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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

OCTE Office Administrator Position

OCTE is currently seeking the position of an Office Administrator. For details, see the following posting:

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Technological Education Best Practices - Call For Writers

On behalf of OCTE:


The Ontario Council for Technology Education (OCTE) has partnered with the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Branch of the Ministry of Education to develop Best Practices based on Student Centred Learning projects. The resources will be hosted on OCTE website dedicated to providing a "one stop shopping site" for teaching resources and safety resources for all teachers of Technological Education in Ontario.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Important Message about Desire2Learn (D2L)

From the Ontario Ministry of Education:
The Ontario Ministry of Education’s Virtual Learning Environment Request for Bid (RFB 1135/OSS_00546524) has been cancelled. The Ministry plans on issuing a revised VLE RFB later this year. The Ministry will be working with the current vendor to ensure school boards have uninterrupted access to the VLE until a procurement process is completed.
The Ministry is committed to school boards having ongoing access to the VLE, while also honouring Ontario Public Service directives around an open and competitive procurement process.
Until this is resolved, my own recommendation would be to develop your resources outside of D2L so they can be used in any LMS, including D2L if desired (pardon the pun).

Thursday, February 25, 2016

ACSE Conference Reminders

Hello ACSE Conference Attendees,

We're looking forward to seeing you all Saturday at the conference! Just a few last minute reminders and other notes:
  1. Registration takes place from 8:30 to 9:30 in room S1209. If you come in the door nearest the parking garage (see diagram below) you will see signs pointing you in the right direction.
  2. Location and parking information can be found here:
  3. Due to feedback from last year's conference, we will be increasing the amount of time we have at lunch and conducting an "unconference" in two rooms, loosely centered around Computer Tech in one room and Computer Science in the other. This will give us time to network with other teachers in an effort to learn from each other and perhaps make plans for further networking. 
    From Google: An unconference is defined as a loosely structured conference emphasizing the informal exchange of information and ideas between participants, rather than following a conventionally structured program of events. Our goal is to have some seed topics, suggested by you, the attendees, as a starting point for conversations. If there's a topic you'd like to talk or learn about during lunch, please suggest it here: 
  4. For anyone attending the Arduino session with me, please bring a laptop along with the Arduino IDE (editor) pre-installed (unfortunately we can't have it installed on the Seneca computers). The Arduino IDE is available at for Windows, OSX, and Linux. (I will be bringing 15 Arduino kits along for us to use.)
  5. The session grid, with room numbers, can be found here:
  6. The session descriptions can be found here: 
  7. There will be a social afterwards at Shopsy's Sport Grill, just a short walk north of the Seneca @ York campus. If you plan on attending, please let Michelle know at the registration desk before the end of lunch so we can ensure we can make the appropriate reservations. (see below for map)
  8. The Twitter hashtag for this year's conference is #acse16
  9. Lastly, for anyone paying at the door, don't forget that it's cash or cheque only. If you'd prefer to pay with your credit card, PayPal makes it very easy.
See you all Saturday!


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Digital Literacy Resource -- Teens’ Top 5 Technology Mistakes

This morning I shared an article entitled "Teens’ Top 5 Technology Mistakes" with my BTT1O class. It can be found at

The five "mistakes" mentioned are:
  1. Forgetting to Log Out
  2. Right Message— Wrong Person
  3. Oversharing
  4. Losing Track of Your Phone
  5. Making Friends With Strangers
Reviewing the article gave us a great opportunity to share many stories, including:
  • students not logging out and other students sending crude messages from their Facebook account
  • students creating fake Snapchat accounts to use to get other students to send them inappropriate pictures
  • stories of students not being able to get jobs because of what they shared on their social media accounts
  • and others...
It also gave us a chance to explore the "find my phone" features for both Android and iOS.

Is there a Digital Literacy resource you'd like to share? What has worked well in your class, or what ideas do you have for exploring this topic this semester?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Announcing the 2016 OCTE Conference, May 2016

OCTE Conference May 12 to 14 2016
“Setting the Standards-Practicing Safe Tech”
Hilton Meadowvale, Mississauga
Take Advantage of the Early Bird Rate and Register Now


Check out the OCTE web site www.octe.on,ca  to view this year’s program and presentation descriptions for over 50 presentations and 35 vendors. Presentations include subject specific, Ministry of Education, vendors’ latest educational equipment and tools, and latest OCTE/Ministry of Education safety material.

Friday’s lunch keynote speaker this year is Ron Kelusky CEO from PSHSA (Public Service Health and Safety Association.

