Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
It was the Victoria State Age Championship in the last few days. I have been ferrying my dear swimmer between the swimming pool and home about 3 to 4 times daily until we have arranged car-pool to reduce to two trips per day. That's a big slice of time from my busy schedule!
During a causal discussion with the coaches, I learnt that swimmers need to overcome "pain barrier", learn to push their body, handle the pain from the physical work and recover afterwards. I know that my daughter knows her heart beat very well. She knows how much warm-up will get her heart beat to certain level in order to swim at certain percent of her maximum speed. However, her coach said that she actually hasn't really pushed her body hard enough. So she is performing under her potential.....
Our great Australian swimming hero Grant Hackett admitted that during Athens Olympic games, he defended his title in 1500m freestyle with a collapsed lung, with only 75% of his full lung capacity. The pain arising from that long swim was unimaginable!
I guess any success story will have sometime like that.
Roni and I are struggling through the Fablusi pain barrier - working long hours several times around the clock, mentally, socially and physically pushing ourselves and our family to the limits.
Interestingly, my sister forwarded a motivational powerpoint from her company's HR - advising the executives to do 20 minutes quick walk daily to reduce heart problems....
Life is a balancing act. The tips from the coaches are not only the "pain barrier" part. It is equally important to know how to recover after exerting oneself. This is the part I need to learn.
Posted by Albert Ip at 1:15 am
My sister sent me this:
WORDS WOMEN USE
This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.
If she is getting dressed, this is half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given 5 more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.
This is the calm before the storm. This means "something," and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with 'Nothing' usually end in "Fine"
This is a dare, not permission. Don't do it.
This is not actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A "Loud Sigh" means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you over "Nothing"
This is one of the most dangerous statements that a woman can make to a man "That's Okay" means that she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.
A woman is thanking you. Do not question it or faint. Just say you're welcome.
Posted by Albert Ip at 5:30 pm
re: Press commentary on Google's Digital Library Initiative via Auricle.
One of the press quoted was:
... we have the Sunday Times article All the world's best books at a click (Sunday Times, 19 Dec 2004) by John Sutherland, Professor of Modern English at University College London, which raises the commercial spectre:
"By the act of converting printed books to digital form Google will be creating a new copyright ... Works in the public domain will effectively be privatised. Whether or not Google chooses to exercise its rights, it and its library partners will be owners of the newly processed property. So the vast reservoir of material in the out-of-copyright public domain will become 'proprietary', or pay-per-view. If we get access, it will be because we are 'allowed', not because we have the right. Great Books will go the way of Test cricket. You don’t pay, you don ’t see. Google hasn't said it will do this; but, as far as I can make out, nor has it definitely said it won't. "
Posted by Albert Ip at 10:27 am
The opening paragraph (by Maish R Nichani) is (with my emphasis):
Here are my thoughts on the current discussion between focusing on tasks and focusing on information in an e-learning course. Amy Gahran points out that a task-oriented approach is more effective in most e-learning than an information oriented approach. My point is that a decision-making or an execution-based approach is even better. Decisions are what business organizations are about. The need to perform a task or to acquire information really depends on the decision you are trying to make. Thus, know-how is equally important as know-why or know-what, it really depends on the decision.
Posted by Albert Ip at 10:27 am
Working from my home office for my own start-up business is no fun! Lately, we were installing Fablusi v2 for a US customer. My business partner Roni was over there and I was providing technical support from base.
During the last two weeks or more, I had been working 9-5 USA work hours, 9-5 Aussie work hours + overtime. We discussed the issues over Skype from midnight Melbourne time to about 7 am. Then I took a power snap. Got up again around 9am Melbourne time solving the issued raised aiming at delivering a solution by midnight before the USA guys got back. If I was lucky, I might take another power snap before midnight.
The technology was fantastic! Skype provided a cost-free and clear audio channel continuously during the USA 9-5 interval. We also used a number of tools: remote desktop, net-meeting, IM and video to supplement the audio channel. I must say doing things between continents have never been easier and affordable.
The cost was in my relationship with my family and my health. Working like this is NOT healthy, both biologically and psychologically. I am fortunate to have a very understanding wife who supported me all along. I really own her a lot!
Now that the pressure has ease off slightly, I am returning to my regular programming - about 12 hours daily. However, I would be taking a holiday in mid January. I am allowed to bring my laptop only for watching DVD on it. My GP advised me that if I don't do so, my life expectancy can be counted by the fingers in one hand. I don't want to see this happen!
What will happen to this blog? I will continue blogging for about 3 to 4 weeks before I take the break and will be back after that. I have opened a number of threads which I want to continue, but am afraid that I won't be able to finish before the break. I still like to write another two or three pieces on role play simulation design, another reflection on Stephen's Buntine Oration and some more on the "experience theme". I have started an open paper with only early drafts...
So, keep on reading and share your ideas with me ....
