Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Thoughts on Emerging Technologies in Education

Kind of ironic that my last course in my masters in Educational Technology is one titled "emerging technologies."  The challenge, after two years of study, is the difficulty in coming up with something I have not already been exposed to, or have discovered on my own.  Looking to gain more insight into ed-tech than just the newest passing gadget, I've been trying to figure out just what is the emerging technology that will be facing educations near future.  After watching Jimmy Wales 2005 TED talk discussing how Wikipedia works, I reflect on the comment he made right at the end - "But freely licensed textbooks are the next big thing in education."  You would think that in the 4 years since this talk that we'd be there by now, but I think we're just getting going (educational inertia to blame, I suppose).  It's not going to be the latest gadget - Kindle, Iphone, etc, but that information is more available to all.  Organizations like Connexions and Curriki are working diligently in that direction. Now all that's left is for education to follow.  So, what is the "emerging technology" in education, well, I think it's going to be the further breakdown of the digital divide and participation gap through the availability of shared collaborative resources for student and educators alike.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lesley Class last weekend with a small group project.

Summary of XO Project  The XO project was developed “to create educational opportunities for the world's poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning.”   The groundwork for this project was being developed as far back as 1967 with the introduction of Logo programming language.  For the next 30 years, there were many advances in computing, especially in the area of accessibility.  Then in 2002, “20 children in a small, remote Cambodian village” received connected laptops for “use at home, school, and in the community.”  The XO prototype came along in 2005, “with its distinctive pencil-yellow hand crank.”  In 2006, XO laptops are rolled off the assembly line to be dispersed amongst children in disadvantaged countries.  In 2007, mass production began, and the “Give One Get One” program resulted in sales over 150,000 laptops.  In 2008, the second “Give One Get One” program launched, and the XO project’s vision to equip the world’s children with laptops is continuing to progress.  

Review of XO Project  While the XO Project to provide computers for all children is a noble idea, our evaluation of the software and hardware of the XO computer did not meet our expectations.    Both here in the United States and worldwide, there have been strong criticisms of the XO machine and the XO project implementation.  For example in Birmingham, Alabama, there were several major flaws in their XO implementation (A Costly Lesson newspaper article).  We found this XO computer to be very non-intuitive, with a very slow processing speed, but the concept of “creating educational opportunities for the world's poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning,” is enticing.        

Sources:  http://www.laptop.org/en/vision/index.shtml


This Diigo link will take you to a complete listing of annotated resources

Rob Reynolds
Brad Nikunen
Amy Holtz
Melanie Iblings

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Biology Project gone creative

Why do a Power Point when you can add a little creative spice with a simple slide video show, complete with English accents.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The photosynthesis Rap

Fifth grade students learned the process of photosynthesis by singing a rap version. This video version brings together all students into one movie rendition. After helping their teacher with setting up the recording, I put together this short version using Movie Maker to edit all the versions into one.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Smartboards for Special Needs Students

Check out this short video highlighted some teachers work with smartboards in special ed classrooms.


Google Docs Presentations and Collaborative Peer Review

Tome Barrett shares some great ideas and successes about using Google Docs with his class. Check out what he has to say. I plan to share this with teachers ASAP and see if I can get any takers to give it a try. I'm thinking it's a good ideas to ease into these tools with examples like this before going into full blown student projects.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

YouTube - SMARTClassrooms's Channel

Looking for some help with with ideas and working with your smartboard.  Check out these video tutorials produced by Smarttech

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Weebly Educational Version - Proves to be simple and safe

New tools become available at an astounding rate. There is a point at which you need to choose what you're going to use and get familiar with it, and then stick with it.

I've spent quite a bit of time getting familiar with Google Apps. In our district we've set up accounts for all teachers (hope to have students on board soon) and have been working to help teachers create websites and ideas for a more paperless classroom that can communicate more effectively with students and their families.

All this said and done (somewhat) I have now discovered a new website building tool that is so simple a first grader could use it. This is not so true for the Google sites application. Google is powerful, but has various limitations and difficult work-arounds that need to be used to accomplish some desired tasks. In comes Education Weebly...a new online tool which can make things easier for those teachers who have been struggling a bit.

The question is, to change gears, or leave well enough alone. My thoughts at present are to show them the tool, and let them determine what direction they want to go. I will wait to do this, until the new features of class blog monitoring and listing become available.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Glogster – Poster Yourself | Text, Images, Music and Video

"Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each." - Plato

I am anxious to see learners begin to share their creativity and learning with new tools like this. 
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Learning Just-in-time, instead of Just-in-case

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Some Recent Diigo Tags

Catching up....
Just getting started with Tech Ed blog, but wanted to share some of the more interesting recent finds on the web.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Getting Started

While I actually set this blog up ages ago, I have yet to add to it at all. I've been overwhelmed by many other things, and haven't made it a priority, yet, to share my thoughts about my teaching career.

Stay posted. Some day, I'll get there.