The Online World Isn’t Perfect


It would be really nice if everything that you do with technology worked, worked well the first time, and never had a problem.  Of course, you can add those wishes to the hundreds of others that you might have.  It doesn’t always work that way.

For some, it’s the end of the world.  For the hesitant user who you’ve finally convinced that doing something is good, a hiccup in the process can often be the excuse that’s needed to bail out.  After all, it can sure be frustrating.  The sophisticated user might slap their monitor and then move to fix the problem or just move on to something else.

A couple of examples have arisen in the past little while.

Posterous will turn off on April 30

The Posterous blogging platform has been a very easy platform to curate and share photos and others have made it their primary blogging platform.  I would equate it to Tumblr in its functionality and appearance.  Posting has been a slice when you install the bookmark tool or use Shareaholic.  But, it’s going to close.

One Approach:
Get mad.  Get frustrated.  Shut down.  After all, you’ve put so much work into your Posterous presence and now it’s gone.  See, I told you the internet doesn’t work.

Another Approach:
OK, I’ve got until April 30 to do something about this.  What can I do?  First of all, you have until April 30 to enjoy your efforts.  Unless you do something, it will ultimately close and all your work is gone.  Nobody wants that so read the entire post and you’ll see that Posterous gives you instructions about how to get your content out of Posterous so that you don’t lost everything.

Or, read and follow the instructions elsewhere

OK, so WordPress is the answer?

It’s not perfect either.  Check out this story from yesterday.

WordPress.com goes down, taking millions of blogs (and us) with it
That’s interesting.  This blog is hosted by WordPress.com.  I didn’t even know that there was an interruption in the service.  But, I suppose that it could be that you were affected.  I hope now.  Fortunately, WordPress seems to have recovered nicely.  All is good as I work on this post.

That does it.  I’m moving my blog.
Well, you could over react.  There are many other very good blogging sites – Jux, Blogger, Tumblr.  They’ll never have problem.  (tongue in cheek)

That does it.  I’m going to host my own.
That’s always an option.  After all, the WordPress code is free to download and install.  It absolutely is and thousands of people use their own WordPress instance daily.  That only requires that you purchase hosting space, install and maintain your code and do your own backups.

The best approach?  I think that it’s pretty clear that there are many alternatives and that’s the joy and the power of being online.  Despite the small moments of frustration and inconvenience, the stats lie heavily in favour of stableness and continuity.  You just need to calm down, take it easy, make intelligent and informed decisions and then move on.  After all, there are a lot of smart people working behind the scenes and they really are aiming for 100% uptime.

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American Idol or How Long Does It Take to Write a Blog Post


Last night was night two of American Idol for this week so that got me out of the television room to the computer room.  I cranked on E Street Radio and checked my blog to get rid of the spam that had accumulated that day and started to write the Friday post “This Week in Ontario Edublogs”.  Of all the blog posts that I write, this one typically takes the longest to write.  I’ve got some notes from some of the blogs that I’ve read this week and I open up the Ontario Edubloggers Livebinder and then get at it.  For this evening, I’m running Windows so I open Windows Live Writer and begin.

When I’m done, I double check to make sure that the post is scheduled to go live for 5am and then post it.  Once it’s in the WordPress environment, I’ll add the tags and related stories.  It was then, as I’m proofreading, I notice this.

Visitors

I use Feedjit to give me an idea of the last 10 visitors to the blog.  You can always check it in the right column of any blog post.

I look at it and notice a few things….

  • Somehow, my IP address is associated with Trenton.  That’s interesting in itself;
  • Nobody had visited the blog between the time I started writing the post and finished it ;-( (I guess everyone was watching American Idol)
  • Google had visited (Doug lives in his own fantasy world);
  • Then, it’s visitors from Peterborough, San Jose, Tokyo, Medicine Hat, Columbus, and Scottsdale.

But, most importantly, it took me 51 minutes to get started, preview my notes and select the blog posts I want to feature, write the post, proofread the post, upload the post, proofread it again, use the WordPress proofreader, and then add the tags and related stories.  I think this is actually the first time that I’ve stopped to think about how long it takes to write a post.  I hand all the credit to Feedjit and to no visitors!

Top Posts of 2012


Here is a list of posts that I did write.  Going back over the months, these were the five with the most visits by you, the clicking public.

The statistics were provided by WordPress.

Some of the most fun (for me anyway) posts involved the interview series.  I really liked the opportunity to get to know some of the folks more.

Thank you so much for your loyalty and sharing the blog with others.  It’s really appreciated.

Happy New Year!

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Spammers Don’t Take a Break for the Holidays


Boxing Day here this year is a blowy, snowy mess.  Of course, it doesn’t stop the dog from complaining that he needs to go for a walk but other than that, it’s a day to sit back by the fire and just do a lot of nothing.

To pass some time, I thought that I would take a look at the statistics from this blog.  I’m always amazed, and so appreciative, to see that there are people that actually take the time to drop by.  What never fails to get me is that their IP addresses point to locations all over the world.  Now, the good people don’t spoof their addresses or try to mislead statistics programs.  Not all visitors are necessarily here for the good and I’ve noted many times that I’m so appreciative of Akismet doing its thing to keep the nonsense from public view.

