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Education begins with nurture


Posted on 31st March 2009 by Judy Breck in Animals and Schools We Have Now

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This wonderful video from the first hour of a newborn baby elephant’s life illustrates that nurture and gentle care are absolutely fundamental for youngsters to develop. Because the GoldenSwamp is a blog about learning knowledge takes nothing away from my support for the nurturing side of education. Enjoy this video and acquire some knowledge about nurture from Mama elephant!

Thanks to ZooBorns

I will be speaking at DesignForMobile 2009


Posted on 27th March 2009 by Judy Breck in Mobile Learning


The second annual DesignForMobile conference, will be held in Lawrence, Kansas (near Kansas City), April 20-22. The event extends this welcome: “Speakers come from academia, industry, design, and research. We’re all interested in the user experience, but we come from many different disciplines to share.” I am proud to be among the speakers, and expect to learn a lot. My topic is “The Long Tail of Mobile Learning.”

In the dozen years I have been participating in the emergence of the online world, I have found edgy conferences in early development are gold mines of insights and contacts. DesignForMobile is that kind of conference, as mobile crosses tech/design/content thresholds in 2009.

As a speaker, I have a few discount tickets to attend for friends of GoldenSwamp. Email me at judybreck AT if you are interested in using one of the tickets.

Visualizing science with the tools we now have

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Posted on 26th March 2009 by Judy Breck in Biology, Emerging Online Knowledge, Golden Age of Learning and Schools We Have Now

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This video is narrated by Drew Berry, who created it. The video is part of SeedMagazine’s new feature on science education called The Interpreters. Just watching the video is enough said about the opportunities to put learning into classrooms and student hands by using the visualization tools and the internet.

Watch a vampire walking


Posted on 20th March 2009 by Judy Breck in Animals, Biology, Emerging Online Knowledge and Golden Age of Learning

Vampire walking from Carl Zimmer on Vimeo.
Carl Zimmer’s new Discover article about How To Be a Bat [Life in Motion] includes six videos of bats in action. It is time to get over idea that learning something is boring. Such foolishness is so very 20th century! To “fix” education and catch it up with the other sectors of our time we need to put the cascade of excellent knowledge online — like the walking vampires you will see in the video above — into the handschooling now possible with mobile phones.

Newspapers [textbooks] future on Smart Phones


Posted on 14th March 2009 by Judy Breck in Golden Age of Learning, Mobile Learning and Schools We Have Now

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Writing for Edgelings Live from Silicon Valley, Michael S. Moore has a piece today about the death throes of newspapers that we are watching. School textbooks will one day follow this path.

Moore predicts in this detailed and interesting article, that some form of newspapers will re-emerge. Thinking ahead to when the education establishment grip loosens, this prediction by Moore gives us a look at the likely the future of textbooks:

What does that mean?  Well, surprisingly it means:  Forget computers.  Newspapers [Textbooks] have already lost that battle.  Instead, move on – and target the next platform.   My gut tells me that the future of news [lessons] delivery is to e-Books, like Kindle, and even more, Smart Phones.  So rebuild your paper [edu stuff] for those platforms – automatic downloading of the daily news [lessons] directly to e-books, and powerful new navigation and social networking (i.e., story reporting and sharing) [(i.e., teaching and learning)] tools for the phone.

The Cryosphere at a Glance


Posted on 11th March 2009 by Judy Breck in Geography, Mobile Learning and Open Content

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A near real time map of sea ice concentrations and snow extent in both hemispheres is available any time you need it from the NSIDC. The webpage is called The Cryosphere at a Glance, useful for such folks as weather experts, cold zone businesses, and transportation industries. It is also a resource for learning that was simply not possible before the digital era, and it essentially makes glancing at a the cryosphere in a printed textbook seem as old as the age of the mammoths.

A Wall Street Journal article today explores the iskoot now being tried out as a device that is mostly a basic cellphone to carry around without the alleged bother of the internet dependent BlackBerry and iPhone features. You for sure cannot glance at the cryosphere on an iskoot.

Does the iskoot reach mainly folks who don’t want to be without a phone, but have not yet found something in their own lives from the internet that they cannot bear to do without? My guess is yes. As another couple of billion people acquire mobile devices in the next 4-5 years, they are going to want to be able glance at will at weather, markets, news — and in cold seasons, the cryosphere.

Our education policy should be shiftable

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Posted on 10th March 2009 by Judy Breck in Emerging Online Knowledge, Golden Age of Learning, Mobile Learning and Open Content

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Siftables Music Sequencer from Jeevan Kalanithi on Vimeo.

We need to walk away from the pathos of 20th century education’s demise and get every kid a pocket full of siftables. What a wonder it would be if every siftable was interfacing the internet, showing related nodes of science, history, literature — whatever a student was working on learning as he shifted incoming ideas, thinking about their relationships. For now, kids with smart phones can browse the internet for these and other subjects — though educators usually don’t let them do that at school.

The siftables are a project headed by David Merrill at the MIT Media Lab. Merrill describes them to the TED audience on a page linked other coverage. The siftables are not browsers yet, but already are powerful pedagogic devices.

A new global education that embraces the internet’s knowledge and connectivity is within our grasp. Am I being too visionary? Or is the ongoing dumping of resources into very 20th century ideas something that does not see reality?

