This Week in Ontario Edublogs


For those that are accustomed to my messages going out on Wednesday mornings about the show, things will be a big different today. Instead of our 8:45am start time, Stephen Hurley and I will be going live starting at 7:30pm.

You see, it’s kind of a special time.

Stephen and I have a collaborative document that we share about the blog posts for the show. Every now and again, it just gets too unwieldly. The 4th version of it had grown to 84 pages and so I started a fresh 5th one. That got us chatting a bit and we realized that the show was something like 4 years old. So, we wanted to do something and celebrate – like maybe doing it when teachers aren’t in class!

That got me thinking about a number of things. I looked and looked and couldn’t find the document for the first show. I do remember distinctly how I got into this weekly routine though.

It was a message from Stephen wanting to know if I would be interested in taking my Friday blog post “This Week in Ontario Edublogs” and making it a podcast. We actually did a bit of back and forth discussion about it; I was narrow minded and didn’t see how a podcast could fall out of that. Stephen hung in there and convinced me to give it a shot.

And I’m glad that I did.

Now, he originally wanted to do the show at night. At the time, though, I had the best internet access that was available to me in a rural setting. That was a 5MB plan that was qualified as “up to 5MB” and that was only seemingly in the middle of the night or in the morning when everyone else was at work. So, we threw it into a morning time slot and have never looked back. Well, maybe a sidestep or two.

In the beginning, I suspect that the live show was brutal because of the internet speeds. At the end of the show, my end of the conversation would be uploaded to Stephen and he used some computer magic to mix it with his side and come up with a pretty decent product, if I do say so myself.

Because of the speeds, I’m convinced, he went to work on my gear. We tried all the microphones here and really didn’t get the quality that he wanted for live production. Recently, though, high speed fibre was brought down our concession road and I had a couple of dollars to spend because of lockdown and ordered a Blue Yeti microphone. It’s been great and I don’t seem to have to work on my settings anymore. Now, it’s just complaints about the birds outside chirping, the odd dog bark, the sump pump coming on, and cars running down the road. Definitely first world problems.

The show has evolved over time. In the beginning, it was a half hour show and only I knew what blog posts we would discuss. I remember one day Stephen asking for a list of the blog posts so that he could actually read them before we went live and talked about them. That was the genesis of the collaborative document(s) which have served us and guest hosts well ever since.

We’ve also experimented with a number of other things. I got to visit the voicEd Radio studio – it really is a studio compared to the corner nook here – because Stephen and I went live broadcasting from Cameron Steltman’s classroom and featuring his students. It was a risk but still one of my favourite shows. We’ve also broadcast live and done sessions at the Bring IT, Together Conference in Niagara Falls. I had a few other ideas that have been put on hold since all this COVID stuff. We’ve also experimented with guest hosts during times when classroom teachers aren’t in classrooms and having additional voices have most certainly been a real joy. This past summer, we even invited teams to join us – EduGals, Chey and Pav – and took a chance that having four people not seeing each other would result in a show where we’re not talking over each other. I think it went over well.

Unlike Stephen’s studio, my setup is pretty simple. Other than the microphone, the only real change I made from my regular setup was grabbing this old external monitor I got as payment for some custom work.

It really doesn’t take much to get into the field; but the real value comes from the Ontario Edubloggers that we get a chance to talk about. I’ve done my best to cobble together a Blog Roll of people and blogs that we’ve visited over the time that we’ve done the show.

I know that many readers are familiar with my #FollowFriday thing on Friday mornings. I have seven Twitter lists of Ontario Educators and I’m always on the search for “active” ones – i.e. they’re doing something on social media. The first thing that I do is check their bio to see if they have a personal blog listed and check it out for new material. I’m always looking for fresh content; if you know of a blog that I don’t know about, please reach out and let me know.

Forget the show and my blog for a minute, I’m so indebted to those that write and share their wisdom. It’s my number one bit of learning.

The radio show features five recent blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers. The blog post on Friday morning adds a couple of bonus posts to round it out at seven blogs that I’ve visited recently.

So, for tonight, I’m excited to let you know via blog post the five posts that Stephen and I will chat about. They come from:

  • Pav Wander – @PavWander
  • Jen Aston – @mmejaston
  • Sue Bruyns – @sbruyns
  • Jonathan So – @mrsoclassroom
  • Cal Armstrong – @sig225

I hope that you get a chance to join us. We’ll be live at 7:30 here.

And, if you’re looking for some great discussion, Stephen has archived most of the shows here.

OTR Links 09/15/2021


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