Thursday, January 31, 2008

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My Students RAWK!!!

They do. They totally RAWK!!!

My 106 (lit) students get up at the crack of dawn...all 30 of them...and they manage to get to English class. They pretend to be galloping knights or ladies of Shallot (saying "Dang! He's cute" when looking in the rear view tower mirror.

They used Animoto to create tributes to Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes in honor of MLK.

They used GCast to create oral versions of various poems.

Tomorrow, they will start using Imagination Cubed to help design 3D poems for Second Life.

The students in EN 104 (Comm Thought 2) used Animoto to create awesome "What it means to be an American" displays.

The students in EN 107 (tech writing) have started working on their Feral Cat Projects using Mixbook and Wikispaces. The students in CMN 112 are gearing up to work with Hiro Sheridan on a Cryptology project.

They totally rawk. Totally.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Local Porn Stars are Born?

Oh My.

Seems as two high school girls and one high school boy from an affluent area in my neck of the woods got their skivvies caught on cell phone footage. One took a picture of her own, um, stuff. No one knows who took the other pic, but it shows that she was with an unidentified boy.

YUCK.

Ok, so the school went bananas and sent a letter home (as per the PA law on child porn). The letter is actually pretty good, and definitely prevents litigation. They know they will never get EVERYONE to delete the pics (seeing as they made their way all the way over to Harvard AND Oregon).

What to do?

Well, here is the thing. In the case of the girl who took her own photo - um, grounding? Take away the cell phone? Convent? The girl has issues and needs some help. I hope her parents focus on THAT and not trying to blame the world.

The other couple should go meet with counselors (and if a sicko took the pic...that person should get in loads of trouble). It might be a case of cyber bullying. It might have been a propped up cell phone. Maybe the boy took it? Maybe the girl? Perhaps the cat?

The thing that strikes me about this situation is the impact it has had in this community. At dinner tonight, we had a lively discussion about it.

Certainly, the passing and receiving of porn violates PA child pornography laws. Certainly there is some law (maybe FCC?) about such things, as well. But, as my cousin argued, is this a case of pornography if THEY (the kids) took the pictures?

It isn't surprising that kids are taking pics of themselves in, um, demonstrations of poor judgment...hell, back in the 80s there were lots of pics circulated - but (back then) they were polaroids.

An elder exclaimed, "BAN THE CELL PHONES!"

Um...believe me...banning the cell phone isn't gonna stop teenagers from "doing the nasty in the woodshed."

Is the problem that they were DOING it or that they spread the pic around to the free world?

Certainly, the former has been a problem for a long, long, long, time. We haven't fixed the problem, and the problem only seems to get worse. It got worse a long time before cell phones were available.

So, the problem here is the cell phone...but could just as easily have been the internet. The picture spread like wildfire...the current shake up will cause it to spread more...

In the case of the girl taking her own pic, my oh my, she must be awfully proud of her attributes. Because, as far as I know (and, truly, I have no idea), there are lots of similar pics on the web. I suspect the same is the case for couple number two...that stuff can be found all over the web (and in both cases...involving consenting and paid adults).

So, the problem here isn't really the CELL PHONE...or the INTERNET...the problem is that it makes a very affluent area look bad because, OMG, their TEENAGERS exercised bad judgment by TAKING pictures of yucky stuff and then, OMG, PASSING it around to all of their friends (and prolly enemies, too).

This seems to be a problem of "This kinda thing doesn't happen in our town."

Um...our town now involves the world...soooooo......as I have said a million times before...

TEACH DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP!!!!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Immersive Learning in 3D Virtual Environments

I promised JJ Drinkwater I would post this!

