Thursday, November 05, 2009

OOo4Kids - Open Office for Kids

taaa daaa!
Finally children have thier own office application suite. Open Office 4 Kids is a lighter version of Open Office, with the folowing specific features:
  • Dedicated to 7-12 years
  • Specific adaptations to the world of education
  • Works everywhere (Linux, Mac OS X, Windows)
  • International / Multilingual

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Don Tapscott and learning from our kids

Ethan Zuckerman writes in his blog on a presentation from Don Tapscott re: learning from our kids.
"A student, Joe O’Shea, reacted to this presentation, saying that it resonated, and confessing, “I don’t read books.” He explained, “I think I know what’s in books, but I get my information from the web, and I’ve got really good BS detectors. If I need to read in a book, I have Google Books.” Using that site, he approaches books like a website. The dean of the film school reacted, saying, “I don’t know if that’s really exciting or the end of modern society.”"
Really interesting for teachers to try to understand our new students!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Are dinosaur managers and poor teaching holding back Digital Britain?

Interesting article on the results of an expert panel that is looking into the UK IT future. One very interesting note was that:
" if UK kids are technophiles in their spare time, they are technophobes at school "

"A recent report by the CBI blamed poor teaching in schools for contributing to a shortage of graduates in science, technology, engineering and maths. "Scientific potential at the age of 14 is not being fully realised," the report noted.

"If you talk to 12-year-olds they'll say I don't want to work in an office because what they're taught at 12 is [Microsoft] Word and Excel," Clarke added. "They're not taught what this profession is really about so I think that's fundamentally important to get the best kids looking at this profession."

Are dinosaur managers and poor teaching holding back Digital Britain?

Monday, September 07, 2009

Back to School: 10 Terrific Web Apps for Teachers

Back to School: 10 Terrific Web Apps for Teachers
Some of these applications are really useful. My particular favorites are Curriki and edmodo.
I can see many teachers wanting to use docCop to check for plaigiarism.
But they are all worth a check.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

How Web-Savvy Edupunks Are Transforming American Higher Education | Fast Company

How Web-Savvy Edupunks Are Transforming American Higher Education
This article from Fast Company Magazine is an excellent roundup and review of initiatives in higher education that are using Web 2.0 and Internet technologies to change the education paradigm.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

iLearn Technology � Blog Archive � Kideos

Great YouTube alternative for elementary students, categorized by age and subject.
" Kideos is a collection of kid friendly videos. Each video featured on Kideos has been carefully screened by the Kideos Video Advisory Council (made up of a select group of parents and educators). The videos are categorized by age range (from 2 to 10) and by category. Categories include Baby Einstein, Barney, Book Characters, Cartoon Characters, Cute Animals, Disney Channel Programs, Disney Movies, Dr. Seuss, Educational Videos, Fairy Tales, Kids, Mickey Mouse and Friends, Muppets, Nursery Rhymes, Sesame Street, Songs, Teletubbies, Trains and Machines, and Wiggles. If you register with Kideos, you can set it up to only view your own selection of ages and characters. The videos are streamed from You Tube and placed inside a Kideo player ."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Team WhiteBoarding with Twiddla

Painless Team Collaboration for the Web:

"Mark up websites, graphics, and photos, or start brainstorming on a blank canvas. Browse the web with your friends or make that conference call more productive than ever. No plug-ins, downloads, or firewall voodoo - it's all here, ready to go when you are. Browser-agnostic, user-friendly."

50 Open Source Apps Transforming Education

50 Open Source Apps Transforming Education —

"While some educators have been quick to grasp the potential and promise of open source software, many others have been hesitant to stray from the comfortable zone of commercial applications. Yet that’s changing.

More teachers and institutions are now participating with organizations like SchoolForge, the Open Source Education Foundation, and Open Source Schools. These educators are beginning to see that the open source philosophy has the power to transform education in several key ways."

