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.
- I never owned a Sony Walkman so the emotional tie isn’t there for me but just imagining it is fun.
- Up until this article, I just used Evernote through the web. I’m getting used to everything being online. When the connection goes down, so do I.
- I agree totally with this. There was a time when you could just drop in and play with this or that. Now, things have completely changed.
- Why don’t we have cool libraries around here? It would be interesting to see if the physical building does more to attract people than a square block. Calgary seems to be working out well.
- Teachers who actually taught online have come forth with their thoughts on eLearning; now the students weigh in. It isn’t positive.
- The bug in Chrome OS had a number of people worried about their devices. I wonder how many were like me and checked to see when their device actually will stop being supported.
- Vivaldi is now available for Android. Another browser for me to check out.
- Articles like this are quite disturbing. People don’t tend to be vocal about things until it hits home. I wonder if this is home enough to make it a bargaining issue of importance.
- I suspect many STEM teachers, whatever that is, would find this offensive but it’s a reminder that students are more than the flavour of the day.
- I don’t know how I feel about this. There are times that I’m glad it happens and times I’m not glad. Computer-wise, though, you have to be all-in in one setting.
- Vaping has been big in the news for some time now. This is a Q&A that I think that parents and students should study.
- I’ve seen plenty of things that I’m surprised that Twitter allows including messages from you know who. Would they ever suspend that account like they did this one?
- Of course, it would fail. Ask any pre-school teacher; young kids are a real puzzle at times.
- I think that this is a terrific idea. Even better wouldn’t it be cool to go back to previous Olympics and overlay performances from then?
Blog Posts on doug … off the record
My daily contributions to this blog.
- Sunday – My Week Ending September 8, 2019
- Monday – The toys are back in town
- Tuesday – Ready to fold
- Wednesday – Hoarding pays off
- Thursday – Student vote 2019
- Friday – This Week in Ontario Edublogs
- Saturday – A Chromebook simulator
- Sunday – Whatever happened to … TV dinner tables?
#FollowFriday – September 12, 2019
My on demand radio page can be found here.
This week’s show:
Blog posts this week came from:
I’ve been using the “new Twitter” for a while and actually really liking it. The kinks in the pre-release seem to be resolved.
Except for one.
Sometimes when I click on a link that should takes me to a Twitter message or if I just type in a Twitter command (like twitter.com/dougpete), I get a message indicating a problem…
So, I do what any rational person would do. I try it again. Only this time, I press the ENTER key a little harder. And, I get the same result.
It’s frustrating because it’s intermittent. After a lot of noodle scratching, I’ve got a solution. Just position the cursor in advance of twitter.com and enter www. so it becomes http://www.twitter.com. It seems to me that that should be automatic and some times it is. Sometimes, it doesn’t work.
I trust they’re working on it and there will be a fix coming. Nobody likes an imperfect URL.
Video of the Week
We’ve lost another great.
Photo of the Week
I caught this guy having breakfast while I was out in the yard. Bugs Benedict?
Thanks for reading. Please join me daily for something new and, hopefully, interesting.
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If you find it anywhere else, it’s not original.
… TV dinner tables?
David Garlick was a week ahead of me on this one with his Twitter response to last week’s post.
Maybe that’s why he was a principal and I wasn’t.
Yes, there was the concept of the folding TV dinner table. There’s a bunch still for sale –
They’ve gone up in price! And appear to be more solid than the ones in my memory.
Currently, we don’t own a set but I do remember, as a child, of having a set that we kept behind the door going down to the basement. My wife’s parents had a set and used them as end tables down in their rec room. I stole the idea when furnishing an apartment at university. It was affordable, to be sure, from the second hand store. $5 a set, if I recall correctly.
They weren’t very solid. They appeared to be made of tin and had a flowered pattern on them and fluted edges. They folded up neatly for storage and the concept was to put your dinner/supper on them so that you could watch television while eating. (TV dinners optional). Unlike a regular table, they weren’t a permanent addition to a room – just for those special times that you ate supper while watching television.
Or so the story goes…
In both our families like David’s, the television was turned off at meal times and we ate as a family around the kitchen table. In our case, the dining table was used for special dining occasions when we had company but mostly as a collection point for stuff at other times.
So, why did we have TV tables? For those fancy meals with company, they served as holders for the food as we loaded up buffet style. We also used them to play games like checkers, Monopoly, on them. But that was about it.
These days, I can’t remember seeing them out for sale in stores so I don’t know if they’re not there or they’re such a seldom-purchased article that they’re largely hidden. We do see them when we’re out antiquing and it does bring back childhood memories!
For a Sunday morning, your thoughts?
- Do you currently own a set of TV dinner tables?
- Did you have them in your youth?
- Were you allowed to eat and watch television at the same time?
- While the cheap tinny ones probably wouldn’t work, could you see a use for these type of table in your classroom?
- Given their price point and the portability, there has to be all kinds of functionality for these that I’m not aware of. Do you have a unique use for these things?
As always, please share your thoughts in the comments below.
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If you read it anywhere else, it’s not original.
I could have used this when I got my Chromebook.
Now, a computer is a computer is a computer but there are little gotchas with various operating systems that take a bit of getting used to.
Like MacOS not liking the ALT key but uses the Windows/Super key instead for some tasks. Or the difference between a backspace key and a delete key. They’re easily learned once you set yourself on a path to actually learn them.
I suspect that my learning with a new Chromebook was the same as others.
- what’s that magnifying glass doing on the CAPS LOCK key?
- how do you CAPS LOCK anyway?
- is there a files manager?
- is there a Task Manager?
- where did all the Function keys go and what do those new symbols mean?
