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From Room of Ben’s Own
Anne’s World: A New Century of Anne of Green Gables
Edited by Irene Gammel and Benjamin Lefebvre
Toronto: University of Toronto Press, forthcoming in 2010

book poster

book poster

Synopsis
The recent 100 year anniversary of the first publication of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables has inspired renewed interest in one of Canada’s most beloved fictional icons. The international appeal of the red-haired orphan has not diminished over the past century, and the cultural meanings of her story continue to grow and change. The original essays in Anne’s World offer fresh and timely approaches to issues of culture, identity, health, and globalization as they apply to Montgomery’s famous character and to today’s readers.

In conversation with each other and with the work of previous experts, the contributors to Anne’s World discuss topics as diverse as Anne in fashion, the global industry surrounding Anne, how the novel can be used as a tool to counteract depression, and the possibility that Anne suffers from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Anne in translation and its adaptation for film and television are also considered. By establishing new ways to examine one of popular culture’s most beloved characters, the essays of Anne’s World demonstrate the timeless and ongoing appeal of L.M. Montgomery’s writing.

Contributors: Ranbir K. Banwait, Richard Cavell, Alison Matthews David, Irene Gammel, Carole Gerson, Helen Hoy, Huifeng Hu, Benjamin Lefebvre, Alexander MacLeod, Leslie McGrath, Mary Jeanette Moran, Jason Nolan, Andrew O’Malley, Margaret Steffler, Kimberly Wahl.

Hard cover pre-order from amazon.ca
Soft cover pre-order from amazon.ca

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Mirrored from Lemmingworks.

iNudge

Sep. 27th, 2009 08:40 am
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iNudge Rules. It reminds me of the great leonide.de exploratorium of years ago that I was obsessed with. This is my little version of patterns. You click on the boxes in the right column to see the patterns, and in the lower left is the volume curve. If it is dark but the button below it is pressed, I’ve muted that channel. You can click on the button and that pattern will turn on.

This is great as it allows children to create riffs and share them, and other people can mod them as well… does just what it says… allows children to explore sounds and music patterns.

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Mirrored from Lemmingworks.

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Back to school with RIAA-funded copyright curriculum – Ars Technica

School kids in America could certainly stand to learn about copyright in the classroom—it’s a fascinating topic that increasingly impacts the life of every “digital native” and intersects with law, history, art, and technology. But should they be exposed to industry-funded materials meant to teach kids:

That taking music without paying for it (”songlifting”) is illegal and unfair to others (RIAA)
Why illegally downloading music hurts more people than they think (ASCAP)
How the DVD-sniffing dogs, Lucky and Flo, help uncover film piracy (MPAA)
To use problem-solving approaches to investigate and understand film piracy (The Film Foundation)
The importance of using legal software as well as the meaning of copyright laws and why it’s essential to protect copyrighted works such as software (Business Software Alliance)
If this sounds more like “propaganda” than “education,” that’s probably because Big Content funds such educational initiatives to decrease what it variously refers to in these curricula as “songlifting,” “bootlegging,” and “piracy.”

Actually, I think this is great. The best thing the RIAA has done ever. By making every child aware of the corporate interference with their culture and cultural expression, they’re giving kids the best opportunity to think differently and fight for cultural expression that is outside of their purview.
Go RIAA!

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Mirrored from Lemmingworks.

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Just what we all need. What happened to TALKING to your kids and SHARING online experiences?

In June, EchoMetrix unveiled a separate data-mining service called Pulse that taps into the data gathered by Sentry software to give businesses a glimpse of youth chatter online. While other services read publicly available teen chatter, Pulse also can read private chats. It gathers information from instant messages, blogs, social networking sites, forums and chat rooms. … Parents who don’t want the company to share their child’s information to businesses can check a box to opt out. But that option can be found only by visiting the company’s Web site, accessible through a control panel that appears after the program has been installed. It was not in the agreement contained in the Sentry Total Home Protection program The Associated Press downloaded and installed Friday.

No, we can just watch them from the office. I am totally supportive of technologies for vulnerable/special needs individuals, but not when we’re talking about invasive snooping. One more way to keep kids from growing up. Silly.

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Mirrored from Lemmingworks.

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Facebook sez, “Don’t mind us, we’re just whoring out your photos”. So, they can use YOUR photos, even the photos of your friends and children in advertisements, and yes, you gave them permission. Read the article to see how to turn it off though… Opt out, of course.

I would not be using facebook except that it is my job to know about social media. It is a really slimy operation.

Mirrored from Lemmingworks.

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Google Image Search Implements CC License Filtering – Creative Commons
Today, Google officially launched the ability to filter search results using Creative Commons licenses inside their Image Search tool. It is now easy to restrict your Image Search results to find images which have been tagged with our licenses, so that you can find content from across the web that you can share, use, and even modify. Searches are also capable of returning content under other licenses, such as the GNU Free Documentation License, or images that are in the public domain.

To filter by CC search, go to Google’s advanced Image Search page and select the options you’d like in the “Usage rights” section. Your results will be restricted to images marked with CC licenses or other compatibly licensed photos.