Monday, July 27, 2009

Howard Rheingold on essential media literacies

We need to start changing the definition of literacy. We have to prepare students for the future, not for the past as we are doing. But a big problem is that the teachers, instructors, etc are themselves not literate in the new sense.
Where can the change start?

Read the article here
Howard Rheingold on essential media literacies

Friday, May 29, 2009

Banning Scientology doesn't make Wikipedia more credible

"Our students, whether they are Googling, Bing-ing (just doesn’t have the same ring, does it?), or digging through Wikipedia should be able to identify sources of limited credibility. This isn’t just a web skill, either. It’s a matter of critical thought. Is there bias in a source? How much of a source is news and how much is personal spin?"

One of the major things that I find I have to fight to get through to my students - it's not on the radar. Especially in Trinidad and Tobago, I hear far too often - "but it was in the papers", or "it was on the Internet" as if once it is in some sort of distribution medium, it is gospel truth and papally infallible.

The text books are equally problematic - we don't see print as able to be wrong.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Google Unveils Google Squared

Technology Review: Blogs: TR Editors' blog: Google Unveils Google Squared: "

Google today showed off a forthcoming service called 'Google Squared' that creates tables of numerical data culled from searches of websites. In the example given, a search for 'small dogs' created a table on different breeds, including data on such things as the breeds' heights and weights, placed inside boxes. Once an initial table is created, users can click on individual entries to check the source and--if the number was erroneous--they can correct the numbers through new searches. Finally, they can save their customized table for future reference."

Friday, May 08, 2009

How Room Designs Affect Your Work and Mood: Scientific American

How Room Designs Affect Your Work and Mood: Scientific American

Really interesting article. Discusses the influence of room design in the way the brain processes information.

One very useful point for education was:

"Over eight weeks and more than 50 lessons, the researchers rotated a class of fourth-grade students between two seating arrangements: rows of desks and a semi­circle of desks around the teacher. The semicircle configuration increased student participation, boosting the number of questions pupils asked. Other studies suggest that putting desks in rows encourages students to work independently and improves classroom behavior."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Teaching: No ‘Fallback’ Career - Room for Debate Blog -

Teaching: No ‘Fallback’ Career

As private sector professionals lose their jobs or suffer cutbacks in pay and benefits, more and more of them are thinking about second careers. Public service is suddenly popular with all generations. Teaching may not pay a lot, but it comes with relatively good benefits and, in public schools, job security in the form of tenure after three years. But this fallback fantasy may be unrealistic, despite reports of a possible teacher shortage in the next several years. Does such a shortfall really exist? What does it take to become a teacher, let alone a good one?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cell phones get top marks in class --

Cell phones get top marks in class --

"Students sat in small groups in Tony Neeley's science classroom, staring intently at a projected image at the front of the class. A question popped onto the screen. Neeley gave the students a six-digit number and said, 'Go.' Instantly thumbs began dancing over cell phone keypads. Within seconds, phones trilled the signal that a text message had been sent. At the same time, answers began dropping into view on the screen, one answer for each group of students, identified by a student's cell phone screen name.

In less than an hour, the Mary Passage Middle School students worked their way through more than 70 questions for a semester exam review, with every eighth-grader participating in a drill that looked more like a game show than a quiz.

'They only get one crack at it so they have to make sure they are right,' said Neeley.

Cell phones, considered a nuisance or worse in many schools, are welcome at Passage. At least eight teachers are using them for a range of lessons, from reports to quizzes in English, social studies, science and math classes."

One Cell Phone Per Child

One Cell Phone Per Child - Columns by PC Magazine:

"To get an understanding of the scale of the worldwide mobile revolution, consider that 4.1 billion people subscribe to a mobile phone service, according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), which is part of the United Nations. More than half of the world's people are connected, right now. High costs and spotty Internet access limit the functionality of those connections for many users, but the infrastructure is there."