Attend Thursday night’s networking evening and dialogue with colleges in the same discipline as yourself, meet 35 vendors and discuss their latest trends in resources that are available to make learning for your students related to current industry standards and trends. Visit the web site to become aware of options available to you to receive funding to attend.

Check with your board leads to see if your board has affiliated with OCTE and register as a member at no cost using your board’s affiliation code.

Hope to see you at this year’s conference which is shaping up to be our best ever.

Elementary (Saturday May 14 2016)

Attend a full day including 5 division specific presentations. The day starts with breakfast at 8am and includes lunch.

Visit our web site at to view descriptions of all the day’s presentations for the primary, junior and intermediate divisions.

Attend the full day.

Cost is $100.00 and includes breakfast, lunch and required materials.

Don’t miss this opportunity to view 5 informative presentations, network with similar division colleagues and take away resources and ideas for your classroom.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Mohawk College Broadcasting Television Program -- VIP Day

From Mohawk College...

Mohawk College Broadcasting Television program will be hosting a College Applicant VIP Day on Wednesday, February 3.  There will be 2 sessions held throughout the day and we encourage to register for one of the sessions: an afternoon session from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM and/or an evening session from 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM.
If you have applied to Television/ Media Production programs we encourage you to come and tour Mohawk’s production resources/ facilities, meet the faculty, meet our industry partners, speak with students in the program, and shadow a production class.
It’s important for all student applicants to make an informed decision about their post-secondary education and we hope to provide you with information to further your career path exploration. 
If you are interested in screen writing, independent and corporate production, field camera production, sports and event broadcast, and post production then sign up for the Applicant VIP Day.   If you wish to bring a friend or family member to the session you are most welcome to do so.  Please feel free to forward this information onto your friends and colleaguewho have expressed interest in or have applied to post-secondary media programs.
Online RSVP for Applicant VIP Day Click on this link:  VIP Day RSVP

For more information about the Mohawk College Broadcasting Television Program click on this link:  Broadcasting Television Mohawk College

To view student productions click on this link: Broadcasting Television Student Productions

Monday, January 18, 2016

Mark Saturday, February 27th on your calendar for the ACSE 2016 Conference!

(Guest post from Grant Hutchison)

The ACSE 2016 conference is ready for registrations.

Checkout the website with 18 different sessions across 5 different themes and plan your day.

Keynote topic this year is: Your Imagination is the Limit: Big Data is a Big Opportunity for Comp Science Students

We have a few changes for this year's event including an unconference networking opportunity midday, we are also very pleased to have a full set of CS K-8 topics so invite all teachers from K-12 to attend.

What hasn't change is the price ($90 for the day - includes lunch), the location (Seneca@York), and the high quality of the sessions and networking opportunities.

In case you need some I have compiled a list of reasons to attend....

Reasons to attend
  • Participate in your choice of 18 different sessions and learn from teachers, professors, and industry experts
  • Learn more about: 
    • coding (Python, Java, and much more)
    • robotics and hardware (Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Lego EV3)
    • mobile app development
    • web app development
    • databases, Big Data, and Analytics
    • CS pedagogy, gamification and student outreach, and much much more...
  • Network and learn during the un-conference session during lunch - share your ideas on lessons, activities, and pedagogy
  • Plan new activities for this year and next
  • Win one of the door prizes!!
  • Join us for social activities at the end of the day...
Brought to you by the ACSE Conference Planning Committee.

If you have questions contact me: grant.hutchison [AT]

Monday, January 04, 2016

CEMC: New Courseware

From: Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing <>

The Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing is pleased to let you know that our courseware offerings have expanded!  In addition to the previously available resources for "Advanced Functions and Pre-Calculus" and "Calculus and Vectors" which are available at (and receiving lots of traffic!), four sets of computer science resources have been added:
Python from Scratch: Python from scratch is a gentle introduction to programming, designed with the beginner in mind. No previous background is assumed. Each programming concept is first taught without reference to a specific programming language. Hands-on practice, using the programming language Python, helps to reinforce the concepts.
Language Independent Programming Lessons: This "course" is a collection of videos teaching basic programming concepts in a language-independent manner (also used in Python from scratch). They can serve as supplementary materials for students of just about any programming language, or as a basis for review.
Web Basics: Web basics introduces the main ideas behind the specification of a web page in HTML5 and CSS3, assuming no previous background. Explanations are interspersed with exercises and ideas for future practice.
Web Programming: Web programming presents the use of basic programming concepts as applied to web pages, using the language JavaScript. The target audience for this course is those who have mastered the basics of programming (in any programming language) and the basics of HTML and CSS.
Please share this information with your colleagues and students.  We hope that these will be useful to you in your classrooms!

