Thursday, December 14, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
Makes we wonder (again!) what my $50 USD, I think it was, investment in blogger in '02 might be worth in 2006 Google dollars, had I purchased a share....
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Apologies to those expecting an email response over the past few days--seems as though my email account at samlab.com is currently experiencing some "technical difficulties."
I'll try to keep up with posts to this space; however, I seem to be gravitating more toward samlab.com as of late....
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Friday, April 21, 2006
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Friday, April 07, 2006
Friday, March 03, 2006
I also recognize that this is nothing compared to the turmoil experienced at worldbridges.com
Here's a map with clickable links to the rebuilding efforts at edtechtalk.com
One thing I heard at Northernvoice that sticks with me was the notion of web as ecosystem and how it supported all manner of lifeforms. This concept came into full relief for me this week.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Julie's take on narrative, voice, and the "masks" we wear on the web has particular relevance, I think, to many of the discussions taking place regarding the relative merits of public vs. private websites and the implications, especially, for K-12 educators and students, given concerns regarding privacy and personal security.
Another session that I thought was great, albeit too short, was the session that Bruce Sharpe of Singular Productions did on Friday at Moosecamp. Bruce is an audio engineer who does post-production work as a volunteer with ITConversations. His Great Podcast Sound for Cheap was a great session, although I'd have loved to have more time.
Other sessions that also seemed way too short from Friday, and that bear mention are the Photocamp that Kris Klug ran and Part II of Photocamp (Digital Workflow) that Eric Soroos conducted.
Another "photocamp-related" session was the "one-minute movie" session led by Roland. During the session Roland used an application called Picture to Movie to make a movie out of pictures he's taken, and those that other session participants had taken and uploaded to Flickr with the tag "moosecampmovie", and an original soundtrack called Camp Walk by Derek Miller of penmachine.com -- the result (actually a minute and a half in length) is a styling movie that I think captures the spirit of the event.
I was taken by the fact that everyone I approached expressed a willingness to be a guest for one of our weekly brainstorming sessions at edtechtalk.
Yet another example of how open and inclusive everyone in this community seems to be. I'm not naive enough to think that it's all "sunshine and roses" but it's just as obvious that there's a lot of goodwill and espirit de corps from the organizers through to the participants of this year's Moose Camp and Northern Voice conferences.
Speaking of organizers, a special tip of the hat to all the organizers and volunteers who worked so hard to make the "unconference" a success. I really enjoyed myself and feel very fortuante to have been introduced to so many great individuals doing such great stuff. Apologies for the "stream of consciousness" style of this post, but I'm still working on digesting this experience.
I feel as though my trip to Vancouver has opened up a whole new world for me in terms of introducing me a number of really capable and creative individuals, and providing an opportunity to meet some of "the giants" in the world of blogging in general (and edublogging in particular).
Indeed, the only downside from the whole experience is that I picked a really lousy time to misplace the USB cable for my camera, so I'm not able to make my contribution (just right now) to the pictures being posted to Flickr. The good news here is that a service like Flickr allows me to access the thousands of pictures that others have posted with the tags Moosecamp (currently 1154 pics) and Northernvoice (currently 2390 pics).
Saturday, February 11, 2006
As D'Arcy says in his post from today, Brian and Jason recorded audio from the session and will be posting these recordings -- I look forward to hearing these and will link to them once they're posted.
Unfortunately I missed yesterday's Edublogger Hootenanny due to the fact that I was "in transit" from Victoria and didn't get over in time; however, I'm happy to report that this afternoon's Blogging in Education
session will include "wrap-up of the Moose Camp Edublogger Hootenanny by Alan Levine (who has just posted the audio and notes from Nancy White's session this morning), D'Arcy Norman and Scott Leslie!" as an added bonus. I'll work on getting more audio and pics from the balance of the day and be back with more when I have it.
NOTE: I still fon't have pictures to post. Looks like I'm going to have to break down and buy a new USB cable for my camera. In the meanwhile, you can see the photos from Moosecamp and Northern Voice at Flickr.
We began this morning with Starting with Fire: Why Stories Are Essential and How to Blog Effective Tales by Julie Leung. Julie gave a great presentation which involved slides of photos and the role of narrative in blogging.
The second session from this morning, Silfry on the Blogosphere featured an interview of Dave Silfry, founder and CEO of Technorati, by Tim Bray. It was great to hear what Dave had to say about the state of the blogosphere and how Technorati is different from search engines and the growth of blogging since he began Technorati in 2002. He also spoke about the potential threats and opportunities of blogosphere going forward. Very interesting stuff.
