Thursday, January 24, 2008

Lunch Box Police

This is a ClipMark that was made from an article highlighted by one of our UK Twitter EDTech colleagues. I thought it was worth sharing here on my teaching blog.

Our question was, "Where will the social controls end?"
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Teachers could police lunch boxes
Lunch boxes
Head teachers' leaders fear they could be forced to snoop in children's lunch boxes under plans to tackle obesity.

New guidelines require head teachers to draw up healthy lunch box policies on what makes a nutritional packed lunch.

Head of the ASCL teaching union John Dunford said policing the contents of pupils' lunch boxes was a step too far.
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Stories, Pictures Lost Forever

This is a very real problem that will only escalate, as we use more and more web applications.

For instance, I don't know how to save my data from ClipMarks. If an account is canceled, do all my links and Clips to blogs die. These are important issues to discuss.
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Stories, lost forever
Thursday January 10th 2008, 2:58 am by Steve Portigal

As I’ve already blogged, I was the victim of a phishing scam and my flickr account was deleted.

Yahoo/flickr has known about this particular culprit for a year or so.
miscreant deleted my account, just for fun. And Yahoo can’t restore it. We all know there are backup copies all over the place, but they can only recreate my account, blank.
all the people I’ve linked to are gone (I’ve spent a few hours trying to reconnect with those I can remember). Anyone who watched my photos via their contacts has lost me (and I’ve lost much of my audience).
All the titles, tags, geotags, view counts and comments are gone. All the descriptions and stories and dialog with others in is gone.

My document, my story, my part of the community, is gone.

DataPortability is a movement to create these tools where they don’t exist. I hope someone creates something for flickr soon.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Permalinks: Improve the Validity of Your Blog

Have you ever searched for a particular topic, found what seemed like a great resource, only to discover that the link is dead?

Finding dead links is a frustrating experience. There are ways to avoid that happening to your own blog postings. One way is to use the PERMALINK. A permanent link to your blog posting is made through the use of a tiny bit of code that can even a New Bee can cut and paste into their blog postings.

Permalinks stand as one of the more elusive bits of proper standardization in archiving that I will continue to develop. I believe Permalinks are as important as tags, and everyone who reads my work knows the extreme importance I place on tags and the display of tag clouds.

As per my usual course of learning a new skill, I always begin with the Help function of whatever software or web application I am using. Always remember, "Help is my Friend!" One of the first references made to permalinks was the blog post, On Permalinks and Paradigms, and I would recommend it to anyone learning to use Permalinks.

If you have had experiences with permalinks, would you share those experiences with us here in the comments?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Blog, Without Tag Clouds?

The blog LearnMore: Library Stream by Steve Campion is a wonderful introduction to tags and clouds, and I will pass this URL on to those I think need it. I have noticed that teched people are often very informed about computers, yet sometimes lack insight into cataloging and datamining. Both of these are skills I continue to hone. I enjoy the activity of deconstruction of text to summarizing tag clouds.

One specific problem area that I am noticing as I read other people's blogs, is what seems to be a total indifference to the necessity of tags. Another major problem is their lack of tags using words found in the posting. For example, a blogger had asked us, the forum participants, to provide some teched resource information, but the words used in the posting were not those used in the tags. Because the tags were incomplete and inaccurate, they were ineffective. This caused confusion among the readers.

Recently, I noticed a forum posting that referred me to a teched blog, but the blogger had not given the correct URL for the posting referenced. After an hour of sorting through the blog titles, I finally found the posting. I don't ordinarily stick with an issue such as this, but there was a desire to share this major issue (lack of tags or even proper titles) with others. Other bloggers can learn from this experience. It is an opportunity.

Being more like a chaotic stream of consciousness, blogs do not have the organizing structure that is inherent in websites and wikis. I believe it is the responsibility of bloggers to organize their chaos through tagging and clouds.

The tag cloud is very visual, yet it is text. I believe this understanding enables a wide variety of learners to access the blog posting they want to read. Isn't that what bloggers want? Visitors...Readers....Clickers;D

Steve Campion posted a wonderful blog about a critical issue in the interactive web. Tagging is a very important skill, and I believe those who can search effectively may also tag effectively.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Going, Going, Gone! WikiSpaces

One of my widgets is a WIKISPACES counter that tells how many education related wikis have been provided by WikiSpaces, and I can see by the numbers that they are rapidly meeting critical mass in their endeavor to provide 100,000 ad-free wikispaces. I first learned about WikiSpaces from one of their founders who came to TappedIN last year to give us tours and provide personal support for our first wiki experiences. I had tried to make wikis before, but I find Wikispaces is more intuitively developed to enhance your development opportunities.

If you don't have a WikiSpaces wiki yet, just get one! WikiSpaces has provided over 55,000 of the 100,000 education websites, so they are GOING FAST NOW!

width="120" height="60" border="0" />

Wikispaces is a great place for teachers and those who work in education to build a wiki-website-blog with a space that has no advertisements. Once you get your own education WikiSpace, you can make it as public or private as you would like.

I think wikis are great places to use as websites, and WikiSpaces is the most highly rated by the group who knows words best, the American Librarian Association. In a review of wikis, Wikispaces was recommended as the most versatile, powerful, yet easy to use.

What I like about WikiSpaces is the support you get. If you have a question, you just email the WikiSpaces HelpDesk. From my experience, I think you will get a prompt, helpful response.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Choosiness & Cooperativeness Historically Linked

This is a scientific abstract from a research group studying the effect of choosing to be associated with people who cooperate and the ways that this cooperation can encourage others to choose them.

From their research, it seems that there is some evolutionary, positive attribute for this social phenomena. It appears to glue groups, as small as a pair and as large as civilizations.

It's too bad that Nature magazine couldn't have been more COOPERATIVE and released this research as a free web article, then more of us would have access to it and could CHOOSE to learn more about Nature and its peer reviewed research mission.
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The coevolution of choosiness and cooperation

Correspondence to: Lutz Fromhage3 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to L.F. (Email:

Explaining the rise and maintenance of cooperation is central to our understanding of biological systems1, 2 and human societies3, 4. When an individual's cooperativeness is used by other individuals as a choice criterion, there can be competition to be more generous than others, a situation called competitive altruism5.
evolution of cooperation between non-relatives can then be driven by a positive feedback between increasing levels of cooperativeness and choosiness6
in a situation where individuals have the opportunity to engage in repeated pairwise interactions, the equilibrium degree of cooperativeness depends critically on the amount of behavioural variation that is being maintained in the population by processes such as mutation.
important role of lifespan in the evolution of cooperation.
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Monday, January 14, 2008

What is Technology? Why Do We Care?

For those of you who read my postings, I thank you. I hope to provide a blog that contains news, information and opinion on a wide variety of issues related to teaching in our world today.

Please don't expect a narrow vision of education and people, because you WILL be disappointed. I am a technologist, not a technocrat, therefore my definition of technology globalizes the concept in my mind. It is this global vision of life, the view of the entire ecosystem, if you will, that I show through all my actions and interactions.

I view technology as the study of all that people have created to improve their ability to do something they already do or something that people want to do. Technology includes computers and software, but it only INCLUDES THESE SUBCATEGORIES with ALL the other technology that people are continuing to create.

During the last decades of the 20th century, I was shocked to learn that some people were defining technology as the study of all things computer. Think of it! In their minds, just the computer is defined as technology! This could be funny, if I were not so embarrassed for these poor limitations people exert on themselves. How could they go so far astray? How did some people lose sight of the lessons about high and low technology? Surely they don't believe low technology is related to the computer? Surely these people can't believe that the new designs, materials and applications that will send us to other planets are NOT technology?

A major challenge of the future will be to respect and collaborate with people whose work and technology some may not value, because some people don't YET understand. I am motivated by this challenge to include those who do understand and those who have yet to gain an understanding. I hope to express this collaboration through my work, including my writing.