Thanks Matt for the siftables

The app black cat at the carnival


Posted on 9th March 2009 by Judy Breck in Carnival of the Mobilists

Our recent post about Poe’s works being readable on your iPhone browser is included in this week’s Carnival of the Mobilists. The Carnival this week is a really good one, hosted at Mark van’t Hooft’s Ubiquitous Thoughts.

The Black Cat on this iPhone is not an app


Posted on 5th March 2009 by Judy Breck in Connective Expression, Emerging Online Knowledge, Golden Age of Learning, Literature, Mobile Learning and Open Content

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The image here shows a highly readable text (clearer on the phone than in the photo) of The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe coming through the Safari browser of my iPhone. The text is from the comprehensive and authoritative collection of Poe works at the website of The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore. The Society is an open source for reading Poe’s work on any mobile online browser.

Transitional reading through apps
The app store phase in which mobile content delivery now finds itself cannot be the comprehensive and authoritative venue for future mobile learning content. For one thing, there is no reason to duplicate the open collection at the Society of Baltimore for delivery by one or more app stores. There are thousands of content websites already available for academic topics ranging from the humanities and arts through the sciences and technologies, and essentially everything else studied in education. It is a huge and unnecessary effort to organize all of that again for one application and then another.

In the case of works like Poe’s, which are in the public domain, the adjustments to what is available already for larger screens for reading in a mobile browser are highly doable. We need to be perfectly clear that protecting copyrights and making money are the motivations for pushing reading matter through app stores. I am not saying that is not okay. I am only suggesting that long range, accessing reading material — and most other study subject collections — through browsers will prevail.

Play OYEZ BASEBALL and learn about SCOTUS


Posted on 4th March 2009 by Judy Breck in Biography, History and Subject Sampler

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“‘The Law-Baseball Quiz’ debuted in the New York Times on April 4, 1979. Created by law professor Robert M. Cover, it compared baseball players and Supreme Court Justices.” Thus begins the web page about the The Oyez Project’s digital version of the game.

OYEZ BASEBALL online is integrated with the OYEZ project that provides extensive materials about the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS). How was the brilliant Justice Benjamin Cardozo like Golden Glove winner 1983-88 Ryne Sandberg? When you play OYEZ BASEBALL, you can figure out trivia like that from the authoritative biographies of the justices that are linked to the game from the larger OYEZ project. Its something of a sneak play to teach some biography.

Carnival of the Mobilists #163


Posted on 2nd March 2009 by Judy Breck in Carnival of the Mobilists

Welcome to the 163rd version of the Carnival of the Mobilists, hosted by GoldenSwamp. This Carnival is packed with nuggets of writing gold created over the past week by veteran bloggers from the mobile venue.

Mobile World Congress 2009
James Cooper at Mobile Messaging 2.0 rounds up action in appstores, MoMo Awards, new handsets and more. At Open Gardens Ajit Jaokar explains why he is optimistic about our industry after Barcelona. At allaboutiPhone, Matt Radford convinces us that despite Apple’s non-attendance at WMC, evidence of absence is not absence of evidence. Caroline Lewko at wipJamSessions wraps up news from the annual event with her post “So that’s it for another year in Barcelona.”

Economy, stats and biz
A case study from Martin Sauter at WirelessMoves relates how “OperaMini Doubles Users and Triples Consumed Data in a Year.” Chetan Sharma, writes on AlwaysOnReal-TimeAccess AORTA about “US Wireless Industry in Recessions.” And from the advertising perspective, Tomi T. Ahonen of Communities Dominate Brands tells us what drives an “ad man mAd”

Two on To Touch or Not To Touch
Two of our mobile bloggers have written this week on exactly the same topic: “To Touch or Not To Touch.” That is a major clue to how important the decision has become for the mobile industry right now. Read and compare these analyses for some insights:
Mark van’t Hooft at UbiquitousThoughts, and
Steve Litchfield at AllAbout Symbian.

Content contemplations:
Dennis Bournique at WapReview returns to Opera’s browser that leads Apple’s for the number of people surfing the Web, and gives us some more skinny on the Opera Mini. Next are two critical looks at app stores. Andrew Grill at London Calling asks if app stores may be walled gardens, “another closed ecosystem that stifles development and creativity.” Enrique Ortiz writes on AboutMobility, “All of this sounds ‘exactly’ as the old deck, doesn’t it? And guess what? It won’t work.” Barbara Ballard at LittleSpringDesign does some heads-up on content customizing, personalizing and functionality.

Long range looks:
The image at the right shows a New York Science Times article illustration that I learned from on my iPhone this morning. A post I put on Howard Rheingold’s SmartMobs this week points out that the so-called misbehavior excuse for banning school mobiles has some humor to it: Let the Record show that the kids are not the only ones. And lastly, Russell Buckley at MobHappy cites Mark Cuban as support for predicting the mobile is going to do to the PC, what the PC did to the mainframe.

I did not pick a best link this week because of the many top entries. Next week the Carnival sets up at Mark van’t Hooft’s UbiquitousThoughts. Join us by sending something you have written about mobile on your blog. The details on how to do that are on the Carnival of the Mobilists website. Bye from the GoldenSwamp; I hope you will take a dip here again soon. Judy Breck