ONE OF THE ADVANTAGES of living away from the sound of industrialised activities is you can better hear the world of our grandparents. And that's one of the unexpected pleasures of watching young school children interpret rural Ireland.
I WISH I had saved the stained and torn recipes my mom had stuffed inside her Betty Crocker Cookbook because they were the tastes that influenced our home in the last half of the 20th century. Moreover, many of those recipes came from Iowa where mom wrote down the exact method used by her mother to create meals. And some of those recipes were mash-ups of ideas that came across the ocean on wooden ships.
I AM ALWAYS intrigued by personal data stored on Google's timelines and now with the demise of Google Plus, I want to create my own scraper that can follow my cloud-based moments, archiving them for generations to review.
Right now I have 800 megabytes of media from three hours spent in Clonakilty's model railway village. It would be nice to access all those curated elements when 4yo Dylan enters his 20s.
I think Dave Winer has devised the workflow that best approaches a design process for what I want and it means nominating a central host (like a personal blog) as the main information hub where the crawling and archiving begins.
Short video created with Lumia Storyteller by @topgold.
I HAVE FOND memories of growing up I a rural environment with corn across the road and cycling adventures unfolding on narrow roads where cars seemed out of place. Because I think our two young Irish children would enjoy that too, we've rented a small bungalow in County Tipperary to get their impressions.
And one of the benefits is discovering rural Tipperary alongside the mountainous terrain of West Waterford.
[Bernie Goldbach used Lumia Storyteller to produce a short video clip of a journey into the Comeraghs.]
ONE OF THE easiest wins in my personal productivity involves using Office Delve, a new app on my Android handset. It presents images and links, in a Flipboard-friendly way, of things related to business productivity.
Office Delve is a cloud-based service tied into Office 365. It recently pushed across the Sharepoint services used by the Limerick Institute of Technology and I started using it on my Sony Z3 handset because it shows me things I need to work on without me having to open my email client. This is a big leap in productivity for me because e-mail is a time sink.
Like many other lecturers I met, I face challenges from students who want compelling reasons to truly engage with academic material. Some students already have their life goals planned and don't want to be distracted. But most are drifting, hoping some compelling vista will appear to bring them into the land of full-time employment. To entice both cohorts into making deeper dives in the academic material I create, I need to develop a compelling in-hand experience for students.
Compelling and in-Hand
Compelling in-hand experience? What does that mean? Answering that question makes me think it means determining if students want to put the Moodle icon on their home screens. And as I discovered with the three phones I carry, there's a Moodle app for Android, iOS and Windows Phone.
During an ILTA conference three years ago, I read this article by Scott Jenson, where he walked through arguments about businesses on the internet. Most of the business dealings I have for car maintenance, home repair, or restaurants never clutter either my desktop home screen or the start screen on my Lumia. I get what I need by asking Cortana for their phone numbers or street addresses or menus. And Cortana finds that information very quickly. I couldn't be bothered with installing an app to open it and scroll for the info.
We teach web developers in our creative multimedia programme how to set up their web projects accordingly. Since people need just-in-time information because they're searching with text or voice inputs, the websites must display the information clearly and quickly.
Search. Find. Read. Forget. And don't expect the viewer to install an app. In fact, most of our students don't have room on their phones for more junk.
From my personal experience, the best place to serve news about course material is inside Facebook. This is never going to be a solution for most lecturers because of the indoctrination professionals have received to maintain distinct presences separating their personal and professional lives. But those battle lines were formed last decade and Facebook has obliterated the distinction.
If you have a pressing compulsion to distributing information about an important academic event (a deadline, an important workshop or a guest lecturer), you need to push that information out onto Facebook. It's actually good business training. Get the message ready for dissemination. Include a call for action. Watch the message share. If you need more traction, connect the course news to an event. And if you want the world to know about your excellent course, put some money behind the event through a Facebook ad.
Rethink the experience and come half way
I’d like to meet more educators who rethink the experience and expectations of students entering the 2020 workforce. These students--our current clients--should be asked if they want the icon of the academic courses they are taking on their smartphones. If they don't I will not waste my time or our IT infrastructure on something that deserves to buried.
I do know that our students respect the way Moodle can guide them through years of progressively more challenging academic endeavours. So I'm going headlong into improving the use of Moodle, rearranging each of the five modules I teach into multimedia storytelling moments. From Auguest 2015, each module will require students to upload audio clips or still images directly from their phones into Moodle for assessment.
I'm also creating a Facebook and Google Plus Event in each module for two specific items during every semester I teach. By doing these things, I believe I will enhance the in-hand experience for students.
I’m sure there’s a lot more to discover here. I believe educators from primary to post-graduate should rethink the web they used as students and ensure the course material shared online is meaningful and relevant to a new generation of natives who never heard the sound of a modem wailing into the ether.
If we accomplish this important self-assessment, we'll be closer to offering better engagement to students who may actually dive into our course material while perusing it in-hand.
[Bernie Goldbach is the senior pilot and creative multimedia lecturer at the Limerick School of Art & Design.]
Sara Jo Chipps appeared in my social media flow the other day, tweeting about sexual and racist jokes in the workplace. I've saved her string of tweets as a blog post below because I have three daughters who have to navigate work centres where they might not control the demeanour of those places.
"Something happens when you are the only woman on a team or you're a minority member.
"Someone on the team tells a sexist or racist joke (something they deem innocuous) and the entire team looks to you for your reaction to see if you 'are cool or not'.
"Something that is lost on these people is that you actually have no choice. If you react to the offensive joke you are at high risk of losing your job and killing your career. You will be dubbed as 'uptight' and 'not a fun person to work with', your work will be scrutinized and every mistake will be magnified by the fact that you 'aren't a team player'.
"So you do what you have to, you laugh along. Maybe you joke back, if you want to endear yourself.
"But the consequences of this are long lasting, the jokes get worse, you lose a little of your soul each time, and you are driven either to leave or draw an arbitrary line and complain.
"Once that happens, your job is over.
"I'm in management now. One thing I appreciate is that fact that you can set a culture of that not being okay early on. I say this because even though the person on your team laughs along or "seems cool" the reality is they have no choice. I experienced this on every engineering team I was ever a part of. I laughed along each time, and although it helped my career, it ultimately hurt me as a person.
"I'd like a world where this doesn't have to be an issue".
I HATE IT when I have to use technology that only works with specific things. It's like having a knife that can be used only to slice bread.
So I was so very happy to get a Cross pen (white because it's being hyped as an iPad pen) whose soft rubber top works as a stylus not only with the iPad but with my Microsoft Surface, iTouch, Lumia 1520 and iPhone 5C. This is a big win.
I started thinking about other things that are examples of universal technology, reached into my Bihn bag and found five items worth sharing.