More customisations …


With the new version 77 Beta of Chrome OS comes something that I’ve wanted for a long time.

If you’re a regular reader, you know that I’ve got a thing for green themes so I’ve off to the Chrome store in search of the perfect theme. The problem is that I haven’t found the exact colour. So, I’d taken to written my own theme and applied it. Now, if you’re interested in creating your own customisation, you don’t have to go that far.

It starts at the “New Tab” page.

In the bottom right corner, you’ll find an option to Customise things that brings up this dialogue.

You can make your own clever background from stock items or upload something of your own. But, check out the bottom option for Colour and Theme.

And, if there isn’t the perfect colour and shade, head into the colour picker…

There is no longer any excuse for not having that perfect colour any longer.

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OTR Links 08/31/2019


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

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


The last week in August is always a strange one. It seems to pass so quickly, you have one last blast at Labour Day and then …

At least, there are always some great blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers to enrich the time.

Enjoy.


Podcast PD?

Up first is a post from Beth Lyons. Here, she’s wondering whether podcasting is professional development. It’s an interesting question. There are many participants in the podcasting experience.

  • the listener
  • the podcaster
  • guests to interact with the podcaster

I don’t think that there’s anyway that you can say with a blanket statement that podcasts are professional development any more than saying that all books fit the same purpose. Today, there are podcasts for just about anything and certainly not all would fit into the PD category.

So what does?

I’d suggest that one of the best sources for determining value comes from ETFO in their guide to elementary educators.

Make your plan an extension of the professional development you are already doing.

If you can find a podcast that meets that guide, I can’t think of any reason why you would even ask the question.


Standardized bodies < Accepting & Celebrating Difference

It’s always been difficult to understand body differences. Especially for teenagers. It’s easy to argue that it’s much more difficult these days.

The difference?

All that you have to do is turn on the television or surf social media and before long, you’ll run into products designed to help you get that perfectly shaped body.

Laura Elliott takes on this notion and encourages readers of her post to consider the difference between being fit and being healthy.

Her discussion blows apart the notion that everyone can look the same and encourages you to look beyond that. It’s wise advice and may have you questioning the value of things like the Beep Test as a measurement for all. There are alternatives!


I Think My Neighbors Think I’m Selling Dope

This isn’t a post that I could write but Matthew Morris could – and did.

Recently, he moved and is now a part of a condo community but, according to the post, he hasn’t been accepted into that community as of yet.

In the elevator, I try to extend my courtesies with “good mornings” and “what floor?” with folks who happen to share the space with me. I’ve been met with cold responses and void eye contact.

Beyond the fact that he’s young, a person of colour, he’s a teacher. Consequently, he doesn’t go to work during the usual times in these summer months.

It’s a very personal post describing his life as he see it currently. I hope that it makes you think. Then, he does a shift and asks you to think of those students in your classroom where perhaps you have made or will make assumptions about.

He helps by having you walk in his shoes.


Nurturing Guilt

Twenty-five years is a long time to carry guilt. Fortunately, Melanie White is able to celebrate the benefits of being a mother of a child with difficulties. She describes that awful feeling of feeling of suspecting to have been responsible in some way by her actions during pregnancy.

I hadn’t really thought about this but Melanie points out that there are many types of guilt…

white guilt, colonial guilt, childhood guilt, sibling guilt, parental guilt, teacher guilt

The notion of colonial guilt is taking her focus with the Grade 11 Indigenous Studies course on her horizon. If her K-12 education was anything like mine, we didn’t know then what we know now. Now she’s teaching it as she comes to grip with it.

She’s not alone. Is she speaking for a much bigger audience across the province?


My River, My Mountain- A Day of Learning with Jennifer Abrams

I really enjoy reading educators’ reflections about their own professional learning. After all, I can’t be everywhere first hand but can live and learn vicariously. I did that with Noa Daniels’ post as the vehicle.

In this case, it was professional development with Jennifer Abrams.

Noa has identified equity as one of her personal goals for this academic year. To help her focus, she includes ten questions about her practice that deserve her focus.

I think that the list of ten questions casts the net very widely. It’s going to be a challenge to address all the questions effectively. But who doesn’t like a professional challenge.

I went through the same process once with a superintendent and he challenged me to create similar questions and then identify specific things that would let me know if I had been successful.


