Saturday, March 21, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
MIT is now offering courseware for High School students and the cost...free! Highlights for High School provides students with coursework to help with AP classes, video demonstrations, lab experiments, competitions and more.
Highlights for High School is the latest addition to the Opencourseware that MIT has been providing for over 6 years. While this new endeavor focuses the magnifying glass on processes and content to help high school students and teachers, it is not the first time that MIT has provided assisstance. Dating as far back as 1956 when MIT professors collaborated with high school physics teachers to help define the best approach to teaching introductory physics or when in 1957 MIT students committed to working with middle and high school students, which is still active today.
You simply type in the word(s) that you want spelled and hit enter. After receiving the initial rendering you can change any letter simply by clicking on it. Once you found a combination that you like, copy the code and paste it into your html code.
Below is my daughter's name created using Spell with Flickr:
I'm still working out how to use this in PowerPoint and other "nonweb" based programs.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Where have I been? Kerpoof has been around for quite some time and yet somehow I managed to miss out, that is until now.
Kerpoof, a web-based, interactive program for children, was created by a Boulder Colorado company on March 1, 2006 and has grown in popularity since. It has become so inviting that Disney couldn't resist and acquired Kerpoof, just a few days ago. This is not the first time that Disney has snatched up a popular program for kids; they also acquired Club Penguin in 2007. Some of the more popular products on their burgeoning roster are Toon Town, Pixie Hallow and Pirates Online.
More information can be found at Kerpoof website or my school blog: Highmeadow Common Campus Technology.
I spent much of my day today participating in continuous partial attention and while endlessly searching for more, I came across DailyLit. "DailyLit lets you read entire books in short, customized installments sent to you by email or RSS."
Creating an account in DailyLit is rather straight forward by following the links from REGISTER, which appears at the top, right of the page. The username that you choose will become your public identity and will show on your DailyLit homepage and on any posts that you make to the site. After creating your account a confirmation code is sent to your email in order to confirm that you want to be a member. Then the fun begins.
You can search for books by Author, Title or Category. I started by searching for "classics" in the category section, knowing that these books would be free for public use as the copyright has expired. I chose a couple to experiment with and added them to my account. I decided to send these installments to my email because my RSS "in basket" is already quite full. You can tweak your settings to enlarge the font size, and to specify when they should be delivered.
I appreciate the graphics and clean display of the email that is sent. Take notice that at the bottom of each email are adjustments that can be made such as, delivering another installment right away, suspending delivery for awhile or discussing the book in a forum.
Maybe this time my New Years resolution to read the classics will actually happen. Technology just keeps making my life easier.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
The closing address at the Michigan Virtual Symposium 2008 was a panel discussion moderated by Richard Ferdig. The following is a paraphrased version of the panelists responses to questions:
Michael Flanagan, Superintendent of Public Education, Michigan Department of Education
Dan DeGrow, Superintendent, St. Clair RESA
Jayne Mohr, Associate Superintendent, Traverse City Area Public Schools
Lorri MacDonald, Michigan Online Teacher of the Year; Online Instructor, MVU
Jamey Fitzpatrick, President & CEO, MVU ,
Michael Horn, co-founder and Executive Director of Innosight Institute
Warren Buckleitner, Children's Technology Review
Talking About the Future:
What does disruptive Innovation mean to you?
Michael Flanagan: Where we are right now: State Superintendent can waive seat time. Customizing education with technology can help all kids hit home runs. This is an opportunity to be student based and not teacher based. We need to attach money to proficiency and not seat time.
Lorri MacDonald: "In every crisis there is an opportunity" Schools should be open 24-7
Jamey Fitzpatrick: In the recent past no superintendent was asking for a virtual school, but now its needed. We can get smarter about how we innovate. Danger is thinking that technology is extra with budget constraints.
Michael Horn: We need a common language so that we don't speak over each other. Our solutions and visions might not be exactly right, but hopefully a common language has begun. Most excited about learning.
Warren Buckleitner: Think about mastery learning, its proven and can be done in a variety of ways. Kids are smarter than we think and we need to give them access and get out of the way. All the pieces are there, they've been developed and theory is there and waiting for us to put it to work.
Micheal Flanagan: not larger schools! Don't need to build them...when we put the for sale sign on it who will buy it? Funding needs to be adjusted and addressed. Early childhood is an important area.
My question: Are the days of ISDs numbered and bricks and mortar schools soon gone?
Dan DeGrow: Online education is only going to grow. Our job is to make it successful
Jayne Mohr: Our children are our future the online learning experiences are possible because of the seat time waivers. Blended instruction is an option.
Michael Flanagan: don't limit yourself to what you can do without permission! Not everything requires a waiver.
Lorri MacDonald: If we keep doing what we've always done we will get what we've always gotten. Creativity needs to be encouraged. Look to learn from kids.
Michael Horn: Disruptive innovation is a force that extends benefits to more people by driving down cost. Everyone can have a computer on their desk. Disruption expands benefits...accessibility will come.
Warren Buckleitner: a forest fire fertilizes the ground for new growth, boats rise on the account of water, don't throw out your old shoes until you have new shoes.
Warren Buckleitner invites audience to touch his floppy disk, he doesn't even care!
The lunchtime keynote. presented by Warren Buckleitner gave a overview of many of the technologies that are being used today. His vision of one laptop per child is to employ the use of the Nintendo DS. Its affordable and many students already own it. This also capitalizes on the current gaming trend that does much of what good instruction is all about: instant feedback, mastery learning, testing, scaffolding and opportunities for apprenticeships where one gamer tutors another.
Warren also shared the wiki that he created for the keynote and it can be found at: http://rutgerstech.wikispaces.com/MVU
Peter Arashiro, MVU, working the Wii Music program while waiting for the lunchtime keynote. Now that's innovative entertainment.
I quickly connected to the network, accepted the user agreement and got to work opening several simultaneous windows. I opened Microsoft Word 2007, ooVoo, and several Firefox tabs including connecting to the webmail server for my district. So far all is going well. It is very light weight and is even easy to handle when using my lap as a table top. I've install several programs such as Skype, ooVoo, Quest Atlantis, Firefox, Chrome and more and they all appear to be working.
Although the storage space is limited, I don't find this to be a deal breaker because I find that I use remote server spaces for much of my work. This blog is hosted by blogspot, my documents are saved to Google docs and there is always a thumb drive if needed.
I think that this is going to be a holiday gift to myself.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Although cell phone novels have not yet acheived the enormous popularity in the United States, the increase in gas prices may spike a rise in readership. How are the two connected, you might ask. Much of the readership in Japan is linked to the use of public transportation and from passengers taking advantage time that they have while in route or waiting for their connections. Currently less than 5% of Americans use public transportation, but ridership has risen dramatically in the past year with increase in gas prices.
Paul Levinson, professor at Fordam University, "I think (cellphone novels) will be 100 percent enormously popular here in the United States," he says. "The ideas that novels have to come in books, and that people have to read a large amount at once, is an old-fashioned concept." Digital Directions, Katie Ash, A Novel Idea
If you're interested in reading some cell phone novels check out TextNovel. You can set your preferences to receive updates on your mobile, email or to read the novel directly from their website.