Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Use Iriver to Record Skype

Rob Wall, a Canadian teacher who curates the StigmergicWeb blog and moderates one of my favorite educational podcasts, "The EdTech Posse," reports that he has successfully used his Iriver to record a Skype call.

To do this he used a male/male 1/8" cable to connect the Iriver's line in jack to his computer's headphone jack. He then connected his headset's microphone plug to his computer's microphone jack, and his headset's other plug to the Iriver's headphone jack. Consequently, he was able to record a skype call while bypassing his computer.

Of course I had to try it, and you know what? It works!

Bean - Not Meat - Burritos

Oh, how they teased me! "What?! The burritos you made (to feed thirty hungry English majors) contain no meat?!"

That's what you get for cooking beans in beef country.

Nevertheless, the dinner for our English majors was a success, even if only eight, rather than the anticipated thirty English majors showed up.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Saturday, September 24, 2005


Today I rode in a parade and went to a football game.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Technorati Tags

Imagine this:

You're at a conference, writing blog entries about the conference as it unfolds. At the same time, other attendees are doing the same thing, blogging their conference-related impressions. Now, what if everyone who wanted to read blog entries about the conference could instantly aggregate everyone's entries in one place? Well, they could. Easily. How? Technorati.

Here's how it works:

When you blog about something, assign that something a tag (descriptor). Link that tag to Technorati and ping the Technrati server. When others blogging about the same thing do likewise, the result is a Technorati-driven aggregation of related entries.

For example, you may view blog entries about Hurricane Rita by clicking .

For details see Technorati's tagging tutorial.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

RssOwl 1.1.3

RssOwl version 1.1.3 is out!

The "Aftercast"

If you're a teacher like I am (and you know you are - well, maybe you're not), you know what it's like to have your best thoughts about a class discussion occur to you after the class has ended.

No fear: podcast them! Today I spent an engrossing seventy-five minutes with a writing class talking about the essay "Waking Up From the American Dream" by Sasha Abramsky. But the final formulation of an assignment based on that discussion only came together in my mind after the class was over. Rather than hold these thoughts for the next class (when they would be a little late in coming, the students having done another version of the assignment over the weekend), I podcast them to the class.

I called the podcast "afterthoughts." You might call it an "aftercast." At any rate, it's a way of preserving those "out the door" thoughts and sharing them with students while they're still fresh.

OpenOffice.org Doodle

I installed OpenOffice.org 1.1.5, then I drew this. At least we know Draw works!

Saturday, September 17, 2005


Here's a definition of Ajax.

And here's a link to Dan Grossman's list of top 12 Ajax applications.

Ajax: if you you thought it was a tub and tile cleanser, think again.

A Doodle Game

A while ago I blogged about a doodling game called "squiggle." When you play squiggle, you draw a squiggle and try to embellish it into a drawing.

Today I came across another doodling game. It, too, is a game of visual association, but this one's sequential.

Thanks, Kevin Cornell!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Collaborative Outline Document

This semseter my writing students will work in groups of four to produce collaborative annotated research outlines alongside their independently written research essays.

This is the form I expect the collaborative outline documents to take. In other words, this is the template.

To develop the outline, one student, working on one of the group's four topics, posts locations and summaries of five sources. The other group members read the summaries, skim the sources, and offer comments on the quality and usefulness of each source.

Furniture in Two Flavors

Our campus library has made some improvements this year, including the addition of some mighty inviting furniture. As you see, the new loungeware comes in two flavors.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Personalized Email in WebCT

I've devised a way to embed thumbnail portraits of myself and my students in our WebCT email. WebCT should really do this by itself, but since it can't, I thought I'd help it along.
We do it by pasting an image tag into the top of each message we send or discussion post we post inside WebCT. The (html) image tag looks like this:

I took the trouble of snapping digital pictures of all my students and placing the images online. Then I gave each student the URL of his or her image and left the embedding up to them.

I find it helps to see the image at the top of each message. It helps to remind me not just which student's words I am reading; it helps to remind me that there is a person behind each and every one of those words.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Humans Teaching Humans

"Human beings learn best and most from other human beings." -(Mister) Fred Rodgers

Today I introduced my writing classes to Skype telephony. It is my hope that, through Skype, students in their workgroups will talk with one another and learn more by virtue of their increased connectedness.

Saturday, September 10, 2005


Originally uploaded by djweinstein.

I'm passing this Saturday afternoon at Kaladis, a coffee house in Sioux Falls, SD, a large latte close at hand.

The lunch crowd has gone; now it's down to me and and fifteen other patrons relaxing in a comfortable yet stimulating atmostphere of caffeinated wifi support.

Of the restaurants that offer wifi in Sioux Falls, Kaladis is the most comfortable place to actually get work done online.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Stormy Skies

Originally uploaded by djweinstein.
Sometimes the sun shines brightly on our commute, and sometimes it doesn't.

Yesterday was one of that other kind of day.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Until today I'd been scanning and downloading podcasts through my Bloglines account. But today I installed IPodder and subscribed to the following feeds:

If you would like, you can download an opml version of my ipodder subscriptions here (I've even included a feed to my own modest podcast!).

IPodder scans podcast feeds and downloads podcasts automatically, so you don't have to download them one at a time, and you don't even have to be there when they download. Then all you need is hundreds of hours to listen to them. Maybe IPodder's next feature should be a built-in "podscanner," like a radio scanner, that would sample ten seconds from each downloaded podcast to help you decide which are worth your precious time!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


I've been playing around with a certain kind of synaesthesia, the kind whereby a revisited image evokes a formerly associated thought. Today I ran across a blog post about an experience of "audio synaesthesia." Seems I'm not so crazy after all. Or, if I am crazy, at least I'm not alone!

Monday, September 05, 2005


This cunning little booklet can be folded from one sheet of letter size paper. The only thing more cunning than the booklet: the website that shows you how to make it.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Firefox as Collaboration Platform

What do you get when you combine the Firefox browser, the Sage (feed reader) extension for Firefox, and the Writely web document sharing service (now in beta)?

You get this:

Writely being used in Firefox with the Sage aggregator extension added.

A very serviceable platform for collaboration.

I think this is the setup my Advanced Composition students and I will use to create collaborative outlines for group research projects. Why add the feed reader? Because Writely provides acount holders with rss feeds that tell them when documents they're working on have been changed by their collaborators. Of course, one could also use a wiki like Schtuff or SeedWiki in such a setup. I think I'll stay away from full-blown wikis, though, as they are more than this class needs right now.

(Weird) Little White Guy

This has got to be the strangest stuffed entity I've ever seen. The child, nonplussed, calls it, "Little White Guy."