Twitter on Steroids…

Click image to enlarge...
I’ve only got about four minutes before I head over to the school (after six hours of delays yesterday) 🙁

But I had to stick this one out there.  I’m probably way behind on this, but it could, upon further exploration, change my Twitter habits.  I confess that I don’t have it on all the time.  I don’t Tweet a lot.  For me, Summize (now, has turned this global, runaway conversation into a research tool.

Enter Tweetdeck.  This interface seems to do an excellent job of dividing out my conversations.  One column for general tweets, one for replies from my tweets, and one for direct mail tweets — and there’s room for more columns.

Can’t wait to work with this one more, but got to go catch my ride.

Added Later:  BTW, the URL for Twitterdeck is:

Testing a Little Image Hack

I’m up way to early in the morning.  Not sure why I couldn’t sleep, though I am pretty stressed out right now with a writing deadline that seems almost impossible (yep it’s impossible), three-hour workshop tomorrow to prepare for, handouts for a virtual presentation due Tuesday, a podcast that’s resting in my portable recorder that’s clambering to get out, and then all of this really interesting stuff coming into my aggregator.  I love what I do 😉

Photo of Sea GullAnyway, here’s a little hack that I downloaded from Cabel Maxfield Sassers blog site called Fancy Zoom.  He has pretty clear instructions on the page, but the affect is this.  If you post a thumbnail sized version of a photo in your blog post, but hyperlink the photo to a larger version of the photo, or some other photo if you’re just playing with folks then clicking the thumbnail causes the larger version to zoom out.

Click this photo I took in Saint Ives, Cornwall a few weeks ago to see the effect — I hope.

Wow!  It worked!

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Blogging from a Moving Vehicle

Picture of surfing the net in the car.
Networking while riding between Asheboro and Charlotte, NC
Those few of you who follow me on Twitter know that I’m trying out my new AT&T USBConnect card to connect my MacBook to the web while Brenda drives me to Cherryville to visit my folks.  We are currently in the country, between Asheboro and Charlotte, and I suspect that I’m getting only slightly faster than dialup, and I’m pretty pleased at the moment.  We’re in some  big woods right now.  It will speed up significantly when we get close to the 3G speeds in Charlotte — but I’ll be too car sick by then…

Anyway, I’m writing to share this very interesting post from Smart Mobs’ Roland Piquepaille.

According to Nature in ‘Six degrees of messaging,’ computer scientists at Microsoft Research Redmond lab have logged a full month of instant messengers using — logically — Microsoft Messenger. ‘The compressed dataset occupies 4.5 terabytes, composed from 1 billion conversations per day (150 gigabytes) over one month of logging,” according to the researchers. The dataset which was collected in June 2006 contains summaries of 30 billion conversations among 240 million people. And they were very surprised to find that the average number of jumps to get from one random user to another was 6.6.” This is very close to the old ’six degrees of separation’ idea which states that everyone on Earth is six ’steps’ away from anyone else. But read more…

Smart Mobs » Blog Archive » Six degrees of separation in instant messaging


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This is Cool!

You Might Be Too Busy IF… 2/9/08

I think that one of the coolest things about Personal Learning Networks is when they blossom into something interesting, useful, or funny. The later appeared yesterday when Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach published a list of statements shared by educators in her PLN. She’d asked, through Twitter, for statements that began with “You know when you’re busy when…”

Read You Might Be Too Busy If…, and enjoy the fact that it is a collaborative effort of busy educators who are learning every day, and enjoying the benefit of a greater brain!

Mine is the one about Saturday and Sunday — and I think that one of them is today 😉

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2007: I pictorial Review

I saw a short pictorial review done by Ewan Macintosh yesterday, and it seemed like a good way to bring 2007 to a close. Little did I know how hard it would be to pick just the right shots from 2,074 pictures in my iPhoto from the last 12 months. So scroll through quickly if you have only a few minutes.

It started with Brenda and I taking a trip to Lake Waccamaw, in eastern North Carolina — nesting sight for the great Canadian Swans.  It was a magnificent trip, where we both got lots of shots and I got a chance to try out my new telephoto lens.Below is an early morning sun rise from the pier just in front of the small house we rented in Beaufort for the rest of the week.  I’m not sure I cracked the lid of my laptop more than three times the entire trip.

I can tell already that this is going to be tough, pulling out just the very small handful of photos that define the year for me.

