My Week Ending 2022-03-06

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 daily under the title OTR Links.


  • I like to collect stuff and this time I’m collecting Wordle clones and tucking them away in this Wakelet
  • So many companies and industries are rethinking their relationship with Russia these days and this what Google is doing


  • The first country that I heard of to drop the masking requirements in secondary schools that I found was – drum roll – Scotland
  • If you’re a Russian airplane, you are no longer welcome in Canadian airspace


  • The Russia-Ukraine Monitor Map is a crowdsourced effort by Centre for Information Resilience
  • Microsoft removes Russian news sources from Bing and other services to avoid spreading propaganda


  • Have you ever wanted to see gravestones of famous Wrestlers? I checked these out and can’t help but reflect on how young some of them were when they passed
  • Another review of why kids are having trouble reading and an opportunity to take shots at the way that it’s currently being taught in the province.


  • An article in the Windsor Star about David Garlick’s new book
  • A visual history of the Apple Computer corporate logo – I can recall them all


  • A local story about the Boblo Amusement park which was a great place to visit and a source of employment for local teenagers
  • I know that I, for one, would love to be able to read my way through these letters of instruction – I think they would say so much


  • I’d never heard about Swift in the context of country finances but learned a great deal from this article. The news makes more sense now
  • For educators, a reminder that the effects of the incident in Ukraine may have effects on Russian students in classrooms

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 – March 4, 2022

Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

voicEd Radio

This Week in Ontario Edublogs is a blog post/show/podcast that features great writing from Ontario Edubloggers. Stephen Hurley and I use their writing as the basis for a conversation.

Featured Bloggers:

  • Amanda Potts – @Ahpotts 
  • Heather Swail – @hbswail
  • Marie Snyder – @MarieSnyder27
  • Rob Ridley – @RangerRidley
  • Paul McGuire – @mcguirp
  • Amy Bowker – @amyebowker 
  • Laura Wheeler – @wheeler_laura 

This week’s show:

There was no voicEd Radio show this past week. This is the show from two weeks ago.

Opening Song:

Closing Song:

All of the shows are archived here. The show is broadcast LIVE almost every Wednesday morning at 8:45 on voicEd Radio and is downloadable as a podcast later.

Technology Troubleshooting

This past week must have been a good one, technology wise. I don’t recall having to sit down and trouble shoot something that wasn’t working the way it was supposed to. That’s a nice thing to be able to report.

Look what I made

With all the Wordle craze, I of course blogged about it earlier but also created a Wakelet of all the Wordle clones I could find. Once created, I’ve been adding to it daily, it seems. I guess it’s presumptuous to think I could do it all in one session. It certainly has taken the online world by storm

My collection is available here:

There are 32 entries but the day is still young. Enjoy.

Update – February 27: Up to 42 entries; nine more added this week.

Video of the Week

How the media explains it to us

Photo of the Week

One of our favourite recreational destinations, the end of the pier in Colchester. There’s still a lot of ice near the shore but the blue in the distance gives the promise of spring being on the way.

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:

Whatever happened to …


OSAPAC was the Ontario Software Acquisition Program Advisory Committee. Its purpose was to recommend software titles to the Ministry of Education for provincial licensing. I was honoured to have served as one of the Western Ontario representatives for a number of years. Annually, we would survey Ontario educators as to what software titles they’d like to see appear in their classrooms to support curriculum endeavours. Then, based on the feedback, we would post a Request for Proposal, software vendors would submit their titles, we would evaluate the various pieces of software and then recommend to the Ministry the title(s) that we would like to see licensed for every classroom in the province. I have so many fond memories of working with the committee during August for a week evaluating software – often it fell on my birthday.

All of this came back this past week in a discussion with Marc Lijour who was the French Ministry of Education representative on the committee.

I thought that the program was unique in that titles were available to every school in the province and teachers had take-home rights for lesson preparation. Every RFP that we sent out indicated that we were looking for titles in French, English, and for use on Windows and Macintosh computers. We had a real sense of accomplishment when we were able to meet all of those requirements.

I learned so much about the appropriateness of software during my term there. As webmaster, I also learned how to put a searchable database on the web with all of the titles and the expectations from the Ontario Curriculum that could be addressed with appropriate use. The OSAPAC website is long gone now (as is the committee, I’m assuming) but the Wayback Machine took me back and I managed to grab this screenshot from 2005.

Colleagues and friends on the committee and I used to partner or go individually to present at conferences like the Western RCAC and ECOO and show off the most recently licensed titles. We called it “Freshly Minted Software”. The ECOO program from 2011 shows that Danuta took the lead that year. In 2009, Danuta and I presented together. The presentation is available here.

It was a great deal for vendors. All they had to do was provide us one copy of the software with a license key and it was duplicated and distributed to every district in the province by the Ministry. What remains of OSAPAC’s efforts these days is hidden behind a password/login on the ECNO site.

For a Sunday, your thoughts?

  • were/are you aware of the OSAPAC program? Do you have any fond memories of a licensed software package that you used?
  • did the internet with all the resources now available in a browser kill the program? Is it the same? Better? Worse?
  • are there any titles or resources that were licensed that you still use?
  • if you had the ability to recommend something to be licensed today for your classroom, what would you recommend?
  • does your school district purchase software for your and your students use these days?
  • can you name educators who were on the committee? There’s me, Danuta, Marc that I managed to work into this post but I can remember just about everyone when I put my mind to it?
  • what would you consider the most useful title for you that was licensed? Off hand, I’d say Adobe Photoshop Elements
  • did you ever complete the OSAPAC survey? If you did, what software titles did you recommend? Was it licensed?

Do you have any OSAPAC memories? How about sharing them in the comments below.

This is part of a regular Sunday morning series of posts. You can find them all here.

OTR Links 03/06/2022

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