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

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?
















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!


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?

Header Images Used On This Site

This page will be updated as I add new header images.

Motorcycling in El Salvador
Motorcycling in El Salvador
House on the Beach #0271, El Salvador
House on the Beach #0271, El Salvador
A Trio of Goldfinches
Goldfinch in Thistles
View from Mt Washington
View from Mt Washington
I Hate Sand Roads!
Makerbots in Action
Makerbots in Action
Lady in Havana Smoking a Cigar
Lady in Havana Smoking a Cigar

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 derivative outlook). 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!”