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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-01-24

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-10-11

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-08-23

  • Cheating in online learning. Balanced viewpoint from Tony Bates #
  • Went back 2 Thunderbird after using Kmail for a few years. Really impressed with how it’s developed, I’m actually enjoying managing my email #
  • RT @alastairotter: How the Internet is changing language #
  • @nlafferty Used 2 use Zotero until I tried Mendeley, which supported PDF import at the time. I’d love 2 try it again, but no chromium plugin in reply to nlafferty #
  • Sadly, it looks like there’s no intention to port Zotero to #chromium & I’m not switching browsers just to get it #
  • Zotero Basics: Getting Stuff Into Zotero I’m always intrigued with Zotero, I just can’t get into using it #
  • Some simple points of advice on professional online behaviour for health professionals, from @rachaellowe #
  • Teaching Professor: Thinking constructively about teaching problems #
  • Beautiful drawings / paintings on the iPad. So much for the notion that it’s not a device for creation #
  • Technology for 21st Century Learning: Part 2 (But is it a Literacy Machine?). Using the iPad in education #
  • @paulscott56 “Major design flaw upsets millions”. Could be a story about Facebook or twifficiency #
  • 17-Year Old Twitter Spammer Scores Facebook CEO as New Friend #
  • 08/9/10 PHD comic: ‘The Repulsor Field Explained’ (humour) #
  • Dissertation Myth # 9: It Will Ruin Your Life. Great points to put your research into perspective #
  • RT @jamescun: OK. Twifficiency shouldn’t tweet your score automatically :/ Error on my behalf, I was just learning to use oAuth 🙁 #
  • RT @allankent: you know what would be awesome? If #twifficiency prompted me before sticking crap in my timeline. #fail #
  • @cristinacost I spent some time in Hay-on-Wye when I was in the UK a few years ago. Really beautiful walks in & around town in reply to cristinacost #
  • Sadly, Twifficiency is a trending topic on the home page, we can probably count on a lot more spam coming through 🙁 #
  • I don’t think I’ve ever seen an app (#Twifficiency in this case) generate so much bad feeling in such a short space of time #
  • RT @andrewspong: Deleted the Twifficiency tweet from my feed in case others see it later, & amplify the spam. You may wish to do the same. #
  • RT @cwcrawley: So all of you who did twiffiency – Go into profile & ‘revoke’ access to the app. That’ll stop it spamming in future #security #
  • Facebook, By the Numbers. Interesting infographic looking at the rise of Facebook over the past few years #
  • I *hate* it when services / applications tweet on my behalf without asking me, as was the case a minute ago with #Twifficiency #
  • My Twifficiency score is 43%. Whats yours? #
  • RT @wesleylynch:RT @shapshak: Africa’s tech start-ups break ground: iSigned (@garethochse) & Cognition (@patrickkayton) #
  • Looking 4 Buddypress-Activity-stream-type threaded conversation tool. Must be hosted & not need registration. Suggestions? #
  • RT @sharingnicely: RT @myzt: The main idea of “Inception”: if you run a VM inside a VM inside a VM inside a VM, everything will be very slow #
  • @weblearning Just had a look now, thanks. Not sure if it “fits”. I already follow everyone I email. More likely to “find” people elsewhere in reply to weblearning #
  • @weblearning Installed #Rapportive a while ago & it has yet 2 return any info behind the email…maybe that says more about who emails me 🙂 in reply to weblearning #
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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-07-19

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-06-07

  • Mugtug | Browser Based Image Editing and Photo Sharing #
  • @johncarneyau Only now our tools allow us to do far more creative things than pen and paper did in the past #
  • @johncarneyau Then there’s not much difference betw a traditional teacher and a Steiner teacher? Teachers r teachers, technologies r tools #
  • @johncarneyau Not at all, there’s nothing in their philosophy negating the idea of using technology to explore creative learning experiences #
  • “Technology won’t replace teachers, but teachers who use technology in the classroom will replace those who don’t” – Higham (2007) #
  • Teaching and learning in social and technological networks – presentation by George Siemens #
  • Connectivist Learning and the Personal Learning Environment – presentation by Downes #
  • Trends In Personal Learning (audio and slides) – Stephen Downes #
  • “To ‘teach’ is to model and demonstrate. To ‘learn’ is to practice and reflect. Both imply participation in…an authentic CoP” – Downes #
  • On 7th grader #PLE video ( – amazing work, but don’t forget that the ToS mean she doesn’t own it & also can’t export it #
  • @jeffjarvis If you find yourself in Cape Town, give me a shout (I’m a huge TWiT and TWiG fan) #
  • @Czernie How bizarre, I just read that exact quote (, slide no. 7) #
  • An Important Reminder about Feedback. Not only formal feedback is useful #
  • Star Trek inspirational poster (humour) #
  • RT @allankent: @patrickkayton was killer finally getting to play with #cognician -> Looking forward to seeing what you build #
  • How Augmented Reality Helps Doctors Save Lives #
  • @salfordgareth Can’t imagine not using GReader. Sync it to my phone and other offline readers all the time. Great 4 catching up and sharing #
  • Google Releases CloudCourse, an Open Source Learning Platform #
  • Google’s “Learning platform” clarified | John McLear’s School Technology #
  • BusinessDay – Software to help critical thinking #
  • Cognician – The original thinking guide #
  • @cristinacost #AMEE ( is my priority for 2011, but will do everything I can to get to SN & Learning #
  • @doug_holton We’re enjoying #WPMU with #Buddypress finding it does everything we need it to & plugin ecosystem growing all the time #
  • @cristinacost @gsiemens Social networks and learning in 2011? Would love to play with… #
  • elearnspace › Einztein – company based on providing value to the OER of universities #
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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-04-05

