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Computer-Pioneer Alan Kay talks about the $100-laptop and about “Children First” as keynote at the EuroPython Conference 2006 at the CERN in Geneva.

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Sean FitzGerald has been doing a good job rebutting the rather shallow criticisms of Second Life that have been coming out of late. Here’s he’s response to to Graham Attwell’s post – Creativity Costs Money in Second Life. I have been bookmarking some of the other criticisms coming through, but am yet to read a single thing that even scratches beneath the surface of Second Life experience. What a shame some web2 spokes people are so entrenched and negative towards this early rise of web3 and can’t bring themselves to look and think deeper about the phenomenon – or at least start by getting the right end of the stick!

Peter Shanks (aka Shaggy) based in Lithgow Australia has just pulled off something that Picasa and Flickr should sit up and take notice of! FlickrCC – A Creative Commons search engine that then enables you to crop, resize, add text and basic graphics, and then an attribution mark!!

Now we’re cooking with gas in the free, open, easy and web based application world.

Good on ya shaggy!

At last I landed a telephone call with Stewart Cheifet, Director of Collections at the Internet Archive. Why on Earth so few Educational Institutions and Libraries in Australia and New Zealand know about, let alone use the services that the Archive offer is beyond me. Listen to this audio to learn more about exactly what the Archive is offering, and start thinking of how these services could potentially save your organisation millions of dollars and vastly improve your visability and digital storage services.

From the relative safety of my blog – I’ve been asked to observe a rather revolting display of forum moderation over in poor old Edna. (remember to scroll to the bottom and read up up up, strange I know).

I was interested to go there and read a CMS vs Blog (is there really a difference?) or Web1 vs Web2 debate. But poor Leonard Low – representing Blogs and netlearning rather well I thought – is left to dangle by a negligent moderator when personal insults and what amounts to flat out bullying are spewed his way. A rather cowardly EdNA group remained silent as Leonard’s robust and clearly referenced arguments are degraded to pointless remarks from more than one person with a clear habit of EdNA forum bullying.

Eventually Leonard let his rigor down and enters the fight, only then to be moderated en-mass by a strange act of mothering. Such poor moderation is only one reason I don’t join in EdNA discussion any more, and is a clear indication as to why networked communications work better than forums. Forums are like a halfway point between mostly shallow instant messaging and verbal conversation and more fully formed dialogue through monologue (such as blogs). I hope Leonard ejects from such degrading experiences of Anglo Saxon grunt and concentrates on articulating his arguments and responses in his blog (which by the way, I think would be improved if he included his EdNA contributions on wider things than just mLearning). Alex Hayes – who is also the victim of unmoderated bullying in EdNA Forums has ejected already – I bet he’ll go back though, and is writing from the relative safety of his blog also.

That’s not to say this particular exchange is all together useless. On the contrary. There are some note worthy points made (mostly from Leonard) that are very useful contributions to the whole debate. Its just a shame that it is brought down by poor moderation and weak contributors who are at a bit of a loss on how to deal with a bully in their ranks.

A little birdy dropped this in my email recently. Its a job ad for NSW DET. Can you imagine the sorded characters they are going to get knocking on their recruitment doors this week!! Quick! Get your kid into a homeschool fast.

Dear everyone

We are urgently seeking a nominee at SEO or CEO level, to take up a full time role starting ASAP for up to 6 months to authorise the filtering of websites as part of the AIBE project.

The person would need to understand the educational /delivery implications of blocking sites and be able to liaise effectively with relevant staff to ensure a decision is made that is consistent with policy and addresses TAFE NSW delivery needs. More details about the roles are listed below.

I’m advised that funding is available from TOL2 for this position.

Would you let me know by COB Monday 11 Dec of a nominee? Thank you

Roles:

The person would be the TAFE representative on a Team involved in a range of activities including:

    Looking at each request to block web sites and make an assessment as to the educational value of blocking each web site. In the case where it would be appropriate for a web site to be blocked for certain year groups or to be blocked for all those not studying a particular subject, they will block the site for those in the appropriate year groups or subject groups.

    Looking at each request to unblock web sites and make an assessment as to the value of unblocking the site. Where a site is educationally suited to be unblocked for a particular year or subject group, they will add that site to the allow list for the appropriate year and/or subject groups.

    Review overall filtering profiles for year and educational subject groupings to ensure that they are appropriate to the needs of students and staff.

    Review the operation of existing email filtering and “banned words and phrases” to ensure that the levels of filtering are appropriate to the requirements of staff and students.

    Review the current browsing filtering to ensure that the current “banned” search terms are appropriate to the requirements of staff and students.

    In consultation with TAFE Curriculum Centres ensure that access to web sites identified in new curriculum material is accessible to staff and students

    Research and provide advice and comment on future filtering requirements for DET to ensure that the most appropriate levels of filtering are available to ensure the best possible educational outcomes for students.

    Liaise with the Child Protection and Audit Units in relation to the levels of filtering that are set and to ensure that emerging issues based on legislation and incidents that may have occurred within DET and the wider education community are addressed.

Kind regards

Perfect timing for this positive local print article about Blogging, as I am hoping some managers will start keeping work related blogs in an effort to improve communication, networking and informal documentation of processes etc.


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a look at how to pull a heap of data out of a Blogger blog and into a wordpress blog. Same concept applied to pulling from the Bloglines reader and into the Google reader


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A screenrecording of me in there mucking up in Second Life with Sean

I’ve kinda sat on the fence with Second Life. But really, there’s no arguement about it. SL is an intensly engaging and inspiring space to be working in. Ever since the Future of Learning in a Networked World and talking more with Jo Kay and Sean FitzGerald I can see it more clearly.

With surprisingly little effort, IT here opened the communication port to allow access into SecondLife. Gotta hand it to the IT crew here at Otago Poly, for all my moaning about the profession generally (mostly legacy attitude from a gestapo like IT department in NSW DET), they have mostly been very responsive in taking off filters, allowing me to install software and try out things like Second Life.

Anyway, today I pulled a group of Occupational Therapy lecturers and others, to meet and watch as I met Jo in Second Life. In an intense hour of moving around, riding a balloon, visiting Harvard Law’s SL school, and a Medical Library, not to mention bringing up a heap of Youtube videos, related websites, wikis and blogs, I think the group began to see how all this stuff can tie in together. (Links follow)

But, the usual overwhelmed feeling still pervades – that I fear will paralise anyone from moving into trialing out new practices with this teachnology. I’m ready, give me a project, I’d like to get iinto this I think…

Great links:
Jo Kay’s BlogHud – where she is intergrating Blogging in with SecondLife
Jo Kay’s Flickr photos – a bunch of screengrabs from Jo’s SL experiences
SAE in Second Life – an excellent wiki page by Sean and Jo to support their presentations about edu use of SL
NMC Campus: Seriously Engaging – Youtube vid
Second Life Medical Library – an amazing range of information in a virtual library!
A Masters in Digital Media course blog – that also has a campus in Second Life
Cyber One – Harvard Law course that has a blog, wiki and Second Life campus

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