Second Life with Drew Carey

27 09 2008

Drew Carey takes us on a guided tour of Second Life (SL), a virtual world with more than 500,000 residents.

But SL isn’t your typical virtual world. Unlike other popular massively multiplayer online role-playing games, like EverQuest and World of Warcraft, there are no defined roles or objectives in SL. Just like in real life, SL residents determine their own goals and decide for themselves how best to achieve them. Moreover, virtually everything in SL was created by the residents themselves using tools provided by Linden Lab, the company that launched SL in 2003.

SL is based on a simple set of institutional arrangements that would make F.A. Hayek proud. In essence, the people who own the property in SL make the rules. The result is a spontaneously ordered world in which residents are free to fly, teleport, build, trade and interact with others without interference from the state.

Recently, Linden Lab—the SL equivalent of a state—has begun acting more and more like a real life government by restricting activities such as gambling. But open source competitors based on the SL platform are currently in development. so better virtual worlds offering even more freedom are just around the corner.




Art Education 2.0

27 09 2008

Here’s a great Ning site for you to join! From the site:

Art Education 2.0 is for art educators at all levels who are interested in using digital technologies to enhance and transform art teaching and learning experiences. The aim of Art Education 2.0 is to explore ways of using technology to promote effective art education practices, encourage cultural exchanges and joint creative work, and support artistic projects, curricular activities, and professional development opportunities deemed important by our members. To join our global community, sign up for a free Ning account by filling out the profile information and uploading a profile picture. Once your registration has been approved, you can participate in forums, groups, blogging, photo and video sharing, and RSS. We welcome newbies as well as experienced technology users.

And check out The Carrot Revolution. (Check the useful tag cloud for ideas.)

The Carrot Revolution is an art education weblog and a resource page for art educators, art students, and artists in the digital age. Our goal is to fight the tyranny of the ordinary and to liberate from the status quo.




Are Schools Killing Creativity?

26 09 2008

More Ken Robinson! I have his previous TED talk here on this site.

Ken Robinson (educator and creativity enthusiast) was interviewed on the Riz Kahn Show and states that our education system is born out of industrialism and an industrial economy that has an academic hierarchy, which is outdated. Currently, schools are not addressing individual talent. We are modelled on an old idea of talent, an old idea of intelligence and an old idea of economic purpose. We are not deliberately suppressing talent, but it is systematic. Creativity is the process of having original ideas with value, not simply being talented in the arts. We can be creative in the sciences as well as in maths. It is about making connections. We need to facilitate this process of creativity to students, not simply to raise national test scores. If we really want to reform education, we need to have a different view of intelligence and invest in creative teaching and creative teachers.

Watch below. What are your thoughts?

part 1

part 2




Free Mac Apps

22 09 2008

Need to publish but can’t afford the software? Want an alternative to GoogleDocs? NeoOffice is a full-featured set of office applications (including word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing, and database programs) for Mac OS X. Based on the OpenOffice.org office suite, NeoOffice has integrated dozens of native Mac features and can import, edit, and exchange files with other popular office programs such as Microsoft Office.

iPhoto Batch Enhancer 3.0b5 is an excellent free application, that allows you to apply iPhoto effects to a batch of images with a few mouse clicks. There are versions for Leopard, Tiger and Panther for download.

ResizeIt 2.2 is an excellent free application for OS X, that allows you to change size of multiple images simultaneously. It can also convert them to different file image formats at the same time.

Want to create panoramic images? HuginOSX 0.7rc6 is a free application for OS X, that allows you to stitch a large number of photos together to create a single panoramic image. It includes support for most panoramic tool options, contains a powerful control point picker and has been translated into 17 different languages. You can also download versions for Windows, Linux and BSD.

CoolIris 1.8.2.4689 is an excellent plugin for Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer that allows you to view photos, images and video on the web in full screen and in 3D mode. After you install CoolIris, restart your browser to activate the plugin. To use the application, move your mouse over an image and click the CoolIris button that fades in automatically. With one click, the image expands into full screen mode, where you can browse the page in high resolution mode.

