Popup HTML Generator

I recently had some discussions about updating a webpage to include popups for a number of organizations that were listed on a page. It got me thinking about how I could write a program that would efficiently generate the HTML instead of having to manually code it.

I’ve also been thinking lately about getting back into programming with Delphi, a language I used many years ago that is perfect for quickly creating little utilities.

Here’s the result:

Popup HTML Generator

It’s nothing fancy, but it will suit my needs should the task come up again.

If you’re interested in downloading the program for yourself, it can be downloaded from here. Because it’s written in Delphi, there’s no setup required and the program should run portably on most systems (Windows only).  Just save it to the folder you’d like to run it from, like your desktop.

If you’re interested in the source code, shoot me an email and I’d be glad to  share it.

Use of Diigo for Sharing Student Website Reviews

Diigo Student Reviews on Diigo

One of the things I like to do in class is to ask students to find supplemental resources on the web for the topic we are covering, especially tutorials.

To share what they find, I normally create a shared Google Doc where the they write a review of the resource. For each review, I ask them to concentrate on the following criteria:

  • Educational value
  • Organization of website (or page)
  • Suitability to our class
  • Aesthetics

These reviews have always been private, for good reason, since the document includes the students’ names.

This morning I received an email from a teacher requesting access to one of those documents. I can’t grant the teacher access to the document because of the privacy concerns, but I do want to be able to share the content. So what to do…

I’ve been using Diigo, a social-bookmarking site, for many years.  It now has somewhere around 10,000 shared bookmarks in it, with bookmarks for many of my classes, including Communications Technology, Computer Studies, and Computer Technology, as well for general interest topics such as Cool Tech. Why not put the students’ website reviews on there as well?

So I started with the specific reviews that the teacher wanted access to: Flash. I simply visited each site the students had found to confirm it still exists, bookmarked it by using the Diigo Chrome extension, and added the relevant tags (like “Flash” and “tutorial”) along  with a new one: “Student Review”.

So now if someone wants to see resources my students have found, they can simply visit my Diigo account and enter “Student Review” in the search bar at the top. If they want to drill down further, they can click on the additional tag on the left to focus the search results to a certain class or topic.

I’m not going to immediately go back into all the previous reviews my students have created to update my Diigo account, but certainly going forward I’ll make it part of my protocol.

I hope this encourages other teachers to check out the resources I’ve bookmarked on Diigo (there are many!), but I also hope it encourages others to do something similar with the supplemental resources they find or use in class. I often say we’re all behind closed doors essentially doing similar things, so why not learn from each other by sharing?

Do you have a Diigo (or del.icio.us) account you’d like to share? Do you think this tip is useful? Any suggestions for making this process better? Any other comments?

 

PenFinancial Video Scholarship Contest

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Sprowt.ca is pleased to offer our Video Scholarship Contest, giving students in Niagara an opportunity to win some cash. Each year, PenFinancial Credit Union gives away $4,000 in scholarships to local students.

All students have to do is submit a video (under two minutes in length) outlining why they’re passionate about their chosen program of study. In other words, “what do you want to be when you grow up and why”? Details for the Sprowt Video Scholarship Contest can be found here!

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Website Updates 2017-05-01

For anyone interested in the latest pages I’ve added to the website…

OCTE Annual Conference 2017


Reposted from an email from OCTE…

OCTE Annual Conference 2017 – May 11th to 13th at the Hilton Meadowvale in Mississauga 
 
Early Bird Deadline is this Friday April 28th!
OCTE Members should please register by this Friday to be eligible for the special price of $395 (including HST).  
Please note that you should receive a conference registration confirmation email to the address you indicated at the end of registration.
 
 
Click here to book hotel reservations at our special OCTE hotel rates (not included in conference registration pricing).
 
OCTE Conference Elementary Workshop – Saturday May 13th at the Hilton Meadowvale in Mississauga
 
Our elementary workshop is nearly sold out (only 18 spaces left!).  Please click here to register for the day (only $100!).  Click here for the Elementary Day Agenda.  
 
OCTE Annual General Meeting & Executive Nominations
 
We will be hosting our AGM at the conference on Friday May 12th at 3:15pm.  Nominations are now open for the following positions on the OCTE Executive: Secretary, Treasurer, Vice Chair – Secondary, Vice Chair – Elementary.  Our updated OCTE Constitution includes role descriptions (refer to Page 7).  
 
Click here to submit a nomination form to join the OCTE Executive.   Nominations are due by Friday May 12th at 7:30am and speeches will take place that day between 12:00pm – 1:10pm.
Thank you and looking forward to seeing you at the conference in just over two weeks!

Dave Lewis
Chair of OCTE
lewisd@hdsb.ca

Lady in Havana Smoking a Cigar

My latest website header image.  (The header images are chosen at random from this collection.)

Lady in Havana Smoking a Cigar
Lady in Havana Smoking a Cigar

The picture was taken in Havana, Cuba, in December 2012 using a Nikon 1 J2 mirrorless camera with a 10-30 mm lens.

WordPress Test Post via Google Docs

This is a quick test post using the new WordPress extension for Google Docs:

This morning I got excited by one of @dougpete’s tweets, specifically:

http://WordPress.com Unveils Google Docs Extension for Collaboration http://flip.it/SNPVUw via @flipboard

The extension being profiled is available here. Without reading any instructions, I installed it and proceeded to do this quick test.

Let’s see how it performs using images. This image has been copied and pasted in from the web.

What about tables?

A

B

A+B

0

0

0

0

1

1

1

0

1

1

1

1

I’m going to go ahead and post this directly from Google Docs and then provide some feedback below. Let’s see how it does!


Observation

While it did an adequate job of posting all the normal text, it botched up some indented text I had, it did not include the picture, and messed up the widths of my table.

This is how the above section should have looked:

WordPress Test Post via Google Docs (as seen in Google Docs)
WordPress Test Post via Google Docs (as seen in Google Docs)

Conclusion? This extension is not ready for prime time, unfortunately. For plain text documents, it’s fine, but for anything more complex than that then you might as well just compose your posts in WordPress directly.

Too bad…

My Last 10

Recently, Doug Peterson responded to a challenge by Alec Couros and challenged others to do the same:

If you were summed up by your last 10 tweets or FB posts, what would that look like?

It sounds like an interesting way to reflect on the content I post, to see if posting enough to benefit my followers, and if the content is appropriate to my intended audience.

So here goes…

Like Doug, a few of my posts are auto-created from the paper.li website, a service that consolidates content posted by those I follow on Twitter into a web newspaper. It’s a great service, one I admit I don’t take enough advantage of to see what great things are going on out there.

A few of my posts are PD-related, as I like to share things I learn in PD sessions or to contribute content, as I did in the #dsbnmakers session I attended last night.

One post is about Ontario’s latest financial literacy initiative, one that I’m glad to see happening.

And the remainder seem to be Google-related, as it’s well-known that I’m a fan of Google and many of the products that they provide.

I admit, there were a high number of auto-created paper.li posts in my last 10 tweets, but we can blame my birthday and a plumbing problem at my house for distracting me a bit this weekend…

What about you? What do your last 10 tweets say about you?