Best wishes,


Saving Your Certificate

These instructions have been written for my visiting grade 9 students. The instructions are specific to the network we use in our school board, so they might be slightly different for other students or teachers using these slides.

Your saved certificate should look like this:

Blog URL:

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Video Contest - So You Think You Know Mining?

The Ontario Mining Association, a not-for-profit organization, is hosting the 8th annual SYTYKM video contest for high school students. The contest challenges students to tell imaginative stories about the benefits of mining to society with 2- to 3-minute videos or a 15-second commercial. The contest, running from November 1, 2015 to April 4, 2016, offers $45,000 in cash and prizes to students and schools. Top videos earn from $2,500 to $5,000. Early bird entries are eligible for an additional $500. Any school that produces more than three videos can win $2,000. Teachers’ Choice Award voters are eligible for a $1,000 prize draw. The awards gala is on June 1, 2016, at the Royal Ontario Museum. For more contest information, visit

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Photo Repair - Which Do You Like Best?

A quick photo repair this morning. I'm not entirely satisfied with the final result, but I'm hoping the person I'm doing this for will still be happy. If my Photoshop skills were better I'm sure more could be done to improve it.

Which do you like best? The black and white, the one with the warming filter, or the one with the cooling filter?

If you'd prefer to share your feedback anonymously, a form can be found here.

Black & White
Warming Filter
Cooling Filter

Friday, June 05, 2015

Upgraded Internet Service - Speed Test Comparison

I'm going to love having faster internet at home...

Old (Primus - DSL)

New (Start Communications - Cable)

The new service is more than six times faster for downloads and an incredible 17 times faster for uploads, which should really speed on my online backup service.

If anyone's interested, the new internet service is with with Start Communications ( I switched both my internet and phone services to them, because the price is right and I've heard great things about their customer support. If you decide to switch to them, please mention my name because they have a great referral service that grants $25 credit per referral.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Important Notice about the #OCTE15 Conference

As you are aware, political unrest is occurring in selected Districts across the Province of Ontario. This has raised concerns by some of our members about eligibility to attend our annual conference in May. To address these concerns, the OCTE executive approached the OSSTF Provincial Office for clarification. The OSSTF response is as follows:

"The strike rules committee has ruled that members who are participating in a local strike must not participate in external voluntary activities related to their employment as a teacher, which includes Subject Association activities" 
- Lori Foote, Associate General Secretary, Professional Services Division

Therefore, members who are in a legal strike action will not be able to attend the conference.

The OCTE executive has decided not to cancel the 2015 conference. The decision was  based not only on our contractual agreement with the Hilton Mississauga/Meadowvale Hotel, but also because we are a Provincial Subject Association who is committed to providing quality professional development for Science & Technology and Technological Education teachers across Ontario.

Hope this helps clarify any uncertainties.


Kevin Shea
Chair - Ontario Council for Technology Education (OCTE)

Friday, March 13, 2015 -- Is this a Google-owned site?

Can anyone confirm that is in fact a Google-owned website? Someone has submitted as an entry for my Google A-Z document but I want to be sure it's legit first.

The whois information looks good ( so I'm tempted to think it's okay.


Sunday, March 08, 2015

10 steps to deal with cyberbullying

Great article to share with your students:

OCTE 2015 Conference Reminder


OCTE Conference 2015
May 7, 8 and 9th

With a
NEW Elementary Day Saturday May 9

Early Registration Ends March 31
Delta Meadowvale Hotel Mississauga.

Thursday May 7    Board Leads meeting
                              Conference Registration 2pm till 10:30
                              Over 40 Vendor Displays and wine and cheese networking 8pm till 10:30

Friday May 8         Secondary presentations (over 48 subject and industry related sessions)
                              Lunch Keynote Speaker Karin Linder "Karico Performance Solutions"
                              Awards Banquet (nominate a co-worker see web site for awards and forms)
                              Vendor displays open 8:30 till 3:00

Saturday May 9    Subject Specific networking and planning
                              Annual General Meeting and Election of Officers

NEW FOR 2015
Elementary Day
Saturday May 9, 2015
Take part in 4 presentations designed for each division
Registration limited to 60 delegates per division
Breakfast, Lunch and presentations and materials only $100.00 per delegate

Visit the OCTE web site at
 View conference agenda and presentation descriptions
Register to attend the conference
Link to book a room at the Delta Meadowvale
Remember Early Discount Ends March 31 So Register Today

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

2015 OCTE Conference - "Look Fors to Safety"

From the OCTE executive:

The 2015 OCTE conference is fast approaching and we encourage you to register for the early bird special that will end on March 31st. This year's theme is "Look Fors to Safety". The conference will be from Thursday, May 7th to Saturday, May 9th, 2015 and will take place at the Delta Meadowvale Hotel in Mississauga, Ontario. When booking a room, please ask for the Conference Bookings and mention the OCTE Conference. We have a block of rooms set aside for the conference.