And other things. Of course, they’re all easily found with a simple Google search but they’re all nicely laid out in this Chromebook Simulator.
Work your way though the menu on the left and see the results appear graphically in the main part of the screen. Although I’ve used this Chromebook for a couple of years now, there were still a few new things to learn. In this case, I learned a few more multiple-finger actions.
You might want to tuck this away as an introductory lesson for Chromebooks in your classroom.
Bonus tutorial – Pixel Phone Simulator
Happy Friday everyone. And, it’s a 13th too. And a full moon to boot. Actually a “micro” Harvest Moon. In football, we call it “piling on”. Read about it here.
But you can tough it out.
Grab a coffee and sit back to enjoy some posts from these fabulous Ontario Edubloggers.
OK, I’ll confess to be guilty of doing this.
Sharing memes in June about sending kids back to their parents or in late September about parents shipping kids back to school.
In this post, Sheila Stewart suggests that doing so is not the best of ideas.
I am also not sure if such humour does much to support working relationships and respect between teachers and parents.
I guess I never saw it much more than a bit of fun poking at our profession. I’ve never really thought of them as serious; more of a look at reality in the school year.
I guess I breathed a bit of a sigh of relief when Jennifer Aston indicated that she hadn’t abandoned things – she was just carrying through on promises to a family about not doing school work in July.
I don’t think it’s an unfair demand; after all, kids deserve family time which can be so difficult to find during the school year between working, after school professional learning, coaching, and so much more. Why not demand a little mom time during the summer.
I’m not surprised that many of her activities mirrored what my summers were like when my kids were younger – going to the beach, going to swimming lessons, potty training, but I drew the line at soccer. My kids were baseball/softball players! (Still are)
Read the post; many bloggers would have made this into a number of smaller posts but Jennifer throws her entire summer at us.
And, she’s promising to get back on the blogging scene again. Great!
This is an interesting post from Joel McLean, again about leadership.
He talks about the DNA of a leader and ties in the 17 basic abilities identified by John Maxwell.
From the 17, Joel identifies three specifically and expands on them.
- Ability to think
- Creativity ability
- Production capacity
The call to action is to question yourself, if you see yourself as a leader, about how you would increase these abilities.
I’m curious though about his use of the term DNA. To me, DNA is part of your make up and not something that you can change. (I watch a lot of Law & Order). To me, it begs the question. If these skills are truly DNA, can you actually change them? Maybe an idea for a future post, Joel?
With a little tongue in cheek, maybe blood tests replace interviews?
Congratulations to Joe Archer…he entered a contest and won a WipeBook Flipchart. It’s part of a series of products you can find here. http://www.wipebook.ca.
Joe talks about the product, but more importantly, talks about how he uses it with his class. For me, it’s the description of the pedagogy that is exciting.
At times, and for selfish purposes, that can be overlooked when people go product bashing.
I can’t help but think about the high profile keynote speakers a few years ago who went on a rant a few years about about Interactive Whiteboards. Like anything in the classroom, they can be used well or poorly. It’s not the product itself; it’s how it’s used. “Oh, and buy my book.”
I remember years ago in my planner having a write-on cleanable whiteboard page along with the traditional paper. In my mind, the paper was good for notes that I thought would be “permanent” whereas the erasable product was more transient in how I used it. My use mirrors somewhat the classroom activity that Joe describes.
I also like the fact that Joe uses the expression “Exploring”. It conveys a message that he’s doing his own research into the product and not just following the crowd.
Debbie Donsky takes on a new role this September and uses her blog to reflect on a career – so far anyway…
I’ll confess that I was expecting something different from her title when she made reference to “small places”. I had thought that she’d be referring to the small communities that school can be in the middle of big towns or cities. But, I was wrong.
Instead, she takes the opportunity to identify 15 Big Lessons and develops each along with a picture or two.
I could identify with most of the 15 but there were three that really resonated.
- Be where you are – reminded me of my first trips to schools as a consultant – none of them are the same and you are most effective when you recognize that
- Be authentic – especially with kids – they have a sixth sense when you’re faking it
- Everyone you meet can help you – and reciprocate! Together we’re better
For more Debbie Donsky, read my interview with her here.
This is the latest review of a book from the CanLit for Little Canadians blog authored by Helen Kubiw.
I’m always astounded when I talk to Language teachers or Teacher-Librarians as to how connected and insightful they are with new books or ones that have been around for a while.
The latest reviews include:
- Goodnight, World
- The Starlight Claim
- Harvey Comes Home
There have been a number of articles released in the traditional media about a report identifying the grown of violence in Ontario schools. Sadly, the articles are not very deep except to report their sources. Then, they move on.
On the ETFO Heart and Art Blog, Deborah Weston takes a really deep dive on this. Not only does she identify the research but she shares her insights about the issue.
She notes that there are no quick and easy solutions. In particular, she addresses a couple of the techniques often given as solutions to the problem.
Self-regulation and mindfulness strategies do help some students develop their social and emotional capacity but self-regulation and mindfulness strategies do not compensate for the myriad of causes and complex intersectionality of environmental, developmental, intellectual, social, emotional, economic, and mental health needs that may be at the root of students’ behavioural outcomes.
I would encourage all teachers to read this and look at the implications. I would also suggest that the worst thing that you could do is to ignore incidents. They need to be reported so that they can be addressed, not just in your classroom, but Ontario’s school system at large.
Like any Friday, there are always wonderful thoughts and ideas shared by Ontario Educators. Please take the time to read all seven of these terrific blog posts. You’ll be glad you did.
Then, make sure that you’re following these bloggers on Twitter.
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