Another dot in the blogosphere?

Posts Tagged ‘business

As I age, I can feel curmudgeonly cells coat the fibre of my being. So I was not surprised when I did not think highly of some weather-related tweets of STonline.

Am I becoming an old fart? No. I am one. But I am old enough to think young and season it with some wisdom.

Someone at the news agency probably thought that it would be harmless to let an intern take the helm of weather-related tweets. After all, this was not a breaking headline, serious news, or an editorial opinion. Since weather here is so meh, why not spice things up?

In the grand scheme of things, there was no foul and no harm. There were probably no feelings hurt and no political, religious, or other sensitive lines crossed.

But the weather tweet reports were still part of a larger whole — a serious newspaper. If the paper wanted to take itself less seriously, it should remember that it has a comics section and a humour column. Or at least I am assuming so because I do not actually read a paper newspaper anymore.

Might the newspaper be so out of touch that it did not learn the painful lesson from the @MOEsg attempts at entertaining by asking infantile riddles in 2013? Here is a selection I Storified.

Being funny is not easy.

It is an art.

It is contextual.

It is subjective.

It is a serious business.

The same could be said about those who teach. It might look easy if you think that teaching is standing in front of a classroom and just talking. Some folks do not talk; they still read off scripts.

It is one thing to teach, it is another to educate (what are some differences?). Like humour, educating is also an art.

Educators work with contexts, not just content.

Educators leverage on subjectivity instead of pretending there is only objectivity.

Education is a serious business. Many may be called to teach, but few can educate. Anyone who thinks or tells you otherwise does not understand what it means to be an educator.

I like meeting new people at conferences and that comes with the baggage of giving and receiving business cards.

I spoke at Educon Asia’s 6th Higher Education Summit yesterday. For the first time in a long time I could not give my NIE business card away. So I made my own.


I wanted to simplify a business card because I find that they contain too much information. I also wanted to add an element of playfulness to my cards.

Most people hand out and take business cards like a reflex action. Most cards end up in the trash (I scan mine). Perhaps a card that stood out was more likely to be retained.

If someone is serious about contacting you, they only need your phone number or your email address. But these are personal information that vendors and companies collect and sometimes abuse. So I left those out.

To allow folks to contact me, I added the QR code that leads to this blog. If they do not know how to scan a QR code, I have enough social presence that Googling me results in my blog and Twitter accounts at the top. Once there, folks can contact me. It is especially easy through the Contact page of this blog.

I considered leaving the QR code out because the design would have been even cleaner. Folks would have to play a simple search game to contact me. But a QR code would encourage them to use a mobile device.

By sending people on a search or a mobile quest, I could get them to experience two of the many things I promote. Those that do not try are not serious about reaching out, so my cards are a filtering mechanism.

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One of the things I invested in recently was a business card scanner, the WorldCard Pro.


The device is on the right and a stack of business cards I have collected (and not yet scanned) is on the left. Disclaimer: This is not a product review nor was I given one to evaluate. I bought the device after doing some online research.

The day we stop using business cards to share basic contact information is the day I stop using this device. It is so much easier to scan the cards, have the device do a quick optical character recognition (OCR), and automatically update my online contacts list.

I like the fact that this model is USB-powered, cross platform (Mac and PC), and very light. I do not think I will need to travel with it, but if I have to it will not take up much space. It is about the size of a really fat drink coaster.

It takes a second or two to scan each card and the software can sync what it scans to Google Contacts. Once there, the contacts can be retrieved and synced practically anywhere and to any device. There are other offline address book formats, but I do not care much for them.

The OCR is not perfect, but I think this is partly due to some really tiny fonts in some cards. The software also tries to match fields like departments or job positions to what is on cards, but there are so many variants that I end up manually editing the captures. That said, it is far easier to scan and edit than to type card by card.

While on captures, the image scans are stored by the software and can be synced to a Google Photos album. But I am not sure why not all my scans were synced to the album.

I am only part of the way through scanning my collection of business cards. The 100 or so in the stack is what I have not processed yet.

If you think about it, it is quite idiotic how we still exchange such basic information in such an archaic way.

As an independent consultant, I am going to resist creating business cards. I am going to find a more seamless solution or simply ask people to Google me. That in turn will push me to maintain a prominant digital presence.

I not only think that Web 2.0 tools should be integrated in education because of how they can change the way we teach and learn, I also think that they are important for the future of our children. Sure, the technologies will change, but the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they learn will transfer.

I get loads of RSS feeds of companies reporting the importance of Web 2.0 for commerce. A recent international survey by Blackline of 557 business professionals revealed that:

65.3% business professionals say that Web 2.0 services allow them to achieve business objectives and 78.1% believe they help increase collaboration among employees.

53.7% of the respondents to the survey disagree with the idea that Web 2.0 tools distract professionals from their jobs and lower productivity, and 71% don’t consider "Web 2.0" to be a hype.

Blackline is not alone with its findings. Don’t believe me, search yourself. Better still, just use RSS and let these findings come to you!

Many thanks to Laremy for bringing to my attention an article titled Businesses Can’t Hide From 2.0: A Look At 2.0’s Impact Across Industries. It was from that article that I found Wikis Are Now Serious Business.

Just how serious are businesses about wikis? Gartner, a company that projects technology trends, predicted that by 2009, 50% of all U.S. corporations will have wikis.

This business trend is last on my list of reasons why we use wikis for the ICT course that I facilitate, but it is no less important. The different and flexible ways that wikis can be used is what appeals to me. The article on Wikis Are Now Serious Business describes some ways. Those ideas and more are what we can do in education!

The technical affordances of wikis also influences pedagogy. The use of wikis challenges the very notion of how I should teach and how learner might benefit as a result. Wikis reinforce the idea that I am not the only expert and they make me think of ways to scaffold learning. Wiki encourage my learners to be independent and to create content. They problem-solve, identify gaps, find resources to fill those gaps, analyze and evaluate those resources, and create something new.

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