Friday, November 30, 2007

How to Create a Character in World of Warcraft

This is a video on how to create a character in World of Warcraft. I made this video so the students in the Emerging Technology class would have an easier time when they go to create their character for our groups assignment in gaming.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Are we Safe Out There?

After reading one of Lois’s blog on security issues, I went back to what she was commenting on from Derek’s blog. While I understand, the risk of things you put on Face Book and MySpace these are not the real security issues that concern me. The fact that it is the Christmas season again and many retailers have your credit card information concerns me much more that what I have on MySpace. The fact that if you have my social security number it is only a small step to get all medical information worries me. This is a new world in information gathering and there is really no way to avoid it completely.
Believe me Derek, when I say I can understand your concerns but when I worked for a Department of Defense contractor and had to have a security clearance, it is no different today than it was then. It was just harder to get the information then. The DOD went to my neighbors, friends, and relatives and asks them questions about me. Some, I thought, very personal. If a company wants to spend the time looking into your past they can find all the stupid things you did. The only difference today is it is much easier.
I would be more concerned if I had a bad credit history or a criminal, record than I would what my daughter says about me on MySpace. I realize some of your concern but I think the media has played it up as more hype than actually exist. I am not sure I would want to work for a company that doesn’t hire me because of what I have posted on blogs or MySpace. If they are that intrusive in their hiring practices, how are they going to be to work for? These are the same companies that are most likely going to read every email you receive or send. Do you really want to work for a company that is 2nd to Big Brother?
With that said, I do agree you do have to watch what you post but I think that it should be consistent with the rest of your life. Don’t post anything out there, that you would be ashamed for others to see. Then again, this is nothing new; don’t do anything in public that you feel is inappropriate. Just ask a recent senator, even the public restrooms in the airports are not completely beyond scrutiny.

Parents Need to Change

This is in comment to one of Sarah’s blogs Way to Go Rad Techno. It relates to one of my earlier comments to Steve’s blog where it was discussing “Need to Change”. I think it is great what Sarah H. is doing at her school. As I stated in the earlier blog my daughter is good about having comments on what is going on in her classes. It is also disappointing how my daughter’s school is using technology. I am glad that Sarah’s school allows them to connect to Google Docs and Google Search.
Again, I think before you can truly get technology in schools you have to get the parents onboard. It is great that Sarah has created a blog for the parents to find out what is going on. The things I have to ask here is, how many of the parents do go online and read the blog.
I know several of my daughter’s friends that will not allow their child to have a MySpace. I find this somewhat disturbing because they do in fact have a MySpace it is just listed under another name and email address. I think these parents are being a bit naive if they think because they don’t see it on their computer it doesn’t exist. I think it is time for parents to take the time to look at what their children are doing online and take some responsibility. To continue down the road of just saying no to technology isn’t going to work. The parents need to take the responsibility to see what their children are doing.
To put it in a different perspective, I am sure John Deere would discover, and take a dim view if you were on adult sites looking at hot studs 4 hours a day. To me this is no different than a parent taking the time to look at the sites their children are viewing.
Just my view, comments welcome.

Wikis, Collaborative Writing and Publishing: Using Web 2.0 Tools

First off, let me congratulate you on a fine presentation tonight. I think you all did a great job on coordinating the activities in your presentation. I thought the activities were really fun although sometimes frustrating. I realize the difficulty in trying to present the number of technologies you wanted to in the time allotted. The main idea that sticks in my mind is none of these technologies work well on their own for all purposes.
What you did was ask us to collaborate with our group members without a true collaboration tool. While Google Groups would work fine to communicate with each other over a period of time, it did not work well in the short time we had. Your group may look at this as a shortcoming in the presentation; I thought it made one thing very clear. Without the use of IM or cell phones we were pretty much all in the dark. We did what most businesses would do, we used other means at hand adapted and moved on.
I realize Lois stated, “She thought we had enough to contend with and didn’t want us to have to deal with another tool”, but sometimes it is necessary to have an arsenal of web tools at your fingertips. I think the activity showed this in a phenomenal way. As I reflect on this, if you were to present this in the future I am not sure that this isn’t the best way to show how one Web 2.0 tool cannot do everything on its own. Although you may want to include this was why you did it in this fashion.
Again, great job and a fun learning experience. Look forward to reading everyone else’s post.

The Lecture is for Who?

I found this article to be very interesting. Lectures Work Against the Brain. This is in reply to Steve’s post on “The Death of the Lecture”. In this article, it explains why lectures are still being used. Not for the sake of the student but for the well-being of the lecturer. He states that lecturers retain 95% of the information they present in a lecture and this is the reason they think this information is important. He also gives some ways that make a lecture more entertaining, but I thought his final concept was amazing.
I just thought this would add a bit to Steve’s post and give you something to think about next time you give a lecture. Just because you believe all the information is important are you transferring it to your audience. The above photo was also taken from Dr. Ellen Weber’s blog; I thought you would find it amusing.