Mirrored from Lemmingworks.

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Slashdot | Court Demands Private Facebook Data

a Canadian court decision that has ordered a man suing over injuries from a car accident to answer questions about content on his private “friends only” Facebook page.
“Lawyers for Janice Roman, the defendant in the lawsuit, believe information posted on John Leduc’s private Facebook site — normally accessible only to his approved ‘friends’ — may be relevant to his claim an accident in Lindsay in 2004 lessened his enjoyment of life. As a result of the ruling by Justice David Brown of Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice, Leduc must now submit to cross-examination by Roman’s lawyers about what his Facebook page contains. Brown’s Feb. 20 ruling also makes clear that lawyers must now explain to their clients ‘in appropriate cases’ that postings on Facebook or other networking sites — such as MySpace, LinkedIn and even blogs — may be relevant to allegations in a lawsuit, said Tariq Remtulla, a Toronto lawyer….

Here’s the full article.

I thought I posed about something like this last week. Will it never end? What happens online doesn’t stay where you put it. Don’t worry. I’m not squeaky clean… but I can say that we didn’t know that our past was being recorded forever… and luckily I haven’t done anything that foolish. If you’ve got info on the internet that you don’t want your: partner, grandparents, children or present and future employers… panic. Why not. Panic is a good motivator to get you to do things. You want to live the wild life online, fine. Invent a secondary persona as a creative experiment and create online fictions of social interactions that are really your creative expression of talking about what you’d not really ever do or want to do, as cathartic narrative construction. Not as documents of reality.

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I’ve got a nice EFF member’s sticker on my laptop, and paid my dues… so yesterday I got an email pointing me to the The SSD Project | EFF Surveillance Self-Defense Project:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has created this Surveillance Self-Defense site to educate the American public about the law and technology of government surveillance in the United States, providing the information and tools necessary to evaluate the threat of surveillance and take appropriate steps to defend against it.
Surveillance Self-Defense (SSD) exists to answer two main questions: What can the government legally do to spy on your computer data and communications? And what can you legally do to protect yourself against such spying?

For students in CLD419, where we’ve been discussing how to search out information on people, how to protect children’s information, and issues around children as creators of content, EFF is one of the key sources for information on how governments and corporations collect and use information about you. Perhaps this will be a good site to add to the course next year.

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I follow David’s blog on surveillance to keep up to date on the issues, particularly when I’m teaching my Children and Technology course, where we focus on digital photography and children and protection of children’s information online. I actually thought that people had rights to take pictures in britain.

How many people are being arrested for taking pictures in public in Britain?

I’m seeing more and more local and self-reported stories of ordinary people being harassed and arrested in Britain, for taking photographs in public. Today BoingBoing is reporting on this Manchester man who was arrested because the police thought he might be photographing sewer gratings…. This tends to support the argument that I have been making that several democratic countries, with Britain and Italy at the forefront, are drifting into a kind of ’soft fascism’, a creeping totalitarianism that is presented as reasoned and reasonable. It allows supporters to claim that opponents are being ‘extreme’ and underestimating the ‘real danger’, that all of these measure are ‘for our own good’. Yet we have arrived at a point where even untrained, ill-educated street-level minions of the state can now decide whether wee are allowed to take pictures in public. When people like ex-MI5 chief, Stella Rimington are saying that we are in danger of heading towards a police state, even the cynics, and the ‘nothing to hide, nothing to fear’ crowd, should be taking some notice.

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Shelly sent me this: Facebook’s New Terms Of Service: “We Can Do Anything We Want With Your Content. Forever.”

Facebook’s terms of service (TOS) used to say that when you closed an account on their network, any rights they claimed to the original content you uploaded would expire. Not anymore.

Now, anything you upload to Facebook can be used by Facebook in any way they deem fit, forever, no matter what you do later. Want to close your account? Good for you, but Facebook still has the right to do whatever it wants with your old content. They can even sublicense it if they want.

ALL my students should be reading this. And people laugh at me when I say that I don’t like sites like FB where you cannot remove your content and take it with you. Content mobility is a right. IMHO. But this just makes it even worserer. If you don’t care about what happens to your content, you probably aren’t old enough to be allowed to run free on the internet.

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Brain training games get failing grade

That Nintendo brain-training game you’re carrying around in your purse may be sparking some mental activity, but new evidence suggests your prefrontal cortex may be just as happy with a crossword puzzle or a good book.

While millions of trendy puzzle-based video games have been sold around the world on the premise that they can improve cognitive function - and even reverse the signs of an aging brain - there’s nothing the “technological jewel” can do that low-tech alternatives can’t, according to cognitive psychologist Alain Lieury of the University of Rennes 2 in France. [...]

On the memory tests, which involved maps, the puzzles-only group showed a 33-per-cent improvement, but the Nintendo kids’ performance dipped 17 per cent. The Nintendo and puzzle groups matched each other with a 10-per-cent rise in logic scores. In math, all four groups - even the ones with no extra work - showed roughly an 18-per-cent jump in scores.

