Sunday, May 15, 2005


There's been some pub lately about Windows' Longhorn incorporating a Red Screen of Death to mean REALLY bad errors, to separate these from the mere Blue Screen of Death errors. As KairosNews reports, "Chilling," before going on to say,
My guess is that this is a bad move. The Blue Screen of Death isn't nearly as alarming; that blue tone is almost peaceful. Red--well, do we really want people seeing red everytime their Windows crashes? The only people who'll be happy about this decision are the monitor manufacturers who'll get to replace those broken by aggravated Longhorners.

Here's a new idea that I can't find anyone mentioning. How about No Screen of Death? How about something that works for a change? If cars broke down as often as Windows did, there'd be outrage. Why are we content with higher failure rates for some technologies than we are for others?

Saturday, May 14, 2005

My blogging weakness

Ahhh. Finally I feel validated for not being the blogger I should be. This from Brian Lamb:

"My great deficiency as a weblogger is that I never write the posts I really want to write. If I feel genuinely engaged with a topic, I defer the actual writing of it endlessly -- mulling it over, adding elements, seeing linkages elsewhere"

That is exactly how I feel! The most exciting and (hopefully) important ideas that I have I do not write on my blog, but tuck away to blog about later. Or they turn into articles that seem too big to summarize for a blog post. So my blogging becomes more knee-jerk, thoughts of the moment instead of developed ideas that I DO have on occasion, whether this blog is evidence of that or not.

I'm glad to hear I'm not alone. I'm all for open sharing of ideas and using the new web technologies to spread ideas around quicker, so I'll try to do better.

Really, I'll try.

Change is constant

An interesting idea from Don Ely here at PIDT:
"Any statement of philosophy regarding instructional technology is tentative."

He is also commenting on the fact that the only constancy in our field is change. How exciting ... and how stressful at the same time! This is a field where it is constantly important to be up to date, involved in the recent conversation, and working towards new thoughts. There's no standing still, because technology development is not standing still.

Like I said, exciting ... and stressful at the same time!

A few statements from Don Ely that we voted on by raising our hands:

- Will the field be destined for extinction unless we take the opportunities afforded by new information technology?
- Is the field and the process of instructional design largely the same as it was before, despite new technologies? Or do the new technologies require new paradigm shifts?

The voting? Very evenly divided among the audience of professors and students in instructional design technology.

PIDT05 - Retrospective and Prospective

Well, I am currently at the 2005 PIDT conference (Professors of Instructional Design Technology) in Estes Park, Colorado. This is really what a conference should be, in my opinion. There is no schedule -- the concurrent sessions are decided on the fly as people decide they want to group together to discuss certain issues. We're also spending about half of the time hiking, horseback riding, swimming, and just getting to know one another.

OK, maybe structured, organized conferences are useful too, but there is some benefit in an informal arrangement like PIDT. How many of us have been at other conferences and when the speaker didn't show, we just circled the chairs and talked about the topic at hand and left feeling that was the best session of the day?

The theme of PIDT this year, being the 20th anniversary of the conference, is looking back and looking forward in the field. The guests of honor are the legendary Don Ely and Tom Schwinn. I'm excited to hear them live!

I'm also excited to be here together with Sandie Waters from USU and Sanghoon Park from FSU. We're working together on a project doing case studies of students about their first year in an IT department. Even though we've been working together through email and the like, I have never actually met Sanghoon, so it was great to visit with him the last couple of days--I wish I had met him earlier, he is an outstanding person and scholar!

Anyway, sorry to disappoint, but I'm not going to blog this conference too much. We're here to socialize, discuss, and work on projects together, so I'm going to try and cut myself loose from the computer most of the weekend. Oh, yeah, and the wireless is unreliable in our lodge ... that may have something to do with it as well ... :-)

But for a fuller recap, go to, or look for the Flickr tags about PIDT.