Need for Change

Here is where I go back, reflect, and comment on others blogs in the class. I remembered this one from Steve, “We Need a Revolution”. I found it interesting to say the least. I have an 11-year-old daughter. She tells me the way they are using technology in their classrooms. I find it hardly worthwhile for the school systems to spend money on computers that are only being used as a word processor. She has told me that unless a teacher is present that the entire internet is basically blocked. I am not referring to a teacher in the room; the teacher has to be physically watching what the child is viewing.
I realize this is only middle school, but why should they be this limited? I am sure the answer is comments by parents or worries of something a child might see. I think before the schools can move forward with technology parents need to get a grip that sometimes things are going to pop up on a computer that may be inappropriate. This is not to say that the schools are not responsible to try their best to block porn or other adult sites, but how are children going to learn technology if they are not allowed to use it.
As Steve stated the old systems need to be completely changed. The first thing we need to do is get parents and education on the same level. If this means signing a waiver for their child to be on the internet at school, then it needs to take place. School systems cannot be in constant fear of being sued over what might happen if technology in the classroom is to move forward.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Got Flickr going

Finally got my Flickr up and running. Not much there yet just posted the 25 flags from SecondLife. Again this is really a simple program to use just never found much use for it before. Already I have talked to my sisters which are both out-of-state and we have decided to post our pics here in private and then we can take the first ones down when we get too many and replace with newer ones. It is amazing the different tools this class has shown me and I thought I was pretty good at technology. 
If you want to visit my Flickr go to

Ferdi's Assignment

1. Creativity and Innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. Students:
A. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
B. create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
C. use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
D. identify trends and forecast possibilities.
Have students explain how blogs and wikis can be used in their class. Have them come up with new ways these can be used to display their work individually and as a group.

2. Communication and Collaboration
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students:
A. interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
B. communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
C. develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
D. contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.
I think the greatest way for students to do this is through Google Docs. Here they can work collaboratively online with documents, spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations. The great part with this program is you do not need any Microsoft software the programs are right online for you to use. I think all students should be introduced to Google Docs it is a great free site where anyone can share documents and work with a group collaboratively to create a finished product.

3. Research and Information Fluency
Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information. Students:
A. plan strategies to guide inquiry.
B. locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
C. evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.
D. process data and report results.
I realize not all teachers agree Wikipedia is a good thing. A good exercise for students would be to look up a topic on Wikipedia and then research in some scholarly articles found through a program like EBSCOhost and compare the differences. It should also be pointed out the difference between writings that can be used for a reference and places like Wikipedia where information is great for personal use but very weak as a reference.

4. Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving, and Decision-Making
Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources. Students:
A. identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
B. plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
C. collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
D. use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.
I think making a podcast and posting it online is a great way to use all these tools. A theme needs to be decided on, research then needs to be done, followed by putting together the podcast outline, then actually recording, and putting the podcast online. Most students would have fun with this activity while learning all of the above traits.

5. Digital Citizenship
Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior. Students:
A. advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.
B. exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.
C. demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.
D. exhibit leadership for digital citizenship.
I think an important issue to explain to students is one of ethics and legal responsibilities. The example that comes to mind is one where students posted, on YouTube, their teacher having a fit of anger in the classroom. They were expelled and taken to court because the school had a policy in place banning photography and videos from being taken within the school without administrative permission. I think students need to be aware these things exist. One way students could be made aware of this is for them to look at videos, on YouTube, and find one they believe is either unethical or illegal and discuss it with the class.

6. Technology Operations and Concepts
Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations. Students:
A. understand and use technology systems.
B. select and use applications effectively and productively.
C. troubleshoot systems and applications.
D. transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies.
Having students put together a website on geocities would be an effective way of demonstrating the above. This could be done in either groups or as a class project. There are many items that could be added depending on how complex the project is to be. An example would be to require that the website contain video and or podcast.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Podcast finally is uploaded

Hey there,
Well I finally got my podcast posted, you can find it at I had to play with the bells and whistles that offers so I was there a couple of times for a while before I got this up there.
For those of you reading this that have no idea what podcast I'm talking about, it compares a multiplayer-online-game to leadership training in the corporate world, then goes on to explain exactly what multiplayer-online-gaming is and how to get started.

Something I forgot to mention in class while I thought the worst part of the podcast was having to use a cheesy mic. because my other one quit working there was kinda an upside to this. When I had to set up a different mic. I was ask to go through the voice recognition program on my computer. While I tried this a year or so ago they have definitely come a long way with how this program works. It was surprising to me at how well it worked. I have used it a few times since, and if I just want to sit back, it is nice to use voice commands rather than the keyboard or mouse. You may call it lazy, but hey if it works and is easier, I'm all for it. Just another plus for new technology that works.