Posted by Albert Ip at 10:00 am
via Boing Boing
This is an amazing photo sequence showing how to make miniature mandarins (or oranges). The Boing Boing remark:
Oranges are symbolic of gold and wealth for the Chinese, hence they're all over at the Lunar New Year
Posted by Albert Ip at 11:53 am
See the original, then:
ps I actually have fallen in love with Firefox. Firefox is lean, fast, responsive and understanding, just stunningly beautiful. Unlike you, Firefox surprises have been nice so far. When I needed some extra helps, there is extension around. Did I also mention that Firefox is compliant to standards? It changes its look readily, suiting my mode all the time.
pss BTW, when everyone else love Firefox, I just follow the crowd.
Posted by Albert Ip at 9:18 pm
by Bill Pelz via Teaching and Developing Online. Original article published in Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks Volume 8, Issue 3 - June 2004.
Thanks Darren Cannell for pointing out an article which I will keep handy on my desktop.
The three principles are:
A. Principle #1: Let the students do (most of) the work.
1. Student Led Discussions
2. Students Find and Discuss Web Resources
3. Students Help Each Other Learn (Peer Assistance)
4. Students Grade Their Own Homework Assignments
5. Case Study Analysis
B. Principle #2: Interactivity is the heart and soul of effective asynchronous learning
1. Collaborative Research Paper
2. Research Proposal Team Project
C. Principle #3: Strive for presence
Posted by Albert Ip at 10:45 pm
WOW, you can get anything better than this!
The mp3 file is waiting for curator approval. The window media is available. I have yet to listen to the interview. One of my favourite writer interviewed by one of the best reporter in the field....
What a treat!
Posted by Albert Ip at 9:17 am
I am going to address two issues in this post.
The first part is about the issues of evaluation and assessment. The next part deals with lesson I learnt from an instructional design point of view.
First background (Quoting from Boing Boing):
"Sixteen year-old Steve Geluso was failed by his English teacher for choosing to distinguish piracy from stealing in an essay.
"His teacher failed him, saying there was no difference between the two and that he was "splitting hairs". Other teachers who read his essay said that he did well from an organizational and technical standpoint, but because his teacher felt that there was no difference between piracy and stealing, she gave him an 'F' because she disapproved of the content of his essay.
Posted by Albert Ip at 10:13 pm
Zimbardo Prison Experiment in which Stanford students became prisoners and guards in a simulated prison environment. The article [sic] describes the aims of the experiment, how it was set up, how it operated, and how they evaluated the results.
From my reading of the article both prisoners and guards more or less internalized their roles (maybe they were already there to begin with?) by day 2. The guards also showed similar effects in how they responded to wielding power, even though they knew they were being watched, they knew it wasn't real.
Posted by Albert Ip at 10:27 pm
The EduBlog Awards is now open for voting. Please vote.
In Autralia, voting is compulsory AND my blog is written in Melbourne, Australia. You know what you should do, right?
Support this blog, vote for me in "New Comer" award category.
Posted by Albert Ip at 2:49 pm
Darren Cannell posted four levels of online courses. The characteristics that indicate the level of courses created are:
An attempt to recreate the textbook style of teaching.
The recreation of a successful face to face course online.
It is a level two course in which the teacher recognizes the fact that they are teaching with the largest library in the world at their fingertips and have access to technology.
A level three course which recognizes the student might be able to choose the questions and the teacher assist them in using the technology and the Internet to find the answers.
Posted by Albert Ip at 8:28 pm
In a previous post What will her future be?, I thought all repetitive work and production of physical goods (and some digital goods) will be out-sourced to developing or under-developed countries. Because of the huge difference of living standards, there will be a continuous supply of low level skilled labour (and some sophistic skills as well) from these countries. On the other hand, we also know that our own life expectancy is increasing. Our kids need very high value jobs in order to maintain the living standards they are brought up with. My question was "what kind of jobs will be available in 2020" and how should I prepare my daughter to face this unknown future.
At that time, my suggestion was that only service industry will be left - but this will not provide the value production to sustain the living standards of the current developed countries. My search continues until...
I heard a presentation from IT conversation by Richard Florida on The Rise of the Creative Class.
We're in the midst of a fundamental economic revolution, bigger than the change from an agricultural to an industrial society. It's based on creativity including technological, economic and aesthetic creativity.
... the rise of a new social class that he labels the creative class. Members include scientists, engineers, architects, educators, writers, artists, and entertainers. He defines this class as those whose economic function is to create new ideas, new technology, and new creative content. In general this group shares common characteristics, such as creativity, individuality, diversity, and merit. The author estimates that this group has 38 million members, constitutes more than 30 percent of the U.S. workforce, and profoundly influences work and lifestyle issues.
Richard Florida's study began with a rather straightforward premise: what characterizes the cities and regions that are economically successful today? His conclusions are rather controversial, but, based on the statistical evidence he presents (as well as my own experience), I found them highly convincing.