This year's conference has a variety of workshops associated with safety and curriculum content. There are over 48 workshops being offered to reflect all Broad Based Technology areas. Our Keynote Speaker this year is Karin Lindner who has written several books encouraging young people to enter into the trades. The Trades have always been looked upon as labour intensive, dirty and low levels of wage/income earnings. Karin will provide some insights on the myths behind these views. This year's conference would not be successful without our vendors display area. There will over 40 vendor displays looking at all areas of the Broad Based Technologies.

Also NEW for this year is one day workshop for Elementary Science & Technology teachers and will be held on the Saturday, May 9th. These high-interest activities and creative lesson ideas will support both scientific inquiry and technological problem solving, with emphasis on safety and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

Participants, both new and experienced, will take part in 'make and take' project-based workshops, using a variety of resources. We are certain that this year's offerings will be of great interest to teachers, and promote student engagement from K-8. The cost for this full day workshop will be $100.00 (HST included) which includes breakfast, lunch and all materials/resources for the projects. 

All information from workshop selections, registration and hotel bookings can be found on our website at

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Dave Graves ( or Kevin Shea (

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

For Green Industries Teachers: Cultivate and Connect Conference

Join fellow horticulture industry professionals, educators and government officials from across Canada as they gather for the inaugural Cultivate and Connect conference.

For further information, see (PDF)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

ECOO Conference 2014 - Digital Photography 101 Session

Join me at the ECOO Conference 2014 on Thursday, November 6 at 12:00 p.m. in the Peller Estates Ballroom B for my session entitled "Digital Photography 101".

Following is the session description:
Are you taking part in the photowalk or do you have a general interest in photography? Why not join me to learn how to adjust your camera to take that “perfect” picture, how to transfer your photos to your computer, how to rename and tag your photos so you can easily search for them, how to digitally process your photos, how to back them up so you never lose them, and how to edit your photos on your smartphone, regardless of what camera you used to take them. 
In this introductory session I hope to explore all these topics and, if time permits, open the floor to questions and/or sharing of tips and techniques from others. 
This session will be perfect for anyone just getting started in photography and wants to learn the basics of a typical photography workflow -- from taking the pictures all the way through processing and backing up. I'll also be sure to provide some tips for those taking part in the photowalk that evening, from tripod use to getting the right exposure.

I hope to see you there! 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Health Care Teachers -- Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) is Looking for a French reviewer

The Ontario College of Teachers is seeking a Francophone technology educator to review seven Health Care Additional Qualifications course guidelines. The task will focus strictly on Section 7 of the Guidelines (Demonstrated Knowledge and Skill in……) and to check for accuracy in technical terminology. The College is prepared to pay $350 for this review.

The ideal candidate will be a Health Care teacher knowledgeable in health care French terminology. Interested candidates are asked to send a brief email expressing interest to:

Carson Allard, OCT
Program Officer: Standards of Practice and Education Unit
Ontario College of Teachers
101 Bloor St. West
Toronto, ON  M5S 0A1
416 961-8800 x813
Toll Free in Ontario 1-888-534-2222

Further details will be provided to those interested.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

OCTE is Looking for Your Help! (Awards Cmte Chair & Industry Rep)

This is an adapted re-post of the material at

OCTE is currently seeking applications for two positions:

Both positions are vital to the success of our organization.

Please consider volunteering and contributing to this provincially-recognized and valued organization. These positions will allow you to develop professional growth and liaise with other  technological educators across the province. We urge you to apply or pass this message along to your colleagues who may be interested.

Please click on the links above for the the list of qualifications and responsibilities for each when considering applying.

Potential candidates should e-mail their resumes to Sue Philips, Elementary Vice-Chair, at no later than Friday, November 7, 2014. The successful candidates will be contacted via telephone or e-mail in a timely fashion.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

My Diigo Bookmarks (posted weekly)

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

Saturday, October 04, 2014

My Diigo Bookmarks (posted weekly)

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