Wiki Wiki Wild


It was an interesting week exploring wikis. I must admit that I am still getting the hang of using a wiki site, especially the formatting and linking tools, but I am learning. The video, Wikis in plain english, was very helpful for me in grasping the concept. What makes a wiki unique is that other people can alter the information you have submitted (where a blog is a place for you to record information and thoughts). Although people can comment on your blog, they cannot change the information you have entered. I think a wiki would be useful for an assignment or topic of discussion that involves several people and a blog would be more useful when you want to share information. I think that I would allow students to cite a wiki as a source of academic research as long as the wiki had references listed (such as Wikipedia). I may be a bit skeptical if a student obtained certain information from a personal wiki site that was not backed up by another reference. Having said that, I think some wiki sites (again, such as wikipedia) are quite reliable as many people have an interest in maintaining the validity of the site. 

Out of curiosity, I have entered information that I know to be incorrect on wikipedia, and it was changed back within minutes. I also like the idea of students using wikipedia because it is a good source for information that tends to change. Text books are a great source of information, and can remain valid for years in certain subjects (such as history), however in areas such as patient care a text book can become dated soon after it is released. A site like wikipedia could prove to be a good source of newly changed information. It may be difficult for wikis to enforce policies that prove the validity of the information to the public. It is good to have a reference cited at the end of the wiki so that if a reader is skeptical about any information, they can go to the source and research the subject further. Using a wiki in healthcare education may be quite useful, especially in the diagnostic imaging field. It would be a good place to share images with students and recieve their input on the image. Aside from the use of wiki's in education, I could definitely see myself using a wiki to plan a group vacation or potluck!

Podcasting


I am amazed at what I am learning every week. I may have known a little bit about each of these Web 2.0 tools, but prior to now I have not taken the time to really understand them. I remember being very interested in podcasting while riding the tube in London and discovering that people were watching TV shows on their mobile devices while commuting to work. Since then, I have used podcasting to keep up on my favorite shows, but did not consider the value podcasting can have in education. One of the links Judy provided us with talked about students creating their own podcasts and feeling motivated to continue with the knowledge that people all over the world have access to their podcast. Asking students to create a podcast about a certain topic may be a great assignment idea. The teacher could easily subscribe to the podcast to ensure they receive any new data. Also, encouraging students to listen/watch and subscribe to an educational podcast (eg Grammar tips or patient care issues). I think that this could help many students learn as they can access the information whenever they wish and they can access it on the go (they could learn patient care practices on their bus ride to school). Upon exploring the Teacher's Podcast (thanks for the link Judy), I discovered that they have created an App for the iPhone that allows you to click and have access to their podcasts! How efficient! Podcasting seems like a much less lonely venture than blogging, maybe I should try creating one.

Biding Time


Senator Roy Blunt. Roy, who would have thought of running into you in the Senate. I see you rode in on the tide of Republicans. I would hope that was the only hope you had for getting elected. I'm used to seeing you work your mischief in the House with your buddy Tom Delay. I never could understand what the people of Missouri saw in you but stranger things have happened there. I consider you one of the Republicans biding time, Democrats also have senators biding time, not too good, not to bad, just drawing a pay check and reaping the perks. I thought you used poor judgment in hooking your wagon to Tom DeLay in the House but it looks like you came out smelling like roses. You went to the Senate and Tom went home to Texas packing a defiant attitude, a bruised ego, and a ruined career. I'm not expecting great things from you in the Senate, neither am I expecting bad, that's the nature of your kind. I would guess you won't be able to work yourself into leadership positions in the Senate like you did in the House, unless you're able to use your time in the House as some kind of tiebreaker in the Senate seniority system. There are a number of fire breathing tea party Republicans pawing the ground and snorting for senior positions. I don't know how well you'd do holding your own against them. Roy, I'm on a search for good in the Republican Party but I don't think I've found it in you. You leave me lukewarm. I'll perhaps catch a glimpse of you from time to time on TV but doubtful as often as I saw you when you served in the House. The senate is probably a good place for you to serve out your time, add to your pension, and call in a few chips.

Fair Weather Friend


I am a fair weather friend when it comes to politics, to put it bluntly. I love politics and have studied it for many years but there are times when I have to check in my badge and take a break. Have you ever seen a week like we've just had in Washington? Everyday seems to bring more bad news. Add that to the bombing in Boston, the rescue of the women in Cleveland and on and on and it wipes me out. I get overwhelmed. It seems most two term presidents have trouble in their second terms. I hoped this administration would be different but apparently that is not going to be the case. I at least hoped for more time before the big hit. That is apparently not going to happen either. So much for hoping. I'm going to step back a little, read some books on subjects other than politics, and watch the political drama from a distance for the time being. Our children are in Japan so for the next three weeks we'll be going to their home twice a day to care for their four cats. Bob will have cataract surgery on december 20. Company arrives on december 24. Summers seem to bring added activity. I'll still be around. I just need to step back a little to catch my breath. Almost forgot, Marry Christmas!

Ina Vanba Dariva Honey - 2


One of the things that I do when I get in this phase is go back and read old stuff I wrote, and as usual I can’t recognize my own voice out of any of it. I use bigger words than I think I know. I somehow parse these sentence structures and architectonics of reasoning that upon re-reading cause me to go what? Is that me? I don’t recognize that guy. I feel stupid, preverbal. I’ve been in this state of wordless emotion for so long that I almost feel as if I don’t even know my own language any more. I can’t remember if I know anything, or if I have anything to say, or if I’m good at anything in particular. When I was passing through passport control the officer asked me what I do for a living. (Hello America! Back to the madhouse! I’m from here, plus I’ve been unemployed forever anyway, whose job would I steal?". But instead what I said was, "uh... I’m a writer". Which is pretty much my stock answer. That’s what I told this sort of local wiseman / leader / entrepreneur back in country when he asked me the same question. He pressed for what kind of writing and I said "uh... web content" Meanwhile my american host over there played a funny trick on me I’m still kind of reeling from in which she introduced me to a local important person as a "great poet". He responded to this information by asking me how many books I had published. No matter which country I’m in I still kind of feel like the big joke’s on me. My work is to figure out how to laugh instead of cry. So there you have it friends. Glad to be back. I’ll try to update more frequently in the coming days.

Ina Vanba Dariva Honey


That’s a rock joke. If you are not familiar with rock music of the previous century it may be meaningless to you. And that’s okay (and that’s a reference to sen. Al Franken’s old day job) but I digress. As usual. So where to start, I paid my first visit to the other hemisphere’s so-called "developing world" over the past week and a half. I’m still recalibrating my digestive tract. But it’s given me a lot to think about. One of the things is that there’s nothing romantic or noble about poverty, which I knew already having some experience with it, but seeing where people pay the cost of our lifestyles sort of drives it home. Nobody wants to be poor, really. Unable to get clean water to drink. Treated like shit by obnoxious white tourists. Children dying all around of preventable diseases which are the direct result of arbitrary political factors such as poverty, which is a direct result of capitalism. Y’know, stuff like that. But you also see how normal it is to live a simple life because the majority of people in the world live that way, and the sick, insane way we live over here is really thrown into stark relief. And yet again, a powerful realization of that does not take away a concurrent realization of the beauty of this place, just as noticing the suffering there did nothing to take away from the beauty. America really is beautiful. Not because of anything we did, or did to deserve it.