Is that a slice?

This was from a happenstance walk by of a session yesterday at the CSTA Conference while on my way to address some other issue.

It’s another experiment by Google and it’s directly applicable to something that we all know about – Pizza.

Screenshot 2018-07-09 at 06.12.41

Even in the descriptor above, you know that this is going to be rich in computer science.  But, it’s also fun.

We’ve all seen those Captcha things that drive you crazy.  They’re designed to make sure that it’s a human accessing websites – you get a series of pictures and you have to pick out the ones that contain a car, or a roadsign, or …. pizza?

Screenshot 2018-07-09 at 06.12.19

You’ll recognize the attributes and this is an interesting activity that lets you determine criteria and then apply it to test date to see if you can do some AI programming to determine pizza.

Of course, if you’re like me, you like to get it to test the limits and try to trick it.

All in all, the activity is good fun but it’s so rich in computer science concepts.

And, you might end up a bit hungry too.

OTR Links 07/10/2018

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


I’m not above stealing a good idea when I see one.

And, I saw one.

I was proctoring a workshop at the CSTA Conference in Omaha.  It was lead by Google presenters and dealt with the #CSFirst initiative.

In the session, there were times when the group was broken into smaller groups to work on an activity or set of activities.

We’ve all been in workshops where this is the setting.  It’s the time limit that’s important here.

How many times have you seen a presenter (or yourself) use the clock on the wall to get the timing right?  Or, the most sophisticated approach – use a countdown timer application like one of these.

That wasn’t the case here.  In this case, the presenters had a countdown timer embedded right into one of their slides that had the activity outlined.

Screenshot 2018-07-08 at 14.25.04

The timer itself?  It was actually a YouTube video!

Now, being a video, it could be immediately resized.  The advantage was that you can have the slide with the instructions and the timer right on it.  One slide to do a number of things!

When it was time to begin the activity, you just click the movie and the timer starts to play.  The instructions remain on the screen for the entire time.  It appeared to be the perfect combination and certainly looked very professional.

You can see a nice collection of YouTube timers here.  Just find one that suits your needs and embed it into your presentation and you’re good to go.

OTR Links 07/09/2018

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

My Week Ending July 8, 2018

Here’s a summary of some of the things I learned and published this week.

Readings (You can follow my daily readings as they happen here.  Here are a selected few from the past week.)

  • This is an interesting post about the Epic browser.  What I found interesting was the discussion about how the various browsers are trying to differentiate themselves to stand out from the ground.  Yet, it doesn’t seem to matter; Chrome is still way out ahead.
  • Advertising blocking if more than just blocking advertising.  Especially with a slow internet connection, there are real advantages to blocking them.
  • Dictation is really a big deal.  The announcement here is that OneNote now supports the concept.
  • Teaching children to swim would save lives.  It’s hard to disagree with that but is teaching all students feasible?
  • A legal ruling out of Detroit about literacy will leave you with your head shaking.
  • Infographics remain a wonderful way to convey a message or report results on a topic.  This article will give you some ideas as to resources to use.
  • Python programming fans will appreciate this list debunking myths about using it as a programming language…especially for beginners.
  • Bad technology — a good list
  • There is no shortage of commentary about ISTE tracking its conference attendees.  Here’s one such sharing of thoughts.
  • Install or upgrade to Linux Mint 19 and then do these things.

Blog Posts on doug … off the record

Blog Post on

  • Plan Now for #BIT18 in November (I know I shared this previously but I’ll do it again here.  Please share it with your social network and those within your district, particularly those with PD money.  I’d like to meet as many people as possible this fall.  I also get to chair the ECOO Annual General Meeting.  After a year of doing the Board of Directors online, it will be nice to see real faces of people that the organization serves.)

voicEd Radio

My on demand page can be found here.  The latest edition features blog posts from:

Technology Trouble Shooting

Problems – I’m at the CSTA conference in Omaha this week.  Two great challenges come to mind.

  1.  Omaha is in the Central Time Zone.  I like to keep up appearances with posting regularly.  What do you need to do to make sure it still appears at the right time?  Or do I bother?  It’s interesting that my phone recognized the time zone change but not my laptop.  There’e got to be a setting somewhere.
  2. Lots of restaurants have worked out a deal.  Show your conference badge and get a 10% off meals but they will add a 20% tip.  I remember a couple of years ago when we had a showdown demoing how to create mobile apps.  It was to create a tip calculator.  Too bad that we don’t have a session this week.  The above would be a terrific challenge.  In lieu of that, why not assign it to your students?


Video of the Week


My Favourite Photo of the Week

It’s official.  We’re empty nesters.  We didn’t see the babies so we don’t know how many of the 9 made it.  Just one morning and mama duck was gone.

We’re hoping to see her next year.

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Thanks for reading.