As I start to mess around with the analytics, I was drawn to the number of views by country.  This was a screen capture made in the afternoon.

Wow!  Four visitors from the Russian Federation.  That’s a click that’s a long way from home.  Too bad they didn’t leave a comment.  Or, maybe they did.

Sigh.  Yes, they did.

My Russian is a little rusty but, thankfully Google Translate helps out.  Glad that it was flagged for me.

But there was something else.  As you move over the countries in the list above, the WordPress site flips right to the country.  How cool is that?

I played around a little more and found a consolidation page showing views over a larger period of time.  Moving a cursor over the titles is like a trip down Geography lane.  I couldn’t help but think that this could find a home in the Social Studies classroom.

Spammers – I know that you and/or your robots don’t take a break for the holidays but that’s for the inspiration for a little Geography review.  Some of the countries were easily remembered but a bunch of them were either new to me or an opportunity to refresh my memory and that’s not bad at all.

Country Views
United States FlagUnited States 19,196
Canada FlagCanada 15,261
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom 3,061
Australia FlagAustralia 2,267
India FlagIndia 1,400
Philippines FlagPhilippines 1,167
Germany FlagGermany 573
Russian Federation FlagRussian Federation 479
Spain FlagSpain 456
France FlagFrance 434
Brazil FlagBrazil 337
Netherlands FlagNetherlands 294
Indonesia FlagIndonesia 287
New Zealand FlagNew Zealand 262
Azerbaijan FlagAzerbaijan 253
Italy FlagItaly 236
Mexico FlagMexico 219
South Africa FlagSouth Africa 218
Thailand FlagThailand 208
Malaysia FlagMalaysia 194
Turkey FlagTurkey 191
Singapore FlagSingapore 185
Switzerland FlagSwitzerland 181
Korea, Republic of FlagRepublic of Korea 178
Pakistan FlagPakistan 167
Japan FlagJapan 154
Greece FlagGreece 144
Hong Kong FlagHong Kong 142
Poland FlagPoland 142
Ireland FlagIreland 139
Sweden FlagSweden 138
Portugal FlagPortugal 136
Belgium FlagBelgium 129
Argentina FlagArgentina 118
Saudi Arabia FlagSaudi Arabia 112
Israel FlagIsrael 111
United Arab Emirates FlagUnited Arab Emirates 110
Viet Nam FlagViet Nam 103
Romania FlagRomania 101
Colombia FlagColombia 101
Taiwan, Province of China FlagTaiwan 100
Czech Republic FlagCzech Republic 97
Denmark FlagDenmark 95
Norway FlagNorway 90
Ukraine FlagUkraine 90
Finland FlagFinland 82
Hungary FlagHungary 68
Serbia FlagSerbia 65
Egypt FlagEgypt 62
Latvia FlagLatvia 60
Austria FlagAustria 56
Chile FlagChile 55
Bulgaria FlagBulgaria 48
Bangladesh FlagBangladesh 47
Peru FlagPeru 46
Slovakia FlagSlovakia 36
Venezuela FlagVenezuela 35
Cambodia FlagCambodia 32
Puerto Rico FlagPuerto Rico 32
Nigeria FlagNigeria 32
Slovenia FlagSlovenia 28
Qatar FlagQatar 28
Croatia FlagCroatia 28
Iceland FlagIceland 27
Morocco FlagMorocco 27
Sri Lanka FlagSri Lanka 26
Ecuador FlagEcuador 26
Kenya FlagKenya 24
Bahrain FlagBahrain 22
Estonia FlagEstonia 22
Trinidad and Tobago FlagTrinidad and Tobago 22
Kuwait FlagKuwait 21
Jordan FlagJordan 21
Belarus FlagBelarus 20
Jamaica FlagJamaica 19
Oman FlagOman 18
Tunisia FlagTunisia 17
Malta FlagMalta 16
Algeria FlagAlgeria 16
Lebanon FlagLebanon 16
Lithuania FlagLithuania 15
Iraq FlagIraq 14
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of FlagMacedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic 14
Guatemala FlagGuatemala 14
Luxembourg FlagLuxembourg 14
Tanzania, United Republic of FlagUnited Republic of Tanzania 13
Ghana FlagGhana 13
Georgia FlagGeorgia 13
Bahamas FlagBahamas 12
Costa Rica FlagCosta Rica 11
Cyprus FlagCyprus 10
Paraguay FlagParaguay 10
Bosnia and Herzegovina FlagBosnia and Herzegovina 10
Brunei Darussalam FlagBrunei Darussalam 10
Armenia FlagArmenia 10
Albania FlagAlbania 9
Palestinian Territory, Occupied FlagPalestinian Territory, Occupied 9
Mongolia FlagMongolia 8
Moldova, Republic of FlagMoldova 8
Yemen FlagYemen 8
Nepal FlagNepal 8
Bermuda FlagBermuda 7
Panama FlagPanama 7
Syrian Arab Republic FlagSyrian Arab Republic 7
Uruguay FlagUruguay 7
El Salvador FlagEl Salvador 7
Mauritius FlagMauritius 7
Bolivia FlagBolivia 6
Maldives FlagMaldives 6
Myanmar FlagMyanmar 6
Guam FlagGuam 6
Macao FlagMacao 6
Dominican Republic FlagDominican Republic 6
Uganda FlagUganda 5
China FlagChina 5
Belize FlagBelize 4
Virgin Islands, British FlagBritish Virgin Islands 4
Kazakhstan FlagKazakhstan 4
Honduras FlagHonduras 4
Montenegro FlagMontenegro 4
Saint Lucia FlagSaint Lucia 3
Zimbabwe FlagZimbabwe 2
Ethiopia FlagEthiopia 2
Suriname FlagSuriname 2
Martinique FlagMartinique 2
Senegal FlagSenegal 2
Namibia FlagNamibia 2
Lao People's Democratic Republic FlagLao People’s Democratic Republic 2
Virgin Islands, U.S. FlagVirgin Islands 2
Madagascar FlagMadagascar 2
Burkina Faso FlagBurkina Faso 2
Jersey FlagJersey 2
French Guiana FlagFrench Guiana 2
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines FlagSaint Vincent and the Grenadines 2
Barbados FlagBarbados 1
Greenland FlagGreenland 1
Mozambique FlagMozambique 1
Zambia FlagZambia 1
Fiji FlagFiji 1
Cayman Islands FlagCayman Islands 1
Gabon FlagGabon 1
Seychelles FlagSeychelles 1
Rwanda FlagRwanda 1
Andorra FlagAndorra 1
Timor-Leste FlagTimor-Leste 1
Monaco FlagMonaco 1
Guyana FlagGuyana 1
Sudan FlagSudan 1

