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found poetry 1

“intercepting sycalls and notifying an exterior sandbox host” Codius

Internet of What?

I’m a geek, so I try to keep up with what’s going on in the world of technology, but it often makes me cringe. Take the hype about the Internet of Things (or, the even-more-cringe-worthy, IoT) beig generated by this year’s CES in Las Vegas.

This idea of connecting everyday things to the internet has been around for a long time. I’m too young to remember the internet-connected Coke Machine at Carnegie Mellon University in 1982, but I fondly recall the Trojan Room coffee pot, in late 1993 (for which we can thank the Mosaic web browser, the first popular graphical web browser, also released in 1993). With all the excitement generated by this 128x128 pixel view of a coffee pot, there wasn’t much serious talk about the Internet of Things until the late 90s, when Bill Joy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, started to talk about D2D (R2’s brother or Device to Device communication–either way: ugh.) and Kevin Ashton coined the term “Internet of Things”. But this interest in smart stuff soon disappeared–along with everyone’s bank balances)–from the popular imagination.

Now it’s all coming back, like those cringe-inducing memories of Friday night when you decided to cap off an evening of modest beer intake with a martini or two. I bet there are some wonderful uses

Playing with explorable explanations

I threw together this little project over the weekend to practice my javascript skills and explore Bret Victor’s Tangle, a javascript library for creating explorable explanations. I still have lots more to learn, but Tangle is really easy to get started with and I’d love to explore the possibilities of explorable explanations in more depth. When I get a chance, I’ll write up a step-by-step guide explaining how I built this.

Victor develops the ideas behind Tangle in his essay Explorable Explanations and provides his own extensive example of the library in use with Ten Brighter Ideas.

This concept has real potential. Being able to play with the different data points reinforces your understanding of the subject. In Bret Victor’s aforementioned essay, he discusses how this approach could work well with explanations of policy alternatives. And in an organizational context, you could present business cases or proposals as explorable documents so decision makers could really understand the data underlying their decisions.

Oscillating Yarn

This processing sketch is based on Example 3.7 in Daniel Shiffman’s excellent book, Nature of Code, but I removed the line connecting each ellipse to the centre, added some colour and trails and used my own numbers for velocity and amplitude rather than generating them randomly. The patterns created by the oscillators are sized in relation to one another using the golden ratio.

DNLE Assignment #4: Bloom's Taxonomy

This is part of a series of posts I'm doing related to Designing a New Learning Environment, an online course I'm taking through Stanford University's Venture Lab. You can find all the posts in this series here. This assignment was to find an educational technology that addresses each of the six levels of Bloom's Taxonomy.

The following examples are listed from lower order thinking skills to higher order thinking skills: remember, understand, apply, analyse, evaluate and create.


Tool: Flashcards*


This application can help students memorize, identify, recognize or name items from the curriculum.


Tool: Diigo

Bookmarking a site with the Diigo browser extension

Students can link to pages and add tags to the linked page, which (depending on tag choices) can demonstrate interpreting, summarizing, classifying, exemplifying, inferring and comparing.


Tool: Pinterest


Students can use Pinterest to share and write about examples that illustrate elements of the curriculum.


Tool: Flickr slideshow editor

Flickr slideshow editor

Students can upload images on flickr and organize them into a slideshow to compare, contrast and link various ideas.


Tools: Tumblr, Wordpress, Blogger

Blog commenting on any blogging system

Students can comment on and/ or critique the ideas expressed by other students on their learning blogs. They can also write their own blog post to extend the debate.


Tool: iMovie video editor


Students can plan, produce and distribute a video that explores curriculum in more depth.