Archives For January 2014

I have just finished my second creation from Sew Electric. To get full instructions on your own sparkling bracelet with Lilypad parts, go here.

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What is the Voxer?

Voxer is and app that functions like a walkie talkie that you can use with friends to chat and leave messages.  Thanks to Jon Samuelson a.k.a. iPadSammy for turning me on to Voxer.

Who cares?

In Dale Stephens’ book Hacking your Education, he promotes the idea of uncollege and learning on your own. He talks about how one way to create your own learning environment is to host a salon type experience at your house or dorm or wherever. Invite intelligent people over, feed them some yummy food and discuss.  Voila! Your very own incubator for ideas and inspiration at the low cost of a pizza or a home cooked meal.  Then today, thanks to recommendations from two friends on Voxer, I visited and stumbled upon an article about the importance of a support group for creatives.  The article spoke of a “creatives anonymous” type group.

Then, I realized how Voxer is my version of the Salons.  These groups are becoming increasingly valuable as my creative support groups.  It’s a wonderful island of concentrated talk (and sometimes just silly jibber-jam and skim-skam chat with our own lexicon of choice words) in a sea of tweets, blog posts and conferences that don’t seem to carry enough of a continuous relationship to really keep my feet grounded and my head reaching ever higher up.

The future of social networking and your PLC

I am a connected educator.  This is not a lofty title or self promotion.  All this means is that when I have a question, I can tweet something out and there are people who tweet back to help me.  All it means is that I have contributed just enough good to the ecosystem of education technology that I can occasionally dip from the vast well for help and support.  All it means is that I can speak to the Internet, and it speaks back.  I think once a learner is at the stage where the Internet speaks back, the learner is on the edge of a richer interaction and learning system.  The next step is to use tools to break out and have longer, sustained conversations with your favourite people on the Web.  Enter Voxer or whatever tool for creating smaller groups for hanging out, messing around and geeking out.

Inspired by a blog post by Brandon Grasley, here are my current thoughts on whether or not to teach programming.  This is a comment I left on Brandon’s blog, but I had so much fun writing it, I wanted to have my own archive of my thinking.  Thoughts?  Be sure to check out his post too.

Yes! No! Yes, and . . .

I flip flop between 1 and 0 on whether programming should be taught.

Yes! Program or be programmed.

No! It’s akin to learning Latin a generation ago.

Yes! The Internet of things is increasingly present. Your oven will soon be connected to the web. Anything that is networked can be hacked both in good ways and not so good ways. (Restate: program or be programmed).

No! Increasingly you can do powerful things in the bit world without C+ to Ruby to Python and whatever program language you want to teach. Which raises the next issue: which programming language does one teach?

Yes, and . . {.where I think I really stand on this issue} . . .yes, we should be teaching/learning programming, *and* there should be an interplay between the bits and the atoms. In a word, MAKE. I think programming that is contextualized in making and the maker movement stands a better chance at democratizing the tools of creation, production, invention and general goodness. I think programming that blends on screen and face2face-in-my-hand creations satisfies our love for 1 and 0 and the reality of our flesh and bone atomic life.

So, why stop at programming? What people really need is a Fablab.

Yes! There are 10 kinds of people in this world. Those that understand binary and those who do not.