This Week in Ontario Playlists - Doug Peterson’s P3


Doug Peterson is currently the past-president of the Educational Computing Organization of Ontario, an organization where he served as President in 2017/18 and was the Bring IT Together Conference Co-Chair in 2013 and 2014. In his educational past, he has been a sessional instructor at the Faculty of Education at the University of Windsor, teaching the Computer Science teachable course. He has taught Data Processing, Computer Science, Accounting, General Business Studies, and Mathematics at the secondary school level and was the Director of Business Education at Sandwich Secondary School in Lasalle, Ontario. He was also a Computers in Education Program Consultant with the Greater Essex County District School Board and before that, the Essex County Board of Education. On a temporary basis, he managed the Information Technology Department for the Greater Essex County District School Board for a time.

Doug has a love for professional learning. You’ll find him online reading, learning, and sharing what he does on Twitter. He has a passion for supporting Ontario educators and regularly highlights Active Ontario Educators on Friday mornings and their blogging efforts with a Wednesday show on voicEd Radio and a Friday "This Week in Ontario Edublogs" post.

In preparing for his P3, Doug did some new things. He said, “I love music. I have a gazillion songs on my computer, but I’ve never created a playlist before…” He narrowed down his choices to two songs for each category. Then, he chose one and went with it. He even looked up the lyrics of those songs, going through them word by word for the first time, growing an even deeper appreciation for the work in the songs.

Doug chose his nostalgic song for two reasons. The first is because he saw this movie with his parents at a drive-in theatre. He described how drive-ins would often show two movies, a double feature, but the second was a horror, so he and his brother would have to close their eyes and go to sleep for that one. Then, Doug described his 6 or 7 year old self with a brush cut yearning to play guitar. His parents first attempt, a ukulele with vinyl strings, did not quite cut it. Finally, his parents bought him a real guitar for Christmas with the promise of lessons. He went to his music teacher and, as young Doug sat to play the guitar,, his hand would not reach around the neck. His teacher accommodated the scenario, and loosened the strings, added a bridge and tuned it up. He called it a lap guitar, and that was the beginning of Doug’s playing the six string. He ultimately upgraded to an electric steel guitar and learned to play many songs in the Country and Hawaiian music genre. He still has that steel guitar in a case behind a chair in his rec room, but if he gets bored or just every now and then, he’ll still pick it up and play this song. Here is Blue Hawaii from the movie by the same name, starring and performed by Elvis Presley.

Doug’s identity song reflects one aspect of his identity. He says that he came into education and the use of computers in the classroom at the right time. When he graduated, there were very few schools who were teaching computer science and data processing, but he got to do that saying, “I kind of rode the wave of technology all the way from punch cards in my first teaching assignments to using the internet and high end equipment all the way through.” Doug shared that he constantly learned things along the way and that he never wants to be done learning. Every blog post he writes, for example, may have an ending, but it can always be revisited, making it the perfect format for our guest. This song means so much to him, and one line that he pointed out that resonates with him very deeply is, “...but when they said, sit down, I stood up.” On his first podcast on voicEd Radio, he opened with this song. Here is Growin' Up by Bruce Springsteen:

Doug’s inspirational song marks the first time that we get the led out on The Personal Playlist Podcast. Doug recounted that, “This song has inspired me over the years to do a whole number of things.” It was the one song he longed to play well and a guitar solo that he dreamed of. We spoke about a cover of the song by Heart that brought tears to the band’s eyes who were watching from the audience at the Kennedy Centre Honours in 2012. This song propelled Doug to read The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, and he broke a record player trying to play this song backwards to hear the alleged hidden message. He recalled that he would gather in a car with friends on Friday and Saturday nights when he was young and listen to CKLW out of Windsor, and they would just talk and have fun except when this song came on which hushed the group. He said that it was also often the last song that DJ’s would play on their shows, and it was “...the one song that if you're driving home, you’ll go around the block a couple times so that the song plays in its entirety because it’s almost cruel to cut this off midstream; you want to be able to hear the end of it.” Even Doug’s dog loves this song because it extends their walk time.

Doug pondered the impact of creating something so powerful that it could actually change people’s lives. He drew a parallel to education with the lyrics that say, “There are two paths you can go on...there’s still time to change the road you’re on.” He noted that we have the opportunity to help students choose their paths. He also mentions the lyric about our shadows being taller than our souls, noting that it’s the most important line and that it should be a driver for people. Here is one of the most acclaimed classic rock songs of all time and one of the most famous songs by Led Zeppelin, Stairway to Heaven:

Although he’s retired, Doug continues to impact education in a variety of ways. He has presented at and been involved in the organization of a number of conferences with the Computer Science Teachers’ Association, Educational Computing Organization of Ontario, Western Regional Computer Advisory Committee's Symposium, Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning, International Society for Technology in Education, and with school districts throughout Ontario. He's also been involved in a number of regional EdCamps. Most of his digital footprint can be found at https://dougpete.wordpress.com/my-digital-footprint/. You can find Doug on Twitter or follow his show on voicEd Radio. His posts come out on Fridays on his site or just follow the hashtag #twioe.