Archive for June, 2006

David Warlick's got to try Flock

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

2 Cents Worth » Desktop Blog Editor This post from David Warlick less than a week ago was lamenting the lack of a reasonably good WYSIWYG desktop blogging application. I just downloaded the new beta release of Flock, a browser that focuses on supporting the social dimension of the web. From a recent Flock Blog post:

For this release, and for at least the next year or so, we are primarily focused on supporting the social dimension of the web, and on bringing information closer to the user. Right now this includes a heavy emphasis on the photo experience (from upload through discovery to notification), RSS support, dramatic improvements to the search box (including a new take on favorites), and blogging.

But, it doesn’t quite have all of Warlick’s desired features. It does spell check. It has browser access, blog this features, and is wordpress compliant. (In fact, I’ve written this post with it only minutes after installing, which including setting up my wordpress, flickr, and del.icio.us accounts.)

It doesn’t seem to have “Drag & Drop images with alignment options,” though Flock has lots of amazing photo-blogigng features. And there seems to be no right-click speech feature. I haven’t discovered a tag generator yet, and sadly, it does not allow you to type the ¢ symbol with ctrl+s.

From my perspective, it’s missing categories, which means I won’t actually blog with it after this post. But it’s a step in the right direction.

EXCITING UPDATE: Before actually posting this, I hit publish and was greeted with a dialog box for selecting the category and inserting tags! Now Dave’s really got to see it. So the only thing it’s missing is speech, which I can live without, and pictures, which may very well be here somewhere… in fact, I just dragged in the picture below to see what happens, and it looks like it worked. I can drag it left or right, but it seems I need to click over to the source tab to change the alignment. So, there’s no right click for speech. How’d they do, Dave?

Flock: The web browser for you and your friends.

ANOTHER UPDATE: After posting it, I discovered that dragging also imported the link associated with this image. Very cool. Oh, and editing this post? I just clicked File -> Open Blog Post… and selected it from the Flock Blog Posts folder in my home directory. Slick. It easily replaces the old post by simply selecting it from a drop down menu after clicking publish. I like it. I’m gonna try using it for a bit. If it survives next week at NECC, then we’ve got something here.

Too bad the RSS reader doesn’t feature a three-paned interface. Well, more on this I’m sure.

Incidentally, as I write this, tomorrow is my last day in the office at the OCDE… and yesterday my new business cards arrived. I only need my new Treo to show up before heading off to NECC next week to start the next phase in my career. (My MacBook and U2 iPod came last week… it’s weird having to buy all new personal electronics, since nothing I was using was actually mine personally and I had to turn it in when I left OCDE.)

The other good news is, there will be more blogging here… building up to the conference, at the conference (of course), and after as I settle into my new routine.

Thanks for reading.


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GLS coverage at SocialStudyGames

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

Lisa Galarneau at SocialStudyGames.com has some great coverage of the 2006 Games Learning and Society Conference at the University of Wisconsin Madison.

GLS: Videogames as Designed Experiences (Via socialstudygames.com.)

GLS: Unpacking Gamer Expertise (Via socialstudygames.com.)

GLS: MMOs and Learning (Via socialstudygames.com.)

GLS Podcasts (Via socialstudygames.com.)

The Game Makers Apprentice Book Announced – Gamasutra

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

The Game Makers Apprentice Book Announced – Gamasutra (Via Google News – Games Education.)

Here is another awesome gem, this one from a Google News feed. I suspect I’ll be posting more on this soon. In the meantime, check out the Gamasutra article on the application and the book.

Professional Learning Communities

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

Professional Learning Communities (Via MSN Search: Professional Learning Communities.)

My current KAM is dealing with Professional Learning Communities, and Eva is doing a lot of work with them. I wanted to share this gem from one of my MSN search feeds with her and figured I might as well share it here, too.

It’s also time for a PLC category.

Windows Vista: Get Ready

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

Windows Vista: Get Ready

I’m installing Vista on my home PC tonight. (I’ve got Parallels Desktop on my new MacBook, but it reportedly doesn’t support Vista yet.) My report is forthcoming. :)

And look, the Vista beta page has an RSS feed, though the link format is a bit funny… perhaps it is in an Internet Explorer 7 friendly format.

I’m telling myself I need to stay on the bleeding edge in my line of work, but this is also fun.

Red Hat’s Lucy Ringland on Open Source in Education

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

Red Hat’s Lucy Ringland on Open Source in Education (Via Technorati Search for: “Open Source Software in Education”.)

