Shutting Down Or Why There Are So Many Patches


When you teach computer science, one of the key important things is the testing of the student created applications.  To make your point, you test the limitations of the program and do things like asking it to divide by zero or type a letter when the prompt is supposed to be looking for a digit or ask the program to do a calculation that exceeds the capacity of the computer or …

Why?

Because, “in the real world”, people want your software to work perfectly.

We all know that perfection isn’t necessarily our reality.  If you actually read the updates that are pushed out by your software developer, you may have been curious to find out what a Buffer Overflow is.  Fortunately, good software developers have a mechanism for collecting feedback about problems, analyse it, and then issue an update to fix the problem, if warranted.

This past week has been an embarrassing one for Apple.  They’re known for hardware and software that “just works”.  Apple fans will proudly proclaim this is what separates their products from the rest.

So, it was big news when a stream of text characters could be sent via text message and cause the receiving iPhone to shut down.

It was big news everywhere.

This is but a quick sampling.  You can tell the level of technology expertise with the various news sources in how deeply they investigate and report this.  Regardless, it’s not a good news event for Apple.

And, what do you do for a big news event like this?  Document it with a YouTube video, of course.  You have lots of offerings to choose from.

The good news is that Apple is actively working on a fix for this.  There’s rumours of at least a patch that’s available.  I don’t own an iPhone so can’t confirm it.  If you do, and are notified of an update, you should apply it as soon as possible.  It’s been a great fun event in schools with reports of people sending friends the message.  Obviously, students are skipping the advice that “just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should do it”.  I guess everyone should have a proof of concept moment.

Supposedly, this is the text that causes the event.  Again, I can’t confirm this.

صّبُلُلصّبُررً ॣ ॣh ॣ ॣ

So, in other news of problems comes Alfred Thompson’s post about Windows LiveWriter not working with his Blogger account.  In this case, he was using software that had stopped being developed.  It’s a real shame since it really is the best (in my opinion) offline blog editor.  Because it is no longer supported, his options now are limited.  Either he’ll have to use another blog editor or he’ll have to change his blog host to something that does support it.  It’s a real problem for him but shows the concerns of working with software or hardware that is no longer supported by the original developers. In this case, it appears as though a relatively simple patch would resolve the issue.

It’s the price that we, as users, pay for having the latest and greatest tools.  If only things were so simple like a 1984 iPhone.

 

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OTR Links 05/31/2015


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

Resources for Creatives


In the big time-suck that is the internet it can take forever finding and then getting so sidetracked in the search for the perfect resource.

Of course, we know that the secret is to create a collection of bookmarks.  Then, organize them by subject area.  Then, when you need them, they’re all there.

For you.

Those that know me know that I’m a big fan of the Portal concept.  But, it’s got to be purposeful and functional and not just a mish-mash of stuff so that you can say that you have a portal.

It’s the purposeful part that really intrigued me when I read this article on Medium “How I Got 345k Page Views In Just 7 Days“.  The product is an interesting take.

I think we’ve all seen a portal designed for mathematics or science or social sciences, or …

How about a “Portal for Creatives”?  That’s what you’ll find when you click through to Makerbook.

It’s an intriguing and, I think, a very useful concept for this sort of thing.

Touted as “A hand-picked directory of the best free resources for creatives”, this isn’t your typical endless collection of links.  Each of the categories are a short collection of very useful resources for the creative technology user.  Each of the resources has a small review so that you’re not necessarily going to waste your time clicking through and being disappointed.

Access to these resources is very quick.  I really like both the concept and its implementation.

Considered it bookmarked here and I would encourage you to take a look at it for yourself.  Do you see it fitting into your workflow and productivity?

It’s a collection of the best of the best from the developer’s perspective and all of the resources are free.

OTR Links 05/30/2015


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

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


There were huge events happening in Ontario Education this past week and there’s more to come.  Those who would be naysayers would be well advised to get both sides of the picture before making decisions.  Blogging and sharing leadership thoughts and ideas are a standard with Ontario Educators.  Here’s some of what I read this past week.


Learning Perspective at Soccer

Kristi Keery Bishop writes a wonderful post that should make you stop, look around, and realize that things could certainly be different if you’re walking in someone else’s shoes.

