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October 2013

September 2013

The Oxford Lane Snippets

In Oxford LanePhoto of Oxford Lane by @topgold.

I GOT A GLYMPSE of Oxford Lane and several interesting snippets along a laneway that remains invisible to Google Street view. I'm indebted to Liam Daly for sharing.

Until Liam sent me a Glympse of his Oxford Lane studio, I didn't have the Glympse app on my Sony Xperia phone. Years ago, I watched Liam cycle around Ireland, using Google Latitude to view his progress. Latitude has been relegated to a function inside Google Plus and until Glympse, I didn't have an easy way of seeing and sharing collaborative locations.

Latitude, like Foursquare, connected me to a smaller, tighter circle of people who shared with a focus. In my personal case, Latitude let me see how close I was to people and that facilitated real-time meet-ups. It had its weaknesses but worked years on Symbian before any related location apps emerged on iOS. I'm glad there's a fall-back in Glympse.

Then there is the real touch point of truly social meet-ups. Liam and I have watched the online social scene morph and change in Ireland. As Twitter approaches its IPO, we wonder what comes next. I think the next communication medium must be standards-based platform services as functional as e-mail. And I'm curious to find out if a follow-on Oxford Lane conversation might specify how that new communications plumbing will evolve.

[Bernie Goldbach snapped Oxford Lane and published this item with his Nokia Lumia while listening to chatter from #DalkeyOpen.]

Exploring the Brooklyn Archipelago

Jamaica Bay
Photo by of Jamaica Bay.

I'M SHARING THIS AMERICAN LIFE stories with my Media Writing students by bringing the story of the Brooklyn Archipelago into our Clonmel campus.

Many of our Irish students have seen or flown over Ruffle Bar but I doubt that they have heard the story of Alex and his friends as explained in the accompanying audio clip from This American Life.

Brooklyn Archipelago

The crazy story of friends adrift in Jamaica Bay folds nicely into discussions we're having about the monomyth. It's very easy to map all 17 stages of the hero's journey against the Brooklyn Archipelago story from episode 307 of This American Life.

[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative multimedia in the Limerick School of Art & Design.]

Tanking Up for College Costs

Lubritection@topgold's photo of vintage pump on a local college campus.

AFFORDABLE COLLEGE FEES will haunt me in the years ahead but I know the situation in Ireland is much more accommodating than in the States.

President Obama put American colleges on notice this semester, saying that if college fees do not stop rising, federal financing will drop. Obama has laid out proposals addressing both affordability and accountability. These kinds of financing league tables should be part of the Irish discussion too--along with several other factors raised in NHPR's 54 minute Exchange audio clip that accompanies this blog post.

The audio includes contributions from Paul LaBlanc (President of Southern New Hampshire University), Todd Leach (Chancellor of the University System of New Hampshire), Michele Perkins (President, New England College) and Richard Vedder (Director, Center for College Affordability and Productivity).

Download Tough Talk on College Costs

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Map for Closest

My Google ConceirgeScreenshot from @topgold's Nokia Lumia.

I KEEP GOOGLE on the first screen of my smart devices because Google Local is an effective concierge when I ask for a "map for closest restaurant" and many other phrases.

So I get localised information concerning restaurants (not chippers), hotels (and B&Bs if I use the term accommodation), bus (but not hackney), hospital (including helpful details about A&E).

I wish this same hyperlocal info worked with phrases like "toilet" and "children" so we could whip out our smartphones and know exactly where to find a changing facility.

A natural language search such as “eat dinner in Cashel” brings up very accurate results when searching in the streets of County Tipperary. Google knows you want local results first, so there's no need to include the word "Ireland" in the query. The results returned on the first screen are the top-rated venues in the Google Local database. After a few years with the Hummingbird algorithm running at Google, I expect to be able to ask Google for the best "lowest calorie dinner in Cashel" and to see valid results. That doesn't happen now, mainly because there's no content related to the query displayed prominently on the internet.

But venues with Google Local profile get prominent treatment, especially those with a user rating. Those results appear as pinpoints on maps and along with telephone numbers that my phone allows me to click and call.

