Friday, June 30, 2006

Digital Storytelling, 4 Year Old Style

Here's a digital story written, directed, and narrated by a four year old.

More digital stories may be found here, here, and here!

Now It's Gnomedex!

Now I'm listening to John Edwards adress the Gnomodex conference.
Like BloggerCon, this conference, too, has a live audio feed and backchannel chat. In addition, this one offers a video feed as well!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Treat Yourself to Free Classical Music


  1. Get Firefox

  2. Install FoxyTunes

  3. Go to

  4. Right click.

  5. Select Web Media > Play All Media

  6. Enjoy!

Podcast Platform II

Okay. Here's a revised version of my dead-simple podcast platform. This one incorporates's playTagger javascript.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Asynchronous Audio Discussions

Taking a look at Vaestro today, it occurred to me that my students can attach audio files to discussion posts in WebCT for a similar effect.

Of course, what a discussion in WebCT doesn't give you that Vaestro does is potentially global participation in the same discussion.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Performancing (blogging) Extension for Firefox

Pick me up off the floor, I'm so impressed! Or just check out the Performancing extension for Firefox.

Performancing is a blogging extension for Firefox that allows one to blog from inside the browser.

The Performancing extension brings Firefox another step closer to Flock, one of whose claims to fame is an on-board blog editor.

With this extension you can post to multiple blogs, add and technorati tags to blog entries, keep a database of notes to blog or not blog as you choose, and more . . .

I have added this extension to my Flockish Firefox extension list.

Monday, June 26, 2006

FoxyTunes 1.9

The new (1.9) verison of the FoxyTunes extension for the Firefox browser will automatically stream any media linked to a web page (bye, bye, Webjay!) and will search for information related to any media currently playing on your computer.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The BloggerCon 2006 "Technography" Outline

This outline is changing as conference note takers add information to its nodes.

Update: And here are all the mp3s.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Reading List: Education Weblogs

I have posted another reading list; this one consists of links to the RSS feeds of educational weblogs.

If you think I've missed any good ones, you can add them here.

Unconference in Progress!

If you want to hear a genuine unconference as it unfolds, you can listen live to Bloggercon, 2006!

Listening to it now, I'm learning a lot, not just about blogs and podcasting, but about the execution of the unconference format.

Seeing it also helps one understand it.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Son Flower

We are growing this with the child. It is his first real plant. It will grow up to be a sunflower.

Working for Wisdom

In her talk on the subject of "continuous partial attention," Lisa Stone nails the qualities that should define our future relationship to networked technologies.


Blogs of the EPC

I've made an OPML reading list of the EPC blogroll.

Listen . . . the poets are blogging.

Here's a link to the OPML file (for aggregator importation).

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Art of the Web

A student who built a website about art reflects on the art of her website.

Hear her in the moment of synthesis. mp3

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Immersed in My Personal Learning Environment

My very own "PLE"

I'm doing research with my Flockish Firefox browser.

I'm working on an answer to Dean's question about 1:1 laptop initiatives in schools.

It's great. There's no question: my browser has become a true personal learning evironment (screenshot).

I'm reading scholarly articles (from my university's list of subsription databases), saving selections (with citation info, of course), writing notes on what I'm reading, and organizing all of it inside the ScrapBook extension's file tree to be synthezised into my answer to Dean.

For the first time, all of it makes sense. The email, the chat, the blogging, the photosharing, the personal knowledge management tools, the aggregation, the Writely and the wikis -- all of it comes together in the personal learning environment.

This is so sweet!

I wonder if I can put it on a USB Flash drive by using something like this. If so, we might be talking about, instead of one laptop per student, one Flash drive per student.

Update: Yes, I was able to do that. And while I was at it, I discovered that PortableApps now offers a portable GIMP image editor.

This means I can now give my personal learning environment to others, already set up!

I'll even throw in the OPML Editor for good measure!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Saving Elmo

A digital story with a happy ending.

All credit to Esther Simpson.

Speak Wisely

Self-improvement project: skillful speeech.

A Flockish Firefox

Inspired by Flock (beta 1), I have tried to customize the Firefox web browser to approximate Flock's functionality. Although I could not duplicate all of Flock's features (live search, Flickr integration, weblog editor integration), in some cases (the addition of the ScrapBook extension for knowledge management, the addition of chat as a standard bookmark) some aspects of the functionality of this Firefox configuration may make this configuration of Firefox a bit better than Flock (beta 1).

Link to OPML:

Friday, June 16, 2006

Pop Goes the Coffee

Well I'll be! Coffee can be roasted in a popcorn popper!

