Blogger. 10 Minute Teacher Podcast. Teaching students with new tools, enthusiasm, and belief that teaching is a noble calling. This is an archive of my blogger blog since I started blogging here before I set up www.coolcatteacher.com
Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 12/30/2011
This is the catalog of books from Pedia press. While some editors are wikipedians, it is interesting to me how one of the top books is American Warplanes of WWII that has one editor. It looks like you can take it and pull from wikipedia and then edit. This is very interesting. While it is not new news about pediapress, when it first came out we didn't have such examples to review.
Current application dates for Flat Classroom projects. I'll be running NetGenEd and co-planning Eracism with Julie as well as work with the book club starting in February.
Flat Classroom Project - application deadline January 23, 2012 for FCP12-1 Digiteen - application deadline February 1, 2012 for Digiteen 12-1 'A Week in the Life...' - application deadline February 15, 2012 for AWL12-1 Eracism - application deadline February 30, 2012 for Eracism 2012 NetGenEd - application deadline February 1, 2012 for NetGenEd 2012
APPLY NOW! to become a Flat Classroom® Certified Teacher. Courses will run starting in September and November 2011, as well as March 2012. Global Education Conference 2011
Dan Pink predicted that next year's hot technology item is going to be the Lytro camera. It captures everything and lets you focus afterwards. It looks very cool but it is one of those things I need to see to understand. Anyone using one yet?
Great announcement about the winners of Microsoft's Global Educator Awards program. As a judge for the US competition, the coding guide is an amazing piece of research-based evaluation of teaching methods that should be shared. Unfortunately, this awards announcement has NO hyperlinks. It always makes me upset when teachers are recognized without Twitter handles, links to their efolios. If we want to disseminate best practice, it should be done using the web. Static press releases, especially for something like this, are a waste of space. now, I have to search for all of these things.
A new movie "the American teacher" is coming out and Microsoft is coordinating the community screening of this film based upon the New York Times Best Seller "Teachers Have it Easy: The Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of America's Teachers" produced by Vanessa Roth and narrated by Matt Damon. This website lets you order the DVD or volunteer to host a screening. I cannot find a release date on the site.
I hope it is balanced. Teachers aren't perfect but it is not ok how teachers are being treated. Unfortunately, very few people are talking about just teachers -- it seems to be focused on union vs. anti union at this point in politics with teachers caught in between.
This is the Microsoft Research so.cl website (pronounced social) that is being tested in a few universities. I find it incredibly interesting that students sign in using Facebook instead of Windows Live ID, the preferred sign in for other services.
For those comparing the FTC's stand against Facebook with Google Buzz, here is the Forbes article on the April 2011 Google Buzz settlement. We will have our Digiteen students looking at this material as they discuss privacy.
Facebook faces 20 years of privacy audits by the Federal Trade Commission. Similar to an agreement with Google Buzz,this shows the FTC's commitment to project consumer privacy. (Any wonder Google Buzz is going bye- bye.)
New Google+ service Find My Face lets you opt in to photo tagging. For information on this service and how Google is trying not to repeat some of the "mistakes" of Facebook. However, some would argue that mistakes of Facebook have also been what made it wildly popular.
It seems harmless but sometimes just commenting on Facebook in the normal course of business causes problems. Now that every person on Facebook literally has a fan page (people can follow you without you having a fanpage) you are going to see this happen more often. If you really want to share with your friends, this certainly gives rise to websites like Path that only let you friend up to 150 people and keep things very private. Public officials may be left with no other option. Show me a person who doesn't say something politically incorrect and I'll show you someone in the graveyard. We all mess up.
I'm seeing more information about children activating G+ accounts and putting in an age that is "too young" to have an account (under 18.) Here are the instructions for reactivating an account (which involve a credit card charge that is then removed.) As more kids move to G+ this will be a problem. I told my students to stay away from G+. Of course, having them on Google apps for domains helps you on this as the terms of service are between the school and Google and with parent permission, you are accepting the terms of behalf of the students.
Fascinating read from a professor about the response of his graduate students when they all received ipads. Some felt that by carrying them they came across as elitist. Perhaps it is because so many people want them and they are still very expensive. Very interesting read.
British government is studying how effectively private and alternative suppliers provide higher education services. As educators prime for the upheaval to learning that is already upon us, institutions of higher education are being eyed as places for potential cost savings and to determine if education can be delivered more effectively in other ways. They also looked at some US studies as they prepare this study.
Microsoft not going for social networking but for educational networking. Before you roll your eyes, the fact is that overlaying educational networks on top of social networks is rife with problems. This is being tested at University of Washington, Syracuse University and New York University. There are many benefits to keeping work and personal separate and educational networks may be a great asset if done right, to the education space.
Volkskwagen agrees to turn of blackberries after hours as part of a union agreement. While I don't know a lot of teachers connected via blackberries,I do personally know the complexities of global collaboration in schools. We must learn to balance work and home and know when to disconnect but then again, a work environment can become so fast paced that everyone seems to expect the others that they should work 24/7. Yet another reason to advocate checking email 2-3 times a day - let everyone know when you will be available and stick to the schedule.
New project started by 2 MIT students.Twine seeks to help you easily access your home remotely. The small bar-of-soap looking object monitors the temperature and movement of the device usinga simple app called spool. Increasingly computing is about intertwining with our lives.
I'm going to draw another conclusion here that may bother some of you. As we increasingly use our smart phones to control our homes, let people in the door, monitor things,are we causing danger and/or damage by denying students the right to access their phone, say, for example, if the house says it is on fire and mom and dad are out of town.
I think we're going to have to coexist with cellular and smart phone technologies. It is inevitable but it is also about behavior. A child wouldn't have 1,000 emergencies in a day ( a text message isn't an emergency) but may have one that becomes a big deal and a big liability.
If you like controversies between leading thinkers, you'll want to read wired.com's overview of the verbal jousting between Clay Shirky and Malcom Gladwell over the importance of social media in social uprisings. I think this author has a very neutral perspective that is valuable for evaluating this discussion between two very influential people.
The thing I find odd is that Gladwell in his book Outliers talks about the importance of "mavens" and their influence. Surely, mavens online can have more influence than ever before. I'm not sure how he can forget his own work in Outliers as he puts down the importance of social media in politics.
T-shirt transistors. Wearable computing is very close. I doubt it will look like it does on the fantastic model in this post, but there are uses we cannot imagine as of yet. It would be fun to have students read this and invent the future of wearable computing. Or you could do this as a writing assignment and have them write about it.
Big controversy running through Google plus. Because controversial photographer Brandon Campeaux had over a quarter of a million followers, they are connected to just about everyone. He left Google+ in a huff and deleted his account when he says Google refused to respond to death threats against him. Word is,some of the people he asked to help him "are on vacation."
On another note, once a Google+ post is reshared, you can no longer delete it. This is perhaps a very interesting case study for whether Google+ is ready to grow. By the way, Myspace still has more active users than Google+.