A developer browser

I was doing some reading the other day and one of the articles was about browsers that were based on the Chromium project. I was kind of pleased that I knew about most of them and have, in fact, many installed on this computer. I rotate through them to test out new features, etc. I’m always impressed with how each browser adds value to time spent online and how they push each other to add new features. Those of us who were online a long time ago know that our choices were very limited.

I ran into this new-to-me browser – Blisk.

Blisk is the first developer-oriented browser. It provides businesses with a development workspace for the teams and freelancers to develop and test modern web applications twice faster.

I was intrigued with the overview. It’s designed to assist those who are website developers. I don’t do a lot independently these days from scratch but spend time in Google Sites or WordPress. And yet…

From the description, it reminded me of the golden age of development with Adobe Dreamweaver. You could work with and inspect code and then see it immediately all in a single program. But, times have changed and working for the desktop browser isn’t the only game in town.

Imagine working on a project and seeing what it looks like immediately in another completely different device.

Once you get past the initial screen with every iPhone model I could think of, I found the Samsung collection and my S7.

With Blisk, I was able to see my desktop version and a mobile version at the same time. I could rotate it to landscape mode to check out the looks there. Staying in the main window, I could scroll there and the phone would show it’s equivalent at the same time. It just followed me along.

The inspector lets me observe the elements that go into producing the content. If you apply for a Blisk account, you’re able to take and save screen captures with a number of options.

Since I do spend most of my time in a CMS, this isn’t a tool that I would use regularly but I found it really interesting to explore and learn about the “how” the content gets to the screen. For people that do a lot of big graphics or those annoying widgets, I suspect that seeing how they monopolize screen space on a smaller device would be helpful.

Since Blisk is based on Chromium, there’s very little learning that needs to be done to get up and browsing. The other tools unique to Blisk and developing content are fascinating and having them all on the same screen is very engaging.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Good Friday morning.

Why not get a little smarter by reading some of these blog posts from great Ontario Edubloggers?

If Ever There Was A Time….

It’s the spring of the year, and under normal conditions, things would be ramping up towards graduation celebrations in schools. In this post from Sue Bruyns, she reflects on what it might look like for Grade 8 students. It’s a big deal to move from Grade 8 to Grade 9.

That’s not the only graduations that happen in our schools though. There’s kindergarten graduations as they move to Grade 1. Grade 12 students moving to whatever is next for them. Colleges and universities graduate students from there as well. And, quite frankly, there’s a sense of celebration at the end of any grade level as students move on to the next.

Depending upon the school, Sue describes a range of ways that formal celebrations take place. Even in Sue’s district there are a number of different types of celebrations, often based on history and also economics. Another set of big events are the big school trip as well.

So, Sue wonders if this is the opportunity for school districts to sit back and consider just what is happening at this time of year. Is it time to change the “business as usual” format to something more consistent. It’s an interesting look and topic to consider. I’m sure that Sue would appreciate hearing from you and what’s happening in your school.

Still Making an Impact- Even from Home

In many classrooms, things are quite different and often teachers and students are learning from day to day. I’ve heard reports from some teachers that there are students who aren’t checking in as often as they might. I heard it first hand from a couple of kids that dropped by for a patio visit “We didn’t do anything … it’s boring!”

Noa Daniel has long used this very sophisticated approach for students doing their research and presenting results to classmates. This year, the focus is on the 17 Sustainable Goals. Since we live in different times, the regular face-to-face mode just won’t happen. Instead, elements of this might well be face-to-Zoom. They’re going to experience first hand what it looks like to present to the audience in this different mode!

The other thing that is apparent when you try to visualize this is that is not a short term event. There are many different things that are happening here and a student shouldn’t want to miss a step along the way. Noa’s approach has always intrigued me; it will be interesting to see how it plays out in today’s reality.

In addition to all of the planning that Noa shares, she includes a nice collection of student observations. They get it.

Tying The Room Together

Terry Greene’s post is an opportunity for his to tie together a couple of posts he’s addressed in the recent past.

What impresses me about this post and the two previous ones is Terry’s focus on providing opportunities for students to share their voice.

It’s not something that we normally associate with higher education. I know that my own experience was rewarding but in a different, more traditional way.

As you work your way through Terry’s post, you’ll note all kinds of links to supporting documents and observations/recordings.

