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9 posts from September 9, 2012 - September 15, 2012

September 15, 2012

Watching Our Four Year Old Audio Blogger

Audioboo ForeverBernie Goldbach in Cashel | Screenshot from Audioboo  

IF I HAD a speech-to-text conversion running on my Audioboo account, our four year old would have a full-fledged blog.

As it is, she already knows how to find the purple Audioboo icon on the iPod Touch and the Motorola Xoom and she has shown her after-school activities co-ordinator how to use the program. In some parts of the Audioboo community, that makes her an audio blogger. She's already part of a playlist.

I think Mia's ease of audio journaling marks an important evolution of blogging. As the vloggers have said all along, blogging isn't just for texters. Syndicated story-telling across audio channels also deserves to be given full recognition as part of the blogging movement. But it is probably too emergent a communications channel to be noticed by web awards organizers.


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September 14, 2012

Fire Breathing Chase Cars

IT HAS BEEN 20 YEARS since my last traffic stop and that one happened on the A8 in Germany. The Polizei in their BMW M3 made easy work of me with their fire-breathing chase cars.

Fire Breathing Chase Cars

I like fire-breathing police chase card like you can find on Bavaria or on some stretches of the California Highway system. Some of the German cars look like the one in the photo. The California chase cars are like 100mph space heaters. Their five liter engines rumble and their cooling systems work hard to keep the engine temperatures below redline.

I think there's something very civic about fire-breathing police cars and wish there were muscle cars in the Garda Traffic Corps.

Bernie Goldbach likes travel.

September 13, 2012

Sweet Dreams are Made of This

Click to watch Sweet DreamsBernie Goldbach in Cashel | Click to watch video  

THIRTY YEARS AGO, in the halls of the Pentagon, an Air Vice Marshall with a Scottish accent showed me a cassette with a track from the Eurthymics. It would be a hit in the States a year later, after the invention of MTV. The track is part of the sound track of my life.

I've bought the track "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" several times since the 80s, losing the tracks to stretched cassette tapes, scratched CDs and hard drives I never backed up. I've enjoyed listening to how Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox scraped together to make the music. They made the most of a meager budget, getting an eight track recorder, a high-end drum machine and some milk bottles.

Sweet Dreams and Milk Bottles

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September 12, 2012

Our Failed Tomatoes

Our Failed TomatoesBernie Goldbach in Cashel | Tomatoes on patio  

I SHOULDN'T EXPECT to have a happy vegetable garden in Ireland but I can't help comparing my green fields of Ireland to my super productive vegetable harvest in the Garden State of America.

Actually, I don't know if Lancaster County Pennsylvania can lay claim to Garden State because I hear that claim coming from New Jersey. However, our kitchen radio often had WGAL on the dial, where my mom told me the call sign stood for Garden Acres of Lancaster.

Outside our Irish home, we enjoy none of that agricultural productivity of Lancaster County. That is not a slam on the Golden Vale but just a fact of life about the poor soil outside the house and horrid summer we endured.

Failed Tomatoes

A combination of bad soil and saturated soil conspired to reduce our cherry tomato harvest to one little morsel every week.

FACT: Bernie Goldbach likes food. But he's not a foodie.

September 11, 2012

Tech Jobs Pay

Winners in the smart economyBernie Goldbach in LSAD-Clonmel | Image from the Indo  

I GET A STEADY FLOW of Irish job openings as a daily newsfeed. There isn't a day without an offer for web developers, content management specialists or front end designers.

We train Honours degree students in the fundamental skills related to new media. As recurring surveys show, the pay packages for these specialisms are recession-resistant. That is good news for those considering a career in the smart economy.

And if that's something intriguing to you, I strongly recommend the Level 8 Honours Degree in Creative Multimedia as a point of consideration.

Disclaimer: Bernie Goldbach teaches the LSAD Creative Multimedia degree.

September 10, 2012

New Media for Teens

Watched by TYBernie Goldbach in Thurles | Photo by the dire iTouch camera  

I WONDER IF it's possible to teach Transition Year students some of the new media processes we employ in our electronic publishing module.

It's actually a multi-faceted question because I want to teach writing skills, editing skills, production skills and an awareness of syndication. These are skills of social journalism. As the semester unfolds, I will have a syllabus to share with other Transition Year teachers.

I'm working with Transition Year in the Thurles Christian Brothers School. If you follow me on Google PlusTwitter or on Audioboo, you'll hear the adventure unfold.

About Journalism

Bernie Goldbach curates #eprdctn (e-production) content.

Memories of School Bullies

Mia in Big SchoolBernie Goldbach in Clonmel | With Mia under cover  

I HAVE FOLDED into the Irish School Run and will be adding to the soundtrack of young Mia's life with audio clips I'm recording about going to school.

Today was my first day on the School Run and I encountered a ghost of myself. Back when I was five, I had to work through an incident of bullying (before the term was engrained in the minds of teachers). In my case, it was over crayons. Jack told me that only girls liked red crayons. He told me boys liked black crayons. I disagreed and although the details are murky, all 64 crayons ended up on the floor and both sets of parents ended up in the vestibule of the convent to explain what they knew about the situation. 

I survived and grew. In young Mia's case, there are little group dynamics emerging on the playground before the school doors open. I'm watching her encounter a situation where girls two years her senior are blocking her from using the Hopscotch squares. "Sharing is caring," I've told her. When she sees rude and opposite behaviour, she's a little upset but like me and the crayons, she's well able to pick herself up.

Being Led to Big School

Bernie Goldbach is trying to jump start a journal about primary school days.

September 09, 2012

iPads Can Hinder Learning

Personal TVBernie Goldbach in Cashel | Watching the iPad  

I HAVE SEEN enough anecdotal evidence to realise a full-on iPad experience slows down learning in primary school. I continue discovering experts who agree.

Dr Tom Butler, senior lecturer in business information systems at University College Cork, took the thought to Think Tank, a weekly opinion piece [1] in the Sunday Times of Ireland. He writes:

"Smartphones and iPads are the fast-food outlet equivalent of information technology, in that they provide a quick, convenient net fix. They are so easy to use that my three-year old grandson can hack into and navigate his mum's iPhone, browse the iTunes store and download apps on my iPad, and instruct his grandmother on how to use Skype. One year on, he has mastered my netbook and laptop to browse YouTube for videos of Buzz Lightyear, Ben 10 and Nerf guns.

"So, you would think that if his primary school was going to suggest the use of iPads and educational apps instead of books that I would be all for it? No way.

Learn by the Book Not by Apps

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A Downton Abbey Kindle and Other News

Downton Abbey and Other NewsBernie Goldbach in Cashel | News spread in back garden  

I'VE STARTED LOOKING FOR Kindles in high profile places. This week, I found one in the set of Downton Abbey.

I like knowing that Downton dish Dan Stevens "had a special pocket in his Downton costume to hold a Kindle". [1]

It's also very interesting to me, a third level creative multimedia lecturer, to follow conversations about whether it's academically effective to integrate smooth-performing touchscreens into my curriculum. Their assortment of animated features might actually degrade learning. [2] [3] Granted, most of the evidence is anecdotal but the discussion will run in earnest through the 2012/13 academic year among my peers.

A Downton Abbey Kindle and Other News

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