The UIUC (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences is offering a distance learning class (to be taught in SL) on Immersive Learning in 3D Virtual Environments for Librarians and Educators. . The class runs for six weeks, and will be taught by SL Librarians Hypatia Dejavu of Info Island, and JJ Drinkwater of the Caledon Library. Feel free to email JJDrinkwater@gmail.com for more information


Week One: Introduction to immersive learning
Week Two: Second Life as an immersive learning environment
Week Three: Immersive education in virtual space
Week Four: Technologies of learning
Week Five: Immersive learning library programs
Week Six: Immersive reference services

Dates and times: February 7, 14, 21, 28, March 6, and 13 from 7:30 - 9:30 am SL

More information on registration and such at...
http://www.lis.uiuc.edu/programs/cpd/VW/IL.html

Against Intellectual Monopoly by Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine


I have two new best friends. Well, ok, we have never met. But, surely, they WOULD be my new best friends if we met.

Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine are publishing a new book called Against Intellectual Monopoly out of Cambridge Press. What's so cool about it???

You can read the FREE DIGITAL COPY HERE!!!

Many thanks to Charles Bailey over at Digital Koans for the heads up (and to Peter Suber before that!)!

Image Source

Lane's List

Nazz Lane is putting together a list of edifying artistic content on the SL grid. Check out the interviews here.

Lane contacted me to add Literature Alive! to part 2 of the series. Woot!

2 Million Minutes

Many thanks to Scott McLeod over at Dangerously Irrelevant for the link to a new documentary about students in high school across the globe. Be warned - the American kids aren't painted so well...

The documentary is called Two Million Minutes: The Movie. Watch the trailer...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Pink Ranger

Moustache Man and I worked on this Pink Ranger tribute using my new fave tool, Imagination Cubed by GE

Check it out!

My New Favorite Toy: Imagination Cubed by GE

I have another new favorite toy!

This is called Imagination Cubed; it is a free writeboard offered up to the sphere by GE.

Check out why I love it!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Growing Up Online: Frontline's Amazing Journey


We have all been patiently waiting for the Frontline show, Growing Up Online. Some people were worried...some folks are upset. But, truthfully, I found it was pretty good.

Some comments (go view it and then come on back :-)

One point that Frontline illustrates well is the divide between the teachers who are "out of date" and the ones who are "up to speed" with technology. Many of us using Second Life have felt the weight of this divide; in fact, the divide is creating rifts and tension in many schools in the K-22 system. Why?

Well, I can't claim to know the answer, but here is my guess. The students entering college today know a heckuva lot more about thechnology than most teachers (not the readers of THIS blog, surely). For some, this is an uncomfortable place to be...the teacher is supposed to hold the keys to knowledge...passing them out with each successfully aced test or essay. To allow students to be key holders means we have to give something up, right? For some, the answer is yes and will always be yes. Teachers teach; students learn. For the rest of us (the ones on the other side of the grassy knoll), we understand that learning is a shared process. Just today, a student showed me some Google shortcuts. Instead of acting like I was dumbfounded that he could possibly know more about Google than me (a Google Addict), I applauded him, had him teach everyone in the class, and gave him a gold star for brilliance. Sure, he had some sparkle in his eyes for one-upping the teacher, but, hey, he deserves a little sparkle! I am not threatened by his brilliance; to me, his brilliance and his ability to communicate it to me and to a class of 25 peers is an awesome tribute to the potential of collaborative educational tools!

Another point made by Frontline is the angst of parents. In dealing with many a frustrated parent, I understand the problem. It is easy to say "stay off the street corner" because you can drive by it and check if Susie is strutting her stuff there; it is not so easy to find a street on the internet where Susie has posted pics of herself nude. It is even harder to know that Joey, her MySpace friend, who says he is also 14 is actually 43 and collecting every pic of her and making a room collage of them arranging a time when they can meet so he can capture and rape her. Parents know the evils of the real world, and now a whole NEW world has popped up that they know little about. Now, kids are smart...if a parent goes to Susie and says "Susie, show me your MySpace page," Susie is gonna click up some sweet looking sight that makes her out to be next in line for a Pulitzer Prize. Kids aren't going to show their parents where the bad stuff is...did we show our parents where the lookouts were??? Parents are busy working, and there aren't many classes offered for parents on "how to spy on your teen 101." So, there is a whole host of people out there that have no idea how to monitor their kids. One parent recently told me that he was really irritated by the politicians and celebrities that say "Yo, Parents! Monitor Thy Kids." He said, "I would if I knew how." Since technology changes daily...it is no wonder parents are left in the dark.

