Gladys, Take a memo, and please clean up my dirty mouth

shorthand class

cc: flickr.com/photos/70251312@N00

“Writing obscures language; it is not a guise for language but a disguise.”
– (Saussure, Course in General Linguistics)

In September, I started to experiment with voice recognition software. The results were interesting, humourous, and inaccurate. I wrote a post about it on the blog I set up for my graduate research. At the time, I was experimenting to see what it means to capture the analytics of performance (or here, speech) to be replicated later. This experiment resonated with some of the work I’ve done in the past couple years with accessibility, speech recognition and voice commands.

Then this happened:
apple dictation

Apple’s new iPad (generation 3), has a Dictation option. The features page, suggests that:

Write an email. Send a text. Search the web. Or create a note. And do it all with only your voice. Instead of typing, tap the microphone icon on the keyboard. Then say what you want to say while your iPad listens. When you’re done, tap anywhere on the screen and, just like that, your spoken words become written words. Dictation also works with third-party apps, so you can do things like update your Facebook status or share a thought on your Twitter feed.

Interesting stuff. Now, before you jump on board, read this post and consider what information you might be sending and storing on Apple’s servers.

I’ve been experimenting with this dictation feature for the past couple weeks. On Monday, I lost a fight with the dandelions in my backyard. As a result, I’ve thrown my back out and I have difficulty sitting for an extended period of time. So, I’ve been using the dictation feature to answer emails, send out tweets, and I’m using it right now to compose this post. It seems to work pretty well.

I was showing it off to my kids this morning as replying to an email from a friend of mine. I asked my five years old son if he wanted to try it out. So, I suggested he say, “Looking forward to seeing you.” Somehow things got a bit garbled…and the result?

“Fucking sea plank.”

I’m not entirely sure what that means, but it resulted in me having to change my shirt when coffee came out my nose.

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Learning from each other, while we do our thang!

I’ve been watching the first season of Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids (thank you, Netflix). My kids love it. The show stands up pretty well. The theme song is damn catchy.



Did you know that William Henry “Bill” Cosby, Jr. earned a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Massachusetts? It’s a fact.

What can we learn from the gang’s stories?

  • Effective learning should be relevant and take into consideration the learners’ contexts. Learning is highly situational. The Gang learned on their terms, on their turf.
  • Media can be an effective tool for learning. The Brown Hornet cartoon-within-a-cartoon bumbling superhero episodes were short, brilliant, engaging learning-bytes and conversation starters.
  • Learning is social.
  • A song or 2 can always help. People learn in different ways, and let’s not forget what the arts can teach us.
  • The show is built around the power of experiential learning. Cosby guides the gang through Kolb’s model of concrete experience, reflection, abstract conceptualization and active experience.
  • Learning can be fun. “And if you’re not careful, you might learn something before you’re done.”

Toxicology. The (Family) Musical.

Minutes ago, I posted the following to my Twitter and Facebook pages:

RT @kylemackie: I (admittedly) know precious little about toxicology, but maybe you could help me write a musical about it: http://bit.ly/dCxUjP #toxmusic

The results so far.

Join in!




etherpad screencapture

I’m not your guru!

from my wardrobe:

I'm not your guru

from Jesse Brown’s Search Engine:



from Seth Godin’s, Linchpin:

I’m always amazed when I meet a writer who can’t use a computer, or a lawyer who’s uncomfortable with LexisNexis, or an executive who needs a corporate IT person to help him navigate an e-mail system. If you’re a marketer unable to leverage your skills by using online tools, you’re merely linked to machines owned by the corporation. That’s power they don’t deserve.

The world just gave you control over the means of production. Not to master them is a sin.

DREAM and DO.

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“We are not crap enough. We need to be more shit.”

I first encountered Hugh MacLeod (@gapingvoid) last summer when I was putting together the first (hopefully annual, in one way/shape/form) Desire2Learn unConference.

unconference comic

Hugh is a cartoonist, writer, and CEO of Stormhoek USA, which markets South African wine in the States. I like his comics quite alot, must pick up his book and a bottle of wine.