Balm for the soul – The Biology Education Roundtable

I metup with Cheng Puay and Adrian last evening. CP, looking like an army lad with his crew cut, obligingly treated us to coffee at Holland Village Starbucks after postponing the last two meetups. It has been a struggle for us to meet towards the year-end with our heavy teaching schedule and with Cheng Puay’s fifth year in Cambodia.

As a result we hardly scratched the surface on the mac apps we had wanted to discuss, distracted by Lekowala’s enthusiasm for mapmyrun’s live feed which resulted in three new users for Lekowala to experiment on a future run. The weakness to all this? The iPhone’s poor battery life.

Lekowala decided to emphasise his manhood by drinking and espresso and yawning while CP tells us he is going in for reservist duty once again. Well, at least soldiers listen to orders and he is surrounded by singing birdlife. Meanwhile, we find out that the barista is his former student waiting for admission to a university; she comes over to query him about visiting with the Cambodia project once again.

Photo by Ladybug

I did show them Flickery and f.lux before CP left. Before he did, we agreed Prezi was not our cup of tea and then CP threw out Popplet for subsequent investigation. After a few more apps, I got Lekowala onto Wireless@SGX which appeared to work for his black MacBook. We could not find a way to change our passwords on the Singtel webpage though.

Lekowala showed me a back to basics trick for downloading Tubesock-resistant Youtube videos via Safari (see MacWorld), which was something I had long forgotten. I have been using SnapX Pro in many a desperate situation which is tiring in comparison. I returned the favour somewhat with a pointer to J Colas’ Quartz Filters which manages to halve my lecture pdf sizes acceptably and also for file-sharing – they provide 5GB free and its differences from Dropbox may suit his specific situation.

It wasn’t all software as we examined Brandon’s unchallenged and complete dominance of The Biology Refugia and how he seems to blog the very thing I’d think about, before I’d even tweet about it! I also shared the worst of my students’ comments which they enjoyed immensely and sympathetically as any teacher would. And of course we caught up with each others tribulations and triumphs – a necessary stimulus for start of term!

The lads and I have regularly discussed natural history, teaching, macs and web2.0 for well over a decade and it’s a soothing balm for the soul when we meet. And I smile when I look at this reminiscent blog post from 2005.



2 thoughts on “Balm for the soul – The Biology Education Roundtable

  1. Ack I hope I haven’t been discouraging anybody from posting to TBR! I’d be glad to know if you guys have any feedback, too: which posts do you think are good, which are more ‘off topic’? I’ve been checking the stats recently to see which are more popular – it seems that the Sg-related posts tend to attract more traffic.

    • You’re doing a great job Brandon, stoking our guilty conscience – I suggested they view 2011 as a clean slate to contribute.But its kinda amazing everytime I think of something in an encounter with new that I get the email feed the next morning! Highly enjoyable and a good prod to contribute once again.

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