When the concept of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) was announced, I think most people felt that there would be more openness and safety in web browsing. At least in the European Union.
We’ve all run across those requests for permissions before you visit a website. In the beginning, I was kind of interested in the sites that gave you the most information and asked to see the complete information about what information they were requesting. In some cases, it was a complete deluge of information and quite honestly, I didn’t know most of them.
As time went on, this became annoying. Finally, I decided to do something about it and that’s where I found Consent-O-Matic.
You like websites to respect your right to privacy, and your browser clears cookies when you close it. Consequently, you get the same cookie-consent box each and every time you visit the same websites. And you got tired of submitting the same information over and over. If only there was a way to automate your way out of this pickle? Lucky for you, Consent-O-Matic exists.
Consent-O-Matic is available from the Chrome store here and Mozilla here.
It seems to work as advertised. There comes a time when your mind becomes numb analysing the data that a web site wants to collect and you essentially have to agree to give it up anyway if you want in. Consent-O-Matic takes the mindless clicking of consent away.
If you get tired of giving approvals, you might just find this the answer.
The worst of the worst are the third party cookies and browser developers have given you the option of turning them off in the browser already. If you haven’t checked in a while, you might want to look at your settings to ensure that they are still unallowed.
I think we are all familiar with news reports daily giving us updates on the “new instances” of the virus. Almost as an after thought, they might throw in a summary of cases.
Sometimes, I just want more and recently ran into these resources, specifically for looking at things province wide.
The first comes from CTV News and shows data throughout the province in a number of different ways – total cases, active, recovered, and deaths. The data is broken into the various health units and are all accessible by mousing over the region. The data that I know that the government is most concerned about is cases per 100 000.
That helps put things in perspective given that the Windsor-Essex area is considerably less populated than Peel or Toronto. Hastings and Prince Edward county has impressively low numbers and, of course, they really get low the further north that you go in the province. As we all know, there’s much more of the province than is pictured here so you might want to zoom out or drag the province down and to the right.
The second visualization comes from Western University and is full of information about COVID cases in schools. Each school where there has been a case appears as a red dot.
It will come as no surprise that, at this zoom level, areas of high population are so heavily displayed. In this case, it’s really important to zoom in on the community of interest. At that point, you can zero in on individual schools as opposed to clumps of schools.
For the purpose of this post, I don’t want to single out any one particular school but when you mouse over a school, you’ll be provided information about the school, the languages spoken, etc.
Crafters of visualizations often reveal more of the story than hard and fast numbers in a spreadsheet layout (although that is available and downloadable as a .CSV files)
If you’re looking for another way to investigate the story in your area or throughout the province, check these out.
Now, to be honest, I’ve worked my way through a number of similar tutorials in the past. I’ve been successful in the particular activities but ended up just deleting my work.
This one is a little different, certainly relevant, and well laid out.
Bottom line, it’s a tutorial that lets you search an online database for COVID-19 statistics and display them in your browser. Sure, you can go to a website and search for results but it’s handy just having them there in your browser, a click away.
A second goldmine find here is a link to active data to feed the program.
Of course, the data is as up to date as the last update.
I’m also thinking of Computer Science classrooms where you’re always looking for the answer to “why are we doing this”? Here’s a real-life example to work through. There is minimal internal documentation but that can be elaborated and then, of course, there are the mods.
The tutorial is easy to read and work through. Lots of copy/paste but a nice display of where the various files go in the file system of your computer.
Ontarians are now promised to be able to see the same data that those in Toronto use to make decisions for the province. When you head over to the COVID page on the Ontario website, you have access to just an overload of information. There’s just so much that you can lose yourself in the information if you wish. (and I did)
The thing that caught my interest was the ability to compare the numbers from your health unit with up to five others throughout the province. I decided to check it out and see where we stand compared to others.
Now, those figures are complete totals. All things being equal, you would expect that Toronto Public Health would lead the pack. There is an option to get a look at numbers per 100 000 population.
The totals are also available for plotting over time
There is no legend here but when you mouse over the graph, the totals for that particular day pop up. The colours are consistent throughout. So, I could see the spike in little ol’ Windsor-Essex County that caused us to remain in Stage 2 over the summer for a bit.
This is just the tip of the data iceberg. Keep on scrolling down for more information and details. All of the data is available for download as images or as .CSV files. I couldn’t help but think of mathematics or computer science classes where you might be interested in real, relevant data for analysis. It doesn’t get much more relevant than this.
Back to Stage 2, apparently that’s all going to change to a new classification for levels of severity.
July kicked off the summer months and This Week in Ontario Edublogs was there to enjoy the day. On the voicEd Radio show, guest Amanda Potts joined Stephen Hurley and me for the hour. You can listen to the show via Podcast here.
Our guest Amanda Potts took us through this very personal post. Because of the issues happening in the US and indeed, Canada, at the moment, people are taking the time to write about their feelings and sharing their own view of their personal privilege.
There was an interesting reflection on her view of the difference between n0n-racist and anti-racist and we had a chance to discuss that on the show.
In the post, Amanda shares two wonderful stories and paints a vivid picture in each. One was about a student whose mother kept her at home when she got angry to keep her from getting into trouble. The other story was about accidentally assisting a person who she had cut out of her social media life. Of course, both were learning experiences.