Following the morning coffee break I had the pleasure of listening to Nancy White entitled, Snow White and the Seven Competencies of Online Interaction. At Brian Lamb's prompting I managed to get some audio of Nancy's talk and hope to have some of it available, once I get a chance to see what I have in terms of "raw" audio.
I'll be back with edits to this post as the day progresses. A big shout out to the organizers and speakers -- northernvoice rocks!!! If you're even remotely interested in blogging, or need to see what all the fuss is about, you need to get yourself to next year's northernvoice conference.
Friday, February 10, 2006
I've attended a couple of sessions so far and am looking forward to learning more. I really like the "unconference" nature of the event.
The informal approach seems to benefit both presenters and attendees and allows for flexibility and self-selection in terms of sessions and "sidebars" on topics of interest. moosecamp was a lot of fun and I hope it's going to be an annual event.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
I'm really looking forward to "attending" the Social Software Salon @ UBC via Skype today.
Provided it's ok with those participating, I intend to make an audio recording of proceedings with the intent of playing some excerpts during tonight's EdTechTalk Brainstorm.
I'm also happy to report that Charles Campbell--an "artist in residence" for the City of Victoria--will be by to talk about the podcasting project he's putting together with a group of youth here in Victoria. Here's a link to a newspaper article about Charles' project in Victoria.
Please join us this evening (in North America, the show starts at 0200 hrs GMT Friday) for what I hope will be a very interesting and informative show.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Brian Lamb has posted in his blog about a session that's taking place tomorrow afternoon: the Social Software Salon @ UBC looks like it's going to be a great session and I've just sent Brian an email asking him if it's ok for me to join the "salon" via Skype.
I've also asked for permission to record proceedings in order to play some excerpts during tomorrow night's EdTechTalk Brainstorming Session.
I hope that I'll be able to make this work since I know that it will be an informative and entertaining session. One that I hope to be able to share with my audience for "Brainstorming Session 22A."
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
It was very informative for me as someone who isn't much of a programmer to be able to see "under the hood" in terms of Drupal module development and to hear the questions that those in attendance had regarding Drupal development and how best to accomplish tasks in terms of design and implementation of Drupal, PHP and databases.
I'd hoped to include a picture of Aaron from today's session, but "technical difficulties" (I don't seem to have the USB cable for my camera with me) will preclude this, at least in the short term.
As always, watch this space for details.
Monday, February 06, 2006
My schedule also means that it looks as though I'm not going to be able to make it over to the "lower mainland" (i.e., Vancouver) for this week's Open CMS/ Drupal conference, which is too bad. I'm still holding out hope that I'll be able to attend Moose Camp / Northern Voice, but that's not for certain at this point either....
What makes this a special pain, is that I had hoped to be able to do this week's EdTechTalk Brainstorming webcast from Vancouver, but that's not going to happen; indeed, I'll be lucky to get over at all. As always, watch this space for details.
Monday, January 30, 2006
I haven't been out to see any of the films so far, but I did work as an usher at one of the venues last night. Like events and festivals the world over, VIFVF relies on volunteers to make it work. Volunteering is also a chance for individuals to contribute in ways that might not be immediately apparent--to both the volunteer and "beneficiary."
For those of you in and around Victoria--get out to see some of these films and get some enjoyment and help ensure the success of the festival. I'd also encourage anyone reading this to look for opportunities to volunteer in your community. You might be surprised by how much you learn and how much fun you have.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Today's discussion revolved around a couple of posts from late last year. Stephen made a post that prompted a response from George, including a note that it was too bad that Stephen's post happened at a time (between Christmas and New Year's) that meant it was "under the radar" due to the fact that many of Stephen's regular readers would be away on vacation and, presumably, not have ready access to his post. Stephen responded in today's 'cast that the timing of the release coincided with him having some time off work in order to be able to produce his paper.
I have to confess that my head is still spinning trying to digest what I've just heard. Try as I may, I can't seem to bring myself around to what I understand to be George's premise when it comes to the "objective." As I think more about it, I keep coming back to the notion that the objective has to be subjective in that "common sense" or "community standards" will ultimately dictate what constitutes the "objective" in a particular circumstance.
For instance, I know that interacting with others from literally around the world in the last while via WorldBridges has greatly expanded my horizons and added an "objective" I didn't have prior to participating.
To cite two examples, in a very short time I have an appreciation of GMT/Zulu time and the vagaries of sound editing and post-production. This experience, and an expanding "frame of reference" leads me to "filter" information in new ways to have it make sense in the face of my subjective experience.
