Firefox Memory

Image via CrunchBase

This post is part of an exercise for the Expand our Boundaries workshop.  We’re supposed to find an article of interest and blog about it.  So, what to do?  Usually, I’m good for one blog post a day and then my passion for the moment is shot!

So, looking for passion, I turn to one of my morning rituals and went to Popurls.  I actually found an article that deal with something that has bothered me for a while.  Firefox, the premier browser, is notorious for eating memory.  This morning, there’s a post from Lifehacker that has a tip for putting the reins on Firefox’s desire for memory when it’s minimized.

I’ll be checking this out and look forward to success with this tip.

Thanks for the exercise, Will.  Another thing to add to the learning for today!

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Expanding Boundaries

Day 1 of our professional development event sponsored by OTF and ECOO is in the books.  Technically, there was a glitch or two as technology doesn’t always play nice at things like this but overall, participants left with their boundaries definitely expanded.

Unless napping, the folks in the room (100-200?) all have Twitter and Delicious accounts and a brand new blog to their name.  Will Richardson is the facilitator of this event designed to raise awareness of what the key issues are as we move educational environments forward to a destination unknown.  Even three years ago, we didn’t have this sense of empowerment that these tools provide.  The day was filled with a number of direct activities that guided the audience to success, and yet, had enough flexibility to differentiate based upon need.  Even though there was room for some showcases by teachers, Will’s overall message was that teachers had to come to grips and learn the tools themselves before taking the next step.  Wise advice.

Mid-morning, we had a presentation by Bob Fisher from OSSTF about advice for using these technologies with students.  I was really interesting in hearing this message because this has to be one of the bigger myths of our time.  We’re hearing that the advice from our Federations is that you should never use these technologies or email in the classroom, period.   Mr. Fisher’s message was considerably different.  He reminded us that one of our duties as teachers is to protect students and manage any risks appropriately.  In a day and age when we’re providing instruction of entire courses online through eLearning Ontario, you know that there has to be some sort of middle ground.  Of course, just like avoiding accidents by never driving your car, there are absolute ways but the Federations are mindful that things are changing.  As the talk proceeded, the words “Common Sense” kept rolling through my mind.  At this point, there is no formal policy document or direction for the province but the need for one was certainly made abundantly clear.  It really is needed.

Throughout the day, Will spoke with the passion for students that sends the message to all that we need can ignore this.  If we’re not teaching students about these technologies, who is?  Students are collaborative by nature, let’s give them good reasons for doing it.  I captured this video with my RCA Small Wonder when Will was talking about online writing.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “ Will Richardson at EXPB…”, posted with vodpod

It was a long day.  We did manage to share and find a whack of new friends on Twitter; we created networks of resource sharers on Delicious; we learned how to turn RSS into a productivity management system; and we hopefully will start to work the web smarter than before.

Then, comes the million dollar question – “Where do you find the time to do all this?”.  The answer is based in reality.   You need to stop doing some things to embrace the new things.  For example, don’t rely on Google to find things.  Use your network whether it be a plea on Twitter or through your Delicious network where you have folks working and researching for you.  Don’t rely on your one newspaper subscription to get all your news – aggregate it through your Reader.

As a group, we’re expanding our boundaries and thoughts.  On to Day Two…what a great way to spend a Saturday.

A reminder that a live backchannel is available at:

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Give a Day, Get a Day

How’s that for a title?  It could well describe what’s going to happen this Friday and Saturday.  OTF and ECOO have jointly sponsored a two-day workshop called “Expanding our Boundaries“.  The workshop is a full two days of activities designed to help Ontario educators embrace some of the new collaborative web technologies.

The session is facilitated by Will Richardson.  If you’re reading this blog, undoubtedly you know of Mr. Richardson’s stature within the online community.  Author of the book “Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms“, Will is a speaker of incredible knowledge and passion for using collaborative technologies in order to develop your own personal learning network and affording opportunities for students to do the same in the classroom.  It really strikes home when exhibit A is Will’s two children and his desire that we become the teacher that he would send his kids to.

The event is more than that though.  Success stories from online Ontario educators will be shared throughout the two day event and a portion of this morning is devoted to the union advice about keeping yourself and your students protected.  It appears to be a well thought through and complete agenda.

Will’s Ontario adventures started a couple of years ago as he keynoted the Western Regional Computer Advisory’s Symposium 2007.  We asked him to stick around for a second day and conduct a hands-on blogging and Read/Write Web session.  Both events had huge impact on a number of people helping them see the benefits of this technology and to this day you’ll find blogs that starts as a result of the workshop and continue to this day.

I kid Will that I should get finder’s fees.  Since he set the world on fire at our Symposium, he has been invited to do similar presentations in many locations throughout the province, including our Vision to Practice conference last summer.  He doesn’t beat you up with his message, but there’s no denying that he’s spot on when he encourages you to find your passion and build your professional network around that passion.  I know that advice has built me a terrific network in the online areas that I frequent and there doesn’t go a day where I don’t learn something new.  Can there be no better compliment for an educator?

One of the keys to success in an event like this is a lasting connection to someone of a similar mindset.  Beyond the inspiration and insights that Will provides, that’s what I hope I get as a take away from this event.

If you can’t join us, ECOO has set up a backchannel on Commun-it for the comments to flow.

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