While I welcome this resource from CNET, is it just me or am I right in assuming that it is a load of BS that I need a tutorial on how to read a phone bill?
You want the greatest example I've ever seen of the power of building a platform over building an application? Here you go. Since she was just taking some time off to be with her family, all Laukosargas Svarog did was go into Second Life and build a functioning ecosystem. What do I mean by 'functioning'? I'm glad you asked. It means that if it doesn't rain, the grass and plants will die. Bees spread pollen. Seeds blow in the wind. Idiots try to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWAR). Not really in that last one. If you have Second Life and would like to visit this amazing place, click here.
Think about it though...could we build entire learning ecosystems - not like the Terminator - but an ecosystem that would allow us to watch what could happen to an entire organization based on small changes in the ability of that organization to learn. Talk about demonstrating ROI - what if you could use this to show that if Company X fails to improve its learning systems, it will be dead in 5 years. Watching buildings crumble and a self-contained society fall apart would have a much greater emotional impact than a host of spreadsheets.
My buddy Brent Schlenker sent me this link the other day asking me when I had become such an accomplished artist. When I finished laughing (I can't draw a straight line without a ruler) - I checked out the site and found the second member of the Worldwide Mark Oehlert Club. This was akin to the shock when I saw the giant foot in the last episode of LOST. Please go check out this site if you want to see where all the art genes in my distant family background went.
I am speaking at the Learning Strategies Consortium conference in a couple weeks (look me up if you're going to be there) - the topic: m-learning. Our moderator is doing a great job (thanks Michael!) and has given us some questions/topics to start working through. I am about 75% of the way there but I thought I'd throw it up to you folks for ideas, comments, etc. What do I need to tell this group about mobile learning. Yes, I'll be sure to share the results. :-)
We should be ready to state our position(s) on the following:
C'mon now - let me hear you!
I'm sitting at my laptop listening to a Webcast on SOA v AJAX and my son is sitting next to me trying to get into Disney's Toontown. As he is watching the game load-up and do so kind of slowly, he turns to me and pointing at the screen he says what I interpret as "dila". I ask him to repeat this several times until finally he points again and says "diala...it slows everything down." Then it hits me - my son is saying "dial-up" - we have these Time Warner commercials here talking about how great broadband access is and how slow dial-up is and I guess the marketing is getting through. Stunning though in that dial-up is something that he will never have any personal experience with.
It's not about furniture sales or picnics. It's about the men and women who put themselves in harm's way for us and our freedom. From 1776 to 2006 stretches a long line of heroic sacrifice that has allowed those of us in the U.S. to enjoy a level of freedom unprecedented in the annals of world history. Take a moment and explain to your sons and daughters about the courage of those who have fought and died for this nation. Explain that this sacrifice of the dearest kind of treasure demands of this nation's citizens a level of civic involvement that is woefully lacking.
Understand that people - sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters - have died defending our rights and freedom. So next time an election comes up and you're just too busy - go find a veteran's family and tell them that their loved one's sacrifice was in vain. Or understand that not only soldiers love their country but everyone who does - owes that country their active participation in its civic functions.
God Bless...and thank you.
Understand this people - there are times when our republic (I'm speaking now to other U.S. citizens, I apologize to my international readers) needs to hear from us deinzens of the 'net - and this in one of those times (I just don't think our emails will help us with the War in Iraq but I think they could matter here). Let me introduce you all to the concept of "Net neutrality." Actually let me introduce you to a bunch of helpful sites - that way you can visit them first if you don't want to hear me ramble.
PC Mag Story #1
PC Mag Story #2
Save The Internet site
Wikipedia on Net Neutrality (watch for edit wars)
Information Week coverage
Home page of Rep. Ed Markey (seen above)
Public Knowledge video on net neutrality
Ars Technica coverage including debate between Craig Newmark (Craig's List) and Mike McCurry (former White House spokesman now telecom lobbyist)
Ars Technica coverage of HR 5417
U.S. Senate home page (find and contact your senators)
U.S. House home page (find and contact your reprsentatives)
The long and short of it depend on who you talk to. The telecoms will tell you that legislation in this arena is not necessary because there aren't any problems yet. Without knowing anything else about the issue, does that sound like a BS argument to anyone else? Why regulate plane safety until there's a crash right? The idea is that the network providers (Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner, et al) want to be able to create a two-tier network and charge different Web sites varying rates, some higher and ostensibly some lower. This would entail the telcos acting as gatekeepers to the Internet and only those able to pay would be able to get in the fast lane. This has similar overtones to the debate over Lexus Lanes.
The whole Kurt Lewin thing really got me started thinking about all the new 2.0 stuff and the best way to be able to start something and be able to both easily update it and be able to share it with other people and allow those other people some way to add their own content into the mix somehow.
At first, I thought about a wiki. Great for sharing right? Very collaborative right? Well yes but it violates the "ease of addition" criteria. So the wiki gets a no. Then I started running through the content aggregators like suprglu, rojo and Squidoo. I settled on Squidoo because its interface seemed pretty intuitive and it seemed like I could add suff quickly. Now I'm not so sure. The whole adding a link thing on Squidoo is a bit ponderous and I don't like being forced to fill out description boxes. Plus, there is no way to leave comments.
So now my easily distracted mind starts to wander from the task to the idea of sharing in general. I was impressed early on by the work that Alex Bosworth had done creating BosPages (here is an example from Jay Cross) but again, for this experiment at least, they fell short. Over to NetVibes.
Netvibes is currently my main information interface with the Web. Currently I have 87 feeds running through 5 tabbed pages. Love it. Very clean. I like how when I click on an item, the full post opens there instead of a new tab in Firefox. Super easy to add stuff to - and by stuff I mean mainly RSS feeds - you can add email inbox checkers, weather, calendar, etc. but the the main content for me is from feeds. it does however fail the sharing test - I think in large part because it is concieved of as a Web-based desktop - the Webtop - and you don't really share that with people right? So who is the winner? Read on!
I got a new game for my PSP called Field Commander (thrilling stuff right?. Here is a screen grab from the official Field Commander Web site. Before you quit reading because it looks like just another war game - lemme esplain Lucy. First, you're right - it is another war game but some of the functionality packed into this little piece of "entertainment" are really quite intriquing. This is what we gamers call an "TBS" - stands for Turn-based Strategy (click here for more than you ever wanted to know about TBS). That's not one of the cool things in and of itself except its good that Sony is now catching up to some of the TBS releases by Nintendo. The cool thing #1 is that this game comes with its own mission editor. Now editors are practically required on all new PC games but typically consoles and even more so, handhelds have typically been closed to user-created content. Well now you can not only create your own missions but using the functionality built into the game, you can upload the missions you create and download missions from other people. One of the amazing things is that this game has literally only been out for a couple of days and already there are user-created missions available online. Just imagine if we could get to the point where you could run something like LAMS on a PSP - create you own content and sequences and then just upload them from wherever you happen to be. I know you can do that on a laptop now but the PSP is a $200 device with built-in WiFi and a memory slot that can hold Gigs of data and its got a screen that looks like a plasma TV. When I was at the Masie Center, we had talks with Sony about what it would take to start getting some learning titles on the PSP and the cool thing is that they are receptive albeit within the constraints of the business model that they currently look at to support the PSP. What we need is a demonstrable market and a proven development shop that Sony can trust not to turn out a bad product.
The final piece is that you can also play against people online - not like point-to-point but actually play against people online from all over the world and have your scores instantly added to the leaderborard - hmmm, that almost sounds like LMS fucntionality doesn't it... :-)