As noted by Terry Greene, for June, July, and August I am aiming to fill his shoes in managing the Ontario Extend faculty development/enrichment experience. He’s on holiday leave to be a dad again.

For those who know and get to work with Terry, those are some extra large sized shoes.

I’ve had the fortune to know Terry since in curiosity he wandered into a “Western” DS106 class I was plotting (the class never happened but Terry rode along).

And I’ve enjoyed working with Terry on setting up the fleet of DS106 derivative web sites we built fo the Ontario Extend project: a blog syndication hub, a Daily Extend, and an Activity Bank.

Twice during May I remotely joined into the orientation sessions Terry and eCampus Ontario colleague Lena Patterson have been running as an orientation for the West cohort of Extend participants. The joke is I am in the far west as I am moved into a new location in Saskatchewan (the far far west). I’m appreciative eCampus Ontario is supporting my work from afar as I am hoping to not travel too much these days.

So I am picking up Terry’s show in supporting the people in this cohort who are working on their own path through the 6 Extend Modules. They are going at their own pace and path, but we are aiming for a post each week tied to the modules by a previous participant, we are organizing these posts as Ideas from Lead Extenders.

I’m also taking over the refueling of the Daily Extend activities. We all know it will be hard for Terry to stop, he’s brilliant at devising dailies. I’m also working on adding a few new activities in the Bank, my newest ones include:

  • Class Exploder for Teacher for Learning: “Class Exploder is an Ontario Extend activity where teachers take apart a single class plan, and piece by piece, tell the story of how it was made. Each blog post is produced and edited by a teacher who produced the materials. Using their notes, memory, influences, this activity asks teachers to delve into the specific decisions that went into creating a class plan.”
  • Archive, Analyze and Visualize Tweets with Your Own Twitter TAGS Worksheet “a Google Spreadsheet created by Martin Hawksey to automatically save copies of tweets to a Google Spreadsheet for a specific hashtag or search item. By collecting this data, the spreadsheet offers a number of ways to view a summary of the activity, including a visualized ‘Conversation Explorer'”

I’ve got ideas for more.

As Western Cohort schedule winds down in June, I’m thinking about (and taking request line calls, that was the whole start on the radio station metaphor, which I am likely rather far from right now) some ideas for things I can do/offer this summer.

  • Live Lunch Hour Sessions Terry and I talked about scheduling some mid-day (your time, not mine) drop n sessions I could run for Zoom, maybe to demo stuff, or help with technical issues, blogging, media, brainstorming.
  • As Needed WordPress Help I’ve done most of my web work in WordPress and I know it fairly well. For those wanting some help with advanced topics, especially if you are running your own version, I can help. All the Extend sites you are using are ones I have made in WordPress, and I have a collection of simple “calling card themes” and things called SPLOTs that I can help people get going. I’ll be doing a series of blog posts on various how-to that will show up on the Domains hub site.
  • Virtually Connecting Find out how to be part of this volunteer organization that aims that “extends” PD by connecting people attending conferences with others who cannot via a Google Hangout. Our own Helen Dewaard is a regular participant and expert organizer.
  • Domain Camp For those who are using hosted blog services (Blogger,, et al) and might be ready to move up to a domain where they could manage these sites (and do more), we have a number of coupon codes for getting your domain hosted with Reclaim Hosting. We could run a series of demos, activities that are summarized in our Domain Guide, but perhaps go through them together.
  • Other S-T-U-F-F. I’d be glad to help people with media creation (photography, digital imagery, audio/video editing), management of media, using tools like H5P, finding web-based tools, find and attribute open licensed content, sorting out Creative Commons, or heck, any other ideas you would like to spend some time yourself extending this summer.

Operators at station CBEX are standing by for your Summer of Extending requests (that means please leave some comments below).

Featured Image: A remix of a scene from the old TV show WKRP where they were taking requests. The relevance here is thin, but fun. I am a bit addicted to Photoshop remixing.

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


  1. The truth about the big shoe with the guy in it, “my” shoe, is that that shoe is inside a small house which is inside Alan’s huge shoe! I am loving the the look of the Extend plans for the summer!

  2. Thank you Cogdog, for sharing some of your ideas for June. I met with Terry briefly today by Zoom because I was stuck on one of the modules. I would appreciate the change to meet and discuss impressions, struggles and ideas that others are having with the modules in a scheduled Zoom session with you.

    Another idea/request is around blogging. I am very new at it and would love to have some feedback about my efforts and ideas about what I could be doing better or different. Perhaps others are in a similar place. Could we have something like a Extend West Blogger support group? Say a small group of bloggers where we give some feedback on each other’s work in some organized way?

    If I think of something more, I will add another comment! Thanks again, Irene

    1. Hi Irene, I’d be glad to schedule some Zoom time; I will not have keys to the room til June 4. I will share soon a schedule requestor site I use that takes that back and forth email of meeting planning out of the loop.

      You are doing tremendous blogging already; I’m not a believer in there being right ways to blog. It’s something you discover through practice, and over time. It took me years! A blogger support group is an interesting idea we can put into play. In teaching, I usually create blogging groups of 4 that I change up every week or 2, and ask them to provide helpful feedback to each other via comments. Having a smaller number of blogs to look at can reduce the load where there are a lot. I also ask them to consider these as field trips to see what you can learn about the way other people blog, or have their sites set up.

      Commenting on each other posts is important when you are new, it’s a case of give and receive. I published a short piece about Constructive Commenting

      Another idea we could consider is asking people to participate in a writing approach my colleague Todd Conaway coined as 9x9x25— that means 9 posts over 9 weeks of 25 sentences or more, just something each week about your teaching or an idea you are thinking through. It creates a hive of activity and ideas if there is a good mix, and it keeps you on a regular writing routine.

      Keep those ideas churning.

  3. Hello Alan and Congratulations on taking the reigns for a bit… I’m a newbie to the group and coming in a bit late so I have a lot of catching up to do. Thought my first post after a quick chat with Terry today is to say hello here. I’m sure I’ll stumble along in the next couple of days so I might DM you on Twitter for advice.

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