Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year Podcast Transcript

Over there on the right, there is a little window with all my podcasts (a whopping total of 2 atm) using GCast's phone service (free!!!). I submitted the cast to Casting Words, and for the low price of $1.50 USD per minute, they transcribed it (below). I used the 6 day plan, but they had it back to me in less than 12 hours (it was a one minute cast). I simply sent them the mp3 and woo hoo! they got it back to me!

December 31, 2007 Happy New Year Podcast

Beth Ritter‑Guth: Hello everybody!

This is Beth Ritter‑Guth reporting live from the great state of Pennsylvania. I
want to wish everybody a wonderful and happy New Year.

I hope that your New Year is full of good fortune and many blessings, and I hope
that I see all of you in Second Life and a few of you in real life.

I look forward to working on more virtual life projects and working with all of
you on making Second Life a great place for educators and for students.

Have a very happy New Year!

Open Source Living

Three lovely words all in a row!

Many thanks to Paul Hamilton for linking me up to Open Source Living! It is a mega good site with all sorts of goodies (like Yatzee! Wee!) The beauty is that there are goodies for all y'all (PC/Mac/Linux), and the whole site is completely compliant with all the rules about open source stuff. Oh, there isn't a space designated specifically for education, but different programs are tagged as educational. So, have fun digging!!!

Check it out!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hot Diggity! Soundboard and a Red Ryder BB Gun

Many thanks to Larry Ferlazzo for a link over to a cool sharing site called Soundboard!

There are wicked wee clips of lots of stuff, and - my favorite - itty bit clips from movies.

Here is a clip from one of Moustache Man's favorite movies!

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

We Won a Millsie!

So, Typewriter posted on Twitter that the glorious Intellagirl won a Millsie, and I had no idea what that meant. So, then I checked the good old GReader, and, wala!, Literature Alive! won one, too (with a very nice special shout out to Daliah Carter, Student-Turned-Assistant). Eloise won in two categories; she tied for best educational tool with that wicked sweet Spidergram thinger, and she won in the Literature Alive! category as the chief goddess of design and scripting. MANY thanks to Peter Miller for the award and that very nice pic of the Progressive Era classroom!!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Educational Technology and Web 2.0 in Colleges and High Schools

Okay, it is a long title. But, that is what I just searched on Google because I want to make a few predictions and resolutions.

Here is what I found as the top five hits on Google for Educational Technology and Web 2.0 in Colleges and High Schools

Now, if I were a new teacher trying to lasso educational technology or a veteran teacher looking to hook into technology, searching for these words would mean nothing. There are over 2 million hits!

So, imagine their distress when we add in "virtual worlds" to the mix; they aren't grasping the (old) new stuff let alone the (new) new stuff.

So....predictions for 2008. I have only made three, and we will see how it all unfolds.

1. The Nay Sayers will get louder, and there will be battles over tenure, promotion, and academic freedom. The Nay Sayers tend to be a bunch of loud out-of-touch people with nothing better to do than scrutinize their peers. They exist everywhere. While it would be touching to say they are harmless, often they are not; they are often the ones voting for tenure and promotion. Sadly, there is a younger group that seems to be following this path (probably to get tenured..suck ups), and they claim to "be doing research" about how blogs/wikis/virtual worlds/mashed potatoes are NOT effective in the classroom. When you ask them to show the research, they stomp off declaring that it is absurd to question their professional ethics (um, really, just gimme the link to that research...I can give you 10 more links in support of it). Academic Freedom is usually defined only by the one challenged; the other side always calls it "standards" even if those standards only exist in the air. So, the Nay Sayers saunter back to Grendel's Lair and hang out with a bitter Monster and its Mom until the warriors arrive. Who wins the battle? Well, that all depends on what cloth Beowulf is cut from and how powerful the Nay Sayers are in the overall political scheme of things. But, I definitely know who loses the battle: the students. Whilst the faculty toss arrows at one another, the students are left powerless to change their fate, and they will be ill prepared for the future.

