Tuesday, May 12, 2009

AUP project reflections

Last night I completed my final project for Course 2 of the coetail certificate (insert favorite David Lee Roth quote here).

The project was intended to share the AUP with middle school students. This was not at all an easy task. From the point of view of a middle school kid, the AUP reads like a 10 minute nag from your mother. Hence the challenge- how to make this document accessible to 13 year olds?

One question that occurs to me: who is the document written for?

I think the presentation is a good way to deliver some of the basic elements of the AUP, however, if the document itself is intended to speak to students, a rew format is required.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mass Collaboration and The Stanley Cup

Mass Collaboration
Living overseas, we sometimes can feel like we are removed from not only our home land, but our mainstream homeland culture. As a Canadian, the start of the NHL playoffs is one of the times when homeland nostalgia is hard felt.
Reading Jude Fiorillo’s article on Wikinomics about Mass Collaboration, Social Networking and the NFL reminded of something I could do to alleviate that longing for a piece of 2009 hockey heritage. Where did I turn? NHL torrents!
I’ve used torrents before to download music, videos and generally clog up the bandwidth at Samakee Gardens, but have only had a loose understanding of how a torrent actually worked. As I went through the steps to create my account, NHL torrents FORCED me to actually READ the policy that I was agreeing to! (The nerve!)
Their policy was actually an interesting read. It was not drawn up by a team of lawyers, but by people who understood the there were people out there who really want to watch hockey. It was an instant bonding moment. I felt like I was part of a community of people perhaps skattered around the world who feel the same gravitational pull of the Stanley Cup.
The policy went on to specify the ratio of seeding vs. leaching that users need to balance in order to keep their account in good standing. Basically - sharing makes the torrents work better. The greater the mass collaboration, the healthier the community.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Axis of Copyright Evil

Obama doesn't like the way copyright law is being upheld in Thailand. He's put Thailand in with some unflattering company including China, Pakistan and Canada, reminiscent of the Axis of Evil; now to live in I.P. infamy under the cloak of "The Dirty Dozen"!

Evidently Barak doesn't spend much time watching tv. Or if he does, he must still get a kick out of watching re-runs of Full House.

For those of us who have cut cable and have enjoyed the wealth of "free" media that's circulating out there, you may be doing your county a disservice. According to the Bangkok Post article, countries on Obama's priority watch list may be economically penalized through trade barriers and embargos.

Think again next time you go shopping at Panthip Plaza...

Multi Tasking at School

There was much debate about the class with the guest speaker, Silvia Tolisano who introduced the Tiny Chat to our group. The discussion was again brought up in the lunchroom in the high school with several Eng/Hum/Sci teachers.

The teachers at the table had a variety of comfort levels with using tech. Most of them I would say were avid tech users and most qualified as early adapters.

Some of the teachers could see how Tiny chat "could" be used in the class, but not one could say whether Tiny chat "should" be used in their class.

The bigger discussion about distractions and multi-tasking came up. Some good points were made on both sides of the argument:

Pro Tiny Chat:
Kids are wired differently than we are.
Kids have shorter attention spans anyway, so why not allow productive “back room” chat/note taking.

Con Tiny Chat:
Multi-taking is a high order skill that can only be preformed successfully by mature thinkers and experienced people.
Adult learners at ISB were not allowed to take their laptops into the Thai Teaching Certification course because it inevitably leads to off topic behavior.

Further investigation into this compelling debate revealed a body of research done on multi-tasking and learning. The study showed MRI evidence that memory, performance and comprehension are all negatively impacted by dividing attention.

Teachers have always scorned students for passing notes in class. Why should the digital note be treated any differently?

Surely there are enough opportunities for chat rooms, pop ups, and other distractions after the bell rings.