Open Source Expo

The 2004 Regina Open Source Expo is coming up soon, May 7 and 8, 2004. While the first day focuses on the business and corporate environment, presentations on the 8th are directed to the home user and hobbyist.

I think this is a great opportunity for people who are interested in Linux and Open Source, but are nervous about getting started. The conference also features an Installfest which allows you to bring in your home computer, and the volunteers at the conference will help you set up a distro of Linux on your machine.

I also really like how they have setup the conference website. The entire website is developed and served with open source tools, and they have made the process transparent through the following page:
It’s great to see what is possible through open source tools, and even more importantly, to share these ideas with the interested public.

Web Awareness

I have recently completed a few presentations focused on ethical and safety issues related to the Internet (e.g., Internet content, questionable activities, online marketing strategies, etc.). The full presentation is available online and can be downloaded here.

However, it’s a very large presentation and you may need a very good Internet connection to download it. If you have difficulty with the download and are interested in the material, please contact me and I will find a way to get it to those interested parties.

“Plagiarism in American Schools”

There is an upcoming special on ABC regarding cheating in American Schools. The full description reads:

“Charles Gibson investigates the cheating crisis in America’s schools: from plagiarism to high-tech gadgets, students are using old methods and new technology to beat the system.”

The show airs 10:00 p.m. EST. It may be worth watching.

See the full description here.

Here’s a neat idea. Ever think about sending yourself a letter to be delivered in the future? Well offers a service that allows you to send an email to yourself (or others) up to 25 years away.

After contemplating the obvious, 1) will this service really be around in 25 years, and 2) will i have this same email address in 25 years, I started to think about the tough stuff. What would I actually say to myself? (sounds like a great creative writing exercise to me)

So for now, I am going to do what I have done numerous times before when testing new software (blogs, emailing software, ftp) … and just simply send myself this familiar message, “just testing to see if this actually works”. And if it does work, in 25 years, I may just give this another shot and try to be a bit more profound.

Plagiarism in the Digital Age

I have several upcoming presentations regarding the problem of cyberplagiarism in secondary and post-secondary institutions. The issue is an old one, but continues to take new shape in the digital age. And with this evolution, there are a number of educators who are looking for insight into solving (or at least reducing) the problem.

While several detection services have sprung up in the past several years (e.g.,, MyDropBox) , and they seem to work OK (I have used both), I am certainly not an advocate for the detection approach. I think we’ve ‘missed the boat’ if we rely on services such as this.

You can download my full presentation on cyberplagiarism here. Also, with the help of my research assistant extraordinaire Dan Schellenberg, we have put together an extensive collection of plagiarism-related resources located at the following address:

Zen Gardener

The CSS Zen Gardener site has been around since about the summer of 2003, but I think it’s an inspiring site for those interested in learning CSS.

The project was created by 25 year old web-design amateur (at the time), David Shea, from Kamloops BC. Participants are encouraged to try their hand at CSS using the HTML content of the site (no content is to be changed). The result is an amazing variety of designs and an excellent demonstration of how powerful and flexible CSS can be.

Linux Thin Client Revisited

Back on the 04/04/04, I posted an article regarding the adoption of a Linux Thin Client system in North Battleford. Luckily, I got the attention of Rob Wall as he wrote an incredibly thoughtful response on my post to his blog. For those interested in Linux Thin Client Systems (and if you are involved in implementation of technology in a school or university, I think you should be), I suggest that you read Rob’s response. Rob speaks with strong commitment and experience, and makes some excellent points.

Read Rob’s post here.

Now just be careful, since Rob trackedback my page, and I did the same … you may end up in a neverending blogging loop. :-)

The Price/Ownership of Keywords – e.g., Overture

It’s amazing to me of our dependency on the big search engines such as Google (still waiting for them to go public), Yahoo, MSN Search, etc. The undergraduate students I teach often don’t seem to know how to research any topic without resorting to one of these tools. Yet, what individuals often find amazing (and totally surprising) is that our keywords (in many cases) carry a price … and it’s a price you can verify online.
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Introduction to Blogs and Blogging

Here’s a short, simple and straight-forward article on the concept of blogging, and blogs in regard to education. While it doesn’t go very deep, this will be perfect to point someone to the next time I am asked “isn’t a blog just a webpage?”.

See full article here.

North Battleford School Division to Adopt Linux Thin Client

A few years back, school divisions in North Battleford and Moose Jaw underwent a full-scale implementation of thin-client Sun Systems (Sun Rays). At the time, I was one of the researchers who worked with SIDRU (Saskatchewan Instructional Development and Research Unit) to perform an evaluative research study of the complex processes involved in this large undertaking. Ever since this project, I have been particularly interested in alternative systems such as thin-client or Linux-based systems.
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