2. Teaching faculty will become frustrated by the overwhelming number of tools available to them (assuming they want to use technology). Forget the Nay Sayers for the moment (actually, I don't pay much attention to them at all), let's focus on all the teachers and professors that WANT to use technology. We sit them down (those of us in the early adopter band camp), and we start showing them Wikis, Blogs, Twitter, Tumblr, Fleck,, Digg, MySpace, Facebook, Xanga, Second Life, There, Jing, Flickr, YouTube, TeacherTube, SlideShare, etc. etc. etc.). As we clap and salivate at ALL the coolio things we are planning for the Spring, the poor colleague is reaching for her inhaler and Xanax. I've done enough trainings and workshops to know that it is best to take baby steps. It is OK to show off all the coolio tools out there, but it is better to highlight a few of the most effective ones and to save the rest of the tool kit for a later date. We have to help our colleagues maintain a decent blood pressure through it all, and we need them to know that we didn't build our mega blogs in one day. Most importantly, we need to say it is A-OK not to use every blessed tool under the SunMicrosystem.

3. Students will love learning again. I am a product of the 80s. I wore spandex (praise be, the body worked for them at the time), I wore bangle bracelets, and I wanted to be either Cyndi Lauper or Madonna on a day when she wasn't wearing cones. When it came to High School, I enjoyed playing Bagpipes in our marching band and being in Model UN. I don't remember a single class aside from English. Quite frankly, learning sucked. It was boring. Those of you who know me, know I need to multiply engaged at all times to pay attention. Maybe it is ADD or ADHD or something, but I need to be doing a few things at once. The lectures were sooooooooooooo boring, I would compose pipe tunes in my head during class or practice grace notes between movie clips. If the lectures could have been musical or visual or interactive....SOMETHING...ANYTHING....I might have been more likely to pay attention. Learning wasn't fun. Sorry, it just wasn't.

Fast forward to 2008. Students can work together to create podcasts; they can build wikis; they can use Google Maps, create slidecasts, screencasts, and movies. We can blow up Diet Coke and Mentos and link it to the writing process; we can go on virtual pilgrimages. Learning is fun again. It doesn't work for all students; this is something that is hard for me to grasp, but, truly, we all learn differently. Some students need structure, but most of the students love the classes, love the freedom, respect the challenges, and appreciate the end results.

So, given these predictions, here are my resolutions for 2008:

1. I shall continue to ignore the Nay Sayers.

2. Eloise and I (and anyone else interested) shall work on a wiki that hosts as many free tools as we can find with little easy-to-grasp descriptors.

3. I shall focus energy on helping students fall in love with learning; in the process, I will continue my love affair with teaching.

Quoting using Kwout

A nifty new tool exists out there in the Free haven of the blogosphere!

Kwout is a cool capture program that allows you to quote a web page. Check it out!! It is fun, free, and there are no downloads. Sweet!

Wonderful Videos for Education

Over at Langwitches, they posted a wicked nifty list of ten videos to use in education. I had seen some of them (the Monk/book, for example), but had not seen some of the others (Dove Foundation).

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Right, so I liked this one, too. It is like COllege Day for me on YouTube.

Engima's Return to Innocence:

Even More Goodies: The Indigo Girls Amy Ray and Emily Saliers

So, since I can't be in SL, I told ya - expect me to be posting a thousand clips off of YouTube.

I just watched an interview with the Indigo Girls (Amy Ray and Emily Saliers). Now, I have been an Indigo Girls fan since Closer to Fine came out a thousand years ago, and then I became a fan again when I worked two summers as a Girl Scout camp counselor in college. And, even though I don't agree with all of their political views, I do celebrate their voices and the things they have given up to have those voices heard.

In this interview, they talk about how their sexuality has influenced their radio play, but, moreso, the fact that they are women has been a hurdle in getting on the rock charts. Amy Ray was Emo before Emo was a code word, and no one can deny the passion in her version of "Romeo and Juliet" (one of my all time fave songs, by the way).

So, for your viewing and listening pleasure, I give you both the interview with Amy and Emily and then a rendition of "Romeo and Juliet."


Another Peter Gabriel Video

Ok, so I hated the movie "Last Temptation of Christ." The only thing worth even discussing is the soundatrack, and, really, only this one song:

Image Source

Web Goodies

The problem with having off is that I have too much free time. So, I am combing through lists and lists of things I have wanted to read, watch, or listen to since last Christmas.

