Category: Uncategorized (page 2 of 4)

Tag, I’m It.

Paul Wood at What is Your IT Vision tagged me with the “7 things you did not know about me” meme. I must say, I’m not that complex a person, but I’ll give it a go.

  1. My favorite leisure activity is bass fishing, but more specifically, bass fishing from a float tube. If you’re not familiar with the concept, it involves sitting in an inflatable craft with a seat, storage pockets, and not much else. I have customized mine a little by adding an electronic fish finder (gotta have technology!). The biggest bass I’ve caught while floattubing is over 9 pounds.
  2. When I started college, I planned to become a lawyer. I have been accused of enjoying a good argument, so it was a natural fit. However, I realized somewhere during my sophomore year that law wasn’t a field I really cared about, so here I am!
  3. As a high school student, I amassed over 1,500 hours of volunteer service, primarily traveling around in the summers to various camps, teaching campcraft skills, archery, riflery, leading campfire services, etc. It did pay off in some good scholarship money in the end.
  4. My dream vacation is fishing/exploring in the Amazon. I can’t imagine a more wild, exciting place exists on earth!
  5. I really enjoy karaoke singing, probably a lot more than those who get to hear it. My favorite songs to sing range from country (e.g. Friends in Low Places) to rock (Billy Idol’s White Wedding is a personal favorite–love to sing while snarling.) to folk (John Denver, in particular). I once had a little girl spot me in a hotel parking lot the morning after one such occasion and tell me, “Sir, I really liked your singing last night!” My first fan!
  6. I think grapes are the perfect food. Good for you, delicious, bite-size, not at all messy. I have stuffed over 30 grapes into my mouth at once, just to entertain my wife (She was quite amused.).
  7. I have been active in, of all things, the single parent ministry at our church for the past few years. I have taught computer classes to single moms, which has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had, and now serve on a grant board with my wife. We select single mothers to receive grants that pay for school and living expenses, allowing them to go back to school to earn degrees and better their lives. I would have never thought I’d end up working in this area of ministry, but God is full of surprises!

Alright, I’ve done my part, so now I have earned the right to put someone else through this! To the following, consider yourself “tagged”!

  1. Dwight Goodwin
  2. Fred Delventhal
  3. Cheryl McKnight
  4. Greg Bicknell
  5. Greg Farr
  6. Angie Bicknell
  7. Shannon Houston

(Note: You could choose to ignore this, but you will incur many years of bad luck and solicitations from Nigerian banks!)

Embedded Video Problem with IE

FrustrationFor readers of my blog who use Internet Explorer (a really bad habit for which Firefox is a proven cure), you are likely finding that embedded videos are not visible. Edublogs is aware of this, but this is an IE problem, and, given Microsoft’s general disposition with regards to such things, it is unlikely to be fixed anytime soon.  The fix from the blogger’s end is a time-consuming task, if they have a lot of videos posted, and it shouldn’t be on their shoulders, anyway. I’ll try to at least put links to vids in the posts for now, and I’m sorry for the inconvenience.

Photo credit

Time Flies

old vs. newWell, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Today, I was working with a new teacher, helping them get email set up and a few other things. I asked for their password, which happened to be their birthday. The last two digits were 86…as in the year I graduated…from high school…ugh. I wonder if she knows what Basic is.

A Little Something to Light Your Fire

For the new school year, courtesy of Dallas ISD–absolutely wonderful and inspiring!

Liveblogging: Chris Lehmann: School 2.0

Session on Progressive Pedagogy and 21st Century Tools by Chris Lehmann, principal of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia.

Reality Slap

Sitting in a meeting at a north Texas school district today, and this is a list of some of the sites with blocked access that Istop.jpg encountered in a quick check:

  • Bloglines
  • Gmail
  • Twitter
  • Ning
  • Blogger
  • Wikispaces
  • PBWiki
  • WetPaint
  • YouTube
  • Flickr
  • Photobucket
  • Picnik
  • Scrapblog
  • Jott
  • Fleck
  • Trailfire
  • Skype
  • Flock
  • Slideshare
  • Polldaddy
  • Zamzar
  • Google Documents

Some categories that the offending sites fall into include messaging, personal pages, entertainment/recreation/hobbies, instant messaging, web phone, dating/social (for Flock?), shareware/freeware, and, my personal favorite, computing/internet.

While district filters are a fact of life, this one is providing me with a needed reminder of what a lot of teachers (One or two of which may actually read this!) face when they try to implement Web 2.0 into their curriculum. They sit on their home computers, find exciting new resources, and create fantastic, engaging, and relevant lesson plans that utilize the tools, only to find the site blocked by their districts. I’m not trying to be critical of the district (The discussion about the disservice done to students and teachers who have such tools blocked will be saved for another day, another forum.) , because such policies certainly help eliminate many risks to students and networks, but when those of us who are fortunate enough to work in much more open environments share outside of our home turfs, we need to keep in mind that the audience may still be dealing with districts that apply a more tightly-protective philosophy. Offering several alternative sites during sessions is definitely a good idea.

By the way, they blocked Jack Handy’s Deep Thought of the Day on my iGoogle page–that is simply going too far!

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Thank You, Picnik! Free is Good!

Focal B & WOne of my personal favorite online photo editing tools, Picnik, is now giving away its premium features, such as advanced editing tools and special image effects (which it teased users with in a free preview period last year). They have added some advertising, but it is very unobtrusive. This site, which is incorporated into Flickr, offers a very user-friendly interface, perfect for allowing students to do professional looking creative editing of their photos. The image to the right is an example of one such tool, called Focal B&W.

(Note: When I attempted to access Picnik through Flickr, the premium features were still listed as just that–premium. However, when I went through Picnik to access my Flickr images, the newly free features were accessible. I’m sure this will be updated soon. It should also be noted that a Flickr account is not required to use Picnik.)

Thanks, again, to Techcrunch for the heads-up!

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