My Week Ending December 23, 2018

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


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

  • I coached a lot of football. Tackling has the basics about wrapping the opposing player up for the tackle. I never taught this technique though.
  • I guess I’m smart.
  • This is required reading for every administrator and teacher surrounding student privacy. I can see a Student’s Bill of Privacy coming where students and their parents can opt out of any system that doesn’t respect privacy. But, how do you really know? There are lots of opinions about this. I think that if anyone could write an application that gives the definitive answer by monitoring all activity, they’d be rich immediately.
  • This is a good message because there are plenty of advocates of computation thinking being the answer to learning mathematics. So much research, so little definitive answers.
  • I’m in. I like dark mode themes and research seems to indicate that it improves battery life. Why wouldn’t we want it?
  • It seems that my quest to actually find a buck-a-beer is becoming increasingly impossible.
  • This is so true. I tire of reading about people being Experts or Leaders in this and that only to find that they really aren’t. We live in a world where people want to appear to live larger than they are in real life. I’ve lost a great deal of respect for people who are high into self-promotion at every turn. Will students follow? Yes. They’ve been modelled to do this.
  • Do you remember the advertisement “Is it live or is it Memorex?” That was long before AI which appears to be catching up.
  • I knew about many of these Chromebook techniques but not all of them so the learning was good. Yet, I can’t help but think that it might be like a lot of those smackdown sessions you see. Great stuff at the time but value comes from actually remembering and using it.
  • Maybe an article to share over the Christmas family table when people talk about how easy it is to be a teacher? Will this discussion ever end?
  • Tessa is here!
  • I thought that the reason why you’d buy a Chromebook was so that you wouldn’t have to run Windows.
  • I suspect there will be a lot of Google Home devices unwrapped in the week ahead. Here are some tips.

Blog Posts on doug … off the record

voicEd Radio

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

Opening song …

Technology Trouble Shooting 

Maybe not technology as we know it, but Lisa Cranston found the answer to “Whatever happened to Pixy Stix” and was good enough to share it.

Now, I’m interested in knowing just what goes into them.

I know it’s not necessarily a technology problem but it would be interesting to know.

@dougpete – you were asking “whatever happened to Pixy Stix?” @LisaCorbett0261 was right. They’re at @DollaramaCad @devonshiremall. They’re not penny #candy any more! @alfredtwo @avivaloca— Lisa Cranston, Ed.D. (@lisacran) December 22, 2018

Video of the Week

My Favourite Photo of the Week

And, around here, this is what’s going to have to pass as a White Christmas. How about your neck of the woods?

Thanks for reading.


This blog post was originally posted at:

If you find it anywhere else, it’s not original.


Whatever happened to …

… those classic toys?

Thanks to Sheila Stewart, I really enjoyed this story The types of toys parents were scrutinizing at Christmas in 1954.

Now, this was certainly before my time but it’s still so interesting to take a look at it.

It told a story of a simpler, less hassle free Christmas. It reminds me of a childhood where there was a stocking filled with candy under the tree and a gift. Christmas was seemingly less commercial at the time; so much time was spent agonizing over all that was available in the Eaton or Simpson-Sears catalogue and making that perfect choice to give.

It was a task that was not taken lightly. We created (and hid) a list of ideas – I was brainstorming before brainstorming was a thing – and then made the cuts to get the perfect gift for my brother and parents based on what I thought they’d like but more importantly, what I could afford.

It was always a big production because subsets of the family had to be organized so that we could make the purchase and keep it secret from the intended gift opener. Then, there was how to hide it in a bedroom closet before sneaking downstairs to wrap it.

Any actual gifts that were purchased are forgotten by me now except for one that was mentioned in the story. Not the doll, but it was the gyroscopic top. The one I bought for my brother was yellow with a black foot. The internals were very heavy and I was always curious to see what made it work. While I did buy it for him, I’ll admit that I spent a lot of time with it.

My other memory about that was that it was inexpensive but didn’t feel cheap. These days so much you see for sale looks cheap even though it often isn’t.

The best gift for me as a child had to be my first bicycle. How Mom and Dad kept it from me until Christmas Day is still a mystery. A bike for Christmas when you’re living in the snow belt? Gifts were things that we got for a purpose and with an August birthday, I guess Christmas was the more appropriate day!

For a Sunday before Christmas, you thoughts via comment please…

  • do you remember Christmas shopping as a child? Did you have a favourite store or catalogue?
  • how did you keep presents a secret from the curious/anxious?
  • do you wrap your own gifts or are they store wrapped? Or maybe you use holiday bags instead?
  • do you still have the tradition of the holiday stocking? Do you have one with your name on it? (I do but apparently it’s filled and hidden at the moment)
  • when you have a new member to your family, do they get their own stocking?
  • what was the best gift you ever got as a child?
  • what was the best gift that you gave as a child?

Please take a moment and share your thoughts as you get ready for the big day next week.

This is part of a regular Sunday series. You can check them out here and please share any ideas for a future post.

This blog post was originally posted at:

If you find it anywhere else, it’s not original.

OTR Links 12/23/2018

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