OTR Links 05/27/2015

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

Honest Attempts Go Bad

Sadly, the story of unrest in the public Ontario Education system continues.  You can’t read any credible online news service without a story or two devoted to the situation and the “updates”.

Even sadder, these services have allowed the general public to get involved by expressing their opinions and commenting on the stories.  Now, commenting isn’t bad, per se, but the conversations very quickly get off topic and actually quite nasty.

A couple of recent stories from the National Post demonstrate this.

Read the story to get the content and then read a few comments to see how the public is reacting.

You’d like to think that it’s an honest attempt by the publication to keep readers up to date on the latest happenings.  But, read the comments and you’ll see that the discussion quickly falls into one of name calling and the sharing of misinformation, along with a chance to throw stones at the Liberal Party, the Premier, and the Minister of Education.

Even sadder, and a commentary on literacy, is the spelling and lack of writing conventions in the replies.  I’d like to take the positive side and blame it on suggestive spelling on devices but I think we all know better.

No other work action garners the trolls and commenters than a teacher work action.  Does the public get this passionate when the local factory is involved in a work action?


It’s easy to bash teachers – we’ve all had teachers and principals that we didn’t like; we’ve all graduated from an educational system that needed to grow and change.  Things do get better over time.  I’d really enjoy being a student in today’s schools.  As blogged here before, I sure wouldn’t want us to return to the “good ol’ days“.

Over a month ago, I also blogged with the hopes that a quick solution would be found.  As we know now, that hasn’t happened.

The hatred and misinformation just continues.

In a way, the profession is its own worst enemy.  Teachers don’t just teach.  They do so much more to make the school the vibrant place that it is.  People would be well advised to read or re-read Andrew Campbell’s “Best of #MyPrep Time and #4MyStudents Tweets“.

But, you know that’s not about to happen.  Anyone with a grudge to share and internet connectivity can be selective about what she or he reads and where they elect to vent their thoughts.


OTR Links 05/26/2015

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

Transferring with Tone

I’ve been reading a lot about the new Tone extension for Google Chrome so I had to check it out.

The premise is that the extension, when installed, will send a URL from one computer using Google Chrome to another via sound.  

Now, the concept of transferring via sound isn’t new for us long timers.  If you’ve ever connected to another source via modem you’ve done it.  Who hasn’t picked up the phone line only to hear the sounds of two modems communicating?  NO CARRIER  Or, a fax machine?  

This extension gets rid of the wires!  It uses your computer’s microphone to head what another computer is sending.  The extension descriptor gives you all kinds of caveats about situations where it wouldn’t work – noisy rooms, distance, etc.  That only makes sense.  

So, I had to try it out here at the labs, er, reclining chair.  Proof of concept confirmed!

Now, there are the sort of issues that you need to be aware.  The extension doesn’t ask for permission to use your microphone; it just does it.  So, you should have a bit of concern of what else the extension is listening to!  In terms of public etiquette, a certain volume is required in order for the transfer to be successful.  Hopefully, that won’t destroy the ambience of a conversation at a coffee shop with people sharing URLs!

The bottom line here is that the innovation world is all right.  Good people thinking about new ways to push technology.  

OTR Links 05/25/2015

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