PSA: An App for the Ontario Secondary Schools Literacy Test

For those who don’t want to read the post, here is a link to the app.  For everyone else, read on.

I don’t usually blog specifically on school business, but this seemed a good way to get the word out.  For grade ten students in Ontario schools, spring comes with an extra little zap of stress in the form of the OSSLT, a test which all must pass in order to get a diploma.

At my school, Lester B. Pearson Collegiate Institute, we have been looking for new ways to help our students prepare for this test.  Someone recently suggested I contact Dr. Susan Elliott Sim, who, as part of her CSC 301: Introduction to Software Engineering course, has students take on real-world programming tasks.

Long story short:  Dr. Sim had two teams of students turn our data and resources into an app for Android.  We don’t have in on Google Play yet, but if you’re interested in preparing for the OSSLT, and have an Android device, all you have to do is follow these steps:

  1. Set your Android device to allow third-party apps to install.

  2. Download and install this app.

  3. Start it up and go.  There are a few bits where the text isn’t formatted perfectly, and if your device is running 2.2 or lower, or if you have lousy screen resolution, you might have troubles, but other than that it’s pretty good.

If you notice any major problems, please don’t hesitate to send me an email at  I can’t promise I’ll be able to fix anything, but I’ll sure try.

Obviously big thanks go out to the creators of the app.  These students had less than three months for the project, and what they came up with is very impressive.  The initial entry of data was the labour of the following Pearson teachers:

David Lomax

Christina Lomax

Abby Edwards

Darivoj Jaksic

Azadeh Shirzadi

Ishrat Chorghay

The creation of the app itself is thanks to the work of:

Kenneth Wang

Sabrina Parayno

Vanessa Afolabi

Lorenz Breu


About davidlomax

Writer, teacher, husband, dad. Geek from way back. Author of the totally pre-orderable Backward Glass, out in October 2013 from Flux Books ( View all posts by davidlomax

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