It's amazing to think that the cellphone is a major communication/Internet/Computer is our children's hands, and instead of looking for ways to use it for education, we are banning and tightly controlling its use in schools.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Use of mobile phones for quality education

"When the mobile phone was invented, little did we realize how much this piece of technology would be embraced by Filipinos. In fact, “texting” in the Philippines was seen as a social phenomenon in the late 1990s, with the country ranking first in the world in text message use. Even now, wherever you’d go, you’d see somebody clutching a mobile phone. High-level executives conduct a lot of business through the device. Even sari-sari stores in remote areas display “karatola” [posters] advertising pre-paid loads."

The Philippine Text2Teach alliance is composed of Ayala Foundation, Nokia, Globe Telecom, SEAMEO-Innotech, Chikka Asia and PMSI-Dream Broadcasting Systems.

This uniquely Filipino innovation aims to enhance education opportunities for children and resource solutions for teachers in developing countries. BridgeIT believes that Text2Teach can contribute to raising the quality of basic education in the country.

Use of mobile phones for quality education -, Philippine News for Filipinos:

Friday, April 03, 2009

What’s In Your Social Media Toolkit?

What’s In Your Social Media Toolkit?:

"You can think of social media as a set of tools that organizations can use for a variety of purposes - customer service, branding, promotion, relationship-management, etc. Just as with any toolkit, you’re not going to use every tool every time.

Sometimes the hammer fits, but if you’re trying to measure something the hammer is pretty much useless. Similarly, sometimes a blog will fit perfectly, while other times YouTube might be a more suitable tool. Sometimes (say it ain’t so!) social media outreach won’t fit at all.

If social media represents a set of tools - what’s in your toolkit?"

Thursday, April 02, 2009

How to Grow a Blog

A very good analysis of what's wrong - I see it in my students all the time. Learning takes place during the PROCESS, but they almost always want to skip the process and head to the product and the grade. So they learn nothing really. They cram, get the grade and promptly forget everything. They are not interested in learning anything, just in getting the paper.

People often miss the opportunity to enjoy what they do because they focus all their attention on the outcome, rather than savoring the steps along the way. Where does the pleasure in singing come from - finishing the song, or producing each note or phrase? … To be overly concerned with the ultimate goal often interferes with performance. If a tennis player thinks only of winning the match, she won’t be able to respond to her opponent’s powerful serve … our primary concern here is not with what constitutes a successful performance, but with the quality of experience during performance. If we agree that the bottom line of life is happiness, not success, then it makes perfect sense to say that it is the journey that counts, not reaching the destination.

"In education, however, the product - the grade, the final draft, the test mark - still often takes precedence over the process of learning - the sense of personal journey without which the final destination is meaningless. What is even worse is that many of our students are very comfortable with that idea. To them, school is often about “playing the game.” They follow along, raise hands, submit assignments, study for tests. Of course, there is nothing wrong with these activities as long as they do not impede their progress as independent thinkers, researchers, and writers. Unfortunately, most of the time, “playing the game” means following the rules that we’ve set up for the students. We bring in the hoops, and the students jump through them. It’s an easy process for everyone involved."

Read more here:

Google Moderator

"What does it do? It lets anyone ask a question and then people can vote up the questions that they’d like answered. "

Sounds like a really useful tool to use in large lectures and classes - as immediate as twitter, but more specific, especially as you can prioritise questions...

