Friday, September 23, 2011

Featured Courses at P2PU – 23rd September 2011 | P2PU Blog

Featured Courses at P2PU – 23rd September 2011 | P2PU Blog:

Looks like the good folks over at are featuring a few courses for the Fall.

Hack this Poem - for poetry writers and those who love poetry.
Beginning Game Dev with HTML5 - This could be interesting to me.
The Philosophy of Death - "What does it mean to die..." and to think about death philosophically. Probably a good course, but I'm going to skip.
'The Art of Music - from Amateur to Professional' - This might be a cool course for those involved with

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Access two Gmail accounts at once in the same browser - Official Gmail Blog

Access two Gmail accounts at once in the same browser - Official Gmail Blog: Now, you can visit and click the link next to "Multiple sign-in."

Hello blog readers!

I've decided to finally use this feature. In the past I have had access to other Gmail accounts, but I've never felt the need to go to the step. However now that I'm working as the webmaster at, I'm going to try out this multiple sign.

Don't feel I'll use it that much but it might really change my workflow. I definitely think it will help Ray and Patty deal with personal and business Gmail accounts.

Signing up for the service, I see that Google understands the potential for screwing things up. I can imagine someone sending something from the wrong account, which could cause all kinds of havoc. So they make you check the box that you understand the way it works.

It's actually a cool design element.

Once you turn it on - it being multiple sign in, you click in the drop-down menu and it asks you to sign into a new account. Easy cheesy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Seth's Blog: Confusing obedience with self-control

Seth's Blog: Confusing obedience with self-control: Compliant sergeants rarely become great generals.

Seth, once again lays it out as plain as day. Schools and companies reward obedience. that's nothing new. The problem is the part where the 'obedient' transforms to be 'self-reliant' - where 'control' becomes 'self control' - when we realize that we control our life.

It's a subject not taught in school, certainly not explicitly. We've created generations of people who require an external control. I see the problems students make when trying to live on their own. they seek out some form of external control - a job, a boyfriend/girlfriend, even a cause or community.

One way to get through school is to forfeit yourself. or rather, your self-control, identity...

This little blog post by Seth Godin has really given me quite a bit to think about.

It's funny there was a book that I found while learning to teach in Taiwan. It was called all kinds of minds and written by a North Carolinian pediatrician named Dr. Mel Levine. It seemed that he was an advocate for children and took their perspective in dealing with an out of touch school system. He went on to write another book about how young adults adjusts to life in the larger society outside of school and parents - moving out on their own.

I wanted to link to his work so I searched for him-and it turns out he was a pedophile. 50 some adults have come forward to accuse him. the day after the lawsuit was filed, in February of this year, the shit-bird shot himself.

What the hell is wrong with this place. 50 kids! 50 lives. and now no recourse. No chance to settle the matter. How crazy is that.

Anyway, schools and institutions should do more to help students become self-reliant and transform themselves from followers to leaders. I believe that, as we recognize this as a problem, new solutions will manifest. The whole OER, tutorial culture,, Edu-Punk, DIY-U movement shows promise of helping guide our institutions to a more student centered future.

Oh, and doctors should not rape kids.

Monday, September 12, 2011 - Zilch, Codecademy and the Badges - Zilch

Honey Badger may not care, but I DO care about Badges. I'm only human.

I came across a very cool interactive JavaScript tutorial site... now wait a minute it's not a traditional tutorial site. It's worth a look to see how it guides you through the lessons. I'll write a more detailed post about it later.

But I wanted to mention one of the things I like about it which is: badges

Badges-sometimes called achievements-are little rewards and reminders of accomplishments you have done. Think about Boy Scout or Brownie badges - or gold stars on the board or your assignments. They may sound simple or silly but they are powerful reinforcements for motivating and sustaining action.

Game designers know this. Educators sort of know, but are doing it well. Take for example code Academy contrasted with zilch (the game I linked to at the beginning of this post)

Both are doing it, but zilch has a full 120 badges to earn with fun and engaging titles like - 'falling on your face' and 'rolling like there's no tomorrow'

What kind of badge does a university course have? A,B,C,D,F. five lousy badges.

Designing a Website’s Introductory Text: Tips and Examples

Designing a Website’s Introductory Text: Tips and Examples

It turns out that people aren't reading on the web. They scan. We know this intuitively, because that's what we do. We know this from research, like this study from Jakob Nielsen about the reading pattern for Web content.

Burdened with this knowledge, do we really ever change our website designs?

I recently reviewed my experience with over on my user testing project-better user experience.

These posts have forced me to see the light. From this moment forward I will strive to write better headlines and introductory text that are engaging and meaningful.

Website introductory text is possibly the only thing that is read - make sure that it delivers the right message.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Future of Publishing - created by DK (UK) - YouTube

The Future of Publishing - created by DK (UK) - YouTube

Cool Video. Watch it all the way - even if you want to shut it off. There are two points to make here. 1) You have to listen to the market. 2) Don't project your negative assumptions.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Seth's Blog: Back to (the wrong) school

Seth's Blog: Back to (the wrong) school: If you do a job where someone tells you exactly what to do, they will find someone cheaper than you to do it. And yet our schools are churning out kids who are stuck looking for jobs where the boss tells them exactly what to do.

Seth tellin' it like it is. I saw a post in USA Today related to this and the UnSchooling movement. Parents are saying "No, Thank you." to state education for their kids - and getting decent results.

For me, as a non-parent, I would not put my kids in the industrial educational system.
John Taylor Gatto is my thought leader when it comes to this... Although he is getting a bit on the wild side of late.

Of course, it could be good to listen to the students.

PS: More updates to follow - my poor neglected readers.