A Circuitous, Fortuitous Moment

Amber MacArthur was one of the keynote speakers at the recent RCAC Symposium in London.  She’s such a delightful and interesting person in real life.  Among her many accomplishments, is the weekly production commandN.  The name is very special, if you are a Macintosh user.

Anyway, I spend 10 minutes every week watching and listening to the newest edition.  It’s always full of new and interesting information and I recommend it to everyone.

A recent episode made reference to a web service called Twitter Venn.  So, I think “Hey, I’ll all into visualization and Web 2.0” and I go to check it out.  I play around and note the ease with which you can create Venn diagrams based upon Twitter content.  This is worthy of part of a presentation or perhaps an inclusion in a future newsletter so I add it to my Delicious account.

I think nothing further about it and life goes on.

This morning, I’m getting caught up on email and I get a notice that Jeff Clark is now following me on Twitter.

This isn’t an unusual occurrence.  People follow me all the time.  However, the name rings a bell.  I taught a Jeff Clark a few years back so I send off a direct message asking and get this reply.

Doesn’t that beat all?  Jeff was a superb programming student and really is one of those students that I had the pleasure to teach and I will never forget.  But, time goes on and people go their own separate ways.  One of the true joys and humbling experiences of being a teacher comes from meeting up with students years later.

Last Christmas’ special moment was when Scott donated an XO in my name to a school in Africa.

If you ever need to question a career choice in education, the answer comes in moments like this.

So, I decide to dig a little deeper into Jeff’s programming accomplishments and just like we teach – he’s got a great online portfolio.  In fact, he is quite heavily into visualizations. There are a number of resources that he’s written that have huge potential in the classroom and, in fact, anywhere visualization is an advantage.

If you’re into bling for your blog or website based upon real data, there are a number of resources here for you. I would encourage you to check them out.

In the meantime, I’m excited to renew the connection and so proud to see what he’s done with his computing skills.

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