Thursday, October 18, 2012

Playful learning... can we compete playfully?
Seniors shared this site today. The sample text is taken from Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. The online touch typing training site is funded with sponsored links -- for example, their hyperlink for the title goes to an Amazon UK page with a referrer code. [Mine goes to the free ebook on Project Gutenberg.] I noticed my typos related to my free-associating through the text while I was transferring it, remembering the first time I read the book, and what it was like to have horses visiting daily while I lived in bluegrass country, and how Sewell's first-person narrative made it easy to be the horse. I looked at the webpage source code to see if I could tell how Dave Bartlett was generating the samples (public domain ebooks, for example), but I don't yet know how to view the PHP that generates the page.

While learning a little about that I discovered from the History page of the PHP Manual the following:
Created in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf, the very first incarnation of PHP was a simple set of Common Gateway Interface (CGI) binaries written in the C programming language. Originally used for tracking visits to his online resume, he named the suite of scripts "Personal Home Page Tools," more frequently referenced as "PHP Tools."
At Version 3.0 "it was renamed simply 'PHP', with the meaning becoming a recursive acronym - PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor."

Source: Professor David Lavery's blog at

Back to my question, because I first saw the typing speed test through the lens of playful competition. I said to someone a few hours ago something along the lines of I need to get a good sleep tonight because I'll need my sense of humor for the pep rally. I want to be part of a culture and school climate that support mutual respect, trust, and kindness while still allowing contests where not everyone has to get a trophy to feel okay about themselves. I expect to keep exploring as part of my community how we explain that and how we foster that culture and climate.