Monday, May 31, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Basically, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's vision is "somewhat utopian"; the Facebook argument is that more sharing creates a "better world."
While we are all connecting and trying to create this better world, Facebook is making money with advertisers.
A soon-to-launch feature will allow users to share their location, putting Facebook in competition with burgeoning services such as Foursquare and Gowalla.GPS location is telling everyone exactly WHERE you are RIGHT NOW. Not exactly addressing privacy concerns.
For those not paying attention and for those not attending to their privacy settings, it's not a good situation.
As educators we need using social media and teaching students about the pitfalls as they increasingly share more information with the world.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Here’s a brief introductory video:
The course "home page" offers more information on Professor Gilbert Strang's materials. There are several 30 to 40 minute videos, each with a linked summary and/or practice problems. See right side of this page, for example.
Have you heard about The New York Times’ Summer Reading Challenge?
While promoting reading of the Times, this challenge also encourages reading of more non-fiction and current events of the students’ choice and more discussion of the content. This year, the Times will repeatedly ask students to post their thoughts (400 words or less) in response to the question “What interested you most in the Times this week?” They can comment upon an article, photo, podcast, graphic, etc. and the page for this week is here.
The Times cites rationale for this project in an earlier posting: In “The Crush of Summer Homework,” last August, particularly the comments by University of Michigan Professor of Education Elizabeth Birr Moje.
This seems like an excellent way to encourage students to think about a wide variety of issues and should give them a much-needed broader perspective prior to choosing topics to explore for class projects. I see potential application for our American Studies classes, IGGS, Senior Writers' Seminar, Global Voices, English Language Learners ....
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Twitter Power: Learning From Ourselves in Real Time
People aren't laughing and making fun of Tweeters anymore; it is no longer just a celebrity phenomenon. The Library of Congress has chosen to archive the world's tweets in order to curate and disseminate information to scholars. What a trove of oral history from 114 million users!
Individuals have a voice which is connected to the world as never before. Twitter has been used as an activist tool, one for promoting social good; it is now looked to as a barometer of people's reactions to evens and products.
Chris Wilson, from Venice, LA, reinforces that fact that we need to think critically about what we hear and see with regards to the oil spill. As reported by MSNBC, "Venice's [LA] charter fishermen and tourism bosses are blaming negative US media coverage of the Gulf oil spill for doing more damage to the industry than the oil slick itself, with their livelihoods threatened because tourists are canceling trips, despite 95 percent of the state's waters being open for fishing."
See Wilson's fish steak, the Executive Director of the EPA, the President of the National Wildlife Federation, and more images, and the story by Greg Bluestein, from the area at:http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37075377/displaymode/1176/rstry/37272705/
"BP delays attempt to plug leak with mud" 21 May 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Pip.io is an application that helps users create, track, and manage their online conversations. Like Facebook and Twitter, Pip.io encourages its users to upload videos and photos, add status updates, and communicate with friends in whichever ways they feel most comfortable.
- Determine the level of access for each user who adds you as a contact --better privacy settings than any other social network available right now
- Automatic refresh feature ensures new information comes to you right away --add discussions from public rooms to your Pip.io news feed
- Use video chat to communicate with contacts in real time
- See what’s going on in your other social networks without leaving the Pip.io site
Friday, May 21, 2010
This week, eSchoolNews published an article quoting several suppliers of digital textbooks describing how they were connecting LMS (learning management software, like Blackboard) sites to digital textbooks and how it could "save students the extra step of jumping back and forth between CaféScribe eBooks and their Moodle, Sakai, or Blackboard LMS", for example. Read more here ...
These are the types of online activities done by members of seven different age groups. There are six user actions labeled in the infographic; creators, critics, collectors, joiners, spectators, and inactives.
Age groups represented are Young Teens, Youth, Gen Y, Gen X, Young Boomers, Older Boomers, and Seniors.
Young teens and Youth are by far the biggest creators of content. How can high schools capture and channel that enthusiasm for social media?