(from Mezzoblue)

It's a Family Act

Paul Provenza, the man behind "The Aristocrats" documentary, appears on the latest episode of "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me."

During his appearance download mp3, he tells a funny story about his mother, a fan of his work.

He also frightens everyone by confirming that he has bought the movie rights to the children's book, "Everybody Poops."

I hear it's a family act. ";->"

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Get Flock. You'll Thank Me.

The Flock browser, based on Firefox, foregrounds integrated social bookmarks, shared photos, news aggregation, and blogging. Using Flock is an "immersive, bilateral experience." I call it "cool."

To really learn about the vision behind Flock, listen to Mike Arrington's podcast with the Flock team.

In combination with iJot and Writely, Flock would make a great Personal Learning Environment.

flock logo

Blogged with Flock

Update: here's a review.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Atom & RSS

It appears this blog now has atom and rss feeds. So now you can take your pick.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

OPML Editor as Writing Tool

It occurs to me that the OPML Editor is a good tool for "open ended writing". The process consists of rounds of spontaneous writing followed by the writing of summaries which then get promoted to contain the loose writing. The loose writing can be collapsed into the summaries and expanded if you want to see more of what's summarized. Summaries can suggest concepts which can be used for further indexing. This process seems to me a good way to get an overview of one's thinking and a manageable archive of ones thinking.

Breaking in to a Plastic Package

I just bought myself a new Zen Nano. Even thought the built in microphone is crappy, it's good for playing mp3s, is very compact, and I was eager to get it out of its plastic packaging. You know the kind. Hard to open. The Nano was sealed inside as if inside a time capsule. Well, I learned something. Looking for the packaging's weakest point, I used a pair of scissors to cut right around the edge of the packaging. Bingo! Open sesame!

So the next time you have to open what seems like impenetrable plastic packaging, the kind that is commonly found around diminutive electronic equipment, try cutting around the edge.

I am here to say it worked for me.

Monday, June 05, 2006

An Invitation to OPML

Dear Colleagues,

Recently I have been studying Outline Processor Markup Language (OPML), "an XML-based format that allows exchange of outline-structured information between applications running on different operating systems and environments" (source), and thinking about the potential of OPML files and OPML tools for instructional delivery.

About two weeks ago, shortly before I attended "OPML Camp", a conference of computer programmers engaged in building tools based on OPML, I Skyped with a friend about one tool, the OPML Editor, which allows one to edit OPML files. During our conversation, my friend and I experimented with the OPML Editor, each of us sharing our "instant outline" (a web-based OPML file) with the other. OPML files can also be edited online.

In thinking about the educational potential of OPML files and tools, I've come to favor the idea of placing browsable OPML files within web pages, so that all one needs to see them is a web browser. I wanted to share this experiment with you. It's here. In addition, a direct link to the OPML browser I've used (Grazr) is here.

The OPML browser (Grazr) affords portable access to a readable trasformation of an OPML file. Other OPML browsers include Optimal and OPML Browser. Those enabled with php (you know who you are) may even host your own copy Optimal. The wiki is useful, I think, for organizing a number of browsable OPML outlines.

OPML files can "include" other OPML files. They can also "include" RSS feeds and links to other web-based documents. Thus, in many cases, it might be possible to replace a web site (and its maintenance headaches) with a single OPML document.

I invite you to take a look at OPML and join me in conversation about how OPML files might be used in education.

Links included in this message:

OPML Editor

OPML Workstation


Optimal OPML Browser

OPML Browser

My Instant Outline


Saturday, June 03, 2006

Race Day

Tomorrow is race day for the halfmarathon man. Good luck, halfmarathon man. Our wholehearted support is behind you.

OPML Editor Makes A Surpisingly Fun Writing Tool

As a writing tool, the OPML editor can actually be quite liberating. You don't have to use it to make traditional outlines. You can use it to produce playful and unexpected writing.

Start out writing anything at all in one node, then use bits and pieces of that node to seed other nodes. Then, add randomly to these seed nodes. Further, you can even rearrange the nodes and bits and pieces of language in them.

Do it all at light speed. See what develops.

View movie. (Flash: 1.7MB)

Firefox, Updated

I just updated my Firefox browser to the latest version ( ). It seems faster to me.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Infographic: Informal Learning

Like the title says, here's an infographic that depicts modes of informal learning.

The Next Big Thing

Personal Learning Environments will be the next big thing in education.

Here is a link to a blog about personal learning environments.

A good example of a PLE tool is PLEX.

But where's the OPML?

I can see iJot performing many of the same functions when it matures.