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Web 2.0 and School Administrators
Saturday, 26 January 2008
The Davos Question
Topic: E-Communication

The World Economic Forum is being held this week in Davos. Switzerland. This year, prior to the conference, everyone in the world was invited to respond to this question:

"What one thing do you think that countries, companies, or individuals must do to make the world a better place in 2008?" 

The responses are available at this link (on YouTube). Viewers were also invited to rank the responses posted and the highest-ranked videos were viewed and commented upon by world leaders while they attended the conference.

I haven't completely wrapped my head around this, but am thinking that educators can, and should, be capitalizing on this kind of use of YouTube and other Web 2.0 apps... 

 

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 10:13 AM PST
Updated: Saturday, 26 January 2008 10:15 AM PST
Delay on Everex CloudBook
Topic: Emerging Technologies

The new CloudBook from Everex was supposed to be available today at your local Walmart. I thought I might take a look at one, but spent most of the day at FETC in Orlando and then on a plane back to Vancouver. So the thought was I'd stop at a Walmart tomorrow on my way back to the island.

Unfortunately, jet lag has me completely turned around at this point on sleep, so I Googled CloudBook to see how it went today only to learn that it didn't! Apparently they decided to do some last minute tweaking of the system software...

From what I read, the machine is supposed to be available within a month. I may be willing to wait that long. Then again, I may decide to go ahead with the eeePC 8G. I think the price will drop soon on the model that's currently running $499. I want the extra memory and storage.

In the meantime, school leaders need to keep an eye on the ASUS and Everex products. I also read that a couple more alternatives may be available by mid-year.

 

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 1:41 AM PST
Updated: Saturday, 26 January 2008 1:49 AM PST
Monday, 21 January 2008
Library of Congress Photos Now Available Online
Topic: Emerging Technologies

The Library of Congress maintains extensive photo collections and now several thousand of these photographs are available online. Where, you might ask?

On Flickr. That's right, go to Flickr, and use the keywords 'library of congress.' What a great resource for teachers! What a shame so many can't access the site at school...

 

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 8:32 PM PST
Updated: Monday, 21 January 2008 8:34 PM PST
School Law: Info Online
Topic: Leadership Issues

I'm always on the lookout for good online resources for school administrators, particularly when it comes to legal issues. So, it was great to see that one of Scott McLeod's most recent posts on Dangerously Irrelevant is a list of links to blogs about school law.

Many of us couch advice in the disclaimer, "I'm not an attorney..." but Scott actually is one!

 

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 9:39 AM PST
Updated: Monday, 21 January 2008 9:47 AM PST
Saturday, 19 January 2008
Professional Association Warns Members to Avoid Social Networking
Topic: Leadership Issues

I was fascinated to read this post by Ben Wildeboer (Sustainably Digital). It seems that the Ohio Education Association has issued a statement advising its members not join Facebook or MySpace and to take down their pages if they already have accounts.

Why? Because the OEA fears that there may be inappropriate online interactions between teachers and students. I'm so taken aback by this ridiculous reasoning that I don't know where to begin!

I guess what concerns me most is this reminder that organizations like OEA still have both feet firmly planted in the 20th century. How are public educators going to step up to the plate and provide the kind of instruction our students need today when their leadership doesn't have even a basic understanding of the technologies used by our kids and yes, even some of our teachers, on a daily basis?

Inquiring minds want to know... 

 

 

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 4:02 PM PST
Updated: Saturday, 19 January 2008 4:05 PM PST
Interactive Whiteboards: An Inexpensive Alternative
Topic: Emerging Technologies

I think there is value in having interactive instructional areas, both something large that's projected on a wall (e.g., interactive whiteboard) and something on a tablet-like device, in every classroom. I'm not sure that we're at the point yet with instructional strategies that we take advantage of this technology when we have it, but increased access would (I think) help change that.

But cost is a factor. Few schools can afford the price tag for every teacher to experiment with this equipment. The following video, by way of David Thornburg through Bob Choquette (ISTE), demonstrates what appears to be a viable alternative for schools just getting started. They can try out use of interactive whiteboards and tablets without making a huge initial investment.

 

 

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 10:56 AM PST
Updated: Saturday, 19 January 2008 10:59 AM PST
Friday, 18 January 2008
Another Slant on Wikipedia
Topic: Leadership Issues
We've heard and read the objections to Wikipedia voiced by some librarians and teachers. But I read an objection today that has an completely different take. Lee Lefever (CommonCraft) wrote that his objection to Wikipedia is the fact that article authors are so bent on proving their expertise that articles arerapidly becoming unreadable! Check out his post here. What do you think?

 

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 4:51 PM PST
Updated: Friday, 18 January 2008 4:54 PM PST
Saturday, 12 January 2008
Everez CloudBook
Topic: Emerging Technologies

So I was all ready to preorder an eee PC with 8 GB when my brother sent me an email today about the Everex CloudBook. Granted, I know every time we turn around in the near future, there will be something new in this arena, but the specs for this sub-laptop are enough better than what eee PC currently has on offer that I'm going to wait until Jan. 25th to see one for myself.

I spoke with someone today whose district had just ordered 600 eee PCs. This might be a time to do one or more relatively small pilots until the end of this school year and then see what shakes out as being the most bang for the buck.

 

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 12:26 AM PST
Updated: Saturday, 12 January 2008 12:29 AM PST
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

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