Courier is not dead, Brandon!

I had an interesting conversation with @bgrasley recently.  He sent out an innocent enough query via Twitter:

My response?  Courier.

That does inspire me for the balance of this post.  In reality, I guess, modern computers and typefaces have more easily read alternatives.  But we programming longtimers really appreciate Courier and it’s mono-spaced format.  Back in the day, design layout was important and each character took the same amount of space on the screen, whether it needs it or not.

Primitive (by today’s standards) graphics were also best designed with this font.

Later in the day, I read Stephen Downes’ OLDaily where he pointed to a github project Untrusted which hijacked my interest for the rest of the evening.  It’s a “Javascript adventure game” and it’s all in code, javascript code.  The goal?  You modify the Javascript code so that your character can escape.  The puzzle:

and the code

surely reminded me of Courier.  Looking at the source reveals that the author used Droid Sans but it sure looks close.

Thankfully, it’s not Comic Sans.  However, I may change my choice of programming font.  I kind of like this one.

Regardless, this is a wonderful adventure puzzle.  You solve the puzzle by modifying the code in the right pane, execute your modified code, and then play the result in the left pane.

If you’re looking to up your programming experiences in the classroom and, certainly very appropriate as an ICS activity, check this out.  It will keep you thinking for quite a while.

Thanks, Brandon for this font walk.  It was fun reminiscing. 

OTR Links 05/31/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

From a spammer this week…

I know this site gives quality based articles or reviews and other information, is there any other web site which gives these kinds
of data in quality?

Why yes.  Yes, there is.  They’re called Ontario Edubloggers.  If you had looked around, you might have found these blog posts this week.

Make it a Bestseller

Paul Cornies’ blog is always a source for morning inspiration with the quotes that he shares.

On Thursday, he posted a series of quotes and one of them should absolutely be on the walls of every classroom.

Student Scientists: Can you make a rainbow?

I want to be in this class!  Jocelyn Schmidt’s class had the tools and the inquiry desired to make a rainbow in their kindergarten class.  Read this post to see how they did it.

I feel so silly…I go the traditional route and wait for it to rain and then go outside hoping to find one.


In the search for the latest and greatest digital and electronic solutions to everything, mathematics is right in the midst.  Let’s not overlook the traditional games that help learn mathematics concepts.  Mary-Ann Fuduric shares how she uses traditional games like Yahtzee and others work with her students.

After all, games are all about probability, keeping score, patterns, …  Why wouldn’t you use them?

I’ve played them all!  Missing from the list is the wonderful game Mahjongg.

Teach Like A Designer

Andrea Kerr offers a thought provoking post about UDL and how technology can meld with the traditional to create an inclusive learning environment for all students.  To support her thesis, she’s included a pair of videos that really provide some insights.  It’s not a quick read, but I think it’s one well worth the time.

The ultimate goal is important…

The teacher can therefore plan and create a positive classroom environment, free of frustrations, bias, and exclusion.

Now, if our spammer friend would only take the time to look around, he/she/it would definitely be turned on by the thoughts of Ontario Edubloggers!

Check out these posts at the links provided and wander around the complete list.  The Livebinder is shared above but if you’d like the! version, click here.

Thanks so much for those who are blogging and sharing regularly.

OTR Links 05/30/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

A Secret Door to Writing Ideas

How many times have your students written a blog post about their dog or their cat?  Looking for something new and completely different? 

Then, you need to check out “The Secret Door“.

Open the door (by pushing it with your mouse) and you’re immediately transported somewhere interesting in the world, viewing your location with Google’s Streetview.

If you’re not interested in where you land, as the Secret Door to take you somewhere else.

And, like Rod Stewart says, “Every picture tells a story”…what a great inspiration for writing. 

Have your students put themselves into the picture, or make themselves a fly on the wall watching what’s happening, or what happened just before (or after) the picture was taken?  Depending upon the picture, some research about the area may be necessary.  But, in the language or second language classroom, this just inspires.  Displayed on a data projector, it could be the start of great conversations and inquiry.  The potential is limitless!

The use in blogging is so apparent.  Capture the image to the post and then write about it!

After all, think of the stories that would be inspired by this image!

What a wonderful rabbit hole for your students to fall into for writing inspiration!

OTR Links 05/29/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

What is your blog’s personality?

I was away from the keyboard or this post would have been done yesterday!

Over the weekend, I had posted a Response to Spammers blog post.  It was just a fun little poke at the spammers that make running a blog so interesting…

As I do, the link to the blog post also appears in my Facebook timeline and it generated a couple of interesting replies.





Of course, they’re both right.  They have their own blog and they can make it be whatever they want it to be.

Your blog has a personality that comes across with every word you type, phrase you use, image you elect to show, opinion you share with others.  But your blog’s personality doesn’t stand alone.  Yes, you’re the initiator of words, thoughts, ideas, concepts, and yet there’s another side.  It’s the commenter, liker, resharer that makes it more than just a collection of words.  You send a message by the way you handle replies.

As the configurer of your blog, you can handle replies however you want.  It’s the personality and the experience that you wish to extend to your visitors.  You could:

  • leave the blog wide open to replies;
  • accept no replies at all;
  • preview all replies and make the ones that you like go public;
  • use a third party utility like Disqus to potentially have better control over spammers;
  • use a CAPTCHA to make sure that it’s a human typing the response;

Each option definitely sends a message and, ultimately, defines a personality to your blog.  It sends a message of trust, reliability, functionality, usability, …

What do you think?  If you’re a blogger yourself, what options have you chosen?  If you visit blogs, how do you feel about ones that implement one or more of the above options?

And, for Doug’s moment of inquiry this morning, what do you think is the personality of this blog?