What I Learned This Week (Part 5)

Finally, one of my major pet peeves with Google has been answered. Matt Cutts announced late in October that Google Docs now lets you do a bulk export. I’ve played with Docs a lot, but never considered it a real threat to Word in my workflow as I couldn’t get all of my crap off of the one system in one shot. Now I can. Thank you Google for doing the right thing.

Was listening to Martin Weller’s presentation for CCK09 about the Pedagogy of Abundance, and while Martin’s presentation content was great, the sound was difficult. It wasn’t the quality of sound per se, although it was a bit rough around the edges. I don’t know if it’s just me, or a combination of my background as a sound engineer and sensitive listener, or if it was just my mood, but the sound was off.

It got me thinking about the aesthetics of sound, and how sounds might be pleasurable or distracting, and how that works in a networked learning environment. Clearly, the aesthetics of the new media environments extend further than the visual realm and will have to be considered when developing e-learning courses and environments. With the ubiquity of good sound devices, we still will have to have quiet spaces from which to broadcast, or record.

I also found out about Sherlock, the Codec Detective. I’m not sure how Apple feels about the possible name confusion (although I’m not sure that Apple’s search is called Sherlock anymore either), but this is a great little utility that helps one figure out if they have a video codec installed or not. As everything moves towards Flash video, this sort of tool may not be needed in the future, but in the meantime it’s incredibly useful for me, as I switch between several different machines throughout the day and may need to edit video on any of them.

Visualization of data is a huge trend, and in my opinion only going to get bigger as text literacy declines in favour of visual literacy. I’m not saying text literacy will disappear; just that visual literacy becomes more important in the future. Flowing Data posted an interesting contest, to see if a correlation can be drawn between SAT scores and class size. The contest isn’t about the correlation per se, but it’s about the visualization and what comes of it.