And, what about these kids? Frontline does a nice job of illustrating how kids are connecting during every free second; they multi task (and, as one teacher put it, they have less of an ability to focus). These kids are surrounded my media all day long. Plus, there are no places for kids to hang out...they aren't allowed to lolligag at the mall, movies are waaaaay too expensive (and you can't talk), and we don't let our kids sit out on the front porch because they might get mugged, raped, or kidnapped. We banned all the skateboard parks, we don't them go out and play a good old game of "kick the can" because some parent might sue another if someone gets hurt. We banned barbies because they degrade women; we don't live near corner stores since that Walmart opened up down the street....there is simply nothing for them to do that is FREE, SAFE, and FUN.

So, is it a surprise that they have found a way to connect to one another online? Is it safer? Well, that depends on what you mean by safe. Cyber bullying is on the rise (and Frontline does a nice segment on it). Cyber Stalkers are on the rise. All of the scary things of Real Life (you know...the reasons they aren't allowed to sit on that front stoop) exist online. But, as Frontline reported, the ONE study done about cyber predators indicates that most kids DO KNOW how to spot cyber predators.

Sadly, I learned of the Goddess Ana - or the cult of eating disorders. And, I felt pained by Evan and her damaged relationship with her son; her quest to protect him has sent him further away from her. But, was her quest too strong? I never let my Mom read my diary...but, I also didn't publish my diary for everyone in the world to read.

My heart pours out to the family of Ryan; he committed suicide because some student teenage girl broke his heart and trampled his ego. Cyber bullying is just nuts. Kids think that the words in print hurt less than the words coming out from your mouth. Clearly, as Ryan's death shows, words hurt in any medium and clearly "amplified and accelerated" his pain.

SO, where do we go from here? We teach them to be responsible cyber citizens. Period.

Image Source: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/kidsonline/

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Checking out We7 with Animoto

I wanted to test out how to use We7 with Animoto...this is just a test (and some assorted pics that were on my C Drive)

First Mixbook is Out!

Students in English 105 are creating Mixbook reading journals. Amy H. accidentally published hers, but it is well worth publishing here (or, if you are interested in reading it, click here):


View this book full size or get a printed copy at Mixbook

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ooodles of Web 2.0 Tools for Teaching!


Many thanks to Eloise Pasteur for starring this article by Digitial Urban in her Google Reader! They posted an awesome video created by Simple Spark that shows 5000 Web 2.0 tools in 333 seconds.

You can check out and try the tools at Simple Spark. They have a WHOLE SECTION devoted to education!

Image Source

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Drop.io and Literature Alive!

Thanks to the amazing and talented Molly McDonald (AKA Demo Girl), I learned of a new tool called Drop.io

Why is this cool? Well, for one, it allows Eloise and I to share resources for Literature Alive. Right now, Elo and I do everything through Gmail, and that does work pretty well for us. Elo and I communicate at least 200 times a day. Drop.io will allow us to share stuff without having to hunt through our email accounts!

http://drop.io/literaturealive

Thanks, Demo Girl!

The Women and War Classroom

This is a brief video about the Women and War Classroom hosted at Drexel Island.

SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Drexel/194/37/24

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My First Machinima

Here it is! Using WeGame, I created this little ditty about the VIT Rezzer:

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

WeGame and Machinima

I am not really up to speed on Machinima, but I am going to try my hand at some recordings this semester.

I found this awesome FREE software called WeGame. It is totally free and was built to record video games and virtual worlds.

Where did I get this lovely nugget of information? Every week, Butch Dae (RL George Kurtz) sends out a VIT update of cool tools and articles. This was one of the tools.

Sweet.

2008 Blogosphere Survey Open


My dear friends - go over and fill out the quick survey on educational blogging!

