Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How Do You Connect the Dots?

Tonight I read about the the Extreme Makeover - School Edition where the school district highlighted won the 2009 Sylvia Charp Award for District Innovation in Technology. What struck me the most about what this district did was it's focus on "technology as the foundation for a whole new instructional program." Simple, yet not really. Their focus was based on well researched pillars of instruction. In Glen Cove School District the purpose of technology was to "inspire students, feed curiosity, stimulate critical thinking and problem solving and facilitate communication."

They connected to NETS and 21st Century Learning and worked for seamless integration through the lens of instruction. Curriculum, Assessment and Technology connected...there has to be some kind of line, straight, triangular, spiral, wiggly...I can't figure out any way to actually, literally connect the dots without a line to show the connection between the two. Can you?

Maybe seamless integration really can only occur through explicitly drawn connections.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Now We're Talking...Let them Bring It In!

Almost three years ago I wrote a blog entry about a crazy idea...allowing students to bring in their technology and provide for those who can't afford it. Today at our Montgomery County Technology Directors meeting we had a discussion about it and how it is inevitable. So, we are (finally) starting the discussion! : )

Not that this "solution" won't be without it's challenges, but what good positive change ever is?!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cooking Robots?

So if there are cooking robots now, what comes next?

I found the most interesting part of this NY Times article the ethnographic study that the woman did to understand what kind of behavior a hot dog vendor would exhibit and then worked to program the robot to replicate it. I wonder if hot dog vendors in Pittsburgh act the same as those in Philadelphia.

Makes me a little confident that it will be a long, long time before robots can even assist teachers! :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

With or Without Technology

I am teaching an online course for UMass Boston on Computers, Technology and Education. It is part of a strand of courses teachers can take to receive a certificate in Instructional Technology for Educators.

For their first blog post, I gave them the following prompt: What is the role of technology in education: the role of the teacher and the role of the student - in relation to this topic.

Today at our local Technology Directors meeting we discussed the challenges of taking "technology" out of the equation for professional development, in other words, embed it, integrate it. It is very hard to do, many people, curriculum folks, districts are just not ready to work towards true integration of technology as a tool.

As an experiment, I took their blog posts and imported them into wordle. With and without the word technology. Here is what came up. What do you conclude from this?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Sit in a Different Chair Today

So the new Apple iPad was introduced today and there were a lot of disappointed folks out there twittering and blogging and writing crude comments. As I discussed it's possibilities with some of my colleagues, they too were disappointed. Everyone was looking for the computing Utopia and they feel like Apple fell short. I would say, as a few other writers have, David Pogue and Dan Katt, to name two that I have seen, that Apple is again thinking outside of the box.

I heard, no USB drive. I said, hmmmm, been using my iDisk and cloud computing since 2002, what do I need USB for? I heard, no camera. I said, hmmmm, I have two cell phones both with cameras that can upload to the web, which I could then use to download to iPad. I heard it can't print. I said, hmmmmm, the world is going green, costs for printing is up and encouragement for LESS printing is also up. I don't print my google docs, do you?

Hmmmmm....I challenge all of you naysayers to tell me, really, what can't it do that you want it to do? I bet you don't even know because you haven't even tried it yet. For those of you around long enough to remember when Apple came out with a computer without a floppy drive, think about that and then think about the iPad.

I am not saying it is a perfect device. When I get one I will probably see some challenges, however, I will either figure out a different way to do what I need to, or I won't do it. I would encourage you to sit in a different chair today, maybe you'll get a different view. And maybe, someday, you'll be reading my blog on your iPad! : )