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How to Make Peach Cobbler with Canned Fruit

Evin O’Keeffe - Thu, 09/28/2023 - 16:57

As autumn’s chill settles in, there’s something comforting about the thought of a warm, fruity dessert filling your home with its sweet aroma. One such delightful treat is peach cobbler, a classic American dessert that has its roots deep in...

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Banana Bread Just Like Grandma Makes

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 09/26/2023 - 15:32

Banana bread has a comforting, homey feel that many people associate with childhood memories or warm, cozy afternoons. It’s a combination of sweet, ripe bananas with spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg creates a delicious and comforting flavor that many...

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Handmade Lavender Sachets

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 09/19/2023 - 14:23

Winter is coming and I love tucking my summer apparel away with a scented lavender sachet. These are also lovely for putting with stored yarn. In addition to its lovely scent, Lavender wards off moths! If there were a knitting...

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8 Tips to Include ‘Me Time’ in a Busy Routine

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 09/12/2023 - 14:52

Self-care is essential for maintaining a healthy mind and body, especially for busy parents who often put their own needs last. We’ve heard it all before, but we truly need to put on our own oxygen masks first. Let’s face...

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Everything I Love for My Kids’ Birthdays

Evin O’Keeffe - Thu, 09/07/2023 - 14:53

I’ve celebrated my two kids’ birthdays in small and big ways, so I’ve compiled a list of all the things I’ve found useful or fab. Essentially this is a big list of everything I love for my kids’ birthdays. I’ll...

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6 Reasons I Love Second-hand Clothes

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 09/05/2023 - 14:04

Over on TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook, I’m sharing daily videos of me sporting second-hand clothing put into outfits. The benefits and importance of shopping second-hand, swapping, and hand-me-downs go beyond ecology. Cost Effective. Almost always below original retail price. Second-hand clothes...

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Sober Oktoberfest: Mocktail Sweetness with the Butterfly Kiss

Evin O’Keeffe - Wed, 08/30/2023 - 18:58

Today, I’m sharing a delightful mocktail to ease into autumn with something vibrant in your glass. This recipe is courtesy of PiQi Water Kefir. Reward your inner self with PiQi’s luscious gut-loving, raspberry and butterfly pea elixir. I’ve only posted...

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What to Do & Where to Eat on the Island of Ischia

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 08/29/2023 - 15:38

Ischia is a small volcanic island located in the Gulf of Naples, Italy. It is known for its beautiful beaches, thermal hot springs, and picturesque villages. It has a rich history and culture that dates back to ancient times. Accessible...

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What to Do & Where to Eat on the Island of Capri

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 08/22/2023 - 15:39

Capri is a beautiful island located in the Gulf (or Bay, I never know which it is) of Naples, Italy, known for its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and luxurious lifestyle. It has a rich and storied history dating back...

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What to Do & Where to Eat in Venice, Italy

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 08/15/2023 - 15:34

Venice is a beautiful and historic city that is known for its canals, gondolas, and stunning architecture. We had planned a trip to meet up with my father when he went for a week, but we could not join him...

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Repurposing Old Phones FTW

Bernie Goldbach - Fri, 08/11/2023 - 10:22

by Bernie Goldbach in Clonmel

I HAVE SUCCESSFULLY extended the upgrade cycle for our mobile phones and now expect the handsets to work at least five years before being refreshed. Today, I've started pushing the functionality of an iPhone we bought in 2018 by using it as a daily transcription device.

I hope to spend the next two weeks working with Dylan (12) as he documents happy moments and as he explores some of my most memorable blog posts and photographs. We're starting with Dylan recalling a story he heard told about a local shop by our friend Simon. Here is how the conversation appears on Otter.ai.

This is Dylan talking to Bernie. Dylan is going to explain something funny that happened in Questum. So did anything funny happen in a story in Questum that you heard from Simon?


What was the funny thing? TK Maxx? Simon works in TK Maxx. Where does he work in TK Maxx?

Cash Register.

What else does he have to do? And how does he go upstairs in TK Maxx?

The lift.

What happened in the lift one day with Simon and TK Maxx?

An old lady was in the lift and didn't press any of the buttons just sitting there. He asked her, "Oh, how long were you sitting here and did you press any of buttons?" and then she didn't and then then she clicked the button and then he put the button on. And it went up.

What happened? Do did she think the store is really big?

Yeah. So she kept going up. And she didn't realize she had gone up before.

We should make stories about Simon. Let's see if this makes a story that we can see online. Okay, stories from Simon.

I want to refine a process where we create four topics for discussion in a written outline form. Then use the cracked iPhone to talk about the outlined points. And as Otter.ai renders our conversation, we edit the transcript and share the result as a blog post.

I think there's value to this workflow and believe I should encapsulate it as part of a Digital Literacy workshop in one of my Notion databases.

If you have ideas that would embellish this speech-to-text-to-post workflow, please let me know.

Bonus Link: Photos snapped with our long-serving iPhone 8.

[Bernie Goldbach teaches digital transformation for the Technological University of the Shannon.]


Enjoying Local Link 356 Clonmel-Dungarvan

Bernie Goldbach - Thu, 08/10/2023 - 20:22

by Bernie Goldbach in Dungarvan

ONE OF THE BEST discoveries of the summer of 2023 has been the very cheap and cheerful Local Link 356 service connecting Clonmel in County Tipperary to Dungarvan in County Waterford. In my experience, it is a well-used service.

The second time I visited Dungarvan was to sample the West Waterford Festival of Food. It was the first event I attended in Ireland where my handheld maps helped me discover some real gems. I wish all other Irish festivals would follow the simple and effective mapping of the West Waterford event planners.

Before we drove to Dungarvan for the festival, I had already discovered the food festival was on Google Maps. This meant it was also on my mobile handset.  

Today, I discover some of the best tidbits about #wwfof venues now appear on Facebook, not on TwiX. And if I use Google Maps, nearly every one of the festival venues has a pinpoint location and a review. This means and it's very easy to identified and share the pinpoints by SMS or as social networking updates.

Back in 2014, Microsoft had Here Maps running on my Nokia Lumia. Today, that service has pivoted to an exceptionally robust spatial computing service. It appears the Bing Search Crawler is seeking out and indexing evidence it finds of Here.com so I'm adding a reference to that URL as a piece of meta data to this blog post.

Ten years ago, many of the first generation Twitter users in Ireland were using Foursquare to talk about the Festival of Food as well as checking into a few of the venues. In 2014, the Foursquare recommendations I saw on my handset pointed me back to handy reminders of cafes and bakeries I had visited in the area before. Every time we take the Local Link 356 service to Dungarvan, my handset will be able to give me personalised recommendations long after the #wwfof stream of Facebook comments fade away.

In 2023, I continue to believe that the best fish and chips in Dungarvan are served by the Anchor Bar.

I wish every festival organiser in Ireland would cross-check Google Maps and Trip Advisor and add agendas with tips for visitors. Doing this would transform the visitor experience. I know we make much better use of our time in Dungarvan by being able to see comments from visitors and proprietors. 


[Bernie Goldbach teaches digital transformation on the Clonmel Digital Campus for the Technological University of the Shannon. He snapped Grattan Square while on a local link service to Dungarvan from Clonmel.]

Braving the Crowd at the Trevi Fountain in Rome

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 08/08/2023 - 14:40

Legend says to throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain so you will return to it one day. It’s well worth it to visit while in Rome though because of the fountain’s rich history. Visitors flock to the fountain to...

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Factoring AI into UX Design

Bernie Goldbach - Thu, 08/03/2023 - 19:49

by Bernie Goldbach in Clonmel

After one semester of integrating AI into my daily lab sessions, I can assuredly say AI has made a profound impact on the way our UX designers work. Leveraged purposefully, AI enhances creativity, improves personalisation, and trims workflows. As I review my early 2023 teaching practice, I want to offer a few observations about using AI while teaching creative media students in a university setting.

Aiding Accessibility and Inclusivity

Without even coming close to ChatGPT, people can take some simple steps to ensure their use of AI can enhance accessibility. It starts with reviewing the alt-text tags that Microsoft generates inside programs such as Word and PowerPoint. Microsoft's AI technology tries to make digital experiences more inclusive by automatically creating text descriptions of images. The content creators should review that AI-generated content. To be truly accessible, web sites should have alt-text for images that are optimised for screen readers. This is happening behind the scenes already which means AI contributes to a more inclusive design approach. I'm a big fan of adding meta data to online folders and directories because those ReadMe files help me locate locations of files I've saved since the 90s. I've discovered the Markdown files I'm adding to OneDrive and Google Drive locations help me locate information faster when I ask the respective mobile apps questions by using my mobile phone.

Creative Possibilities with AI Tools

In the Web Content Management Systems module that I taught, we used ChatGPT+ to quickly produce code snippets. Students learned to create prompts for the AI to generate design elements, suggest layouts, and offer colour palettes based on user specification. This means I could reduce the amount of time students were given to produce mock-ups and increase the time for collegial review of the creative process.

Intelligence about Personas

A good UX developer can create engaging content and clever interfaces. We discovered we could ask both Bing and ChatGPT+ to write content for specific audiences. If we didn't like the result, we could revise the prompt and regenerate a response. Our results in labs revealed tailor-made mock-ups of interfaces and content. Doing this meant we had to cross-check the upstream sources used by the AIs to validate if the suggestions were valid. By checking these footnotes, students achieved a higher level of digital literacy.

Enhanced User Research and Insights

We provide eight semester of UX training to our Creative Media and User Experience Design students. They learn to understand user needs and behaviors. These students also learn how to leverage AI-enabled tools to analyse vast amounts of user data. An AI can review hundreds of data points concerning user patterns, pain points, and expectations. We also use a "visitor paths" function of Statcounter to make informed design decisions about text enhancements, video placement, and photostreams. An AI can serve as a secondary evaluator for mock-ups, ensuring User Interfaces are not only aesthetically appealing but also highly functional and user-centric.

Intelligent Voice Interfaces

My 12yo son talks to handsets, smart speakers, and laptops. Voice interfaces have become integral parts of Dylan's computer literacy. He often argues with the Alexa or a weather app if he doesn't believe its answers. I think his interactions more human-like and intuitive. Alexa uses Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning  to better understand user intent, anticipate what we need, and to deliver seamless and contextually relevant responses. If I have a teaching block that extends two or more hours, I set up a calendar reminder to prompt me to show a live session with Otter.ai during which I ask myself what I've done in the preceding time slot. And I occasionally ask overhead questions of students. They can see the transcript generating dynamically on the large digital screen as we produce a five minute recap of our teaching period.

Streamlining Design Workflows

Most of the criticism I've read about AI in academic environments concerns the end-user experience. I've discovered AI can also optimises the design process itself. AI-driven automation tools can handle repetitive tasks, such as image resizing, content tagging, and data analysis. Services like Divi Builder inside WordPress or the AI inside Notion can free designers to focus on more strategic and creative aspects of their work. This increased efficiency means projects can finish sooner, content can publish more frequently, and the creative students who master these workflows will be able to produce greater client satisfaction when on the job.

We need to validate the above findings.

I'm blogging about the impact that AI has in my classrooms because I hope to spark a collegial discussion about where we're headed. AI continues to evolve. We need to understand its influence on the UI/UX design field and we need to equip our graduates with tools they can use to get the best results. I believe we should be at the forefront of this transformative journey by harnessing the power of AI to craft captivating, personalized, and user-centric experiences. I've seen how it's possible to unleash student creativity to revolutionise user research and to optimise design workflows. I believe we need to embrace AI-driven toolsets, starting with students using these tools to push the boundaries of what’s possible. By doing that, our graduates will be able to thrive in an AI-driven era of design.


[Bernie Goldbach teaches digital transformation on the Clonmel Digital Campus for the Technological University of the Shannon. You can easily talk to Bing via your handset.]

Open Note for Karlin Lillington

Bernie Goldbach - Tue, 08/01/2023 - 16:13

by Bernie Goldbach in Clonmel

I SPENT 55 MINUTES on a catch-up Zoom Call with journalist and thinker Karlin Lillington today and want to mark my timeline with the event. Although the purpose of the call was to share what we think about the Fediverse, some of the preliminary commentary helped me resurface some important references to shared experiences. I need to sharpen the screenshot of Karlin before Google Images adds it to its collection.

Shared Appreciation of Rehomed Animals

I brought Kerry, our rehomed Bedlington Terrier, to the Zoom call. Kerry has irritable skin under her belly fur so I need to take her for monthly injections. We also have a spray that soothes the itchiness. But 24-26 days after each injection, Kerry gets irritable again. So I use Apoqel tablets to control the irritation. Kerry also has ear problems so there's a lotion for that condition.

The interesting fact about her monthly treatment is Kerry's favourite vet, Niamh Buck. I think Niamh has a Bedlington Terrier as well because she knows all the anomalies of the breed.

Karlin knows all about these issues because she has Westies and Cavaliers--affectionate and playful pets.

Media Literacy Skillset

For more than 20 years, I've read Karlin Lillington's columns in The Irish Times and in The Guardian. Karlin has a sophisticated grasp of media literacy. That's part of my teaching practice. Media Literacy for young teens is a special interest of mine. I can see a time when our shared concerns coalesce as a partnership in a Community of Practice in collaboration with Media Literacy Ireland or Erasmus.

The forest out back

Even though the Surface Book I used had a rear camera that could have easily shown the rural view we have in our home, I didn't show the view. So I'll offer part of my Flickr photostream to illustrate one of our crown jewels: the Ice House.

We discovered the structure abutting our property line when I excavated 10 tonnes of dirt during COVID. I did it one wheelbarrow at a time. That seems so far away now because I'm currently hobbling around with a weak right knee.

Youth Media and Short Form Reporting

I explained how Dylan (12) conceptualises and creates his video clips for his Little Bit of Tipp series on YouTube. He gets an idea that he can write down. Sometimes he cheats and asks Google to write the sentences for him. I make him write out the letters on a paper, revise the questions, and then send the letters to a prospective interviewee. In early 2023, Dylan want to interview Racheal Blackmore, the prize-winning Irish jockey.

Thanks for Father Jimmy, the pastor of Killenaule, Rachael got Dylan's letter and she agreed to an interview. I reckon Dylan has replayed that YouTube interview 100 times. He critiques himself for the way he asked the questions and he suggests ways to enhance the production values.

Working with Curmudgeons

Back when I had an NUJ card with the Irish Examiner, I had to interview A-listers about trends in technology.

Both Karlin and I had memorable interactions with the same curmudgeons. I'll let sleeping dogs lie and just day that I appreciate the emotions some people may exude when they think they've been door-stepped.

Tech Headaches

I have an aversion to always updating templates and then paying more every year for the same small patch of online real estate. This aversion is the biggest reason I still write on a blogging platform that is Perl-based. I pay less than €250 annually and have no restriction on bandwidth, storage, or domain names. Karlin shared her current project with the relaunch of her Cavalier Forum.

To be continued

The purpose of our Zoom call was to get my reading on what's happening to many of the original gang of Irish people who set up Twitter accounts between 2006-2008. I'll offer a sophisticated answer by changing the question in a follow-up blog post. In the meantime, you can scroll the photos I've shared on my MicroBlog.

[Bernie Goldbach teaches digital transformation on the Clonmel campus of the Technological University of the Shannon. Karlin Lillington's weekly technology column normally appears in the business section of the Irish Times.]

There’s More to Pisa than the Leaning Tower

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 08/01/2023 - 15:37

Pisa is a beautiful and historic city in Tuscany, Italy that is known for its famous Leaning Tower. We all know about the Leaning Tower of Pisa, one of the city’s most famous landmarks. It’s a must-see when visiting the...

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Where & What to Eat in New Orleans

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 07/25/2023 - 14:44

New Orleans has history, cuisine, and culture, so it was long overdue I write about all the amazing things you can do, see, eat, and experience when visiting Louisiana and its rich and vibrant history and culture. My friends Julianne...

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Back into Notion h/t @redgregory1

Bernie Goldbach - Fri, 07/21/2023 - 22:35

by Bernie Goldbach in Clonmel

I'VE RESTARTED  my daily flow with Notion as part of my Personal Knowledge Management, spurred on by Larry G. Maguire and helped massively by Sarah Brennan's excellent YouTube tutorials. I'm writing this blog post to remind myself I owe RedGregory at least five coffees because of her free templates and excellent online teaching style.

I'm taking time to note what's pulling me back into Notion before rewatching the six videos listed below.

The major reason I'm back into Notion is because several top students have used it to achieve laudable results. I want to boost their upward trajectory by porting most of my academic modules into Notion so they can show me how my Notion content looks inside their Notion workspaces. This will be excellent 360 degree feedback for me as a university lecturer. I've mentioned before that I need to cull my haphazard content from Notion, streamlining the process from capturing content to reusing materials.

Besides feedback from my top students, I've been nudged by Larry G. Maguire to mock up a digital transformation teaching programme we can use with students. I've borrowed a template from Monica Rysavy and that has accelerated my work.