An important aspect of my search for the inclusive, collaborative nature of education is expressed through my blog design. I think you can see it in the components, the technology, that I add to my blog, not just the postings. My conjecture is that it's easier to include than it is to exclude.

Exclusion takes a lot of work. Right away, a person must exert great effort to remember their exclusionary categories. Exclusion, in my opinion, is a fool's endeavor that leads to limiting groups that should experience the exponential growth qualities expressed within inclusive, interactive, collaborative groups.

Exclusion belittles all, those who dish it out and take it. Practice exclusion at your own peril. Let's don't belittle!

Have you ever heard the old saying, "The sky's the limit?" When that saying was created, it referred to the fact that nothing, no idea, no person and no event should be underestimated or trivialized. Now we know that the sky is not the limit, so I suppose we need new sayings to express the limitless nature of people's abilities and imaginings.

We also need complete paradigms for the way we include others in our worldview, just as we need complete definitions of technology. How will our culture and society grow and develop in such a way that we encourage inclusion, collaboration, across racial, political, educational and personal barriers? This is part of the never-ending story, and people cannot afford to limit themselves. Limitations, exclusions, create atrophy within a culture which leads to its stagnation, and in the end, its gradual, whimpering demise.

I don't believe it is time to say our culture is withering away, but I can see exclusionary forces, especially among leaders in education, government, business, religion, and the sciences. These exclusionary forces can detrimentally affect our growth as people in this world today.

Unintentionally, these exclusionary thinkers may wall off, exclude, the very ideas from the outside that may save those who believe they have all the answers. Humility is also a part of the inclusive nature of societies. I know that humility is often in short supply, but we, especially teachers, must practice it.

For the main reason to practice humility, to be humble, remains our frailty, our innate ALONENESS...the fact that we will NEVER really know what others are all about...their hopes, dreams, knowledge and fears that prompt their motives which steer their actions.

By including, engaging and enjoining those we don't understand, we help ourselves learn and begin to understand. These understandings develop responses that encourage us as we support ourselves, our families and our societies in an honorable manner. Isn't that a commendable basis for education?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Wormy, yet Cool Pictures

While this is an excellent article, I am discouraged that the writers refer to "AIR" and not "NITROGEN" because many people will think they are talking about oxygen.
This is fantastic research and very cool pictures.
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Clams Convert Air into Food
Trait no longer the domain only of plants
Photo of bacteria in a shipworm that allow it to manufacture food from the nitrogen content in air.

Bacteria in a shipworm allow it to manufacture food from the nitrogen content in air.

Credit and Larger Version

Now scientists at Ocean Genome Legacy in Ipswich, Mass., and their colleagues at Harvard Medical School have shown that animals, too, can convert air into food. The National Science Foundation (NSF) funded their research.

The animals are marine clams called shipworms.
these clams use bacterial symbionts living inside a special organ in their gills to convert dissolved air [which is about 80 percent nitrogen] into the protein they need."

The discovery reveals a new way for animals to feed and suggests that other animals in the sea and elsewhere may be able to survive with only air as a source of protein.

Understanding how these clams make use of this process
gain insights into how plants fix nitrogen
responsible for
protein made by plants
Using multi-isotope imaging mass spectrometry (MIMS)
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ANTARCTIC "Seal Cam" Images

I have seen "turtle cam" before. Scientists view the habitat and the organism they are studying from the back of the Weddell Seal, so they can also study the habits of the seal without having to kill anything.
Why not do this to whales? Gosh, think how many cameras you could connect to a whale and have WHALE-A-VISION. It could be an excellent way to study their feeding habits and other patterns of behavior. Could record sounds also.
Can someone suggest this to prevent whale killing?
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Under the Antarctic Ice--Antarctic Toothfish
Toothfish Under the Antarctic Ice
Under the Antarctic Ice--Antarctic Toothfish
Swimming beneath the Antarctic ice, an Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni) is photographed by "seal cam." Seal cam is an on-going National Science Foundation
scientists use seals as "eyes" to see what goes on underneath the Antarctic ice
Weddell seals are a predator of the toothfish.

Toothfish are found throughout Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula, South Orkney Islands and South Shetland Islands, from 0 to 695 meters depth.
A well-adapted hunter, the lateral line sensory system of the toothfish can detect prey by recognizing the low vibration frequencies emitted by swimming crustaceans.
More about this Image

Researchers Lee Fuiman from the University of Texas, Austin, Randall Davis from Texas A&M University, Galveston, and Terrie Williams from the University of California, Santa Cruz, equipped 15 Antarctic Weddell seals with video cameras, infrared LEDs and data recorders.
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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Relevance and Rigor: An Ongoing Struggle in Education

This is my response to an excellent blog posting I read earlier today. The topic of technology in education and our present level of acceptance in and out of schools has been on many people's minds lately. It seems to me that part of the human condition includes the urge to look for ways to improve productivity and make life "better".

I caught this train of thought and responded to a recent posting on Tom March's Ozblog: "Intriguing Ourselves to Death" by Tom March, presently in Australia, who is the co-developer of the WebQuest strategy with Professor Bernie Dodge.

My comment on Tom's blog posting:

IMHO, you are on target that there are many voices, ideas and models for education in a technological world, and I agree to help. Your goal is similar to my own.

Many people that you may not even know have been blogging about philosophical content similar to that you describe, so all we have to do is join the 1's and 0's into coherence.

Here are some related threads on a few other blog postings:
Walk a Mile
Support Is Everything
Learning to Share: Part 1
Sneaking Suspicion

Thursday, January 10, 2008

When Quality Counts, n2teaching sez: Be TappedIn

What is my professional and personal perspective of TappedIn? How did I discover Tapped In, the most enduring of all the high quality educational social networks?

I have always thought of myself as a gleaner who shares with my family, friends and community. That is why I enjoy working with teachers and students. I gather curriculum, materials and other necessaries to share with my friends and students. TappedIn is the quality place for me to join my gleaning and sharing activities for one purpose. I can glean and share ideas, techniques, research and experiences with other members of the TappedIn community in my office, private chat and in meetings around the TappedIn campus.

Having taught, at various levels of education, for many decades, my professional and personal identity continues to evolve…adapt or die. I find this online iteration of my professional life is very satisfying, and I want to thank the TappedIn community for their help in this ongoing process.

Frequently, I invite others that I know to join TappedIn also, and I really enjoy that quality experience. It is like being Johnny Appleseed to those online who are interested in education, children and camaraderie.

Call it synchronicity, serendipity or a discrepant event. I am always amazed at how wonderful it was that I found the TappedIn community. I discovered TappedIn, during the winter of 2004, while looking for information about researchers and educators working in the area of projects. This was before the NEW buzz phrase, project based learning and then problem based learning, became ubiquitous.

I was looking for research by Art Costa and information about his work. I knew some of his work had been published by Skylight, so I included Skylight in my search string. I couldn’t find them (they no longer exist in their previous form). I did find references to SRI, so I followed those links, and they led me to TappedIn. As Professor Peabody always told Sherman in The Fractured Fairy Tales, “…and the rest is history”.

After joining TappedIn on January 18, 2005, I started my life in this quality educational community by looking around the campus….checking out my new home. It was pretty overwhelming, but exciting. I continued to look around to, to be a sightseer. Since those heady early days, I learned that a more commonly used term is “lurking”, but that word has such a negative image. I like to think that my TappedIn visits were more like excursions around the virtual city. In some ways, I was a tourist.

On my first excursions to TappedIn, I would examine the map of the campus and the monthly calendar. From the calendar, I found information about the various groups and their activities. I also really liked the emails that I was receiving. The scheduling and information provided gave me confidence to go to TappedIn to follow up on the topic of the email or newsletter. As time went on, I finally made a critical mass of experiences, so I no longer felt that I wanted to be an onlooker.

