Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A thought to ponder on Civic Duty

Sarah Vowell calls this "one of the most beautiful sentences in the English language."

We must delight in each other, make other's conditions our own, rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, our community as members of the same body.

It's from John Winthrop's "A Model of Christian Charity" which is more famous for it's shining "city on a hill" reference, but which here gives us a crystal clear directions about how to behave as a true community.

Would that he were more frequently remembered for this quote than the one that Reagan cribbed.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Thing #14 Technorati Part 2

So I got my blog claimed on Technorati and poked around a bit. It does seem to be a great tool for finding blogs. I used it over the weekend to help me search for blogs about jailbreaking my old iPhone and why my battery was draining so fast. Apparently my OpenSSH was on and drawing huge amounts of power. I was able to pinpoint the problem and fix it and now the battery is lasting many times longer than it did before I jailbroke it.

I am also gratified to see that Google also lets me do a blog search in a similar manner. Those who know me know that I do love love all things Google.

The tagging is a terrific tool to help you organize your own ___________. (Fill in the blank: blog posts, photos, stories, etc.). I can see great advantages especially when you reach the critical mass of items at which point it is no longer really realistic to just browse through looking for stuff.

I can't see any real disadvantages, other than it goes against our basic human laziness to have to consistently tag stuff. That seems like a pretty lame reason not to do it.

Now I just have to remember to tag for Technorati and figure out what tags I want to use.

Technorati Tags

Monday, June 29, 2009

Technorati: Thing #14 part 1

I'll be doing a more involved post on Technorati in Part 2 of my Thing #14 post. This post is just to allow me to claim my blog on Technorati by publishing this line of code on my blog's front page.



Thing # 13 Bookmarks and Tagging

Tagging is one of those things that seems inconvenient and inefficient at first, but can save you lots and lots of time as you accumulate more tags and more things that have tags.

I'll admit, I was a little resistant to Thing #13 as written because I had used in the past and discarded it in favor of FoxMarks (now Xmarks) as a central bookmarking solution. Now that Xmarks supports Safari as well as Firefox and also syncs your passwords, I was even more loathe to change my bookmarking. And much of what I got by tagging pages and organizing them through I found more comfortable using Evernote.

I did join Diigo, but have not been using it. I did subscribe to the Diigo in Education group and get regular email updates from the group (because you can never get enough email, after all) which are interesting and could be useful, but overall, I was not set afire by the annotation possibilities and the toolbar. The toolbar seemed just to clutter up my browsing experience and I think that I would be more appreciative of the annotation and sharing possibilities in Diigo if I were classroom teacher. Who knows, I may find a way it works for me yet.

Here's one of those things about Web 2.0. There are lots of tools and lots of possibilities and a multitude of ways to get from here to there. That's a good thing if you are looking to find just the right tool for you and your way of doing things. It can be frustrating if you want the whole world to be using the same tool you use.

Once I was driving to local hotspot with a friend who voiced her surprise at the route I was taking. I responded in all sincerity, "I'm sure there are other ways to get there." I was speaking in earnest, blissfully unaware of the arrogance of my tone until I heard it come out of my mouth. We were in a good and silly mood, so we both just started laughing about how we all think our way of "getting there" has some inherent superiority. It's good to remember as we wend our way through "the Internets" that there are almost always other ways to get where we are going.

Back to Blogging, Back to 23 Things

At the end of the school year, when I had failed to complete the 23 things (oh the shame), I made a promise to myself that I would finish over the summer. Somehow I still hold onto the image of summer as a slow period of rest and restoration in my head, even though as Technology Director, summer is one of the busiest times of year for my department.

But I still want to finish those 23 things before all the other staff comes back and I find that I am still behind.

Mostly it is just a block. I have actually done most of these "things." I just have to blog about them. I just have to reflect.

So. Notice given. I'm back

Saturday, March 21, 2009

It's March Madness. Go Spartans

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Thing #12 Rollyo

Susan Geiger tells me that Rollyo has been around for a long time (in Web 2.0 terms which is apparently measured somewhat like dog years), but somehow I had never run across it. This could have saved me lots of craziness.

If you read my post on RSS feeds you know that I follow a ridiculous number of blogs and since I read them in an RSS reader (Google Reader) I don't have a lot of visual cues to help me tell them apart. So lots of times I will read about something on the fly and later can't remember which of the 9 educational or 7 political or 8 tech blogs that I follow reported on it. So a Rollyo that searchs the blogs that I read regularly can let me look up that entry that I read a week ago and now can't quite remember where it was reported.
Wow, this should save some of that hair that I start pulling out when I can't find that very relevant post I need to win that argument make that salient point next time I am in a desperately heated fight lively exchange of ideas.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Thing #11 Web 2.0 Apps and Ning

One of my favorite Web 2.0 apps did not make the cut of the award winners that the library recommended, but it is a terrific hybrid tool that uses the "cloud" and also has interfaces for most of your web-able appliances (computers, phones and the like).