Throw in reference to a couple of podcasts on the topic and it’s quite easy to see that she has done considerable thinking about this.
It’s a long-ish post and very rich in content. I’ve read it a few times now and fine something new each time through.
One of the truly remarkable things about being a teacher is that, in a thirty year career, you have 30 different starts and stops to your workflow. I can’t think of any other job that can make that claim.
School is full of routine. We know that students succeed better because of this. And, because teachers are there every minute, they run through the same routine, at least while at work.
I can recall the end of school years gone by. You run for an entire school year living and breathing the routine of daily life. Then, on that last day, it all changes. The school year routine goes away FULL STOP and summer begins. Some people take the first week or so to kick back and relax. I always liked the concept of continuing with the energy and going on a holiday or attend a conference at the first of July.
As we know, this year is different. Lisa Corbett claims that she has a lot to do and shares some of it with us. She admits that, upon proofreading, she found her post “aimless”. As a result of teaching at home, the home part continues, sans students. I hope that her family helps reset her priorities.
That was what I needed to reset my school brain so I was ready for summer brain. Somehow I need to convince my family to do this on Friday night.
She does call the post “aimless” and I can understand. I also suspect that there are thousands of teachers that are feeling the same way and will need to kick start the summer months differently somehow this year.
As I was doing the show yesterday, I looked at the title and noticed the spelling mistake. I thought that was odd and that I had typed it incorrectly. But, Larissa Aradj, it was a copy/paste job from your post.
The post is about a terrific classroom activity that uses a Google Slide presentation to provide choices for students to select, based upon what they might find should they beat Brandi and Jarrod to win a locker.
What was unique about this was Larissa didn’t share her original template. Instead, another teacher, Leslie Mott, had taken Larissa’s concept and ran with it and Larissa chose to share Leslie’s idea in her post.
That stuck me as really unique. So many of us create and share concepts on social media. But, do we ever get a chance to share what someone else did with our idea? (Think about it for a second) It seems to me that this is how good ideas become great as a result of community improvement.
There actually was a bit of discussion on Social Media where Leslie identified Larissa as a mentor and a sharer of great ideas. I’ve been in a PD session led by Larissa and completely agree.
Well, this has to be one of the more emotional blog posts that I’ve read in a long time. Many of us have dealt with family members struggling with Alzheimer’s Disease. It’s incredibly tough.
As much as I had to deal with it, it pales to the way that Judy Richards is. I had the advantage of being face to face, hand to hand, hug to hug. I can’t imagine the pain of being locked outside looking in at someone who is locked inside dealing with it.
Staff do try to make an effort by doing the communications via iPad thing but assuredly, it’s not the same. That’s even true if both ends of the communications are effective users of the technology.
There is a brigade of fire fighters caring compassionately for my mom, doing their best to comfort her, and keep her safe.
The above is actually two posts from Cal Armstrong. I know that it looks a bit messy with the formatting but I don’t want to point to one without pointing to the other.
As I read both posts, I’m impressed with the support that Cal is providing for staff members in this. Lots of details, lots of screen captures. When I worked with a group of CAITs, we did this a lot and called them “One Sheet Wonders”. The rules were to make it clear, make it efficient, but keep it to one sheet of paper so that people are able to easily follow through the concepts.
In this case, Cal is showing readers how to connect resources using Microsoft’s Flow. I like his analogy to IFTTT which has been around and so functional for so many people. The comparison is immediately obvious.
Both examples were really easy to go through. The first one shows how to easily manage Microsoft Social-Emotional Check-In via Forms through to Excel and the second one features how to be smarter than Excel. (Cal’s words)
I know that many people are really handy with Forms. They’re probably equally as handy with Excel. The value from this post comes from showing how to connect the two, making you that much more efficient.
As a result of the COVID virus and the Learn at Home initiative, a lot of people are thinking about a lot of things that are happening and things that are hard to make happen. In this post, Arianna Lambert thinks about things that maybe shouldn’t be happening at all.
She got me thinking of my own high school. At Grade 12 graduation, I got a School Letter. In Grade 13, I got a Major School Letter. The “Letter” wasn’t actually a letter; it was actually a crest of the school mascot. At the time, the school mascot was a profile view of a character that we wouldn’t even consider these days. The school has since changed its mascot retiring this one. If only professional sports teams would follow the same lead. Getting a letter was important at the time. It was one of those institutional things that the school had always had. I can’t remember the numbers now but if you joined X number of clubs, Y number of sports, or Z number of honours, you got a badge. Get enough badges and you were eligible for a letter.
In her post, Arianna Lambert identifies things that are common to many schools in a way to encourage spirit. She shares a story of a little girl who felt the activity made it hard to participate in. Of course, nobody asks students how they feel about the activity. It is just assumed that what was done in the past is good going forward.
Now on the other side of the desk, she’s asking good questions that the institution and those that support it need to consider and possibly act on. If there is no good and equitable way to make it work for all, why perpetuate it?
I really enjoy sharing my thoughts about the great posting from Ontario Edubloggers. I hope that you can take some time to click through and enjoy the original posts.