If you follow one link, I’d suggest this one to a slidedeck.

Here are the slides again from the session. The simple goal was to talk a bit about the who, what, when, where, why, how of it all and then to do it for real in a mini-interview from start to finish with the same mini-interviews we used in the Ideate session so that attendees could see it happen live.

Love in the time of COVID-19

You know, my heart goes out to Heather Swail. She’s been very open about the things that have happened this year, her last year, in education. First there was all the work stoppages and now the whole teaching at home thing.

I follow Paul McGuire on Instagram and lately he’s been posting pictures of their walks showing off the empty streets. It looks lonely, sad, and yet very artistic.

Back to Heather, this is a heart-warming post describing how she celebrated a birthday, a very special birthday. Head over to read how she celebrated the event and some of the unique gifts that she received.

And while you’re there – wish her a Happy Birthday.

Animal Crossing New Horizons – Popularity and Possibilities

From Diana Maliszewski, a rather long blog post but it’s OK because she posted it to three of the blogs that she contributes to.

Never having played the game, I found her post and description both engaging and intriguing. She calls the use of the game as cross-generational in its appeal. I was quite impressed with the 3D representation and lifelike depiction of characters in the game. It’s a long way, at least in appearance, from Minecraft, her previous love.

Of real interest to me was her observation about the values that are conveyed via the environment.

What does it mean to be a good citizen? This message is shared in so many ways in ACNH. Good citizens pick up litter, like fallen branches. They chat with their neighbours and bring them medicine when they are sick. They are active and wander the island. They donate items to the museum. They contribute to the prosperity of the island by buying and selling items from regular vendors (Timmy and Tommy, the Able Sisters) as well as visiting salespeople (CJ, Flick, Leif, Kicks, and even “shifty” characters like Redd the Fox who sells authentic and fake pieces of art). 

I think any activities, even games that engage, and can work values into themselves should deserve a second look.

Overwhelming Resources

Right now, you can see organizations and people with websites publishing lists of resources for classroom use during learning at home initiatives.

Quite often, little thought goes into the curation of these. Here’s a link, here’s a link, here’s another link, … I addressed the concept of privacy of email addresses in a product (Private Relay) under development by Mozilla in my blog post yesterday.

Michelle Fenn’s post on the Heart and Art Blog took me back to the days when I evaluated and shared resources with my colleagues for a living. It’s not a copy/paste activity. There are so many things that you really should consider before your recommend others use it and have them used with children. Privacy, cost, longevity, and much more. Michelle has a list of 10 things that people need to consider while evaluating a resource.

I would add one point that I always argued strongly when I was on the OSAPAC Committee and that the language needs to be Canadian with Canadian spelling. I strongly objected to recommending a product that would have a student sit down and be faced with text written in another language.

I really like that Michelle considers Canadian software developers first (which should but doesn’t always result in Canadian spelling) and importantly that any information is stored on servers in Canada.

How to Edit Auto-Generated Captions in YouTube

Jen Giffen got a request from Noa Daniel about how to turn on captions in a YouTube video. I thought that it might be helpful to others to know how it’s done and so brought it forward here.

It’s a short video with a whoops to prove that Jen is indeed human but will step you through the process.

Don’t you feel smarter now?

I hope that you clicked through and enjoyed the posts and learned a little something in the process.

Now, make sure you follow these great folks on Twitter.

  • Sue Bruyns – @sbruyns
  • Noa Daniel – @noasbobs
  • Terry Greene – @greeneterry
  • Heather Swail – @hbswail
  • Diana Maliszewski – @mzmollytl
  • Michelle Fenn – @Toadmummy
  • Jen Giffen – @VirtualGiff

This post appears on:


If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.


This morning, I ran across this story.

Here Are 20 Questions From “Family Feud” – Can You Guess The Number One Answers?

Of course, I had to play.

I also marvelled at two of the hosts that were absolutely amazing as hosts- Richard Dawson and Steve Harvey. According to the Wikipedia, there were others but these are the two that stand out in my mind. They were funny and yet had the ability to come across shocked at some of the silly answers.

I remember doing many a workshop where we talked about doing Jeopardy-style games in the classroom. For some reason, we didn’t do any Family Feud ones though. I decided that I was going to sit down and create one.