It’s an important message to remember the next time you feel the need to complain about anything.


Three Easy Tips for Teachers on Twitter

It’s hard to believe in 2015 that there are teachers who still do not use Twitter or they do have a Twitter account and do not use it or they do have a Twitter account and use it so superficially that they might as well not have it. Rusul Alrubail shares a delightful post on Medium highlight three ways to not use Twitter in just a passive mode but to dive right in and take control of things that affect your professional life.

Messages like this should be shared and reinforced.  Collaboration and continuous professional growth and reflection can only improve the profession.


How To Become An EdTech Leader

Then, when you’re ready to take it to the next step, send them over to Brandon Grasley’s blog.

This post deals with his presentation at the On the Rise conference.  When you’re connected and learning, it really does become addictive.  The content here will help when the inevitable questions “What more can I do?” or “What else is there?” arises.

It’s a good, well argued thesis for what Brandon thinks a leader should be.

The only thing that I would add is “Don’t stop”. How many times do you see dormant blogs and social media accounts?

I think that the best of the leadership community could learn so much from leaders like Brandon.  As they say, keep on keeping on.


PB and J

No, this is not a luddite confessional.  Eva Thompson uses the PB and J metaphor in a nice way.  I can see her point; there are so many messages about being progressive and cutting edge with the use of technology that they could be interpreted as public shaming for those who might not be using them on a particular day.

Instead, Eva says, you need to have a balanced approach and use the proper tool at the appropriate time.

I totally get her message.  In my computer science classroom, I always kept a wide selection of magazines, games and other non-computer activities to bring out at the appropriate time.

There’s no need to feel the shame; I think gold badges should be awarded for mixing things up when it’s appropriate.

Great reality check post, Eva.


Walk the Walk

All of the posts featured this week seem to have a nice theme of reflection on the practice.  Colleen Rose’s post continues that them (and also includes some of her personal artwork.)

Thanks, @ColleenKR, Northern Art Teacher Blog

The whole post is focused on her thoughts around one guiding question “When I began teaching, did I stop learning?”

She tells a story of amplifying her own students’ voice and somehow her Director of Education got involved.

I hope that there’s more coming; she seems to be really encourage a mindset of growth and inquiry both personally and with her students.


Cancellation of 2015 EQAO tests

On the People for Education blog, Jacqui Strachan asks the question:

The Education Quality and Accountability Office has announced that this year’s EQAO tests will be cancelled in school boards affected by the teachers’ work-to-rule campaign and strikes. I’d like to hear what people think the impact will be. Will it affect classroom teaching and learning? What will happen to the reliability of the data collected this year? Is it a concern that some students will be writing the tests, while others will not be participating? Please share your thoughts.

There are some initial reactions to this.  Got a moment?  Add yours.


Thanks, everyone, for continuing to model the professionalism that is the teaching profession.  Great articles here, please click through and read them in their entirety.  You can read the entire collection of Ontario Edubloggers here.  If you’re blogging and not on it, complete the form and you will be.

OTR Links 05/29/2015


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

CSTA 2015 Conference Announcement – UT Dallas Outing


Calling all 2015 conference attendees!

As we are nearing the final weeks until CSTA 2015, we’d like to highlight an added bonus to our attendees. All conference attendees are invited to join us on Monday, July 13, 2015, for an evening gathering at the University of Texas, Dallas from 5-8:00 pm. After Monday’s workshops conclude, be prepared to relax and mingle. Transportation will be included to and from the conference, as we enjoy the hosted reception, dinner buffet and tour.

With more than 1,300 bachelor’s-degree students, 1,100 master’s students, 150 PhD students, and 75 faculty members, UT Dallas computer science department is one of the largest CS departments in the US, offering a broad range of courses in almost every area of computer science and software engineering at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Come and learn about our exciting research on cyber security, intelligent systems, data sciences, computer algorithms, computer networks and more. Learn about the largest University-based K-12 computer science outreach effort in the country, and our unique mentoring model that ensures that students actually learn.

Please join the UT Dallas Department of Computer Science faculty and students for an enlightening evening of conversation and computing project demos.

You must pre-register for this event, which you may do while you’re registering for the conference at: http://www.cstaconference.org