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Downside: Private storms are invite only storms and you can select who you want to have access to the storm.
For the first 30 days you can create as many private storms as you want; there is a fee after 30 days.
Mashable reporter Jennifer Van Grove writes:
"Facebook is on the path to become “the Web’s sketchy Big Brother, sucking up our identities into a massive Borg brain to slice, dice and categorize for advertisers.”
Lots of interesting facts that are worth mentioning: Facebook houses the world's largest photo collection--48 billion unique images!
Check out the newest iPhone app provided by GaleCengage! It allows students and staff to access their school library Gale databases with the iPhone.
Take a look at the following article for more information http://blog.gale.com/pressroom/new-products/gale-announces-new-iphone-application-for-school-libraries/
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Have you tried Google Wave? If not, Google just opened it to everyone. Here are a few examples of using Google Wave, including one to collaborate on an epic poem.
What do you think? How could/should we use this? Will it replace Google Docs for some of our teachers/students? I have to confess to having had an invite and never using it, but maybe it's worth another look?
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
An annual favorite is the Doodle for Google contest -- I love seeing the creativity and thinking behind the designs such as "Magic in a Book", shown here. It's been a day filled with art as our Art AP Studio students are also exhibiting today.
Monday, May 17, 2010
"I defend Facebook because it is the wrong target for our anger. It has done more to bring people together than any technology of the last five years, and the good it has brought far outweighs the bad. We made the decision to turn our personal information over to a private company, and for the most part Facebook made good use of it."Has Facebook compromised user privacy?
"Quitting Facebook won’t solve the privacy conundrum: common sense and better education about how privacy has changed will. This debate has once again exposed the gap between how the world has changed and our assumptions about how the world works or should work. Attacking Facebook won’t help us come to terms with our society’s struggle over the changing nature of privacy."Pete Cashmore [Mashable CEO] believes: There is no such thing as privacy.
This points to the fact that we need to be teaching our students how the world works, and how even if we don't turn our information over to a private company, anyone can post information about us on the web. It's the world we live in and let's not stick our heads in the sand.
Once again, I remember distinctly that about six months ago, Will Richardson asked: "When do we stop trying to fight the inevitable and start thinking about how to embrace it?" Or, as Doug Johnson so eloquently suggests, when are we gonna saddle this horse and ride it?" Today Will Richardson's blog article was simply entitled: Teach. Facebook. Now. Read his plea to get real with the students. He sums it up by stating "I know Facebook isn’t on the test, but c’mon. It’s time it becomes a part of how we help kids live in this world." Are any administrators out there paying attention?
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
The following is from an interview with Jimmy Wales from the Yale Daily News in early October, 2009. This question helps answer why making editing easier so important:
Q What is Wikipedia doing to try to get a more diverse group of contributors?
Here’s what’s new according to the Wikimedia Blog:" We’re very global; there are people all over the world editing Wikipedia, mostly in their own home language. But there’s a certain geek culture that transcends national cultures; there’s a homogeneity in that. The main thing we’re doing is the useability project. We have a $950,000 grant from the Stanton Foundation that’s specifically targeted at finding the points in the software that are off-putting to people that aren’t computer geeks. There are lots of people that are geeks, but not computer geeks. I always give the example of a stay-at-home mom with a master’s degree. So, this is a very educated person, someone who is already on the Internet and sharing information, but probably not participating in Wikipedia, because she’s not a computer geek."
- Look and feel: essential functions easier to find.
- Navigation: tabs at the top of each page more clearly define whether you’re reading or editing a page. There’s also a collapsible navigation for the left sidebar that hides items that aren’t used often, but allows them to continue to be easily accessible.
- Editing improvements: formatting pages is simpler and more intuitive and creating tables is easier; new find and replace feature to simplify page editing.
- Link wizard: An easy-to-use tool allows you to add links to other pages on Wikipedia, or to pages on external sites.