This is exciting. I’ve often wondered when I would see more of Red Hat in Education, and I’ve sometimes considered getting in touch with them. It seems Steve Hargadon took action. He shares an excerpt from an email by Lucy Ringland, who will be at NECC in… wow, two weeks. :)

Edward B. Cole Academy: Day 2

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

The enterprising teachers from Edward B. Cole Academy, a charter school in SAUSD, are back for a full day training on the read/write web. Three weeks ago they learned all about blogging with edublogs.org. Today they are reviewing that and also learning about RSS withbloglines.com, social bookmarking (kind of) with furl.net, wikis with wikispaces.org, podcasting with podomatic.com, and more. Below are the agendas, a podcasting handout, and an OPML file of their fledgeling blogs.

Agenda

Podcasting Links

EBC RSS Feeds (in OPML format)

Live Blogging from GLS, Part 1… and Other Updates

Friday, June 16th, 2006

Live Blogging from GLS, Part 1 (Via socialstudygames.com.) There’s so much I want to post on right now, but this takes the cake. I wish I were in Wisconsin right now. I just didn’t think I should spend the time and money to go out there when I have less than 10 days left in the office and I’m about to walk away from a regular paycheck. That’s feeling shortsighted now that I’m actually missing the conference. In a few years, or a few months if all goes well, the time and money won’t matter, but the connections and learning I might have made at the GLS would be more likely to still be with me.

Oh, well, I’m glad I went last year, and I’m glad the event is being blogged this year. At least I can read about the conference – and know who the bloggers are writing about. I hope I’ll fee the same way when the Games for Change Conference (Via Beth’s Blog) rolls around.

Meanwhile, I’ve been presenting on the read/write web a lot lately, and to more diverse groups, including district office staff, county office staff, and even other trainers. Today I spent an enriching day with the program leads from Institute for Leadership Development. I’m thankful that Sherry Opacic, the administrator of the institute, and Duane Cox, who manages the AB 75 program for which I’ve been the Module 3 lead, included me and gave me the chance to present to a room full of people who train educational leaders. Like most days right now, I learned a lot, too. I’m learning so much right now and can’t wait to be able to process more of it and post it here.

But, it’s time to get back to Eva tonight. Then tomorrow, I’ll be setting up my new MacBook (which arrived last night – woo hoo!) and reading as much as possible. I got behind schedule on my studies this week after submitting a half dozen hands-on workshops for CUE 2007. :)

More soon…

Learning Agreement for KAM III: Principles of Social Systems

Saturday, June 10th, 2006

I’ve completed and submitted a learning agreement for my next KAM. In the end this will be approximately 100 pages more content that I hope to use in the literature review for my dissertation. I’m sharing it here because it feels like a better resolution to my work than emailing it to my advisor does, and because I hope that by putting it “out there” it might be helpful to someone else. Here is the overview of the KAM. Click the link at the end of the post to view the entire learning agreement (10 pages) in PDF format.

Overview of the KAM

This Knowledge Area Module (KAM) will focus on developing a working theory of school change that can be used to guide the integration of emerging educational technologies, such as video games and simulations. To produce a preliminary theory, the breadth portion of the KAM will begin with a synthesis of Senge, Evans, and Fullan’s work in school change. Then to further develop the theory, this will be followed in the depth portion of the KAM by a synthesis of prominent theories of professional learning communities. Prominent theorists who will be included in this examination are DuFour & DuFour, Wald & Castlebury, Bumpers, Roberts & Pruit, Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, and Stone & Cuper. In addition, an annotated bibliography of 15 articles will also be amended to the depth demonstration. Throughout both the breadth and the depth portions of the KAM, these theories of school change will be related to the integration of emerging educational technologies, such as video games and simulations. Finally, the application section will conclude with the explicated design of a three-hour professional development session to provide educational leaders with guidance in facilitating the process of implementing school change of this sort at their sites and in their programs.

Wagner_LA_KAM_III_v2.pdf

Tagging NECC

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

Tagging NECC (Via 2 Cents Worth.) I’m passing on Warlicks’ tagging meme. We all need to do this when we attend NECC next month. Check out the new categories I set up in WordPress (below).

PS. Ok, so I spent an hour with my feeds. Given how much I’ve cut back, I still call that balance. Plus I always need some time to come down after playing hockey. Now I’m off to bed.