[Bernie Goldbach uses Google as a trustworthy conceirge, cross-referenced with Foursquare Tips and TripAdvisor ratings.]

Creativity Might Start with Scones

I WANT TO KNOW more about the genesis of creative moments so I have asked three dozen creative university students about their creative processes. Some of their creativity springs from food.

I know the feeling accompanying the hunger of creativity. I get it some mornings when considering the day ahead over breakfast. So it is a big loss when I don't have time for my morning coffee notes.

Dave Winer once shared his Morning Coffee Notes in the internet age before Twitter. Now Winer's musings are sucked through a vortex created by the river of news.

But most of my creative students missed the pre-Twitter era and they need to hit the pause button when they sense creativity in the air because I want to know the sights, smells, sounds and motion in play when creativity surfaces. I expect some of these shared creative moments will enter the flow of #Octaver13 during the month ahead. We will dedicate a list that captures all these thoughts and the sounds that complement the process.

[Bernie Goldbach, creative multimedia lecturer in the Limerick School of Art & Design, believes reflective social audio nurtures higher levels of creativity in life.]


Clever Socrative #edtechie

Another Socrative SuccessScreenshot of Socrative by @topgold.

I LEARN LITTLE things every time I use Socrative in handheld mode. The screenshot shows how one student can hand over a Socrative quiz to a friend who can start a separate session.

This functionality makes Socrative more flexible than traditional electronic clickers. The Socrative app and the Socrative mobile web browser work responsively and appear to cache an entire quiz onto the local device so there is no problem with dropped connectivity.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I use Socrative to build my exam questions, to record attendance and to develop insights about weak areas of learning in the curriculum. I get all these benefits from a piece of free software. If you teach, Socrative might bring smiles to your classroom too.

[Bernie Goldbach uses Socrative in the Limerick Institute of Technology.]


There Are No Work Desks in Hallways

I am lost in the crowd.Photo by @topgold in Moylish.

I HAVE BECOME a road warrior again, spending as much time commuting between campus locations most days than I do teaching students. I work a lot of hallways where desk space is rare.

Our campus venues stretch me 50 miles on each leg. I listen to more business audio now than anytime this decade, effortlessly burning through 90 minute For Immediate Release episodes faster than they drop. I have battery power to spare on my Nokia Lumia Podcast Lounge for those segments.

I have started exploring undiscovered points of interest on Here, Foursquare and Waze as a result of my newly empowered routine. There isn't much to report on the routes connecting South Tipperary to Limerick so I may ask the Historic Graves crew for help in bagging a few Norman towers. Or I may give myself a series of geocaching challenges along the route to and from.

The most interesting side effect of my new routine is discovering it is easy to set up my own standing (or sitting) space as I work away in 20 minute chunks between lectures or workshops. I'm the guy standing along the sides of corridors with my smart screens just trying to get things done. I don't need cables.

Then it's back to the 50 mile run to the other campus where I repeat the process. It is a routine I worked well as a trans-Atlantic pilot decades ago except back then the commutes and the duty days were longer.

[Bernie Goldbach is the senior creative multimedia lecturer in the Limerick School of Art & Design.]

Deconstructing Messaging Fundamentals

Coffee WorkPhoto of written work under @topgold's old electronic kit.

I HAVE A LONG relationship with a process that helps me create essential messages, starting with a simple black Moleskine and assisted by clever one-pass technology. I try to share the fundamentals of that messaging process with university students every autumn.

This year, I'm making a short Slideshare that builds on a metaphor of old skool (Ham Radio) messaging dynamics. I've a license from the FCC to operate upper sideband and single sideband in aircraft along with practical experience with the same. Running a message flow through new media isn't much different, if you break down the component parts. I hope my current crop of Media Writing students take my process to heart as we begin a fresh semester of work writing effectively for new media publication and syndication.

There's a short 20-minute presentation included with this blog post and the 33-slide deck flicks through several main points, exposing my preference for online tools such as Tumblr, Flickr, Audioboo and Google Plus.

To each, their own.

Messaging Fundamentals

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