March 28th, 2010 by bigjim
One of the things I like about the internet is its ability to foster innovation. Sure, there is plenty of not-so-good stuff on there – and some downright evil stuff too – which basically means that the internet has evolved to become a microcosm of our fallen world. But it is often out of such muddy soil that the best roses grow.
Take Twitter. We’ve written about this microblogging technology before, but a lot of people are still struggling to add any real value with the 140 character limit imposed by the site. So, we’re left reading a lot about what people are eating for lunch, or where they’re going on Friday night. However, amongst all this, there have been some examples of how the platform seems to be fostering some innovative and creative ideas.
On the most recent St Valentine’s Day, an online video company organised for the world’s oldest married couple to respond to questions using Twitter. Nearly 5,000 people signed up to ‘follow’ @longestmarried to find out the secrets to the successful marriage of Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher – who have been married for 85 years!
The pair took fourteen questions and provided answers in less than the 140 character limit to share some of their experience and wisdom. The questions included my favourite at #14: ‘What’s the one thing you have in common that transcends everything else?’ (answer: ‘We are both Christians & believe in God.Marriage is a commitment to the Lord.We pray with & for each other every day’).
They didn’t need to have to find the capability to create a website, or write an extra-long essay – Twitter provided a simple way to broadcast their wise answers to earnest questions. Sharing wisdom like this from incredible people I’d probably never make contact with otherwise is Twitter used well!
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March 14th, 2010 by fastmikey
With summer drawing to an end, students across the country all drift back to another year of education. However, technology is helping make this return less of a chore with may neat ways the Catholic Geek can get into their education and have fun with technology at the same time. Firstly, what has become a staple for practically any student serious about their study: laptops . There are a great range of basic models available from as little as $700 now, which are all fantastic for taking your notes, writing assignments, and even a occaisional bit of entertainment between lectures. If you are looking for something smaller you can pick up a netbook for even cheaper – a light way of carrying all you need round on campus. However, it’s important to remember to back up your information in case your laptop suffers from an accident – keeping copies of important information on a USB stick or two is highly reccommended.
Moving on, more and more textbooks are moving into the digital era. While NZ doesn’t directly get great devices like the Kindle (www.amazon.com/kindle) and Nook (www.bn.com/nook), their software versions let you access their libraries on your PC or mobile device. For those who prefer the comfort of paper, www.amazon.com, and the local equivalents www.fishpond.co.nz, www.thenile.co.nz and www.realgroovy.co.nz have a great range of textbooks; often at cheaper prices then the University bookshops. If you have friends in the same courses go in together and save on shipping.
Finally, open to anyone wanting to broaden their education, iTunes U brings a heap of University content freely online – including content from a number of leading Catholic Universities. This makes for an easy way to study while en route to Uni via your MP3 player. Fire up the iTunes store (www.apple.com/itunes) and check it out!
Posted in General musings, Link commentary, Technology overview | No Comments »