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Carnival of the Mobilists 21

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Posted on 31st March 2006 by Judy Breck in Carnival of the Mobilists

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Carnival of the Mobilists drink
The Carnival celebrates its coming of age at MoPocket this week. The very hot image illustrates, I believe, that 21 is the legal drinking age. I am honored by the third post which is M-Trends interview Rudy De Waele did with me for his Women in Mobile series.

A Science Museum of Minnesota Community

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Posted on 30th March 2006 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler

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Science Buzz Minnesota Museum
This site won a prize this week in the distinguished “Best of Web” competition at Museum and the Web 2006. The lively and informative website is a project of the Science Museum of Minnesota and its website’s contributors. It is genuinely the work of a community that succeeds in interfacing a dynamic network of ideas. Look here at the latest science news and a visionary facet of the future of science learning. Via EyeLevel. General Science

Tacoma Narrows Bridge

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Posted on 29th March 2006 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler

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Tacoma Narrows Bridge
The Tacoma Narrows Bridge opened in 1940 with the third longest suspension span in the world. Four months after traffic began crossing the bridge it collapsed. On the webpages here the University of Washington Library interfaces the story of the bridge with narrative and images from its historic collections. Engineering students can visit these pages to virtually live a professional nightmare. Transportation

America on the Move

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Posted on 27th March 2006 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler

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Streetcar
The richly interlinked virtual collection at the online Smithsonian here explores themes and showcases objects from its collections concerning transporation in America. Nine kinds of vehicles for these four transportation types are covered: air, rail, road and water. Without moving a muscle (except a few to operate your mouse) you can move with America across the centuries. Transportation

Milestones in Computing

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Posted on 26th March 2006 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler

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Milestones in Computing
The marvelous timeline here is from the current issue of Nature. Its series of essays on 2020 – Future of Computing, in this issue, is open to the public for FREE. Kudos to Nature for interfacing this open content. May it be a step into a more open future for all of your content, in the spirit of an open Internet future.

Carnival of the Mobilists #20

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Posted on 25th March 2006 by Judy Breck in Carnival of the Mobilists

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This week’s Carnival is online here. Read the news and analysis from mobile bloggers.

Ruminations of a silversmith

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Posted on 25th March 2006 by Judy Breck in Emerging Online Knowledge

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Standing Celtic Cross
The alarm is frequent that kids will find false sources if we let them loose on to the Internet. Another more insidious threat is that they only get one point of view from materials they are limited to by their school. The lenghty article here presents several viewpoints about the possible symbolism of the Celtic Cross: is it Druidic and pagan, phallic or Christian? Whether you are a pagan, agnostic, atheist or religious parent, would you object to your child exploring these reminations of a silversmith?

At whatever age your child begins to explore the open Internet he or she will begin looking at pages selected by search engines for what amounts to the respect those pages have achieved in the court of global opinion. The link highlighted in this post was #2 this morning for “Celtic Cross” in Google. Which of the views, if any, from this page of the meaning of the Celtic Cross would you teach to your kids? Is there an age they must attain before it is OK for them to learn about more than one point of view?

My own opinion is that digging into the real history of these traditions is the valuable lesson for young people. I doubt they will ever get a sense of how to do that from distilled school sources. The silversmith introduces several intriguing paths of research — all of which can be done on the Internet (and practically none at a school).

Word of the Day

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Posted on 24th March 2006 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler

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Merriam Webster word of the day
For many years now Merriam-Webster has provided a free Word of the Day service as open content for learning on the Internet. As the illustration above of today’s word macaroni shows, the service can be subscribed to by RSS, delivering the daily new word to your computer’s newsreader. Next we can expect the innovators at MW to be providing the daily word to mobile. In a word, that would be terrific. Language

Really Rembrandt?

