Wednesday, October 6, 2010 – The personal blog of Futurist Thomas Frey » Blog Archive » Power of 10 Interface


    tags: learning ideas acceleration ux interface hci

    • Next-Generation Learning

      As most good journalists and storytellers have learned, the basic components of every story deals with six elements – who, what, when, where, why, and how.

    • Schools will no longer focus on the factual information but on the indirect aspects like relational elements, pattern analysis, value statements, opinions, and basic questions like “why” and “how.”
      • Here are some examples of questions that are not easily answered with a 10-second interface:

        • Explain the context within which those comments were made?
        • How do animal behaviors vary from species to species?
        • Was their underlying motivation behind that change detrimental to their cause?
        • How did that kind of thinking relate to what other cultures were going through?
        • Why do you think that happened?
        • Based on your understanding of the situation, was that a good move?

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


With thanks to Debra Kay Logan and Wikiquote:
I don't mind your thinking slowly; I mind your publishing faster than you think.

-Wolfgang Pauli, as quoted in The Harvest of a Quiet Eye : A Selection of Scientific Quotations (1977) by Alan Lindsay Mackay, p. 117.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution! | Video on

Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity | Video on (2006)

Have you seen Sir Ken Robinson's 2006 talk? Here's the About text for the 2010 sequel: "In this poignant, funny follow-up to his fabled 2006 talk, Sir Ken Robinson makes the case for a radical shift from standardized schools to personalized learning -- creating conditions where kids' natural talents can flourish."

Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution! | Video on (2010), in a way,dislocates very many people from their natural talents. And human resources are like natural resources; they're often buried deep. You have to go looking for them. They're not just lying around on the surface. You have to create the circumstances where they show themselves. And you might imagine education would be the way that happens. But too often, it's not.... One of the real challenges is to innovate fundamentally in education. Innovation is hard because it means doing something that people don't find very easy for the most part. It means challenging what we take for granted, things that we think are obvious. The great problem for reform or transformation is the tyranny of common sense -- things that people think, "Well, it can't be done any other way because that's the way it's done." ... We have to recognize that human flourishing is not a mechanical process, it's an organic process. And you cannot predict the outcome of human development; all you can do, like a farmer, is create the conditions under which they will begin to flourish.... every day, everywhere, our children spread their dreams beneath our feet. And we should tread softly.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Resource List for Educators: Global Perspectives in Cultural Diversity

In a course with Dr. Mary-Lou Breitborde this week I was immersed in topics of diversity in education. I had no idea the field was so rich! We used the text and outside readings, exercises, films, lectures and discussions, to gain "an appreciation of the increasing diversity of school children and the imporantace of a global perspective on culture and education." The course included "an analysis of the effect of culture and language on learning and behavior, strategies to teach social and communicaiton skills, and curriculum links to global concerns."

I created an annotated bibliography of some of our source materials and related resources using Diigo, which was chosen by AASL as a Best Web site for Teaching and Learning. My Diigo user name is MsPorterAtFHS KathleenPorter, and the resource list is shared at [updated link] It represents a small subset of seminal and current thought. Like culture itself, I'd like the list to be a dynamic, creative, ever-changing process. Please comment here, use a Diigo group like Diversity in Education, or put Diigo sticky notes on the list items. Together we can become more effective in our interdependent, culturally pluralistic world.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Top 10 Technology Tips for Educators, Revisited

