Colour brightens up a dull day

3 03 2012

It’s the first weekend in March and cold, wet & dreary. A very stark contracts to last weekend’s hot (high thirties) and dry weather. Not to worry though, I’m inside, rugged up and enjoying coffee & donuts. I’m also trying to write up (and finish) a research report that’s been due for a few months. With the summer break and the transition to a new job this project has been on hold and I really need to get it done and out of the way.

So, what am I doing writing this short post? Task avoidance I reckon – but really trying out the Wrodpress for iPad app for the first time. We’ll see how it goes as I try to add a photo.

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We’ve been surprised by the appearance of the flowers on the Haemanthus Red that’s been lying dormant in a pot in the old wheelbarrow. Over the last 10 days it’s bloomed and is adding some nice colour to the front verandah to brighten up the grey weekend. We think the warm weather last week may have encouraged it to get going, and I continue to marvel at how nature works.



testing post from MarsEdit

15 01 2011

I’ve been struggling to have my images upload along with my post in the MacJournal software. It’s been a love/hate relationship as the functionality has worked – but not consistently and now it doesn’t work at all.

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So, I’m trying MarsEdit and hoping that this new software will do the trick – this is my first attempt.



just catching up on last week and seeing a version of ‘The Last Supper’

20 10 2009

Amongst a number of other things last week, we managed to get to Peter Greenaway’s multi media installation of Leonardo’s The Last Supper which is part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival. Quite an amazing experience to see a faithful replica of the masterpiece that is then augmented by light and sound. The music did distract at times but managed to convey a certain feeling to the piece. The projections that ‘manipulated’ the painting were technically amazing and provide a range of effects (with large computer aided projectors) that at times turned the work into 3D and added depth as well as backlighting to the painting. At times I felt that the painting came alive and caused moments of deep reflection on the subject of the work – so for me, quite moving.

The audience stood around while the 20 minute show played out and there was a table centre piece set up and covered with white plaster replicas, and a projection on the back wall which was also interesting.

Definitely worth a look for $10 – I could go back for another viewing to pick up some of the things I may have missed first time round. There’s a ‘making of’ video on Google videos if you wanted to follow it up further.



another evening

6 08 2008

where does the time go? just tick, tocks off into the distance I suppose – no stopping it and no use fighting.

But, once again I sit here a little frustrated with what I haven’t been able to do… Well, looking back over the evening I have been productive, but maybe not as I’d planned. Tweaking things here and there, tidying up, dinner, news on telly, phone call, emails etc. add up to 10:00pm and thinking I should go to bed. But first let me share something with you…

Yesterday I caught the trial Deakin bus service between Geelong and Burwood and was able to catch up on email etc. via the ‘Deakin-bus’ mobile wireless service! Very cool.

Anyway read a news item about Google Maps – Street View being available in Australia. An article in The Age said: “Google-branded Holden Astra cars with roof-mounted cameras began traversing our streets about November last year, taking tens of millions of detailed panoramic street-level photos.” They took a 360 degree panorama photo every 50 meters and are slowly mapping the country.

I thought I’d try it out. My goodness!! Amongst a few other things, I typed in an address and ended up outside a good friend’s place looking up their driveway.

Hmmm, could some privacy/security issues here. Maybe it will make sure people keep their gardens and driveways tidy!?

Give it a whirl and be amazed!



going pro

17 04 2008

I have taken the plunge and begun another blog called Learner Bytes! Not sure what I’ve got myself in for, but I’ve seen that others can manage to keep a couple of blogs going so I’m giving it a whirl.

The idea is that this blog remains a more personal one and the other becomes a professional blog. Not in the sense that I want to make money out of it, but more that I can write about my professional life. I wanted to keep the two separate and also be able to ‘build’ a presence online with regard to the things I do at work and what I’m interested in. I suppose I’m intending it to be come a kind of e-portfolio, demonstrating what I’ve done, what I’m involved in, what I’m thinking about, and making connections to other worthy people, ideas and technology.



communication while travelling

3 12 2007

Wow haven’t things changed in the past 20 years! Back in the mid eighties we spent a year on the road circumnavigating the globe. Starting in Asia and continually heading west till we got home again. Fantastic times and great experiences were added to the memory bank (making for plenty of good yarns if you’re interested). So, recently spending 2 months in Europe on long service and conference leave – it was amazing to notice how much had changed.  

Back in ‘83 we left a rough itinerary (for three months or so) with family and friends and asked them to forward mail to a post restante box in the capital city we were next headed too. It was with great excitement that we’d find the Post Office in the city we’d arrived in, and ask for any mail that had been delivered for us. Things were haphazard at times and I remember at one Post Office we were given the whole box of letters waiting to be collected and could go through them all to find any addressed to us. It was fun to see a letter addressed to someone we knew! 

Accommodation was another thing that we took a fairly relaxed attitude toward – we were always able to find somewhere to stay without booking ahead – even the ‘Y’ in New York! So, it could be a couple of weeks between news from home – and it was usually longer for the people at home to hear from us. …and, to keep a record of things we wrote a dairy – by hand, in a book. 

Now it’s mobile phones, sms, email, blogs, Skype, Facebook, Flickr etc. all make for a more immediate communication. These days our sense of time seems to have changed and we tend to keep in touch more frequently – we need an update regularly. “what are you doing?” “Where are you now?“ Chatting via Skype once a week with a son who’s moving from Estonia to Morocco and then back to Amsterdam is great, it supplements the just as frequent emails so we know how he’s doing and what adventures he’s having. It also easy to make it up as you go – get online and book the flight and accommodation for the next stop a couple of weeks before you go. The travel routes are much busier these days and if you don’t book, you’ll miss out.

So, what does it all mean? Well, the new technologies can seem to shorten the distance between us, but they won’t take away from the experience of visiting a new city/country.



more about learning

28 11 2007

I’ve been listening to some podcasts (recorded conference presentations etc. – check out Stephen Downes, David Snowden and Teemu Arina) and have to agree with what seems to be a common theme of the recognition of the importance of the ‘process’ in teaching and learning. I’m probably catching up with things, and this may have been a theme for a while but it captured my interest (the last couple of years have been all about outcomes based education). It makes sense to me that the important part of learning is the process, not the outcome/product … and this is where (what’s commonly known as) social software comes in.

These collaborative/communications technologies can enable the support of, and focus on, the process of learning rather than the assessment criteria. But, I suppose it all depends on what people see as important and what the curriculum is. We’ve been playing with some of these (web 2.0) applications at work and I’m keen to examine the usefulness of these to support the development of teaching and learning in ways that can make the process more explicit. Most suitable for teacher education I reckon…



secondlife

22 11 2007

Attended the ‘Discover Your SecondLife‘ conference day last Saturday and reckon the organisors did a great job. There were about 30 of us in (real) world and about a dozen people ‘in’ world. Got to hear from a few experts and also lawyers, educators and technical folk. I learned a few things:

  • the technology works but is dependent on networks and machines
  • it’s a field day for lawyers
  • expect it not to work (sometimes)
  • some people are doing some good stuff
  • role-plays can work well
  • make sure you know why you’re doing it
  • I need to upgrade my avatar…

Most value for me were Glenda McPherson and Lindy McKeown who had great stories to tell. I think it’s still early days for mainstream but we can do well to learn from what others (who have gone before) have done.