Sunday, November 23, 2008


I caught this TED talk by Barry Schwartz on the "Paradox of Choice." Fascinating. Although created in 2005, I believe the content is still important (and, I am holding out for the Creme Brulee torch!). We have so may choices, and the paralysis of choice is very true.

Here is his advice: "The secret to happiness is low expectations." and "We all need a fish bowl."

He is a great speaker:

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Book Club

I needed to feed my brain. It was starting to dry rot. Well, maybe it was always a bit touched with soggy wood, but I felt the need to read something other than a blog.

The beauty of New England (besides the leaves in fall) is that everyone belongs to at least one book club. I joined the one for female faculty at Hotchkiss, and I was so excited and motivated at the first meeting.

Instead of the traditional format, this month they did a "share" session where you bring in books you have recently read and loved and share them. At the end, you toss them into a circle and pick out a few to take along to read.

I selected three books, and have started the first one: La Tour Dreams of the Wolf Girl by David Huddle. So far, the book is an excellent read (even though I HATE the main character, Suzanne). But, truly, to get me to hate a character so well is a gift of genius. The opening story about Suzanne on the school bus sets the tone for her character, and I dislike her already. If La Tour is indeed an "old fart,"Suzanne is his modern prodigy (an old "fartress"?).

For our next meeting, we are all reading Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. Ms. Brooks spoke at Hotchkiss earlier this term, and I am eager to read another book by her.

People have asked if I have given up on Second Life. The answer is no. I am not teaching right now, and so I am using my free time to explore some other things, but I will be back again once I am teaching. Plus, my best friends are in SL (Eloise and Dal), so I will be back very soon.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Is Blogging Dead?

I just read a fascinating article over at the Economist about the "death" of blogging. My knee jerk reaction was that, NO! BLOGGING IS ALIVE!

Is it?

Friday, November 07, 2008

True Confessions of a Social Media Slacker!

Lordy...I updated my MySpace page today. Jeebus; the pics were like 2 years old! Then I got a Plurk thingy that said I had to update my Plurk. And, I hadn't been there for a majillion moons! I Twitter every time I Diigo, so that seems like I am on 40000 times a day, but, well, not so much. There seems so much to keep track of out there!

I took a break from SL for a bit. Since I am not teaching this semester, there isn't an urgency to be there, so I tried out some other things. I start coaching diving next week, so I may still be a little scarce until I start teaching in January.

In any case, I thought that I should "try" to be more useful to the online community and post useful things here again. So....

My presentation for NMC is located here. The cool A-Z tools wiki is here. But, to make life a wee bit easier - here is the list!

A = Amazee, Animoto, A.viary and AwesomeHighlighter
B = Broth and BlockPosters and Brush Video
C = CoSketch and Campfire
D = Discipline Specific Tools and Diigo
E = Encyclopedia of Educational Technology and EgoBoxes
G = Google Suite and Group Table and Go2Web2.0 Directory
H = Huddle and Hulu
I = Indezine
J = Joodo
K = KEEP Toolkit and Kwout
L = LectureFox
M = Mixbook and Merlot
N = Ning
O = OneTrueMedia
P = Penzu, Project Gutenberg and Preezo and Picitup
Q = Qlubb and Qollage
R = RTM, Rememble and Review Basics
S = Slideshare and SpringNote and SlideRocket and Storytlr and scrnshots and Scrapblog
T = Technology Dictionary and Teacher Training Videos and Teacher Tube and TimeRime
U = Udutu
V = VoiceThread
W = Wikispaces and WeGameand Web2Rights
X = Xtimeline
Y = YouTube and Yudu
Z = Zotero

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A New Day Has Arrived

My children will never know what it was like to only have rich white men in the highest office in the US. This is a good thing. I hope, in my life time, that the words "Madam President" will also be a reality.

No matter what side we were on last night, today we must all work together. This was the message that both McCain and Obama stressed in their speeches (and, why, oh WHY, couldn't ALL of the speeches have been that good???). As a member of neither of the two major parties, I watched with interest as the polidoofi (my term, not theirs) talked little about issues and more about the costs of dresses and someone's great aunt Annie. But, all that is behind is a new day.

Working together is never easy, but working apart is so much harder.

Today, I had the excellent fortune to present at NMC's Fall 2008 Virtual Symposium. The number of new faces was refreshing. NMC does an amzing job of getting new people hooked into the newest technologies.

So, today, educators started our day together...finding ways to teach and learn together. And, outside of the conference, others spent their new day doing the same.

Scientists like Jean-Claude Bradley are finding ways to do research together - breaking down the barriers of patents and antiquated publishing methods. Teachers like Eloise Pasteur are technology to help learning disabled students harness intellectual freedom. Lawyers like Charlie Nesson are challenging the music industry to stop abusing their power. There is a lot more sharing and less competition...and this is an amazing time to live.

But, we still have work to do. 52% of Californians voted down the right of marriage equity. My concern here isn't the number or even the final vote, but that there are literally two nearly even sides of that issue in CA and both sides need to listen to the other. Where can they find compromise? Where can they talk without feeling bashed (and, truly, I mean that for either side)? There seems to be a need for a discussion - not just name calling and veiled threats?

We have lost the art of conversation. Whilst the computer might be part of the demise, I suspect it has a lot more to do with not wanting to anger anyone...or not wanting to "cause a problem."

Teaching Naked requires one to think about life as both being dressed and being open. It is very easy to try new clothes on all the is easy to buy a new outfit when things get rough or go is easiest to layer up the clothes so that the layers can peel off easily in any situation. It is much harder to teach naked...everyone sees all of your everything every minute of every day. But, it is real, and they can expect it always to be real even sometimes imperfect.

I hope that President-Elect Obama will "Govern Naked" as much as he can without selling our national soul; I hope that Charlie Nesson will continue to work toward changing our outdated copyright system; I hope that we will all try to work together to save our planet, our children, and our future. This is a GREAT new day...let change begin with me.

(side is a clip someone took of me and put on YouTube):