Bulletin boards

I ran into a friend of mine who was headed into his classroom to do a bit of organization before school re-opens next week. He had a minimal amount of stuff with his which I found a little unusual. He’s a former student of mine and so I’ve followed his teaching career a bit and he was a regular at workshops learning to do computer stuff. He also is big on media and has visuals everywhere in his learning space.

As I chatted, the topic of bulletin boards came up. I mentioned that he wasn’t carrying much and that’s by plan and edict to keep things simpler. I’ve always found that bulletin boards can be a way to spruce up a barren classroom and, if done correctly, can also do a little active and hidden teaching.

Photo by Anna Nekrashevich on Pexels.com

It reminded me of a blog post by Deborah Weston from 2020. What is the purpose of a bulletin board? Gosh, that seems like so long ago but there are some great thoughts in there. Since it would appear on my Friday “This Week in Ontario Edublogs” post of that week, I took a look at my thoughts.

From my year at the Faculty of Education, it was drilled into us to have bulletin boards that looked great so that when you got inspected and evaluated, whoever was the classroom guest would be impressed. Oh, and also, make sure that they are changed before your second inspection. Why, oh why, do I remember stuff like that?

Deborah Weston gives a nice discussion about the various ways that bulletin boards can be handled. The rationale I gave above isn’t one of them!

I always used bulletin boards but they were created by students as part of their research and assessment. It kept them fresh and allowed students to do something unique and different. They absolutely did a better job than what I could have done.

There was a move a few years ago to display all kinds of achievement data there; thank goodness we’ve gone beyond that.

Deborah gives a nice list of ideas; they’re well worth reading and considering. They’re not all on the same train of thought and that can only be a good thing.

I really like this piece of advice.

For me, in the end what matters is that the students feel like the classroom belongs to them as they have designed it – like an extension of their home space.

As alluded to in the post, my bulletin boards were all created by students except for the small one at the front that I kept for myself. My students from all six classes were divided up into small groups and each group signed up for a week throughout the term for a topic about the History of Computers or the History of Programming. These were two difficult topics to teach with inspiration so I let them do the research, build the bulletin board, and then they took most of a period to explain their research and what went into the creation of their bulletin board. It really helped that the Marketing room with all kinds of material was right across the hallway.

They worked so closely together to assemble things before/after school and I let them eat their lunch up there if they needed extra time.

Aw, the good ol’ days. I can’t imagine anything like that happening these days. Well, at least for the first part of the year until we determine how it’s going to play out.

If you have a moment, please drop off a comment. What are bulletin boards going to look like in your learning space to start the school year?


OTR Links 08/31/2021

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

Roller coaster riding

Yesterday’s post about “Whatever happened to” dealt with fairs. One of the fond and not so fond memories was of riding a roller coaster.

Depending upon the location, it might be a small one designed to be portable to go from location to location or it might be a permanent structure where the ride can be significantly bigger since it never gets torn down to be moved.

An example of the first one is the “Mouse Trap” that always seemed to come to our spring fair. My dad loved this ride and would always want to be in the lead car because the wheels connecting the car to the track where in the middle of the car. The effect? On turns, we’d be hanging over the edge of the track befor the turn kicked in. As little kids, my brother and I were terrified.

When Boblo Island was in operation, it had a permanent roller coaster that was the signature ride of the park. As a father, of course, I had to take my own kids for a screamer.

One of the popular field trips at my old high school was to Cedar Point whose claim to fame was that it was the roller coaster capital of the world.

Well, Boblo is now gone and you can’t drive to Cedar Point right now. But, we connected to the internet type of people still have options.

If you have have a Virtual Reality website, you can go for a ride here. (You can do it without the headset but it’s a different experience.

Or, you can build your own! It’s even educational as you design your virtual ride.

Don’t let COVID restrictions stop you from challenging (scaring) yourself. Today, we always have options.

OTR Links 08/30/2021

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

My Week Ending 2021-08-29

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. They’re posted to the blog under the title OTR Links.


  • Sad news around here – COVID numbers “skyrocket
  • This would be an interesting episode for Heavy Rescue 401


  • Research indicate that these are the most popular beers world-wide. Rickard’s Red, my favourite, didn’t make it
  • The Ontario Education Minister writes an opt ed for the Ottawa Sun talking about the plan to improve ventilation in Ontario classrooms


  • Teachers should put this away for when they need it – what do you do when your Chromebook doesn’t boot?
  • You don’t need to get a university degree to become certified to being a Project Manager – take a course from Google


  • Who knew that The Beatles had more lyrics than what we knew? Apparently, Paul McCartney does
  • So, apparently all programmers should know these algorithms. How about programming teachers?


  • We lost a good one this past week – Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones
  • Seven, count ’em seven, security issues with the Chrome browser. Update now


  • I really how that we’re not shut down again before we get started with the new school year but the numbers are looking grim
  • Finally, something I can get behind from TikTok – banning those stupid milk crate challenges


  • Betas always sound nice but Chrome 94 may be something to revitalize those Chromebooks that have slowed down
  • Not a prediction of good news returning to schools this fall in the Waterloo Region

Blog Posts on
doug — off the record

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

#FollowFriday – August 27, 2021


voicEd Radio

Aviva Dunsiger joined Stephen Hurley and me for This Week in Ontario Edublogs on voicEd Radio. She had some interesting takes on the blog posts we discussed.

Featured bloggers:

  • Aviva Dunsiger – @avivaloca
  • Amanda Potts – @Ahpotts
  • Alanna King – @banana29
  • Tim King – @tk1ng
  • Rola Tibshirani – @rolat
  • TESLOntario – @TESLOntario
  • Terry Whitmell – @TerryWhitmell

This week’s show:


Opening Song:

Closing Song:

All of the podcasts are archived here. The show is broadcast LIVE almost every Wednesday morning at 8:45 on voicEd Radio.

Technology Troubleshooting

It was actually a pretty uneventful week around here in terms of technology. I don’t think I had to actually fix any of my stuff. That’s always nice to be able to report.

Video of the Week

Vaccine passports in the news. Ford appears to be backtracking and we’ll find out his plan next week.

Photo of the Week

Maybe not Norman Rockwell quality but it’s a home story all the same.

Thanks for reading.

Please join me daily for something new and, hopefully, interesting for you. I honestly and truthfully appreciate your few moments reading my thoughts. Time willing, this summary appears every Sunday afternoon.

Be safe.


This blog post was originally posted at: