Connecting personally long distance

Video chat

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t like using the telephone. I do all the time, because everybody else does, or at least everyone my age. Young people more and more just use texting, and I suspect some of that comes from the same telephone reluctance I have.

I’m not sure why more people I know don’t use the technology that makes telephone reluctance a non-issue: video chatting via computer or smart phone. I mean, the technology is everywhere, and it’s almost like being together in person. Not quite, and I still prefer face-to-face visits. But video chatting is the next best thing, and in some ways, it’s better.

If I am my camera right, I don’t have to worry about cleaning up the whole house before a visit. Plus, video chat only carries sight and sound–no odors so far.

Friends and family are now scattered everywhere. I’d rather visit in person, but I can’t. Things like appear.in, Hangouts, Skype are better than phone calls, emails, letters, etc.

Continue reading “Connecting personally long distance”

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Technology makes a good servant but a poor master

end_of_net

Technology is great! I love it! But it can overshadow things that are more important.

The very word implies that technologies are tools. They help you accomplish things, but they don’t tell you what to accomplish or help you evaluate what’s most important to accomplish. Continue reading “Technology makes a good servant but a poor master”

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Before you reach Plan D

Presenting naked

A participant in a recent program on “PowerPoint CPR” asked me how I prepare for equipment failure. Irma Perry, a former Toastmasters International Director, put it this way: “I wondered if you come prepared with ‘extra’ equipment, in the event of equipment failure — been there done that, but used ‘paper handouts’ as I didn’t have extra equipment.”

Good question, because it’s bound to happen, isn’t it? My wife hates it when I talk about Murphy’s Law, but I consider it a positive thing: if you recognize the reality of Murphy’s Law, you plan to overcome its effects.

My definitive answer: it depends. Continue reading “Before you reach Plan D”

photo by: JoshuaBloom
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The darker side of social networking

End of a term. Not a lot of posts lately. Not much time today, in fact, since I’m grading like crazy. Still, I wanted to share a post by a friend and colleague with a unique set of talents: artist, actor, and accomplished geek. Not many people have the mental capacity to bring artistic skills and sensibilities into the same skull as technological skills, but Kathrine Bailey does.

The particular post points out some of the social dark side of social networking, along with a warning more techy in nature. It’s a good reminder that brings together elements in a creative way. As Yoda might say, “Exposed you may be!”

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Syllabus for parody course too true

One of the great things about parody, of course, is that it is all at once funny and not-funny-because-it’s-too-true. Robert Lanham has produced a syllabus for a course called Internet-Age Writing, and it makes me laugh and cry, just like those people I heard about in a student’s speech who named their dog “Fungus.” What worries me is the number of people who will not get the cultural references on either side of this thing. Note: if you skim it instead of read it, you are already Too Far Gone.

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NPR features SL educator

NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday featured Michael Demers, a geography professor at New Mexico State University, talking about how he uses Second Life to help his students learn more effectively. You can listen to the segment online.

Of course, so far I haven’t been able to get it to play myself. [sigh] Your luck may be better.

Update: I managed to get it to play. Worth listening to!

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