I'm definitely still reflecting on Stephen and George's conversation and think I need more time with the "source material" that led to this conversation. As I think about the discussion, I keep coming back to the notion of the wiki textbook. Specifically, how should the subjective contributions to a wiki be vetted or "objectified" and become part of the "canon" on a given topic? I think there has to be a "back channel" for "radical" or "dissenting" views to be heard. I think at one point George mentioned the need to for individuals to remain as such and thus not be assimilated and result in groupthink.
Isn't there a danger of the "objective" view amounting to the same thing? Doesn't the presupposition of a "right" or "correct" answer, in and of itself, preclude discovery of alternative, and perhaps better, solutions to a given task or problem? Lots of great food for thought to be sure. Thanks to all for a stimulating conversation, including those who participated in the dialog in the chat room. Look forward to seeing you all online again soon.
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Although more "technical difficulties" prevented a stream of yesterday's "Literacy" show, I was able to use Skype to get participants "up to speed" and look forward to a webcast on Fridays at 1800 hrs GMT.
Due to some problems with the audio on Skype I also revisited a conferencing application that's been produced by a former employer of mine, SMART Technologies Inc.
Bridgit supports VoIP, webcam and desktop sharing amongst conference participants. Yesterday afternoon I used it to have a conference with colleagues at a lounge in the airport in Ottawa, at a residence in Calgary and me here on Vancouver Island. Furthermore, the "share desktop" feature meant that Brian, in Calgary, could show us the web page which had pictures of the car he was thinking of buying this weekend.
We didn't get a chance to test the streaming capabilities of Bridgit, but it does support full duplex audio and I look forward to experimenting with it to see if it might be something we can use going forward as a webcasting medium. As always, watch this space for details.
Friday, January 27, 2006
I was joined online by Clarence Fisher and Brian Mull and had the chance to hear about the work that they're doing with their students and how they've come to work together in a web-based project with their students and others on the web. It was especially cool to be able to meet Jesse, one of Brian's students, during the webcast.
As I said in this post to the forum at edtechtalk, congratulations to Jesse for being the first "student" to join the discussion and I look forward to hearing more from Clarence and Brian's students.
Thanks to all who participated in the conversation--via VoIP or the chat room--and I look forward to seeing you online again soon.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Tonight I'll be hosting EdTechTalk Brainstorming Session 19A. I'm a late fill-in for Jeff, but I'm really looking forward to a discussion with Brian and his students.
I'll also be hosting a webcast at 1800 hrs (GMT) on Friday about literacy. I'll be joined by colleagues from Project Literacy Victoria as well as from the GRAIL project at OISE/UT.
I'm especially interested in discussing new and emerging technologies and the role they have to play in literacy and I hope tomorrow will be the start of regular meetings to get together and share ideas and "best practices" when it comes to using technology for learning and community building.
Monday, January 23, 2006
I recommend that you visit the link above for the complete list of Brian's questions, but I thought I'd respond to a couple here:
In your mind, what is most misunderstood (or little understood) about these tools?
The most "misunderstood" aspect of these tools is the whole notion of public/private and walled gardens and the need to "protect" those in online environments. While I agree that certain age groups, and perhaps new and beginning users, need to be sheltered from the "black hats" that one finds on the 'net -- it's also imperative that we teach individuals how to conduct themselves in online environments from the outset.
Call it 'net-proofing if you like (although this may engender a false sense of security), but I think it's important to turn the responsibility for one's "online persona" back to the individual.
Those participating in the "read/write web" need to be responsible for both deciphering the semiotics of the web, but, just as importantly, have an appreciation of the fact that what one is posting is indeed accessible by anyone with a connection to the 'net.
Of course this means that the potential--good and bad--of posts to impact one's life is huge. Rather than be intimidated by this fact, I think we can do a lot to educate and encourage the effective use of blogs and wikis as a tool for sharing and building knowledge and communities of practice.
Are blogs and wikis evolving into something else?
I think that blogs and wikis are definitely evolving. I believe that audio and video will continue to play an increasingly important role in online environments. I think this is true for all kinds of 'casts -- be they audio, video, or screen, "canned" or streaming. I think that interfaces like elgg are examples of how blogs and wikis are evolving.
Elgg is "open source, learner centred, community building platform" that allows for the incorporation of "media" files into the interface and also provides for the tagging of objects and syndicated feeds with publishing details. This is one example, but I think that "sky's the limit" in terms of what we might see in terms of open source "mashups" and hosted web services applications.
I also think that "services" companies who provide "solutions" based on open source platforms will continue to drive "the open source movement" and make it viable and sustainable.
Friday, January 20, 2006
Dave and Jeff were talking about PLE near the end of last week's show, and I think that "personal learning environments" are great, but they aren't all gravy. I use my site as a "sandbox" to play with "free" and open-source" software applications. For the last while I've been using Drupal. I hadn't bothered to try accessing my site with IE, until in a meeting downtown today.
