Archive for July 2007

The Cart Before the Cooperative Learning Horse?

July 30, 2007

My 8 yr. old son has his 9 yr. old cousin visiting for a few weeks. Yesterday that sat down together to play Lego StarWars on our computer. My son has enjoyed playing the game over the past year, but his interest has steadily decreased as he was not able to progress to successive levels. I think his increased frustration led to decreased motivation. Sound familiar? Does this happen in the classroom? Anyway, he and his cousin sat down to play it together – 4 hands on the keyboard, each controlling a different character. Well,… (more…)

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Safari 3.0 Beta

July 27, 2007

I just downloaded and installed the latest (next) version of Safari that is to be released with the next version of OS X. It is in beta right now, but is quite functional. It is also available for Windows systems for the first time now. There are few things about it that I really like. For example, if you use tabbed browsing, you can drag a tab out of the browser window and that page will open in a new window. Also, it has a great word search feature. When invoked (cmd+f), a small search window opens at the top of the page. When a word is searched for, the entire page is darkened, with only the searched term highlighted for the entire page. Then, you can look at each instance as it is highlighted in yellow. For me, this is a very useful feature that they built in. Also, a number of java features that used to send me scrambling to Firefox now are functional (like using the visual text editing tools here in WordPress). But, a few functions like inserting hyperlinks suddenly did not work. I have read that the purported speed increases are not quite as stellar as Apple is claiming, but it works just fine for me so far.

One thing to be aware of – when you download and install it, it installs over your current version of Safari. Not to worry, as all your bookmarks and other settings seem to remain intact.

Ripples

July 27, 2007

Well, as I wrote about in my first entry, I was not sure if I would prioritize my time enough to be a faithful blogger… at least a contributor. I have been a reader/lurker for a long time now. I have learned a great deal from reading other blogs, namely Will Richardson’s Weblogg-ed, Ewen McIntosh’s edu.blogs, Tim Lauer’s Education/Technology, Scott Mcleod’s Dangerously Irrelevant, Steve Dembo’s teach42, just to name a few. There are so many more and as many folks have written, it is impossible to read and keep up with them all. And I like what Steve Dembo recently wrote about being more than a reader and even contributor to the blogosphere – rather an intellectual community whose joint contributions lead to action being taken and change taking place. I have had many impressions at times that the educational blogging community has simply digitized griping and complaining. Don’t get me wrong – this is not my overall impression at all. I just get annoyed when I read blogs that come across as digital teachers’ lounges. In the same way that these teachers’ complaints lead to nothing changed and improved, so do these types of blog entries lend themselves to the same type of discourse. However, here I am complaining 🙂  On that epiphany, I close this entry, ashamed of myself.

Maiden Voyage!

July 22, 2007

Welcome! I have been reading blogs and following blogging and many other web 2.0 technologies for a long time now. I have finally decided to begin blogging for myself. I have started many times with a variety of blogging services, but just did not breathe life into any of them. I have to say, I love the whole concept, but what has always kept me away was the time factor… the time to sit down and type out what has been going on in my world. I am still somewhat skeptical about being able to keep up with it, but rather than just say “it can’t be done” without first giving it a valiant effort (as happens so often), I hope to be pleasantly surprised. Stay tuned…