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My goals for the site…

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 11.55.28 AMI will keep everything in WordPress because it works well, has great stats, and enables me to aggregate all of my feeds from Tumblr, Twitter, and Scoop.it.  I might look into whether my Instagram and Flikr video and photos can come through here as well.  In my spare time, I hope to accomplish a few things with this site this year, namely:

  • Redesign my logo
  • Rebrand the layout and content feed of my site
  • Create a new avatar
  • Upload all of my papers from my PhD course, possibly aggregated through acadamia.edu or scribd.com – maybe both!

I am always searching for thoughts and advice.  What do you think?

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Posted by on February 20, 2015 in Design, Technology

 

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Comparisons

Comparisons

In comparing the products, this is how I would juxtapose them.

Twitter is to iPod Shuffle, as Instagram is to iPod Nano, as Tumblr is to iPhone, as WordPress is to iPad.

 
 

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Connecting around the world (within Timezones)

One of the projects on the back of my mind for our school is to buddy different classes or grades with “sister school” throughout the world.  Where this most often becomes is through technology, authentic needs and projects, and through meeting synchronously at the same time.  To alleviate this last worry, I was examining the idea to limit the schools we would connect with to those within our own timezone (for now).

Time Zones

Time Zones

This would mean that we could still get a cross-cultural feel for how things are in different parts of the world, but never have mix-ups or hiccups because of timing.  I can envision it now:

“Ok, great.  We’ll Skype with your class at 2pm then.”

“Wait, 2pm your time or mine?”

“Oh, ours.”

“Oh, we will already be gone home.”

This preplanning could fix all of this hassle down the road.  Because I am in Istanbul, this gives me a wide gamut of places and schools to consider, for example, Finland, Kiev, Bucharest, Cairo, Lubumbashi, Pretoria, Cape Town, and the list goes on.

Asynchronous conversations would end this worry and could be done through ideas like: Edmodo, Wikis, Blogging, Google Docs, Twitter, Twijector, and more.  However, there is definitely something about connecting in real-time.   I am excited about the idea and will comment further about the progress and the new problems we may face.

 

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Connected –> Organized –> Disconnected

Image representing Netvibes as depicted in Cru...This post is about the idea that we have definitely moved into a connected society.  You cannot argue with statistics like these:

We had 845 million monthly active users at the end of December 2011.
Approximately 80% of our monthly active users are outside the U.S. and Canada.
We had 483 million daily active users on average in December 2011.
We had more than 425 million monthly active users who used Facebook mobile products in December 2011.
Facebook is available in more than 70 languages. (Facebook, 2012)

What does this mean for learners, or better yet for facilitators and parents of those learners?
I see two things that people need to focus on learning now that we are so connected.  The first is organization and discerning between good and bad sources.  The second is working towards systematic and non-systematic disconnection.

With the first idea that we need to work towards organization of all of the information that is bombarding us, there are a few ideas that I can think of.  The first is using consolidating sites like iGoogle.com or preferably Netvibes.com.  I recommend Netvibes because it allows you to see all of your emails, your website.

You can direct the content to this feed so that you don’t miss what any of your favorite website are talking about.  I cannot speak about whether iGoogle has this feature, but this in itself is one reason that I would recommend the competition.  Both of the platforms are completely customizable and are simple to use with a drag and drop user interface.es, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more, plus it allows you to have notes and to-do lists for yourself.  This is the same as iGoogle, but it also allow for you to have your RSS feeds, and view them as email, so you know which ones you have read and which ones you haven’t.  In case you don’t know what an RSS feed is, it can be a blog or website that updates.

The green space A at top is even simply connec...

The second idea is about moving away from connectedness to a disconnected time period.  As Mark Prensky (2001) coined it, students today are digital natives, which means they have always had computers and the ability to access the internet for every answer, query, or need for connection with ‘friends’.  The problem is that of ‘offline-edness’.  Mobile technology and the Edge has moved those with this technology to constant connection all the time.  Push notifications wake us up at night.  Smart phones, tablets, and laptops all receive and send a signal just about anywhere we are these days.  So how do we fight it?  And why?

First why?
Children need to be in nature.  They need to interact with one another in collaborative ways without using a computer.  They need to not be distracted by the tweet or email that was just sent through.  They need to sit down for dinner and have a conversation without a screen in front of them.  So do adult!

And how do we fight constant connectedness?
Parents need to limit the amount of time a child has on their device.  In doing so, they need to model this with their own limitation of the devices.  If they are at the dinner table, a rule needs to be that devices AND push notifications are turned off.  On vacations, there should be days where technology is left behind, or at least turned to airplane mode.  Parents should also put charging stations for devices in a central location, like the kitchen.  This may not be possible with many which charge but are also used to amplify the device with speakers or some other connection, but it is worth a consideration.