My son did something odd to our TV. In the 3 seconds it took me to pick up something on the floor, Moustache Man managed to set both the parental lock AND the timer on the TV. Now, you say, just use the remote control and fix it. Yeah. Well, I have not seen the remote control since we bought the TV, because, well, for one, I don't watch much TV and two, I use the VCR remote on those rare occasions when a remote is needed.

All this to say that I haven't had a chance to be inworld much because the only laptop that plays DVDs decently happens to be the SAME laptop that runs SL. Since Santa brought a boat load of videos, guess who is winning this challenge??? Thus, I am on a non-SL laptop using the time to pour over videos, posts, and other goodies.

So, here is a video by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush called "Don't Give Up." It is an excellent song. Peter is a humanitarian and I am a fan of his work and the work of Bono :-) So, I shout out whenever I can.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Christmas from Queen Elizabeth

As if you needed MORE cool stuff to do today, but, in case you have a lack of edifying personal content, head on over to the YouTube Royal Channel and watch Queen Elizabeth's archive of Christmas message.

She will make history tomorrow with the first ever YouTube message from a Monarch.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Movies and Cartoons and Songs and STUFF!

OMG! Thanks to Wynn, I got tapped into a BOAT LOAD of Christmas movies, commercials, and other cool fun stuff. Included in this festive package are Charlie Brown's Christmas and It's a Wonderful Life...but also Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Justice League Christmas special. Ya know, ALL the classics!

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Drooling over Web 2.0 and Educational Technology

Over at the Stingy Scholar, I just posted up a shout out for my newest favorite blog written by Larry Ferlazzo. Larry's blog has an insanely long title, BUT BUT BUT, the content is AMAZING. I will be lost for weeks in there. Praise be for Google Reader! If you are subscribed to my Reader feeds, you can see the posts that I have ear marked for reading.

Of the many posts I love, the top web 2.0 tools for educators post is the best! I will be combing through that list and trying to see which tools can be mashed up with SL.

Larry was nominated for an EduBlog award, but he didn't win. Honestly, the guy should have won. His blog RAWKS!!!!! Don't take my word for it...go, go, go!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Reservations at Sardi's

I must admit...the kid has uber talent...all gussied up in his elaborate costume of pink cow ears and a little cow print smock, he was certainly the best pre-school cow I have ever seen. His portrayal was amazing; his moos were meaningful and deep. Clearly, agents will be calling left and right...he would sign autographs, but he forgets the order of the letters of his name. He was a shining star; a little disappointed that the role of Joseph went to some other kid, but in his words "don't worry Mommy, I don't need terapee." The cow role, I explained, was a much coveted role. All the other boys and girls were either angels or shepherds, but, lo!, there was only one cow.

After the first song, one bright little girl, perhaps one of the 612 angels, proclaimed "Ok, we sang the song, can we go home now?" She will likely graduate first in the class. During the song with the little bells, Moustache man's bells got caught up with Justin-almost-annoying-as-Timberlake and they spent the rest of the song trying to untangle them. They were, shall we say, enjoying that part a great deal. In good Guth fashion, my boy has just as much rhythm as his father, and so I don't really anticipate calls from the Royal Ballet.

But, that is ok. Sardi's is waiting.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Coolest Cool Cat Chicky Wiki

Ok, this vote for a cool cat is out of SL and into RL for a minute. The queen of Cool Catness is Vicki Davis. Her post about best-o-the-web-tools is fantastic.

Vicki has always been an inspiration to me. She ranks up there with Jean-Claude Bradley at Drexel (Open Notebook Science) and Eloise Pasteur in SL (scripto-goddess).

Vickie's blog, the Cool Cat Teacher Blog, is a MUST read. If you are not subscribing to her RSS, you are left out in the cold.

In addition to her vast knowledge of all cool ed techy stuff, Vicki is full of heart and soul. She is ethical and is an excellent role model to the community.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

My cool kids of Christmas

Moustache Man (6) and Sharpie Boy (5). Can you guess which is which???

I Believe Podcasts - Student Edition

If you are a fan of NPR, you know about the I Believe series.

Mrs. Moritz and her honors students have done the same thing. After listening to these high school students, I, too, believe that this generation is full of hope and imagination.

Golds stars go to Mrs. Moritz and to the students!