In January I created a list for a first-week assignment in my course in emerging technologies for libraries. On the Classroom 2.0 Ning two years earlier Kate Olson had posted a query: "what do ... teachers need to know in order to teach effectively in today's technology environment?" [Google doc "transcript" of replies here.] As in the CR2.0 post, my hypothetical intended audience was teachers, for professional development. The list follows, with my current commentary in red:
  1. Computers and other technology are only tools. What matters is the educational relationship, the quality of critical thinking, the support of creativity, the respect for the learner. People run schools using sticks to draw in the dirt. If the tool is failing or the site is blocked, keep breathing and move on. This advice of mine was useful to me this semester -- not only due to technical snags but also whenever it seemed we wouldn't meet our educational objectives in the allotted time. Much of teaching seems to be skillfully adapting to changing conditions.
  2. Following from #1, and as stated in earlier comments to the posting: don’t let the tail wag the dog. Start with objectives for what students will Know, Understand, and be able to Do after a lesson, then ask if technology will help and if so what sort. I expect this process will take years to master, especially as the technology tools keep changing.
  3. Wikis are fun ways to build sites quickly and allow students to contribute. Two good sites for free educational wikis are Wikispaces and PBWorks (formerly PBwiki – because they’re as easy to build as Peanut Butter & jelly sandwiches). “Wiki” from the Hawaiian word for “fast”, as in “Wikipedia” for the quickly-built and quickly-updated encyclopedia. I had good experiences this semester with wider contributions to our library wiki, and a growing content base.
  4. Wikipedia itself is not evil. High school students, for example, need to learn to critically evaluate sources and be accountable for the accuracy of their research. Of course, we don’t want them to rely on Wikpedia as their only reference, but there’s nothing wrong with including it as they learn about a topic. More and more educators seem to be understanding and teaching new concepts of authorship and source-checking, rather than just banning Wikipedia as a source.
  5. Microblogging is another safe way for teachers to get our toes wet. Twitter is exceptional for building our own professional learning networks; Edmodo allows for private microblogging between teacher and students. Although I have come to value Twitter as a resource even more, I have not been using Edmodo and I have become concerned about
  6. A key learning objective to convey is the ability and habit of cross-checking factual data. For example, we can assign topics like the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus or the Rock Nest Monster to challenge students’ assumptions about the validity of online information. I am looking forward to implementing these lessons.
  7. Other ways to develop one’s Professional Learning Network: Nings like Classroom 2.0, UDL4All (Universal Design for Learning), other professional Nings or listservs tied to one’s discipline. Twitter-follow teachers whose work you admire, or friend them on Facebook. Facebook privacy settings now allow a finer level of control than when it started. The new cost structure on Ning may require updating this list. Technology Integration in Education, for example, has already moved to
  8. Try using streaming media to replace DVDs or VHS tapes. Use our Discovery Education subscription, or try Teachers Domain for additional free content aligned to the curriculum frameworks. This is no harder than showing a YouTube video. This may be a little harder than showing a YouTube video, because it requires a log-in. I've since attended some Discovery Education webinars, plan to attend a day-long training next weekend, and expect to be certified as a DEN STAR shortly. I believe DVDs will eventually go the way of the CD and we need to do a better job cataloging streaming media options. 
  9. A blog can be a simple way to update students and parents on upcoming work and themes for a week, module or term. Some educational blog sites can be accessed through school filters, including the ones provided with our TeacherWeb subscriptions. I discovered a simple renaming made my blog accessible to students, and that blogging was much easier than I expected. This may be one of my biggest take-aways from the course.
  10. If students are going to be asked to access particular sites or tools, make sure they work through our filters with student-level privileges in advance of the lesson. It’s also handy to have printed-out resources in case of last-minute network failures. Yes. I learned this the hard way and it's still true. 
Although the original content of my list stands, I find that I read the text differently with a semester of experience passed -- another semester as teacher and learner both.

    Thursday, May 6, 2010

    The Neandertal Genome

    The Neandertal Genome
    Breaking news from the AAAS -- special feature available online or in the print edition of Science tomorrow!

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010

    ILS and OPAC research

    My class homework for LBS 850 this week serendipitously aligned with questions around my school district about library automation systems and discovery interfaces. I collected many new links as I did my research, organizing them in my Delicious account with tags like ils and library and library2.0. I found that I gained new confidence in my library network's choice for a new discovery interface, and resolved to learn it as soon as possible, with a goal of Beta-testing over the summer. As I will also be piloting a new web-design interface with my school district, it will be a good time to look at how we can integrate the social aspects of SOPAC 2 with a learning commons website and our existing wikis. We'll be collaborating left and right to share our resources within our learning community and beyond, and it was a great time to consider cost reductions and examine the state of the art.

