Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New photoquote



Original photo information: Photo Credit: Raymond Larose via Compfight cc

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

SHS Rugby Clothing

Hi SHS Rugby ladies,

Here is an example of the SHS rugby clothing:


Forms are due on Monday next week (April 22).

Friday, March 29, 2013

Guest Post: A rant on Storify TOS


The following is a guest post by Jeff Lyons, a current student in my IDC4U class.

Recently, I was tasked with creating a page with “Storify” for a school assignment. Now, I'm always leery of signing up for new websites or services, as I highly value both my security and the amount of space in my inbox. Nevertheless, I signed up with Storify, handing out my email as requested, and began amassing the links and information required for my topic, despite the difficulties involved (my topic was DRM and Piracy in games, and the school board blocks most gaming news websites and blogs.) Everything was going along fine, until I signed off for the day and returned the next. When I went to edit and format my page, I was greeted with this:



Connect with my Twitter account? You mean the one I don't have? The one you never mentioned before? Well that's just...brilliant. I hope the dripping sarcasm is oozing through your monitor right now.

I realize, I'm the last of a dying breed, that most people have Twitter these days, and spend hours on end tweeting to their hearts content. Myself, I don't see the need. I'm just one person. I don't have news or updates to post concerning a product I'm working on. I don't need to inform people of what towns I'll be performing in, what times, and how much a T-shirt will cost. And I certainly don't have a group of staffers crafting my next political barb. If I want to stay in contact with those close to me, I'll contact them over Facebook, or give them a call, or gasp have a face-to-face conversation with them. But I digress. This isn't about me not needing to use Twitter. This is about Storify springing it on me. Not once in the account creation process, or in the terms of use, does it mention Twitter. Not once. And if it requires something, surely it should notify the user of that beforehand, shouldn't it? If I go out to buy a game, I can look up the minimum system requirements before forking over $60 (an overly high price, but that's for another day) for a game my computer can't run. If it's multiplayer, or runs on a content-delivery system such as Steam, or Origin, it'll mention that an internet connection is required, and that an account on those services is as well, for the latter.
So why are they telling me after I start using Storify that I need to also give them my Twitter information? Why do they require it in the first place? Is Twitter integration mandatory? Would they, if I made a Twitter account for them, tell me to give them my Facebook username and password at a later date? (You can choose to use your Facebook or Twitter accounts to sign up for Storify, but I prefer to keep my educational, work, and social lives as separate as humanly possible) And it's not just because I don't have or want a Twitter account. It's not just because they require one for use.

It's because they spring it on you like this. “Oh hi, there! We see you're enjoying our product! Now, if you want to continue using it, fork over your info!” I mean, if they do this now, what's next? My real-world address? My Social Insurance Number? They can't even say it was in the fine print. I checked. There is no fine print.

 

Okay, maybe there is. My mistake. But does it mention requiring other accounts anywhere? Nope. Not anywhere else in the TOS, either. Ctrl+F is quite useful in that regard.

You know, this is a really shady way of operating, this cutting the user off suddenly and demanding account information. It's basically holding the account for ransom. And I don't negotiate with terrorists. I guess it's a nice ironic twist that my chosen topic was DRM. Most current forms of DRM are really scummy too, and end up preventing legitimate customers from playing more than it does the pirates. Well, no matter. I have other options, other steps to complete the assignment.

And Storify? You just lost yourself a user.

Guest Post: Overview of Athletic Therapy


Hi everyone, my name is Steacy Huff and I am currently in Mrs. Barz's me and the meme technology class. For part of an assignment we are doing I wrote a blog on a brief overview of the profession of athletic therapy. I am an aspiring athletic therapy student and wanted to educate people on this profession as I think it is very interesting and something everyone should be educated about.

Many people are familiar with with the profession of physiotherapy. Often people attend physiotherapy  after obtaining an injury to get back into the sport or activity they were playing before. But what about the profession of athletic therapy? Many people are not quite as familiar with athletic therapy as they are with physiotherapy.  There are many similarities between the two professions that often people view them as the same thing. Carla Brash, who is a certified athletic therapist at Kingston Athletic Therapy Centre, describes athletic therapy as “finding the root of the cause and treating it therefore indirectly treating the injury.” For more information visit their website at http://www.kingstonatc.com/ or follow them on Twitter @KingstonATC.

Both athletic therapists and physiotherapists use similar methods to treat injuries but athletic therapy is a more hands on practice. Some athletic therapists use a technique called visceral treatment. When using this technique, the therapists releases the tension that is created within the organs of a person body caused from every day stresses. Many people are not aware that the organs within their body can become tight. Organs, such as the kidneys, attach to the spine through the viscera. The viscera with in your body can become tight due to everyday stresses, just as your muscles become tight after you workout for the fist time in a few weeks. Due to the visceral attachment on the spine, this can lead to low back pain if your kidneys and viscera become tight. Visceral treatment was developed by a french osteopath and physical therapist named Jean-Pierre Barral. For more information on visceral treatment visit his website as http://www.barralinstitute.com/about/vm.php.

If the athletic therapy interests you, I would encourage you to check out the Canadian Athletic Therapy Association website at http://www.athletictherapy.org/en/index.aspx where you can find information on the profession and find a certified athletic therapist near you.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Photoquote

The entire premise of my IDC3C Sport & Society course:


Orginal photo from: Photo Credit: Christian Bardenhorst via Compfight cc

It's not about fighting in hockey. It's about striving to improve as human beings; our qualities, our interactions and our abilities. Sport is just one small, wonderful area where we can do all of these big things.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

When people ask me if I'm a teacher...

When people ask me if I'm a teacher, I'm usually happy to respond that I am. The recent political unrest has made me a bit more reticent to respond in the affirmative, however, most people seem to still realize that we're trying to do the right thing.

I realize I'm very fortunate to be a teacher. Thanks to those who share parts of their day with me everyday: students, all support staff and my teaching colleagues at SHS, our admin, those retirees who keep coming back to make Sydenham an even more vibrant place and the occasional parent who checks in.

As second semester is about to start and I'm madly preparing, I just wanted to take a moment to be thankful for all those people who make my job as great as it is!



Photo Credit: Krissy.Venosdale via Compfight cc

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Marking...a rant?

I know, theoretically, that marking is a valuable exercise.

I sat in on a webinar last night hosted by Alec Couros where the guest speaker Dave Cormier (a prof from UPEI - @davecormier) was talking about MOOCs; yep, had to look it up, too - the acronym is Massive Open Online Course (thank you, Wikipedia). He shared an anecdote about running into a student that had been in a MOOC that he was teaching. The student mentioned that he was disappointed in the course because he hadn't finished it and hadn't received a final grade. Nevermind the fact that he didn't finish because he met another student in the same course and through the course of this meeting they went on to produce some other cool stuff as a direct result of their involvement in the course in the first place. The student could only focus on the fact that he hadn't finished the course due to the fact that he hadn't received a final grade.

So, that begs the question. Is it more important to create the environment where learning is a process and an exciting starting point? Or, is simply achieving the final objective, a final grade based on assessment through the course, enough?

I think most educators when asked theoretically would say that it is most important to create a learning environment that allows students to think, create and to be curious. However, at every semester's end I find myself frustrated with the fact that I am assessing only on the student's performance at mundane tasks that I have asked them to perform. In some cases, I've been able to allow students create their own mundane tasks or even to create a unit, however, everything always comes down to assessment, evaluation and a final mark.

And, man, that just burns me.

So, I'm going to try to figure out some other ways to address it. Anyone have any to share?