Personally, I’ve always thought that reading narratives is the best way to work the whole brain. Not just a cognitive workout, but a social education and a creative imaginative exploration. I find that the people I know who are active readers of fiction have greater mental dexterity than those who do not. This just a survey of my own friends. I notice that they are more easily engaged in abstract conceptualization of concrete things and have an active imagination. Those who read fiction less seem to be more baffled with questions that ask them to respond with multiple potential outcomes or too many variables, and difficulties making decisions.

I’ve always thought that reading a variety of narratives and fictions allows someone to see the world from many different perspectives, times, contexts… especially being able to see how different people deal with similar situations, or similar people deal with diverse events. The idea is that the reader is able to contextualize personal lived experience within myriad other character’s experience. This ability to compare, contrast and critically evaluate, assuming one is an active reader, is something the non-reader lacks. How can you cram many lifetimes of experience into a single few years? Stories and fiction allows us to live many lives from many perspectives and integrate what we experience in reading with what we experience in our own lives. And I really don’t know what other form of social interaction gives you that much bang for your buck.

I read a lot, and I watch a lot of movies. At least 3 movies a week. And I talk to lots of people and reflect a lot, and do yoga, etc. I don’t know of anything that has as much effect on my body and mind, and seems to help me in understanding how I can and might interact with the world around me. And I think on average about 50 books a year… fewer in the past 5 years as work has taken over, but as soon as I have a moment I feel compelled to read for the therapeutic effect… it is calming in the way a good long run might be for others.

This is not a professional opinion, just something I’ve noticed over my life. Your friends and mileage may vary.

So, in relation to children and technology, I’d like to say that the old technology of the book has not, IMHO, been superseded by a technological fix that does more… but rather does less.

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Nora Young’s planning something on Anne’s Diary and biometric scanning: Spark | CBC Radio Anne’s Diary: What Do You Think? Just thought you’d like to know. I’m just finishing my chapter for Ben’s project that discusses the site.

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Jeremy pointed me to this article: The Walrus Blogs » The Failure of One Laptop Per Child » World Fast Forward. I disagree with a number of the ‘failures’ as I noted in my comment on the site. But the XO did change our notions of computing, and was a valid attempt to bring constructionism into a wider world.

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Slashdot | Internet Not Really Dangerous For Kids After All
“We’re all familiar with the claim that it’s horribly dangerous to allow our children on to the Internet. It’s long been believed that the moment a child logs on to the Internet, he will experience a flood of inappropriate sexual advances. Turns out this isn’t an accurate representation of reality at all. A high-profile task force representing 49 state attorneys general was organized to find a solution to the problem of online sexual solicitation. But instead the panel has issued a report (due to be released tomorrow) claiming that ‘Social networks are very much like real-world communities that are comprised mostly of good people who are there for the right reasons.’ The report concluded that ‘the problem of child-on-child bullying, both online and offline, poses a far more serious challenge than the sexual solicitation of minors by adults.’ Turns out the danger to our children was all just media hype and parental anxiety.”

There’s an NYT article on it, and I’m looking for the full report.
FRONTLINE: growing up online: watch the full program | PBS has some interesting segments on children and youth online

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Hey everyone!

Check out Innovate: Hacking Say and Reviving ELIZA: Lessons from Virtual Environments by Rochelle Mazar and Jason Nolan:

As text-based predecessors to Second Life, MOOs can offer educators important insights on managing virtual communities to create rich, meaningful learning experiences. Rochelle Mazar and Jason Nolan outline two instructional experiments in MOOs that have implications for current educational practice in Second Life. One involves modifying and modulating users’ ability to speak, first by strategically removing this ability altogether in an attempt to manage information flow and then by adding context-based text to a student’s speech to strengthen the immersiveness of the experience. The second experiment explores the use of chatterbots to deepen the richness and interactivity of a virtual build. While MOOs and Second Life appear to be vastly different technologies, Mazar and Nolan highlight their similarities and suggest that educators can apply the lessons learned from MOO experience to Second Life practice.

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I’d been looking for a list of learning tools, and Jeremy found me this Top 100 Tools for Learning 2008list. It is not at all what I was expecting, which makes it even more interesting. Planning my winter course, and I need to get caught up.

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Slashdot | Study Finds Video Games Are Not Bad for Kids

a study done by the Pew Internet & American Life Project has found game playing is all but universal among teens, and it provides a “significant amount of social interaction and potential for civic engagement.” 97% of teens responding to the survey said they played games 75% played weekly or more often, and roughly two-thirds of teens use games as a social experience. The full report PDF and the questionnaire with answer data PDF are both available for viewing. From the report: “Youth who take part in social interaction related to the game, such as commenting on websites or contributing to discussion boards, are more engaged civically and politically. Youth who play games where they are part of guilds are not more civically engaged than youth who play games alone.

Can games make your kid a better citizen? - Back to School- msnbc.com has a longer article on this. The Pew Internet & American Life Project is probably one of the better sources for information on Internet stuff.

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I’m one of the series of pundits talking about Information Bombardment… My fav of my quotes is “The Internet isn’t in its infancy… it is prenatal.”

October 2013

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