I'm still a daily user of Obsidian, mainly because I like its speed on my handset and its failsafe sync with my desktop. It's relatively straightforward to share content between Obsidian and Notion but I will need to tweak the workflow. I like having back-ups to personal knowledge management but I also need to ensure I can quickly use material I discover from subscriber-only content that drops onto my mobile screens.

I'm impressed to discover that most of my Android apps can easily share content via Notion. All of the apps shown above work together. Office Suite lets me link PDFs from its mobile storage into Notion. And I can embed Netflix videos inside pages on Notion.

Previously: Tweet Talking about Notion


[Bernie Goldbach teaches digital transformation on the Clonmel Digital Campus of the Technological University of the Shannon. Listen to how he's paring back Notion.]

Thinking about my Secondary Learning

Bernie Goldbach - Wed, 07/19/2023 - 13:54

by Bernie Goldbach in Waterford

WHILE ATTENDING a hands-on training session in Waterford, I was challenged by Mark Guerin to reveal a facet of my secondary learning outcomes. I believe reflective journaling is primary evidence of my secondary learning. [1] [2] If my students can produce high quality reflective journaling, they have achieved gold stars for secondary learning outcomes.

Since 2006, I have asked creative students taking a Media Writing module in the BSc degrees I teach to maintain a written journal. I ask them to write about specific themes as answers to questions. In fact, one of my repeat students is completing a journal during the summer of 2023 that provides the reader with a better understanding of creativity.

I need to continue making video clips about journaling on my YouTube channel and hope to extend this practice of creative journaling idea into other parts of my teaching practice with the Technological University of the Shannon. I previously archived some work inside a digital repository  of the journaling work by using tools on the campus OneDrive. However, because our online assets have changed since we consolidated into a larger university, I will need to reposition some of the work to ensure it's accessible by students and staff.

Ever since I adopted a daily routine of reviewing content I've highlighted, I've realised the exceptional value of reflecting on past work. And I've also become a big fan of cover art, end notes, and epigraphs. Thanks to electronic tools such as Readwise and Instapaper, I can see relationships between things I've created as sketchnotes, highlights, blog posts, and personal monographs. I'm trying to become more efficient at this process because I've more than 300 Moleskines in my attic containing my notes.

As I created this short blog post on a sunny day in County Waterford, I hear John Heffernan typing away at 50 word per minute next to me. I've followed John to many learning spaces and our co-creative activity today reminds me of an event in Thurles, County Tipperary, where we saw this process before.

At that event, Pam Moran said, "Our lives are filled with spaces where we learn from the time we are born and forever after. Learning begins with sounds, smells, tastes, textures, images, and emotional responses. Learning connects us to the world and the world to us. We learn as individuals and with each other. We represent our learning through our stories, images that we capture, words on pages, work we accomplish, and the symbols we use to describe, qualify and quantify our universe. Our learning embodies the uniqueness of who we are; no two memories are alike. This space for learning creates an opportunity to connect and construct memories together that become internal documentaries of that which we choose to explore- to rewind, play, pause, or fast forward.  We are all creators of learning moments. That’s what we do." [3]

The 2012 Learning Spaces Conference connected enthusiasts at all levels of Ireland's educational system.  It provided educators with practical ways to integrate technology into their learning spaces.  It provided teachers with the tools which will allow them to connect with learners of the 21st century, who are at ease with technology.  

The 2023 EPALE platform is a learning space that connects passionate facilitators in the field of adult education. I'm glad to add it to my timeline of lessons learned in adult education.

References about Secondary Learning
  1. Secondary Learning Outcomes as cited in Google Scholar.
  2. Bernie Goldbach keeps a Flickr photo album of his Moleskines.
  3. "In My Our learning spaces" with Pam Moran and Bernie Goldbach, April 16, 2012.
  4. "Graveside thinking about writing in the future tense", January 8, 2017
  5. "Writing for Social Layers", August 27, 2011
  6. Electronic Platform for Adult Education in Europe (EPALE)

[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative media for business on the Clonmel Digital Campus for the Technological University of the Shannon. He curates links about ictedu. ]


How to Spend a Week in San Diego, Calif.

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 07/18/2023 - 15:05

Planning, or dreaming of, a trip to California? Maybe you want sunshine and your traveling partner wants culture? Well, you can have both with a holiday in San Diego. This week-long itinerary offers activities without packing your schedule too full for relaxation. After all, what good is a vacation if you need another break to recover from it?

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