doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

OK, not an introductory paragraph about my philosophy of winter weather.  It’s here so I’m dealing with it.  Instead, off to some of the great things that I read from the keyboards of Ontario Edubloggers this past while.

How to Survive Winter

When I read this title, I thought that it was going to be a really light and fluffy cutesy post that would be appropriate given that snow was on its way.  Instead, Michelle Cordy wrote one of those posts that really has affected me emotionally.  I found that kind of scary because I do read a great deal.  I don’t know Michelle terribly well; we’ve worked together but we haven’t interacted much beyond that.  I found this post to be spectacular and full of advice for what should be at least for a moment of contemplation for anyone who reads it.

I am a Canadian gal and I want to give advice on how to survive winter.  Not literally.  I mean those winters we all experience in our lives. Those seasons in our minds when our ideas don’t flower. This is how to notice the signs that you are in a creative cozy time and how to come out the other end.

I read the post from top to bottom and continue to find something to take away each time that I read it.  That’s my personal test for blog greatness.  There was so much written on and between the lines of this one.  One of the major takeaways was how she addresses the difference between soul and ego.  Ego seems so superficial when put in many contexts; for me it was social media, spurred on by her references.  Ego is full of retweets, the closed circles of clowns playing for each other, the “Hey, look at me once again promoting a talk on video I did years ago”, the put downs made especially for the closed audience.  The soul doesn’t need a soapbox; the soul is there to remind you to “Make sure you are doing an amazing job at something.”  When was the last time you conscientiously did that in a world of distractions?

My only complaint was that the post was too short.  I think that’s why subsequent reads were so important to me with different takeaways each time.

Just wow, Michelle.  Everyone, I think, could use a dose of your advice “Feed the soul and starve the ego”.

Creative Problem Solving: What’s the Point?

This is a wonderful read after Michelle’s post, written by Anna Bartosik.  The underlying message for me was about changing a mindset; changing an attitude.  The result, after consuming three days of her time…


Given the success and then blogging about it, I’ll bet that she’s up for more.  Sometimes, you add to a CV to make it look good and, even better, you look good by doing things better.  That’s where the real change happens.

The CV is for others.  What are you doing for yourself?

My Top 3 Posts for 2015

I like to think of myself as a regular fan of Sue Dunlop’s blog.  I think all Superintendents should blog.  After all, most of them are big proponents of visible thinking.  Just not theirs …  Instead, they tend to do those things “in camera”.

So, when she listed her top three posts for 2015, I was curious to see if I’d read them all.  I really do like her writing and I’d hate to think that I missed one that she thought was one of her top ones.


I especially loved the post about not tweeting during a keynote.  In fact, I think I mentioned it in one of my TWIOE posts. If you haven’t read it already, it’s not too late.

While there, check out her lists of blogs that she follows.  All great choices.

Free Images for your Online Creations!

Every time I read posts like this one from Deborah McCallum, I find yet another place to bookmark.  It’s an important reminder that teachers of digital literacy need to continually share.

Even though it’s 2016, we still exist in a world where there are people who thumb their noses at copyright and do whatever they want with other people’s content.  If they’re spreading that attitude in the classroom, the cycle will never end.  Whatever happened to just doing the right thing?  There’s been so much written and discussed that claiming ignorance can hardly be an excuse.

The age of Information! Educators and learners alike are increasingly involved in creating meaningful projects online – but where do we go to find images that we are allowed to use? How do we properly cite them? How do we promote digital citizenship?

I seriously do think that every post like this, especially if it’s geared towards students, should include the best resource of all – creating your own.  That’s so valuable in many ways beyond simply having a blog post or website or newsletter with a picture in it.

Staying Inside the Lines: Reflections on Learning from my Adult Colouring Book

I can’t believe the response that my sharing this original news story about colouring books to my Twitter feed generated.  Lots of people have commented and a couple have blogged about what it means to them.  The latest was from Jennifer Rimnyak.

She took an interesting spin on the article.  Unlike the others that turned towards colouring in their classroom, she took it in the context of her own experience with colouring.

As a teenager, you guessed it, I was a pretty hardcore perfectionist. Those tendencies still rear their ugly head from time to time now in my adult life, but as an educator my mindset really has changed.


2 responses to “This Week in Ontario Edublogs”

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


  2. Thanks so much for the mention! Your kind words really made me feel good. As you know, we throw our words out into the void as bloggers, never certain who will read them.


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