STOIC – From a Google Spreadsheet to a Mobile App in a single click!

Being a big fan of Kickstarter, this one came to my attention some weeks ago and I decided to support it will some hard-earned of my own. Aiming to go from Google Spreadsheet to Mobile App in a single click, the possibilities for teachers in schools with Google Apps and mobile device/laptops are endless. I cannot wait to see what I can dream up for teaching and learning when the software goes live.


Check it out and support it with some of your hard-earned if you can as there are some enticing benefits for those who back the project.



Wait for 20 or go Pro!

Wow! I am in the process of developing a number of Filemaker Pro (FMP) databases, and in the process am learning heaps! I have windows to about five different FMP online forums open, all trying to teach me how to do this and that. I have been reading posts, copying scripts, laughing at emotional responses to non-elegant code suggestions and generally being a self-motivated and inquisitive learner. And then this…

“If you don’t like to wait you can go Pro”

I was relieved. The famous “Time is Money” quote popped into my head and I subconsciously thanked the website developer for adding in this little gem of time-saving-ness. If I didn’t want to wait for the free download I had clicked on I could lay down my sixteen digits of I-can-buy-anything, my four digits of the-month-my-plastic-dies and my three digits of the-mysterious-number-on-the-back to get it immediately. No waiting. Voila. Down!  Loaded!

I’m generally a pretty patient guy (I work with teachers after all!), but I found myself glancing back up to the ticking countdown clock that had sprung into life as I clicked the “Click for Free Download” button. It showed 18.


Yes. 18 seconds. Now 17. Now 16. Etc.

Now, I don’t mean to be one of those I-remember-back-in-the-good-old-days sort of guys, but at the risk of proving myself wrong and repeating myself, I remember back in the good old days when I would click “download” knowing full-well I had time to pour a cup of Sri Lanka’s finest before that thing surfaced on my desktop. And that was good.

It taught me things.tea_cup_small

Like patience. Like getting up and going for a walk is a good thing. Like tea is best without milk or sugar.

So as the countdown clock inexorably made its way to 0 in what seemed like no time at all, (but was in fact 20 seconds (of my day I would never get back (which according to the website was important))) I was prompted to wonder what this is teaching the downloaders of today.

I’m not going to try to answer that question (maybe you have a few ideas that you might care to comment on below), but I will say this…

I am going to make a point of taking 20 seconds whenever I feel like it to do absolutely nothing. I’m just going to sit. Or stand. And do nothing.

And that’s not going to cost me anything!



Culture, defining moments, and my daughter.

2013 is an hour old and I find myself reflecting on the events of the last week and a bit of my Christmas break. Finding myself back in the culture in which I grew up, from an extended time outside of that culture, I find myself noticing things. Things that maybe I would not have noticed if not for my other-culture experience.

Like my daughter winning the almond in our family’s Danish Christmas tradition of mixing an almond into the bowl of rice pudding. Like walking into a music festival with my daughter (at 5 years old) and watching her dancing to the strains of an Australian music legend. Like clinging on to a giggling Ms K as she (and I) negotiated the waves of the Pacific Ocean together for the first time.

Watching my daughter experience these things for the first time has made me feel something that I am having difficulty putting into words.

It has forced me to reflect on what it is that constitutes “me”.  And to be honest, I have been surprised at how emotionally I have responded to these recent moments. I have always known that these things are important to me – family traditions, live music, surfing – but until these last few weeks where I have for the first time experienced each of them with my daughter, I have not understood how largely they frame “me”.

So what will define my daughter? How will being born in Thailand, toddling in Laos, pre-schooling in Saudi Arabia, schooling in who-knows-where and doing whatever from wherever after that, define her moments?

Granted, it is a big question to ask, more rhetorical than literal, but worth asking all the same. Culture, defining moments, what’s important!

And now nearly two hours into a new year, as I contemplate resting my weary head upon my pillow, I know what I will be pondering as my eyes close.

Culture, defining moments and my daughter.


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