Monthly Archives: January 2011

The story of an ebook thief

Dear eBook Publisher,

I read 'Book 1' of a great series from a great author and thought… 'Wonderful! I want to read the next book! 

I wanted to read these digitally on my ereader, as I'm heading on holidays and don't want to lug around bulky books. I went online, found the books in my favourite ebook store and clicked "add to cart":

"Warning: The eBook you just added to your cart has geographic rights restrictions. The billing country indicates that you do not have the right to purchase this eBook due to restrictions by the Publisher of the eBook." 

I really WANTED TO PAY for, and read this book… I really did. So I tried another online ereader seller and guess what? I can't buy it there either. 

I shared this frustration with a friend and he was on his computer, typing as we spoke. Moments later in the discussion he asked me, "Do you want all 4 books in the series?"

"I just need the last 3."

"Done! Do you have a zip drive?"

"Yes, here it is."

And so, dear ebook publisher, your restrictions lost you a sale, not on one, not on two, but on 3 books that I would have been very happy to pay for. Instead, my friend 'found' a copy online.

Why does it matter where I live… take my money… please.

Kind regards,
An avid reader. 

ps. I notice that the author provided an address at the end of the first book. I think I'll send him some money as thanks, thus just leaving you out of the equation, but giving the author, the artist, his well-deserved payment.

I don’t do FourSquare but…

…I’m pretty happy about these squares! 

We have a huge surprise planned for our kids and I’ve got my phone loaded with more books than I can read. 4 weeks off, then I’ve got a 4 day work-week when I return before heading to the flat classroom conference where I finally get to meet Kim CofinoJulie LindsayVicki Davis and many more amazing educators. But before that happens, I’ve got to work my way through a few mango shakes… life is good! 


Luddite Doctors? Luddite Teachers?

Imagine if a doctor’s first instinct was to ban new technology from hospitals…

Imagine if a educator’s first instinct was to ban new technology from schools…

Ellyn Schaffner said, on twitter, about this Warning poster: @datruss Read your poster again this morn and thought about how it needs revamping to include handheld web devices”

I think filtering and a ban on handheld devices are two separate ideas, but the cartoon above shows my thoughts on banning technology. I would love to see someone put both ideas together into one cohesive poster or cartoon, but my creative juices just aren’t flowing at 4:30am this morning. 🙂

This cartoon by RRMurry on bitstrips makes an insightful comment related to both ideas:

Related posts: 
• Is the tool an obstacle or an opportunity? (older version of the Miss Management cartoon)
• The POD’s are Coming! BLC09 (POD’s – Personally Owned Devices)




This quote seems very Zen Buddhist to me and I think the image goes well with it. I don’t think this is about blending work and play, I think it’s about finding joy in everything you do, and if your work is also a joy, then it isn’t something you clock in and out of. I’m interested in what others think of this quote?

Photo, ‘Behind Buddha’, taken at the Famen Temple near Xi’an, China.

Give a man a fish…

Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and he’ll overfish for profit and diminish supply at an alarming rate, teach a man to learn and to critically access a network of all human knowledge and he just might contribute to a solution to over-fishing or to feeding the 7 billion people on this planet.

I came up with this fun little adaptation of an old metaphor in a comment on Will Richardson’s blog post: ‘A new culture of learning‘… thought I’d share it here too:-)

Alan November: “Do learning”


Forgot that I had made a screen shot of this until I decided to clean up my desktop, (which at the time looked very much like Alan’s when he presents:-)

This goes well with my recent pairadimes post

We aren’t in the ‘teaching business’, rather we are in the ‘learning business’.

…and yes, Alan, we aren’t in the technology business either! 

Please help me with my “Parenting in the digital age” presentation!

This is a humble request for help!

In early June of last year I created this presentation and wiki (details below). The sessions went well and now I’ve been asked to present again. This time the audience is Chinese parents and I have a translator. My slide show is heavily text based because I tried to make it work as a ‘stand-alone’ presentation to support the wiki without me presenting,
(I even added presentation notes to the slideshare if you view it on their site).

…As a result, I am feeling like I almost have to start over before getting this translated.
…Furthermore, I feel like there are definite Western biases to the things I say.
…And finally, there are things that I wanted to add to improve this anyway such as:
• More multi-cultural examples
• Links to creative work done by students (outside of school)
• Include a video of a kid while he is in the role of a World of Warcraft guild master
• More advice and strategies for dealing with kids that are addicted to (or at least highly consumed by) video games – (What strategies work to deal with this?)
Any suggestions or examples would be greatly appreciated!

Be honest, be critical, be brutal if you need to be… just please offer suggestions to help me strip this down to the essentials before I get it translated.
(I’m presenting next week Tuesday:-)
– – – – – – – – – –


For this presentation I created a wiki:

These were the learning intentions:
  • Examine children’s use of technology
  • Increase awareness of the potential challenges around technology use
  • Learn practical, proactive parenting strategies to maintain connections with children using the media they are using.
  • Learn how to guide children in appropriate and safe interactions on the Internet.
  • Find support and resources to better understand these issues

A key part of the presentation is the handout called ‘Engaging with kids‘.  It is made up of a series of questions based on the presentation, but not necessarily in the presentation. The point is asking questions and finding the right balance or ‘fit’ for each family rather than offering any kind of prescribed answers.

Thanks in advance for your feedback and help!

7 Billion is a BIG Number

This reminds me of ‘The Miniature Earth’ that I shared here:

I wonder what 7 billion grains of sand or rice would look like or weigh?

The biodiversity game on the site is also a great conversation starter:

So are the photos: ~Very powerful!

The learning doesn’t stop when I hit ‘post’!

Comments make blogging a rich experience.

Comments on four of my recent Pair-a-Dimes blog posts have blown me away!
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again… The learning doesn’t stop when I hit ‘post’! 
Check out the amazing conversations: 

Thank you, thank you and thank you to all who have ‘joined the conversation’… I really appreciate the opportunity to learn from and with you! 

Neil Pasricha: The 3 A’s of awesome

Neil Pasricha’s blog 1000 Awesome Things savors life’s simple pleasures, from free refills to clean sheets. In this heartfelt talk from TEDxToronto, he reveals the 3 secrets (all starting with A) to leading a life that’s truly awesome.

Attitude – Awareness – Authenticity

A wonderful story that speaks for itself!