FunnyMonkey Blog

Bill Fitzgerald | February 2, 2008

I saw this earlier today over at --

Kyle Matthews and Clint Rogers built a Drupal site in suppport of a web analytics class. The site aggregates student blogs and expert blogs; this way, everyone blogs from their chosen blogging platform, and their feed gets imported into the course site. In other words, people use whatever blogging tool they are currently using, and the software running the course (in this case, Drupal) adapts to the participant. This is a nice contrast to the usual approach, where all participants must adapt to the structure required by the LMS.

The site was built using the FeedAPI and the Feed Element Mapper. We have talked about...

Bill Fitzgerald | January 11, 2008

Earlier today, Drupal core was upgraded to version 5.6. This is a security release, and all users should upgrade.

For users with existing DrupalEd installs, you only need to upgrade core Drupal -- you do not need to use this specific package.

For new users to DrupalEd, this is the package for you.

Download it here to get started!

Bill Fitzgerald | January 7, 2008

Over at the Thinking Stick, Jeff Utecht has posted a series of questions and answers related to the hiring process.

At the outset, Jeff states:

You will notice that my list says absolutely nothing about integrating technology or how the teacher uses technology in his/her classroom. No, this list focuses directly on the skill set and the tools these teachers use for their own learning.

My immediate question, of course, is: why? But we'll get to this in more detail later.

The hiring process has always fascinated me, as it is a frequently overlooked element of maintaining the strength and vitality of an organization. I thought I knew something about hiring until, a few years back, I had the good fortune to be hired by -- and work for -- Trish King. Trish has since gone on to become the head of The Island School, and if you're reading...

Bill Fitzgerald | December 31, 2007

File this under "The Check Would Be In The Mail, If Only You'd Let Me"

Today, while trying to pay my Comcast bill, I went to their web site. Unfortunately, I had forgotten my password. My bad.

Fortunately, this is 2007, and password retrieval technology is at a fairly stable place.

No Password

Not so at Comcast.

So I figure I'll give them some feedback.

Feedback Box

Great. I feel better after that. I hit the submit button that takes me to:

Comcast Cares

Should I be worried that I have entrusted...

Bill Fitzgerald | December 30, 2007

A few weeks back, I left a comment on the Students20h blog in response to an a post written describing a student's thoughts on the college admissions process. The gist of my comment was that college is but a part of actual learning, and that where you go to college offers as many opportunities about where and how you want to live as it provides opportunities on where, how, and what you want to learn. In my comment, I dropped an aside about how I'd love to see an entire class of students -- nationwide -- boycott the SATs and the APs. Without the SATs and the APs, my reasoning (if you can call it that :) ) went, colleges would need to find a different method to evaluate applicants, because the overwhelming majority of colleges would be dead in the water without new tuition revenue.

I've had this idea for a while -- probably for over a...

Bill Fitzgerald | December 20, 2007

It came yesterday, in the late afternoon.

I'll be playing with it over the next few days. Man, I've been looking forward to this for a while.

Bill Fitzgerald | December 17, 2007

I'm writing these ideas out quickly -- there are sure to be holes in this, and gaps in this reasoning -- please point them out in the comments.

For some context on this post, see these two threads on Dan Meyer's blog.

Users working with online lessons will generally fall into at least one of the following categories:

  1. People searching for lesson ideas (probably the majority)
  2. People already creating content on their own blogs (a growing number of folks, but still a very small percentage, compared to people in category 1, or even teacher-bloggers)
  3. People looking for a place to create content (people who want to create blogs, etc -- I have no idea how many people fall into this category, but I'd imagine that if people, particularly younger teachers, saw the benefit they would have some amazing things to contribute)
  4. People who will find...
Bill Fitzgerald | December 8, 2007

In an article from the Sydney Morning Herald (which I found via, of all places, Techcrunch), "half of Japan's top-10 selling works of fiction in the first six months of the year were composed ... on the tiny handset of a mobile phone."

Yes, you read that correctly. Novels written on cell phones.

As noted in the article, the cell phone tales often lack complex scene and character development.

Toru Ishikawa, a professor of Japanese literature at Tokyo's Keio University, points out that Japanese mobile phones allow their owners only a limited selection of kanji, the Chinese characters regarded by Japanese as more intellectually demanding than their native syllabary. "The size of the screen also...

Bill Fitzgerald | December 7, 2007

Coming soon to a tube near you:

I'm looking forward to seeing what develops on this blog. From their site:

Administered, designed, edited, and written by a global mix of students of varying ages, interests, voices, and points of view, Students 2.0 will feature content written by both staff writers and guest contributors. From Hawaii and Washington, from St. Louis and Chicago, from Vermont, New York, Scotland, Korea, and other points on the globe, these writings will be united in one central aspect: quality student writing, full-voiced and engaging, about education.

The moment for a student-centered edublogosphere has come. The staff at Students 2.0 invite their adult partners in education to treat their posts as they treat all others: as...

Bill Fitzgerald | December 6, 2007

DrupalEd 5.4 is now out.

This new release incorporates a security upgrade. Although DrupalEd was not affected by the specific conditions that triggered this upgrade, upgrading core is strongly recommended.

This release also incorporates some recent module upgrades. For the full details, read the upgrade_notes.txt file available in the download.

Download DrupalEd here.


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