Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Links and Resources: August 19th, 2008

Education is not the filling of a bucket but the lighting of a fire.
W.B. Yeats

and with that, let me toss out a few interesting tidbits:

  • Son of Citation Machine helps you build a proper citation in various formats (MLA, Chicago, etc). You pick the format, source type and then fill in the form. Son of Citation Machine returns a properly formatted citation.
  • My recent post on effective communication reminded me of a set of stories from Morning Edition on Email. Titled The Email Age, there are ten stories ranging from email embarrassments to information overload.
  • You might remember a post from a few months back on computer science and creativity. I talked about captchas, those blurry letters and number you retype to prove you are a human being. NPR has had two radio pieces this summer on captchas in general and the recaptcha project specifically. Turning Verification Codes into Books was featured on the show Day to Day and Web Security Words Help Digitize Old Books was featured on All Things Considered last week.
  • Network World ran a piece on the networking skills gap that is emerging. New areas of networking are becoming in demand (Voice over IP, Wireless) and many networking people were drawn into security over the last few years. Could be an area for retraining that community college programs can focus on. As with any prediction from a trade journal or research firm, your mileage may vary (YMMV).
  • Computerworld is running an article called IT Careers in the Cloud, discussing how IT roles will change as some or all of the applications get moved to a hosted model. A hosted model is one in which a vendor hosts the application and data, and that application is made available to the users via the web. It is sometimes called Cloud Computing (the internet represented as a cloud shape in network diagrams), utility computing, software as a service or hosted computing.
  • The Employment Disconnect in CIO Insight asks whether the it is possible for there to be both a shortage of skilled workers and a cadre of IT professionals that can't find work. The author thinks there is and I agree. This is, in my opinion, the real opportunity and challenge for community colleges. Experienced professionals often need just a few, targeted, specialized classes that give them extensive hands-on experience with a technology or technique. No degrees, no certificates, no "for Dummies" books as the text.
  • Your Degree may be the Last Thing That Gets You a Job argues that several skills, like communication and team work, are more important to academic ability, unless it directly relates to the job at hand. Although this is a UK study, the findings seem to be consistent with others I've read and posted here.
  • High-Tech Job Growth Heats Up New York, Seattle gives some stats on the job market locally for high-tech workers. Stats are a little stale, they are for 2006, but it does point to some recent data too. Things are changing and those numbers may not remain as rosy. Still, right now I'd rather be a network administrator than a house framer.
  • and something a little more light-hearted - How 2.0: Make a Twittering Teddy Bear. This video shows you how to modify a talking teddy bear to interface with your computer and speak all your Twitter tweets. Even if you don't know what Twitter is (come on, Google it) and have no intention of ever building the Six Million Dollar Bear, you'll like this one.
It's the end of the summer so I'd like all the teachers to take a deep cleansing breath/margarita. See, doesn't that feel better.