    Sunday, April 25, 2010

    "Collect the World"

    I've been listening again lately to one of my favorite bands, Toad the Wet Sprocket. On their album Fear (1991) the track "Butterflies" [listen to sample on Pandora] includes a refrain that starts, "In time, I will collect the world..."

    As I've been studying the intricacies of cataloging, and thinking about cataloging electronic resources in particular, like streaming media and Web sites, I keep hearing this song. Maybe we're not collecting the world so much as the pointers to the world, the abstract representations (in highly structured form) to objects like books or sheet music or maps or LCD projectors or digital artifacts.

    In Catalog It! Kaplan and Riedling provide a handy flow chart for the structure of the 245 Tag (p. 104) and a list of General Material Designations (GMD) (p. 105). Here is where we do our Naming, providing the title of the work and the statement of responsibility, with twelve valid subfields to account for non-print-book materials, subtitles, authors, illustrators, and so on. I'm grateful that my library automation program doesn't require me to enter every detail for MAchine Readable Cataloging... it would take so much longer than it already does to add materials to the system. Still, it's been useful to learn to parse fields I hadn't had to pay much attention to before now.

    What I'd like to learn well enough to explain is the way MARC21 or MARC generally can leverage Web 3.0 or the Semantic Web -- or how the "SemWeb" can leverage MARC. Allan Cho, a librarian at the University of British Columbia, wrote an article last June called How RDF Can Use MARC in the Semantic Web World: Using Existing Library Cataloguing Methods in Organizing the Web. To quote Wikipedia,
    The Resource Description Framework (RDF) is a family of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) specifications originally designed as a metadata data model. It has come to be used as a general method for conceptual description or modeling of information that is implemented in web resources, using a variety of syntax formats.
    Talis is one noteworthy organization exploring the representation of MARC21 records as RDF for the semantic web. [pdf] The latest blog post of their "Library 2.0 Gang" talks about new models for bibliographic record supply. And ResourceShelf reports that at last week's British Columbia Library Association Congress presenters discussed working with e-book metadata and compared examples of cataloging using AACR2 (Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd edition) with RDA (Resource Description & Access), showing how records would be coded in MARC 21.

    It's an exciting time to be serving as a librarian and studying librarianship. And it will be interesting to see how library catalogs and semantic webs emerge, like chrysalides becoming butterflies.

    Sunday, April 18, 2010

    The Metajoy of Metadata

    This week the Library of Congress, Twitter, and Google made digital archiving history, as described by Wired's Ryan Singel in the Epicenter blog post Library of Congress Archives Twitter History, While Google Searches It | Epicenter | It makes me wonder: how will the LOC tag and catalog Tweets? Here are the perspectives of the different parties: the blog post by the LOC's tweeter Matt Raymond making the announcement, How Tweet It Is!... and the Twitter Blog post, Tweet Preservation. Google's blog describes their new Twitter search capabilities in Google Replay. The Library's Matt Raymond explains
    We also operate the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, which is pursuing a national strategy to collect, preserve and make available significant digital content, especially information that is created in digital form only, for current and future generations.
    This particular cataloging problem -- elements of the public Twitter timeline as digital content -- didn't exist five years ago when Allison Kaplan and Ann Riedling released the 2nd ed. of Catalog It! through Linworth Publishing.
    Although I've been writing much more this week on internal discussion boards with classmates than I have been publishing here, I welcome the chance to explore a cataloging conversation with a wider community of librarians, cybrarians, folksonomists and anyone else interested. This text has been fascinating reading, and the exercises illustrative. I appreciate that the authors presciently point readers to FRBR, and articulate (p. 11) that "The future of cataloging is focused on the organization of metadata." As I've alluded to in internal discussions, it's not clear that I can add record data for "the dog books on Mrs. Smith's reading list" (p. 13) because of the nature of our shared network catalog. Kaplan and Riedling make clear (pp. 140f) that the MARC 590 Local Notes tag won't help in this case because it won't be indexed in the system and so won't be searchable by my students, but I may be able to use Tag 526. I'll update the post or blog when I discover from network cataloging staff if Tag 526 is indexed by our SirsiDynix system.

