OTR Links 10/17/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Interview with Richard Byrne – Keynote Speaker at #BIT14

Michelle Cordy (@cordym) has been doing a series of online interviews with educators.  Starting on Tuesday evening, look to her efforts in putting a human face to the Bring IT, Together conference through the interviews.

I was honoured to be invited to share the microphone with her as she interviewed Richard Byrne.  (@rmbyrne)  Richard will address the group on Thursday morning in a keynote titled “The Power of Technology to Prepare Students for the Future” and then will offer a breakout session “Ten Common Challenges Facing Educators and Tools to Address Them”.  He promises this to be a practical edtech approach in the classroom.

Those who tried to watch live know that there were a couple of challenges – Richard was in one Google Hangout Room and Michelle and I in another wondering where he was!  We eventually solved the problem and were able to complete the interview, albeit a bit late.  If you missed it, or would like to enjoy it again, it’s presented below.

OTR Links 10/16/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


I got the inspiration for this post from the Daily Post.  It’s a feature that I subscribe to that regularly gives ideas for what you might want to post to your blog.  Normally, I smile and continue reading but this one actually had me intrigued.

It’s not really a fair question because my office space is in a cubby off to the side of our bedroom.  On any day, the bedroom is messier — not because it’s messy, but because it’s lived in.  There’s a place for everything and everything is in its place.  It’s just that there are so many places…

I wanted to focus instead on my computer’s desktop.  It’s incredibly clean.

But, it wasn’t always that way.

I used to delude myself in thinking that I could have many major projects on the go and my computer’s desktop was the perfect place to store everything.  But all that changed one day.  I had a support person who was incredibly organized and needed to use my computer because hers was down.  She took one look and said “I can’t work on this!  How the $^#&#^$ can you work like this?”

I used my best teacher voice.

“Whatever do you mean?  Can you show me a better way?”

And, she did.

It turns out that she does use her desktop as a storage place for parts and pieces for current projects.  In progress, her desktop looked very messy and like mine.  But the difference was that only what was needed for the ongoing project was available.  When she was done, it was just a matter of right clicking on the desktop, creating a new folder, lassoing all the pieces and putting them into the folder.  The folder then went into another folder for storage.  At the end of the day, the enclosing folder got copied to a backup drive while she put her coat on.

Continue working on a project?  She opens the big folder, the enclosed folder and then drags all the components to the desktop and picks up where she left off.

Now, I couldn’t just immediately say that she was right and copy her procedure.  My analytical mind said “I could save some time if I just created the folder inside the folder first and work from there”.  It seemed to make sense until a project required components from a number of programs.  Then, I was “Saving As” and trying to hunt down the project folder.

Then, I got her teacher voice.  “You’re doing it wrong.  Weren’t you paying attention?”

So, I got a remedial lesson and started counting keystroke and mouse clicks.  Darned if her method wasn’t more efficient.  In fact, the more involved and diverse the project, the more efficient the technique.

I learned the lesson and every desktop that I’ve used ever since is very clean and I use her technique daily.

As I write this post, I’m in ScribeFire in Firefox but I’ve done some screen captures to illustrate my points

I don’t care where they land.  As soon as I publish the post and check to make sure that everything’s online properly, they’re headed to the special folder that looks like a recycle bin.  And, I’ll be back to clean.

Now, the keen eye will notice that there’s a folder called “Doug’s Documents” and another called “Windows”.  That’s where everything ultimately ends up.

I know the Psych major out there will quickly identify this as superstitious behaviour.  But it’s worked well for me.

Do you have a better way of organizing things?

OTR Links 10/15/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

The Speed of Social Media

An article was the topic of a number of discussions this weekend around here.  My daughter had shared it with me and I can only respond with “Sickening”.  You can read the story here.

How rumour, innuendo turned a man’s death into a double tragedy

I think that anyone in education lies in dread that something like this could happen to them.

It isn’t helpful to discuss the details or the response by the employer in this venue.  

Instead, I think that one sentence stands out from the article for me.

Correcting the record has been difficult – it’s hard to compete with the Internet – so she and her family decided to speak out.

We talk about teaching internet literacy, the importance of critical thinking to validate statements.  We talk about your digital footprint and how it’s so difficult to correct, edit, or delete anything that has gone wrong.

But, are we truly teaching it?  Information shared, is shared quickly.  We smile at some of the things that go viral.  That’s the up side.

There is another side.

This should serve as a call to action for education.

Two things:

  • Is your digital footprint saying what you want it to say?
  • Are you guilty of spreading rumours that aren’t based in fact?

What are you going to do about it?

OTR Links 10/14/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.