Moodle at kevinryan

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September 2014
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Review: Douglas Rushkoff: Program or Be Programmed

OR Book Going RougeJust finished one of the most important books of this year. I had heard about Douglas Rushkoff”s book, and read some of his articles. I realized he was a real thinker, but not the extent until reading this book.

I had heard that this book was about how coding is a necessary skill in this day and age, and the reasons behind it. I was completely unprepared for the content.

There are ten chapters in this book, and not one single line of code. The tenth and least compelling of the chapters is the title of the book.

The tenth argues that learning programming changes the way you view the world, and changes the way the world interacts with you.

The other nine chapters are all examples of this concept. He looks at how digital technology have changed our perception and activities in the dimensions of time, place, choice, complexity, scale, identity, social, facts, and openness.

I cannot recommend this more highly. It is a 152-page book that turns a programmer’s lens on the digital world itself, with surprising results and insights. I highlighted more of this book than the last 3 combined, and one of those was 700 pages. And yes, there are suggestions at the end for places to start learning to code.

I plan to use excerpts of this in my IT Seminar class. I may even base a whole semester on the ideas included. I have also just downloaded his new book Present Shock.

Connected Courses

This looks at first blush like a MOOC about how to make a MOOC, without ever mentioning MOOC. The line-up is stellar and the format looks very well thought out. Sign me up! As a member of CCK08, the first Connectivist MOOC in 2008, followed by many others, I am looking forward to this new course as a redefinition of shared courses online. Sign up now for Connected Courses.

CC2014

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The joy of books. What you don’t know can be very surprising.

 

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A little social commentary about using phones.

 

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The Sound of Taste is so visual, and again about food. I can’t resist.

 

The Sound of Taste from Grey London on Vimeo.

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I ride bicycles. Tokyo needs to pay attention to bicycles like NY City. Here they show how cars, pedestrians (people walking) and bicyclists interact.

 

3-Way Street from ronconcocacola on Vimeo.

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One of my favorites. I really like this group of women who go up into the mountains above Madrid, and ride their skateboards down the roads, having a great time. Better than TV! They look so independent, but form a great group together.

Carving the Mountains from Juan Rayos on Vimeo.

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There are so many amazing things you can do with video. This one is called SplitScreen, where you take half of the screen and match it to another half. This is a Love Story.

Splitscreen: A Love Story from James W Griffiths on Vimeo.

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Are you hungry? Here, from the video page: “3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage…” They make a short video about food, called, simply, EAT.  Another is called MOVE. and a third LEARN.

 

EAT from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

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A murmuration is when a whole flock of birds flies together so they look like one big bird, or something else. It is amazing. Nature is amazing.

 

Murmuration from Islands & Rivers on Vimeo.

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Man, this guy can really dance. Not sure what kind of dance you call this, but he is really flexible. I like the music too.

Break ton Neck from Alex Yde on Vimeo.

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Collaboration. Crowdsourcing. A videographer asked people to make 1-second videos and send them in. Then he took 60 of them and put them together into a very interesting One minute of beauty.

Seconds Of Beauty – 1st round compilation from The Beauty Of A Second on Vimeo.

Moral Issues

MoralIssuesPew Reports of Global Moral issues. The page itself is a wonderful interface. You can use it to look at how your country compares with others, or use it to focus in on one of the 40 countries that are represented here. Japan, for example, is the most morally accepting of drinking alcohol.

 

On Looking: Reading slowly and carefully

Andrew Sullivan at The Dish asked Maria Popova at Brain Pickings to choose the new book for the second installment of a big Book Club discussion.

As a long time reader of Brain Pickings, I ordered whatever she picked. On Looking: Eleven walks with expert eyes is all it is purported to be in Maria’s review.

The book is so well written that it is hard to believe it is non fiction. The main focus of Attention is only a vehicle to explore, well, eleven different viewpoints of the same city block, where the author lives. Making the banal interesting and exciting is the goal achieved.

It is one of those books that you want to savor. Read a chapter, turn it over in your head, look at it closely, enjoy the taste and all the other sesations, and ponder before moving on. I hope to finish before the Book Club begins next week. join me?

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This video of Dogs in Cars is really well made. The music is good and it is wonderful to watch how much these dogs are enjoying life. It makes me a little jealous.

Dogs in Cars from keith on Vimeo.

Kevin and Frank need your help

Indiegogo search results

If you search for Myanmar at Indiegogo, this is what you get.

Kevin and his good friend of many years are returning to Myanmar (Burma) to train English teachers. This time they are going under the auspices of the NLD (National League for Democracy), the party founded by Nobel winner Aung San Suu Kyi. She also founded the Education Network, to promote education, in a remarkably prescient move while still under military rule. The huge need for English as the country opens up to both tourism and business needs to be met.

Kevin and Frank went with a group of volunteers in January, for a week, and it was, in Frank’s words, “A life-changing event.” I concur.

Kevin and Frank will go for a month this time, in the rainy hot month of September. The NLD/EN will provide accommodations. What we need now is to cover transportation costs, mostly airfare from Tokyo to Yangon.

See our Indiegogo campaign to make a small donation to become part of this project. If we go over our goal, we will use any additional donations to buy textbooks and educational materials to distribute to the teachers there. If you are a publisher or distributor of books, contact me to get books into the hands of teachers there. If you have a large donation (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), contact us directly so we can eliminate the middleman at indiegogo.

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This stop-action animation of a waveform of music made by records on a pipe is magic. It must have taken a LONG time to make. There were 960 records used. Benga.

 

 

Benga – I Will Never Change from Us on Vimeo.

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This is my body. Women talk about how laws in the USA are taking away the freedoms they have to take care of their own bodies.

This Is My Body (English Subtitles) from Jason Stefaniak on Vimeo.

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Road Trip USA. Mike Matas edits a whole trip from San Francisco to New York into a very short video. As he says, “2 weeks. 3,000 miles. 5,000 pictures. In 3 minutes.” Look like fun! (The big city in the middle is Chicago, where I come from.)

Roadtrip USA from Mike Matas on Vimeo.

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A videographer for WREN Studios paid 20 models to kiss another model on film. Beautiful to look at. Then VICE, a documentary company, did the same thing with normal people. I find this much more interesting. Do you? Here is another one, much longer, using people from New York.