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Posted on 23rd March 2006 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler

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Rembrandt copy
The magnificent Rijksmuseum in Rembrandt’s home city of Amsterdam has been undergoing major renovation. So has the museum’s always marvelous website. The online feature here is from a current exhibit at the Rijksmuseum called Really Rembrandt? This online special by the same name employs the finest techniques of digital imaging to explore the subtleties of technique that experts use to verify the authenticity of the great master’s true works and falsity of copies. In the final panel of the feature, you can let the experts know your opinion on the authenticy of the works that are discussed. Arts

Weirdly out-of-date high school measurement

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Posted on 22nd March 2006 by Judy Breck in Schools We Have Now

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In a new book Work Goes Mobile, authors from Nokia describe the transformation of their company to a global mobile workplace. In today’s Washington Post, Education Columnist Jay Mathews analyzes here the ten-year-old Challenge Index I that Newsweek is now using to prepare its annual “America’s Best High Schools” report. The contrast between the two approaches is stunning, and a bit scary in terms of how behind the times school thinking can be.

As I read about Nokia mobile teams of workers interacting flexibly and effectively even across countries and oceans, I have hopes and visions of students being able to do the same for their studies. Perhaps a mobile sophomore global studies class would enroll students from a country on each of the six populated continents; the class members would access their study materials and confer with each other using their mobile phones. In a view that makes our old way (just a decade ago) of looking at schools downright provincial, the broadest Challenge Index I measure of interrelationships among kids of different demographics is within a school itself. That is weirdly out-of-date and insular by workplace standards.

If we were writing Challenge Index 2006 for high schools, would we not be doing our youngsters the right service by putting mobility of people (students and teachers) and online open learning knowledge at the top of the criteria for education excellence?

Documenting the American South

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Posted on 21st March 2006 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler

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American Southern literature history culture
The University Library of the University of North Carolina opens its virtual doors here to many of its primary resources for the study of Southern United States history, literature and culture. The riches of the Internet to be browsed include from the Southern past books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral histories and songs open for your virtual visit. Literature

What students can’t see, even for money

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Posted on 20th March 2006 by Judy Breck in Open Content

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Martin_Luther_King_Jr,LBJ
The link here is to a webpage at Duke Law’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain. The page offers resources for learning about the limitations on the publication and republication of information materials. The image above is from a short move titled Disappearing History in which an expert explains why materials documenting the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. are no longer available for public viewing.

As the 21st century matures into a new era of open information, can images of history really be vaulted away? An allied question is much larger: why is what students use to study in school essentially all expensive and a clone or two removed from the original source? That is: why would an incident like the greeting above by President Johnson to Martin Luther King, Jr. not be viewable on a student’s laptop, but instead be abstractly reported in print in an expensive textbook watered down to the student’s school grade? Weighing free use of originals against supporting a very profitable school publishing industry is not only a matter of economics. It is also about learning quality and basic freedom of information.

Space imagery animators

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Posted on 18th March 2006 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler

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animate space weather
The awesome art collection at the Goddard Space Flight Center here lists the artwork of the Center’s current and past animation artists. See their interpretations of weather, Earth images, and much more. For digital natives — fifteen-years-old and younger — the arts are becoming one of the most compelling of all careers (in forms previous generations could not have imagined). Arts

Carnival of the Mobilists 19

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Posted on 18th March 2006 by Judy Breck in Carnival of the Mobilists

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A carnival of bloggers has the entire earth as a midway! The Carnival of Mobilists — hosted in recent weeks in Europe and Israel — comes this week from C. Enrique Ortiz’ Mobility Weblog base near the big tech town of Austin, Texas. Don’t miss Enrique’s picks and comments here on the week’s best mobile blog writing.

It’s tracking time for the Monarchs

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Posted on 16th March 2006 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler

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Track monarch butterflies
Journey North, whose Monarch Migration 2006 page is here, has enrolled thousands of budding conservationists over the past several years. The mating on this website between Nature, the virtual world and students is one of the early and consistent wonders of Internet learning. My nephew reported to me this morning by email that his two-year-old daughter Sage could name all the animals on Journey North. It’s awesome to think what she will know about them by the time she is ten! Animal sciences