Computer Science Education Week Microsoft Canada Launches #CodeGeneration

To celebrate Computer Science Education Week (Dec 7 to 13), Microsoft Canada has launched #CodeGeneration , in hopes to encourage students to learn to code.

Disclosure: I have been compensated to share this post. The opinions on this blog are my own.

There will be free online coding challenges, in-store “Hour of Code” sessions and a partnership with offering students and educators a Minecraft coding tutorial, Microsoft is showing students that anyone can learn to code, and the power to create technology is at our fingertips!


WHAT IS IT?  “Hour of Code” is a global movement launched by and supported by Microsoft reaching tens of millions of students in over 180 countries.

Should you be interested in attending one of Microsoft’s Hour of Code sessions with your child, I have included the event specifics below:

  • Who – Students between the ages of 13 and 18
  • What – In-store “Hour of Code” sessions
  • WhenSunday, December 13 2015 (all local time zones)
    • Session 1: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    • Session 2: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    • Session 3: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Where – Microsoft Stores nationwide:
    • Calgary, Chinook Centre
    • Edmonton, West Edmonton Mall
    • Burnaby, Metropolis at Metrotown
    • Vancouver, Pacific Centre
    • Mississauga, Square One Shopping Centre
    • Toronto, Eaton Centre
    • Toronto, Yorkdale Shopping Centre

*** On Sunday, December 13th, students across Canada will join #CodeGeneration with Minecraft-themed coding challenges hosted by Microsoft Canada in honour of Hour of Code. Parents or students that are interested in participating can register online at ***

DID YOU KNOW?   Globally, over 100 million students have completed an Hour of Code.  Students as young as four years old are taking part and getting started with the basics of coding and computer science!

#CodeGeneration will end Computer Science Education Week with a bang on Sunday, December 13 by hosting “Hour of Code” coding workshops for students in Microsoft Stores nationwide.


The Microsoft store closest to me is in Square One Shopping Centre, in Mississauga.  Come by, you might just bump into me!  Why do I think #CodeGeneration is so important?  Youth unemployment in Canada is at an all-time high.  In fact; 25% of our working poor is made up of our youth!  This is a scary concept to me; as I have a 17 year old that is in the work-force and is facing a future filled with self-doubt and confusion (fear of the future really).   Learning to code is a fun way for students to explore a future in computer sciences while preparing to meet the needs of an evolving knowledge-based economy.  Anyone can learn to code!

Let’s unlock Canada’s potential!  There is a massive skills gap in the Canadian IT sector – expected to reach 182,000 people by 2019.  Microsoft believes that Computer science and coding is the solution to both of those challenges.  Please attend one of Microsoft’s Hour of Code sessions with your child, and open a door to his/her future.

Stocking Stuffer #Giveaway with @TELUS CAN 21/12


Since working with TELUS (for a few years now), you’ve learned how much I love their customer service, and their network service.  I’ve had wonderful experiences domestically, and internationally as well.

Disclosure: I have been compensated to share this post. The opinions on this blog are my own.

TELUS is obsessed with delivering an unmatched customer experience and ensuring their customers get the most out of their new phone, accessories and connected products. As part of this commitment, TELUS offers personalized, one-on-one sessions with expert learning specialists through their unique Learning Centres. TELUS Learning Specialists cover everything from basic device functionality to helpful tips and tricks for the most advanced users. If you’re looking for mobile health accessories for the fitness fanatic in your life, their TELUS Health Tech Trainers will make sure you walk away with the best wearable that fits their health goals.

Both their Learning Centre Specialists and Health Tech Trainers sessions are complimentary, and can be booked online or in-store. With a TELUS Learning Centre session, your loved one can feel confident using their new smartphone, accessories or wearable tech to its full potential!

Here are some fabulous stocking stuffer ideas:

NOTH1023Ground Cord Taco:    Tidy tidings

  • The cord taco will help you clean up all of those wires in your bag, pocket, car or wherever they are
  • Premium leather greatly changes the look from messy to cool and organized
  • The taco is made from 100 per cent leather and seals shut with a metallic button
  • Works great for earbuds, USB cords and other small wires.

Price & Availability:

NAUD1091Happy Plugs Earbuds:   A trendy way to listen

  • Happy Plugs are like no other headphones offering maximum sound in minimal size and gorgeous colors
  • The earbuds shut out unwanted sounds in your surrounding environment
  • Compatible with all smartphones and comes with built-in mic and remote

Price & Availability:

NCAB1124Native Union Belt Cable – lightning:   Power packaged up

  • The Native Union Belt Cable puts an end to untidy, tangled-up cables at the bottom of your bag
  • The four foot braided cable is wrapped up and secured with an integrated leather belt so it always looks smart and tangle-free, and stays in prime condition


Price & Availability:

Begins on: time post goes live and  Ends on: December 21, 2015 at 8 pmEST

PRIZE:  the above-mentioned three items

Terms and Conditions:  Open to Canadian residents 18+ only (excludes Quebec). Winner will be notified within 48 hours of the giveaway via email, and will be required to provide their full name, address and telephone number, so that Sponsor can mail out the prize.  By entering this contest you are accepting that, if you win, your contact information will be shared with a PR agency for the purpose of mailing your prize.  Please allow 4-6 weeks from the contest closure date to receive your prize.  [Please read entire Terms and Conditions]  All winners must be from within Canada.  Please note giveaways are only open to Canadian residents and will not be sent out of the country.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media channel.