Evernote uses both a web interface and applications you can download to your computer (Mac and Win), iPhone or Windows Mobile device to set up notebooks that are stored on the web. You can also use their website to access your notebooks and add notes that you clip from other websites with their browser tools. You can add text, photos, web clippings, email clippings, screenshots, voice notes and attachments of all sorts and then organize them using tags and folders.

It's very cool. I use it for things like sharing grocery lists with my partner who can input items on the list online that I can access later on my iPhone at the store. At Christmas time I would take pictures with my phone and note prices of things I wanted to buy for the kids but first wanted to discuss with her. "No, don't buy that. I already found the bike for Daniel." "Oh." I say "Oh." alot in those conversations. Evernote doesn't really help with that part of the discussion.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Web 2.0 and 23 Things in Action!

Bridge Infrastructure
Originally uploaded by buddyat40
While completing Thing #6, I ran across The Rachel Maddow Show's Photostream on Flickr where they have show and user content posted and I blogged on an motivational poster created in Automotivator.

Also on the Photostream was an invitation to submit your own posters. I submitted this one in which I used a photo available for non-commercial use and remix under the Creative Commons license.

Yesterday, I went to check out the site and found that my poster was one of 14 posted on a new page on called Maddow Fans Get Motivated. Check it out!

Monday, February 23, 2009

You, and you, and you got to give them hope.

The morning after the Oscars and Sean Penn's win for his seamless portrayal of Harvey Milk, it does well to remember the voice and words of the real man.

Hope helps us keep a grip on our teaspoons.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Thing #10, If you don't like Change, you're going to like Irrelevance even less

 Personally, I like Image Chef

Thing #9, Week #4: New Found Classroom Blogs

Here's a look at some new and not so new blogs that I dug up on Technorati and a few other places.

  • Throughlines -- When I first started reading this blog the author, Bruce Shauble, was chair of the English Dept. at Punahou School in Honolulu. I stopped reading for a while and when I returned I found he is now the Director of Instruction. He's a teacher, artist, photographer and an incredibly thought provoking writer. Well worth reading.

  • The Thinking Stick -- This blog by Jeff Utrect from the International School in Bangkok has an abundance of great info about educational technology, curricular design and 21st Century skills.

  • Education.Change.Org -- Part of the larger Change.Org site, this group blog features lead blogger Clay Burell, an Apple Distinguished Educator and humanities teacher who is passionate about 21st Century school reform.

  • Practical Theory -- Chris Lehmann is the principal of the Science Leadership Academy,  an inquiry-driven, project-based high school focused on 21st century learning that opened its doors in 2006 in Philadelphia. Very exciting things are happening there including the most recent EduCon Conference.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thing #8 Week #4: RSS

Oh, the goodness of Google Reader. Reader is just one of the many good Google things that have captured my heart, but it is undoubtably the one that I use the most often. (Even now that I am blogging regularly on Blogger.)
As I mentioned when I was discussing my blogroll (which is simply a select slice of my Google Reader imported into Blogger), I follow about 20 blogs on a semi-regular basis. That was before I started following everyone's blog from 23 things. Now my RSS feed count is up to about 90.
Google Reader lets you organize your feeds into folders so I have folders for 23 things, Fun & Family, Education, Technology and Politics.
Fun & Family includes blogs of friends, ParentHacks, MSU Football Scores and Giants Scores. Sports scores are available for most pro and college teams at Totally Scored, but their site seems to be down right now. The sports scores RSS feeds are great ways to make sure that the info I want comes to me. 
Actually that's true for all of my feeds. Google Reader also has the option to either view all articles, all new articles, all of each post or just the headlines which can be expanded. I prefer to see just the headlines and only new posts, which lets me scan and read selectively. 
Also since some of the feeds like ThinkProgress have 15-20 posts per day, I love the option that allows me to "Mark all as read" when I occasionally get behind on keeping up with the news. I can read a few headlines and then just move along. That's the semi-regular part.
Google Reader interface for creating a shared/public version of your feed reader is a little clunky. It doesn't really have the look and feel of Google Reader, but you can see posts from some of the feeds I follow. 
Take a look here: