Monthly Archives: February 2010

Google Reader {W8:Feb22-28}

There was a research around “what is your email’s domain name?” and about more than 50% of users are using hotmail/live. I cannot say I was surprised. Microsoft really took its first mover advantage and enhanced its position in the email field. I used to be a hotmail user and had tasted the other related products including MSN messager, MySpace, Live, and many more; however, I am barely use them anymore as they are not as environmental clean as they were before.

Recently I start to realize that Google might become a second Microsoft. It all starts with Google Search. More and more web browsers surf depending on Google’s search engine. And now Google complete its full package deal for Google account users including Gmail, Calendar, Document, Reader, Web and more. I knew Google Reader from Valerie’s project brainstorm a month ago. Now I am going there everyday having so much fun.

Google Reader is a web-based feed to keep up with blogs and news. With the goal to make news aggregation for the general public to enjoy, Reader allows users to subscribe to their favorite websites so new content comes to them when it’s posted. This unique feature lets each user designs a magazine just for her/him as Reader keeps track of which things they’ve read so that when they only see unread items when they come back. One of the great things about Google Reader is the way it allows to share a person’s reading with other users. Moreover, it allows news to be organized with labels, as well as being able to create “Starred Items” for users’ easy access. I am sure there are still lots of features to explore and I hope to see more creative idea coming out from Google.


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Reading Break {W7:Feb15-21}

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E-memory {W6:Feb8-14}

Recently, George Siemens mentioned a concept about tracking self’s activities online including thoughts, dairies, travels, emotion, purchasing, families, business activities, so on and so fourth.  Eventually, human will be able to store everything about their life digitally, just like having an e-memory for yourself. This idea started with a group of people which called The Quantified Self, they noticed a trend in people seeking greater self-knowledge, and using numbers on this quest to understand themselves. They tracked wild range of activities and collected tons of juicy data, such as things you eat, health patten, function of taking fish oil, should trust online suggestions and many more weird topics. They believe that “Unless something can be measured, it cannot be improved. (Kevin Kelly)”

Apparently, when we care about whether or not to post personal life on the Internet, researchers notice that this recording your life activity is actually truly valuable to develop learning technologies. Human are changing in terms of the way of thinking and learning. It happens too fast to capture and too many variables to analyze. When people start to tracking their life, this provides inside data from primary resources for researchers to connect and evaluate meaningful pattens. From non-researcher point of view, these data also provide wild database to support online social communities. Here is another article, “change what it means to be human.“, shows us where this tracking activity goes. I believe this will become one of the biggest technologies innovation if we could really do information risk free; The concern around information risk is when people post private information online, it tends to get back to the person who post it, such as the imaging of one period time would not be matching his/her future imaging, fault financial information, identity lost and so on. It is not a perfect world out there, we have to take our own activity’s responsibilities so when we want to sharing experiences and tracking life, we have to consider twice to protect self first which might delay the development of more advance discovery around learning technology trends.

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Achieving ethical online education {W5:Feb1-7}

Copyright is always a serious topic because it can involve legislation, human rights and responsibilities issues and if we did not deal it properly, there will be a lawsuit waiting.  No wonder at the beginning of each course from UVic, professors always have a section called Integrity & Plagiarism.Thanks Inba Kehoe for delivering such a useful lecture where I learned a lot about copyright. It was a long lecture because there are lots to introduce when it comes to copyright. Especially now we are talking about online education, which makes the copyright much harder to control and monitor, not only for teachers but also to learners. The rule is clear which is once the materials are in a public domain, they are available to everyone; however, it still has a risk about people using sources to present their own thoughts which might be the opposite meaning from the original sources. Misleading can happen anywhere and anytime, then who should the author blame to or is there a person or institution to blame…

I am playing around the Audacity. This is such a cool sound editor and made me say wa! First time using editor actually and there are lots of unfamiliar functions in the program; however, the Questions and Answers of instruction are very helpful guiding newbie to start. It could take much more time than I thought to master this…

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