Great Day of Sharing and Learning

I started today as I normally would.  I grab a bowl of cereal and my iPad.  I open the News folder and then the Zite application.

This is Doug’s current mode for finding out what’s happening.  It’s a big jump from the days when it used to be with a newspaper.  I’m constantly amazed at the breadth and depth and new interests possible now that my reading has gone digital.

It’s more of less like a regular day.  I find a lot of good things that pique my interest.  As per normal, I figure that if they interest me, they might interest someone else.  By sending the link to the article to Twitter via Zite, that sharing happens and sends a copy to my Diigo account for a permanent record.  In the middle of all this, I get a Twitter message from @barbaramcveigh.

What a nice comment!

I flip back through what I’d shared to that point ….

15 Tips & Tricks To Get More Out Of Google Drive


Tips for Sharing iPads in Schools


Test if your router’s UPnP is exposed to the Internet –


If It Were My Home: Compare Countries Visually


iOS App Recommendations for Literacy


A Must Have Poster on Digital Literacy


Three Infographics About Valentine’s Day, Including One Perfect For English Language Learners


2 Websites To Create Disposable Content On The Web


How to connect your iPad to your Interactive Whiteboard


The Teacher Report: 5 Excuses Kids Give for Not Reading (and Ways to Respond)


Mobile Learning: It’s Not Just About the Kids; It’s Also About the Teachers!


Digital Storytelling with the iPad –


A Beginner’s Guide To Proofreading – Edudemic –


As I look back at these (and there were a few others), I have to agree.  Those were some pretty good resources.  Many others agreed as well.  I look at the interactions on my Twitter account and I see that people are retweeting and bookmarking these resources.  As an aside, I was wondering why my account was in English – and when I check my settings LOLKATZ is missing as a language.  Such is the price of using something marked Beta.

If I dig back just a little further, I see a resource that I had shared even earlier.  It’s a two thumbs up, five star, red ribbon, gotta have blog post from Sue Waters.

Getting More Out Of Student Blogging

But it’s not all about me.  Those are my humble contributions.  I’m reading and checking out resources from other Ontario Educators for which I have a great of respect.

That’s but the tip of the iceberg.  I could crop and paste all day long with the spectacular list of sharing that was happening.

Where else could you even begin to get this type of professional learning?  I think of the traditional view of learning which involved a book and I smile … how long does it take to research and write that book?  After it’s published, how much is dated?  Does that book include articles that are recent?  Yeah? How about within the past 24 hours?  How could I share a passage with that article with members of my department – oh, yes, go to the photocopier and put copies in their mailbox.  Tell me how I can get that richness from London, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Stratford, Toronto, or London again that immediately.  Given those challenges, I suppose Perth (and not the Stratford or Ottawa one) would be totally out of the question.

And yet, we all are doing it, doing it well, and doing it daily.  We’re vetting, filtering, researching, sharing, and learning daily.

That, folks, is what it’s all about.  The topping?

It’s a little Twitter message from an individual in Luxembourg who I’ve never met but certainly hang on his posts and have had many interactions.

For the moment, take out the @dougpete reference.  It’s only important for the few seconds that Gust took to post the message.

Can you insert your own name there?  If you can, you’re doing it right.

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Give a Little; Get Back a Lot

Recently, I had blogged about how to create Big Data Sets.

At the core of the post was reference to the website  For Computer Science teachers, this can be a real timesavers.  Rather than create significant test data files, use the utility here to generate data for you … lots of data.

It comes back with big value for me!

It ended up being included in a Pearltree by drbazuk.  By following the link, it opened up a huge collection of resources about big data!

The point of this post is to pay it forward to my readers.

If you’re looking for articles, resources, or discussion about big data, check out this Pearltree.  Make sure you tuck it away in your Diigo, Delicious, Pocket, or Evernote account for future reference.

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New Diigo Extension

During my morning reads today, I ran across this story about Google’s London Web Labs.  “With more than 5m visitors so far, Google’s London Web Lab experiments are still going strong“.  As per my normal habits, I thought the story was interesting for me, might be for others, and it’s something that I would want to keep around for later.  So, I shared it to Twitter with the share function on Zite.

Ever looking for automation, the story caught the attention of my account which tagged it as such and tucked it away into my Diigo account.  Normally, that’s where it would sit until I would get back to it later on.  However, it had captured the attention of @pbeens who read the story and added it to his fabulous collection of Google A-Z resources.

