Archive for December, 2008

Check out Data and Methods in Computer-Mediated Discourse Analysis, a special issue of the open access, peer reviewed journal, Language@Internet.

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Love for all

A minute of joy:

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The Word and the World

A short article in Edutopia on technology for English language learners.

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Quote of the day

To generalize is to be an idiot. To particularize is the alone distinction of merit.” — William Blake

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Online Educa Berlin 2008

Online Educa Berlin 2008 edition took place in the German capital last week. As it can be seen in this video, Online Educa Berlin is the largest global e-learning conference held for the corporate, education and public service sectors. The variety of themes treated this year and in previous editions, the many workshops organized, pictures of the event, interesting podcast shows, and much more information can be found in their website (available in English, German, Spanish and French).


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Mimi Ito is a brilliant culture anthropologist studying young people’s use of new media.  Mimi presented today at the UCI Digital Learning Lab on the results of a large three-year Digital Youth Research project she helped head up. The study captures the two main types of youth participation online, which they label as “hanging out”  and “geeking out.”  The former involves hanging out with peers online at Facebook and MySpace, and through instant messaging, and is basically an extension of peer social networking at school and in the community.  Contacts are largely with people who are already known, adults and strangers are for the most part not welcome, and the social functions fulfilled are similar to those achieved by hanging out at the mall. The majority of U.S. youth “hang out” online.  In contrast, “geeking out” involves more creative content production and distribution by a minority of youth in fan, video, anime, gaming, and other sites, and Ito provides some fascinating examles of “geeks” and their communities.  Geeking out involves much higher level skills, puts youth in touch with people based on their interests rather than their immediate social networks (and thus involves contact with like-minded people around the world, including adult participation).

An interesting question is who gets access to developing these geeking out skills and who doesn’t; other than the fact that this is somewhat gendered (with male geeks more predominate in gaming sites and female geeks more predominate in online writing sites), I didn’t get much sense of this from Ito’s presentation.  I look forward to reading more in the project reports.

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 As of December 4, 2008, this is what our website looks like. 

blue: for links 

red: for tables

green: for the DIV tag

violet: for images

yellow: for forms

orange: for linebreaks and blockquotes

black: the HTML tag, the root node

gray: all other tags

This graph tells us that we are very linked up, like line breaks and block quotes, but we have very few images and forms. I’m not savvy enough to know what DIV tags and root nodes are. 🙂

This is all the remarkable work of Sala, an artist-blogger who has designed one of the most amazing Java applications I’ve seen: Webpages as Graphs

Here’s a fun quiz (answer after the jump):


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With many of the other cabinet posts filled, there haven’t been any serious leaks about Secretary of Education.  David Brooks has an interest take on the debate within the Obama camp.

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Quote of the day

“Far better an approximate answer to the right question, which is often vague, than an exact answer to the wrong question, which can always be made precise.” — John Tukey

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