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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-02-28

  • @hotdogcop Tweeted this earlier, pretty funny, but also pretty accurate #
  • The Changing Landscape of Higher Education (EDUCAUSE Review) | EDUCAUSE #
  • Richard Feynman on the pleasure of finding things out #
  • Massive Health Uses Big Data, Mobile Phones to Fight Chronic Disease #
  • The Daily Is Interesting, But Is It the Future of Newspapers? #
  • Gladwell Still Missing the Point About Social Media and Activism #
  • “This Game Sucks”: How to Improve the Gamification of Education (EDUCAUSE Review) | EDUCAUSE #
  • eLearn: Feature Article – The Effects of Twitter in an Online Learning Environment Students resist adoption of Twitter #
  • eLearn: Feature Article – Administering a Gross Anatomy Exam Using Mobile Technology #
  • Onion Report: Increasing Number Of Educators Found To Be Suffering From Teaching Disabilities Humour #
  • Skateboarding Physics Professor At Large — Blog Archive » Building A New Culture Of Teaching And Learning #
  • Presentation Zen: Nurturing curiosity & inspiring the pursuit of discovery Why don’t we value curiosity in schools? #
  • @hotdogcop Seems to be this idea that “if you build it, they will come”, but the reality is that no-one knows what to do when they get there #
  • The Need for Student Social Media Policies (EDUCAUSE Review) | EDUCAUSE #
  • Evidence of Learning Online: Assessment Beyond The Paper — Campus Technology #
  • E10 Podcast: Gardner Campbell and Jim Groom Discuss Faculty Attitudes and the Joy of Learning | EDUCAUSE #
  • The Daily Papert. Words and wisdom of Dr. Seymour Papert #
  • Mendeley Update: OpenURL support, improved article pages, & easier citation entry for OpenOffice #
  • Thought Leader » John Vlismas » Hofmeyr, Bloody Hofmeyr Intelligent response to Steve’s rant #
  • Managing your research the modern way: Research together with colleagues using an activity feed | Mendeley Blog #
  • The Enormous Technological Challenges Facing Education Nice summary of the emerging tech in the latest Horizon report #
  • A WikiLeaks Clone Takes On Higher Education – Wired Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education #
  • @subcide Great, thanks for the update. #Mendeley is one of the tools I use most often and it’s brilliant to see it continually improving #
  • Thought leader: nothing to correct The problem of “corrective rape” in SA, aimed at the LGBTI community. I wasn’t aware #
  • The ‘myth’ of e-learning #
  • @dgachago17 #Hootsuite (web app) is also pretty good at updating multiple services simultaneously #justsaying #
  • Not sure which version of #Mendeley added this, but I just found the “Send by email” feature, and it is SOOO welcome 🙂 #
  • Acceptable Use Policies in a Web 2.0 & Mobile Era: A Guide for School District ~ Stephen’s Web #
  • Critical Thinking: More than Words? We talk about critical thinking with our students, but don’t discuss what it means #
education open access technology

Mozilla Open Education course and other thoughts

I was unable to participate in the second session for the Mozilla Open Education course due to local Internet problems that meant I had no sound.  While it was frustrating to begin with, I realised that this is the reality of the situation in most countries and that while we talk about open this and open that, we’re not going to make real progress in South Africa until we get decent bandwidth, lower access costs and deeper penetration of the service.

Taking this idea a littler further, I went on to work out that I’m one of the fortunate people in the top 1% of people in South Africa who have a broadband connection at home, which means that the majority of citizens in this country will remain completely unaware of everything I do that relates to the use of technology in education.  This really helps to keep things in perspective, as high levels of poverty and crime are far more important issues in terms of social change, than the results of my blogging assignment.

I guess my point is that it’s easy to get frustrated with the technical problems experienced as part of this online web seminar, but that I live in a developing country where my lack of streaming audio is the least of our problems.

PS.  In case you’re wondering “Why bother if the technology is so limited?” my plan is to use technology to improve physiotherapy education, which will create better physiotherapists, who will then improve the health service, which will have a positive effect on large numbers of the population 🙂

Note: I calculated the percentage of people with broadband by taking the number of ADSL subscribers in 2008 as a percentage of the population from the 2008 census.  It’s not very accurate but gives a decent estimate.


Ethical eating and healthy lifestyle

I know that I might be pushing the boundaries a little here but I figure it’s my blog so I can do what I want, right? I’m going to mention a few links to some worthwhile reading if you’re interested in making healthy and ethical eating choices, which kind of fits under a broad definition of healthcare.

The first is the Ethical Co-op, one of a growing number of organisations who try to provide affordable food to consumers interested in making ethical choices about what they eat. While I was living in the UK, I noticed that most of the “fresh” food available in supermarkets doesn’t originate in England. Rather, it gets flown in from North Africa and Western Europe, which, if it wasn’t heavily subsidised, would end up costing a lot more than it does. This has far-reaching consequences for both local farmers and international consumers (local farmers get screwed because they can’t sell their produce at fair market value and international consumers must either pay high prices for locally produced products, or just can’t get them because they’re immediately exported).

If we buy food that’s locally sourced, we support local farmers who can then offer their products at true market value, we cut down on the carbon cost of our food because it isn’t flown halfway around the world and we can enjoy food that’s fresh and grown without chemicals. It may cost a little more, but sometimes that can be a fair compromise.

Here’s a few links to some interesting blogs on healthy living:

A list of organic markets in or near Cape Town
Organic box schemes in or near Cape Town
Mother city livingliving the good (green) life in Cape Town
Wild Organics (scroll down the page a little for 11 reasons to buy organic)
Ethical Co-op blog