Read more here:

New issue of the International Journal of Education and Development using ICT

Vol. 5, No. 2 (2009) of International Journal of Education and Development using ICT has now been published online at

Research in Progress

Data Completeness Analysis of Malaysian Educational Management Information System
Azlinah Mohamed, Universiti Teknologi MARA
Nik Abdullah Nik Abdul Kadir, Ministry of Education
May-Lin Yap, Universiti Teknologi MARA
Shuzlina Abdul Rahman, Universiti Teknologi MARA
Noor Habibah Arshad, Universiti Teknologi MARA

From the Field

e-Education Systems Implementation Success Model
Saadiah Yahya, associate profesor

Refereed Articles

The conditions and level of ICT integration in Malaysian Smart Schools
Wan Zah Wan Ali, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia
Hajar Mohd Nor, Ministry of Education, Malaysia
Azimi Hamzah, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia
Nor Hayati Alwi, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia

Literature Reviews

Growth and Improvement of Information Communication Technology in Kenya
Gatana G Kariuki,

Project Sheets

The Computers for Education Forum COF ( Working with 57 rural schools (Ngoketunjia, North West Region, Cameroon)
Tamara R Palamakumbura, Partners for Community Development Initiative (PCDI)


Technology integration and adoption in education and the community
Stewart Marshall, The University of the West Indies, Barbados, West Indies
Wal Taylor,

Refereed Articles

Action research practices and media for development
Jo Tacchi, QUT
Marcus Foth, QUT
Greg Hearn, QUT

From the Field

Brazilian Teachers̢۪ Agency in a Web-based U.S. Reform Project
Eduardo S. Junqueira, Universidade Federal do Ceará

Literature Reviews

Effective Technology Integration: Old Topic, New Thoughts
Bude Su, CSU Monterey Bay

Refereed Articles

A Problem-based approach to accounting education: Pragmatic appraisal of a technologically enabled solution
Carla L Wilkin, Monash University
Phillip A Collier, University of Melbourne

From the Field

Essential Features of Teaching Chemistry Using Computer in the Iranian High Schools
Zohreh Abedi Kargiban,
Saedah Siraj,

Refereed Articles

Analyzing the usage patterns and challenges of telecenters among rural communities: experience from four selected telecenters in Tanzania
Wulystan Pius Mtega, Sokoine University of Agriculture
Andrew Watson Malekani, Sokoine University of Agriculture

Development and validation of a computer instructional package on electrochemistry for secondary schools in Nigeria.
Oloyede Solomon Oyelekan, University of Ilorin, Nigeria
Adekunle Solomon Olorundare, University of Ilorin, Nigeria


International Journal of Education and Development using ICT

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Stop Twittering, learn Latin!

Dumbing down the curriculum is not the way to go. Technology doesn't mean stupid. Imagine having students twittering to each other in Latin, or blogging in Spanish or French?

"it's exactly a lack of high expectations which underlies making the curriculum relevant to pupils. Lame attempts to engage them by trying to adopt their vernacular signpost attempts to win back disaffected pupils. Disaffected by poor standards, low expectations and weak curricula, rather than because Shakespeare didn't coincide with the MTV era. By secondary school, wooing lost pupils is totally futile. There is nothing less hip than a 'cool' curriculum – and missed opportunities in primary school spent messing around with pop culture will only mean less well-equipped secondary school entrants."

Read more here:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Ultimate Guide for Everything Twitter | Webdesigner Depot

The Ultimate Guide for Everything Twitter | Webdesigner Depot:

"Twitter isn’t just a cute way for keeping in instant touch with friends on mobile phones anymore. It has ramped up quickly to be the search engine of choice for some with its human driven results.

Applications galore allow you to find friends all over the world with similar interests and keep up with them in real time."

There's lots of educational uses of Twitter as well
From Twitter itself -
" Is anyone using Twitter in (or around) the classroom? If so, I'd love to hear how/what."
" I require my students at X College be on Twitter. "

- more links below:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Six technologies for educators to watch � EducationPR

Six technologies for educators to watch :

"The authors of this report predict that by the year 2020 most people across the world will be using a mobile device as their primary means for connecting to the internet. It is clear that mobiles are already well on the way to becoming a universal tool for communication of all kinds.

This new edition of the Horizon Report discusses six categories of technologies to watch:

In the first adoption horizon (within the next year) we find mobiles and cloud computing.
In the mid-term horizon (two to three years), geo-everything and the personal web.
The far-term horizon (four to five years): semantic-aware applications and smart objects."

