Tag Archives: Core II

My Beach Cruiser and Boomer’s Houndabout Bike Share

As promised a few weeks ago, here is the fun reward I got myself for completing the second qualifying exam! It’s a Nirve Beach Cruiser I found at PedalUniverse and I finally hooked up Boomer’s HoundAbout.


Last year I tried to hook up the HoundAbout to my old bike but I was unable to do so. I felt like a failure, especially after reading reviews like this “It was so easy to hook up…”. So I asked the old Manfrankager to give it a try – and he couldn’t do it either, and that made me feel better.

What I realized, thanks to the guys at Metro Bicycles, was the HoundAbout can only hook up to bikes that have less than 7 gears and are not quick release.

Old bike with too many gears and quick release wheels

Enter the Nirve Cruiser – which has 3 gears and is not quick release.

Happy ending:

nirve cruiser with houndabout
Nirve Cruiser with HoundAbout outside Metro Bicycle Shop
Stay tuned for some Boomer action shots!



My New Media Lab Blurb and Icon and a Critique Using WebNotes

Icon fin kreniske
My Icon

I recently joined the New Media Lab (NML) at the CUNY Graduate Center. The lab coordinators asked me to create an icon and write a blurb about my project that will be posted on the NML website. Here’s the blurb and click on the link at the bottom of the page to see my critique of my project icon and blurb.

Title: Is Blogging Good For Your Health?

Research indicates that writing about college experiences in a private context can lead to positive health and academic outcomes for college students (Pennebaker & Francis, 1996).  Recently Finkel et al. (2013) showed how a writing intervention had a positive influence on married couples happiness. Daiute et al. (2003) and Cohen and Riel (1989) demonstrated how audience is a key component of writing. Do the positive benefits of writing persist when that audience is the general public, as is the case when blogging. Or must the audience be specifically chosen by the writer in order to contribute to positive health outcomes?

Currently I am exploring a variety of platforms including blogger, wordpress, and edublogs to determine which will work best for this project. Following the initial phase of selecting a platform I plan to create and pilot test at least three blogging templates. During the research project participants will be able to select one of the three templates to use for their blog. The final research project will analyze how participants write in the blog setting as compared to a more private MS Word setting.

Who will the participants be?

What will the writing prompts be?

On my blog you can follow the progress as I develop these tools and concretize my method.

Brief Note on my WebNotes Critique:

I wanted to use WebNotes to critique the real NML page, however, it will not be posted for another couple of weeks and this assignment for ITP Core II is due by Tuesday. So I have pasted the blurb and icon on my blog above. Then I used WebNotes to comment on this icon and blurb. I found it a bit overwhelming when I looked at the WebNotes; to ameliorate this I suggest minimizing all of the stickies and then going through and maximizing and minimizing as you please.

A Day Reading About MOOCS and Walking the Dogs in Snow

As noted above I spent the day reading about MOOCS and walking the dog in the snow. Both projects seem somehow circular. After reading the following:

(this is just half the ‘assigned readings’ for this week, praps I’ll read the rest tomorrow).

After reading Shirky’s piece I was compelled by his argument that MOOCS might at least be equivalent if not superior to the typical large lecture hall format. But I have since returned to near my original position that MOOCS can’t provide the interpersonal connections and experiences that make learning dynamic and exciting to me.

For example, last semester I graded nearly 100 undergrad papers. Although I did my best to explain each comment, many students still needed to meet with me and discuss specific structural and conceptual comments. Perhaps this can be done online, but somehow track changes came up short. It was only when a student and I sat across from each other and reviewed each comment that I noted a look of understanding that was often reflected by improvements in their next paper.

In addition, there are interpersonal aspects of sharing a space with other learners that I’ll address in the next post.

On another note after nearly three hour long walks in the blizzard with Boomers she too has come full circle and is almost due again.

High point?

Confronting Riverside’s Abominable Snowman:

boomer snowman


click here to read MOOCS Part II