WordCamp Toronto 2008

I’m excited about attending a geeky opportunity this weekend – WordCamp Toronto. WordCamp is a gathering of WordPress users held regionally around the world throughout the year (see this page for other WordCamps). Over two years ago I switched to using WordPress to power this blog, and never looked back. 🙂

One of the main attractions at WordCamp is a talk by the founding developer of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg. I think it’s just cool to be able to connect with someone like this in this setting. Looking at the list of attendees, I think I may be one of the only educators, but I’m looking forward to the conversations.

You may just see a whole pile of tweaks and changes to the blog after this weekend is over!

Learning Russo's Ramblings

What in the Wordle Does This Mean?

Thanks to Doug Johnson and his Blue Skunk Blog, I just learned of a neat tool, Wordle. You can paste a blob of text, or enter a URL, RSS feed, or user, and see a word cloud created based on the content provided. The resulting image can be customized by color and shape.

When I entered the URL for this blog, here is the result:

So it appears I talk about software quite a bit. I like that students shows up quite a lot. Open and source appear more than I would have expected, but I like that too. I wish that learn, learner, and learning were in more abundance.

This is a neat, informal, assessment of what the blog has been about. I probably do talk alot about software since its easy to write about new tools (like Wordle…). I like to think I focus more on learning, but its so easy to get caught up in the tools. What in the Wordle does this mean? What fun food for thought…

Russo's Ramblings

2008 Education Blogoshpere Survey

Courtesy of Dr. Scott McLeod, the 2008 Education Blogosphere Survey is open until Jan. 26th. If you participate in blogging (reading and/or writing), take 10 minutes and help Scott gather valuable data on the state of the blogosphere. And if you have some time, check out his blog – Dangerously Irrelevant. Click on the button to take the survey.


Conferences Video

Just around the bend…

…is the 2007 installment of the state educational computing conference, sponsored by NYSCATE. I’ve been browsing the program, and there are many interesting sessions to choose from. My favorite part about the conference is getting time to spend with national (and international) experts in educational technology. I’m signed up to spend a pre-conference day with David Jakes, and due to a very recent change in my schedule, I can attend the Constructivist Consortium Celebration (if there is still room) with Gary Stager, Sylvia Martinez, et al. The Celebration debuted at NECC this past July and sounded terrific. I’m glad they are bringing the celebration to New York.

My session, Digital Storytelling to Captivate and Motivate, is on Tuesday at 10:30. I’m really excited about how it has come together. The conference last year helped push me to where I am in helping learners tell their stories (see this post from last year). My presentation is on this page here at pointatopointb.nyscate2007.jpg

Looking forward to a great conference!

Image citation:
“The Quest for Success.” 2007 NYSCATE Annual Conf. New York State Assn. for Computers and Technologies in Education. 11 Nov. 2007 <>.

Russo's Ramblings

What Makes a Web Site “2.0”

So “Web 2.0” is the term for the second generation of web sites. What exactly are the characteristics of a site that make it 2.0?

Sites that are “Web 2.0” typically include most of the following:worldwide_web_network_cables.jpg

  • publishing (writing, pictures, videos…)
  • networking (link and group with other users on the site)
  • tagging (keywording)
  • RSS feed (for others to be able to subscribe to your site)

If you take this blog as an example, it has 3 of the 4 listed – publishing, tagging and RSS. Blogs are the hallmark of Web 2.0. You’ll find that many sites now qualify for the new generation. In the old web, pages were there to read. In the new web, pages are there to to contribute to.

Image citation:
“Worldwide Web Network Cables.” Online image. 14 July 2007.

Russo's Ramblings Video

The Machine is Us/ing Us

This video, created by Michael Wesch and posted at YouTube, is great to show how Web 2.0 has changed our world. The one here is a repost of the video at TeacherTube, a much more educational friendly site. It is not clear if this repost is has permission granted to do so, however.

I’ve been trying to embed video here on the blog with mixed results – if your browser crashes, my apologies – still trying to learn how to do this fun stuff.

Update 7 Sept. 2007: I’m pretty sure the emebedded video has been crashing this page, so to see the video, click here to view it at TeacherTube.

Video citation:
The Machine Is Us/ing Us. Dir. Michael Wesch. 2006. TeacherTube. 20 Aug. 2007 . This repost by mrstacey on Teachertube – original by Michael Wesch posted at YouTube