Friday, September 19, 2003

Today I spent the morning programming radios for use at this year's World Cup ski races at Lake Louise.

I've been involved as a volunteer at the races for a few years now and really enjoy the opportunity to "live and work" in the mountains for a week or ten days each year. We have a great group of volunteers and it's a blast to be part of the team that works hard to put together the track which tests the best men and women ski racers in the world.

If you're a strong skier and have some time you can volunteer the last week of November or first week of December, we'd love to hear from you.

Visit to register as volunteer for this year's races.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

This month's Wired magazine has an article on an software application that has the potential to revolutionize the way media is presented on the web. is:
a context for exploring the emerging conceptual space enabled by electronic media. It is an environment for learning the fundamentals of computer programming within the context of the electronic arts and it is an electronic sketchbook for developing ideas.

I've been in to look at some of the examples that have been posted and am excited by the prospects this open-source software application presents. There's absolutely no question in my mind that open-source is indeed the way to go when it comes to on-line development.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I'm very keen on the notion of open source development and truly believe that the "open" part of the equation is exactly what makes it so powerful from the point of view of the social constructivist.

I find that I keep coming back to the notion of the "social" as it relates to the learning and teaching I do. It's stating the obvious to say that we don't learn in a vacuum. I'd suggest that all learning is necessarily "social" in nature. I'd also suggest that "open" systems -- be they for developing software applications or curricula -- are inherently both social and constructivist in nature.
It's been an interesting couple of week in terms of contact from former high school classmates as a direct result of this blog.

"Are you the Doug Symington I went to high school with?"

I've had this question a number of times over the past couple of years this blog has been live, but the answer has been "no" until the last couple of weeks.

To this point, it seems, I've been confused with a namesake from Winnipeg, MB. It's been neat to reconnect with other alumni from my high school and to catch-up with what former classmates are doing with their lives, although it's hard to believe that it's been nearly 25 yrs since I left high school.

Almost as interesting is how much more I enjoy school now than I did then ;-)

Monday, September 15, 2003

I'm continuing to experiment with multimedia and web delivery. I'm also interested in the notion of the "implied author" as described by Wayne C. Booth in The Rhetoric of Fiction(1961) and how this relates to on-line multimedia.

For instance, because you know that I'm the author of "clouds over phoenix" 540K WMV are you more inclined to cut me slack in terms of the "low res" of the video than if I was a corporation or organization?

What are the implications in terms of the ability to self-publish on-line multimedia learning or education objects?

And yes, it is good to be home.