My Week Ending 2022-11-27

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.


  • Here’s a fascinating read about the history of the creation of Mastodon
  • I impressed the family when I let them know that I knew the history behind the Grey Cup. Do you?


  • I don’t know why I’m intrigued by stories about Trump and US politics. I guess it’s the closest to a train wreck that I’ve ever seen
  • This was a long but really interesting read that probably hits a little too close to the teaching profession and more – h/t to Stephen Downes for reference in his daily newsletter


  • If you don’t live here, you don’t have permission to complain about snow
  • This was a little personal – my first girlfriend was from the Monkton area and I must have driven by this a million times. OK, a little exaggeration here


  • I had to smile at this story about the renovation going on at the Roger’s Centre. I only ever could get seats in the 500 level
  • This is an interesting lecturey post about how we failed literacy with our kids but on the positive side, it would be inspiration for a Chrismas gift


  • I don’t get why we need to remind people to use strong passwords – this is a quick check if you ever did something dumb
  • Mastodon isn’t perfect and here’s how to block evil domains


  • Every day, it seems, the current government comes out with ideas to fix the health system that seem to run against doing nice things for those who have to use it
  • The question about who will do the verification after all the layoffs at Twitter comes to my mind


  • Maybe there’s an opportunity to buy up the Blackberry remains for Musk
  • If I had a Raspberry Pi in my Computer Science classroom, I’d definitely be doing this Christmas activtiy. Just sayin’

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 – November 25, 2022

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:

  • Marie Snyder – @MarieSnyder27
  • Matthew Morris – @callmemrmorris
  • Lord Douglas McDowall – @dougzone2_1

This week’s voicEd Radio show:

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

A playlist of the songs of Peace that we open and close the show with.

Technology Troubleshooting

It always happens on Sunday mornings or Saturday afternoons as I prepare this post. I notice that I screwed up something in the creation of the previous week’s post.

I guess it’s a message that nobody actually reads this post! The problem is obviously self-generated. I take the previous week’s post because I like the formatting and I just make a copy in WordPress and write over the previous week’s content.

It sounds easy enough and I do proofread to see if I anything out.

However, there was a really noticeable mistake last week that I didn’t catch until this morning. It’s happened before and you’d think I would have learned but I didn’t.

It’s not enough to make me stop writing this post; I do it for myself to reflect on the writing from the past week. If it helps others, great. If not, at least I force myself to take another look and that’s a good thing.

Did anyone catch the mistake and was just too polite to tell me?

Video of the Week

I had a university professor who did a mini-version of this going around the room working on a math problem. I still remember it, and Professor Honsberger, fondly

Photo of the Week

Happy Recovery and Merry Christmas rolled into one on our rec room coffee table.

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 …

… passing notes?

Photo by Nathália Rosa on Unsplash

A very good friend of mine sent me this video.

I’ll just leave the link there and hopefully, you can click through to see it. Believe me, it’s worth the three minutes to watch. It’s sparked family discussion around here and made a bunch of us more reflective on our use of technology.

I go back to when we had 1 or 2 computers in the classroom and we had to schedule time for students to be able to use the technology. We just so wanted to predict the day when we were able to provide a computer for every student.

Even today, those institutions that do that are still very few. In many cases, parents are purchasing computers and probably even more likely, a smartphone for students. After all, who wants to be called to the office to answer a phone call from mom or dad? Let them do it in the middle of Mathematics class. They’re easily connected to the school’s wireless which gives all kinds of other connected opportunities.

It does bring a smile when I think back to my days of passing notes in class and getting caught.

Mr. Peterson, please read to the class what’s on the note?

The cool thing was that we didn’t have to use notes before and after school – we just talked with friends.

I can still remember being in the audience of speakers who held up one of the first smartphones and declared that he had more power in his hand than the computer that helped land the first man on the moon. I was always impressed that the power was there, and when I got my own smartphone, they had enough battery life to do it.

Back to the smartphone in the student’s hands. We now have enough power for all students to create digital content. Teachers too! But, if you watch the video, you know that there are so many alternatives to actually working on these devices. On the radio, yesterday morning, one of the dial-in questions was about what we did for 10 minutes a day five years ago that we now do at least 3 hours a day. Yep, use our current version of the phone.

This form of technology provides all kinds of opportunities and challenges for today’s classroom. It doesn’t take much of a stretch to see the stories mentioned in the video in real life.

So, your thoughts for today.

  • do you allow students to use smartphones in your class?
  • are they able to use a smartphone as productively as they might use a computer?
  • do you see students distracted as described in the video?
  • does being connected in this manner create other issues? bullying, for example
  • is passing notes still a thing in class still a thing or does everyone text these days?
  • would you ever consider having a student read a texting conversation to the class?
  • do you ever wonder about the future when those that will form it walk in a bunch together after school like we did but are all using their devices instead of talking to each other?
  • do you have family rules about the use of technology at home?

I’d love to read your thoughts. Please do so in the comments below.

This is a regular Sunday morning post around here. You can read all the previous posts here.

This was posted to If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original

OTR Links 11/27/2022

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