Archives For flickr

Here are the links for the open source tools that I mention in my talk at the TIES Conference.

Update: Here are a few more links to products that came up during the session.

ties, ties2006

Parakey, the Web OS

5 Nov 2006

Blake Ross is something of a wunderkind. He starting working for Netscape at age 15 and cofounded the Firefox project soon after. Not content to stop there, an article in IEEE Spectrum describes Ross’s latest project called Parakey. Parakey is an attempt to obviate the need for separate desktop and online applications. For example, I use iPhoto to manage and edit photos on my Mac and Flickr to share some of those photos with the world. According to the article:

Parakey is intended to be a platform for tools that can manipulate just about anything on your hard drive—e-mail, photos, videos, recipes, calendars. In fact, it looks like a fairly ordinary Web site, which you can edit. You can go online, click through your files and view the contents, even tweak them. You can also check off the stuff you want the rest of the world to be able to see.

Ross is the prototypical digital native. He says, “We all know ­people…who have all this content that they are not publishing stored on their computers. We’re trying to persuade them to live their lives online.” If this is how young people think, is it any wonder that their digital immigrant teachers don’t understand them?

blake ross, parakey

It looks like Flickr has started expanding its features by integrating more tightly with its parent company Yahoo!. They’ve recently added the ability to geotag photos by dragging and dropping onto a Yahoo! Maps interface. Once you’ve got some photos geotagged you can see links to all your photos on a map and find other photos that were taken in the same vicinity. I’ve just started playing with it, but you can check out my photo map to see how it works.

I can imagine a science teacher using this feature to help document a field study. Wouldn’t it be cool for a group of students to take photos around their town and post the resulting map on their school’s Web site? You can explore all of the geotagged photos at the Flickr Map page or zero in on a particular tag. For example, if you were studying butterflys with your students, you could show all of the geotagged Flickr photos tagged “butterfly” and do a world tour of butterfly species.

flickr, yahoo maps, geotagging

Paul on the Internet

Paul Cantrell is a blogger and music podcaster who also happens to be a software engineer. (I wonder which one is his superhero alter ego?) He spoke at last Saturday’s MinneBar conference on “The Internet and the Future of Art.” It was an interactive session which made things a bit tricky to record, but I think you’ll be able to hear most of the audience questions pretty well.

Just to keep things on topic for this blog, I think you could take most of what Paul says about the big music business and apply it to the educational business. He’s really talking about the “Long Tail,” which applies just as much to educational content as it does to artistic content.

Update: Here are the diagrams Paul created during his session.

Download: STP-MinneBar-PaulCantrell (17.9 MB, 38:45)

minnebar, barcamp, long tail, art

Croquet screenshot

Mark McCahill is from the University of Minnesota and is one of the architects of the Croquet Project, an open source peer-to-peer system for building virtual worlds like those found in World of Warcraft and Second Life. Those of you who’ve been around the Internet block a few times might remember one of Mark’s first projects, the University of Minnesota’s Gopher hypertext system.

This is a recording of Mark’s talk from the Minnebar conference entitled “Building Synthetic Worlds.” He hints at it in his talk, but there is great potential here for learning environments. Can you imagine meeting for a professional development session somewhere in a virtual world?

Download: STP-Minnebar-MarkMcCahill (20.5 MB, 44:32)

minnebar, barcamp, croquet, croquet project, virtual worlds

Minnēbar a hit

6 May 2006

Free shirts

The turnout was huge, the sessions were great, the food was delicious, and the conversations stimulating. Total cost: $3.50 for parking all day. By any measure the first Barcamp-style (un)conference in the Twin Cities was a rousing success.

I caught a total of eight talks and demos between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Here are the titles: Building Synthetic Worlds, The Internet and the Future of Art, Disintermediation, MindTouch (demo), Ajax, Ruby on Rails, Xen (demo), and the Drupal CMS. It was a great mix of technical and non-technical topics.

I recorded a few sessions and will get those online as soon as possible. It was a tough recording environment because of the openness of the space. I’ll try to capture the questions and conversation in the audience as much as possible.

minnebar, croquet, mindtouch, ajax, ruby on rails, xen, drupal, barcamp

Backstage at FETC

21 Mar 2006

I’ve been to a few conferences over the last few years, but this is my first one with a vendor badge. My badge got me into the vendor hall the day before it opens. (The conference doesn’t really start until tomorrow.) It’s quite the logistics exhibition.

Shipping crates

Forklifts everywhere

Booth setup

The vendors ship all of their equipment in huge wooden crates. There are forklifts everywhere distributing all of the crates to the booths. It’s a lot of hard, physical labor for everyone and they definitely don’t have the air conditioning on yet. By the way, you can see all of my photos from the conference at my Flickr page.


Have you ever had a really cool idea and hoped like crazy that you were the first to think of it? I had that experience just last night as I got ready for bed, having just finished posting some photos to a Christmas photoset on Flickr.

One of our favorite things to eat for almost all holidays is “Palos Verdes Hot Shrimp,” a wonderfully spicy concoction that burns the lips but tastes oh so good. My idea was to post a photo of the dish on Flickr and include the recipe in the photo description. Sadly, at least one person beat me to this idea. I might have improved on the idea by including the major ingredients as individual tags. If that caught on it would be a pretty slick way of finding a recipe that includes a particular ingredient (or two or three). You can use the Flickr advanced search to search by multiple tags or even the titles and descriptions.

What does this have to do with educational technology? Not much other than promoting some of the cool stuff you can do with Flickr. But I hearby challenge all of you to post a photo of your favorite holiday dish along with the recipe. Then come back here and post a link to it in the comments. I can see it now, the ed tech blogger holiday cookbook.