FunnyMonkey Blog

Bill Fitzgerald | July 13, 2007

It looks like Ning has got some new friends -- I first saw the news at everybody's favorite home for digital whispers, and Marc Andreessen confirmed it on his blog.

Marc Canter has something to say about it, and Diego Doval responds.

Although the exchange started with news of Ning's newfound booty, Marc Canter brings the conversation back to an important place: the relative openness of social networks. My comment on Marc's post pretty much sums up my feelings on...

Bill Fitzgerald | June 22, 2007

I posted this comment in response to this post by George Siemens -- as of this writing, it's in his moderation queue, but I cut and pasted it here before hitting the submit button.

Hello, George,

Web 2.0 and open source are related but separate entities -- I wrote about this in a couple posts last year -- http://www.funnymonkey.com/free-service-open-api and http://www.funnymonkey.com/best-things-are-free --

This difference is very clear to many open source developers, but not always so clear to end users, who equate the type of "free" as embodied by GMail with the type of "free" as exemplified in code that can be freely downloaded and modified.

The challenge before us is to articulate the advantages of FOSS tools with regards to privacy, functionality...

Bill Fitzgerald | June 17, 2007

I've been reading some of the reactions to Steve Hargadon's work in generating a list of session tags for NECC. It runs the gamut from those who think it's pretty darn great to those who are underwhelmed. For the record, I think it's a great idea because it has the potential to get a lot of people (ie, NECC attendees) thinking about applications of tags and metadata.

I was also struck by how unnecessarily laborious the process of creating that list must have been. I'm assuming/hoping that Steve was at least given a comma-separated list of all the presentations to speed his work along, or a spreadsheet with some calculated fields to automatically generate the html for the lists. However, if the NECC site had been built on Drupal...

Bill Fitzgerald | May 25, 2007

David Wiley recently posted on what some folks are calling Open Educational Resources, or OER's. This post extends my comment left on David's original post.

In his post, David starts by examining the difference between producers and consumers of Open Educational Resources, with an emphasis that Good Things '„¢ start happening when the Consumers become the Producers through the magic of wiki-style group editing.

He suggests that one of the impediments to broader re-use of OER's results from the original R living in a strict context -- ie, the R came into existence because of a specific educational need in a specific educational place, and reusing the R will be difficult in part because no two contexts are alike.

This leads to a comparison of OER development to Open Source development, particularly...

Bill Fitzgerald | May 9, 2007

This came to me by way of Tom Hoffman --

Marc Poris | May 2, 2007

I've been meaning to get this post out for a while, but hey, better late than never.

I'm running an all day workshop in Atlanta for NECC. For all those interested in learning more about how to install and use new technologies in their schools and classrooms, come on down.

See you in Atlanta!

Image -- See you in Atlanta!
Bill Fitzgerald | April 17, 2007

DrupalEd is now ready to go --

From the home page that ships with the site:

This site can be used as an informal learning site where all users have comparable permissions, or as a more hierarchical learning environment with students, teachers, classes, and working groups.

Some of the functionality within this site includes:

  • a personal workspace;
  • a group workspace;
  • the ability for site members to create informal working groups;
  • the ability to create formal class spaces;
  • a podcasting platform;
  • a WYSIWYG text editor;
  • wiki functionality;
  • personal and class blogs;
  • rss feeds for the entire site, individual courses, individual terms, and individual users;
  • personal image galleries;
  • personal file repositories;
  • the ability to create private, invitation-only groups;
  • social bookmarking, with searching within bookmark descriptions;...
Bill Fitzgerald | April 9, 2007

In yet another example that all of us need lessons in information literacy, I came across this post today: http://blog.elonhall.org/examining-the-public-school-system/

I'm not going to link to the post because it looks more like a version of a prank designed to feed at the trough of Google Adwords than what it claims to be: a study detailing the myriad flaws of the public education system. Either that, or the post is part of a study on information literacy, and they are looking to cull some wisdom analyzing the relative lack of critical thinking in the comments.

The post supposedly originates from a researcher at the Project Analysis think tank. Want to learn more about Project Analysis? Try their web site. Oh, that's right, you can't. As of this writing, the site is down, and, according to the author of the post, "Project Analysis' online division...

Bill Fitzgerald | April 8, 2007

I've been involved in a couple conversations recently about setting up tools within institutions to maintain video archives. Andy Rush wrote up a post describing some great work integrating Wordpress and Mediawiki; and on a listserv discussion about tools for sharing video, I mentioned that this could be done using Drupal. My remark prompted Miguel Guhlin to ask The Question: How would you do it?

So, here are a few ways to get this done. As with any technical solution, the best approach will be determined by the combination of an organization's mission and their technological resources. At the risk of stating the obvious, all the tools discussed in this post are Open Source tools, and available under a GPL or LGPL license.

The Problem: Create a video sharing tool within the Walled Garden, or behind a District firewall.

...

Bill Fitzgerald | March 31, 2007

Some interesting conversations going on around the intarweb.

First, Stephen Downes peeled back the first layer of the onion and described the goals of his project.

Then, there has been some discussion on social networks in general, and the Classroom 2.0 group Steve Hargadon has set up on Ning.

Steve likes Ning's low barrier to entry, while Dave Warlick, by his own admission, doesn't get it. Tony Karrer points out that a social network alone won't do it, but that some degree of common interest is required to unify the discussion. I'll leave my thoughts on Ning, the...

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