Online Transparency


I went in search of some reading this morning.  Now, I was too lazy to head to the library or the book store so I went online.  A favourite place of mine to read and share documents is Scribd.  Here, any document that folks upload is converted to iPaper and you can read it online in your browser, provided you have a recent copy of the Flash player installed.

There are other alternatives as well.  You can download the documents in PDF or TXT formats for offline reading.

Like most sites of this genre, when you land on the doorstep, there are teasers there to get you to dig into the site or perhaps even create your own account so that you can add your own content. 

This morning, as I scanned the “Explore” section, I saw a number of documents about Michael Jackson, including the one embedded below.

This program is a celebration of the talents and impact that this article had on the world.  The images and words inside remind us how many of us grew up with Mr. Jackson and followed his development into the artist that we last remember.

It’s impressive that a tool like Scribd can provide such resources for a world to view, if it wishes.  Finding a document like this would take some effort with a regular search engine.

Like a regular search engine, you’ll get everything, including some things that you may not have an interest in.  For example, his last will and testament is online there as well. 

Such is the price that we pay for transparency.

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4 Rs


Fellow blogger and educational colleague Paul from Quoteflections has tagged me in his blog on a new meme asking bloggers to identify four posts from their blog in the categories of:

  • Rants
  • Resources
  • Reflections
  • Revelations

This meme according to Paul originated by Dr. Joyce Valenza and Doug Johnson at the NECC Conference.  I’ve actually met both of these folks, in addition to Paul, so I’ll support the cause by continuing the meme.  A couple of trivia notes about each – I had the opportunity to Tweet with Dr. Valenza at the NECC Conference where she sent out a query about whether or not there were empty seats in a session I was already in and I met Mr. Johnson when I engaged him to be a keynote speaker at the Western RCAC Symposium a couple of years back.

When you have so many blog entries, it’s tough to remember them all so I’m scanning the recesses of my mind to answer these.

Ranting – I’ll nominate a post from October 3 of last year entitled “A Pair of Debates – and a Baseball Game“.  I didn’t really rant about much – I didn’t think.  I was just commenting on the difference between the Canadian Prime Minister and the United States Vice-Presidential debate.  But, you never know who reads your blog – in this case the Christian Science Monitor noted my post and called me “snooty” in their blog.  I guess when a post affects someone else, it’s ranting.

Resources – This one is easy and something that I work on daily.  Delicious allows you to scrape your daily bookmarked entries into a blog entry.  As I find interesting internet resources and bookmark them, they are plopped into an entry in my blog.  What’s interesting is that I’ll note after the fact that I get on a particular tangent and a bunch of bookmarks on a particular day will be on a specific theme.  It’s going to be helpful to others – this September a new Computer Science curriculum must be implemented and so I’ve been collecting and tagging websites with icsxx to help the cause.

Reflections – I was captured and intellectually and emotionally held hostage by a Grade 7 class at our Gore Hill Public School this year.  The teacher there went way out on a limb with faith that what I was talking about with Web 2.0 activities would motivate and engage these students.  Before my presentation to the Ontario Educators’ Meetup, I went and got some inspiration from the class and it was the basis for this entry.

Revelations – This is hard because every day is a revelation if you learn online.  There’s so much to learn and so little time if you wish to maintain a balanced life.  So, being unbalanced helps but learning with computers is my passion so I don’t really need to apologize.  Lately, I’ve been delving into becoming productive with a Netbook and its smaller screen.  With the new web based Seesmic Twitter interface, I thought about whether or not a separate Twitter client is necessary.

So, there’s my walk through the past in response to Paul’s call to meme.  The rules are:

1. Scan your posts for your own personal favorites.
2. Choose one post in any/each of the four categories:

  • Rants
  • Resources
  • Reflections
  • Revelations

I leave it to you folks to define these terms, but my instinct is that we could treat these loosely. You are welcome to suggest new categories if these don’t fit.
3. In a blog post, list those posts and very briefly describe

  • why it was important,
  • why it had lasting value or impact,
  • how you would update it for today.

4. Select five (or so) other bloggers to tap with this meme.
5. Tag all of your post with #postsofthepast

To continue the meme, I’m going to tag five Canadian Educational Bloggers who have recent entries indicating an active blog.  You may wish to bookmark and follow these educational thinkers after this meme passes. What the hey…I’ll tag more than five.

The danger with creating a list like this is omitting someone.  If you’re a Canadian blogger and not identified above, consider yourself tagged.

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