Canadian Swans
sunrise in beaufort
Jeff Utecht and I recording a podcast at the Shanghai American School.  It was a fantastic week of working with international school educators, and getting a taste of the future, China.  We had lots of meetings, a few workshops, and the week culminated with what was probably the precursor to the Learning 2.0 conference, which occurred about six months later. Jeff and I doing a podcast
Shanghai was quite a place to visit.  I took the picture to the right the last day (evening) that I was in the city.  Me and two art teachers, a tech person and her husband, a business student from Japan spent the evening eating, watching an amazing cultural dance show, walking in the Bund, and trying some exotic drinks that you can’t get in the U.S. Shanghai
Only a few days and about 20,000 miles later, I’m having dinner with new friends in New Zealand.  I spoke at their educators conference in Rotorua and then traveled down to the South Island to Dunedin for a day-long workshop.  Many newer friends and a day of walking around town taking lots of pictures.  I also got to see my first Rugby game.This was one of several opportunities that I had, during 2007, to see what educators can do with these emerging new tools, when they have permission to just “do it!” Dinner with friends in New Zealand
I was in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada twice in 2007, making lots of new friends.  Just like New Zealand, it was a charge to present my ideas to educators who could actually run with it.  I could see in their faces, that they were working out how to make this work in their classrooms, rather than how they might get permission to make this work.I also spent a day with my friend Jeff Whipple, who took me to his uncle’s maple syrup farm.  Great fun, and I got to take some home with me.  The security folks at the Fredericton airport were just great. Fredericton, NB
It was around this time that we discovered a small herd of deer who live in our neighborhood.  We are not inner city, but its several miles out, before you get to anything that resembles wilderness.  There are a lot of trees and parks in Raleigh.  It’s one of the best things about this city, that we have fought to keep, despite efforts to make it easier for developers to do their thing without regard to aesthetics. Backyard Deer
I played one gig with some of the folks I use to play music with when I was in high school.  One brought this photo that we all posed for in 1969.  I’m the tall one to the left.  My mom made that shirt for me. Liberty Arc
This was a wonderful day in Toronto, with the approaching spring.  I worked with the Ontario Library Association to brainstorm about a new set of instructional standards for school libraries.  The Ministry of Education wants the school libraries to take the lead in moving schools toward 21st century teaching and learning. Toronto
From Toronto, I flew to Boston to meet Brenda and Martin for a couple of days of doing the history thing.  It was a lot of walking and some great food and the sort of thing that Brenda and I will likely be doing more of.  She’s going with me to the UK in March and likely to Vancouver later on in the year.  She knows way more about English history than I do. Brenda in Boston
Then came NECC in Atlanta.  Here’s David Jakes delivering the keynote address at this national conference.  Actually, we both got there early, and staged this shot.  He looks like a natural, don’t ‘e.It’s difficult to say what the high point of this conference was, without seeming to disapprove, in some way, of other aspects.  NECC 2007 was, hands down, the best National event I have ever attended.  You could hardly turn around without bumping into some opportunity to learn something new.  The sessions and keynotes were great, and the in-the-hall opportunities were phenomenal. Jakes' Keynote Address at NECC
Certainly, one of the best things about NECC2007 was the EduBloggerCon [photos], organized by Steve Hargadon.  It was a day of conversations among practitioners who all had something to teach and all had much to learn.  This was learning 2.0. EduBloggerCon
This was one of the presentations I did at NECC, talking about the fundamental characteristics of Web 2.0 and its pivot points of opportunities for education.  The audience was state level directors of technology, the State Education Technology Directors Association (SETDA). Me Talking at NECC
Here is one motley crew of educators — at the end of the NECC conference.  We were asked to share some reflections about the event.  I had just finished my spotlight address and had completely forgotten about this webcast.  Someone had to come and fetch me.  Not at all out of character for me.The folks with me, from left to right are Steve Hargadon, Will Richardson, me, and Chris Walsh.  You can see the web cast here. A Motley Crew at the end of NECC
It was shortly after NECC that I finished the 2nd edition of Classroom Blogging.  May is always a light month for me and it seems that there is always some big writing project that is begging to be done then.  The response from the book has been good, but I was most validated when Brenda told me that “This is a good book.  Teachers should read this book.” Classroom Blogging 2.0
During every year, since I have gotten involved in education and technology, I have witnessed lots of highlights.  But certainly, for 2007, one of the greatest of these was the Games, Learning, and Society conference in Madison, Wisconsin.  I learned more about the future o education here than any other event all year.  In this picture, we’re all sitting around a fire (digital) and discussing education and video games with Dr. Henry Jenkins of MIT.One thing that impressed me here was that most of the presenters looked like they were 17 years old.  Yet, they were all fantastic, entertaining, knowledgeable, and committed speakers.  I learned so much! Fire side chat with Henry Jenkins
Another highlight was the two times that I got to speak at the same conference with Daniel Pink, author of The Free Agent Nation and A Whole New Mind — both books are about me.  This was the New Jersey ELITE conference for education administrators from across the state. Daniel Pink
The second time I got to work with Daniel Pink was at the Council for Chief State School Officers in Portland Maine.  It was an exciting conference, but the best pictures came from a series I took of some youngsters who were skateboarding down a hill in downtown Portland with special gloves.  Great fun, and a wonderful city.  Brenda met me here and we both fell in love, wishing we’d stayed here rather than going up to Bar Harbor — which disappointed us both. Skating in Portland, ME
Back in Fredericton, New Brunswick, I got to see Sharon Peters again where she spoke to a packed house about Web 2.0.  She is so smart and also very relaxed.  She tried to teach me a little French — which I bungled during my keynote. Sharon Peters in New Brunswick
Intermixed among these highlights were lots of gigs (lots of gigs) that all contributed to the buzz that was 2007.  Lots of presentations and lots of conversations — lots of learning.  But this one stands out, because of this very tech savvy educator in Kinston, North Carolina, who, after I showed pictures of my avatar in Second Life, proceeded to set up her account and move into EduIsland before I finished my presentation.It took me three months to get off of orientation island. Second Life in Kinston, NC
Twice Brenda and I went to New Haven, Connecticut, flying into NYC, and taking the train up to this very beautiful town.  Brenda wondered the town, reading at coffeeshops and exploring the shops while I drove off to neighboring towns to do my presentations.Our hotel was right on the edge of Yale Universities Campus, so the atmosphere was right down our alley, with lots of ethnic restaurants, and some of the best pizza we’ve ever eaten. Yale...
This is a magnet school in Los Vegas and you see, here, the science department.  The school is virtual, and the teachers teach from these cubicles, reaching out to students all over the county and beyond.  It intrigued me that this type of teaching would have seemed impossible to even imagine when I graduated from college. The Science Department
Another high point was watching my friend, Joe Brennan, present about digital video and digital storytelling in Pennsylvania.  He is a talented presenter and the entire audience was captivated the whole time.  And Joe really is that tall! Joe Brennen doing a digital video presentation
During one of the rare weekends that I was at home during the fall, Brenda and I went on a tour of gardens in Raleigh.  We felt so much like my grandparents.  Made me want to retire. 😉 Garden Tour
I took this quick shot while preparing to do one of the scenes from my 2007 K12Online conference keynote.  I made it no secret that this is a hard thing for me to do, to work before a camera, especially when it’s my camera.  But the chat that ensued during the first 24 hours of the conference as people where watching the keynote was incredible to me.  It was like being able to watch my own presentation through the eyes of others and engage in conversation with them — all at the same virtual time. K12Online Keynote
After one of our trips to New Haven, Brenda and I met my youngest brother, Dennis, in Manhattan, where we took in a play.  It was supposed to be a fun play about Rock’n’Roll, but turned out to be very serious and a great play.  I got some great pictures of the very old and stately theater in side, but this one captured the moment. Waiting for Tickets in NYC