    I'm still coming to understand MARC records in the broader context of standardized metadata. In describing its "Metadata for Digital Content" group working to meet the challenge of remediating metadata the LOC site explains
    The MDC group members include catalogers, programmers and digital project managers, and represent different service units of the Library concerned with digital content. All are united by the common need for more effective descriptive metadata, which is of increasing importance for the burgeoning amounts of new digital material added to the Library’s website every day. In studying the question of "what are users looking for, and can they find it?," the group determined that the overall quality of the online bibliographic records plays a big part in success or failure. So, how can the records be structured to help users discover relevant resources when they search?  ...
    The group has made considerable progress through the creation of a master list of standardized metadata elements used to map existing digital collection records to a single XML metadata scheme. The XML metadata uses the Metadata Object Description Schema.
     This official MODS website further explains that
    As an XML schema it is intended to be able to carry selected data from existing MARC 21 records as well as to enable the creation of original resource description records. It includes a subset of MARC fields and uses language-based tags rather than numeric ones, in some cases regrouping elements from the MARC 21 bibliographic format.
    MODS does have limitations, including some that seem significant to me:
    MODS includes a subset of data from the MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data. As an element set that allows for the representation of data already in MARC-based systems, it is intended to allow for the conversion of core fields while some specific data may be dropped. As an element set for original resource description, it allows for a simple record to be created in some cases using more general tags than those available in the MARC record.

    However, the schema does not target round-tripability with MARC 21. In other words, an original MARC 21 record converted to MODS may not convert back to MARC 21 in its entirety without some loss of specificity in tagging or loss of data. In some cases if reconverted into MARC 21, the data may not be placed in exactly the same field that it started in because a MARC field may have been mapped to a more general one in MODS. However the data itself will not be lost, only the detailed identification of the type of element it represents. In other cases the element in MARC may not have an equivalent element in MODS and then the specific data could be lost when converting to MODS.
    This discussion is not as hypothetical as it may sound, as we are working in our library this year to add records of our streaming media to our catalog to make them easier for teachers and students to find. Many of our ebooks are also included in our online catalog.

    025.431 : The Dewey Blog is one of my favorite blogs, and I learn something from every post, even while it reminds me that I'm not a professional cataloger. I've found that the OCLC's experimental Classify service has significantly increased my confidence with assigning Dewey numbers, especially when it reinforces my hunches or suggests another level of precision that makes sense to me. [Melvil Dewey photo (in his younger, happier years?) retrieved from 4/18/2010]

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Browse an internet safety bibliography through Delicious tagging ; overview lessons

    I've organized a bibliographic tour on Internet safety using the Beta Browse feature on Delicious. Let me know how it works for you! My presentation on these topics fits within the context of proposed lessons on digital citizenship, digital footprint, and Internet safety currently in development in partnership with our Guidance department. For the overview see the CyberSafety page on my professional resources PBworks wiki, ed2oh.

    Sunday, April 11, 2010

    Internet Safety video worth sharing

    From RECfilms YouTube channel, with credit given to Frank Musto, art teacher and lead computer tech. at Commack High School, New York. For me watching this is like the horror film where one yells to the protagonist to "look out!"

    Thanks to Jeannie for sharing the link!

    YouTube - Internet Safety

    YouTube - Internet Safety

    Internet Safety and Doug Johnson's descriptors for Tomorrow's Libraries

    Doug Johnson's Blue Skunk Blog post last month contrasting 12 differences between the school libraries of the past and those of the future reminded me most of all of our work from the first week of LBS 850 on "Change as a Constant In School Libraries". His second couplet seems apropos to this week's work on Internet safety:
    Yesterday's libraries were all about getting information.
    Tomorrow's libraries will be all about creating and sharing information.
    He also talks about tomorrow's libraries as "all about online services, digital resources... teaching how to evaluate and use information... helping users organize information in ways that make sense to them... [and] being intellectual property counselors." All of these services and roles relate to how professional librarians can help students navigate and learn from the Web.

    Both the full post and the comments are well worth reading!