My Week Ending 2020-06-14

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.

  • I know that many people are using Google Docs to be able to create and share resources amongst themselves and their students. This is a PDF cheat sheet to help you become a “Power User“.
  • I think that schools, districts, and teachers themselves should be asking if they know enough about the computers and tools that they’re using these days to run education. Many districts have dropped consultants who provided professional learning and subject associations aren’t always picking up the slack.
  • Kudos to the mayor of Washington DC for recognizing what’s going on and not stopping this painting of a street outside the White House. The message needs to be heard (and seen).
  • If you’re using Zoom, you probably have already gone to space for your background. If you’re using Teams, you’re in luck. Nobody really wants to see the things behind you when you’re in an online meeting.
  • DuckDuckGo is going to have to tread carefully, I suspect. Many have bought into their concepts because of the privacy that it offers than other search engines have not.
  • I like the fact that online conferencing software is evolving. Here’s a summary about the “new” Google Meet. Will people actually use the features though?
  • Browser wars! I love it. Count me in.
  • This is a spectacular, well-done video showing Canada from coast to coast in a couple of minutes. I see something new each time I play it.
  • If they have the room, this Tim Horton‘s initiative will be nice to see come to fruition. I tired of having my coffee handed to me on a stick.
  • Not that anyone is planning on any holidays to foreign countries these days but a ranking of COVID-19 virus and safety from country to country speaks volumes about concern for citizens.
  • Every school system that is considering opening needs to read every story about other jurisdictions that they can to beg, borrow, or steal the best ideas. Who knew that we’d be dropping “best practices” workshops for concerns about just staying safe?
  • The results from the investigation into the Peel District School Board are very unsettling. You just know that heads will roll; let’s hope that it’s the right ones.
  • I don’t have the kind of money lying around to buy AirPods but maybe for an alternative. Or, just get used to the cord.
  • This is an interesting concept that I’ve used for YouTube videos often. Speed things up; you don’t miss much and get through it quicker. Now a browser extension for Netflix to do the same thing.
  • Rules for daycares and their reopening. Will parents be confident enough to drop their kids off? Will they have a choice?
  • I haven’t received my notifications of an update to Windows 10 yet. I did get something for the Macintosh. It was another 3GB download and I don’t notice any difference. But, I’m supposedly safer and more bug free.
  • I can’t imagine a Toronto without a Dundas Street. Imagine the costs for all the signs that would need to be replaced. Above and below ground level.
  • Many things are being raised in people’s consciousness because of the COVID-19 virus. Are they raised high enough that education will do something about it?
  • This is a nice selection of children’s books about race. Every school library should have them available.
  • I need to do this. Years of dog walking has resulted in a perpetually sore left shoulder. Maybe sleeping on my back will solve the problem. It would be nice to try; I just can’t get myself trained to do it though.

Blog Posts on
doug … off the record

My daily contributions to this blog. If you’re looking for a week in review for doug–off the record, you came to the right place.

#FollowFriday – June 12, 2020

voicEd Radio

This week on voicEd Radio, Stephen Hurley and I chatted about climbing mountains, racism, education in the fall, good will, and wonder.

This week’s show –

Intro Song:

All of the podcasts are archived here.

Blog posts this week came from:

  • Paul McGuire – @mcguirp
  • Will Gourley – @WillGourley
  • Deborah Weston – @dr_weston_PhD
  • Tim King – @tk1ng
  • Lynn Thomas – @THOMLYNN101

Technology Troubleshooting

I’m a real fan of the Opera browser and the latest feature of having Instagram in the sidebar is awesome. Below, you’ll see a picture that I took at Holiday Beach, saved to Instagram, and I wanted to include it in this post.

Now, obviously, I had the original but I wanted to see if the built-in screen capture utility could snag part of the Instagram picture.

No luck.

The browser likes one or the other feature but not both at the same time.

Video of the Week

Stephen Hurley’s topic for Saturday’s night was inspiration – and this song came to mind immediately. Imagine having all that talent together in one place. I can’t just play this video once.

Photo of the Week

It was a wonderfully cool Saturday afternoon so Laurelanne, Jaimie and I went for a walk at Holiday Beach. The park isn’t open for regular visitors but you could park out front and walk in. Lake Erie’s water has been so high that break walls are so important. At the beach, there clearly was a man made wall but felled trees were there to prevent erosion as well. Which will last longer?

Thanks for reading.

Please join me daily for something new and, hopefully, interesting for you. Time willing, this summary appears every Sunday afternoon.

Be safe.


This blog post was originally posted at:

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

Whatever happened to …

… silly putty?

From the “Whatever happen to” padlet comes this suggestion.

I haven’t thought of this for a long time so thanks to whoever suggested the idea.

A long time ago, I did have an egg of Silly Putty. My dad was away for a couple of days at a meeting and brought home gifts for my brother and me. My gift was Silly Putty. It didn’t take long before it was banished only to be used in my bedroom. I think just rolling it around and dropping pieces on the couch was the final straw.

We’d always had Plasticine to play with but this was different. It was squeezier some how if seemed. I know red underlines, that isn’t a word. But it’s my blog and it can be a word if I want it to be.

As the suggester noted, it was great for making copies of your comic book characters. You’d roll it over a page and then carefully peel it back so as not to distort the image. Then, we had little plastic knives that we would trim off the excess and we would make our own characters and place them in our own scenes. We could also play our own version of Law and Order when the Joker got out of hand and mash him up or stretch him out or whatever!

I’m thinking the statute of limitations has passed but we could also counterfeit our own money on the really old paper bills of the time. It just made a mess when you put it in your wallet.

Doing my extensive research for this post, I did a quick scan of the toy aisle at Walmart but couldn’t see it for sale. But, I do note that it’s available online. More than the text about Silly Putty, the images will make you want to be a kid again. We’re not the only ones thinking about Silly Putty; there are blog posts devoted to it, including how to make your own.

My biggest takeaway from the whole experience was the feeling I got when my dad came back with a gift. It’s a tradition that I carried on with my own kids when they were younger; I’d bring them home a little something. It also helps pass the time waiting at airports.

How about sharing some thoughts about this from your past on a Sunday morning?

  • Did Silly Putty have a place in your childhood?
  • Do you still have some of the stuff today?
  • What was the strangest thing you ever copied using Silly Putty?
  • What other fun games did you use Silly Putty for?
  • When your parents would go away for meetings, etc. did they bring you a gift home?
  • Do you bring home gifts for your own kids when you’re away for a while?

Please share your ideas and thoughts in the comments below. If you have ideas for a future post, please feel free to leave them in the Padlet!

This post appeared on:

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

OTR Links 06/14/2020

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