If I Knew Then What I Know Now…

waxsemester.jpgThe tent­at­ive title for post this was how to get ahead by really try­ing, but I thought this might actu­ally sounds a little too preachy. Without mak­ing this too much of a habit (steal­ing from another’s hard work), Dustin Wax has com­piled a great set of sug­ges­tions on how to ‘Make this your best Semester Yet’. I pre­vi­ously noted his excel­lent art­icle on how to put a wiki to per­sonal use and he has taken some time to assemble a set of thought­ful and power­ful remind­ers on how to tackle the semester.
I draw par­tic­u­lar atten­tion to his sug­ges­tions to ‘know your pro­fessor’ and ‘speak up’. These are oft over­looked aspects of the learn­ing envir­on­ment, but cru­cial ones. This list reminds us all (I have a stu­dent hat on myself as well as TA) that your edu­ca­tion calls for strategy and oper­ates at a vari­ety of levels. Ones that I sure which someone high­lighted for me at the out­set, as opposed to hav­ing dis­cover on my own. Even if only a couple of these remind or instruct, they can make a huge dif­fer­ence on your effect­ive­ness this semester.

Making Your Data Sing

canada.jpgToday I had a won­der­ful dis­cus­sion with Fernanda Vié­gas and Mar­tin Wat­ten­berg of IBM’s Visual Com­mu­nic­a­tions Lab. These are the fine folks behind the Many Eyes web­site that I blogged about a few months ago. Since launch­ing their site, they have been hard at work bring­ing us new means of visu­al­iz­ing data­sets and provid­ing a social net­work for data­heads. My earlier art­icle I spoke glow­ingly of the atten­tion to detail that the site exhib­ited and wealth of chart­ing oppor­tun­it­ies offered. I also prom­ised I would play more with the site.
In the last few months I have had an oppor­tun­ity to just that. Con­tinue read­ing

Wikis for Notes

researchblog.jpgI am a big fan of wikis for note-taking, research mater­ial col­la­tion and organ­iz­a­tion. There are a wide vari­ety of easy to use, free wiki ser­vices online and an increas­ing num­ber of small foot­print, simple stan­dalone wikis. I prob­ably should have blogged about this earlier and shared some of my exper­i­ences, but an excel­lent art­icle by Dustin Wax at lifehack.org does a superb job of explain­ing the rationale and gives some great how to tips. Con­tinue read­ing

Virtual Metro

metex.jpgHav­ing just returned from one of my favour­ite cit­ies in the world, I was fas­cin­ated to find a Paris Metro Vir­tual Exper­i­ence. This media-rich site offers won­der­ful his­tory of the Paris Metro and the oppor­tun­ity to take a vir­tual tour with static images and rel-time soundtrack along a num­ber of lines. Addi­tion­ally, the author of the site has com­pleted sta­tion by sta­tion archi­tec­tural mosa­ics of par­tic­u­lar lines. If you have ever had the oppor­tun­ity to travel on the metro (argu­ably one of the most effi­ciently run sys­tems in the world) this site may bring back some memor­ies. Con­tinue read­ing