May 23rd, 2010 by Kevin Day
If you’ve been paying attention lately, you probably noticed that the home page has had a different design each day for the past few days. I’ve been experimenting with different designs, and I’ve finally settled on the current version for now. Sorry if it was confusing for a bit.
The second recent change involves the URLs for the classes. There used to be two date parameters in the URL (/class/my-class/2010/may) because I thought it would be necessary to do that when I originally designed the site. It turns out that’s not going to be needed so I’ve redirected all of those links to point to newer ones that don’t use a date. You probably won’t even notice that change, but I wanted to make everyone aware of it. Any old links pointing to a class and its sub-pages still work, and are 301 redirected to the new link.
Although most of my blog posts have been administrative, I do hope to start writing about learning, education, technology, and more interesting things soon.
May 16th, 2010 by Kevin Day
There’s now improved activity and profile pages.
The activity page now shows a snippet of the latest assignment or forum post:
And the user profile page shows a list of all the work you’ve completed along with a snippet of the assignment. Here are some examples:
- kday (me)
I find that these updated profiles are a great way to quickly see the work that a user has done, and to keep track of the work I’ve completed so far.
I also was a little surprised that it’s been 3 weeks since I last did a homework assignment, so it’s encouraging me to get back at my Bash Scripting class.
Feel free to share any feedback you have on the new changes.
May 16th, 2010 by Kevin Day
I just stumbled on this post with a video from the Khan Academy founder. It’s a great inside look on what drives him to put together his video lectures on over 1,000 academic subjects.
There are already several classes here on Curious Reef related to OpenCourseWare content. Some classes focused on Khan’s lectures would be great too (they’re Creative Commons licensed). If any of his subjects is interesting to you, feel free to create your own class on Curious Reef around the content. It would be a great way to track progress and work with others.
April 18th, 2010 by Kevin Day
Each class now has a status property, which can be either “Under Construction” or “Established.” This indicates whether or not all of the lessons and assignments have been added to the entire class.
The class status can only be set by the creator, or another class administrator. It’s a way to indicate that the class has finally been fully built-out, and if a user is to complete all of the assignments, they should get credit for completing the entire class.
An established class can still be edited in any way, even to add more content. However, students need to have some kind of target to shoot for, and it wouldn’t make sense to take away credit for a completed class just because an instructor comes along later and adds something new.
April 17th, 2010 by Kevin Day
Your user profile just got useful. Instead of just showing you a boring list of the classes you’re enrolled in, you can now see a progress bar that shows how much of a class you’ve completed:
You can get to your profile page at http://curiousreef.com/username. Check it out, and look for even more improvements there in the future.
April 10th, 2010 by Kevin Day
You can now update your avatar in your user profile page here:
The default avatar still pulls from Gravatar, but if you don’t want to use them or want to override your Gravatar, just upload your new image.
Try it out! It adds personality to the discussions.
March 2nd, 2010 by Kevin Day
It’s fun to see what other people are learning. Google Trends is typically used to measure popularity of a topic, but I wanted to try something different.
Twitter is a good place for tracking what people are doing, so let’s see if we can get an idea of how many people are learning Django. I picked Django because that’s what Crunch Course is built with, so it happens to be on my mind a lot now. While we’re at it, we can compare it to Ruby on Rails to see how they stack up.
Below is a graph of how frequently people tweet about learning Ruby on Rails versus learning Django:
The results show that Django and Rails are about equally popular among Twitterers, with about 5 tweets per day on each subject. It could be that the search was too restrictive by including the word “learning” in the search, but I also didn’t want to capture every tweet tangentially related to each framework. I just wanted to see who is actively learning it right now.
The searches are general matches for learning rails and learning django. If anyone put the words “learning” and “django” anywhere in their tweet it would count as a match.
I captured the data by storing those Twitter queries in my Clicky analytics account. They did the hard part by polling Twitter every day and emailing me the results. I just graphed the data.
Although there are quite a few relevant tweets in the results…
…there are also some tweets unrelated to web frameworks that are included in the tally:
I didn’t make any attempt to clean up the data and remove the non-relevant tweets. It’s just for fun and a way to get a rough data point about what frameworks are hot in Twitterland.
What learning topics would you like to see monitored on Twitter?