The Future of Ideas is FREE FREE FREE

I must admit - I am a HUGE Lawrence Lessig fan. There is something about his gentle nature and incredible brain that is simply wonderful. More importantly, his creation of the Creative Commons license - the bridge license between full copyright and public domain - is prophetic. He offers real time solutions to an increasingly difficult world of attribution.

His book, The Future of Ideas, is now FREE! You can download your copy! Go now...get your copy...toss it into your Sony Reader...grab a tea...and enjoy :-)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Spring 2008 at Literature Alive!

The holiday break seemed to whiz by without a blink. But, despite the chaos of real life, Eloise and I have worked hard on Literature Alive! plots for use in classes this Spring.

The first plot is a revamped Progressive Era Classroom for use in English 106: Literature. Students will be reading Stephen Crane's Maggie: A Girl of the Streets and discussing tenement housing and the industrial revolution. Previously, the build was graciously hosted by Finger Lakes Community College at the SUNY campus (many thanks Marcius Dowding!). It has now found a permanent home on the VIT World campus (many thanks Butch Dae!).

The plot comes complete with working amusement rides (Eloise calls them "fun fair" rides - aren't the British cute?), bumper cars, and a train to provide a "theme park" atmosphere. All the rides are free, and it is a PG place where students from all schools (and residents, too) can come and enjoy a little Second Life. The students will be working on four projects while using the classroom. They will create an object repository for people to view as they ride the free fall; they will be creating a virtual tenement museum, and they will be creating a domino boardwalk timeline of the era. Most importantly, they will be exploring the rise and fall of Maggie. Visit the classroom any time, and anyone is welcome to participate in classes.

The second project is the Gloria Naylor Interactive Project. Students will be reading Mama Day, The Women if Brewster Place, and The Men of Brewster Place.

The plot includes Bailey's Cafe, Eve's House and Garden, the houses at Brewster Place, and even the brick wall at Brewster. Students have to utilize the environment by exploring the texts and creating the content for each of the buildings. They will analyze the characters and provide visitors with information about who they are and what their lives are like in the novel. Visit the project (feedback is always welcome!). Many thanks to FireSabre Consulting (Thank you Gus Plisskin!) for the land grant donation.

The third project has not yet been built. The students, working with the glorious Eloise Pasteur and the not-so-glorious-as-her me, will be building a full out ghost town to celebrate Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters. Many thanks to Marcius Dowding and Crash Tibault, Finger Lakes Community College, and SUNY for their continued generosity and land grant!

Finally, students will be celebrating the poetry of Maya Angelou by creating a voice threaded prim build after reading "Still I Rise." We will be inviting visitors to see the showcase once the students have completed their build.

As always, we are eternally thankful to our sponsors; their willingness to provide space four our builds is what makes Literature Alive! possible! Also, I would be greatly out of line if I didn't personally thank Eloise Pasteur, once again, for her generation donation of time and talent. Eloise makes her living in SL as a builder and scripter, and the time she spends volunteering for Literature Alive! could be spent elsewhere. Likewise, I would be nowhere without my assistant, Daliah. She keeps me organized (and that is quite a task). Our intern has moved on to bigger and better things, so if you know anyone interested in interning with Literature Alive! - just go ahead and holler :-)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Digital Humanities in the Googlosphere


In an excellent post on the Digital Humanities blog, writer lms4w writes about some pretty important topics for folks teaching literature, composition, rhetoric, or tech writing in the Googleosphere (cute word, eh?).

Whilst you should read that post first, let me highlight some of the things that were most captivating.

