Thursday, November 30, 2006

Civility in classes

(with gratitude to Bloglines) Thanks Michael Stephens for mentionining J. Lewandowski's new blog, her post at Teaching and Thinking With Technology: Bringing Back Civility and the article that stimulated her post didn't ask or answer why students are tempted to split their attention from the class.

Attention is too often not essential in order to pass or even excel in the course.

1. Ensure the class presentation is riveting
2. Only require class attendance if content is not able to be obtained any other way
a) big example: don't repeat (including repeat in advance of) written information.
(i) to be fair some people need to learn auditorily rather than from text, so if the class is available to present the same information which has or will come in written form the unit outline could specify read this and/or attend that class.
b) if class attendance is required for assessable participation in discussion then have a legitimate method of evaluation of participation - not just attendance.

Whether attendance is required or optional what ought to be the codes of conduct then? I lean toward a compassionate democratic needs/solutions based approach: ie each class determines the needs of teacher and students and develops creative agreements to meet those needs.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Protopage (v.3) has Tabs

Originally uploaded by moonflowerdragon.
Hooray for protopage v.3.

Now I can express my delight unequivocably. With that little wrinkle ironed out protopage walks all over startpage alternatives. Movable resizable overlappable sticky notes - can't beat that.

I wondered whether being able to include my page of bookmarks as one of my firefox homepages would take the place of my startpage. However I just recently added a couple of quicklinks to my private protopage quicklink sticky - I guess because when I do want to use those links I don't want to have to search for them. Perhaps it is only the other pages (now under named tabs) - unless I can figure a way to place links or content there automatically (eg mash from specific tags and Bloglines folders)

It's also now got TO DO list stickies - niftier than the text sticky I was using... although with text I would format the text to highlight priority items.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Puzzle Pirates - my second MMORPG

As I've mentioned at Counting Everything, I've had the opportunity to try another MMORPG. If you get addicted to tetris-type or hit-the-dropping-items-before-they-get-to-the-bottom or cleverly-manoeuvre-icons-into-groups-of-3+-colours-before-they-crowd-to-the-top games Puzzle Pirates will very kindly remind you how long you've been playing and remind you to take a break and stretch.

Miniclip Games - Puzzle Pirates
Puzzle Pirates

Join a crew of friendly pirates in this massive multiplayer game.

Play this free game now!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

43 Things I might want to do this year

Bloglining by The Questing Librarian today I peeked back at Stephen Abram's 43 Things I might want to do this year...

I've yet to finish my 23 Things, but when I do perhaps I'll check back on some of these.

It feels good to see how many I've already done.

1. Take a digital picture with a camera and/or phone and download it to your PC.
2. Register at Blogger and start a blog. Post every once in a while and add a photo.
3. Register at Bloglines and aggregate your blog and RSS subscriptions into one reader. Check out what other blogs align with your interests.
4. Look at Facebook and see the next generation of social networking.
5. Set up a Flickr account and post a few of digital photos online. Tag and annotate them.
6. Look at LibraryElf and see the potential for personal library tools.
7. Check out LibraryThing and catalogue a few books from your personal collection.
8. Register at MSN Photo Album and build an album to share with friends, family, or colleagues. {why when Flickr is so great?}
9. Check out Myspace and see how this service has become so huge globally.
10. Have some fun with the links on the Generator Blog.
11. Download Firefox and compare it to Explorer and Opera.
12. Research bookmarklets and try a few.
13. Revisit Yahoo! and remind yourself why it is visited more than Google. {although I haven't discovered why it would be more visited than google as I'd be very happy if my yahoogroup became googlegroups}
14. Learn about iFILM and viral video.
15. Get a PubSub account and start searching the future.
16. Make a map of all the countries or states you've been to at Visited Countries. {not really worth it for me}
17. Experiment with some sound and picture search engines like Podscope.
18. Try some new Web search engines like Exalead, Wink, Gravee, Clusty, Mooter, Kartoo, etc., or others you can find at Search Engine Watch's list. {google does me fine}
19. Learn more about visual display tools like Grokker.
20. Check out Google Base and see what the fuss is all about.
21. Register with NetFlix and rent a movie. Learn how to deal with streaming media.
22. Get a account and play with social bookmarking and tags.
23. Play with Blinkx and learn about searching TV shows, video and podcasts.
24. Try MovieFlix too. There are plenty of free movies here to learn to do this.
25. Set up a Google Picasa account. Post a picture and then edit it.
26. Download an MP3 file to your PC, laptop or phone. Try iTunes, LimeWire, Kazaa, or eDonkey. Look for something that's not music too.
27. Listen to a podcast. There are quite a few about library issues, too.
28. Find your home and your office on Google Maps.
29. Check out your local public library's website. You'll likely find some cool stuff like talking books for that long commute, or classical music collections, or eBooks.
30. Change your ring tone so you don't jump when everyone else's default ring goes off.
31. Visit the Google Labs site regularly. (love google spreadsheet)
32. Set up a personalized Google or My Yahoo! page {don't bother - go with protopage}
33. Play with JibJab.
34. Play with Wikipedia. Edit an entry, feel the network.
35. Play with Copernic and extend your searching.
36. Play an online multiplayer game.
37. Take an e-learning course from Click University.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

23Things #16 So what’s in a wiki?

  • From the possibilities presented in: Wiki’s: A Beginner’s Look, the most useful to me would be an internal library (or other organisation) wiki particularly because of the capacity for collaborative editing of documents.

    When I consider how usefully the wiki tool gathers a knowledge base (such as particularly collecting local community information or history) I wonder whether a project that coordinates adding that knowledge to wikipedia might make a larger contribution than creating a separate wiki.

  • From Using Wikis to Create Online Communities – I jumped to how OCLC are using wiki to enable users to add content (and value) to WorldCat records, which looks just like what I've admired before of Hennepin County Libraries' catalogue.

Something I did notice was the heavy text base combined with spartan and non-intuitive presentation of most wikis - a definite down-side. I wonder whether it is at all possible for a wiki to mash with other tools (eg Flickr, YouTube, for better effect). If so could someone send me examples?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

23Things #15 Library2.0

I didn't realise it at the time, but I pre-empted (for myself) this step.

Library2.0 to me means only: libraries serving community members in the Web2.0 environment - upon the same rationales that have ever defined quality library service.

23Things #14 Technorati

So... I claimed my blog at Technorati today ...

To properly participate though will be a little fiddly, but let me compare... to tag with Technorati I include easy html in my blog post ... to tag with I click a button in my toolbar.  The sooner I can migrate to Blogger Beta the better.  Almost wish I'd bitten the bullet and gone with Wordpress from the start.

It might be interesting to search sometime, though I have no real need presently I enjoyed a brief diversion thanks to Serena at Talk Nerd posting a YouTube of Walking on Sunshine.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Silkroad Online ... my first MMORPG FUN

The boys and their friends have introduced me to Silkroad online and I've had a very interesting, engaging week adventuring around Jangan.

There are always new skills to learn, and I'm thinking maybe it is just a little repetitive trying to level to meet something new, but it is very fun "meeting" people from all over (ages 14-43): helping (it feels wonderful knowing and sharing the little bits even newer plays want to know) and being helped.

Right now I'm trying to sell some of the treasures monsters have kindly dropped for me - I'd like to be able to afford a pet wolf. It is not easy calculating a fair price for goods, and timing is probably off as I set up stall when I'm going to be away from the keyboard rather than take up playing time.

Scenarios for Internet Ethics

Thanks to my Bloglines account, and Francey from Gargoyles Loose in the Library, I now have a bunch of new scenarios to raise when discussing internet issues with my boys.

Our local library gave us material from the government's initiative to promote internet safety (can't remember what it is called), which didn't really address anything we hadn't already discussed ... but finding the material prompted a refresher discussion in a timely way for our exploration of Silkroad (about which more later, right now I want to PLAY).

IT goddesses

If I'd had daughters instead of sons, this calendar would be my first purchase.

I love the eye catching way it "smashes through perceptions of geeky technologists", and in the process aims to:

# Raise awareness of the diversity of Women in IT
# Raise money for non profit groups that run initiatives to encourage females to take up technology studies and to enter technology careers


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