Welcome Back

A few things have changed over the summer. I have reduced the number of domains I have been using and migrated everything to fusco.ca where I will be blogging from now on.

In about 12 hours I will be getting up to get ready for another school year. I am really looking forward to working with students to learn more about how they learn and the new skills they will need to be successful in the future.

I think it is funny how I still get the anxiousness of going back to school after all these year. I can’t hardly wait! It is going to be another great year.

In the upcoming months, check back here for more information about BIT17 and my pursuits to help K-8 teachers integrate coding into their curriculum.

Rebuild

Rebuilding all my sites. Everything should now point to fusco.ca and I will be cleaning it up over the next couple of days.

Raspberry Pi Zero W Cloud Printer

I have always wished I could print things from anywhere. Last week my wish came true. I received an email from buyapi.ca that Raspberry Pi Zero W’s were back in stock. This little $14 computer was going to be the heart of my remote printing solution.

Here are the steps I followed to set up a Google Cloud Printer using a Raspberry Pi Zero W.

My Setup:

  • Raspberry Pi Zero W
  • 32GB Class 10 SD card
  • Raspbian Jessie with PIXEL (full install)
  • SSH and VNC turned on in Pi Settings
    • raspberry icon top left > preferences > raspberry pi configuration
  • Assigned IP address to Pi in router
  • Connected to home network via WiFi
  • Change default pi password in Pi settings (it will be online so it is a good idea to change this)
    • raspberry icon top left > preferences > raspberry pi configuration

Steps:

  • Update the Pi

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

  • Install printer software

sudo apt-get install cups cups-client "foomatic-db"

  • Add user ‘pi’ to printer users

sudo usermod -a -G lpadmin pi

  • Configure to print remotely

sudo nano /etc/cups/cupsd.conf

  • Change config to the following

# Only listen for connections from the local machine
# Listen localhost:631
Port 631

< Location / >
# Restrict access to the server…
Order allow,deny
Allow @local
< /Location >

< Location /admin >
# Restrict access to the admin pages…
Order allow,deny
Allow @local
< /Location >

< Location /admin/conf >
AuthType Default
Require user @SYSTEM

# Restrict access to the configuration files…
Order allow,deny
Allow @local
< /Location >

Reboot the Pi.

  • Add printer to the system.
    • Use the Chromium browser to set up the printer
    • Go to 192.168.x.x:631
      • click Administration
      • click Add Printer (ignore warning)
      • log in using your pi username and password
      • Look for your printer under ‘Local Printers’
      • Select the printer driver and test to see if it prints
        • Remember that printing is one of the most challenging parts of Linux. I had the best luck with the Foomatic drivers.
      • Add a location and add check box to sharing.
  • Go to Chromium setting and scroll to the bottom and check ‘show advanced settings’
    • click ‘Manage’ under Google Cloud Print
    • login to your Google Account
    • click ‘add classic printer’
    • select your printer
    • once added, click the share button and share to other Google Accounts
    • everyone you shared with will now have this cloud printer to print from.

It took me a little while to tweak things to get my printer to work. After a bit of Googleing it now works like a charm and I can print to my home printer from anywhere.

Good luck and a special thanks to Jason Fitzpatrick who’s blog post helped me fix my printer woes.

5/5 #5posts5days – The Anticipation of a Holiday

It was suppose to be the last day of my #5posts5days challenge to myself and a few others. However, in my excitement to start my March Break yesterday I did not get my post out on time. But it does raise a question. Where do the breaks in our teaching year come from? I did a quick search for the origins of March Break and could only find that it gained popularity in the 1930’s and it usually coincides with Easter Weekend.

How many of our holidays are based on the Christian calendar and agricultural influence from days gone by? We are off for 2 weeks at Christmas, 4 days at Easter, March Break, 9 weeks for summer, plus a few more here and there. Has there ever been an alternative schedule in Ontario?

When I was teaching in New Zealand in the late 1990’s we worked on a 4 block calendar. We had 50 days (10 weeks) of classes then 2 weeks off. This was repeated 4 times, only the Summer/Christmas holidays were 6 weeks long between school years. It was a great schedule, students and staff were never burnt out and your term had very few interruptions. (FYI Christmas is during the summer holidays in the Souther Hemisphere)

Maybe it is time to get rid of our old calendar and look for alternatives that keep learning fresh and new. What do you think? (Leave your comments below or on Twitter)

4/5 #5posts5days – Doing Away with Subjects

Sorry for the short entry today. I had a family member in the hospital and I wanted to be with them. 

A few weeks ago I visited Beal Secondary School in London to learn more about their Beal Innovates project. What I learned that day was inspirational. They have found a way to do away with subjects and create a true project based learning environment.

I was so impressed by what I saw that I could not help sharing everything that I saw with anyone that would listen. Check out the links below to see some of the really amazing stuff they have going on at the TVDSB.

Thanks to Richard Pardo (@rickpardo) and David Carruthers (@pluggedportable) for sharing their experiences with me.

Thames Valley Innovates

Beal Innovates