First, there is a whole discussion about Google Books. Now, I am a huge fan of open access, but the problem with Google Books is that they are scanning so fast that they aren't paying attention to the accuracy of the scans and there is some problem with the resulting metadata. Isn't it better to just get good (well scanned) texts from other places (Gutenberg)? I know that Google wants to be first and all, and (believe me), I am a huge fan of Google, but what good is a reputation if it is based on sloppy and shoddy work? Furthermore, there are some texts that people SHOULD buy. As a huge Gloria Naylor and Margaret Atwood fan, I must buy those books (and my students must buy them, also) or Gloria and Margaret won't be able to eat (and we certainly wouldn't want an Edible Woman, eh?). So, writers need to make a living, and they do this by writing books that we buy. Any research written ABOUT their work could fly free, since no one profits from it (well, the journals do, I guess), but the authors receive no more than an atta-boy/girl and a feather for their tenure cap.

So, Google, if you are listening...CLEAN UP THE GOOGLE BOOK PROBLEM!!!


The second topic in the DH post is about the decline of reading for joy. This makes me sad, but it is not surprising. While Eloise and I still read for fun, and my nieces all read for fun, and my mother reads for fun, and, wait a second...everyone I know reads for fun? We are a steelworker family? Um, hmmmmm....where is this data coming from? Did anyone see the lines for Harry Potter? I am not a Potter fan, but I watched the lines in Wildwood when the last book came out. Perhaps they weren't included in the data? Oh, and maybe all the little kids that belong to the local library book club weren't counted. Those kids LOVE reading. OK, so their parents are all nerdy types like me, but, hmmm.....maybe it would be worthwhile to ask?

See, herein lies the problem...a lot of great "pass time" writers are older now or aren't writing. Think about it...Stephen King is doing movies now, and Danielle Steel and VC Andrews are up there, and no one reads those Choose Your Own Adventure books anymore (does anyone write them?). There are Junie B. Jones and Potter books, but most tween stuff is like "Hannah Montana's Secret Wish List" and that sort of crap. Maybe if book companies scanned the world and found some fresh new writers for all categories, we would have some better reading to offer. The problem is, it is just toooooo hard to get published these days, and it is WAY easier to just publish on your own using LuLu. Whatever the issue is, I still see a new Barnes and Noble being built every other day, so people must like books (somewhere) because they can't ALL be going for the Godiva Hot Chocolate and Lemon Squares.

The third point is about digital journals. Why can't the Humanities follow the path of Nature and the science peeps? Those people do EARTH SHATTERING research, and they publish all over the net. Innovate is an excellent example of good peer reviewing in a non-science journal (there is no one more fussy than Jim Morrison, and I say that with reverence, fondness, respect, and humility). He is an excellent Editor-in-Chief, and his standards are high. The problem centers around the two yucky words of academia: TENURE and PROMOTION. But, didn't the MLA say something about that in 2006? Didn't they go ahead and validate digitizing the humanities? We follow their formatting guides...perhaps we can listen to them on this, as well?

The final section deals with Web 2.0 stuff; mainly, it is about the changing nature of authority in places like Wikipedia. While I am a fan of Wikipedia, I have to say that I DO caution students when using it. I may be a bit old fashioned on this, but college students are not allowed to use ANY encyclopedias in research they do for me. Jean-Claude Bradley stresses the importance of redundancy on the web, and if students verify their research, they should be able to use more than one reference so, no? I have to be truthful here, though; we have not yet found errors in the Wikipedia entries we have examined. I am sure there are tons of errors in there, but, as far as lies Shakespeare, it is pretty accurate.

The problem with technology is that the old school doesn't accept it and us young guns don't care. I don't mean to be flip about it, but I am sure the monks were none-too-happy when the printing press came along. Progress happens only as a result of change. Quality doesn't HAVE to be sacrificed along the way, but it is up to the USER to search out the stink bugs. We are moving in this USER CREATOR world, and as all creators know...with creativity comes great responsibility (thank you, Uncle Ben).

Image Source

The blog most was really good, and you ought to go read it if you have not yet done so.

Princeton in SL


Daliah is off for the week, and the lovely Miss Eloise is under the weather, so I am touring around SL looking at various builds and whatnot. I have been itching to go to the Princeton sim for some time now, as I am a huge RL fan of Princeton (and have had waaaaay too many pancakes at PJs). I was very impressed by how much the virtual Princeton looks like the RL Princeton. Nassau Hall is nearly identical.

