Blogs

Online Communication

This semester, as part of my Instructional Systems Design Master’s program, I am taking EDC 605: Distance Learning Research and Design. I’m really excited about taking this course, as I think it will greatly benefit the work I currently do in Online Ed. What I’m really interested in is one of the books that we are assigned: Face to Face Communication over the Internet: Emotions in a Web of Culture, Language and Technology, edited by Arvid Kappas and Nicole C. Kramer. I think this is a really interesting topic, as I had never really thought about how emotions and nonverbal communication could affect online F2F communication, using tools such as Skype and Adobe Connect. There are also several articles which discuss race and gender and how these affect communication online. I’m really excited to begin reading this book, and hopefully I will be able to write another blog post once I have begun reading the articles.

Bucket List

 

#1 on my “bucket list” is arranging a private concert by Diana Krall for me and 30 or so hand-picked friends and family.  (Ella is no longer available.)  The playlist will be chosen mostly from her “Live in Paris” CD and her “All for You” CD.  The finale will be Diana’s version of Joni Mitchell’s “A case of you.”  The champagne will be French; Kentucky will, of course, supply the bourbon.  Mr. Dave and Ms. Betty will put together the menu. 

There must be at least one dream on your bucket list….

#2 on my bucket list is living abroad for a year.  At the moment, I am two months into crossing that item off my list.  I am definitely not in a hurry to get it crossed off.  Toulouse is a great city in which to live and is conveniently located for one who finds Europe a generally pleasant place to spend some time.  Being in France on a sabbatical leave is, perhaps, the best of circumstances in which to spend time abroad.  I am expected to spend a year focusing on the part of my job for which I was trained; I am meeting new colleagues who share many of my interests but bring different perspectives to our common ground; and I have a great deal of freedom in deciding how to use my time.  But the biggest advantages of living abroad are the consequences of the constant mundane challenges to routine.

Mix n Mash

My two current internet obsessions are Mashable and Turntable.

 

According to their website, "Mashable is the largest independent news source dedicated to covering digital culture, social media and technology. Mashable reports on the importance of digital innovation and how it empowers and inspires people around the world." Besides the insanely cool and relevant articles, I really like their use of "infographics." Instead of traditional black text on white background articles, These infographics sort of take graphs and charts and mash them up with traditional articles. I think it's a great way to get your information across in a simple and quick manner. These days, no one spends more than a few seconds on a webpage, so getting their attention is paramount. 

Here are some of my favorites: How are people using Twitter?; The Rise of the Mobile Workforce; Social Network Wars.

 

End of Summer Round-Up

Well folks, it’s the end of the summer semester here at UK, and fall term starts but a few days from now.  That means that this week’s blog is going to focus on wrapping up my thoughts and experiences on my first summer as a Media Mafia worker.

I guess I could sum up the summer by saying working here was…interesting, I guess.  There were days wherein I had very little to do, and days wherein I was absolutely swamped.  There were videos to shoot, people to interview, movies to digitize, furniture to move, sandwiches to eat, and programs to learn.  Higher powers, were there programs to learn.

This summer, we were lucky enough to acquire a nifty little application known as After Effects.  It’s fun to play with, but until you can get the basics down, it makes you feel like a complete moron for daring to try and operate a system that is so clearly out of your league in every way, shape, and form.  It took many a frustrating Youtube search and much trial and error, but I finally got to the point where I could make a decent enough video on it without feeling like I was an absolute failure.  I’m not a master of the program by any means, but I’m not so far in the novice range as I once was.

True Complexity of Computer Programs

First off, fair warning this is going to be very nerdy but I find it interesting so enjoy!

In high school computer science class I was introduced to the idea of complexity. Complexity is a way to describe how efficient a program is. In other words how much computer memory does the program need and how fast can the program be completed. Complexity is described mathematically using what is called big O notation and is written as a function of time or memory in terms of the input size. For example O(n^2) means that for n number of inputs the time to complete the program increases quadratically. Big O notation is always written as a function of one term with no coefficients. Examples are O(n), O(n^3), O(log n), etc.

Obviously some of these complexities are problematic because as the size of the input increases the complexity increases much faster. For example O(n^3) with an n value of 100,000 has 10^15 operations to perform. If the computer runs through a million operations per second the program wouldn't stop running for almost 32 years! If your computer lasted for that time it would be incredibly obsolete. Clearly no one has time to run a program for this long and 100,000 isn't even that large of an input number (consider that google searches deal with billions of sites).

Return to Classes

     It is hard to believe that the Fall semester is almost here again.  It seems like just yesterday Spring semester ended and the summer was beginning.  The local public grade schools have even already started their new school year.  Soon the new freshmen will be coming to UK’s campus and beginning their new lives as well.  The air is full of excitement and promise. 

     I myself am excited for the new school year to begin.  I am starting new classes and an extended research lab project.  There will be new books to read and new subjects to explore.  Also, in Online Education we will be aiding in new classes and start working on some new classes for the next summer.  I am always anxious to find out what classes and professors have decided to utilize an online format. 

An interesting TED talk...

I watched an interesting TED talk this week. It was on the fundamental moral differences between Liberal and Conservative mindsets. The presenter used the psychology of morality to justify why people on both sides of the isle always think their position to be infallible, or their beliefs unquestionable. Liberals speak for the weak and oppressed, want change and justice even at the risk or chaos. Conservatives speak for institutions and tradition, and want order even at the cost of those at the bottom.

Unfortunately, the stereotypes are quite reliable. It turns out that Liberals usually score much higher on a personality trait called openness to experience. According to McCrae (1996): “Open individuals have an affinity for liberal, progressive, left-wing political views, whereas closed individuals prefer conservative, traditional right wing views.”

Now, this is an interesting thought. If our moral views are predicted and defined by personality traits, which are not an acquired, but rather innate for each individual, perhaps it is not all based on the environment or conditional circumstances of someone’s birth, and we do have a “first draft” of our moral mind upon our entrance to the world.

Take a Chill Pill: It's Not the End of the World

It seems like everywhere I look, I see people declaring that the world is getting worse and worse by the second.  Death and famine across the globe, greedy men exploiting the poor, and other such travesties.  Why, just look at this quote I found about today’s young people:

"Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers."

Now, who do you think said that?  The president?  The pope? Some big wig with an over-inflated sense of self-worth who runs a national organization?  Actually, that quotation is attributed to Socrates in the fourth century B.C. Funny how one might assume it’s about our modern kids.

Finding Deals on Textbooks

With classes looming just around the corner, many of us are starting to think (and worry) about how we're going to afford our textbooks. This article shows many tips on how to get textbooks for good deals, or even for free!

http://distancelearn.about.com/od/managingyourwork/a/cheaptextbook.htm?nl=1

Pages

X
Enter your linkblue username.
Enter your linkblue password.
Secure Login

This login is SSL protected

Loading