February 14, 2006

You know Rev's taken over your life…

Writing about web page http://www.warwickrev.org

…when typing the word 'relevance' you type 'revelation' without realising!

February 08, 2006

Automatic counting…

Does anyone know of any Firefox extensions or suchlike that can count the number of words on a webpage, or specifically, words highlighted on a webpage?

Before you suggest copy and pasting into a word-processing package, I've thought of that, but I was hoping for something a bit more immediate.

[Edit: I've just found one here – seems to do the trick!]

November 29, 2005

whimsical? Maybe not!

Follow-up to Whimsical Wishlist from 1129 - Ali's (student) blog

My dreams of a road train around campus may actually happen (see Campus Development) – ok, I may be 40 by the time it is implemented – but how cool is that!!

I'm not convinced it would be free though…

November 28, 2005

My snowman

Writing about I'm sooooo excited!!! from 1129 - Ali's () blog

As there were no spare computers in the office I went home at lunchtime and thought I'd build the first snowman at my new house.

Here he is looking noble:

and here he is looking a bit like a teddybear:

Any ideas for names?

November 22, 2005

The unattractiveness of essay writing

Writing about web page http://library.warwick.ac.uk

At the moment I'm meant to be 'comparing and contrasting a single and multi-strategy research study'. We were allowed to choose which studies to compare, so I did, and that's where my problems started…

I had a bit of a panic this morning as I [a Computer Scientist at heart] didn't know where to find a single-strategy research study without reading a lots of studies just in case it was single strategy. I'm guessing Sociologists know loads of case studies off the top of their heads, but I didn't so panicked…then prayed [In reflection should have prayed first, but was too busy panicking…] anyhow…

Decided to make use of the E-resources on the Library website, I used Blackwells no academic reason for this just that two of my friends have worked for them I searched for 'online' and 'education' and came up with over 1000 papers. I chose a random one, entitled 'Online technology in rural health: Supporting students to overcome the tyranny of distance' amazingly it was a single study research project.

As I had to compare and contrast two studies I thought I'd find another study, similar but multi-strategy – I thought I did, called 'Interactions in cyberspace: an online focus group' – but having read the study it's not so I need to find another one.

3 hours gone…

Problem is that the 2nd case study I looked at was so interesting that I didn't really want to write an essay on it I actually wanted to read it…as it related to my last post about joining online communities.

Here's a few snippets,

In traditional focus groups, Nyamathi and Shuler (1990, p.1285) suggested that a degree of 'social posturing' occurs. That is, particiants may be forced to be compliant with group opinion…it was not a problem in this study


Nyamathi and Shuler (1990) beleived that the role of the 'moderator' in a focus group is to control discussion. With this study, participants made it very clear when a member was dominating and 'control' came from within the group. The group quickly censored any insensitive comments.'

Guess that tallies with the use of Blogs and their comments here…

If anyone wants to read the full article, it is available via ATHENS from a journal called: 'Methodological Issues in Nursing Research' –
'Kenny, A K, 2005, Interaction in Cyberspace: An Online Focus Group, Blackwells Publishing Ltd'

as you can see I can't quite remember how to do journal references off the top of my head yet!

November 08, 2005

What makes people 'tick'?

Writing about web page http://www.warwickrev.org

I've foolishly agreed to do a Pause for Thought tonight.

Last week I had a great idea about this – involving the idea of community and talking about blogs, Revelation websites and messageboards, media team, WIM, National Rev etc…but now I'm thinking of talking about my PhD research and what led me to do it.

Personally I'd prefer to find out about a person and what makes them tick than to know about different ways of joining Rev communities.

This led me to my next thought – surely you have to know about people before wanting to join a community?

For example, this blog community – the most commented on blogs tend to be where people tell you the innermost details of their lives, for example, Mat Mannion and Casey whereas blogs that talk about other people and tasks, such as Innovating Research! and Neighbourhood #1 hardly get any comments…

Arghh…what shall I do?

Hell's Kitchen USA

TV image
Hell's Kitchen USA
Not rated

If you've been watching this show then you'll know where I'm coming from with this thought:

To be a successful head chef do you have to be rude and demeaning to your sub-chefs?

Last night, the editing made the audience assume that Michael (the guy who went on to win Hell's Kitchen) only became effective as a head chef when he started being insulting and aggressive towards his team…

November 05, 2005

Whimsical Wishlist

Some of these are more likely to happen than others…

  • The Traffic lights next to Blockbuster coming from the A45 to Earsldon to be re-programmed, so I don't have to wait at them for no reason every evening.
  • Free road train around campus
  • Everyone to have and use their blogs
  • Single sign-in for every website in the world
  • Funding for my PhD
  • Less cynicism and grumpiness
  • Silent fireworks
  • Sociology books not to be on the 5th floor of the library

October 31, 2005

Communicating Online

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

I went to Casey and Rob's Graduate School Course on Saturday Web-publishing for Postgraduates and even though it meant getting up for 10am on a Saturday morning it was well worth it!

What happened?

Casey spent the first hour and a bit talking and demonstrating how to write for the web with some very useful handouts. The hardest bit was making us describe our research in 50 words to 'our friend's mother', which involved lots of crossing out and starting again. I felt so sorry for the Science students who had so many acroynyms to explain to us before they got past their titles!

Rob O'Toole finished off the session showing us the various technologies that Warwick offers to Postgraduates, such as ePortfolios and of course, these blogs.

The most useful part of the session was the discussion on consideration of audience – Rob demonstrated that Google highly-rated University webpages, so it was important to maintain the 'correct' image on the web – i.e professional on an ePortfolio if you want potential employers to take you seriously.

What did I get out of it?

apart from the free tea, coffee, water and biscuits (very important for a early Saturday morning)

  1. Ideas for developing my ePortfolio for the wider world
  2. A new desire to write on my blog
  3. Rethinks on the webpages and external websites I maintain.

Unfortunately, I still waffle on my blog…


My prelimary title for my research is:

An investigation into the use of online resources to encourage PDP and reflective learning in Universities

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