 

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


This is the last school Friday of 2012.  Ontario Educators will be taking a well deserved break – it’s been a long fall with plenty of challenges.  Thankfully, the blogging continued.

Non-Extreme Makeover. Blog Edition.

I enjoy reading people’s sharing of their technology problem solving.  It helps me understand the problem solving and steps that they took to try and fix things.  It’s this sort of transparent sharing that’s so helpful for others who might be experiencing the same things.

This week Colin Jagoe wrote a couple of posts about his experiences upgrading his self-hosted WordPress blog.  It’s a good read.  I have my own self-hosted blog but it was done more for the experience of setting it up.  I use the free WordPress version for my own for a number of reasons.  I may make the other one home some day and it’s help like this that’s so helpful.  Thanks, Colin.


WRDSB Student Voice

You hear so often claims about listening to student voice.  You need to ask the questions – are you legitimately listening?  – are you going to change practice because of it?

Mark Carbone, in a recent post, described the listening process put in place in Waterloo.  He describes a good interaction with the student trustee group.

Even more importantly, there’s a section about What’s Next?  That’s an important followup to this.  Nicely done.


How I Lesson Plan

I had to smile at the content of Scott Kemp’s recent post.  He described his thinking about “The Bus Syndrome”.

I had a superintendent once that asked the same question of me.  How would we carry on if you got hit by a bus?  I assumed that it wasn’t just hope on his part but that he was concerned about continuity.  It reaffirms the need for documenting everything which I’ve always done.  Actually, probably overdone.  Sometimes it’s difficult to find anything.

Scott outlines nine questions that would be good for any teacher to ask of her/himself.


The Power of Hand-Writing

Another post that struck just a little too close to me.  When I was in secondary school, I had beautiful handwriting.  At university, it turned to scribble.  As a computer science teacher, I would print on a chalkboard or overhead as we developed solutions to make it student-readable.  Later, I became the master of word processing, desktop publishing, electronics – presentations, blogs, Twitter, etc.  I’m reminded annually when it comes time to do the Christmas Cards and I have to figure out which end of the pen is up, that I don’t write all that often and when I do, it’s horrible.

Rodd Lucier shared an interesting Vlog about his own thoughts.

Now, having beat myself up with this, my favourite notetaking pen is my LiveScribe device so I do take manual notes at times.  I just opened a notebook for a peek.  Uh oh.  I print my notes.  It does beg the question though – is it important that I don’t handwrite much anymore?


Our 21st Century Classroom

Mind Share Learning supports the use of electronics with its Video Challenge and Aviva Dunsiger’s students created an entry.

The video knocks down the school walls and gives us a look at what her students consider to be their 21st Century Classroom.  The kids are great and they’re using the technical terms correctly.  The video is worth viewing at least twice.  First time through, focus on the kids and the message.  The second time through, pay attention to just the technology.  There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of opportunities for the students.


Great offerings this week, folks.  Thanks for sharing them.  You can read the individual blog posts at the links above or the entire Ontario Edublog collection at the LiveBinder site or the Scoopit! site.

If you’re an Ontario Edublogger and your blog is not listed there, please consider adding it using the form.  Even if you’re not blogging, use the form to add your Twitter handle to the list of Ontario Educators.  Your thoughts just might end up in “The Best of Ontario Educators Daily“.

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