the descriptor and head to the bottom of the page.  Lisa has provided some interesting links to support her session.

I feel guilty writing this blog post

A day in the life?

What teacher can’t appreciate this descriptor?  You might need to change a couple of things but this is life.

Brandon Grasley talks about the work / time commitment for a job that he loves.

What’s missing?

Once again, it’s been a great collection of works from Ontario Educators.  Give these blogs a read and a comment if you wish.  Check out the complete list here.

There’s always something new and exciting on the go.


3 responses to “This Week in Ontario Edublogs”

  1. Doug, thanks for including my post here, and for connecting so many Ontario Edubloggers through this blog. I’ve been thinking about the comment you made about my post. Ignoring the holidays is not necessarily the way to go either. The big question for me is how do we build acceptance? I also wonder if all holidays are created equal. Let’s look at Halloween. What’s the reason that we’re celebrating it at school? Yes, some students like to dress up, but yesterday, I had a child arrive at school as Spiderman. Granted, I teach Kindergarten, but I’ve seen the same thing happen in other grades at my school. Why should dressing up be limited to one day? As for giving out candy, does that have to happen at school? Can those that are interested in celebrating Halloween just go out in the evening instead? This is definitely a holiday that I think could be celebrated or not celebrated depending on student interest, and what I noticed this year, is that my students were definitely not interested. So why celebrate? We also continue to celebrate this holiday in the same way, year after year, in schools. Why is that? Is it time for a change, and what might that look like? Also, if we’re going to continue to celebrate, how are we supporting our staff and students that are struggling on this day? I think that everyone should be able to come to school set-up to succeed. I wonder if this really happens at holiday times. I think about the course that I’m currently taking on self-regulation, and to me, this seemed like an important consideration for Halloween. Thanks Doug for continuing to push my thinking on this topic!



  2. […] This Week in Ontario Edublogs | doug — off the record […]


  3. […] remember one of the Ontario Edublogs that were in my This Week in Ontario Edublogs post last Friday.  I noted that Allison Fuisz’ post was an important read for […]


Please share your thoughts here. I’d enjoy reading them.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: