‘Are Books Going to Be Replaced by Technology?’

By Jim Shimabukuro

With so many professional services competing for our interest online, I couldn’t remember when, why, or how I signed up for eblasts from ResearchGate (RG), but, last night, as I was pruning my list of incoming email, their subject line caught my eye: “Q&A Highlights for James Shimabukuro.” I moved the cursor from the garbage can icon to the subject line and clicked. This is what I found:

RG 102419

The second and third questions grabbed my attention — especially the third. I clicked and went to the RG site. I had to log in. I couldn’t remember the password I used, so I requested a change. Once that was out of the way, I joined the discussion and posted a reply (Oct. 23). Here’s a capture of the question, posted by Beverly Dawn Metcalfe, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, on 15 Oct. 2019:

This afternoon (Oct. 24), when I logged in to the discussion, I couldn’t find my reply. I thought I had clicked on the “add” button, but I guess I didn’t. In any case, I had saved a copy, so I resubmitted it. This is how it appears in the forum:

I should have reviewed it for errors before submitting it. There’s no editing window after publishing.

The topic, by itself, is interesting, but the platform is even moreso. All professional forums, to some extent, serve or should serve as resources for further research, but ResearchGate has formalized this function. A quick review of questions posed by our colleagues from around the world (RG claims “15 million members” in its efforts “to connect the world of science and make research open to all”1) reveals topics that are both intriguing and timely.

If you can make the time, consider dropping in on the Q&A forum if you’re a member or joining (it’s free) to explore discussions on topics that might raise your adrenalin.

1 From the RG “about” page. Look for the link at the bottom of the webpage.

TCC Online Conference 2020: Call for Proposals

25th Anniversary Special!
TCC Worldwide Online Conference
April 14-16, 2020

Vision 2020

Proposal deadline: December 20, 2019
Guidelines: http://bit.ly/tcc2020proposal
Homepage: tcchawaii.org
Hashtag: #tccsilver

Call for Proposals
Faculty and staff are invited to submit a paper or a general session proposal related to learning design and technology such as e-learning, learning communities, digital literacy, social media, online privacy, mobile learning, emerging technologies (AI, AR, VR), gamification, faculty and staff support, and professional development.

25th Anniversary Special!
To celebrate this milestone, two features are included in this year’s event: A commemorative pre-conference symposium onsite (March 17-18) and a Day in the Life of TCC, where plenary sessions will be presented over the entire 24-hours of April 15 (HST) in six-hour blocks from four regions of the world.



Participation in this event is entirely online. All sessions are streamed in real-time. Sessions recorded for later viewing. For your info, recordings from our previous TCC 2019 may be viewed:

Bert Kimura <bert@hawaii.edu> or Curtis Ho <curtis@hawaii.edu>

TCC Hawaii, LearningTimes, & the Learning Design and Technology Department, College of Education, UH-Manoa collaborate to produce this event. Numerous volunteer faculty and staff worldwide provide additional support.

Raspberry Pi 4 Desktop: Upgrades and Updates

By Jim Shimabukuro

The more time I spend with the Raspberry Pi 4, the more I’m convinced that it could stand in for a desktop for many uses. For light users and perhaps for schools and colleges, the savings would be astronomical. I decided to add a small monitor to make the unit less cumbersome and more portable. School and college faculty, techs, and administrators ought to look into this tiny computer as a possible replacement or substitute for expensive desktops for class or lab use. Experiment with it. Can it cover the functions that are needed?

Added a lightweight, portable 1920×1080 HDMI monitor1 and some updates.

Tweaks abound. Enthusiasts and pros are sharing, via YouTube, new and exciting updates and upgrades. Here are a few that I completed in the last hour:
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Raspberry Pi 4 Is the Future of Desktop Computers

By Jim Shimabukuro

Update: 4 Aug. 2019

The CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 Complete Starter Kit arrived yesterday evening. I got it up and running before turning in and did more extensive testing today. My overall early impression is “Wow!” Pi4 has all the earmarks of a desktop disruptor. Its tiny size and outrageousy low price is a dramatic departure from clunky and expensive desktops. I’ve always wondered why desktop computers have changed so little in the last ten to twenty years. Laptops, notebooks, tablets, and other computing devices are shrinking in size and price every year or so, but desktops seem to remain the same.