Schools need to have screen-free days or weeks.  This is the idea that EVERYONE in the school goes a day or week without using a computer or mobile device.  Everything is turned off and left at home or in lockers.  If people need to send an email, they do what people did in the old days, they send their messenger, I mean walk down the hall and talk with that person face-to-face.  It’s not a novel idea.  I heard about it years ago from Jeff Utecht, a technology integration specialist of all people, who was promoting the non-use of technology.

This is something we need to concern ourselves with.  We need to get back to the roots, and I don’t just mean them figuratively.  I mean we need to get back out into nature and climb a tree…or at least lay under one and watch the clouds.

References
Facebook. (2012). NewRoom. Retrieved March 11, 2012, from Facebook: http://newsroom.fb.com/content/default.aspx?NewsAreaId=22

Prensky, M. (2001, October). Digital Natives Digital Immigrants. Retrieved October 23, 2011, from MarkPrensky.com: http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf

 

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Your search results are different than others: Important to know

Attention:  

Did you know that Facebook and Google were filtering the results you get?  It’s true.  This means that results you get may be completely different from results that your friends, your neighbors, your adversaries, people of different ages, different demographics, different locales and countries get.  This is a scary thought to me.

Essentially what is happening: If I am a right-wing or left-wing person who only searches for right-wing or left-wing ideas, this is what I will find.  This is what will be presented to me.  This is what is reinforced in me as: Truth.  I take that idea back that ‘this is scary to me’ and want to replace it with: THIS IS TERRIFYING TO ME!!

Proof:

Watch this video to understand more:

Strategy:

I am not going to repost this post from The Filter Bubble, but they explain main ideas for how to combat search result filtering:

  1. Burn your cookies.
  2. Erase your web history.
  3. Tell Facebook to keep your data private.
  4. Hide your birthday.
  5. Turn off targeted ads, and tell the stalking sneakers to buzz off.
  6. Go incognito.
  7. Or better yet, go anonymous.
  8. Depersonalize your browser.
  9. Tell Google and Facebook to make it easier to see and control your filters.
  10. Tell Congress you care.

I would add:

  • Compare friend results – like you saw in the video
  • Network through places like Twitter around the world and ask to compare results from people outside of your sphere of thinking – Try to think what you search for and like and choose the opposite #tag instead – for example, if you are a Republican and always search #Republican, try #Democrat instead, and vice versa.  If you search #Vanilla, try #Chocolate.  Connect with new people from the other side of your views, your searches, and your beliefs.
  • Start searching things you don’t normally search – Try to trick these algorithms. (I don’t know if this is possible, but it’s worth a try)
Taylor made is good, but not always.  I hope you take action to see what you might be missing.
 
 

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Create comic strips like a Pro

Less than 2 minutes is all it took me to make the above comic strip.  The learning curve using stripgenerator.com is low.  The options are seemingly endless.  The ability for teachers to use this in their classroom at a low age is high.  There is a “like” factor for kids.  Why not explore it for yourself.  I have listed some of the abilities with this all-in-one website below.

Strip Generator allows for different types of:

  • frames
  • characters (plus you can build your own)
  • items (like tvs, hats, books, toys, instruments and so much more)
  • text (and text bubbles)

Everything can:

  • be rotated
  • be re-sized
  • be arranged front to back
  • blurred
  • have its opacity changed

When you finish you can tag, print, share on Facebook and Twitter, embed on your website or blog, or even join with other strips you have made to create a booklet.  The website is very intuitive.  I can see many uses for it in education and give it 5 out of 5 stars as a resource.

 

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How did you hear that Osama was killed?

I bet that you heard that Osama Bin Laden was killed from a different source that how you heard that Princess Diana or JFK was killed?

The reason I bet this is because you heard the other two were killed on the TV, whereas the latest story you read through the news on the web, through Twitter or because of a post on Facebook.

Gosh, how things are changing.

In the future, be it five years, ten, twenty or more, how will we be viewing, reading, hearing and sensing the news?  Media will continue to be more self-directed.

We have seen the advent of Sony, Samsung and Apple internet-TV, NetVibes, and iGoogle.  RSS feeders have been around for a while, and then of course there is Tweetdeck to help manage Twitter Tweets.  We are no long er passive readers and watchers.  We want what we want, when we want it, how we want it and how much we want of it.

We don’t like to stop for commercials, so they better be built right in somewhere and if we really like something you can bet we are going to share, tweet, like, or stumble it.  Our groups of friends and contacts are going to get to hear, watch and read what we did.

But it is going to get better with time.  Media itself, along with the ads that we see are learning from us and then cater to us.  Trends are amalgamating about things that we are doing.  What then, are you doing to help with trending for yourself?  How are you making your life easier?  Are you still watching the TV or reading an actual newspaper for your information?

Think about it now.  Act on it soon.

Read more about trends here.

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2011 in Technology

 

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