Skype + iPhone = Yum

Sign me up, man. You can have my freakin' BlackBerry.

Computers Suck At Giving Hugs

Interesting points made by

But one question still nags; if the evidence suggests that instructor-led instruction still has a long, healthy life (whether in the classroom or online), why do bloggers continue to insist that its death is imminent?
For the record, here's one blogger that's convinced that computers will never fully replace real, live, human beings in their capacity as instructors. The human element, filled with compassion, emotion, empathy, and genuine understanding simply can't be replicated by technology - and is desperately needed by every student, whether they care to admit it or not.

Image source: Flickr user Old Shoe Woman.

Good Bye Google Reader Shared Items

I'm kissing the Google Reader "Shared with Note" button goodbye.

No more convenience. No more quick click. No more easy share.

Having been less than prolific lately in this space, I've come to re-realize that one thing I really value in blogging (and other online interactions) is the conversation - and conversation is what Google Reader shared items lacks (yes, even "Comment view").

Close, but no cigar. (What good's a social network that's not social?)

Thus, if I have something to share - found grazing the feeds - I'll do it here, thank you. Publicly search-able, archived, and with conversations intact.


Image source: Indexed.

Sometimes I ONE-der

It's been too long since I've shared any of my selections of binary poetry. Better than Fibonacci, let me tell you.

01010111 01101000 01100101 01101110 00100000 01110111 01100101 00100000 01101100 01101111 01101111 01101011 00100000 01100010 01100001 01100011 01101011 00100000 00101101 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01110010 01110100 01111001 00100000 01111001 01100101 01100001 01110010 01110011 00100000 01100110 01110010 01101111 01101101 00100000 01101110 01101111 01110111 00100000 00101101 00100000 01110111 01101001 01101100 01101100 00100000 01110111 01100101 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01101110 01101011 00100000 01110101 01110011 00100000 01110001 01110101 01100001 01101001 01101110 01110100 00100000 01100110 01101111 01110010 00100000 01100010 01110101 01110011 01101001 01101100 01111001 00100000 01100100 01101001 01110011 01110100 01110010 01101001 01100010 01110101 01110100 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01100010 01101001 01110100 01110011 00100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 01101001 01101110 01100110 01101111 01110010 01101101 01100001 01110100 01101001 01101111 01101110 00101100 00100000 01110011 01101000 01101111 01110101 01110100 01100101 01100100 00100000 01101001 01101110 01110100 01101111 00100000 01110110 01101001 01110010 01110100 01110101 01100001 01101100 00100000 01110111 01101111 01110010 01101100 01100100 01110011 00101100 00100000 01100100 01100101 01110011 01110000 01100101 01110010 01100001 01110100 01100101 01101100 01111001 00100000 01101000 01101111 01110000 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 01111001 00100000 01110111 01101001 01101100 01101100 00100000 01100010 01100101 00100000 01100011 01100001 01110101 01100111 01101000 01110100 00100000 01100010 01111001 00100000 01110011 01101111 01101101 01100101 00100000 01100011 01100001 01110010 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01110011 01101111 01110101 01101100 00111111 00100000 01010011 01101111 01101101 01100101 01110100 01101001 01101101 01100101 01110011 00100000 01001001 00100000 01001111 01001110 01000101 00101101 01100100 01100101 01110010 00101110 00100000 01001110 01000001 01010101 01000111 01001000 01010100 00101110

No good?

Change, But On A Larger Scale

Lest I'm accused of a mindset only focused on the staffing needs of the Canyons School District, I thought I'd share a comment that I left last night on Karl Fisch's blog. The post, simply entitled Disconnect(Ed), shows a picture of a collection of cell phones, obviously swiped from students while they struggle their way through the current round of standardized tests. All told, I've collected paper box lids of cell phones like that myself, because I had to, and even at times because I wanted to.

Before I left my response, the only comment on the post was written by Andrew Neely. In it, he gives the type of reasoning that is typical of forward-thinking educators and, at least in my opinion, seems to echo the sentiments of the glaring majority of writers that frequent our online conversations.

In that, Andrew's my kind of guy.

Nonetheless, I feel somewhat unsettled - not so much by the matter-of-fact tone in Andrew's comment - but by how easy so many seem to think that the kinds of change we're begging for will take to honestly become a reality. Thus my response (with spelling corrected and emphasis added):

The implication you're making here is huge, Andrew.

You seem to be saying that our current systems of traditional learning are broken - that not only are our assessments flawed, but that the very foundations upon which we have built our schools (societies?) are no longer supportive of the kinds of learning that we (society) now need our students to do.

In other words, not only do we need to change the way we test, but the way we teach - and all this because of the ways that our students can now learn. Is it so wrong now to want our students to prove what they know and can do all by themselves? Apparently so - after all, we now live in a networked world.

No wonder it's taking so long for shift to happen in our schools.
We're talking about colossal shifts here: In schools, in teachers, in assessments, and in attitudes. All because we can (?), and ultimately because we should.

One teacher, one class, one school, one district, one nation, and one world at a time.

Original image source: Karl Fisch. Amazingly edited with Aviary.

Captured by Those Addicting Chains of Information

[I've posted this, removed it, re-posted, re-removed it, and now I'm re-posting it again. Last night my wife mentioned how she really liked this post. "It's one of my favorites," she confessed. I figure if my wife doesn't think I'm a total crack-pot after reading this thing, then what do I care what others think? :) ]

I'm not so sure about this one.

Addicted? Yes, probably.

Well, maybe addicted, I guess.

I mean, maybe not though, really, 'cause I can STOP, you know.

Addicted... to:

  • Checking my email.
  • The iPod, Blackberry, that buzz that says "New messages waiting."
  • Wiis, Webkinz, and "When's it gonna be my turn?"
  • Solitaire, duh, and maybe even Morocco.
  • Blogging, Twitter, Facebook.
  • Skype, chat, and "Wouldn't it be waaaaay easier if we could just type the paper?"
  • Free. iPhone. Apps. Why? Because I can.
  • Photos and videos and wow, that Jib Jab's funny.
But I'm not really addicted to my computer, now am I?

Well am I?

While I want to think that I'm addicted to my "friends" - all 1,429 of them - to be perfectly blunt:
  • I think it's the input,
  • The information,
  • The new ideas and c h a i n s of information
That I crave most.

Or is it the power? That might just be it:
  • The power of computing,
  • The power of expression,
  • And the power of the network.
After all:
  • My computer does exactly. what. I. tell. it.
And people sometimes don't.

[Blue screen of death]. Doh!

Some addictions are more painful than others.

  • Are you addicted?
  • Am I?
  • I mean really. And if so, to what?
  • I mean it's not like I get the Joneses if I don't get my Twitter fix. Or do you?
- - - - -

Image Source: Flickr user and powerful thinker shareski.

We're Hiring

Amid all the economic turmoil that's plagued our world, we're actually hiring in the Canyons School District. Right now, because we're building a district from the ground up, my department has posted team lead positions in a variety of flavors:

Many of these positions will be closing soon, so you'd better move fast if you think you might be interested. Click here for application and other information.

Join me in the Canyons. I think you'll really like it over here. :)

Original image source: Flickr user dougwoods.

Kids These Days

So I brought home a demo MacBook Pro from work today so I could check out all the new features. I opened it up, nearly caressing it (of course), and my six-year-old daughter looks up, perfectly on cue, and innocently asks:

But where's Firefox, dad?
Man, I love digital natives (especially my own)!

Personally, I think it's important to have the "open source" talk with your kids waaaay before those boring "maturation programs" they put on in the fifth grade.

Image source: OSU Linux Users Group in Oregon (post link here).

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