Useful links: forms, css, W3Conf, Glass, Lireo

The Problem of CSS Form Elements is at Smashing Magazine.

Seven Things Still Missing from CSS at .net magazine.

Video from the recent W3Conf are available on YouTube.

The Google Glass Feature No One is Talking About. Is Google becoming Big Brother?

Lerio Designs has blog posts with weekly roundups of web design and development resources that is excellent and worth subscribing to.

Ways to Use Skype in the Classroom

Skype is a free, ubiquitous peer-to-peer (P2P) Internet based telephone system that was created by the same company that developed kaZaa in 2003. Unlike other instant message applications such as Yahoo and MSN, Skype works seamlessly across firewalls and has more refined voice and video quality. It uses voice over Internet protocol technology (VoIP) which converts and encrypts voice signals into data streams that are sent over the internet and converted back into voice on the other end. Making record of the data streams for future reference through Skype is possible. With Skype, a person can communicate with anyone else across the globe without the need of expensive tele collaboration equipment. This is because the VoIP application has in-built capabilities to support instant messaging and teleconferencing.
Nobumi and Yukari on Skype

Being relatively easy to use and to set up, Skype has provided students in the classroom with a wide range of opportunities with which to improve learner comprehension and engagement.

Meet With Other Classes

A tutor can provide his or her students with the experience of traveling overseas over the comfort of their chairs through Skype. The tutor can arrange for teleconferences through Skype with foreign students located in different parts of the globe. This provides the students with the opportunity of interacting with foreign nationals and exchange of ideas becomes possible. According to college paper experts at, discussions concerning mundane subjects and assignments can lead to cultural exchanges among students located in different parts of the world.

Practice Foreign Language

Language students benefit the most since they can easily initiate a live correspondence with a native speaker of the language that they are undertaking. A student can record his or her audio conversations with a foreign colleague who is native to the language. Replaying the conversation later can help the student improve his or her grammar and pronunciation skills. It goes without saying that the student acquires all these benefits without actually having to pay for airplane tickets whose cost can be quite prohibitive.


Holding debates through Skype saves the students and teachers a lot of time and money by minimizing physical movement. Being a computer based application, students can peruse for facts over the internet to strengthen their point of view. This way, students improve their communication and critical thinking skills quite fast.

Practice Job Interviews

Naturally, most students perform poorly when it comes to interviews. Technical skills and knowledge alone do not guarantee automatic acceptance into the market. Skype enables teachers to help their students with this crucial stage by providing them with mock job interviews. A teacher can make arrangements with a real life human resource manager to conduct interviews with his or her students over Skype. If that is not possible, then the teacher can make arrangements with an authority figure such as a counselor or fellow teachers to help with the mock interview process from their office.

The foregoing is not exhaustive of how Skype can help students improve their learning. Skype can indirectly support a student’s learning by enabling teachers to conduct conferences with parents via Skype. This saves the parents and teachers’ time, energy and costs associated with gas. The convenience of the application encourages parents to interact with teachers from time to time. Skype enables students to meet with mentors who can help them make appropriate career choices. Most important, Skype can be used as a reliable platform to share presentations, provide tutoring and conduct lessons. Skype recordings help students who are unable to attend classes for various reasons to catch up with their peers.

Author bio: Craig R. is an experienced college paper writing expert having worked for a number of educational companies, including where he helps students advance in their academic life.

What Would An Internet Etiquette Curriculum Look Like?

Yesterday I suggested that it might be time for something along the lines of an Internet etiquette curriculum for modern times. A curriculum that could be used to shape behavior and improve the quality of online discourse.

What would people learn from such a curriculum? Here are a few suggestions.

  • How to frame comments so that they make a point without being offensive. This includes how to write an effective sentence – what terms work, what language works, etc.
  • How to disagree without being offensive. This includes how to write an effective sentence – what terms work, what language works, etc.
  • How to convey humor online
  • How to express your own opinions in a positive manner
  • How to be critical of public figures in a positive manner
  • How to comment on the behavior of others (especially celebrities) without being snarky and ugly about it
  • How to suggest changes to public policy, legislation, your favorite cause, or any thing else by making a clear point without denigrating someone else.
  • What remarks are neutral, e.g., not pointed at something offensive like appearance, gender, or belief systems, but instead express an idea without attack.

