iPhone Development

I’ve been doing a fair bit of reading before I begin developing an iPhone app – but it’s been good to read and think in Object Oriented programming languages again. Hopefully this will be a fairly simple process, and I’ll maybe split off a page to document the development. Needless to say, I don’t want to say too much about it, but it’s a good idea and I’ll use my blog to document my learning and the process of creating the app.

I will say this, Apple is a genius at wringing every last little dollar out of developers… $99 to get access to the SDK (software developer kit) is usually something given away in exchange for some demographic information. It’s a small price I suppose, I don’t particularly mind paying it either considering the extra support it gives.

What If….

In the spirit of the old Marvel comics, What If… series, I bring you:

What if Bloom’s Taxonomy is right?

Well, first a brief primer in Bloom’s. Bloom’s Taxonomy is a tiered structure, like a staircase, that illustrates increasingly complex or difficult cognitive tasks, particularly in an educational setting. At the bottom is Knowledge (knowing the facts) and scaling up to Evaluation (the ability to weigh several arguments, select the best option and defend that selection). In between there are steps that build on the previous one. There are criticisms of Bloom’s, including many arguments about how learning is not sequential and the semantic framing of Bloom’s steps.

What if Bloom had it wrong for learning but right for evolution? On pages 6-18 of the new Pew Report on the Future of the Internet (PDF), people responded to whether or not Google is making us smarter. I think if you apply this transformation to Bloom’s, you see that we’re skipping from Knowledge and Comprehension on Bloom’s scale to something higher, likely Application. The danger, of course, is if we ignore the the critical consumption part of the equation. We no longer have to evaluate the information we receive, but the source of the information. If the source is trustworthy, then it is likely that the information is trustworthy. If we are unable to make this evaluation in a split second, then we are destined for Idiocracy.

Curation As A Method of Digital Teaching

George Siemens, Connectivism ruminator, has explored the idea of teacher as a curator previously, and it has come up again today courtesy of a tweet from @hjarche. Even though I was a participant in CCK08, and marginally involved in CCK09, I didn’t recall these ideas of what the teacher would become, although I do recall discussing the concept a few times in the chats in Elluminate. Curation is an interesting metaphor for teaching in the new technological environment – gather and display evidence, sometimes in a structured path, and allow conversation to develop from there. Allow the user/learner to make sense and meaning, then interject to either drive conceptual points further, or provide counter-points. I’d like to think this is what I do, but I’m not so sure. Even though feedback about my teaching is always positive, and people feel that they’ve learned something… I don’t know if that’s true. Maybe I need to ask better questions.

What I Learned This Week (Part 8)

Cheap microphones on ebay aren’t always real… well I knew that already, but the interesting thing is the comparison process and how good the knock offs were at reproducing the look of the microphone, but not the audio. The side-by-side comparison is especially useful.

It funny, and seems obvious, but colleges don’t like cuts to adult education. I guess we’re really serious about getting out of the recession we’re in, so we should cut one of the best ways to get people skilled-up and into new positions, which in turn will cycle new buying potential into the system. I’m no great capitalist, but it seems so self-evident.


It’s interesting to see the theme of complexity pop up in unexpected places. A couple nights ago on the Daily Show with Atul Gawande. He was talking about how complexity is a problem for many experts, and how a simple checklist can save lives, but many experts felt that a checklist was too much of an ego bash to  take. And I guess he was plugging his book, the Checklist Manifesto. Guess that Connectivisms ideas about complexity are getting around. I know that this isn’t  a new idea, they are in fact, fairly old. When we go through our primary school education we learn using building blocks (and pretty much the same building blocks that we’ve always learned with). We learn a new concept, repeat it until it becomes second nature, then build on it. What ways can a simple tool like a checklist improve education?

As subjects become more complex, perhaps we could take this approach to remind educators (or ourselves) that even though we are at an advanced stage of understanding a subject – perhaps deeper and aware of more facets than our learners – we should always consider the fundamental underpinnings of those topics. Maybe checklists can assist us in seeing patterns where grouping makes sense; that makes checklists useful as a sensemaking strategy.

Are Internet Addicts Isolated?

I was reading the article that the Guardian posted about excessive use of the Internet being a possible relation to increased depression, to which they posed the idea that maybe the people who use the Internet “excessively” are predisposed to an isolated life, where depression is a likely symptom.

I know I use the Internet excessively, more than most people, and I often wonder about the effects of this use, and the isolation I sometimes inflict on myself. I certainly wouldn’t consider myself bereft of any human contact, and certainly I’m not a melancholy sort of fellow…. still, the study abstract does not define what addiction is, nor what it means to be addicted or how much use construes addiction (and the three academic libraries I have access to don’t link to the journal it was published in).

Combine the information that 14% or so of excessive Internet users are also depressed, which begs the question, what’s the percentage of folks that are depressed in general? Do we have reason to be worried? This sort of infographic that recounts the State of the Internet 2009 adds a level of depth to those finding… well, maybe it does. Does that mean that approximately 13% of people aged 18-29 are depressed?

Who’s Watching The Wikimen, Or Wikipeople

I just found in a random search (for editing Wikipedia) an article by Wired about an effort to see who’s editing the world’s largest encyclopedia. I have some privacy reservations about this sort of third party monitoring, especially if corporations are turning the screws on people writing about their excesses. I guess though, if everyone can do it, everyone should. Of course, corporations are the sort of bodies that have people who can spare the time to do this sort of activity, which could lead to that sort of misuse. Now, I’m sure that’s not happening, because corporations never behave badly. Right?