Double Post - The Cool Cats named Leslie Jarmon, Joe Sanchez, Paul Roberts, and Pipsqueak Fiddlesticks

So, yesterday I forgot to post my daily cool cat pick. Ugh. Well, what can be was the day to get little boy haircuts, go to the Nazareth Train Display, and go see Santa. We saw him twice. One time cost us nothing; the one with pictures and the long line cost us a mortgage payment.

Anywho. It was a fun filled day much from the reels of "Christmas Vacation." Everyone survived; no sewers blew up. All in all, it was jolly good fun.

My pick for yesterday was a triple take: Leslie Jarmon (SL: Bluewave Ogee), Joe Sanchez (SL North Lamar), and Paul Roberts (SL: Doc Lindman). They are the creators, organizers, and cheerleaders for the Second Life Educator's Coop. They are charged with organizing events and such for a bunch of over worked educators, and they do an astounding job. They keep up an acitve and interesting blog, host weekly edu-events, and are great resources for both new and veteran SL faculty.

My pick for today is Pipsqueak Fiddlesticks (RL: Denise Cote). Pip is relatively new to the SL scene, but in her short residence, she has created a flurry of activity with the community college educators. She also is helping facilitate the build of Tintern Abbey next to the British Gothic Classroom on EduIsland III. Pip is another silent soldier in the virtual army, and her contribution and diligence are amazing.

Music of the Day: Carol of the Bells

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Lori Bell/Lorelei Junot - Cool Cat O' Christmas

There are a whole host of librarians marching through cyberspace...virtual worlds are forunate to have a whole gaggle of them. Whether its Carolina Keats at Health Info Island, Abbey Zenith at Alliance Library, or JJ Drinkwater at Caledon, there are just awesome librarians everywhere.

Lori Bell, also known as Lorelei Junot
, is a quiet trooper with creativity and passion all mixed into her quest to provide edifying content on the uber grid. As director of the Alliance Second Life Library, we all benefit from her good works. Her newest project, the Land of Lincoln, is as awesome as the EduIslands. Lori's generosity of spirit has been evidenced many times through her donations of land to SLCC and Literature Alive! She helped save Renaissance Island from extinction. She is, truly, and example of a mover and shaper with heart and soul.

Please IM Lori and congratulate her for being a cool cat. She sets an example for all of us to follow :-)

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Minnie the Moocher

We have a new cat around here...Minnie Mae...she is a kitten and she is naughty. She was rescued from a basement after having lived an abusive little life.

I love Cab Calloway, and here is our song to Minnie the Moocher (who prefers pizza to cat food).

and for the Blues Brothers fans out there...

The Cool Cat of the Day: Carol Perryman/Carolina Keats

It is soooooo hard to pick out cool cats. EVERYONE is a cool cat!!!

Carolina Keats (SL), known as Carol Perryman in real life
, is the energy behind the Health Info Island goodness. In addition to having a cool last name in SL, she is an amazing visionary and Health Info Island is an AWESOME resource because of her leadership. In her profile, it says
"The Consumer Health and Medical Libraries at Health Info Island are here to help SL residents with health information needs. We are happy to host support groups, and to help you with questions. We are not physicians, but librarians, and believe that good quality information can help to empower you as a full partner in your health maintenance. There is never a charge for our services."

There are always engaging and informational displays at Health Info Island. Carolina is another of our silent troopers - she leads the way without a parade - and the information she helps coordinate is free and accessible to all residents. Her work, and the work of her team, might change a life. She is one cool cat :-)

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Machine is Us/ing Us and Farewell to Chadrick Linden

Good grief...give me a few days off and I post like mad.

Good video alert...(and these were done by students...woot woot!)

The Video is Us/ing Us...a brilliant concept in the world of communication.

Here is another one called R/evolution:

And another one...A Vision of Students Today

On another note, Prokofy Neva alerted me to the news that my favorite Linden, Chadrick, is no longer with Linden Lab. Many thanks to Prok for letting me know; in one post, he says that the problem with virtual worlds is that "people don't sufficiently value virtual worlds," and I completely agree. Educators bang their heads up against peers, tenure, publication, and funding because no one gets the point.

I met Chadrick at SL Views 5, and he was really awesome. Well, truly, everyone was awesome. But, Chadrick has a lot of spunk and he and his friend, Taco, made me feel like I knew them for years.