NOTE: My Bits and Bleeps will not be held liable for any potential loss, damage or undelivered status of the prize.

[Experiencing problems with the Entry Form again? Please ONLY click on the word “Entry” or “Form”]

The LG G4 at @TELUS is THE Smart Phone WITH Fantastic Service … Even When Travelling!

Lucky me was able to take a LG G4 to Portugal with me!  I shared pictures on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook so you know how fabulous the camera is.  What with its f/1.8 low-light lens, Manual Mode, Optical Image Stabilization, Laser Autofocus, and high-res image sensors … yes; I’d say “professionals everywhere watch out”!    I also only have positive things to say about the processor too; it does it all: web-surfing, emails, phone calls!  LG G4’s great camera, and user-friendly software challenges its competitors; however, there’s still room for improvement in its battery life and on its speaker placement.  Suffice it to say, overall this baby can do everything I need it to do, and well!  I have to say I LOVE how classy and sexy looking it is.  This model is sleek, and fits wonderfully and comfortably in the hand.  I am a tactile kind of gal so personally I really life the feel of the genuine black leather (it’s really nice); this also means no need for an added phone case.  That means less bulk in my back pocket and/or in my purse.   To be perfectly honest, the slight curve of the phone may also play a factor in how comfortably the phone fits in the hand.  I also love how I never have to wipe of fingerprints … of any kind.  That’s definitely a plus!

  • O/S: Android
  • Screen:  Curved 5.5” Quad HD (538ppi)
  • Camera:  Rear: 16MP  Front: 8MP
  • Processor:  Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 Processor
  • Battery:  3000 mAh
  • Internal Memory:  32GB
  • Expandaple Memory:  Up to 2TB microSD
  • Weight/Dimensions:  155 grams*/ 148.9mm x 76.1mm x 6.3~9.8mm*
  • SIM card:  NFC Micro SIM

Get more info HERE.   [ * Actual size and weight vary by configuration and manufacturing process.]

Travelling with your smart phone can be costly, but it isn’t too bad if you’re careful.  The TELUS blog has a post that nicely sums up 4 ways to keep your cost down while travelling. Essentially, (1) buy a travel pass to your mobile account, (2) disable alerts, (3) turn off data roaming and use secure WIFI when possible, and (4) consider using an international SIM. 

TELUS EUROPE TRAVEL PASS:  [Stay connected for less.]

TELUS’ Europe Travel Passes provide even more value with a savings of up to 90 per cent off regular pay-per-use rates. For example, customers travelling to Europe can get 150 outgoing and free unlimited incoming text messages, 50 minutes of voice and 150 MB of data for only $50, in comparison to spending more than $600 with pay-per-use rates. For more information on TELUS’ travel passes to Europe as well as other popular destinations visit

My experience with TELUS service in Europe:

My trip to Portugal was stressful enough (personal issues); I certainly didn’t need the added stress of not being connected!   There were two main concerns:  I had left my daughter in Canada, and I was super worried about not finding my way around.  Have you ever driven in Lisbon and the surrounding areas?  Trust me; when I say, it is NOT an easy thing to do.  Maps and directions are conflicting, signs are horrible, and everyone drives dangerously!  Did you know that turns are often (if not always) before the sign?  BEFORE the sign!  Explain that one!  It is very different there.  Even with the indispensable help from TELUS’ Service, and Google Maps I STILL got lost … and several times!  I found myself navigating via following the blue line on Google Maps.  You know; the one that illustrates on the map which route your car is taking.  Here are my two suggestions to Google Maps:  update your maps, and get someone who is bilingual to speak.  I found it very difficult to follow along.  Even my English-speaking friend (only English) can pronounce the Portuguese street names better!  Ugh.  I took comfort in the EXCELLENT service from TELUS that was dependable … not once did it falter.  I’ll be honest, I did have doubts before leaving to Europe.  Last time I went to Europe it was 1994 … I basically just left my cell phone behind!  I didn’t really know what to expect this time around but sure was relieved to experience a stress-free trip.  I felt safe, comfortable, and confident.  I highly recommend trusting TELUS with your smart phone service needs.  Thank you TELUS for your continued excellence and superior customer service.

Disclosure:  TELUS loaned me the above item.  I have not been financially compensated in any way.  I am not obliged to give a positive review.  Any opinion(s) expressed is my own, and is given freely.  Any information acquired from TELUS’s various social media formats has been authorized, and has been done so as to facilitate my post/review.