The liveliest economies, he finds, are in regions characterized by the 3 T's -- talent, technology, and tolerance. The implications are profound, to wit:
1. Conventional wisdom holds that, to boost an area's economy, it's necessary to attract large companies and thus create jobs. In fact, companies locate where the talent is; all the tax breaks in the world won't bring a large company to your area if they can't find the quality of employees they want there. Often, too, the talent itself will generate new companies and create jobs that way.
2. Urban planners assume that, to attract talent/jobs, what's important is to provide infrastructure: sports stadiums, freeways, shopping centers, etc. In fact, creative people prefer authenticity -- so making your city just like everyplace else is a sure way to kill its attractiveness.
3. The often-misunderstood "gay index" doesn't mean that gay people are more creative, or that attracting gays to a community will ipso facto boost its economy. Creative people tend to prefer gay-friendly communities because they're perceived as tolerant of anyone who isn't "mainstream"; a city that's run by a conservative good-ole-boys network isn't a good place to try to start a business unless you're one of the good ole boys.
Posted by Albert Ip at 11:11 am
I have commented before (here, here, here and here) that as we move to e-learning, the notion of "duty of care" and cyber security for learners are difficult issues. I shifted constantly between in favour of "education" to in favour of "filtering" and back. The spam emails (mostly inappropriate for minors) take up about 95% of my incoming email. Without filters, I just cannot work. However, the recent entry of MSN into the blogosphere is another demonstration of how bad filter may be (at least as an implementation by Microsoft). See this from Boing Boing.
... from a BoingBoing reader about the fact that MSN Spaces, Microsoft's new blogging tool, censors certain words you might try to include in a blog title or url. If you can't speak freely on a blog, what's the point of having one? This demanded a full investigation.
(1) BoingBoing's readers said the title "Corporate Whore" was censored. My attempt at "Corporate Whore Chronicles" met the same result, but "Corporate Prostitute Chronicles" worked fine. Hooray for synonyms with more syllables!
(4) Uh-oh. My attempt to create an MSN Spaces blog called "Pornography and The Law" is met with rude red text advising me to can the profanity. So, if I were a law student who wanted to start a blog about the history of obscenity law in the United States, I'd be
shitout of luck.
The conclusion? A mixed bag of results that manages to do what most attempts to automate censorship do -- make fools of the censors. - Xeni Jardin
Posted by Albert Ip at 3:00 pm
Please accept without obligation, implied or implicit, the best wishes, referred to as this greeting hereafter, for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, politically correct, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, non-specific sexuality, celebration of the winter solstice holiday in the northern hemisphere and summer solstice holiday in the southern hemisphere, practised within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your preference, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all and a financially successful, personally fulfilling, emotionally enchanting and stimulating, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2005, but with due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures or sects, in a world filled with love, peace, joy, harmony, diversity, tolerant, good will and respect, and having regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith and your preference to the choice of blogging software, RSS reader, email system, Internet web browsers, including but not limited to the free Firefox and/or Internet Explorer with due considerations of their respective differences to the interpretation and implementation of W3C web standards, computer platform, brand of microprocessor, type of visual display unit, keyboard, mouse or any other pointing device, operating system, including but not limited to singular or a plurality of variations, whether for a fee or free open source, and Internet service provider connected by modem, permanent modem, broadband, or otherwise, or dietary preference of the wishee.
This greeting must not be read if you do not accept the terms and conditions of this greeting. By reading this greeting, you have indicated your explicit acknowledgement of accepting this greeting in the aforesaid manners . This greeting inclusively, exclusively and non-exclusively cover you, your spouse, whether same or different gender and/or whether such relationship is legally recognized or illegal in certain jurisdictions, including singularly and plurally, previous, present or future, your children including natural, adopted, by-law or sponsored, dead, alive, or unborn, and/or your parents, related by blood, by-laws, adopted, or sponsored dead or alive. Upon being covered by the greeting of the aforesaid greeting in the same aforesaid manner, those covered wishees will extend the aforesaid greeting to the same relates they have recursively and infinitum.
By accepting this greeting you are bound by these terms:
Executed today and valid irrespective of any signature which may be required or not.
Signed Albert Ip
To better enjoy this greeting, print this out, frame in a nice gold frame, hang 20 inches in front of your desk or in front of the monitor, read daily and smile.
Posted by Albert Ip at 10:39 am
Her main method of teaching was to provide only positive encouragement after each attempt, without criticism. Just before the next attempt, she would give some corrective advice, like "keep your elbows tucked in this time".
I still believe that the only way to develop a skill is through practice and feedback, however when and how the feedback is given is extremely important.
Posted by Albert Ip at 3:37 am
Hong Kong will achieve a new world record in 2005: the largest ever demolition of new, unused buildings.
Seven residential blocks built two years ago were never inhabited. Developers will tear them down to make way for luxury flats which will net about HK$6 billion in profits.
Posted by Albert Ip at 1:30 am