My Week Ending July 15, 2018

Here’s a summary of some of the things I learned and published this week.

Readings (You can follow my daily readings as they happen here.  Here are a selected few from the past week.)

  • This is great advice for new principals or principals new to a school.  While you might want to be the great creator of change, it’s wise not to do it all right away.  Some tips.
  • Lots, well a few, people who had a Windows phone are wondering about jumping ship.  This is a story about a Windows phone user who investigated the Windows Launcher for Android and liked it.  I’ve personally gone that route and I really like it.  I showed it to a die-hard Windows user at the CSTA conference and we might have a new convert.  I read an article somewhere about how to make your entire Android phone Windows friendly.  Is that a bridge too far?
  • This is a wonderful discussion about the difference in supreme courts between Canada and our southerly neighbours.  Thanks to a social studies teacher in high school, I actually remembered most of this.
  • I found this truly sad.  As part of the promise to cut Ontario taxes, curriculum writing including Indigenous content has been axed.
  • TLDR; We pay more in taxes.  But, it’s a good read none the less.
  • A little Canadiana for you from the local newspaper.  Sixteen things invented by Canadians.  Well, there’s basketball, insulin, …
  • This is a great article about da man behind voicEd radio.  If you don’t know Stephen Hurley’s history with radio, it’s a good read.
  • Everything I needed to know about sex, I knew in 1998 apparently.
  • I love this new logo that will appear in handicap parking spots at Tim Horton’s field in Hamilton.
  • So, Walmart has the technology to snoop on employees.  How long before it’s applied to shoppers?  It’s not like Walmart are the bad guys.  Look at ISTE.  Look at casinos.  It’s our future.  It’s just a race to see who does it quickest and best.

Blog Posts on doug … off the record

Blog Post on

  • Plan Now for #BIT18 in November (I know I shared this previously but I’ll do it again here.  Please share it with your social network and those within your district, particularly those with PD money.  I’d like to meet as many people as possible this fall.  I also get to chair the ECOO Annual General Meeting.  After a year of doing the Board of Directors online, it will be nice to see real faces of people that the organization serves.)

voicEd Radio

My on demand page can be found here.  The latest edition features blog posts from:

Technology Trouble Shooting

I know that the disclaimer is that Linux Mint 18.3 is probably good enough for everyone and there’s no real reason for updating to version 19.  But it’s there – why not?

So, I tried the upgrade instructions on this computer which boots Windows 10 and Linux Mint.  Everything was going well until the computer locked up.  Gulp.  When I tried to reboot it, it was like someone had stolen my hard drive.

I burned a fresh DVD of Linux Mint version 19 and did an installation.  From scratch, it went very well.  Now, I have Windows, a bad copy of 18.3->19 and a good copy of version 19.  That should be easy enough to fix.  After all, under Settings, there’s an option to manage disks and media.  With the hands of a novice surgeon, I went in and found the corrupt partition of Mint and deleted it.  This time I did pay attention about rebooting immediately, presumably to store the information on the hard drive.

I started the computer again and this time got a GRUB Rescue prompt.  I’d never seen it before and clearly this surgeon needed his hands slapped.  Fortunately, there is help for those of us who need it.  Stuck in GRUB Rescue Mode.  Step by step, and I was back in business with a Windows and a Mint partition and dual booting working well.

I still have that corrupted installation but this surgeon will do some actual reading to make sure he deletes it correctly.

BTW, I installed the Xfce version and it runs very nicely.

Video of the Week

Don’t you just hate songs that get into your head and you can’t shake them?

My Favourite Photo of the Week

No duck picture this week.  Instead, I was on the second floor at the computer science building at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and saw this.  It was beautiful and apparently a real challenge to clean.  I found out it’s a Chihuly.    When I asked my new friend Kristeen how it was spelled, she said “like it sounds”.  So, I tweeted it out as Chahoolie.  Hooked on phonics.


Thanks for reading.


Whatever happened to …

… sex education?

Well, at least in Ontario.

You couldn’t pick up a newspaper or go online to any news site in Ontario and not read about Premier Ford delivering on one of his election promises and that was to revise the “sex-ed curriculum”.  At least, that’s the reference that you see in the news which helps sell advertising.  Learning about sexual health is actually part of the Health and Physical Education curriculum.  The 2015 revision is still on the Ministry of Education’s website here.  A page devoted to sex education can be found here.  Deborah Weston had blogged about the controversial 10% and it was featured in a This Week in Ontario Edublogs post here.

As you could imagine, this was big news.  A small collection of articles:

In terms of transparency, I tried to find positive articles about this change but was not successful.

I was even tagged in this post from Anthony Perrotta.  He sets the time context with dialup internet that was the norm in 1988

So, those who long for the good old days will get their wishes – at least until it can be revised.

I started to reminisce about my own learning in this and two memories came back.

  • In Sunday school, when about 12 or 13, the Minister’s wife was our teacher and it was kind of taught.  Mostly, I remember learning about this wonderful thing that would happen on my wedding night
  • The second memory is from formal education.  While we had talked about birds and bees and plants in elementary school, it wasn’t until either Grade 9 or Grade 10 when we actually had a health class and sex education was on the agenda.  Our class was all male – all with the level of maturity that comes with that age – and it was clear that our teacher would rather be teaching us basketball than this.  Of course, we adolescents didn’t make it easy for him.  I don’t remember specific content but I do remember lots of reel to reel movies

That was about it for my memories.  My parents had always made us respectful of others but I’m assuming that they left the actual nuts and bolts to either the church or the school.

It’s important to note that the document is not solely about sexual education.  There are lots of other things that have happened in our world since then – same sex marriage, sexting, …  The articles above nicely identify them as well.

For a Sunday morning, what are your thoughts?

  • Do you agree with the rolling back of the curriculum to 1998?  If this is successful, what other curriculum will get the same treatment?
  • Should schools be the ones to address this topic?  Or should parents step up?
  • What will a revised 2018 or 2019 Health and Physical Education document look like?
  • Are you expecting a rise in sexual problems or intolerance as a result of this move?
  • Do the birds and the bees need a formal curriculum?
  • What should teachers and Health and Physical Education consultants do with the resources that they’ve collected since 2015?
  • Regardless of how you feel about this particular topic, how do you feel about politicians that swiftly move to keep their campaign promises?

Now, you have to have an opinion about this!  How about leaving a comment below and share them.

And, don’t forget the good old days.

OTR Links 07/15/2018

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