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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

2 Million Online Vids for Mickey Mouse



Disney announces that they have sold 2 million online videos through iTunes, 23.7 million shows, and 92 million ad-supported show episodes. The article at ZDNET discusses how Disney has been revamping their online activities to include more social networking capabilities and a move towards more video on demand services delivered through the Internet.

Are classrooms moving online?

We continue to move towards Internet delivery of all electronic media, but I have to ask myself how well we are moving in that direction in our classrooms.

What does it take to work at Google?
Last night in the WOW2 webcast with Christin Frodella, director of Google Educators network, we talked about what it takes to work at a place like Google. She stated that the "ability to ask questions" and the "ability to be self motivated without someone looking over your shoulder" and "curiosity" and "passion for your profession" as vital for working at Google.

She didn't state knowledge, but of course it was implied that you were very good at what you do.
I think that proficiency is assumed, students must have a certain level of proficiency. But past that, they need to be thinkers, problem solvers, and communicators in a burgeoning techno-personal world.

Time to move online
The fact is that as our world moves online, our classrooms must move online too. Meanwhile, when I think back on the chat last night in WOW2, it seems that many IT departments are moving their school offline as fast as their fingers can type in a filter.

What is being blocked now? Gmail, all chat services, Skype, youtube, twitter, were just a few of the things mentioned last night.

The Bandwidth Dilemma

Bandwidth is certainly an issue. However, we've got to get creative. For example, couldn't a teacher enter the websites that they will be going to the next day and let the server download those graphics or items overnight for the next day? Could e-mails download in the night instead of on demand (since we all demand things at the same time.)

Can we preorder videos, etc. and let some sort of iTunes like synchronization happen in the night? Or could we just invest in faster connections much like we invest in buildings. No one says, "Are we going to put a bathroom in that building?" neither should we scrimp on Internet connectivity. It is vital.

Mickey Mouse's rush into online delivery makes all of the discussions about filtering and blocking and restrictions look well... very Mickey Mouse.

Remember, I always advocate some form of filtering, however, there is a big difference between wise filtering and carte blanche filtering of everything. If you filter it all, why even connect to the Internet, just go back to CD's!
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