Housekeeping: Bloglines Blogroll Script Doesn’t Work?

Does anyone understand what is happening with the blogroll in the right hand column of this blog? It is generated by a smalls script provided by Bloglines, but a third of the links don’t go anywhere… they reflect the user right back to this blog. This is both useless and embarrassing. I thought it was high time to post something about it incase the community can help.

Also, while I’m on the topic of housekeeping… my 1 year anniversary on blogger is coming up, and I am considering moving to a new blog tool to mark the occasion. I want something with categories, trackbacks, and comments, of course… and which works with MarsEdit preferably. I am considering buying some hosting and a real domain name for ET&L. I welcome any input on this, and I hope you will all follow me if/when the day comes.

Thanks for reading.

iPSP versus iPod w/Video

I did try out iPSP a few days ago. It has a great interface for converting and copying any media to the PSP. It seems to directly tap into the user’s various iLife libraries. Unfortunately, I ran headlong into the main drawback to the PSP as a multimedia device… memory! The PSP has less memory than the iPod (with video) by orders of magnitude!

So, in contrast to the PSP (with 32 MB of memory out of the box), iPod has 60 GBs, and iTunes, however misnamed at this point, provides a decent interface for getting audio, images, and video onto the iPod. Unufortunately, iPod has very little to offer in the way of games, and the video iPod in particular has very poor peripheral support thus far… no iTalk even. In fact, because of the iTalk and iTrip, I am continuing to use a 30 GB iPod Photo as my primary iPod despite having access to a newer model.

And so the one device dream remains elusive.

Also, at this point, with the exception of gaming, iPod is the clear winner over the PSP for educational applications.

777 unread items in my aggregator…

Yes, it’s been a particularly trying week at work and at home. I barely put four hours into writing my next paper… and since Wednesday I have barely read my feeds. I clicked through a few here and there, but tonight I sat down to 777 unread items. (Strangely, I also happened to glance at my dock a few days ago and notice 666 unread items!)

So, I’m getting caught up on some reading tonight, you should see some activity over at my FURL account, and I expect to be blogging more this week.

UPDATE: 2 hours and 14 FURLs later, I’m down to 227 unread items. It felt great to get caught up, but it feels even better to limit the time spent on this… and actually go to bed at a decent hour.

UPDATE 02/06/06: Thanks to Monday meetings I’ve finally got down to zero unread items! Woo hoo! Now I’m back in the flow… and I hope to be blogging tonight, personal life permitting. :)

Robert Craven, iPods, Podcasting, and Education

I’m not capturing all of Robert’s presentation on video, but I did bring my iSight so I could do a ‘proof of concept’ for my presentation the following hour.

I set my iSight on the table and captured some video of Robert speaking, referring to Thomas Freedman’s the world is flat, and introducing iPod as a communication tool. Then, using the share menu in iMovie, I posted a quick and dirty video podcast to my iWeb site. But, since iWeb doesn’t support comments, I am linking to the file here, so it can appear as an enclosure (and thus podcast) in this feed, and folks can comment.

Robert Craven, iPods, Podcasting, and Education (Since I used Apple’s tools to make this, it is an m4v format video.)

iPods, Cell Phones, Computers, email, and IM in a Sixth Grade Classroom

These stats come from an Orange County sixth grade teacher. Thanks to Mike Guerena and to the teacher’s district technology leader for sharing the data. :)

Here is more than you wanted:

66% of my students have iPods (21 of 32)
1 iPod
2 iPod shuffle
9 iPod Mini
7 iPod nano
2 iPod video

Other things I surveyed:

38% have their own cell phone

100% have a computer in their house, 35% have one in their room

47% have their own email account

38% instant message almost every day, 60% i.m. at least once or twice a week

So, as Prensky has asked, how can we use the technology (and technology skills) that our students are bringing into our classrooms? As I’ve said before, I don’t think restricting and policing are the answers.

I can’t wait to see the comments on this. :)

On the power of IM, Priorities, …and Sleep

No Bruner post tonight. I’ve spent time playing with new software (which I always enjoy and haven’t been able to do nearly enough this past year). A former student (who’s planning to become a teacher) also contacted my via IM, so we chatted a while. We’ll be meeting for coffee next week… and, naturally, I’ll be helping him with a recommendation.

For several years now I’ve appreciated the power of instant messages to help me communicate with my students (and former students). Now, at the OCDE, I find it helpful for my professional development students, too… other teachers and tech coordinators.

It is also the only reason I have stayed as close as I have to old friends from college, and even from high school. My closest friends for the past several years have been those I could chat with on a regular basis anytime I was online.

Naturally, my coworkers and I also get a lot of work done via IM, and sometimes… it’s what keeps us sane in the office.

So this time I’ve spent tonight gets logged (in a spreadsheet… no joke… resolutions folks) as “nurture friendships” time. After spending the first week of the year as a hermit, setting goals, prioritizing them, and making plans to reach them… I’ve found this profoundly powerful in helping decide how to spend my time. Strangely, I feel I am no longer letting my phd research fill up huge spans of time to the detriment of my other priorities and relationships – and yet I feel I am probably accomplishing more when I do study.

Another thing this has helped me to do is to continue to move toward a more regular sleep pattern, which turns out to feel surprisingly healthy, even for a night owl. This week, though, I’ve been getting to bed a little later each night. So, tonight, I crack this off and turn in instead of doing the heavy lifting necessary to finish the Bruner post tonight.

I’m not even staying up late for iPSP. :)

So, as I save and post this, my IM status goes from “Walden University” to “…and Sleep.”

More on Mars Edit.. and OmniOutliner

So, my use of Mars Edit is beginning to pay off in the way I compose for Educational Technology and Life. Last night, for an upcoming post on Bruner’s The Culture of Education, I keyed in all of the quotes, applied blockquote tags with the pulldown HTML menu as I went, and then saved as a draft so I could come back when I had more time. (Not that I haven’t saved drafts of posts and returned to them before, but somehow, having perspective titles sitting in my Drafts folder makes me feel I made progress despite not posting, and keeps me motivated to come back.)

I think Mars Edit also played a role in leading me to finally start using an outliner! (The fact that Mike Guerena recently ordered our team licenses for one helped too.) The experience is still very new to me (and I’m at the point where learning the tool detracts a bit from its usefulness), but I think this will really make a difference in the way I compose my coming KAMs and dissertation.

So I’m using OmniOutliner to compose my current KAM on principles of societal development. I am focusing on establishing the theoretical foundation for the use of video games and simulations as constructivist learning environments, based on the work of social constructivists such as Dewey, Vygosky, and Bruner. I hope to move forward to tie these ideas to the likes of Shaffer, Squire, and Steinkuehler. (I think I’ve more or less articulated this here before, but this does make it real and keep me on track.)

Now I’m actually wishing for outliner functionality in Mars Edit and am finally starting to understand what Dave Winer has meant when he’s sung their praises as blogging tools.

More to come I’m sure…