• Dad,  Film,  higher ed

    To re-know the known

    I’ve had a couple of experiences recently that have made the familiar be seen in a new light, which if not exactly as new, is certainly fresh. The first was watching the film Yesterday with my daughter. This is a cheesy, cliche-ridden rom com with all the usual Richard Curtis tropes (what is it with him and public declarations of love?). And yet, the basic premise – that everyone forgets the Beatles existed except the main character – is quite profound despite all the other stuff. It makes you, the viewer, also hear those songs as if they are new. Occasionally you might find yourself somewhere, a European city in…

  • calling bullshit,  Dad,  digital implications

    The pseudo digital-natives argument

    When I did my degree in Psychology I remember a lecturer dismissing lots of theories of cognition as a ‘pseudo-homunculus” explanation. The homunculus explanations of psychology posited a little person sitting inside, driving your actions (think Inside Out). Of course, this was debunked hundreds of years ago, but a pseudo-homunculus explanation was one that went so far and then almost implied a little person. For example, theories of perception that posited a projection of the external world as if it was a cinema screen inside the head. It didn’t explain how that then led to action. I was thinking about this with ed tech presentations. The digital natives myth has…

  • Dad

    Someone Once Told Me (format matters)

    Via Sam Easterby-Smith I came across a site called Someone Once Told Me. The idea is simple: the photographer, Mario Cacciottolo, either takes, or gets people to send in, a black and white photograph with the person holding a sign on which is written something someone once told them. It's simple, yet this format throws up a lot of interesting photographs and comments. I told my daughter about it, and asked her what she would put on a sign. Her instant response was 'It's against the law to sing Christmas songs when it isn't Christmas.' Turns out a friend at school had imparted this piece of knowledge to her, and…

  • Books,  Dad,  e-learning,  shiny,  Social Objects,  Web/Tech

    Shiny show 2

    Following on from the hugely irrelevant Shiny Show 1, I bring the next instalment, where I look at any new technologies that have crossed my path and evaluate them from an educational perspective. The usual proviso that some of these may not be that new, it's just when I get to them. Odadeo – a social network site for dads. It is built around the concept of 'pledges', eg 'I pledge to be more patient', or 'I pledge to take my daughter to see High School bloody Musical 3'. You can then 'pip' your pledges when you do something towards them. You can share pledges and there is a 'Dadsdaq'…

  • Dad,  Weblogs

    Childcare, summer holidays and my neglected blog

    This summer has been tough on the old blog, and it makes me realise I’m a fairweather kind of blogger. We’ve had a couple of holidays, and I think divorce would loom if I were to say, ‘do you mind if I blog while we sip our G and Ts?’. And when not working we’ve been juggling childcare. My day usually goes something like: the morning I work, while daughter watches TV/plays with toys/gets frustrated with playstation; in the afternoon we go out and do something child oriented; in the evening my wife takes over and I do some more work. This means I can just about keep up with…

  • Dad,  Games

    Girls hooked on DS

    Tech Digest (via Ewan McIntosh) carries a report that 7 year old girls are ‘addicted to’ (ie prefer) Nintendo DSs over traditional toys such as Barbie. My (5 year old) daughter has one and this certainly rings true for her. Games such as Pet Hotel, Ponyz, Dogz and Absolutely Anything to do With Animalz (okay I made that last one up), are great fun, and as I’ve blogged before, they keep her entertained at restaurants. But I’ve noticed something else recently, and that is since having a DS, she plays with her physical toys much more. She has never been that keen on playing with toys, but now spends hours…

  • Asides,  Dad,  Web/Tech

    What are you an analogue snob about?

    I was contacted yesterday by someone writing a piece for The Times on parental snobbery. They had come across my posting on My Own Leisure Snobbery and wanted to know if they could use it. By the way, having just done two blogging talks this was a minor example of the economics of reputation concept – this person would never have contacted me normally. In my response I mentioned that I was an occassional anaologue snob, and that being an analogue snob was a sure giveaway of being a digital immigrant, to use Prensky’s term. I recounted the story of when we were in a restaurant recently and my daughter…

  • Asides,  Dad

    My daughter’s music – now with live playlist

    In my earlier post on my daughter’s playlist I wondered if there was a way of pulling the playlist in from iTunes. Of course there is, and of course Tony Hirst pointed me at it, but what was interesting was that actually I didn’t even bother to look in iTunes. I think of Apple as such an obsessively proprietary organisation that they wouldn’t bother to do something so open. So this is just by way of a test.

  • Asides,  Dad

    My daughter’s music

    My five year old daughter has her own playlist on iTunes. It is reasonably good: The Automatic – Monster Coldplay – Yellow Kanye West – Touch the Sky Madonna – Sorry The Blood Arm – Suspicious character Cliff Richard – Batchelor Boy The Feeling – Never be lonely Scissor Sisters – I don’t feel like dancing JET – Are you gonna be my girl Just Jack – Starz in their eyes Kaiser Chiefs – Ruby Kooks – Naive The View – Same jeans Is there a way of pulling in an iTunes playlist by the way? I don’t want Tony Hirst to accuse me of being clunky again 🙂 You…

  • Dad,  Games

    My own leisure snobbery

    Over the weekend I was forced to confront my own snobbery about what is a good use of leisure time. As I mentioned, we have a Nintendo Wii, and given the adverse weather at the weekend (overseas readers – it snowed in the UK, causing national hysteria), we stayed in quite a bit. My daughter played with the Wii for a while, and then I asked her to stop and switch to board games (which she did happily enough). It made me think about why I have a mental equation which goes something like ‘computer games = mildly bad, board games = good’. Why did I feel that the computer…