Happy Canada Day

This never gets old. 

On this day, check out your knowledge of Canadian Trivia with this quiz from the Toronto Star.  Even if you don’t get them all (confession, I need to do some more history reading), there’s some humour built into some of the responses.

I found the Jeopardy questions posted on the Huffington Post considerably more in my strike zone.  I got them all.

How about a little trivia of your own?  I remember this stumper from Jeopardy – “How many US States are south of Canada?”  The one stumper that I amuse my US friends with all the time is that Windsor, ON is due south of Detroit, MI. 

What trivia tidbit can you add?

Happy Canada Day.


Response to Spammers

I like the fact that this blog is protected by Akismet.  It keeps most of the silly comments from spammers away from you.  These comments end up in a queue in the dashboard that lets me review them just in case a good comment gets trapped.  Usually, I just go in and blow them away.  As you can see from the volume, if I had to do this manually, I’d be a very busy person.


But, periodically, I will take a look at the comments – maybe from boredom but mostly for amusement.  As I’ve done in the past, I thought I’d share a few today.


Hey there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok. I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog
and look forward to new posts.

Yes, I’ve heard of Twitter.  Where do I click to give you permission?

Hello, Neat post. There’s a problem along with your site in internet explorer, might test this? IE still is the market chief and a good element of folks will leave out your fantastic writing because of this problem.

Caught red-handed.  I specifically write posts and have chosen WordPress for my host because it is Internet Explorer hostile.

Proposal happens to be certainly really are a sign which a a number of will probably be tied up inside the everlasting bond to be with every other. It contains a lot of meaning three stone engagement rings in the couple’s lifetime since it signifies the start of any marriage complete of each unconditional enjoy and togetherness.

If I’d proposed like that, I’d still be single.

Voyance question gratuite en ligne erotica carte natale astrologie

Even Google Translate has no idea what this means – Tarot Free online issue erotica astrology natal chart

thank you for share!

You’re welcome.  What a nice young spammer.

Hello, just wanted to tell you, I enjoyed this article.
It was funny. Keep on posting!

That really hurt.  I spent hours researching the facts and did my academic best.

Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I love the information you present here and can’t wait
to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even
using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, excellent blog!

My lifelong goal has always been to amuse the bored in Colorado.

Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article.Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword.There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword….wait there’s even more Now what if i told you there was a simple WordPress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That’s right AUTOMATICALLY, just watch this 4minute video for more information at

That’s four minutes that I’d rather allocate to doing something else.  SEO takes all the fun out of the web.

illustrious look at this website

I’m not sure “illustrious” was the word you were looking for.

honest mouse click the next internet page

A dishonest mouse clicks the previous internet page?

I’m no longer certain where you are getting your information, but good topic. I must spend a while finding out more or figuring out more. Thanks for great info I used to be searching for this information for my mission.

I just make this stuff up.  Now you know!

thanks for share!

Oh, back again?  Thanks for continuing to be so polite.


My apologies to my regular readers for wasting your time today!

About Useless Gadgets

This article appeared in my Zite news feed this morning.  “Schools ‘wasting £450m a year’ on useless gadgets“.

Those of us whose job it was involved acquiring technology and helping classroom teachers use technology effectively live in dread of titles like that.  The really offensive term to me was “useless gadgets”.  For as long as I’ve been using technology in education, I’ve used just a whack of gadgets.  I wonder — what makes a gadget useless?

Reading the article from the Telegraph, they specifically identify tablet computers, computer software, and electronic whiteboards.  I  kept reading to see if the author actually would explain why the gadgets were labelled as “useless”.