I guess my question is: who else left or is leaving?

The Cool Cats of Christmas - The Science Peeps

Well, ok - this whole Cool Cats of Christmas thing isn't working out quite the way I had planned. See, today's nominee is Peter Miller (RL) also known as Graham Mills in Second Life. Graham is an amazing scientist going about his work with little pomp and circumstance. His blog is here, and it is quite interesting. Sadly, I know very little about chemistry; Shakespeare didn't toss about many molecular references, but I can appreciate his hard work on various tools for sharing. He is an absolute COOL CAT.

Now, here is the thing about the science peeps. ALL of them rawk, and all of them are quiet in their rawking. For example, Troy McLuhan over at the International Spaceflight Museum is just a really awesome guy; they do incredible work there, and, yes indeedy, they are a humble crew. Then we have the NOAA folks (who just released a new NOAA island with an oil spill an everything); they are wicked awesome, too. The we have Hiro Sheridan doing amazing things with molecules and Max Chatnoir doing rawking things with DNA (and, I must admit, I am a TRUE fan of her wicked awesome pooping has made its way into both Dante's Inferno AND the American Literature classroom...go figure). Then there is Jean-Claude Bradley at Drexel doing amazing stuff with Sci Foo and Open Notebook Science and molecular thingers and what not. And, if you know the story, JC is the reason I am into any of this at all - he introduced me to gaming in English and that snow ball turned into this boulder, and, thus, he is one of my all time coolest cats in Christendom. And, of course, Eloise Pasteur is a scientist, too. Her analytical mind balances my Keatsian spirit, and this is truly why we work so well together at Literature Alive!

Ok, so ALL the science people RAWK, and maybe this post should be for like the 8th day or something. But, Peter Miller, et al, keep up the awesome work!!!

Image Source for Santa Kitty

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cory Linden Voted Off the Island

Ok, so I really don't know how Linden Lab runs itself, but I have had the good fortune to meet a few of the Lindens including both Phillip and Cory. They are both tremendous guys; they are brilliant visionaries.

We have all heard the news: Cory is leaving Linden Lab at the end of the year. He may have been fired; he may have quit. Who knows? All mothers know this truth: it doesn't matter who pushes first when someone hits his head on the fish tank. OK, maybe only I know that.

Why do we care that Cory is leaving? Well, for one, we never hear about anything ever happening over there at Linden Lab. They are soooo quiet. Seven years and no scandals. We have been itching for SOME life form. The Lindens are generally inaccessible; they don't party much with the natives, or at least this native. There are some exceptions, of course. Claudia Linden has always been super responsive, Blue Linden is a true super hero on the teen grid, Iridium Linden is a trooper community goddess, and Glenn Linden is just awesome with his business development stuff. I also like Chadrick Linden a lot; he is cute as a button, and he almost got me a ride in a San Franciscan ambulance. That's what happens when you karaoke with Desi.

But, enough about that. Cory's leaving is quite big news; he is, after all, the guy who designed the Linden Scripting Language. He is one smart cookie.

But, Robert Frost said it best...sometimes there are two roads to travel. If one person wants to go one way and the other wants to go the other, they either have to flip a coin or decide to go their own ways. I am not sure which road is better or who is taking which path, but I have faith. Cory is off to big and better things, and Phillip wants to change and save the world. Having met Phillip, I truly believe his heart is in the right place. He is sincere. Cory is professional Navy; this isn't a bad thing or anything, but I think he might be slightly more practical. But, again, I don't know these two guys, and I am just guessing.

I was a HUGE survivor fan the first season (after that it totally became road kill). But, here is the thing...Phillip gets the final vote. It is his island, after all. Now, Cory gets the chance to go to the tiki bar and drink up and shower and imagine his amazing talents in a place with a company like Wii or something (ye gads, I have no clue what these brilliant peeps go off to do).

I wish them all happiness in whatever it is they are trying to do for good in this world, and I hope that people like Prokofy don't capitalize on assumed misery (to his credit, he did predict this would happen). We have no idea what the circumstances are, and as I see it (based on the posts to and fro from the hands of both Phillip and Cory), everyone is being super duper professional about it.

