Officer McGruff returns

The last time I saw Officer McGruff, he was trying to convince my fifth grade class to avoid the perils of drug use. It looks like he has been re-appropriated for the 21st century, this time fighting cyber-crime. Hopefully he will be more effective on the war against online predators than the war against drugs 🙂

Social Software meets Institutional Digital Repositories

pocket_iconI have been so busy the last few months I’ve realized that my blog is gathering dust. I haven’t even gotten around to removing the spam. Oh well. Anyways, I thought I would post the completion of big project that I have been working on for the last few months called PocketKnowledge. It is essentially the fusion of software used for institutional digital repositories (DSpace, etc.) with Social Software (Flickr,, etc.). We are currently running it is a beta-test at Teachers College, Columbia University. This will be an interesting case to see how Web 2.0 works within more institutional contexts. It has a lot of neat features, such as RSS readers and RSS outputs, user groups and commenting, and beaucoup user control. Check it out at

Design-based Research

Realizing that my blog has become terribly neglected, I figured I would post a paper I wrote this past semester. It is a review of the literature related to design-based research in the field of education. Design-based researchers essentially engineer contexts and then study the learning outcomes from student interactions within these engineered contexts. I think DBR has the potential for being quite productive, yielding both innovations and research on learning. BTW- since this was somewhat rushed, please try to ignore any typos.

Read the Design-based Research Literature Review

Experimenting with Latent Semantic Analysis

I am officially done with paper writing for the summer. I now have a whopping week before Fall begins (sigh).

Below is my final paper for the Psychology course I took this summer:

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to test both the practical use value and the psychological underpinnings of Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA), which is a statistical theory and method for extracting and representing the contextual meaning of words. To test the practical use value, we will use LSA to analyze a large corpus of articles within a particular discourse and ask, can LSA decide which category each article goes in? Is LSA able to categorize as well as a human editor? To test LSA’s ability to simulate psychological processes, we will experiment with Kintsch, Patel and Ericson’s (1999) hypothesis that the semantic space created by LSA is similar to an expert’s Long Term Working Memory (LTWM).

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