Program or Website for Creating a 3D Gamified Literacy Test Prep Environment?

I’ve received a request from an English teacher who has an excellent idea for a program for her students. Here is her request:

I have an idea and am looking for a program to make it happen. I want to create a 3D virtual world that I can use to gamify lit test prep. I want to be able to embed challenges – or links to bring them out of the world to complete tasks. I would ideally like them to have an avatar that can wander around and find the challenges that are hidden throughout the world, and want to add layers of badges / points, etc. as well as mastery learning. I have the idea in my head, but might you know of a good program I can use to create it. Ideally there will be minimum programming as I know limited HTML but would prefer something that does the coding for me. I am happy to pay for the program, but if there is a free one that would be great too.
I can figure out how to make it happen with 2D but would ideally like 3D.
Any suggestions would be appreciated. 🙂

Continue reading “Program or Website for Creating a 3D Gamified Literacy Test Prep Environment?”

I Hate Sand Roads!

Added as a header photo for this site.

Don’t worry, no riders were injured in the making of this photo!

After getting the bike vertical again, I elected to ride on the grassy patch along the side of the road. It was much easier!

ACSE Conference Reminder

I’m just reminding Computer Studies and Computer Technology teachers about the ACSE conference coming up on Saturday, February, 25th at the Seneca@York campus of Seneca College, Toronto.

We’ve got a great lineup for both subject areas, including sessions on the Raspberry Pi, Vex Robotics, Arduinos, Internet of Things, Hummingbird robotics, computer security, Python, Database & Data Science, software testing, Swift, and more.

Registration is just $90 (or $45 for student teachers and retirees), but only until February 17 (this Friday), after which it goes up to $110/$55.

Some of you have asked if you can bring students along, and we think that’s an excellent idea! Just register them using the lower rate of $45 (or $55 after the early-bird rate deadline).

For further details (location, parking, schedule, etc.), see http://www.acse.net/conferences/2017.

I hope to see you there!

Let’s Go Phishing!

In the spirit of yesterday’s Safer Internet Day

I often get asked which is better — Gmail or Hotmail (or its derivatives outlook or live.ca). The answer for me is so easy: Gmail, and one of the reasons is because it handles phishing attempts so much better than Hotmail.

I only log into my Hotmail account once a month or so, just to keep it alive. This time, there were approximately 20 emails in my inbox. A few were legitimate security alerts created by my Google account, a few were from Microsoft trying to sell me something or other, but the rest (over half) were phishing attempts — bogus emails attempting to get me to click a link where they would prompt me to reveal private details such as account numbers or passwords. Continue reading “Let’s Go Phishing!”

Tell Me About Yourself! (Student Assignment)

Many months ago I bookmarked a blog post entitled “What I want my teachers to know about me” with the intent of adapting the concept for my own classes.

In the original post, the teacher (@Allanahk) had each of her students create a slide in response to “five things my new teacher needs to know about me”. As much as I loved the idea, I wanted my students to have more privacy with this assignment so they’d be more likely to share.  So instead, I created a master template in Google Slides that each student would use, with the following prompts: Continue reading “Tell Me About Yourself! (Student Assignment)”

Clean Dictionary File for CS Classes

For Computer Science teachers that need a “clean” dictionary file, here is one that I have on my GitHub account you can use:

The file was created as a student project by taking a “dirty” dictionary found online and using it to programmatically remove all the inappropriate words from a complete dictionary file, such as this one.

Article: How (and why) to use Google Photos on your iPhone or iPad

Article source: https://goo.gl/OyllG4

Installing Google Photos on your mobile device is a recommendation I make to all my students.

If you take pictures with your smartphone, it’s silly not to use Google Photos. At a minimum, it serves as a safe backup for all your photos, at no cost to you. A bonus is that Google Photos creates cool content of some of your images, including instagram-stylized photos, animations, and collages. Continue reading “Article: How (and why) to use Google Photos on your iPhone or iPad”

A Trio of Goldfinches

This picture, I’ll admit, was a total accident. I was shooting through some thick brush which, being so out of focus, ended up giving this photo a ghostly, swooshy feel. It wasn’t what I was expecting at all, but I like the effect.

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A Trio of Goldfinches