Podcasts on Youth Development

From Conrad Glogowski, a short blog announcement about updates to his research newsletter. Conrad encourages you to subscribe to the newsletter entitled Youth Development Today.

As a teaser, you can click through and read a couple of newsletters focused on:

  • Youth Mental Health
  • The Teenage Brain

Preserving and Listening to Soundscapes

In this post, Krista McCracken introduces us to a podcast series called Forest 404. The premise is interesting…

The podcast is set in a futuristic 24th Century, in a time after a massive data crash and in a era in which forests and much of the natural world no longer exist.

As a result, she started thinking about the concept of the Soundscape, including a bit of a history. I followed some of the links that she provides and very quickly found myself down an audio rabbit hole. Admittedly, by today’s standards, some of the resources are older but certainly the content is not dated. In fact, it may be more realistic today than when originally created.

I found the whole idea interesting. And, it made me make sure that my backups are working.


Please take some time to click through and read these original posts. They’ll definitely take you in interesting directions.

Then, follow these bloggers on Twitter to expand your learning network.

This post originally appeared on:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

It’s not the original if you read it anywhere else.

OTR Links 08/30/2019


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

Virtual desks


I’ve been a longtime user of virtual desktops on my computers. It’s my way of trying to stay sort of organized and not get confused with what I’m doing. Or at least minimizing that confusion.

Up until now, virtual desktops weren’t available in Chrome OS but a recent release now makes it possible. Here’s how.

Enable it. It’s actually something that you need to make happen before the magic happens. It’s easy enough. By now, you should know that there are many things available in the chrome://flags screen when you type it in your address bar. Search for desks and enable them.

You’ll have to reboot your computer to make it active.

Show windows. I’m not quite sure what this key is actually called. You can use it to take screenshots and also to see all the windows that are open. It’s the key just above the 6 on your keyboard! Press it.

Create a new desk

In the top right, there’s a + New desk option that lets you add a new desk to your computer. A thumbnail of each desktop will appear centred on the screen. Above, you’ll see that I have three desks open.

Choose your desk

Once you have as many desks (up to 4) that you want, select the desk that you want to use and away you go. As you work, subsequent show windows actions will show you up to date thumbnails.

Alternatively, ALT+TAB will let you cycle through desks just like you would normally switch through windows. And, if you have content on one desk that you want on another, just drag and drop it where it’s needed.

Personally, I typically have three desks in operation. Two instances of Chrome – each isolated on a particular task, and an instance of Opera open. Periodically, I’ll open another desk to run another Android option if the urge comes.

OTR Links 08/29/2019


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

Just in time


I like to read about the latest in privacy and security. I’m amazed at the ways that the bad guys try to do things to try and invade our digital lives..

So, this morning, I happened to read this article.

Spammers Targeting Google Calendar: What to Do

I’m sure that you, like me, get a bunch of spam messages that come along and Gmail does a pretty good job of catching them. This was a new angle – attacking your calendar by injecting advertising?

I flipped over to my calendar and, sure enough, there were some messages that had been added. Something about having won an iPhone or something. Of course, I didn’t click to read more. Who knows what the destination of that link might bring.

But I was impressed that the spammer didn’t use an apostrophe to show plurals.

I had the previous article open in another tab so I went in, followed the instructions, and made the change.

I flipped back to the calendar and the invitation was gone.

Or, was it?

I went back to the settings and got rid of the setting that prevented displaying the invitation and then back to the calendar. It’s back. The setting apparently only stops it from being displayed.

Back I went to stop it from being displayed. Out of sight, out of mind.

This was a new twist for me. Of course, the cardinal rule about not clicking unfamiliar links still applies. Maybe now more than ever.

That cleaned out the invitations in my Google Calendar on the desktop. However, Calendar on the phone still showed them. I tried refreshing the calendar but the events remained. I looked for the routine I had followed above but those options weren’t available on the phone. Grrrrr.

So, I opened one of the invitations and noted that it was a recurring invitation. My solution was to delete this and all of the recurring events.

Of course, a ran a virus and malware scan afterwards and got no notifications.

I figure that, if it could happen to me, it could happen to a lot of people. Hopefully, the coders will start to identify these as spam and keep them away from everyone’s calendars.

Make the bad guys move on.