And in my EdTech course I am still being asked to teach MS Word! Not even Google Docs for collaboration!

Social media for education communications

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Do students need to physically go to class at all? ~ A Parent's View:

"Unlike my generation, thanks to laptops, podcasts, and the internet, my children can 'attend' virtual lectures, join in discussion boards with other students, and complete and submit assignments, quizzes, and tests.

They can also enroll in courses, drop courses, pay their tuition, and order their textbooks. All online.

Oh, and they can email any questions or concerns to their teaching assistants or course professors.

Uh, why bother ever showing up?"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Podcasting Toolbox: 70 Podcasting Tools and Resources

Podcasting Toolbox: 70 Podcasting Tools and Resources: "Podcasting may not have lived up to the early hype, but with iPods and other MP3 players still selling like crazy, the potential audience for these audio shows is huge. We’ve compiled a monster list of 70 tools and resources for podcasters and wannabes."

This is from 2007, but a lot of the tools and links are still valid.

Blogs vs Social Networking

Blogs vs Social Networking: "What is the difference?
Most people (OK, most adults) don't know the difference between 'blogs' and 'social networking' sites."

And that is so true. Blogs are really a space on the web for someone to post their information (it's easy, much easier than creating a full fledged website, and more and more blogging tools allow you to add loads of interesting content, photos, videos etc)

BUT Blogs are NOT an interactive tool. That's a major misconception. People can comment on my blog, but I don't have to pay attention, respond, anything. If I do, they don't really get pushed to respond...

Interactivity is definitely a major part of a social networking site. They are built for people to interact with each other - thus the name.

This article is pretty good at explaining the differences and alos gives a couple of ideas as to how to use social networking in education.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Teachers on Target

teachers on Target:
A site that was referred by a reader of this blog - excellent resource.


Teachers on Target provides teachers on-the-job activities to help them not only gain a better understanding of their teaching skills, but also to help them appreciate the depth and range of what it means to be a teacher. The activities are designed to build connections: To connect with colleagues, to connect with students, and to connect with one’s professionalism. In total, these professional development activities work to meet the following objectives…

  • To improve teaching competence

  • To build greater collegiality

  • To understand and appreciate the art of teaching

  • To discover the interplay of self, career, and professionalism"

Friday, February 27, 2009

Free lesson plans, homework help and professional development for teachers, students and parents | Verizon Thinkfinity

Free lesson plans, homework help and professional development for teachers, students and parents | Verizon Thinkfinity: "FREE educational resources for everyone"

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills - Home

Employers feel that to-day's graduates' of universities, two-year colleges, and high schools' are deficient in "applied skills" such as critical thinking, problem solving, written communications, leadership, and professionalism. An organization called The Partnership for 21st-Century Skills found as much in a 2006 study, "Are They Really Ready to Work?" The study identifies which skills students lack and how important those skills are today and in the near future
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills - Home

Images: Zooming in on photo editing tools | TechRepublic Photo Gallery

Online photo editing services are more and more popular and feature packed. Stand alone tools are expensive. Here's a roundup of interesting and useful online photo editing tools that teachers and their students can use.

"While most photographs are rectangular, the tools we use to edit them come in all manner of shapes and sizes. We've looked at more than a dozen different online services that let you edit your photos and capture what each one of them looks like so you can get a preview before you dive in.

To see how they stack up against each other, click here for a complete comparison chart."

Images: Zooming in on photo editing tools | TechRepublic Photo Gallery

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Welcome to The Year of Science!

(2009 is the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species.) Can it be that you’ve forgotten this is the 400th anniversary of both Galileo’s first use of a telescope to explore the heavens and Kepler’s publication of the first two Laws of Planetary Motion?
Welcome to The Year ... :: Inside Higher Ed :: Higher Education's Source for News, Views and Jobs