Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Absolutely Bone Chilling

I have been casually following the case of Julie Amero, a computer-illiterate supply teacher, who fell into the hands of the law after a disturbing run-in with pornographic pop-ups.

Now, from Ars Technica,

"It's over," said Julie Amero. "I feel wonderful."

This is not, to be sure, how most people would react upon being slapped with a $100 fine and having their professional credentials revoked. But after a four-year ordeal, during which the unassuming substitute teacher was decried as "disgusting" in the local press and convicted of felonies carrying a 40-year prison term, the plea agreement she reached with Connecticut prosecutors Friday must have come as a relief—even though a forensic report made public today shows she probably did nothing wrong.

The whole story is worth reading, even if it gives pause to anyone involved with using the internet with children in an ignorant and self-protective bureaucracy.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I laughed out loud!

From Doug Peterson's del.icio.us stream:

Let me google that for you
This is for all those people that find it more convenient to bother you with their question rather than google it for themselves.
(tags: weird web utilities useful tools share)

I visited the site, typed my favorite search term ("Ubersketch") and laughed out loud when I saw the result. Now, will I be brave enough to send that to a querier (that is someone who poses a query - which reminds me of an off-colour joke about the effeminate English teacher...)?

Geoff Day told me again that there is no such thing as a dumb question, but in my heart of hearts, I tend to disagree.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Myers-Briggs for a Blog

Just last week a colleague explained how I am a ENTJ.
The Typealyzer site, via Web Tools for Teachers, indicates that my blog is not:

The analysis indicates that the author of
is of the type:
ESTP - The Doers

The active and playful type. They are especially attuned to people and things around them and often full of energy, talking, joking and engaging in physical out-door activities.

The Doers are happiest with action-filled work which craves their full attention and focus. They might be very impulsive and more keen on starting something new than following it through. They might have a problem with sitting still or remaining inactive for any period of time.

Makes you wonder if I am creating an alternate persona for general consumption.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Nomination for the 2008 Edublog Awards

Here are my nominations for the 2008 Edublog Awards:

1. Best individual blog: Doug Peterson Off the Record

4. Best resource sharing blog: Jane's e-Learning Pick of the Day

5. Most influential blog post: The Time is Now - Bob Sprankle

6. Best teacher blog: Teaching College Math - Maria H. Andersen

9. Best elearning / corporate education blog: Presentation Zen - Garr Reynolds

11. Best educational use of video / visual: dy/av series - Dan Meyer

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Interfaces, Topology and Magic

I saw this at the Teaching College Math blog some time ago , but thought that Doug Peterson might blog about it, since he is fond of quoting Arthur C. Clarke:
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

This interface uses an "inspired hack" inspired by topology. It is fun to hear such a bright person talk unassumingly about his work too.

I think students should see and hear stuff like this.

What is your dream interface?

I have often thought how much I would like a computer to be more like a large drafting table where I could move and manipulate a bunch of Windows. The keyboard might just be one of those moving windows.

Now, SMART seems to be marketing something like this for primary students.

Do you think this will gain traction?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Make your own saccharine posters

In an earlier post, I featured despair.com's hilarious versions of the pervasive motivational poster.

Now you can create your own online at AutoMotivator. It may not motivate anyone, but it might be an interesting student task. I did this one in about 10 seconds. I think it shows.

The Parody Motivator Generator at despair.com is also a lot of fun. Here is the description from their site.

The War Against Motivation Continues.

For over two decades, the multi-billion dollar motivation industry has unleashed untold suffering upon the workplaces, schools and civil institutions of the world- in the insidious form of the motivational poster. By the millions they have been sold and displayed- these dark instruments of corporate propaganda. While promising to stimulate "Hope", "Success" and "Teamwork", instead these tools of coercion and intimidation have inspired only grief, anger and nausea.

In 1998, one company dared to fight back, as Despair, Inc. introduced Demotivators®, satirical products reverse-engineered from the most powerful motivational posters ever inflicted upon mankind. And now, with the Parody Motivator Generator, we place those very same tools in your less-capable hands- giving you a chance to join us in the battle against an opponent as ubiquitous as it is idiotic. The chance to not only create your very own motivational parodies online, but also to purchase beautiful 11"x14" prints of your designs.

Now, Join The Battle and Make Your Design.

The question designed to elicit the never-appearing comments intentionally left blank.