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May 2012

April 2012

Learning Spaces in LIT

Meet Pam Moran

Bernie Goldbach in LIT | Photo of Pam Moran

More than 80 educators are expected on the Thurles campus of the Limerick Institute of Technology for a day-long “Learning Spaces” conference on the 19th of May. The event marks the eighth year of education conference run bv the department of Technology, Science and Media in LIT.

The conference takes a broad view of both the physical and virtual spaces where we learn. Keynote speakers and workshop presenters explore space, time, technology, and the curriculum in front of first and second level students. 

Two avid American educators headline this year’s conference as keynote speakers. Both Ira Socal and Pam Moran promote “The Iridescent Classroom”. They imagine a space without boundaries of opportunity but with enclosures for safety and security. They appreciate traditional time and space limitations while promoting support and mentoring for  creativity. Both keynote speakers bring their message of “sharing to build a vibrant teaching community” to the Learning Spaces Conference.

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Breakfast Reading at McDs

Bernie Goldbach in Cashel | Image shot with Xperia Arc

Lenihan Files discussed on videoPERHAPS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT news item to emerge as Ireland trundles through a great period of austerity is the working files of the deceased Minister for Finance. It's covered by the Sunday Independent (click image to run video).

Back in 2008, with the threat of no money available in the Irish banking system, the Irish government made the bold move to cover the losses of a zombie bank. The result of that decision meant an entire generation of Irish citizens would be forced to pay back the bets made by global investors in a Irish property bubble. At the time of the decision, quick executive action meant Ireland would start down a path more favourable to large international investment houses than its own citizens. Pundits can only speculate about the facts the former Minister for Finance (Brian Lenihan, RIP) had at his disposal. If reports emerging from national broadsheets run their course, the Public Accounts Committee may use a process of discovery to totally unpack the fateful decisions taken in late 2008, one many in Ireland do not appreciate.

Short Newsround from McDs

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How We Made A Twitter Trending Topic

Bernie Goldbach at the Clonmel Chamber | Photo of a past trending event

Ready for Mootieuk12WITH THE HELP of four others under the same roof, I've helped make three events a "trending topic" on Twitter this year. If you're curious about the inner workings of "trending topics", read on.

Now, three disclosures. First, I teach Social Media to third level students in Ireland and each year several of them make some money by knowing how to engender conversations through tactics I'll share in this blog post. Second, because some event organisers have spotted my attendance at trending events, I often get invitations to attend paid events for free. This means I've been part of three trending topics arising from Irish conferences in 2012. Third, some people don't like watching their Twitterstreams fill up with hashtags so they might use a variety of tactics to clean their timelines of unwanted hashing, they might unfollow the hashers or they might block you. All three have happened to me, suggesting if you're part of a trending thing, you might shed reach or influence.

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Nokia Marked Down Big Time

Bernie Goldbach in Cashel | Irisheyes photo of my Lumia

From Lumia

I HAVE A LOT OF RESPECT for Nokia and the two main handsets in the house are Nokia products. I hope to continue buying quality mobile phones from that proud Finnish company.

The marketplace has not been kind to Nokia since the iPhone established its dominance in the marketplace. Current numbers make difficult reading for anyone associated with the brand that once was synonymous with the most advanced smartphones on the planet.

Bobbie Johnson shares data from iSuppli that shows "the Finnish shipped 83 million mobile phones around the world in the last three months — nine million fewer than Samsung, which managed to ship 92 million units."

The devil is in the detail "because Samsung is doing particularly well — although it’s making a ton of profit, in fact, worldwide shipments from the Korean company were down 13 percent in the last three months. The crown was passed along because Nokia is doing significantly worse than everybody else — dropping 27 percent from the last quarter of 2011."

I read and listen to the roadmap of Nokia but I also know the cold reality of the market. Nokia's share price is low enough now that it's an acquisition target. Nokia's cash pile will run out before the end of 2014. And its market assessment is continuously marked down by funds managers after several profit warnings.

Bernie Goldbach has curated links to Nokia, many in place after listening to All About Symbian for years.