- Search improvements: Search suggestions are now improved to get you to the page you are looking for more quickly.
- Pediapress book creator: Create a book by selecting Wikipedia articles and adding them to the Book Creator. Your articles will be turned into a PDF (or OpenDocument) file so you can easily take Wikipedia wherever you go. [this could be a cool way to place pages on our pathfinders]
- Updated Puzzle globe and wordmark: The well-known Wikipedia globe and wordmark have been enhanced and improved. We’ve introduced Linux Libertine, an open source typeface to help support the creation of hundreds of localized Wikipedia wordmarks, and the internationally-recognized puzzle globe has been recreated in 3D and includes even more languages.
- If you don't like the new features you can switch back to the older version: see directions
The e-Reader industry is in its infancy and hopefully e-readers will continually improve and prices will become more competitive. When Booksellers let us use what we buy and share it, this industry will explode. Read more...
Monday, May 10, 2010
The wonderful Unquiet Librarian has made great comments on his speech, and even references one of his former speeches. May we start the climb today, as we increase our efforts on educating everyone in our communities, even those who we think should know the importance of cultivating critical consumers of information.
Here is one piece of her comment. Please view the remainder of her post:
"First, the real problem here is not information itself or the devices in which people access it, but instead, the core issue is the fact that too many people lack essential information evaluation skills that are relevant for today’s information landscape. Secondly, information and the gadgets are like anything else—people have the free will and choice to use them in a positive manner or a less than positive way."
The Unquiet Librarian 5/10/10
"Dear Mr. President, Misinformation is the Real Distraction"
By Rocco Staino -- School Library Journal, 5/10/2010
Shepherds Junior School in Arusha, Tanzania, is getting a school library, thanks to Twitter and the grassroots fundraising group Epic Change.
Epic Change founder and CEO Stacey Monk (@StaceyMonk) volunteered at the school in January 2007, and its founder and headmistress Mama Lucy Kamptoni asked Monk to partner with her school.
Monk’s website, which supports grassroots change and social entrepreneurship, decided to sponsor the school through TweetsGiving, a 48 hour fundraiser that takes place around the Thanksgiving holiday. Using Twitter, blogging, and other social media, the site raised $10,000 in 2008, which was used to build a new classroom for the Tanzanian school. And last year, it raised $35,000 to create the school’s first library, which will open in the next few months.
Read more at:
PicLits is a tool that allows users to place words in the “right place and in the right order to capture the essence, story, and meaning of the picture.”
Under the tab “Learn it” there are ideas for teachers who may want to experiment with PicLits in their classrooms. This has potential as a powerful tool for those teaching poetry. Users can save, blog, or e-mail their final product.
Sunday, May 09, 2010
I initially learned about this due to a fairly extensive interview which she and other educators had recently with Henry Jenkins. Here's his blog posts: part one and part two -- well worth reading and discussing.
For example, high school teacher and UC Berkeley doctoral candidate Maryanne Berry says, "Excellent teaching involves a degree of risk and sadly today there are many constraints on teachers that keep them from trying anything new....I think teachers need to ... ask themselves, 'how can I use this to forward the subject I teach?'" There are also several comments about Wikipedia and an observation from Jessica Parker about how "classroom teachers are often voicing their concerns about a lack of opportunity to sit down with their colleagues and discuss important issues; time is not allocated for them to be apart of a learning community." She also talks about "the possibility to create a community of learners made up of both teachers and students working toward a common goal." Join the discussion - post your thoughts here, on Jenkins' blog or on Parker's new page.
Saturday, May 08, 2010
At New Trier, we have huge interest in this topic and it will certainly be saved on my Amazon Wish List.
Friday, May 07, 2010
Thursday, May 06, 2010
Enjoy the video:
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Monday, May 03, 2010
• It's not a Search Engine: "Mashpedia provides articles for specific topics such as concepts, subjects, personalities, events, places, companies, products, etc., but not for broader, unspecific searches."