My Week Ending 2019-06-30

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.  Below are a selected few, with commentary, from the past week.

  • So, I have both Opera and Chrome installed on this computer – among others. Here’s a comparison of those two.
  • Here’s something about AI and security. This time, it’s about Walmart but it makes you wonder how many other companies are doing this as well.
  • I enjoyed reading about these secrets from McDonald’s employees. Some of these I suspected, others I had no idea.
  • If you’ve got a soft spot about education like me, you may find some of these stories bringing a tear or two.
  • I think this is a great marketing scheme on the part of McDonald’s.  I almost feel bad that it exploded on them!
  • I would guess that many people think that Google will support their Chromebook until the end of time. Nothing could be further from the truth. Find out when your support ends.
  • All employers have rules about things you can and cannot do on the job. Here’s some from Microsoft.
  • That does it. No more nude sunbathing for me.
  • This is one of those “30 Things” posts that you see all the time. In this case, I’d be up to eating my way through the list.
  • Everything you ever wanted to know about the new Windows terminal. I wonder how many people even use terminal any more.
  • There are two things about this – first of all, it’s funny to think that people would follow driving instructions that didn’t make sense and didn’t any of these people look ahead of them?
  • If you’ll let Google get you stuck in the middle of nowhere, I guess you’ll let it predict how many people will be on your bus.
  • It’s good to see that Microsoft is bringing tracking protection to Edge. It will up the ante for all developers to do the same.
  • A funny to read and yet believable stream of comments from a librarian.

Blog Posts on doug … off the record

My daily contributions to this blog.

#FollowFriday – June 21, 2019

voicEd Radio

My on demand radio page can be found here.  

Opening song this week:

Blog posts this week came from:

  • @L_Bottrell
  • @cashjim
  • @dcarruthersedu
  • @stepanpruch
  • @Roosloan

Technology Troubleshooting

This is a strange one that I’ve yet to find a solution for and so suggestions are most welcome.

It comes in the category of intermittent which is the worst to trouble shoot.

Recently, when I put my computer to sleep or shut it down immediately, there’s this annoying hum that comes from the powered speakers. If it happened all the time, I’d point my finger to the speakers themselves.

But, it only happens once in a while.


Video of the Week

Photo of the Week

It’s fish fly season in Essex County. They really got in the road of a trip to Leamington yesterday. I know they’re called all kinds of things in various locations. They appear for a week or two in June/July and then are gone, leaving collections of overweight seagulls.

Please join me daily and I hope that you check in next Sunday for a summary of my week.Thanks for reading.


This blog post was originally posted at:

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

Whatever happened to …

… penny bubble gum?

Of course, the question might be kind of moot since we abolished the penny!

But this certainly has fond memories for me.

  • at the checkout counter, Mom would often throw in a couple for my brother and me as a treat
  • we’d take pop bottles that we’d find in the ditch into the garage and exchange them for gum
  • it took a while, if I remember correctly, but I did learn how to blow bubbles
  • of course, it was forbidden in school, but that didn’t stop you from sucking the sugar from it and then snapping a quick bubble when the teacher’s back was turned
  • there also was a never-ending supply of gum stuck on the bottom of our desks
  • then there was the scare that there were spider eggs in the gum. It didn’t deter us though
  • you had to unwrap these correctly so that you didn’t tear the comic wrapped on the inside – some were the original Dad jokes, I think
  • bubble gum evolved – in pricing from 1 cent to 2 and then 5 cents a piece. It then came in strips like chewing tobacco and then a “log” of gum that you’d chew off just as much as you wanted

These days, I’m still a gum chewer – just not a bubble gum chewer. My gum doesn’t come individually wrapped anymore. It’s got a crunchy cover and comes in a plastic container holding sixty pieces. (I need at least two to get a good chew.)

How good is your bubble blowing memory?

  • do you remember penny bubble gum?
  • were you a gum chewer? Are you one today?
  • what was the character’s name in the comic that came with Bazooka? Did you know “he” has a page devoted to collecting the comics here?
  • who else made penny bubble gum?
  • is Juicy Fruit a more mature entry into the gum chewing field?
  • if you’re a teacher, is gum allowed in your class?
  • if you’re a teacher, do you still peek under the desks or tables to see what’s sticking around?

How about sharing your thoughts via comment below?

OTR Links 06/30/2019

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

When it’s got to be right

When architects are doing what they do best, they need the best of details. This resource, Dimensions.Guide has them covered.

So, let’s say you’re designing an arena or building a net for your home hockey rink, you want it to be correct down to the last detail, right?

Dimensions.Guide is a comprehensive reference database of dimensioned drawings documenting the standard measurements and sizes of the everyday objects and spaces that make up our world. Created as a universal resource to better communicate the basic properties, systems, and logics of our built environment, Dimensions.Guide is a free platform for increasing public and professional knowledge of life and design.

This is a fabulous resource and just a great deal of fun to explore.

When it comes time to use any of the drawings, you’re offered them in .SVG, .DWG, or .JPG format.

OTR Links 06/29/2019

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

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Welcome to the last TWIOE in June and the school year.  As always, there is some inspirational content written by Ontario Educators.  Perhaps you’ll be inspired to start or re-start your own blog this summer if you’re not already a regular writer?

