Digital Cheating?

This image was sent around my old job as “proof” kids would cheat if given tests on computers. There was some sort of panic laced headline like “As if you needed proof that monitoring was a good idea!!!!” The image was taken using Remote Desktop. I don’t think the sender saw the irony. If your test can be answered simply by using the dictionary would it really be worth taking anyway (unless it was a test on how to use a dictionary- then we’re ok)? I actually semi-like this question because it requires the student to think (at least a little). Are there other meanings for “high profile?” Which one applies to this sentence? It looks like it defeated this student’s attempt to cheat. All in all, I’m depressed on several levels.

Google Zeitgeist as a Writing Prompt

So the folks over at Google Blogoscoped had a great idea. Use Google trends as a writing prompt. For instance, if the top queries are … 1. subaru impreza 2. priyanka chopra 3. build a bear … and so on … … then your narrative may go like this, to quote from Simon’s try: I went out and bought a brand new Subaru Impreza last week, which was very scary as I have only just passed my test. I took Priyanka Chopra, the Indian film star, with me to keep an eye on me and exert a calming influence as I was pretty nervous because the Impreza is wild beast of car. “Let’s go build a bear”, I shrieked as we weaved through traffic, “an actual live bear that will do our bidding”. “Good idea,” agreed Priyanka, “This bear could drive us around too, anything would (and so on) … Morphs pretty well into a fun writing prompt that uses subjects that are, by definition, things people are interested in. Ways to take it to the next level- write the zeitgeist as a character or historical figure use the words to take the pass the sentence game to the next level see who can make the longest sensible sentence with the fewest additional words (not listed in the trends list) […]


Digital Storytelling Carnival

I’m a little late with this but . . . If you’re looking for lots of great tips on all aspects of digital storytelling (from camera angles to classroom applications) check out Matthew Needleman’s new carnival. I also found out Matt is a fellow ADE so hopefully I’ll get a chance to meet him in the near future.

Actions as a Result of the Annual Report

All right. So I didn’t win Dan’s design challenge. Iain’s report and a number of others had both more information and more story than mine. But the contest has led to some more thinking and some action. Feeds All my feeds are now in Google Reader. Now I get stats. That led me to realize I read (scanned, processed, whatever) 1,128 posts last Friday. I’m averaging about 600 a day. That seems excessive especially considering that 90% are read between 9:00 PM and 11:00 PM. So I looked at the top feeds by number of posts per day and saw the top one was a Yahoo Pipes mashup of digg,, reddit, and Slashdot. It was something like 250+ posts a day. Way too much noise compared to real value. Cut it. I also dropped Gizomodo (12 posts a day) and am looking at pruning more feeds. Hopefully this isn’t coming across as a #11 on Pete’s list of common edtech blog posts. I’m not overloaded. I’m just looking to be a little more efficient and am using data to help me make those judgments. Annual Report I’ve been thinking about my submission for the annual report and realize I did a few things wrong. I liked what I did. It was pretty. However, it was really more about looking […]

Design and Story

I’m bouncing Dan’s post about design and storytelling in my head. His basic message is that it’s all about the story and design is just a tool to convey the story. If two people are telling the same story, the one who knows when and how long to pause, when to raise their voice, when to whisper will seem to tell a much better story. Visual design works the same way. And you get better at it by paying attention to people who are good and then analyzing your own work. Reflection on what you do that works is a key component of design (and just about anything else). It’s a lot like what D’Arcy says here about photography (just replace photography with design). And there’s no easy answer. There isn’t a simple recipe, where if followed dutifully, a person will be transformed into a better photographer. There are two separate but related aspects to photography – the technical, and the aesthetic. I believe that the technical side can be relatively easily addressed – read some books, maybe take a course or two, rtfm, and practice. It’s the aesthetic side of photography that is harder to develop. There isn’t an easy process to do that. Some sense of aesthetics will develop as you shoot more photographs – whether through trial […]

2007 Reviewed

I took Dan’s challenge to explore my 2007 via design. The whole thing really intrigued me. I was amazed by how little I track what I do and, often, how little access I could get to my own data (which I know the companies are tracking). I really wanted better stats once I got going. My goal this year is to keep track of lots of things so 2008’s year in review reaches the next level in data density. I’m also going to work on refining the rss feeds which are out of control and on three different platforms. It also appears I write at least four unpublished posts for everyone one I post. Must stop doing that. So Dan has made me a better man. Things I wanted stats on that I didn’t have- Music- four computers and multiple iPods led to no decent stats (and my family has taken over our home computer so those stats would just be embarrassing. Not sure how to fix that. I’m trying LastFM but I don’t think that’ll take the iPod into account which is about 85% of my listening. Exercise- lbs lifted, avg heartbeat, reps, sets etc. I can do this. I might even do something on a regular basis through the year as an incentive. Food- It’d be really interesting […]