I’ve certainly been involved with computer software all my career, even serving terms on the Ontario Software Acquisition Program Software Committee.  In that role, I’ve worked with many teachers helping them understand the functionality of the software and where it fits into the Ontario Curriculum.  The OSAPAC Committee, in fact, has a sub-group whose job it is to identify Curriculum Connections so that teachers using the software could get a sense of where it fits into the big scheme of things.  Within my own district, I was part of a team that rolled out IWBs to the system.  In our case, I had the eyes, ears, and candor of a group of Computers in Education School Contacts, a small but dynamic team of Early Years Literacy teachers, and a spectacular teacher-librarian who got the original SMART Board, nicknamed it “Big Bertha” and used it to raise her library program to a new level.  Even today, these leaders work with their colleagues to ensure ongoing implementation success.

Any time I talk about technology, one of the things I stress is that technology does allow us to do things differently but more importantly, it allows us to do different things.  In my mind, that’s the ultimate promise of technology and why we spend so much money, time, and should devote a significant effort in acquisition decisions and implementation once the technology has been purchased.

The article, in particular, takes some pretty tough shots at the implementation of tablet technology.  But, as I sit back and think, the one piece that’s missing in all of the scenarios that are described is the lack of support for teachers as they try to use them.  I can speak with confidence that the job of a teacher is absolutely jam-packed.  From knowing the curriculum, to differentiating for student success, to assessment and evaluation, to a changing curriculum in a changing world, to pressure from administration to raise test scores, to dealing with individual students’ social issues.  The absolute last thing, and probably the dumbest educational move, is to buy a bunch of technology and drop it off expecting it to perform all of the promised results.  It’s a formula for failure.

And yet, the article would have you believe that the technology is useless and that teachers are somehow pulled in to using it.  There is no mention at all about how much support was given or whether there’s an implementation plan or just who a teacher is to turn to for answers to questions.

I wish that the article had dug deeper.  I think more details about the actual implementation plan are needed before any piece of technology can be labelled “useless”.

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If you knew there would be a test…

…you would study, right?

OK, here’s a chance to redeem yourself.  Testing appears at the bottom

Spinning off the post from yesterday, let me show you some of the interesting things that you’ll find in Essex County courtesy of FlashEarth.

Ford Logo
As posted yesterday, Ford Motor Company keeps this beautiful logo available but it’s only viewable from a geographic program or presumably an airplane/helicopter.  I can’t verify the latter!

Ambassador Bridge
The Ambassador Bridge is an incredibly busy US / Canada border crossing.  A constant stream of trucks going in both directions is a strong indicator of the huge volume of trade between the two countries.

Point Pelee National Park and the Tip at Point Pelee
This is one of my favourite places to go for a little relaxation and back to nature.  It’s a fantastic gathering place for butterflies, birds, and birders and located just outside Leamington.

Windsor Airport
The airport does international holiday travel but the biggest source of flights are from Air Canada and Porter bearing east to Toronto and west via Westjet.

Chemical Plant
Located on the outskirts of the town of Amherstburg, you’ll find this bright blue pond.  It’s the only shade of blue that you’ll see by browsing the maps and you just can’t see it from the road.

Pelee Island
The southern most part of Canada – you can’t drive there although you can take your car or preferably your bicycles over to this beautiful island via the ferry that leaves from either Leamington or Kingsville.  Notice the tip at Point Pelee in the top right corner.

OK, now how much of this post did you remember?  I could go through and create a test manually, but I discovered the ClueApp.  It calls itself “A fun and easy way to test what people remember on your website”.  So, here’s the deal.  Instead of reading and moving on (or commenting if you’re kind), I’m going to send this post to the ClueApp.

ClueApp will then analyze the webpage and ask you what you remembered.  It will be interesting to see how you make out.

Now, it’s not an application that I would use all the time but, in a class, if you’re asking students to read an article, this would be a very quick and easy way to do a diagnostic and determine just what they’re reading when they’re supposed to be reading.

Endnote: There’s a bit of logistics behind this.  As you probably know, I write these blog posts in the evening and schedule them for 5am.  So, the ClueApp won’t actually get a chance to read it until then.  Hopefully, I won’t sleep in tomorrow and can have the link to the test active when you drop by.  If it’s not active, please come back and try it.

So, here’s the link to your test.

How did you make out?

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