Rethinking End of Year Countdowns

File this post from Laura Bottrell on the Heart and Art Blog under “maybe I’ve been doing things wrong all this time”.

For many, it’s been a month (or more) of counting down until today.  I even remember a colleague who shared the countdown on his blackboard for all to see.

Laura reminds us that this countdown may not necessarily be exciting for everyone in the class.

I always thought that celebrating the end of the year was just adding to the fun and excitement of summer. I’ve always had a fun countdown for my class. Lately, I’ve been wondering if this is just adding stress on some of my students. It really hit me last week when I announced that we only had ten school days left and there were at least five children in my class that crumbled to tears.

Her suggestion turns the table and has you thinking about treating things differently.  A little late for this year perhaps but … it’s nice to have a reminder that things aren’t always what they seem.

Why do you want kids to code?

With apologies to Jim Cash, I read the title to this post a little too quickly.  Instead of “Why”, I read it as “What” and thought that it might be about some new things to code!

However, using the word “Why” changes everything.  Jim summarizes his thoughts in this graphic he created.

It generated some interesting comments when Jim announced the post on Facebook.

I understand his message but I also wonder if I’m on the same page with him because of having a background in programming.  As Jim correctly notes, there’s a certain bandwagon effect about coding that has people jumping on because it’s felt that it’s important or someone is keynoting about the cool things that kids are doing.

Coding goes well beyond the mechanics of getting the job done.  (Blue side) Until you’re looking at the big picture, you’re not doing it justice.  (Green side)

It would be interesting to find out how many people get pressured to “do coding” because it’s the latest thing and yet they may be doing it without a suitable background in coding.

Go Magic! Let’s do this! 🙂

And the winner in the “Who gets David Carruthers added to their staff” raffle is …

<drum roll>

Bonaventure Meadows.

It looks easy enough to get to.  (at least by driving)

Getting to the actual school placed David in a series of job interviews and he shares his reflections about that process in the post.  I can understand the need for standardized questions for all applicants for fairness.

But, the school really needs to be prepared to take advantage of the skills that David has refined over his time as a learning coordinator.

Maybe instead of “Go Magic!”, should read “Get ready, Magic”.

And, then there’s the whole Plugged-in Portable thing?  I guess we’ll find out in the future.

Reader’s Theatre = Experiential Learning

I read this post from Stepan Pruchnicky a few times and I absolutely understood his message.

In Language, it’s important to read and understand different texts.  The concept of reading a script was a new spin on it.  But, as Stepan digs into it, it has to potential to go very deep, rich in understanding and empathy for characters to be played in the script.

It was during the radio version of This Week in Ontario Edublogs and Stephen Hurley’s comments about the connections to David Booth and Stephen’s own experience that really put me over the top with the concept.

I’d suggest putting Stepan’s post on your list for summer reading.  This is an idea that could really generate mileage for you.  Perhaps a future post would recommend suitable scripts?

Context is Key

Of course it is, Ruthie Sloan.

But, I certainly haven’t thought about it as deeply as you explore in this post.

You take the notion of context and apply it to…

  • wardrobe
  • digital expression
  • body language
  • how we communicate

The post is a great discussion about each of these.

It’s also a reminder of so many things that may just pass us by as life goes on.  These are things that we do every day.  It goes beyond what and moves into how, when, and who.

I loved the collection of images that she includes at the bottom.

“I Don’t Have Time For That”

Joel McLean reminds us that this comes up too often when people are wondering about taking charge of their own professional learning.  I suggest that it’s an easy answer and often given to avoid things.

I also am reminded about my Covey training.  The first rule – schedule the important things first.  Then, let all of the other stuff fill your time for you.  Goodness know that, in education, there’s no danger of that not happening.

I remember also returning from my training and explaining the approach to my supervisor.  We still meet for coffee every now and again and he notes how this changed his professional life.  (Not my comment but after my experience, he went and took the course himself.)

There was only one caveat to my own implementation – I was never allowed to allow my priorities to supersede his priorities for me!  I shouldn’t have encouraged him to take the course.

Maybe Joel has some advice for how to handle that!

Observations & Conversations : Part 1 of many?

The structure of the Interstitial App, or, Observations & Conversations – Part 2

From Cal Armstrong, a pair or posts and maybe more to come.

After my session at the OAME Conference (link to Presentation), a few folks asked me how I had put this together, so I’m going to give a brief run-down here.

It sounds like the audience was really impressed with Cal’s use of Microsoft Powerapps.

I know that I was; I’d heard about it but really hadn’t done anything with it.  I guess that you need to have a reason and Cal used his mathematics audience as the target for his presentation.

If you’re curious, read both posts.  If you’re interested in creating your own, pay attention to the second post.  Here, Cal takes you through his process step by step.

And there’s your last day of school inspiration.

Make sure you’re following these great bloggers on Twitter.

  • @L_Bottrell
  • @cashjim
  • @dcarruthersedu
  • @stepanpruch
  • @Roosloan
  • @jprofNB
  • @sig225

This post was created and posted to:

If you read it anywhere else, you’re not reading the original.

OTR Links 06/28/2019

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