I like 9thLevel.ie both for the information that the 9th Level serves up and for the referrers it generates to my personal blog. Years ago, I discovered that some colleagues thought I was the 9th Level blogger because they saw snippets from my Inside View natterings on the 9th Level website. And it's fair to say that LIT colleagues read my perspective about the School of Tipperary while clicking through news of Irish higher education on the 9th Level Ireland blog.
It's a cautionary tale and not the one you'll read in the Irish broadsheets. Instead, the thread involved Irish and American educators, interested parents, bloggers, and fanbois of several colours meeting to discuss a line of questions posed by Dermot Casey.
1. Is it smart to tie into a specific piece of technology instead of trying a cross-platform solution that leverages apps, PDF files or HTML textbooks?
2. Can students pass on books to younger siblings or sell them second hand?
3. Have we thought about what we give up when we read only in an electronic form?
4. Wouldn't it be smarter to put the effort into other educational opportunities such as immersive environments, game-based learning or high-quality videos?
THIRD LEVEL CREATIVE MULTIMEDIA just became a little more challenging in Tipperary because the cohort entering this fall carry a stronger academic average into their first class meetings.
The initial indications from the Central Applications Office suggest LIT's newly-acquired School of Tipperary will have a stronger, arty cohort too. (I've sharpened my Derwent pencils in anticipation). Although academic averages are just one factor in predicting overall success towards finishing a third level course, higher aptitudes in classrooms permit me to push my educational material to students just a little faster, while insisting upon high levels of final exam performance. Said another way, I feel more confident that the additional minutes I've programmed for short film reviews will lead to much more engaging classroom discussion. I've less than a week remaining to program some of the workload for the September-December time frame.
IT'S RELATIVELY EASY to find topics related to local, mobile and social in the Irish papers today.
I flipped through the Sunday Times and the Sunday Business Post while sitting behind some tall grass in my Tipperary Golden Vale garden. It's on the Golden Road and I have 1.5m tall golden grass. The result is a 7-minute Audioboo and a YouTube clip that picks up on stories about the Tipperary Food Producers, Mobanode, and a cautionary tale about being too open in the journals you keep. The video (shot below the fold with my Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc) tells a better story than this short blog post.
I USED TO RIDE to and from work on a 10-speed bicycle and had all sorts of lighting equipment to alert motorists.
Good lighting was important because I often rode through fog. After a few years, I concluded that the best equipment was the stuff that required the least input and no maintenance. That meant reflective attire. This week I discovered Project Aura, a system from my home state of Pennsylvania, that increases visual footprint of cyclists--especially near intersections. It works because of rotational surface areas. Light comes from RGB LEDs inside the rims of the wheels that change from red when slowing down to white when at cruising speed. The whole rig is self-powered by a dynamo. It deserves a look.
ONE OF THE PRESSURES I get as a blogger is that it faces time pressures from all sides. I get veiled advice from co-workers that I need to cut back on musings I make online and to focus on things that will pay the bills week to week. And while they are right, I'm sticking with making microcontent because (1) I like writing, (2) I know it will pay through its long tail, and (3) it's how I meet people who matter.
LAST YEAR, I BOUGHT A LIFETIME license to use Goosync since I needed a way of controlling calendars on three different mobile operating systems. It's brilliant.
When I first started blogging 10 years ago, I used to control my calendars with Lotus Organizer. Then Outlook entered my life but the calendaring function just didn't work across all my handsets. That all changed when I started syncing Outlook with Google Calendar and then telling my phones to sync their calendars to the Goosync Cloud. It's remarkable how these things just work. For those using Symbian handsets, here are the settings I use on my Nokia E7:
Sync Profile Name: Goosync Server Version : 1.2 Server ID (leave this blank and it populates itself) Data Bearer: internet Network Connection: Default connection Host address: http://sync2.goosync.com Port: 80 User name: topgold Password: (you set this on the Goosync server) Allow sync requests: Automatically accept Network username: topgold Network password: (set it if you're password-controlled) Synchronisation type: Both ways
I AM SAT with my Kindle inside McDonald's of Clonmel, unsuccessfully trying to update my Kindlefeeder while munching on a salad.
The photo snapped by my Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc shows the poor Kindle trying to talk with an unfriendly web interface. I need to validate some credentials before I can use my Kindle wirelessly in McDonald's of Clonmel--unlike McDonald's of Cashel where it just works. I wonder what bright spark advises McDonald's to make a simple task irksome. Outside on the streets of Clonmel, the local Chamber of Commerce plans to light up the centre of town with free wifi. I hope they've got the words "free and open" tied into the concept because if they do it any other way, the most civilised users (e.g., us taxpayers carrying Kindles) won't see it as a useful service.
Sent mail2blog using Nokia E7 O2-Ireland 3G Typepad service in the middle of Clonmel, County Tipperary, Ireland.
I WISH THERE WAS A WAY to generate a multimedia smell of my back garden in the mornings.
It smells like fresh grass nowadays. The grass clippings are under an overgrown hedge out front. They stay warm at night and serve as a lovely overnight resting place for stray cats. We're close to the end of the hot months of summer--and Ireland has had one of the worst summers of the 16 summers I've lived here. The big news from my back garden is in the Nokai E7 video below below the break. We have sweet carrots, scrawny beans, miniature chili peppers, and up to 60 tomatoes remaining to be harvested. We plan to cover the raised bed in the photo with a tunnel to grow seedlings through the winter in the hope that we'll have a proper harvest next year.