Monday, December 31, 2007


Snow, to me, makes mundane objects more interesting. For example, this bicycle while being completely unremarkable resembles the ruins of Pompey after getting covered by snow.

Snow tree.

I always found snow covered trees beautiful, especially against a blue sky. It almost looks like the trees have leaves again.



Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas.

And Happy Birthday Lili!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Where is Santa?

NORAD, North American Aerospace Defense Command, the people who track every object flying around the Earth also keep an eye on Santa. They have set up a website, complete with videos of Santa's visits to different places around the globe, where you can see Santa's current location. This site is frequently updated and even provides a toll free number to call NORAD in case you can't wait for the site to be updated.

Christmas Eve.

Since it is Christmas Eve I thought that a little Trans-Siberian Orchestra would be appropriate. So here it is:

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Another Christmas tree.

It has been raining all day and the snow, along with my hopes for a white Christmas, melted completely. So here is a picture I took of a tree that grows outside my workplace during a recent snow.

Leather penguin.

This is a cover for an Xbox game. The guy on the right, whose name I assume is Lynch, looks exactly like my friend Leather Penguin.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Sitting pretty.

Exhausted by shopping, Lili and her teddy bear take a break in a lovely lavender chair.

Rare sight.

With on-line news sources and cell phones galore seeing a pay phone and a newspaper dispencer together is quite unusual.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Empty nest.

This is the computer lab which is a part of the Department of Instructional Technology. During my graduate studies, I spent a lot of time in this lab working on various class projects. The professors' offices are located right around the lab making them easily accessible when you have a question. I am going to miss this place and all the friends I made in it.

At an angle.

Today I had to visit the BU campus to pay a bill and was struck by how much the new addition to the McCormick Hall looks like a ship's bow.

Slow sign.

I never liked how this sign was worded. It always implied to me that the children at play are slow and I don't think that the Department of Transportation is qualified to make such judgments.

One pic a day.

Quite often, after I log in to Blogger, I click on the Dashboard button to see what is new and exciting. I read the latest post by the Blogger team and then check out the Blogs Of Note list. Sometimes the name of a blog on that list peaks my interest and I read it. This is how I came upon One Pic a Day which is a photo blog. Its author started taking pictures on daily basis back in January of 1989 and in January of this year he decided to put these pictures on the web. This blog, and others dedicated to photography, fascinates me because it allows you a glimpse into a world we very seldom see or have access to, a world seen through the eyes of another person. This point of view is the reason why people read blogs, or at least that's why I read them.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Supermarket at night.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Oh Christmas tree.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Dashing through the snow, on a horse minus the slay, o'er the fields she goes laughing all the way.


What can be said about a banana peel on a patch of ice?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Drive thru ATM.

I was behind this guy at an ATM this morning. Apperently he didn't understand the drive part of drive through.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

In the lane snow is glicening.

This is the view from my front porch. It started sleeting and snowing around 6 this morning and pretty much everything has been closed since.

Friday, December 07, 2007

The date that shall live in infamy.

66 years later it is pointless to argue whether Japan's attack on the Naval fleet at Pearl Harbor was an appropriate response to American embargoes. It is also pointless to talk about whether the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a retaliation for Pearl Harbor or a way to subdue the Japanese population which would have fought to the death following an invasion of the Japanese mainland. And the most pointless thing would be to draw parallels between the attacks of 12/07/41 and 09/11/01. All we can do now is remember.

Kringle racing.

This time of year you find a lot of strange Christmas themed inflatables decorating people's lawns. However, this one was decorating a sidewalk.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Request for proposal.

If you are planning to write, or to answer, a Request For Proposal in the near future, Free RFP Template Toolkit might come in handy.

Online course design.

This is a banner I made for an online course I am building.

St. Nicholas day.

Saint Nicholas was a 4th century Bishop of Myra in what is now Turkey. He was famous for secretly giving very generous gifts to the poor which lead to the birth of his better known counterpart, Santa Claus. He is considered to be the patron saint of several groups of people, such as sailors, and cities, such as Moscow and New York, around the world. In some cultures, people exchange presents on December 6th instead of Christmas day.

Monday, December 03, 2007

E-learning via a cell phone.

As our lives get busier and busier, the humble cell phone is rapidly becoming an increasingly useful and necessary accessory. With the recent introduction of Apple's iphone to the purses and pockets of tech savvy people it has become evident that a device, which is not quite a PDA and not a simple cell phone either, has a lot of possibility beyond being an obviously useful combination of tools and features.

The most useful feature of these devices lies in their ability to download and display content. The screen size along with the storage capacity make newer phones readily available e-learning platforms. In fact, with the email access previously unheard of and the features mentioned before, there is no need for a busy sales representative to carry a cell phone and a PDA along with their laptop. They might even be able to get away with just the multi-talented cell phone. And when a rare free moment occurs, these sales representatives could access trainings or certifications their company require them to take right on their phone.

This idea may not be as far fetched as it first seems. Since Adobe's development, and recent improvement, of Flash Lite now allows a developer to build short e-learning modules which would fit into anyone's busy schedule and would minimize time away from work.

Old wheelbarrow.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Time for causes.

Right around Thanksgiving you start noticing Salvation Army Kettle Drive bell ringers and the Marine Corps' Toys For Tots boxes everywhere you go. These things are as much a part of Christmas as carols and presents. They are a part of a Christmas tradition of giving and work on the principle of Public Display of Charity. Throwing a few coins into a red kettle in full view of other people not only makes you feel good about yourself, it makes you feel better about the amount of money you're going to spend on presents.

There is another charity which needs attention around Christmas. This charity works with people who, more than most, need the gift of good cheer and a wish of a Merry Christmas. The charity in question is eMOM and the group of people they work with is the American soldiers stationed overseas. EMOM, which stands for eMail Our Military, provide those who sign up on their site with an email address of a soldier in either Iraq or Afghanistan. Once you have a soldier's email address you can provide them with much needed support and holiday spirit. This is of course a very private display of charity, but one that will prove more valuable than a few coins thrown into a red kettle at the mall.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

December duties.

With the arrival of December, we welcomed it to our house by hanging a Christmas wreath on the front door and a Christmas Countdown Calendar on the door of Lili's bedroom to help us countdown the 25 shopping days until her birthday. For her part, Lili modeled the new hat that her great grandmother sent just in time for the first day of Winter.

The ADDIE model.

During C.A.C. I had a brief discussion with Louis Biggie, from Johns Hopkins University, about the ADDIE model and breaking the rules of instructional design. The issues here is that as technology evolved, giving instructional designers better and better tools, the design process itself has not. The design process usually follows a model, like ADDIE, step by step without much deviation. There are several models and each one is an attempt to streamline the design process, but the actual process of designing instruction sometimes makes it difficult to follow a model step by step.

Let's look at the ADDIE model which serves as the staple of instructional design. ADDIE is an abbreviation of the five steps that make up this model: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. An instructional designer supposed to follow these five steps in order, using the outcome of one stage as the starting point of the next. However, the Design and Development stages can be done simultaneously which simplifies the process. For example, let's assume that during the Analysis stage it became evident a client's needs would be best served by a web based instructional solution. Therefore, a web developer could be building a site, while an instructional designer is working on a solution.

This is why I like the Layers of Necessity model. Layers of Necessity allows you to modify it to fit a project in hand instead of following it blindly step by step. The most important parts, Learner Analysis for example, are placed in the fist layer. While the rest, depending on their importance, project time line, and the budget, are placed in the second, third, or nth layers. This model has only been around for seventeen years, but it demonstrates what instructional design can become if the theoretical development follows closely with the technological.