Teachers Helping Teachers

My good friends, Vicki and Thom Hicks, have been working with the children in Sierra Leone for years. They receive no pay; they raise money, and every penny goes to helping the people of Kabala, Sierra Leone. Their mission, Nazareth House, helps people of all faiths: Muslim, Christian, Jewish...They do not require membership in their denomination (or religion) to receive medicine, food, water, or education.

Earlier today, I got an email from Vicki about the teachers in the school (which meets, by the way, in a rice patty field). Right now, they have 4 teachers; each teacher is volunteering and no one gets paid. They keep losing good teachers because they need to make a living, too, and tend to move to villages that can pay teachers.

There are many things on Vicki's Christmas list this year; they want to finish paying for the school they are building in Kabala, and they want to make sure every person has medicine, food, and clean water.

But, one thing she really wishes for this Christmas is to be able to pay the 4 teachers 100 dollars a month. Can you imagine??? Can you imagine doing what we do for a measly 100 bucks a month?

I would love to be able to organize a team of people committed to donating a little bit each month to pay the teachers (thus, teachers helping teachers). If everyone gave just 1 buck, and we had 400 people, that would make all the difference in the world. But, 400 people don't read this blog, so if we all could just commit to 10 bucks a month, we only need 40 people...if we commit 20 bucks a month....only 20 can do the math. I committed to paying for one teacher a month, so now we only need to raise 300 dollars. Can you spare a buck or two?

In an effort to help these teachers, I put together a wiki called Teachers Helping Teachers. The information for PayPal is there, and even if you only have a dollar to spare, I know that these folks will work magic with it. All donations are tax deductible, and Nazareth House is an official US charity.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Cool Cats of Christmas

So, I am busy playing the holidays in RL and in SL. I love this time of year in SL. Maybe it is because this was the time of year when I came back to SL and was able to see what I couldn't see before. Maybe it because I made friends in SL; Adrian, my very first friend, wandered into my little cabin from the snow. In our newbieness, we went to the Winter Festival, and we visited Graceland. Of all the places I lived, that little cabin was the most magical. Don't get me wrong, living in Knightsbridge was lovely, and living where I do now (and yes, it is a secret) is wonderful. But, there was magic in that cabin where I could fit a harp, sofa, and a painting.

So, I am fond of this time of year.

On the 20th, this blog will be one year old. Over time, I have had the good fortune of faithful subscribers. They even stay with me when I get overwhelmed or under motivated to write.

In the year that has gone by, I have met some of the most BRILLIANT people I know. Among them are educators, business people, Linden Lab employees, movers and shakers, students, and other folks.

Over the next few days, I want to highlight some folks that really make a difference in SL in quiet ways. There are people that make a huge difference all the time: Larry Pixel, CDB Barkley, Intellagirl Tully, Noel Finney, AJ Kelton, Lyr Lobo, KJ Hax, KittyGloom Cassidy, Daniel Livingstone, Audio Zenith, Wainbrave Bernal, Jeremy Kemp, Birdie Newborn, Chris Eggplant, Leslie Jarmon, Corwin Carillon, Tim Allen, Frank Taney, Xellesanova Zenith, Kathy Schrock, Ed Lamoureaux, Garret Bakalava, Angela Thomas, Gavin Dudeny, Graham Stanley, North Lamar, Lorelei Junot, Barry Joseph, Angela Thomas, Bryan Carter, Fred from Firesabre, Max Chatnoir, and Eloise Pasteur. They are amazing, and their work reflects their dedication to SL. We write about them often; we love them dearly. But, in addition to them, there are other people out there that quietly work and get little notice.

There is no way I can know them all, and there is really no way to rank them. But, for what it is worth, I am offering up Desi's list of the 12 Cool Cats of Christmas; these are 12 people that never see the spotlight.

The first person on my list is George Kurtz; inworld he is known as Butch Dae. He publishes a list each week called the VIT World Update. The list includes all the known updates to information about technology. This article by CIO on Web 2.0 is an example.

Butch and VIT also created this wicked cool mind map thingy. I don't know how it works, but I use it all the time. If you stop by Collaboration Station, you can see my copy of it. Or, you can get a copy of your own at the VIT World Center.

So, please IM Butch Dae and congratulate him for being my first Cool Cat of Christmas!!!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Stingy Scholar is Back!

