Skip to main content

Moving Day

Today, my wife and I will be moving in to our new house. This means we will be without an Internet connection for two or three days, so I won't be online until the weekend or early next week. Also, moving doesn't leave much time to be online for the next week or so.

To make matters more complicated, I have a medical procedure in the middle of the day. I started this morning packing boxes, trying to get what I can done before the out-patient procedure. You never know how long it will take to recover from the anesthesia and general discomfort when you have any medial procedure.

The notion of being off-line, disconnected from readers and friends, is a little frustrating. What does that say about our culture and our strange need to be connected at all times? It's as if we don't exist without a network connection.

Last year, I tried to have at least one "tech free" day a week. This didn't mean no phone, but it meant no sitting at a computer and working. Even my "tech free" was something closer to "tech-light" instead of entirely free. I compulsively read online news, various blogs, and forums like Slashdot. Only when my wife and I leave the house do I really find myself tech free.

Anyway, I'll be returning next week. I keep promising that my schedule of a new post each week, to each of our blogs, will be revived. Life does keep getting in the way, but a new house and stable routine should help.

As I prepare to spend time off-line, I'm reminded of how interconnected the topics about which I write can be. We imagine technology solving problems, improving our lives, but at the same time these great inventions can cause alienation, economic disruption, and other unintended consequences. Imagine all the electricity networks require, the plastics, the chemicals used to make chips, and so forth. A "good thing" can have a lot of costs, many of them hidden from our daily thoughts.

I am compiling a long list of blogging ideas as we prepare to move for this second time in under a year. If you have any topics you'd like me to address, feel free to post those, too!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Comic Sans Is (Generally) Lousy: Letters and Reading Challenges

Specimen of the typeface Comic Sans. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Personally, I support everyone being able to type and read in whatever typefaces individuals prefer. If you like Comic Sans, then change the font while you type or read online content. If you like Helvetica, use that.

The digital world is not print. You can change typefaces. You can change their sizes. You can change colors. There is no reason to argue over what you use to type or to read as long as I can use typefaces that I like.

Now, as a design researcher? I'll tell you that type matters a lot to both the biological act of reading and the psychological act of constructing meaning. Statistically, there are "better" and "worse" type for conveying messages. There are also typefaces that are more legible and more readable. Sometimes, legibility does not help readability, either, as a type with overly distinct letters (legibility) can hinder word shapes and decoding (readability).

One of the co…

Let’s Make a Movie: Digital Filmmaking on a Budget

Film camera collection. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Visalia Direct: Virtual Valley
June 5, 2015 Deadline
July 2015 Issue

Every weekend a small group of filmmakers I know make at least one three-minute movie and share the short film on their YouTube channel, 3X7 Films.

Inspired by the 48-Hour Film Project (48hourfilm.com), my colleagues started to joke about entering a 48-hour contest each month. Someone suggested that it might be possible to make a three-minute movie every week. Soon, 3X7 Films was launched as a Facebook group and members started to assemble teams to make movies.

The 48-Hour Film Project, also known as 48HFP, launched in 2001 by Mark Ruppert. He convinced some colleagues in Washington, D.C., that they could make a movie in 48 hours. The idea became a friendly competition. Fifteen years later, 48HFP is an international phenomenon, with competitions in cities around the world. Regional winners compete in national and international festivals.

On a Friday night, teams gathe…

Edutainment: Move Beyond Entertaining, to Learning

A drawing made in Tux Paint using various brushes and the Paint tool. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Visalia Direct: Virtual Valley
November 2, 2015 Deadline
December 2015 Issue

Randomly clicking on letters, the young boy I was watching play an educational game “won” each level. He paid no attention to the letters themselves. His focus was on the dancing aliens at the end of each alphabet invasion.

Situations like this occur in classrooms and homes every day. Technology appeals to parents, politicians and some educators as a path towards more effective teaching. We often bring technology into our schools and homes, imagining the latest gadgets and software will magically transfer skills and information to our children.

This school year, I left teaching business communications to return to my doctoral specialty in education, technology and language development. As a board member of an autism-related charity, I speak to groups on how technology both helps and hinders special education. Busin…