What if my laptop was stolen

Bernie Goldbach in Celbridge | Laptop photo from Irisheyes on Flickr

Voda 3GAS THE HOURS tick away towards the opening of Pen & Pixel 2012, my laptop sits unattended in a classroom, rendering animations for public display. I wonder if I could survive if it disappears.

The short answer is: I cannot create my full complement of content without a laptop. In this very telling moment, we cannot edit and render video using mere tablets or cloud services. Rewind one week and I would not be able to edit and compile documents for secure publication without using high-end editing tools and certificates on the laptop.

The long answer is: If I could negotiate the types of content I'm supposed to produce, I might be able to live with just touchscreens, APIs and cloud services. But that is a big reach at the moment because many of my collaborators use well-oiled structures that don't change overnight.

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10 Reasons Why Mia Learned Plus First

Likes Making MusicBernie Goldbach in Cashel | Photo of Mia

I INTRODUCED OUR four-year-old to Google Plus first because I wanted her to see the effect of upvoting in a system that made sense to her. There are 10 reasons that bring her back to G+ nearly every day.

1. Google Plus aggregates her phone's photos for her. "Look! My pictures are on the computer."

2. It's for her to see fresh items without using the J Key. Sorting by "Most Recent" is a default.

3. She gets information in front of her, not App Crap pushed to her.

4. Google+ keeps things "limited" to a tight group of family and friends.

5. She doesn't have to see strange gibberish like Foursquare check-ins all over the place.

6. She can see where her photos went by using Ripples.

7. She likes looking at new things in "What's Hot". "It's just like the telebision (sic)."

8. She sees real people with real things in circles.

9. She gets an email address.

10. She sees really good photographs.

Bernie Goldbach curates links about G+. Post inspired by Chris Pirillo.

May Be On Our Doorstep

Barcamp Bernie KitBernie Goldbach at Pen&Pixel | Photo by Irisheyes

The National Museum of Ireland-Country Life in Castlebar, Co. Mayo is launching a collaborative heritage project with the Linenhall Arts Centre.

May Be On Our Doorstep is a celebration of traditional May Day Customs in Ireland.

I really like May Celebrations. I've lived in Germany where the feastday of Corpus Christi remains a vivid memory. May Day has special significance in the old communist bloc. May in Ireland is rooted in the pre-Christian festival of Bealtaine. Bealtaine embraces the summer, bidding farewell to the dark winter half of the year. Flowers, dancing, and bonfires featured strongly in the festivities. People also sought protection for themselves, their homes and livestock against supernatural forces.

Traditions associated with May include May Bushes, May Flowers, May Boughs, May Poles and May Bonfires. All are associated with luck and protection.

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Getting Influence Wrong

Pillars of Influence

Bernie Goldbach in Cashel | Screenshot from Altimeter Group


THE CURRENT PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN includes musings by experts about the number of "real" followers amassed by each candidate. It's a common question because of the scores of spambots that attach themselves to high profile people.

A similar question ebbs and flows through Irish Twitter space whenever people start looking at their numbers. But as experts will tell you, if you merely look at raw numbers, you're counting, not measuring. And there's another dimension worth considering as well.

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Papers, Kindle and Wind

Papers and KindleBernie Goldbach in Cashel | Photo by Xperia

WE EXPECT TO PAY 1000 euro of additional taxes to live in Ireland and part of that taxation comes in the form of water charges discussed in Irish newspapers.

Several Sunday newspapers cover the confusion surrounding this issue (i.e., amount of charge, type of meter, installation cost) and when I extend the conversation from the paper and move it into the local shop, other factors emerge. For example, not all homes will be easily fitted with water meters. In our case, the brass stopcock for our water is frozen solid. This means we had no way of shutting off water until we paid a construction worker to turn off the water for 88 other homes while he fitted a makeshift spigot on ours. We live in a seven-year-old home and believe others uphill from us might have the same challenge when installing their meters.

I flicked through some other issues in the Sunday papers, reducing my reading to a six-minute audio clip and a companion video on YouTube below the break.

Papers, Kindle and Wind

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