My uber buddy, Wynn Williamson, is back on deck over at the Stingy Scholar. He did a brief stint as a paid writer on Wide Open Education

Sadly, that gig ended because some new peeps bought out the OEDB, and, sucky them, they don't want to continue the blog.


The blog is home to such wicked content like:

Classic Podcasts
This is a post about the uber nifty site at Haverford College called Classic Podcasts. You can also go the ever more ubery coolio hot spot, TextKit, to learn Greek and Latin.

The Met Timeline
This post is about the Met's new web resource. I am sooooo drooooooooling....

I am, however, really happy Wynn is back at Stingy, but sorry that the WOE is a thing of the past. SHAME on the new owners.

On another note...I just founf the 2007 Web 2.0 awards. Some good stuff over there. Go now.

The Avatarum

I love love love love finding games and quests and things to do in SL. They inspire me to adapt game strategies to the builds for Literature Alive!

By accident, and using a simple SL search, I stumpled upon an awesome place called the Avatarum. Stop reading and go. The owner/creator, Gal Canning, was on hand to guide us through, and OMG we had some excellent fun!!!!

These toys and games are not for sale, but Gal will work with professors/teachers if you want to take your students over to play some games.

Many thanks to Gal for coming up with good stuff to do in SL!!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Journey from the Fall

The DMP 121 Students (Media Scriptwriting and Story Boarding) had their last class last night. As is custom, we watched a movie and had a pizza party.

This semester, Dewey Tran recommended the movie "Journey from the Fall." OMG. You must turn off this computer and go to Blockbuster and rent it.

The story is about the Vietnamese boat people - the ones that tried to leave communist Vietnam. The story is amazing, touching, and incredibly sad. The story is powerful and, from what Dewey tells me, very true to life.

Inhumanity did not stop with Holocaust or Hitler. It surrounds us still today.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Feed the REAL World

The holidays are fast approaching; the Boss and I have had our annual debate over colored or white lights (he won colored for the outside, and I won white lights on the tree). Moustache Man and Sharpie Boy have been helping me bake cookies (we have to bake more of them because, um, well, the reindeer must be reallllllly hungry and keep eating them all). Ebay is all nestled all snug in my pocket book. My virtual home is decorated; my real home is getting there.

Then I think of my friends, Vicki and Thom, who are working with the poorest in the world. In Sierra Leone, there will be no lights for Christmas because electricity is a whim and not a constant. At the Kabala Community School, the children will not be thinking of Batman toys or Barbie Dream Homes. They will wonder, again, if rice is for dinner, and whether the water used to boil it is filled with disease. The picture above shows their reality...their first lives...

I know money is tight. I pay the same high gas prices, and we have the same nasty bills. But, we are blessed by those things when these little children a world away have so little.

In your holiday giving, if you can even spare a buck, the kids at the Kabala Community School can use it to buy rice, to purchase a generator for their school, and to buy a water purifying system.

I know it is a lot to ask. You have to trust that Thom and Vicki Hicks are not scam artists. But, I can truly tell you - these are two of the kindest and most generous people on this earth. They give ALL of themselves to the service of others.

So, for a few linden converted to real money, you can help a child this holiday season. Please open your hearts (and your paypal accounts) and consider making a donation. And, yes, all donations are tax deductible.

Let's join together and spread some holiday cheer to those that have only one reality. You can learn about their work on their website (the PayPal button is on the bottom left). If you prefer to donate linden dollars, I will convert it and send it (IM Desideria Stockton). Please send an IM with your real name and email address so you can receive a receipt. Include the amount of Linden and the date you sent it, so I can accurately convert it to USD.

Sadly, the hungry and poor have been around a long time; this video (back when rock stars worked together for good) is a reminder of all that is needed:

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Spoon River

I am totally EXCITED! The Spoon River Anthology is online! You should totally skip this post and go is awesome. After we are done with Rime of the Ancient Mariner, I think the next project will be a virtual Spoon River.

If you want to gather some good stuff, head over to the other place where I write...the Stingy Scholar. There are some wicked awesome resources there. It hasn't been updated lately, but I am on the ball. If you have any free free free tools that you want me to review...send me an email at and I will gladly take a look and do a review for the Stingy Scholar.