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Web 2.0 and School Administrators
Saturday, 17 May 2008
Need Resources
Topic: Leadership Issues

I'm working on a project where I need to identify international technology standards for K-12 students, teachers, and administrators as well as frameworks for 21st Century learning skills. I'm hoping that someone who reads this blog might be able to provide some leads.

In addition to the usual suspects (e.g., ISTE, UNESCO, ITEA, Partnership for 21st Century Skills) are there any documents of this type that you're aware of? If so, would you mind posting links or other contact information here as a comment? Or, if you know someone who might have the information I'm seeking, would you email me a name and email address ( Thanks!

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 1:32 PM PDT
Updated: Saturday, 17 May 2008 1:35 PM PDT
Wednesday, 30 April 2008
Webtools for Wducators Wiki
Topic: Emerging Technologies

If you haven't visited the Webtools for Educators wiki recently, drop in and check out the updates. There's been a real flurry of activity there lately. Areas with new listings are identified in the Sidebar.

If you notice that one of your favorite Web 2.0 tools is missing, please add it! The password for editing is 'webtools' (no quotes). 

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 7:57 AM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, 30 April 2008 7:59 AM PDT
Saturday, 26 April 2008
Twitter: Distractor or Tool?
Topic: Leadership Issues

I set up a Twitter account quite a while ago and promptly forgot all about it. Then last March, while at the CUE conference in Palm Springs, I was feeling guilty about not blogging and realized that I could at least Tweet. So, I looked up my account information and got started. Since that time, I've added a Twitter stream to my blog, I have acquired a few followers and and am following a few folks myself, but I still am a fairly conservative user. I Tweet once or twice most days, but don't check the site in between times.

In my reading there seems to be two camps about's either a great tool for quick connections or just another distractor. This morning I came across this article from CNN. It seems that a U.C. Berkeley grad student who was arrested at a demonstration in Egypt was able to Tweet a one word message using his cell phone while on his way to jail, "Arrested."

Within minutes, his Tweet network was working in Egypt and stateside to get him released. The article alludes to other recent incidents where Twitter has been used during natural disasters or dangerous political situations to maintain contact with an outside network. Now I need to think some more...


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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 10:50 AM PDT
Updated: Saturday, 26 April 2008 10:53 AM PDT
Friday, 25 April 2008
More on UMPCs
Topic: Emerging Technologies

I'm still liking my eeePC, although if someone has any suggestions for how to update to the newest version of Open Office, I'd appreciate the help. I really want those 3-D transitions!

In the meantime, a number of companies are now offering a UMPC and I thought you might be interested in this list from Liliputing. Some on the list are not yet available in the U.S. By the same token, this demonstrates that this market is going to continue to grow for now. Included in the list (clearly identified) are those systems already available, those that have been announced, and others said to be 'coming soon.'


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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 3:59 PM PDT
Updated: Friday, 25 April 2008 4:01 PM PDT
Monday, 21 April 2008
Connecting Teachers and Students in a Different Way
Topic: Emerging Technologies

A beta site, Teach Street, launched today in Seattle. The premise seems simple. This free service allows teachers to post notices about classes they are offering in the Seattle area, along with registration information. Students come to the site to find classes they'd like to take. So far, classes seem to be heavily into fitness, e.g. yoga, soccer, Pilates. But there is also a finance course listed. Developers promise that course offerings will soon be expanding to other cities.

What I like about this idea is that it allows teachers to publicize a variety of classes and makes it easy for potential students to find offerings of interest to them. As we strive to push out classroom walls, would there be an application here with K-12 educators? Could this become another resource for PD as well?


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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 10:50 AM PDT
Updated: Monday, 21 April 2008 10:53 AM PDT
Sunday, 13 April 2008
Digital Disconnect Persists According to Latest NetDay Report
Topic: Leadership Issues

The national findings for the 2007 NetDay report were released on April 8. While increasing numbers of teachers and parents report that technology can have a positive impact on student learning, there is still a significant digital disconnect between students and the adults in their lives. For example, the findings state that:

"Students’ frustration with school filters and firewalls has grown since 2003, with 45% of middle and high school students
saying now that these tools meant to protect them inhibit their learning. And since 2004 we have heard repeatedly and more
strongly each year, students’ discontent with school rules that limit their access to technology at school and rules that
prohibit them from using at school the very technology tools and devices that they use constantly outside of school (cell
phones, email, IM, Text messaging) in all aspects of their lives. That discontent factor has grown by 46% over the past four
years. The other major obstacle today is the teacher – over 40% of students in grades 6-12 cite their teacher as an obstacle
since it is the teacher who increasingly is limiting the “when and where” of using technology at school."


"In each of these key emerging technology areas highlighted in this year’s Speak Up national results, the difference between
the students and the adults that support their learning lives is significant. Over 50% of students in grades 3-12 would like to
see more educational gaming in their 21st century school; only 16% of teachers, 15% of administrators, and 19% of parents
endorse that concept. While 53% of middle and high school students are excited about using mobile devices within
learning, only 15% of school leaders support that idea. Less than half as many parents as students see a place for online
learning in the 21st century school. And even fewer teacher, parents and school leaders want students to have access to
emails and IM accounts from school."

I'm not saying that kids know it all, but I think they make some very good points and we need to listen to them.


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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 2:48 PM PDT
Updated: Sunday, 13 April 2008 2:51 PM PDT
Saturday, 5 April 2008
Removing Permanent Marker from a Dry Erase Board
Topic: Emerging Technologies
Okay, so this is not a Web 2.0 issue, but I cannot tell you how many times I've gone to do a workshop in a school or district office and been confronted with a whiteboard that was unusable because someone had written on it with a permanent marker. Next time, I will definitely try this tip from LifeHacker. Who knew it was such an easy fix?

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 12:03 PM PDT
Updated: Saturday, 5 April 2008 12:05 PM PDT
Tuesday, 1 April 2008
It's Not on the Test Video
Topic: Leadership Issues

I thought you might enjoy this video from Tom Chapin.


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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 1:28 PM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 1 April 2008 1:30 PM PDT
Where have all the scientists and engineers gone?
Topic: Leadership Issues

NPR ran an interview this morning. Apparently April 1st is more than April Fools Day. It's also the day that U.S. businesses get to reserve the number of visas they think they will need for the year to bring in foreign workers. And, according to the interviewee, this is the only day it can happen. Why? Because, he said, there is such a dearth of qualified scientists and engineers in the U.S., that companies need to look around the world to find applicants they can bring here. And, all available visa slots will be gobbled up by COB today. Although he was a bit cagey about the salary issue (the idea that foreign-born candidates will work for less than U.S. citizens will), he did point out that he wasn't talking about outsourcing the work, he was talking about bringing these professionals to the states where, one can assume, they would soon know about it if they were being grossly underpaid.

This ties in with this year's Technology Counts report, released last week by Ed Week. The theme of this year's report is STEM education. If you haven't looked at it already, you need to.

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 8:53 AM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 1 April 2008 8:59 AM PDT
Saturday, 29 March 2008
Internet Safety: Going Over the Edge???
Topic: Leadership Issues

You've all read cautionary tales about posting children's likenesses on the Internet. This morning, I ran across this post on the 21st Century Learning blog. Here's a link to the full article.

Apparently, the administration at a school in England has decided to obliterate the faces of all students shown in photos published online by superimposing happy face icons on each child's head! Yep, they now all look like this: Smile.

Someone needs to get a right now. 

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 10:43 AM PDT
Updated: Saturday, 29 March 2008 10:45 AM PDT

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