Well hope you enjoy the podcast and feel free to leave me your comments.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Hey I'm Trying to do better

Just a quick note. While as stated earlier I’m not much of a blogger I will try and do better. I did actually get some pictures up here and tried to get MySpace to look a bit more interesting. If you haven’t been there please stop in my name is patisup4u. I wanted to get everything read and listened to for this week so only posted about a couple of things there will be more forthcoming. Bye for now and have a Wonderful Day.

Second Life

I am happy to say that my experiences with Second Life this time are much better than my original ones. Since I enjoy MMPOGs I thought I would really like Second Life. My first few times there I couldn’t find any interesting sites. The first time I left the trainer island I ended up in a brothel and had someone IMing me for over two hours wanting me to come back. I am glad our visit in class was much more rewarding. Besides the sites we visited I have went to other links at these sites and have enjoyed far too many hours looking around. This is now more like my online games, which seem to consume many hours before I realize it. I do agree with others in the class you can spend so much time here and still feel you don’t know what you are doing. Also just getting your avatar to look like you want can take days. I would like to spend more time in the sandbox but again, the thing is time. Who decided we only need 24 hours in a day. They were wrong we need more. Well, just my thoughts on Second Life, hope it gives my insight.

All about "Ted Talks"

When visiting, “ Ted Talk”, I first viewed “Stephen Petranek: 10 ways the world could end”. I found this to be very interesting. The ten ways are listed here:
1. A Really Big Asteroid Heads for Earth
2. We Meet a Rouge Black Hole
3. A New Global Epidemic
4. Giant Solar Flares
5. Reversal of the Earths Magnetic Fields
6. Biotech Disaster
7. Particle Accelerator Mishap
8. The Ecosystem Collapses
9. Aliens invade the Earth
10. We lose the will to survive
Stephen goes on to explain how we could solve most of these problem if we start working on them today. At first some of them seem a little far fetched but, after reflecting a bit they do seem to make sense. If nothing else it is an interesting podcast.

The second podcast I watched was “Theo Jansen: The art of creating creatures”. I was surprised at how crude these creatures were yet they still operated in a complex manner. Well, complex considering the object of the project. This podcast is interesting yet very amusing. Since these creatures do not multiply by themselves I’m not sure I agree with some of the statements about a new life form, but again I found it very interesting and amusing.

I guess I kinda got hooked on this site so I had to also visit “Jonathan Harris: The Web’s secret stories”. I found this pretty amazing. The thought of this man putting together a database with this scope and mass amounts of information for no apparent reason besides satisfaction really surprises me. This is just a great project. If after viewing the podcast, or if you just want to skip the podcast and go to the site it can be found at I went there and played for about an hour after the podcast. While somewhat a waste of time the site he has put together is amazing to say the least.

Ted Talks is a great site and will now be included on my links of things to do when I have time, or just need a break in general. I would recommend this site to everyone. There is a little bit of everything here and I can’t believe that everyone won’t find something of interest.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

World of Warcraft

This part of my blog comes much easier.
I’ve made it to a level 20 paladin in the WoW. I’ve only been here for a month and a half so other than my old friends from EverQuest haven’t met many new people. From before I have my good friends from Canada and New York, and speak to them often. If you’re looking for a fun game and a place to meet people that is still affordable I would recommend World of Warcraft.

If you want to try the free trial you can get more information here at

If you want to more about the game than the above site gives you try this site. It includes maps, quest details, and much much more.

Another site I found useful, it is laid out in a very simple and easy to understand manner, is

If anyone would like some in game help let me know a time and place and I will try to meet you there.

This week's readings

Well it’s obvious I’m not much of a blogger. I did enjoy this week’s podcast and found I like listening to the podcast a lot better than reading a 25 page report. I think the Maine initiative is showing some great results.

I did have a few questions I thought of while listening to the podcast. The first was why they are blocking IM ports. It would seem if they want students to communicate and collaborate they would have these ports open.

The second is more a larger problem than a question. How can we get affordable DSL or broadband to everyone including rural areas? I have a friend now that lives between Waterloo and Denver IA. The only connection he can get is dialup or satellite. He has thought about getting satellite but is finding it hard to justify the $400 setup fee and the $80 a month service fee. He also has to sign a 2 year contract for this service. His main reason for looking into it is that he has one daughter in high school and one nearing that age. His daughter is complaining that their dial up is too slow when trying to download pictures, video, or any other large files.
I see a couple of solutions to this problem one would be for government to subsidize companies to install service to these areas the second would be for the government to mandate that if a company is going to service the large metropolitan areas they must also serve the rural areas.

The other part of the podcast I found interesting was the “Leadership training for principles.” This is the first time I have heard of this type of training in the area of technology and after listening it just seemed to make sense. They are the leaders of the schools they really need to know.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Hey there just starting this. My stomach is growling and I'm ready to go home and eat. LOL