Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It's Over

This is the eighth week of my PIDP 3240 course.  Assignment 4, which is to make a blog, is due tomorrow.

In our last submission, we are to post the link to our blog and in my case it is: This is a reflection on blogging.

1a.  I've learned that creating a blog is not a very complicated task, with a variety of blog sites available such is,, etc.  Once the blog is created, it's hosted by the blog site which provides the template for the blog pages.  The templates can be customized to reflect individual taste for layout, background etc.  A blog could be created on different topics or interests such as travel, cooking, education, politics and many others and usually it is an expression of a personal opinion, has links to other sites, and is updated on a regular basis.

2a.  I think my favourite blogs are created by Chester Comri and by Jody Lutzke.  The Zodiacbeacon blog page is very clear on what the blog is all about as soon as the home page opens up.  A beautiful background of the zodiac sign tells you right away the purpose of the blog.  This blog is definitely all about astrology, as one would expect.  The blog by Jody Lutzke is geared toward educating young parents, and it has extremely useful information for parents and grandparents alike.  It is updated regularly on the topics of concern.

3a.  In my personal blog, if I were to do it again, my front page would not be restricted by the information I have to put on, which is dictated by Assignment 4 of my PIDP 3240 course.  I may just keep the front page as an introduction to who I am and what my blog is all about.  I would then have different topics of interest tabbed.  I would also try starting the blog from scratch rather than using premade templates, since I now know a little bit more about creating a blog.

4a.  The strength of my blog is my opinion is the variety of information, regular updates, pictures and videos. The weakness of my blog is that it is set up using a template.  This restricts it to limited choices and may not fully reflect the content of my blog.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Ukraine in Crisis

Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and now Ukraine.  The news of uprising in that country flooded the screens of our televisions and made the front page headlines of many newspapers around the world.  Ukraine's Deadly Crisis is being reported on the news website.  Someone at my church came up to me, since I've lived in Russia for 21 years, and asked me a question:  "How come the Russians are trying to occupy Ukraine?" I can understand where his query is coming from, since the only sources of information he bases his opinion on is Western news feeds and newspaper articles, but what is the other side of this uprising?

I've been trying to make sense of what is happening in my old country.  Who is right?  Who is wrong?  What is going on, without being biased to either side?  I must admit that even in this information technology age, it is still hard to make an assessment on the events in Ukraine.  After searching in Russian, I came to this blog:  Here is a translation in English.  It is pretty interesting and very depressing, written from a witness in Ukraine.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

To Tweet or Not to Tweet

It has been our assignment in PIDP 3240 to get to know Twitter.  After having it installed on my phone and testing it for the last 6 weeks, I came to the conclusion that Twitter may not be the best way to stay in touch with the students.  The reasons for being disappointed in Twitter are as follows:

  1. Timeline is hard to follow
  2. Ads
  3. People can re-tweet stuff I am not interested in
In the last couple of days, I looked into alternatives to Twitter and came up with two text messaging services:  ICQ and WhatsApp

Any suggestions on either one?

What are your thoughts regarding keeping discussions closed among a learning community versus opening up to a wider, public community?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Monkey See, Monkey Do

I am impressed by some people's ability to theorize the obvious.  Albert Bandura's theory of social learning states that "by watching other people one can learn new information and behavior". Here is  a short video on this topic posted by Barb Horton in our PIDP 3240 course:

Monday, February 17, 2014

Chinese Education System

A very interesting write-up in the Vancouver Sun on how the education system in China differs from what we are accustomed to.  A look at their education system from Canadian prospective:

Why Richmond is sending teachers to China

Saturday, February 15, 2014

How Much is Too Much?

Mark Kondo from our PIDP 3240 class had an interesting topic for discussion in the Discussion on Instructional Media forum.  I can personally attest to these issues, so I found it worth posting here:

How Much is Too Much Classroom Technology?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

How Video Games Affect our Brain

Our PIDP3240 instructor Brian Cassell posted this interesting video for online class discussion. After watching it I wonder if I should start playing video games to improve my vision, become smarter and improve my reaction time. :)

Any suggestions?