Sadly, there were no a Capella singers in any of the arches (poo), and sadder still...there were no people on the sim. I was hoping there might be more to do there (or at least a bookstore...their RL bookstore is on my RL hot list of good places to go).

In any case, check it out :-)

If I Won Dan Perry's Google Fridge


Dan Perry is giving away a Google Fridge. Now, I must be a dolt, but I had no idea there was even such a thing as a Google Fridge. The task, if one chooses to accept, is to write the winning blog post that will capture the heart, mind, and soul of Dan Perry.

Sadly, I don't know Dan Perry. But, I will at least try to write a half decent blog post about what I would do with his fridge if I were the winner.

Dan Perry likes golf. But, filling a refrigerator with golf balls is ludicrous. Dan Perry also likes beer, but filling the fridge with it won't do him any good, since he won't be near the fridge to grab a bottle.

Dan Perry must be a kind person, and not one interested in making boat loads of money from this exchange (else he would have sold it on ebay). So, methinks there is a humanitarian in there.

So, here is what I would do with the fridge if I won it:

As much as I would LOVE to have that Google fridge in my office, I wouldn't be able to keep it. I would need to use it to do good in this world. I would auction it off and donate every penny to the Kabala Community School in Sierra Leone. Their current school is in a rice patty field, and they are trying to build a school with actual walls and a ceiling. They could really use the money, and Dan Perry's fridge would mean a world of difference to those kids.

To sweeten the pot, I would do the auction within Second Life. The auction would be called "Help Dan Perry's Fridge Reach Children" and every bidder would be asked to leave a pin on a virtual map. We could send a real map marked wit hall the bidder locations to the children with the money, so they an see all the people in this world who want them to learn how to read and write. We c send another map (perhaps framed), to Dan Perry to show him how widespread he and his famous fridge had become.

Dan Perry is a marketing guru; perhaps the idea that his name is associated with such a good cause is reason enough to give me the fridge :-)

Monday, January 07, 2008

The Full Length Ditty - Literature Alive!

This is the full length promo :-)

Literature Alive! in Second Life - Promo Video

Here you have it...hot off the press!

Oh My, I Have Hit the Big Time

Right.

So.

I must have hit the big time. I got my very first piece of hate mail (now, don't y'all start sending me notes). Evidently, my overuse of the word awesome is indicative of my limited vocabulary. The poor man has been forced to suffer through reading the rubbish presented here; in fact, he gave me advice on how to close my computer and read books again. But, hmmm, perhaps the same option is not available to him?

In any case....

My sincere apologies for overusing valley girl words (you see, I am a product of the 80s...), so, if you need therapy for my wording, I encourage you to get it and to send the bill to Molly Ringwold, Judd Nelson, and the rest of the 80s Brat Pack. You might be able to bill the PA Department of Education, as well. Jeez Louise, they let me out 15 years ago with such a limited vocabulary...what on earth could they be doing to children these days???

Oh my, and he blamed me for all of the poor speakers and writers in this generation. If only I had so much power;! Like, we would, OMG, say "awesome" or "gag me with a Ginsu" every other sentence. We would punctuate our sentences with "nuh UH!!!!!!!!!!" and "No Way, Dude!"

Or, perhaps, I could pass him a note folded like a triangular football (as we did back in those days). I would write my message in another language...perhaps he has even studied it (a man of his great worth and importance???).

Nolite bastardes carborundorum


So - anyway...just in case you were wondering...this is my BLOG. I write INFORMALLY on my blog. If you want to read or hear my FORMAL language, you should read my published writings or come to a lecture.

Isn't blogging AWESOME????????

Griefing in Second Life


The lovely and talented Zotorah Shepherd gave me the following notecard announcing an AWESOME opportunity for teachers! Even though ELVEN is geared to K-12 teachers, this is an awesome chance for educators of all levels to learn about griefing!

Teachers, still finding your way around SL?

