Thursday, April 26, 2012

A $200 Tablet?

A 7 inch tablet, encased in rugged plastic, created specifically for the education market,water and dust resistant, designed to withstand drops off of student desks, comes with 4GB, WiFI, gorilla glass and costs under $200 - too good to be true?  Where do I sign up?  Intel recently released what they are calling a "studybook".  It will run either Android or Windows operating systems. The release date has not been announced, but I'll be on the lookout, anxious to put one through its paces.  You can read the piece from Ed Week below:

Friday, April 20, 2012

Common Ground 2012 Conference Presentation

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our presentation at this year's Common Ground Conference.  If you missed it, we will likely be appearing at a town near you in the near future.  As promised attached is our conference power point.  Given the size of the presentation it is broken into three parts.  Sorry for the triple clicking.  Does anyone know of another embedding program that can handle larger files?  Thanks again for your interest in our work and please feel free to contact us if you need additional information or wish to collaborate.

Common Ground Conference Presentation Part 1

Common Ground Conference Presentation Part 2

Common Ground Conference Presentation Part 3

Thursday, April 19, 2012

But These Kids These Days Can't Type!!!

So, just how important is it for kids to learn keyboarding? While learning to type, "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" helped me learn how to navigate a keyboard designed by the creator of the manual typewriter right after the earth cooled, how important is it for kids today to learn the nuances of the QWERTY keyboard?  Today's thumb texters can show some pretty impressive speed on a keyboard that some of us need our reading glasses to see.  Alternative keyboarding programs such as Swype and Snapkeys and being used by some schools and districts as an alternative to QWERTY.  With the pace of technological advances, we know it won't be long until human interfaces, like Siri (but on steroids) take over and keyboards become obsolete.  Hello Hal and 2001 A Space Odyssey!  What's wrong Dave?  You can read the piece from THE Journal below.  And by the way, you don't have to type anything, just click on the hyperlink, or ask Siri to open it for you.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Faster Than A Speeding Bullet? The League of Innovation Schools

What a great idea! What an extraordinary opportunity.  The goals of the program are to help school districts make better informed decisions, to make innovation faster, and to scale up successes.  Why so little "super" breakthrough??  Might it have something to do with the fact that only 0.2% of the 3 billion dollars being spent on technology across the country is earmarked for research and development.  I love technology as much, or more than the next guy, but we need to move beyond the cool and wow factors and figure out the most effective and efficient use of dwindling dollars.  You can read about the League below:

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Digital Texts Save Money - Like 3 Billion!

While we are only talking a paltry 3 billion dollars a year, according to an article by Peter Kafka in All Things Digital, the potential savings isn't anything to get too excited about anytime soon.  Unfortunately, too often discussion about what is best in education come down to dollars and cents.  The conversation about converting to digital texts needs to expand beyond the financial aspects to include the impact these types of text can have on student achievement.  There are so many advantages to digital texts that go beyond just potential cost savings.  I sometimes wonder if folks who aren't yet on board have even bothered to pick up a tablet and explore a digital text before passing judgement.  As one of the comments posted at the end of this article noted, there were also skeptics when the printing press was introduced.  You can check out the piece below: 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Another Day? Must be time for another iSchool District!

In a state where everything is bigger, McAllen Independent School District in Texas has big plans - an iPad for each of its 27,000 students, one of the biggest undertakings of 1-to-1 mobile computing that I am aware of.  A relatively poor district (67% poverty rate) on the Mexican border with a vision and an ability to connect with folks for support will pay dividends for each of its students.  You can read the story from below:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Another Day, Another iSchool District

Hats off to Franklin Township in New Jersey for becoming the latest iSchool District.  Under the leadership of Superintendent Broadus Davis, next fall each student in the school district will be receiving their own iPad 3 to use in school. You can read about the initiative in New Jersey at this link:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring Breaking - Greetings from Harvard

     A week without any new posts, that's got to be a record.  I'm still alive, just taking a spring break from work and technology for a bit.  It's been kind of nice.  Tomorrow it's back to work, sort of,  presenting my preliminary research at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  There's something about standing in the middle of Harvard Yard, surrounded by 375 years of big thinkers that makes you reflect on how you are contributing to the field and inspiring others, especially our children to innovate, create, and collaborate.
     I'll be posting my preliminary results in an upcoming post.  Our iPod team is also presenting later this month at the Common Ground Conference in Baltimore.  If you are planning to attend, please stop by and see us.  Thanks for following.  Many more posts will coming next week after Spring Break.  Have a Happy Easter all.