It was only a matter of time before a breakthrough like the Pi4 would occur. Earlier Pi versions didn’t have enough power to replace desktops. The Pi4 is a tipping point, marking the beginning of an era that might eventually see the decline of today’s major desktop producers as well as Microsoft’s monopoly on operating systems. For approximately $150, I have a desktop that can do almost everything my $1500 desktop can do1.

The Raspberry Pi 4 is the tiny box to the right of the keyboard. I have it set up for two monitors. The screen on the right is running a 1080p YouTube video. The screen on the left is running four apps: a webpage, an email page, a word processor, and a spreadsheet. The keyboard, mouse, and power supply are official Raspberry accessories. The two mini-HDMI and power cable with in-line power button are CanaKit products.

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‘Buzzy’s Adventures in Online Privacy’ — A Review

Lynn ZimmermannBy Lynn Zimmerman
Associate Editor
Editor, Teacher Education

Buzzy’s Adventures in Online Privacy, by Bilal Soylu & Paritica Aluskewicz, illustrations by Olga Pietraszek. XcooBee LLC. Printed by Amazon. 61 p. ISBN 9781095474815.

This book is designed for parents and other caregivers to read with children around five years old, kindergarten age. It’s a cautionary tale about the dangers that lurk online, which is a relevant topic for today’s young learners. The book aims to educate young children about the importance of privacy when online, such as not sharing information with strangers. The characters are animals, some representing children, others adults, and the cartoon-like illustrations would probably appeal to a child this age.

A  page from Buzzy’s Adventures in Online Privacy.

However, I’m not convinced the book would be effective. It seems to have a dual personality, each of which is directed at a separate audience. The story that is directed at children addresses various issues at their level. It shows young animals on the Internet playing online games and using various apps being approached by strangers obtaining personal information in the guise of friendship.  Continue reading

Repurposing Gaming Keyboards and Desktops for Multimedia Work

By Jim Shimabukuro

After nearly ten years, I decided to upgrade my desktop computer. It was being overwhelmed by the multimedia tasks that I’ve been throwing at it. After reviewing the available options, I ended up getting a gaming PC. I’m not a gamer and never have been, but the features that I need happen to be in gaming machines. I got the HP OMEN Obelisk Desktop1 with an Intel Core i7-9700 processor and 16 GB system memory.2 (See the details below.) For serious gamers, this is a modest system.

I completed the purchase online and drove to the store, which is about four miles away. While waiting for the order to be filled, I browsed the keyboard section. I decided it was time to get a new one with backlit keys. The search led me to gaming keyboards, and the best for my needs was the HyperX Alloy FPS Pro mechanical gaming keyboard. It was compact and felt substantial. It didn’t have a numeric keypad. I never use a keypad, so I welcomed the smaller size.

HyperX Alloy FPS Pro mechanical gaming keyboard with backlit keys. All of the photos in this article can be enlarged by left-clicking the photo.

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Memories of Computers Past

Harry Keller 80By Harry Keller
Former ETCJ Science Editor
& President of SmartScience

When Jim wrote about 5-1/4″ disks, it triggered a cascade of memories from my half-century of computer experiences. Today, it’s all miniature flash memories.

Seriously, I remember 8″ floppy disks. I had a bunch of them, now long gone to the landfill. I worked in the computer industry before ANY floppy disks existed. Oh, we had removable disks and were careful not to drop them on our toes.

8-inch, ​5 1⁄4-inch, and ​3 1⁄2-inch floppy disks. Wikipedia photo and caption by George Chernilevsky, 6 June 2009.

It gets worse. I remember working with punched cards — myself! I even edited the binary cards returned to you after a compilation to save time. Woe betide the person who dropped their cards if they were not sequenced. If they were, then you had access to a card sorting machine. Old movies showed them as though THEY were the computer. Ha ha ha.  Continue reading