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-02-22

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Thoughts on Geekretreat 2010

I got back yesterday from Geekretreat in Stanford Valley (beautiful, by the way) and these are some of my thoughts after reflecting on the experience. The theme of this year’s retreat was (broadly) the role of the internet in South African education, which is what motivated me to apply for a scholarship. I have to agree with @pete_flynn, the retreat completely exceeded my expectations. I was worried that it would be a group of self-interested business-types, who would spend the weekend telling each other how cool they were. I’m happy to say that my perceptions were completely overturned. It’s been a long time since I’ve been around so many friendly, interesting and intelligent people.

As far as the structure of the weekend went, I loved the idea of the open grid format, and my initial concern that the event would devolve into chaos was unfounded. I liked that not every timeslot was “serious”, with the skillshare sessions being both entertaining and providing a lighter note to the sometimes intense discussion.

I was fortunate enough to have a “talking head” session, where I got some great feedback from the small group discussion around some of the challenges I’m coming across in my research. The value of the session was in the alternative ideas presented to me, which I almost certainly wouldn’t have come up with alone. In fact, I think that’s the essence of what the weekend was about…that you’re more likely to change your thinking around an idea if you have a conversation around it. And there was plenty of conversation. I can’t remember a single moment when people weren’t engaging with each other around some project or idea.

I wasn’t lucky enough to have a conversation with everyone who was there, but during the ones I did have, I came to realise that we have some very smart and talented people in the South African tech industry who are capable of making a real difference in the country. And while many of the projects and ideas I came across were interesting, the following were particularly note-worthy (at least, to me):

  • Cognician by Barry and Patrick Kayton – a tool for engaging with concepts and ideas that has already changed how I think about my teaching
  • Marlon Parker from CPUT and his community outreach projects using social media
  • The Peer 2 Peer University, with whom I have a commitment in 2010 to create and possibly run a module (now that it’s online, I have no choice but to go through with it)
  • Sam Christie and his ideas around gaming in education. Not the boring, self-righteous “educational” games that all kids hate (and rightly so), but real, entertaining games that can highlight important life skills

Although I found the event to be an inspiring and intensely motivational experience, I do have some critical feedback for the organisers that I hope will be considered for future events. Please don’t see this as negativity. They’re just my own observations:

  • You can’t have a real conversation about this big a deal (i.e. the internet / education in South Africa) without any representation from the country’s largest demographic, the poor and disempowered. To borrow a phrase from the disability movement: “Nothing about us, without us”
  • If you’re going to have a discussion around online education, try to get some input from the people who are actually doing it. The most obvious example would’ve been to invite a representative from UNISA. I’m sure they have very clear ideas about the challenges faced in South African online education
  • I wasn’t sure if I agreed with @EveD’s comment around the lack of a defined set of goals. As a researcher and teacher, I’m probably biased in that I believe objectives can more clearly guide a process. However, she adds that we probably ended up with a more innovative and creative event as a result of that lack of defined parameters. Perhaps in the future, participants could collaborate on the objectives (either prior to, or at the beginning of the event) but still retain an open structure in which discussion can take place
  • I would avoid making premature announcements of success at this early stage. If it ends up not being the success you proclaimed, people will remember. It’s easy to feel fired up and ready to take on the world after an awesome event like this one. But, we all made commitments of our time and resources that we may find difficult to honour when other priorities loom. Can I suggest that we work towards making a huge proclamation of the success of Geekretreat 2010, at Geekretreat 2011?

Having said that, I think the event clearly had a huge impact on everyone who was there, and who are going to go on to do great things in the coming year. I know there are a few projects I’ll definitely be watching (and hopefully be participating in) over the next few months. I wish everyone I had the pleasure of meeting this weekend a fantastic year in which all of your dreams are realised through the collaborative efforts of the beautiful people at Geekretreat.

Note: Thanks to @paul_furber for some of the great pics that I stole to use here. Also, a huge thanks to the sponsors (YolaSeacomISSkyroveOrca wirelessEconsultanctJackie ScalaOld MutualWhite Wall Web), as well as Heather FordEve D and Justin Spratt), without whom Geekretreat just wouldn’t be possible.