All in all, it was a good year during which we saw some issues that had been emerging of the past few years, start to mature in some interesting ways. Maturing is not always fun, but it is what we work toward, and it is work.

Happy new year to you all!

Newer and Less Complex Style

You may have noticed that I’ve been playing around with WordPress Themes.  It relaxes me.  I’m hoping, as well, that using a much more minimal design and removing a lot of the RSS twitching I had going on in the sidebar would improve the performance — I’m hoping.

I’ve left the basics in the sidebar here, blogroll, which is now coming out of WordPress’ links rather than an aggregated RSS feed, and archive.  I had to include my travel photos as well, from Flickr, and I go no where without my ClustrMap. 

The rest, however, is still here.  Thanks to John McCreesh, in his Meall Dubh post, HOW-TO: Include an RSS feed in WordPress, I can now create separate templates by duplicating the page.php file, labeling it as a template, and the inserting the code that generates the RSS feed, which he includes in the post.

So, rather than waiting for the feed to be parsed and displayed in the sidebar every time you load the blog, you can click What I’ve been Reading in the sidebar, and view a page with a list of the latest blog posts I’ve read and flagged for sharing, the RSS feed generated by Google Reader.

I’d also hacked together a tag cloud generator, which was also being displayed in the side bar.  Now it is available on its own page, “Tag Cloud,” showing the most used terms in my latest 30 posts and the most used terms in the latest 120 comments.

Of course, I’m the only person I know who really cares about this 😉

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w00t, We Made It!

This from Game On: Games in Libraries.

Merriam-Webster’s word of the year is “w00t!” Further proof that gaming is ubiquitous and invading pop culture. Full article at:

According to the article, “W00t” is a hybrid of letters and numbers used by gamers as an exclamation of happiness or triumph — for those of you who, like me, didn’t know. 😉