I’d become a little lazy lately allowing to take care of things for me.  While it does do a great job of capturing the links that I share to Twitter, the one area that it falls down is in the concept of tagging.  I have to have the sticktoitiveness to go back in and add my own tags so that resources that I’ve tucked away into Diigo are easily located after the fact.  I’ll blame it on the cold that never ends – I’ve been bad lately and haven’t been doing the retro-tagging thing.  I’ve got to get better and get back into the swing of things.

Oh well.

As it turns out, later in the day through other means, I had run across the announcement of Google Code Jam 2013.  I headed to the Diigo bookmark in the tool bar to do the deed and, as it turns out, spent some time doing something that I should have done about a week ago.  You see – Diigo had updated its extension (as shown by the NEW button on it) and I hadn’t explored it.


“Bookmark & Annotate” was why I used Diigo in the first place.  “Read” later could be handy.  “Share” is pretty much taken care of with Twitter and posting to this blog and my Blogger Blog.

But, it was the “Screenshot” that really caught my interest.  It turns out that you can now send images to your Diigo account.  You appear to have two choices – just send the image or attach the image to the original link.  I gave that a shot and like what I see.

Why is this good?  It’s just a thumbnail, right?  Yes, but most resource sharing now includes images – check your Pinterests, Rebelmouses, etc.  It’s just that nicely added visual that will job your memory as to why you bookmarked it in the first place.  I’m liking that feature right off the bat!

I guess I’m going to have to get back into the swing of things and get serious about what I’m doing with my bookmarks.  This opens a whole new world of possibilities.  Particularly with students, if you’re using the teacher console, it gives an idea of what the resource is going to look like when they get there.



I “stumbled upon” this web page last night and sent it out via Twitter to be picked up by anyone that cared.

The story was an article showing off the photography of Art Wolfe.

They are pictures of nature.  We’ve seen many of them.  What made this collection so unique was that the imagery was of animals hiding themselves in their natural surroundings.  The first image had me hooked and I’ll admit that I spent a great deal of time looking through them.  As Tim Slack points out…

Now, the images on the web page are copyrighted so I really can’t include them here but you can see the entire collection here.  Even more images are here.

I tweeted the link out and that means that it will also appear in my Diigo account.  No problem.  The collection had me really thinking today.  Not only is it incredibly well done, but it is one of those pieces that can be scaffolded as many ways as you can imagine.

In this case, I could see:

  • Projecting the image on a screen for a class finding activity (click each image for a larger one);
  • Working in small groups to find the animals;
  • Doing some research on each of the animals.  I know that I’d never heard of a Willow Ptarmigan before;
  • Discussing the habitat shown for each of the animals.  Could they survive in another environment:
  • Taking another picture of an animal and discussing how it would hide itself in its environment;
  • Discussing why it is important to the animals to be able to hide in their environment.  Do all animals need to?

I’m sure that there are all kind of ideas that spring to mind the more you think of it.  Please feel free to share below.

Your Subject Association Doesn’t Need a Web Site

A while back, a former superintendent wanted to know if I would help the OAJE (Ontario Association of Junior Educators) with their website.  I said sure – that would be something interesting to do.

When I ran into is something that I think that happens to a lot of organizations.  Started by good intentioned people, eventually time takes its toll.  It’s difficult to keep new and interesting content up front.  If the webmaster becomes involved with other things, sometimes it can be a while between updates.  That was the case here.  It’s nobody’s fault; it just happens.

The good news is that there were a core group of people who wanted to get something moving.  It wasn’t my intention to become the next life-long webmaster so I offered group collaborative approach instead.  It’s not a new concept, the ACSE (Association of Computer Studies Educators) has done this for a while.

What’s interesting is that, these days, the computer internet using educator doesn’t limit herself to going to one site to get all information.  In fact, that location is really a portal to the collection of information.

With that in mind, I set up the following:

The organization let me run with the ideas and I met with a group of the executive in Burlington to hand over the keys.  In addition to the above, they had decided to create a Facebook presence and had elected to use Delicious rather than Diigo to share their resources.

In my mind, I think that the Google Site will serve nicely as their home base for things like publications and support for the Ontario Curriculum.  The Delicious resource will serve as a great spot for sharing online links for Junior teachers.

If you’re a teacher of the Junior Years’ student, you need to know about this.  Membership in OAJE is free and the power of the site will only come when everyone chips in and tags resources to the Delicious account.  The possibilities are there; the membership just needs to step up and help.