doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

I know that it’s been a challenging week for so many as the model for education has changed so incredibly much. Teachers, parents, and students have all had a stressful week with everyone wanting to do their best.

Speaking of the best, it’s time for me to share and I hope that you enjoy some terrific thoughts from Ontario Edubloggers.

Observations & Lessons in Isolation – Week 4

First up, this week, a post from Laura Elliott that should give you pause for looking at doing the right thing right now. Turn on the news and you can see comparisons of casualties from COVID-19 to lives lost in world and regional wars or top 10 lists of pandemics.

You can get totally involved with the challenges of a district-licensed learning management system that is running incredibly slow or even crashing, or just the stress or trying to address all those curriculum expectations while learning how to use a new set of tools.

Nobody has been through this before and Laura reminds that we’re living this history. We’re writing our story at this time and there are so many other things to consider that are far more important than working with glitchy technology.

Check out her list and share some comments and your own thoughts on her blog.

10 years later – Takeaways from Learning in Online Spaces

For some, working and teaching in Online Spaces isn’t new and Tina Zita lets us know that she’s been doing it for quite some time.

In this post, she shared with us what she considers her “big takeaways” from the past 10 years.

Among her things, and it’s a good list of things, I’m going to cherry pick two that I think are important for all to realize.

  • The Learner is still the centre
  • Replicate the Experience not the Task

In everyone’s struggles to do the very best, I suspect that it’s pretty easy to overlook this and get boggled down with details. You really shouldn’t; good teachers have always recognized the need for flexibility.

These are but two of Tina’s takeaways. She expands on each and also gives many other insights. I’ll bet you’ll see yourself in her post.

Friday Two Cents: Parents … Make “Play” Your Life Lesson

Paul Gauchi takes a look at the parent side of all of this. Yes, they’ve definitely become a more active part of the learning team. I’m sure that they’ve all got the advice about the importance of play in learning.

As I read Paul’s post, I couldn’t help but think about the difference between “play” from a parent perspective and from a teacher point of view.

“Play” could be a way to keep the child busy and involved at home. Every parent knows that. “Give me a break and go play with something.”

In the hands of a professional teacher, “play” turns into something else. They carefully make choices about the type of “play” that will happen and how it addresses learning expectations. They don’t have a free-for-all toybox; they select only those things that will be needed for today’s class, designed for play and learning.

There are a couple of really good quotes about play in Paul’s post.

Will this experience help parents see the other side of “play”?

My Secret: Adjusting to New

I loved this post from Sue Dunlop!

When we go to work, we have all that we need. I think back to my workplace; I had a desk there with a blotter and a coffee mug full of pencils, pens, and markers. On the other side, I had my phone. Desk drawers had supplies at the ready. If I spun around, there was a well filled bookshelf full of computer references. Off to the left on table 1 of 3 or 4 tables was my work computer with another chair on wheels. I could roll up and down to various computers and work spaces depending upon what I was working on. Since I had the area all to myself, I could leave works in progress, well, in progress.

I’m sure that Sue has an equally as well equipped or probably better workspace – at work.

In this post, she talks about her new reality, her home office. It has to be a poor second with desk being a “collapsible table” and she apparently really misses her ball chair. It’s about a hundred bucks right now from Amazon.

But, she’s getting through with her new reality and shares her secrets for how she’s doing it. Maybe some of the little things that help you have eluded you? Read her post and maybe you’ll find a bit of a pick-me-up in ideas.

There is no room for ego

Lots of people have been sharing lots of things online to help the cause of eLearning. They’re all done with good intentions and I’m as guilty as the next person.

In this post, Jennifer Casa-Todd shares something that every teacher should have bookmarked at this time. It’s like the ultimate collection of digital resources, organized into a calendar format.

Jennifer shares her thoughts and then gets a bit emotional. We’ve got your back, my friend. In the post, she shares what started that emotion but there’s one that describes a tenant for me and explains why I do what I do and who I look for when I’m looking for people to enhance my learning network.

We have an obligation to share what we create

In addition to the five blog posts that inspire the conversation on my voicEd Radio This Week in Ontario Edublogs, I like to add a couple more that I refer to as “bonus posts”. Normally, they’re a couple of recent posts.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I was tagged by Zoe Branigan-Pipe last weekend to think about blog content from ten years ago. That brought out my response and I was delighted to see some others jump as well with blog memories from theirs exactly ten years ago.

Here are some blasts from the past, some oldie goldies…

Turnitin Plagiarism Detection Service Coming Soon!

Peter Beens shares the news that the Ministry of Education has licensed the Turnitin product.


Aaron Puley shared his research and suggestions for blogging platforms in education.

Online assessment

Cal Armstrong talks about, well, online assessment.

Ning is the Thing: Using web 2.0 technology to encourage higher-level thinking in senior academic English classes

Danika Tipping is in the running for the longest blog post title and shares her research about using Web 2.0 technologies.

Energy Timeline

Jared Bennett describes how to use a collaborative timeline tool.

WE are smarter than ME

Rodd Lucier delivers the most salient post about social networking – equally as important today as it was back then.

“I love my network – seriously – what great people. Teaching has never been so exciting” – A.Couros

And, Zoe’s post to motivate and how to turn a quote into a blog post!

And a few that didn’t follow the ten year rule…

The Future is Already Here

Andrew Forgrave’s thoughts on the Ministry licensing of a web tool.

When did it start for you?

Colin Jagoe wonders when you started your PLN?

I’m @avivaloca from now on!

When they kicked Aviva Dunsiger out of Grade 1, she needed a new Twitter handle. So, people voted…

OK, folks, you have lots of reading ahead of you on this Friday! Enjoy.

Then, an extended list of people to add to your Twitter network this week.

  • @lauraelliottPhD
  • @tina_zita
  • @PCMalteseFalcon
  • @Dunlop_Sue
  • @JCasaTodd
  • @pbeens
  • @bloggucation
  • @sig225
  • @DanikaTipping
  • @mrjarbenne
  • @thecleversheep
  • @zbpipe
  • @aforgrave
  • @colinjagoe
  • @avivaloca

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3 responses to “This Week in Ontario Edublogs”

  1. Wow Doug! You’ve given us a lot of reading for this long weekend. Thank you! And thanks for including my post from the past as part of it. As always, you go out of your way to connect Ontario educators, and this does not go unnoticed.

    Happy Easter!


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


  3. […] Friday – This Week in Ontario Edublogs […]


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