Tuesday, October 31, 2006

NJASL Presentation

I had the pleasure of presenting at the NJASL conference yesterday. What a great group of educators, interested in and enthused by educational technology! I brought 50 hand-outs, the room's capacity, and needed an additional 50 (thanks to you who suffered through standing or sitting on the floor). Here are the links to the information, as promised.

This link is to the Powerpoint presentation. If you didn't get the handout!

This link is to the web resources you might find helpful to teach about evaluating internet sites. Some links may be defunct as I haven't checked all of them within the last few months.

Also, some of you were looking for the article in which the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, talks about not using it as a research reference. This is the link to the Chronicle article.

Thanks to everyone for a great session!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Venice Project

Ground-breaking technologists Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis (of Kazaa and Skype fame), have embarked on a new project that focuses on television and the social power of the internet--code name "Venice Project." Little is known, but speculation is that it's likely to be based on peer-to-peer distribution technology. The project's homepage (where you can apply to become a beta tester) says:

The Venice Project is a new venture that combines the best elements of the TV experience with the most powerful internet technologies, in a way that will redefine the way people think about television. It is not a file-sharing application or a video download service.

It is intended to be a project that gives viewers, advertisers and content owners more choice, control and creativity than ever before.

Sound promising? You can sign up for email updates.

I've completed the application to be a beta tester. I'll post updates.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Mooziko, the self-described Africa's You Tube was recently launched in beta. The odd thing is that the videos that I watched were all of scantily-clad women gyrating---the music wasn't bad. ;-)

One video clip began with an ad for Secret deodorant. Somehow, this doesn't seem like youtube.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Technology's Impact on Our Perception of Beauty

I saw this on boing boing today and had to share. This one-minute film clearly illustrates Dove's point for their campaign for real beauty. However, what it also alludes to is the impact of technology on everything, including our perception of beauty. The Photoshop editing at the end really drives home the point. All of the research that is conducted into what is deemed "beautiful" is made into reality through technology. We are aspiring to illusion. The analogy is that everyone should strive to sing like their studio-recorded mp3s. Not many would think that possible yet many in society still hold to the supermodel billboard as the goal.

I suppose we could look even further into technology's impact on the perception of beauty and conclude that our identities have no physical beauty online. Wonder if they'll develop a re-touch tool for peoples' personalities in social networking sites? Perhaps one could run a scan on blog posts to ensure they are pleasing to read? ;-)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Ike Wiki

First of all, you just have to love the name (and connotation).

From wikipedia:
A Semantic Wiki is a Wiki that has an underlying model of the knowledge described in its pages. Regular wikis have structured text (in this article: Introduction, Example, ...) and untyped hyperlinks (the links in this article). Semantic Wikis allow the ability to capture or identify further information about the pages (metadata) and their relations. Usually this knowledge model is available in a formal language, so that machines can (at least partially) process it. The technologies developed by the Semantic Web community build the basis for reasoning about the knowledge model.

In particular, machines can calculate new facts (e.g. relations between pages) from the facts represented in the knowledge model.

Interesting to watch, in my opinion, the next generation evolve...