It includes support for Flickr, Facebook, Google Images, Yahoo Images, Friendster, Picasa Web Albums, Media RSS, MySpace, Friendster, DeviantArt, Photobucket, YouTube and more.

FEATURES

  • Share Photos And Videos (New)
  • View Photos And Videos In Full Screen Mode
  • View Photos And Videos In High Definition Mode
  • Play A Slideshow Or Create Photo Albums
  • Multipage Search On Google And Yahoo Images
  • Supports Your Apple Remote
  • Shop For Products From Amazon
  • Much More

I have also added additional sites to the ‘Great Sites’ page as well as additional videos to ‘ICT Theories.’




Cyber Safety & Other News

11 09 2008

Sorry for the delay. It’s been an annoying week. I have repeatedly been asked to change my password details to login here and a few times I couldn’t get in due to site maintenance. Another annoying item has been the appearance of Google Ads. Apparently they (EduBlogs) are experimenting. If these little ads appear, simply click refresh and they should magically disappear into the ‘internet cloud’ (hopefully forever).

I have also been busy creating a presentation on CyberSafety for the upper elementary classes at my school (grades 4-5). The video provided has been made as a reference for students and their parents to link within our website. The version done in class will be more interactive with greater discussion. Topics covered are posting profiles on social networking sites, netiquette, cyber-bullying, computer security (spam, viruses, worms, phishing, spyware, trojan horse, P2P) and guidelines for staying safe on the internet. View here.

In other news:

1. Facebook will impose it’s new facelift (story here).

2. New iPod range. Shake and shuffle! Great, now my Nano will look old. They have gone back to elongated style. (BBC video here)

3. Noel Gallagher uses GarageBand!

As the exclusive interview with Music Radar reveals, Noel Gallagher is a big fan of Apple’s GarageBand, which he prefers to his high-tech recording studio at home!

“I had my own fully functioning recording studio with an EMI II desk and a really cool Neve desk. But I kind of got sick of it because the demos were starting to sound better than the records,” Noel told MusicRadar’s US Editor Joe Bosso. “We actually do our demos now in Gem’s bedroom on his little GarageBand computer”, says Noel.

4. MacTubes 1.2 is an excellent free YouTube video player and downloader, with an interface similar to iTunes that is easy to use. (I haven’t tried this yet but will after this post. Will it will be better than Tooble?).

Download here. It’s free, but only for Mac.

FEATURES

  • Create Customized Playlists
  • Country Selection Option
  • Search By Keyword Or Related Videos
  • Search By Author
  • Enter Video URL Or ID
  • Download Video Files
  • Much More

5. A few posts ago I mentioned how I was converted in posting items to YouTube and especially TeacherTube. Well in 23 days my simple addition has become a featured video and has been viewed 2991 times (as of now). Though it’s not in the tens of thousands, a teacher from the UK and the US have contacted me asking to use it. We have also exchanged other ideas with each other as well. Why aren’t we doing more of this in our classrooms?





Not on the Test

7 09 2008

First, I have added a great link (Mac 101) under my ‘Great Sites’ section for those that may wish to improve their Mac computing skills, or for those who are new to Macs. It teaches you almsot everything.

Secondly, I was clearing out some old files on my computer this weekend and found this old bookmarked file from last year. It’s a satirical song by Tom Chapin who advocates the arts in schools. Though he criticizes the American system for the ‘return of rote learning,’ I am sure it is applicable to other areas of the world as well. Makes you think. He states on his website:

Young people who consistently participate in comprehensive, sequential, and rigorous arts programs are:

- 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement

- 3 times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools

- 4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair

- 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance

- 4 times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or poem.

Source: Americans for the Arts (www.artsusa.org).

His website with more intersting facts may be found here.




iPhone Girl

1 09 2008

It seems a Chinese factory worker on the iPhone assembly line in Shenzhen took pictures with what she was manufacturing and forgot to delete them. The photos were discovered by a buyer in Britain who then posted them on the internet asking who she was. Well, it has since spread and she is being dubbed as the ‘iPhone girl.’ Chinese journalists and bloggers are narrowing down their search to find her identity though the company will not reveal it.

I feel a Hollywood adaptation coming out of this one (probably a romance). Thanks SM for the story. Read the full story here.