FunnyMonkey Blog

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:

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...

Bill Fitzgerald | March 13, 2007

With spring in the air, sap rising in the trees, sun warming the ground as it thaws our hope, it's only natural that our thoughts turn to code.

The Summer of Code, more precisely. Isn't that what you're thinking about?

We're submitting two proposals this year; the first is a collaborative effort with the Open Source Labs to leverage some of the functionality from Google's exposed APIs (and yes, I know, I know, I know). I'll be writing more on the precise spec over the next few days, so check back.

Our second proposal is up over on

For those who don't feel like reading about it elsewhere, here is the proposal:

1. Overview

This application allows users to...

Bill Fitzgerald | January 13, 2007

I've been wanting to find the time to write this post for a while, but different things (aka work, life) kept getting in the way.

For those who are interested in getting started in putting the different pieces of OpenAcademic together, here are some of the building blocks.

A Moodle 1.6 OpenID consumer:

This code was written by Kevin Jardine, with the install tested by Kevin and us.

The code is available here:

We have not tested this code in a shared hosting environment, but we have tested it in a few different LAMP stacks. For those of you who are comfortable working in a Linux environment, the install is pretty straightforward. The one main obstacle we encountered was with miscompiled gmp libraries, and we documented the fix for this in the ReadMe.txt that comes with the download. For the generally curious, you...

Bill Fitzgerald | December 20, 2006

As I've discussed here and here, there are risks involved with using free services offered by organizations who keep their code -- and your data -- out of your reach.

Google recently announced that they are shutting down support for their SOAP search API in favor of an AJAX-based API.

To translate the geek-speak: Google used to allow people to build applications that would use Google's search features, but return the results outside Google. Now, with the AJAX API, the results are displayed within Google. With this shift, Google has replaced a very useful tool with more limited option.

Admittedly, this is a pretty small shift. And, Google has a very good argument in that they don't have to give anything away for free -- and both of Google's API'...

Bill Fitzgerald | December 7, 2006

Note: Forward this to your "Shameless Commerce" division...

If you're going to be in Philadelphia at the end of January, consider making some time for any one of a series of workshops being hosted by Steve Hargadon at the Science Leadership Academy. The principal of SLA, Chris Lehmann is hosting the sessions: one on Moodle run by Michelle Moore on January 29th and 30th; one on Web 2.0 for educators run by Will Richardson on February 2nd and 3rd; and one on Drupal in the classroom run by yours truly.

In planning my session, I'm trying to build a training that allows educators to use the tools they learn...


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