Join the ELVEN Institute as we explore basic and advanced SL skills. Just like our students, we rushed into SL without reading the homework, and now we’re here without knowing the basics. ELVEN is here to help! Educators and Librarians in a Virtual Environment hosts a series of workshops designed for the Pre-K through 12 teacher to equip you with the basics of Second Life, including communication, clothing, shopping, using your mouseview to explore, editing your appearance, and how to find useful freebies.

Our next workshop will focus on griefing and harassment and how to protect yourself. This workshop will focus on how educators can protect themselves and their students. Participants will be introduced to the forms griefing can take, methods of protecting yourself and how to request assistance and report abuse.

You’ll receive personal guidance in a small group setting with other educators to help you find your way around SL and meet new educators in SL.

Join us Saturday morning, January 19th, from 8 to 10 am SLT. Please register now at http://elveninstitute.org/workshops.html.

For more information, contact Dewey Jung in world or via email at deweyjung@gmail.com

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Useful Writing Advice


I love the magic of the web. Mark Bell tagged an article on his Google Reader from Dr. Curt Bonk about writing.

The resource is excellent, and is being added to the reading list for English 104. As a result of Mark's post, and my subscription to Mark's feeds through Google Reader, I am able to provide the best on the web. (BTW: Mark also has a nice blog post about gender mechanics; y'all should read that, too).

I am quite sure my friends on Google Reader have turned me off, as I star and share just about everything. But, I like to be able to find things, so, thus, a lot gets starred, and I often think that others might enjoy reading some of the posts, so I share everything, too.

In any case, thank you, Mark, for the tip, and thank you, Curt, for an awesome blog that has now made its way into my Google Reader!

Image Source:

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Top 80 Charities for Open Source and Open Access Advocates


Woo Hoo!

Many thanks to Amy Quinn for sending me this site on OS and AO Advocates! This site is full of goodies, so - stop reading this and go there!

An Open Sky in Education


I am a big fan of Will Richardson. I think he is a great guy, and he has a lot of important things to say. In a recent post, Will talks about the education we all seek. Those of us using Second Life to teach college courses are well aware of Nay Sayers and the impact they have on our daily lives. I have a whole host of nay sayers that speak in whispers about the "Dungeons and Dragons" game I play in lieu of teaching. Now mind you, not one of them has come to me and said "show me Camelot." Instead, they speak in whispers in dark corners clasping their hands in HORROR!

Will says that we would all love a school that is "a place where learning is at the heart of everything." I feel that way about my teaching, but his post hits such a tender spot for all of us. We get frustrated by the lack of vision amongst our peers; we are the "one" out of ten that make a difference.

So, the next time you rez a prim, create a 3D Inferno, build a pooping chicken, or create molecules in the air, just know that you are one of ten out here making a difference. But, all of us combined add up, and we will fight the good fight.

Eloise and I and Daliah have all had terrible colds over the past few days. We wondered how those germs spread over the ocean, but we should be back in the swing of things. This semester, students will be building a ghost town for Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters and building virtual quilts after reading the play "The Quilters" by Molly Newman and Barbara Damashek. If you are interested in seeing my smoke and mirrors "dungeons and dragons" card trick, email me any time or IM me at Desideria Stockton.

Friday, January 04, 2008

The Feral Cat Project

This is one of the projects I am working on this semester. It is a joint writing project with my technical writing students at LCCC and Dr. Nancy Trun's Microbiology students at Duquesne. Learn more at the blog or the wiki!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Web 2.0 Tools Galore!

Well, it is that time of year...Over the next two weeks, I will be working to get my classes started, and I spend break sorting through all the RSS I have neglected for months.

And then it pokes at ya.

It starts off as a sneeze here and a sniffle there. Then you take a nap, and POW! Now I have an official, makin-my-eyes-blurry cold. So, I can hardly read the computer screen because my puffy watery eyes are barely open. And, of course! I have a billion things to do in SL and in RL.

So, vitamin C, here we come!

Anywho...when I can actually see again, I want to play around in this wee treasure chest. Doesn't it make ya drool?