Saturday, August 30, 2003

Things are looking up. I broke 90 on the golf course day for the first time in a long time. Got out in 42 which is pretty good for me these days, and at least gave myself a chance.

After we got back from golf I used SMART Notebook software to make a tutorial on Adobe Premier. Specifically, how to use it to export to *.MOV or Quick Time format from *.AVI files. I know, pretty heady stuff! It is when you're struggling to provide low-bandwidth versions of streaming video in Windows, Real and Quick Time formats.

There's no question in my mind that video will come to play a larger role in our on-line lives. Yesterday I had the good fortune to meet with Mike Laurence of Brock University, compliments of my buddy, and work colleague, Dan McMahon.

Dan's been working with Mike on some videoconferencing and integration projects at Brock and when Dan told me a while back that Mike was working on "objects" I was interested in hearing more, and had the good fortune to see some of the neat stuff Mike and his team are doing at Brock.

It was great to videoconference with Mike and some of his colleagues from Brock yesterday. It's neat when you finally get a chance to put not only a face, but a character or "persona" to an e-mail, name or voice. I look forward to working with Mike and his group into the future and think it's in connections like these were we find the true power of on-line communities, as well as another example of how "open philosophy" can be brought to bear on the dissemination of knowledge and educational resources.

Along those lines, Mike and others are looking for help.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

I'm posting today about my experiences working with Simone Laughton and James Mercer, colleauges in CTL 1611 at OISE/UT with Professor Lynn Davie.

Simone, James and myself are working on a term project for our course and I'm extremely impressed with the quantity and quality of the work my two colleagues continue to produce. I've been involved in other "teams" in some of the other courses I've taken at OISE/UT, but nothing compares to this experience in terms of what I'm learning and what we're producing as a team.

Both Simone and James are very capable and intelligent individuals and I feel very fortunate to be a member of the their team for our term project in CTL 1611. Nothwithstanding the high motivation of the members of our team -- arguably the most important factor of successful teams -- I think our daily synchronous chats over the past few days has contributed to my sense of "belongingness." Guess making the effort to "sync up" daily speaks to motivation as well. It also helps keep us "on track" in terms of design and development for our project. I would strongly stress the importance of regularly scheduled -- and attended -- synchronous chats.

A heartfelt "thank you" to Simone and James for your individual and collective efforts on our summerMaple term project; a practical demonstration of how efficient "distributed teams" can meet and build team projects.

I'd also like to apologize to my fellow passengers at the back of the plane, literally, on Northwest Flight # 103 from DC to Minneapolis this morning.... I was having a listen to some of the *.wav files I have on my laptop and managed to open a file that, when played on a loop, sounded like some type of alarm -- much to the consternation of those within earshot. Sorry about that folks; my bad, I'll try to be more careful in the future.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

A post from the airport @ YYC (Calgary) ahead of my trip to Washington, DC.

I'm just back from a quick trip to the kiosk down the hall to get some antihistamines. A couple of Sinutabs laters I'm hopeful that my sinuses don't explode upon pressurization in the cabin. I've got a few hours @ 30,000+ feet in my future and hope the meds take effect and prevent much more in the way of discomfort. As it is, my head feels like it's in a vise.

On this trip I'm off to do a training session for the Washington Jesuit Academy. The Jesuits are world-reknowned for their academic acumen and I'm excited by the prospect of working with faculty and staff at the academy.

Today's trip was pretty good. Today's flights had lots of spare room and I was even able to stretch out across three seats and have a nap on the way to Minneapolis on the first leg of the journey. Nice to be able to catch a nap and let my sinus medicine work its magic.