But first – surely if this a good idea, there must be someone who has done this before.

And there was. There are many people who have done it and there are posts talking about the “Top” Family Feud games. I settled for this one on the tekhnologic blog. I thought it was nicely designed for display in Powerpoint and it imported nicely into Google Slides for those that are looking for a web solution. And, it’s dead simple to use.

Just import the slide into your slide deck, duplicate the slide for each question and away you go. Complete instructions are in the tekhnologic blog post.

The comes the questions. Unlike Jeopardy where there’s one right answer, you’re looking for the most popular answer to score the most points. Of course, in the classroom, you’re looking for educational questions and answers. But it could be a little recreational too. Here’s a starter collection.

What’s intriguing is that this plays nicely on an computer and so you could share your screen to everyone in the class. Divide into teams or pairs for answers. Or, involved parents.

It’s just an idea for something a little different.

And, to help you get your Steve Harvey on…

And, in case you were wondering about the initial puzzle – 17/20

Look up

One of our favourite summer activities is going out to the back yard when it gets dark and before the mosquitoes come out and just look up. You see, we’re on a flight path(s) into Detroit Metro Airport. When the conditions are right, they can be pretty much straight over head.

Above and beyond airplanes though, periodically we’ll see something much higher and more interesting. We’ve always suspected some sort of satellite or maybe even the International Space Station.

Now, we can know for sure by visiting the website https://james.darpinian.com/satellites/.

Tomorrow night, or better Thursday morning, we might be able to see a fly-by.

The link provided takes you to the Wikipedia for more details.

This is one of those sites that requests your location and, for truly relevant results, you’ll give it. For the paranoid or for other locations, the earth is movable.

Now, honestly 3:58 is probably out of the question but 5:31 is definitely doable.

Kind of related, I found this piece of information quite interesting if you enjoy spacial objects.

Mile-wide asteroid to pass close to Earth Wednesday

So, Microsoft settles it?

I don’t know how many, if any, people have boycotted my blog because I put a double space at the end of a sentence. I took Typing in Grade 9 and Grade 10 and it was part of my teachable option at the Faculty of Education. I will confess that I struggled the first term in Grade 9 with Typing. Speed and accuracy are important. I had neither.

As luck would have it, at my Dad’s workplace late that fall, replaced all their manual typewriters with electric ones. Dad bought one that was being phased out and it became a Christmas gift. It was one of those old Underwood machines. It was very heavy and also became my first set of weights.

I practised and practised on that thing. I mean, it shouldn’t be that difficult to learn to type. Eventually, I made it! If memory serves me correctly, 30 words per minute was the goal in Grade 9 and a higher number in Grade 10. That, I can’t remember. What I do remember was practising by typing all my notes for a while. (except Mathematics and Science) I became very, very proficient.

The skill served me well when when I took programming courses although that opened a new set of skills. You see, in school we focused on letters and digits. Programming required all kinds of additional strokes like parentheses and brace brackets. I got pretty good at those as well.

Throughout all this, one thing remained from Mr. Renshaw’s Typing class – two spaces after a punctuation mark! I’ve seen the arguments and the discussion and how proportional fonts have changed everything. I see the logic but the people who are big and really fanatic are late learners. They didn’t take B&C in high school and are now learning. Good on them. It’s a skill that everyone should have however and whenever they get it.

I know that Grade 9 is now too late to learn to keyboard. (we don’t use the term “typing” anymore) I licensed a software package on behalf of my former school district and we put it in the hands of Grade 4 students. Like some great initiatives, it’s gone but I know that there are some good teachers who see the value of the skill and work it into things.

Anyway, this story hit my news reading and ruined my Sunday morning. Here are a couple….

I know that some people will take great delight in this news.

I’m not a user of Microsoft Word. Most of my writing is done in a browser and I use LibreOffice when I need a standalone app. But, we know that when someone introduces a “standard”, others will follow.

I’m not one that will change a lifelong learned and refined skill. It won’t be the first time that I ignore red squiggly lines in my work – typically caused by using an American dictionary which doesn’t like words like colour, etc. I also still believe that the world is round.

In my mind, there are far more important things in the world than worrying about things like this. I mean, holding your printed copy over top of a correct copy and up to the light to see if the letters line up isn’t much used any more!