doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Apparently, we’re going to get another serious storm. I haven’t cleaned up since the last one. Geesh.

Here’s a collection of great reading from Ontario Educators that crossed my desk last week.

some chat about ChatGPT

In a world of all kinds of stories of doom and gloom and how education is going to hit the dumpsters comes this refreshing and I think, important, post from Will. It’s well-written and he’s obviously been doing some serious thinking about this.

I just want to note that I can remember when this Google thing came along and the end of education was predicted because kids didn’t have to learn how to use encyclopedias anymore. How did that work out?

Education embraced the concept and adjusted accordingly.

Like so many of the other articles, Will does share his thoughts about what happens when students use it to create markable content. I think I’d be less worried at the elementary school panel as my experience shows that ChatGPT does write with a certain level of sophistication. I can’t help but wonder about those who predict that students doing this stuff will go unnoticed by good educators. There’s that whole writing process thing, you know.

What really stood out here was what Will thought ChatGPT could do to make his life easier. He tried a couple of queries with success.

  • “write a comedy for 4 performers that is based on electricity, physics, time travel, and renewable energy.”
  • “Write a 10 question math quiz with some word problems for grade 6 students who are beginning to learn patterning and algebra.”

Teachers also wouldn’t be prepared to use it directly but could modify it to recognize their own classroom and student realities.

A Few Hopes for Today’s Teens

Anne-Marie shares part of her message with the students at her school as inspiration. It is a school where the students live together and so the concept of community wouldn’t be different than others. They’re going to be closer to each other, by design.

There’s a really strong message of kindness to each other running through her address. I hope that it was received with the intent of the delivery. I would encourage you to read the whole blog post because there is so much packed into it.

A couple of big takeaways for me…

“You can’t make old friends”

Of course not but I’d never heard it put that way.

My hope is that we are a community who practices “calling-in” with kindness and curiosity, so we can maintain an emotionally safe community

Shouldn’t we all be doing this on a regular basis?

And, I had this running all through my mind after I read the post.

“we tend to judge others by their behaviour, and ourselves by our intentions.”

This was so well written. Thanks for sharing it with us, Anne-Marie.

To the heart

There is such a simple message in this blog post and Diane summarizes her thoughts with a quote from Nelson Mandela.

In that sense, it seems only fitting to close with Nelson Mandela, who observed that when you speak to someone in a language they understand, it goes to their head; but when you speak to someone in their language, that goes to their heart.

You have to read and appreciate the post to know the significance of that quote and why it is so dead on.

Diane tells us a personal story that includes humidity, chalk, trains, friends, and more that really puts everything into perspective.

This is a story that would be nicely shared with students and could quite easily make a life change for some of them. I’ll bet that it makes you think about how you’re going to handle the next time the opportunity to do something so simple, and yet so powerful comes along.

Slice of (Indoor) Life

I love these Slice of Life reflections from Lisa. I’m guessing that they might now necessarily have become a blog post in any other situations.

It’s been a bizarre winter in places in Ontario and, at Lisa’s new school, there have been ice challenges on the playground that have ended up with indoor recesses.

I’ll confess that, as a secondary school teacher, I’ve never had the joy of supervising an indoor recess.

But, if I ever did, I would hope that I would have the space that Lisa has – a combination of abandoned library and computer room – space allows for storage of ongoing major projects and one came as a result of the indoor recess.

Read the post and see what happened!

Course Artifacts

You’ve got to love it when someone comes along and just gives away wonderful resources. In this case, Jennifer shares some infographics that she’s created with Canva for her AQ course.

Infographics have come into our regular use as artifacts that demonstrate things. Usually, though, they’re created by someone else. Not so here. These are her original creations.

  1. Copyright Matters
Thanks, Jan Aston –

And this is just the beginning. Click through to her blog to enjoy these other infographics.

2. Health and Media Literacy

3. How can I help you online?

4. Tips for Teacher-Librarians

Hey ChatGPT, When Should I Take CPP?

Trust Peter to take new technology in a new direction. In this case, if you’re old enough to think about retirement, there are options that you have for taking the Canada Pension Plan.

In the post, he asks for financial advice…

With $xx in an RRSP and a current pension of $yy per month, when is the best time to take CPP? I am zz years old.

It was an interesting read and, as Peter notes, it does give some pretty sound advice.

I actually remember an activity in an Accounting class where we worked out how long the difference would be in years for scenarios like this.

My father also did some estate planning and I remember a couple of other variables just as if he was sitting next to me

  • how healthy are you? How long do you plan to live?
  • what if you got hit by a train on the way home?

Getting hit by the train was generic enough to be used in many scenarios.

But, ChatGPT as a retirement planner? I didn’t see that one coming.

Thanks, Peter.

This Is Leadership – EP13: T. J. Hoogsteen

Those who aspire to leadership should be reading Joel’s blog and listening to his podcasts. They’ve been a favourite around here and I highly recommend them.

Joel makes his work available on so many different platforms so there’s no excuse for missing it.

I typically will fire up a podcast as I’m working on something else and listen while working. It works well for me.

When all else fails, there’s always good old YouTube.

I hope that you can find some time to enjoy all of these terrific resources.

Then, follow them on Twitter.

  • Will Gourley – @WillGourley
  • Anne-Marie Kee – @AMKeeLCS
  • Lisa Corbett – @LisaCorbett0261
  • Jen Aston – @mmejaston
  • Peter Beens – @pbeens
  • JOËL MCLEAN – @jprofnb

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Introductory Song

Closing Song

Peace Playlist


One response to “This Week in Ontario Edublogs”

  1. […] Friday – This Week in Ontario Edublogs […]


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