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Web 2.0 and School Administrators
Tuesday, 8 January 2008
Right of Refusal
I've been thinking recently about the issues we face in education when teachers and administrators can simply refuse to use technology. Then Scott McLeod posted this on his blog yesterday. His comments are spot-on, so for now I'm just sending you there to see what he has to say on this extremely important issue.

 

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 5:21 AM PST
Updated: Tuesday, 8 January 2008 5:23 AM PST
Wednesday, 2 January 2008
eee PC
Topic: Emerging Technologies

I don't often suffer from tech lust anymore. However, the ASUS eeePC has me convinced that I don't just want one...I NEED one. And at $399 each, so does every kid attending a U.S. school. There are a few drawbacks, like the 7" screen (which is slated to be enlarged to 9" soon). They're rugged, run Linux or Windows XP, have built-in wireless, can handle a variety of applications on and off-line, and are exactly what I wished for my students when I was a teacher and then school principal.

I think I'll probably hold off until the eee PC 8G is available (they're taking orders now). The extra memory and storage jack the price up to$499, but I'm seriously thinking I can stop dragging around a much heavier laptop--this puppy weighs in at just under 2 pounds.

Look into these. One-to-one computing (or something very close to it) is a possibility. This is apparently a response to the One Laptop Per Child initiative that won't be impacting U.S. schools because we're too well-off. 

 

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 4:00 PM PST
Updated: Wednesday, 2 January 2008 4:03 PM PST
Tuesday, 1 January 2008
SchoolTube
Topic: Emerging Technologies
I'm working on the 2nd edition of Making Technology Standards Work for You. While editing Chapter 6 (Social Legal, and Ethical Issues), I ran across SchoolTube. In addition to being a place where students and teachers can upload videos, there are also lesson plans and other resources available. The site also has a partnership with the Student Television Network (STN).

 

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 3:20 PM PST
Updated: Tuesday, 1 January 2008 3:23 PM PST
Saturday, 29 December 2007
Jing Project
Topic: Emerging Technologies

As you've probably gathered from recent posts, I'm really interested in tools that administrators can use to record and share brief presentations on just about any topic they can think of. For example, a welcoming message on the school blog or a monthly online update for parents and community members. Today I spent some time trying out Jing.

This tool allows you to use images or screen captures to create narratied videos (up to 5 minutes). I'm in the process of figuring out out you really get the final product embedded somewhere. In the meantime, I did a quick video on how to edit a page on the webtoolsforeducators wiki.

Right now you need to click on a link near the bottom of the page to see the video, but I've downloaded it and am using Zamzar to convert it, then will get the file posted and (I hope) embedded pretty quickly. 

Whew! 

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 8:08 PM PST
Updated: Saturday, 29 December 2007 8:11 PM PST
Thursday, 20 December 2007
Teens and Social Media and VoiceThread (Part 3)
Topic: Emerging Technologies

The Pew Internet and American Life Project release a new report on Teens and Social Media just yesterday. Growing numbers of teens (ages 12 to 17) are creating their own content online (think Web 2.0 apps), about 64% of online teens now. Girls outpace boys when it comes to contributing to blogs and posting photos. However, boys are more likely to post video files.

Learn more by clicking the link provided in the paragraph above.

Also, I did the Tapped In session tonight where I sent people  to a VoiceThread I'd created and embedded in a  page on my Web site (here as well). Despite the problems I had getting the audio recorded, it worked liked a charm tonight when folks were viewing it. So, I think I'll be using it more frequently.

 

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 9:02 PM PST
Updated: Thursday, 20 December 2007 9:07 PM PST
Sunday, 16 December 2007
VoiceThread, Part 2
Topic: Emerging Technologies

So I spent the greater part of this morning uploading another VoiceThread, one I plan to use later this week in a Tapped In session. This time I was working with a PowerPoint file. I got that uploaded, discovered that I couldn't delete single slides once it was there, do deleted it and did some additional editing. Then uploaded it again. I wanted to make verbal comments and did, but had a heck of a time with some of the individual slides. Finally, I also posted the notes for each slide so that if the audio disappears again, folks can read the text. Whew! It definitely has a way to go, and I didn't try any of the doodling tools, but I think I stick with it a bit longer.

Here's what I did today.

 

 

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 12:27 PM PST
Updated: Sunday, 16 December 2007 12:29 PM PST
Saturday, 15 December 2007
VoiceThread
Topic: Emerging Technologies

I've been playing with a presentation tool called VoiceThread. A subscription runs about $30/year, but there is a special deal for educators. Anyway, I'm thinking about using this next week during a Tapped In presentation in lieu of me copying and pasting comments. Attendees can view the VoiceThread then go off and explore a wiki for a while before regrouping for a Q&A.

Here's a presentation I've done to explore importing photos from Flickr and adding text comments. Once Prairie Home Companion is over, I'll try recording audio comments!

 

 

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 4:36 PM PST
Updated: Saturday, 15 December 2007 4:42 PM PST
Saturday, 8 December 2007
Poll Everywhere
Topic: Emerging Technologies

Someone, somewhere recently posted a request for reasons why schools should permit cell phones on campus. I'll be darned if I can remember who it was, so I'm posting here.

Steve Dembo has blogged about a Web 2.0 tool called Poll Everywhere. Basically, you set up one or more questions (like you would with a personal response system (PRS)), but then gather responses via cell phone. As with PRS, you can embed the survey into a PowerPoint presentation and show results instantaneously. They are also promising the ability to respond via computer in the near future.

Right now the catch is that after the first 100 responses, there's a fee per response (ranges up to $74.19 for 500 responses). In a classroom, that could get expensive very quickly.

Anyway, apparently the company is interested in working with educators and looking for volunteers (in schools where students are allowed to use cell phones) to use Poll Everywhere and give feedback. If you're interested, use the link provided above to visit Steve's blog.

If it were feasible costwise, I could see this being a reason to have students use cell phones. 

 

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 12:08 PM PST
Updated: Saturday, 8 December 2007 12:12 PM PST
Friday, 16 November 2007
Why Teens IM
Topic: Emerging Technologies

Yesterday, the Associated Press released a poll on Instant Messaging (IM). There was one particularly interesting result. Forty-three percent of the teens who participated in the poll reported they use IM to avoid embarrassing situations including asking for or accepting a date (22%) or breaking up with a boy or girlfriend (13%).

"If they freak out or something, you don't see it," said Cassy Hobert, 17, a high school senior from Frenchburg, Ky., and avid IMer who has used it to arrange dates. "And if I freak out, they don't have to see it."

It's no surprise that teens also admit using IM to say things they wouldn't say in person--hence the rise in cyberbullying.

What message should educators and parents take away from this? 

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 1:39 PM PST
Updated: Friday, 16 November 2007 1:42 PM PST
Monday, 12 November 2007
Maximizing the Impact: "The Pivotal Role of Technology in a 21st Century Education System."
Topic: Leadership Issues

Last week ISTE, SETDA, and the Partnership for 21st Century Learning released a joint report entitled Maximizing the Impact: "The Pivotal Role of Technology in a 21st Century Education System,"  urging reknewed emphasis on the importance of technology use in education.

The report urges educators to use technology comprehensively to:

1. Develop proficiency in 21st century skills.

2. Support innovative teaching and learning.

3. Create robust education support systems.

Every school leader needs to review this document which can be downloaded using the link provided above.

 

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 5:00 PM PST
Updated: Friday, 16 November 2007 1:40 PM PST

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