June 22, 2007

You Ask, We Deliver: New Lucy Pics

More pictures, you say? Just can't get enough? Well, good news! Magda updated her own blog and posted some new pictures for you on her web site.

Allison--as per your request, we even included a few shots of Lucy in the cute outfit you bought her. Thanks again to everyone for the great gifts, messages, and support! We really appreciate our good friends and family.

Philanthropy in SL

Nearly everyday, another story describes how individuals, businesses, and schools are flocking to the online virtual world, Second Life (SL). After all, almost 7.5 million users spent $1.5 million dollars there in just the past 24 hours! Schools are building virtual campuses, businesses are marketing their products to an alluring audience, and now organizations like the American Cancer Society are sponsoring virtual walkathons to raise awareness and money for a good cause. TechSoup, a group that promotes and supports technology integration by non-profit organizations, has had a presence in-world for quite some time.

Today's New York Times describes how a philanthropic heavyweight has entered the race. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (sound familiar?--think National Public Radio) has teamed up with the University of Southern California to promote philanthropy in Second Life. The university's Center on Public Diplomacy will receive just over half a million dollars to organize events in the virtual world. The foundation reportedly plans to open an office in SL and distribute virtual grants as a way of testing them before awarding actual grants in the "real world."

June 21, 2007

Online Alternatives to Inspiration

For years, my students have used Inspiration to brainstorm and create visual diagrams to support learning. It's a great program designed for grade 3 and beyond (its sidekick, Kidspiration, is designed for K-3 learners). Recently, I've noticed several free web-based alternatives for diagramming. My favorite so far, Gliffy, allows you to download your diagram as a picture file, publish it on the web, or share it with others to collaborate on the same diagram from a distance. Gliffy has an impressive palette of built-in shapes, including images of furniture for redecorating, networking objects (routers, switches, etc.), flowchart symbols, etc., and it's palette can be customized (My Images). The palette even has an integrated search tool to locate images via Yahoo's image search engine! While Inspiration and Kidspiration still have some advantages (i.e., outline mode, synchronizing diagrams with a handheld computer), services such as Gliffy and Bubbl.us are definitely giving Inspiration a run for its money.

June 18, 2007


Lucy is doing great, but my productivity (and keyboarding speed) has plummeted! In fact, I think it has taken a good 6-7 minutes to write this much, and the backspace key is getting worn out. I wonder how long it will take to develop my one-handed keyboarding skills?

June 15, 2007

Lucy Picture Gallery Posted

We survived our first night of parenthood! Thanks to all who have emailed, called, and left comments here on the blog. I posted some pictures for you at www.uni.edu/galloway/lucy

Magda and Lucy are doing very well. Lucy is nursing well and, of course, sleeping a lot. Magda is recovering fine too--soaking in lots of baths. We are planning to leave the hospital Saturday afternoon. Today, we're planning for a busy day of eat, sleep, eat, sleep, eat, sleep...

I tried to post an update early Thurs morning, but for some reason my message didn't make it here to the blog. While we were scheduled for Magda to be induced at 9AM Thurs morning, Lucy decided not to wait that long. We came to the hospital at 3AM and Lucy was born at 9:38. So, while Magda's labor was still relatively short, it was more than 38 minutes! :-)

June 14, 2007

Announcing Baby Lucy - Urbi et Orbi

Announcing baby Lucy, born 9:38am, June 14. She is 7.7 lbs (3.5 kg) and 19.5 in (49.5cm), She's healthy & beautiful!

June 13, 2007

Wanna Have a Baby Tommorow?

Magda was 5 cm dilated today and everything looks good, though the monitor isn't showing any contractions. Nevertheless, the doctor is going to induce labor tomorrow, June 14! Here we go, everybody! Look for more news tomorrow. We will check-in to the hospital at 9AM (CST).

June 9, 2007

Wiki what?

The Four Eyed Technologist recently blogged about a great video explaining Wikis in plain English. Wondering what all the buzz about Wikis is about? Check out the video for a great overview of their benefits for collaboration. I couldn't have explained it better myself!

June 6, 2007

Keeping in touch

Everyone is eager for Lucy's arrival! Like many of you, Magda's parents are following the blog looking for new pictures and information, but it's especially difficult for them being so far away in Poland. Using free software, though, Magda is able to video conference with her parents everyday. The real-time audio and video allows them to talk face-to-face and keep in touch so much better than traditional letters or even email. While conferencing, we can exchange funny pictures and other files. Using our wireless network and a laptop, we can even give them a tour of our house and Lucy's nursery! Technology has really helped us keep in touch with friends and family all over the world.

June 5, 2007

A bit of pampering

Magda is feeling good today--even better with a fresh haircut.

YouTube Meets PowerPoint

A colleague recently pointed me to SlideShare.net where people are sharing various slideshows and presentations (is slide show one word or two, BTW?). Anyway, the site is basically YouTube (or TeacherTube) or Flickr meets PowerPoint--like many others, this entire site relies on its users to share their content with each other. For example, check out Monty Metzger's very impressive presentation about the power of social media. Monty apparently works out of Germany for CScout, an international company that describes itself as a "strategic consultancy and market research agency." In other words, they help companies figure out trends and what is cutting edge and how to capitalize on it.

Reminds me of all the micro-blogging sites popping up. Younger generations (and some digital immigrants) are just eager--almost competitively so--to share their content with each other in ways that many from older generations just don't understand. For example, check out TwitterVision or Plazes. Wondering to yourself, "what's the point of such sites?" That's the point.

As I just read described elsewhere, we're moving from day-to-day happenings (newspaper) to hour-by-hour events (blogs) to minute-by-minute updates (micro-blogs and mobile blogging from cell phones). Don't believe me? Seriously, check out Monty's presentation!

June 4, 2007

Peek-a-boo in Mom's Belly

Surprise! We got new pictures of Lucy today at 37 weeks! Everything is fine--probably she is pushing against Magda's hip causing a lot of discomfort. She's quite chubby, huh? They say she probably won't look so chubby (imagine yourself squished and upside down). They estimate her weight at 7.2 lbs (3.26 kg). Everything looks good... they did a full round of tests on Magda today. Not much has changed, however, since last Friday, so it looks like Lucy might keep us waiting up to another week or two.

June 3, 2007

Have crib, will rear child

Thanks to Maciek's help Saturday, we now have a nursery! Mac assembled our crib for us and helped me convert the office into Lucy's room. Thanks to everyone's generous gifts and support, we're feeling ready for what's about to happen.

We're still waiting for Lucy to do her thing. Magda had flu-like symptoms Friday night and Saturday. She feels much better today though and now seems to be having some contractions. I think we're getting closer!

June 1, 2007

Baby Lucy might be coming early!

The doctor thinks it could happen this weekend! We're at 37 weeks, and they say anytime after 36 weeks is fine. They put Magda on a monitor today and she appears to be having contractions. I guess we'd better assemble that crib that arrived yesterday. We're getting close to the date--stay tuned!