Here's what Rob at my ISP had to say in response to an email.
Updating a production site to a beta piece of software is a very bad idea because things like this can happen and there is really nothing we can do until they release a final version.Rob recommends that I restore a pre-update version of the site and I may do that, but I figure I might as well keep "messing around" given the fact that it still works in Firefox, and it seems as tho' only the "front page" is broken in IE (links to "non-front-page" pages seem to still work). I'm also confident that it's something I've done whilst messing with settings that causing IE to choke.
Those who seek out my ramblings on the 'net. And yes, I do have an audience (meagre as it may be ;-) and the "die-hards" know to check this space when one of my "experiments" at samlab gets away on me.
I've begun hosting the EdTechTalk Brainstorming "B" Sessions at 0300 am GMT on Sundays (Saturday night in North America).
Join us in the chatroom or VoIP with Skype and join the conversation. In addition to a computer with Skype installed, you'll need a microphone and headphones. As a listener to the stream, you need to stop the stream BEFORE joining the conference. This serves three purposes:
- It prevents hearing loss on the part of participants of the "live" show
- Greatly improves the quality of the audio
- Cuts down on the amount of "post-production" needed
Hope to "see" you online this weekend. Here's a link to a chat I had last night with Art Gelwicks. It's about 13 minutes long, and just over 3 MB in size. I'm posting it here to test how it reacts in Internet Explorer.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Today marks the 4th anniversary for this blog. I'm still enjoying the "blogging experience" and am especially thankful for the opportunities it presents to interact with a very dynamic community of practice.
Lately my attention has returned to media--especially video--for the web. This "vlog entry" contain my thoughts on the "biggest challenge" for online video producers. Thanks again to the good folks at for hosting the videos.
The videos are in QuickTime format and running times for the videos are 26 and 13 seconds respectively:
What's the biggest issue facing a prospective audio-, screen-, video-, or web-caster of multimedia for the web?
ok, so what do we do about it?
I used the Embedded Media HTML Generator to build the code to embed, and "objectify", these *.mov files.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
In the latest instance I can provide a link to a QuickTime file I produced by melding an AVI video file that I produced with my Pentax Optio S41 camera, a still picture with same, and a WAV file I captured with Windows Sound Recorder and the built-in microphone on my Dell laptop. Once again, thanks to elgg.net for hosting the video.
I'd liked to have included a link to the Times-Colonist article mentioned in my latest "movie", but the T-C only offers 7 days for their free archive.
Some newspapers need to wake up to the fact that access -- in the way of a link from this post as an example -- is the key to them remaining relevant. The relevance, of course, is about being accessible from the 'net and less to do with this blog ;-)
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
As I've said elsewhere, the biggest issue that I see in all of this is the logistical and technical. It really is comparatively easy to produce media for the web. The issue then becomes, "what do I do with the media that I've produced?"
When considering this question one is well advised to consider all (or as many as you can think of...) the issues associated with posting media to the 'net. Of course one's primary consideration needs to be one's audience. What type of file format(s) do you intend to offer your audience? What type(s) of connections to the 'net do they have? Apart from considerations of your audience's ability to access your content, the next thing you'll need to consider is where on the 'net you'll post your content.
How much disk space do you have at this location? What will you do once you've filled this space? What contingencies do you have in terms of backups and alternative venues in the event that this space/service "goes away?"
As you might be able to tell from this partial list, there are a number of issues associated with producing and posting media to the 'net. This becomes particularly true when one considers issues of persistence and the media itself. As always watch this space for developments.
Sunday, January 01, 2006
I've taken the liberty because of what I deem to be the importance of the message, and as a "hedge" in the interest of my audience until I decide what to do in terms of online posting and my growing number of web spaces.
I've been blogging for a while and my interest has recently returned to 'casting. Specifically what the individual 'caster can do. It's quickly becoming apparent that disc space and persistence of one's artifacts are two key issues for those starting out with 'casts -- be they pod, screen, video or web. The good news is we have Dave and Jeff (aka Marathon Man) to thank as exemplars for those of us who might aspire to follow in their steps.
I have to say that it was a blast to be able to check in on the goings-on at the World Bridges webcastathon. It was an inspiration to be able to connect -- even if I was only listening, and making the occasional post in the chat interface -- with people around the world.
I think that technology provides the means for "real people" the world over who can see the sense in making connections and reaching out to others to make the best of opportunities and situations as they present.
It's scary to me that govenrnments have decided that "all bets are off" in terms of civil liberties and rule of law. My hope is that the 'net provides a way for the people to have a say in how things work themselves out.