These are a few of my initial thoughts. Do you have other suggestions? In all these situations, I think what people need is practice in framing responses and writing ideas that are positive, down to examples of exact wordings and sentence structures that can be useful.

Long discussions around the coffee table vs. Internet interactions


In my college days, we’d gather for pizza and a huge jug of cheap wine. We’d sit on the floor, gathered around a coffee table, and hold long discussions about the fine points of just about everything. There was always someone whose imagination took the discussion beyond reality into the realm of absurd extremes. There was always someone who made fun of everything and turned every remark into a sarcastic joke.

We laughed at these forays into the land beyond reality or into parody land because they were funny and we all knew that going to extremes was a part of the creativity of the conversation.

Now when we hold these kinds of discussions about the fine points of just about everything, we are doing it on the Internet: in comment threads or in short bursts on Twitter. Sometimes anonymously. Everyone gets to express their opinion just like we did back in the all-night conversations of yore. But we aren’t looking at each other, we aren’t friends who can judge how much everyone else has had to drink, how serious everyone is, and who’s indulging in a flight of imagination to carry the conversation beyond its logical limits.

Here’s the point. We haven’t learned how to do these free-for-all discussions on the Internet without inflicting pain. Sometimes what we do is civil and respectful, but sometimes it crosses over into an area that hurts. Perhaps because anonymity gives people a feeling that it’s okay to be insulting and demeaning. Perhaps because we have no body language and tone of voice connected to typed and transmitted electrons.

For whatever reason, we aren’t handling things well. We damn people who are giving their all to their community. We call little girls disgusting names. We insult people who disagree with us. We comment on how people look or dress. We threaten violence.

It’s time we stop spending our time talking about how to ignore the trolls and instead develop a plan to help people learn how to act on the Internet. A big plan, lead by charismatic leaders who can teach with effective results. An education plan that sets up social conventions, rules of etiquette, and behavioral standards for all of us.

We need web sites, convention speakers, media articles, YouTube videos, and every other potential communication tool to be full of people sharing ideas about good behavior on the Internet. We need to be trained in civil conversation skills on the Internet. It’s a new world, we need to learn new skills.

We’ve done it with other issues. We can do it with conversation skills on the Internet. How can you help?

Announcing Web Platform Docs

A great new resource for learning web design was announced at It’s a wiki and participation by knowledgeable web designers and developers is needed. That said, it’s already a huge resource of the best information available.

Congratulations to everyone involved in this effort. The group calls itself the Web Platform Stewards, and includes

  • Adobe
  • Apple
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • HP
  • Microsoft
  • Mozilla
  • Nokia
  • Opera
  • W3C

Paul Irish has a lot of good ideas about how you can contribute to the site in Why I’m So Excited about Web Platform Docs.

Useful links: Gamification, Karen Sandler, Cyber Law, LEAKED

How Gamification Results in 21st Century Learning talks about the work of Henry Jenkins, Director of the Comparative Media Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Geek Time with Karen Sandler is a video interview with  Karen Sandler, Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation

What is Cyber Liability and Why Should You Care? is a great overview of copyright. It would make a good reading assignment for those just venturing into the world of publishing on the Internet.

I’m going to post something tomorrow about the rumors about the next Apple product release. Concurrent with that, a friend of mine was talking to me about how her sons curate their boring, unemployed existence on Facebook and Twitter to make it appear that they are cool and awesome. Then, thanks to spydergrrl, I learn that there’s this video LEAKED: Official Apple iPhone 5 Promo Video. Serendipity strikes again.


Useful links: Speaker Tips, Facebook email, your Twitter self

So you’ve been invited to speak is from Lea Verou who has some excellent tips for people who are doing presentations that involve coding. Wish her advice about IDEs was tattooed on the brain of every speaker I’ve every watched.

Facebook just changed your email without your permission. Here’s how to get it back.

Lately, I’m sort of obsessed with the idea of analyzing people based on what they post on Twitter. It seems like there’s a website that’s supposed to do that . . . am I making this up or is there such a website?