I am gradually coming out of my December hibernation (during which I did a lot of knitting and cooking) and have been scanning the ethernet over the past couple of days, seeing what’s new out there. Reading, absorbing. As usual, Beth’s Blog is superbly entertaining and useful. She and others have been writing a lot about Twitter lately. A colleague also sent me a link to an excellent blog about education and technology on PBS’s site called Learning.now. There, I discovered Twittories, which are basically exquisite-corpse-like stories written collaboratively in 140-word episodes using Twitter posts. Super cool! I subscribed to one Twittory authored by a class of middle schoolers.
Another hot topic out there seems to be finding new ways to learn from and leverage user traffic and search data. Through Seb Chan’s post on the Pwerhouse museum blog I discovered the New York Times’ awesome (i.e. incredibly useful) blog Open. Yesterday on this blog the NYT announced a new feature using their search data to cluster queries. It’s called Also Try. Of course, Seb is interested in this because of his own work with metrics on the Museum front. And then there was the study by some folks at UTAustin to de-anonymize a sub-set of Netflix data. Yikes! This is scary stuff. This study was referenced by quite a few posts that I found through my wordpress technology tag feed such as “Breaking the Netflix Prize Dataset“.
Finally, I played some games. A paper on the Journal of Online Education led me to this great wiki: Teaching Educational Games Resource. There is a link to a great documentary there about the current state of the video game world: Beyond Pong. Then I found Larry Ferlazzo’s list of the top 10 online learning games of 2007. That list kept me busy. My favorites there were Launchball and Qtoro (I noticed quite a few British sites on this list, especially from the BBC – somebody across the pond knows what’s up!). Qtoro is a sort of social networking site merged with trivial pursuit. I predict that something revolutionary will happen here….