As those travelers before me, I discovered the TappedIn Reception Room. At first, I didn’t even know what I wanted to know, but BJ Berquist asked me some questions, including, “Had I been to my office?”

Well, I didn’t even know I had an office, but I thought having an office was a great idea. Then I learned the most important stuff, how to meet and greet other people. I love the info icon.

Over the years, I have developed my office, although it still is not up to par. It is open, and I invite you to visit anytime. Also, I have enjoyed developing good working relationships with many other education professionals and lovers of learning at TappedIn.

Between Jeff Cooper, David Weksler and BJ, I really made great learning gains over the past year. Jeff knows so much about the ways of the internet, and his instruction is always on point. While David knows lots about technology, I really appreciate his support knowledge of how to best use technology to teach science and math. BJ always seems to know how to ask the right question, and she is always full of confidence in the human capacity. I have come to know people who live in other countries and other circumstances, and that has been most inspiring.

For teachers, parents, students and other interested people, I believe that TappedIn is the best first choice for a quality community experience. This past spring, I joined the HelpDesk. It seems that there are always visitors, and sometimes I can help. The TI Festival was another fantastic community experience, and I learned so much that I am still sorting through all the information.

My next adventure with TappedIn is to start a professional development group, and I am working on that as we speak.

Having grown up on college campuses across the United States, especially in the South and Great Plains, I really relate my TappedIn experience to those early years. Lots of fun, lots of learning, and lots of inspirational work goes on here at the TappedIn community. People of many different levels of experience and education come together in good company to be together.

The most important reason is personally professional. I appreciate the quality of TappedIn. One of the major needs of educators relates to knowledge overload and the friendship factor. Technology has changed so much since I was young. Our class schedules were given to us on a punch card and the first computer language I really liked was Basic. There are so many more books and materials available for teachers and students, but we still need each other.

No matter where we are in this journey of life, it always seems best when we have great traveling companions. That is what I have found in the online educational community of TappedIn.

Make Way for Sun-Earth Day!

Even though Sun-Earth Day 2008 is not until later in the year, on or near the Spring Equinox, I know that teachers work schedules and plans become very full from now until the end of the school year....if that comes for you. It is easier to add something to your teaching protocol, lesson plans and fun activities if you have had time to think about it.

Throughout the next few months, I will provide information about activities, groups and lessons that you can use, or not, for Sun-Earth Day. Most of these can also be used in Science or Social Studies classes, even if you aren't making a special effort for Sun-Earth Day.

The pedagogical reason I make a big to-do over Earth/Sun Day is two-fold: one for the study of the environment and two for the study of MANY related science strands.

Besides, Earth/Sun Day is a great time of year to bring your learning activities outdoors, and so it is a great reason to have a learning party. UH-OH! I know I said party and learning in the same breath, but it is OK! Don't you like to learn? Isn't it fun when you learn? Don't you want to share that fun with your students, peers and community? Then what better way than participating in project based learning that culminates with a celebration of all that was learned?

This is my choice for the Blog Action Day for the Environment blog entry for Classroom2.0. It seems to me that ecolibris is a community action group that ties the virtual world with the real world in a sustainable manner.

Earlier in the year, I wrote about various online groups and activities that are oriented towards sustainability and the environment. One of those groups was Eco-Libris, so I went back to their website and checked on their progress. First I am including a "quote" from one of blog postings from CR2.0 for Blog Action Day, on October 15, 2007. Then I will close this posting with a summary of what I found during my update at ecolibris' website.

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Whether we like to admit it or not, we all have favorite activities that probably require excess energy. I know most of us read books or still use paper....even though we are working to establish a "paperless" environment.

Each book that is published represents some pulpwood that was used to make the pages of that book. What if you could help by planting a tree for every book you read? For some of us, that would mean planting and entire forest.

Check out ecolibris, and see if their community project if something you would like.

I checked out Eco-Libris, and they have gained more partners, as well as acknowledment. They also have opportunities for collaboration (project based learning) for book clubs and other oriented towards selling and reading books. Here is a short summary of what EcoLibris is all about.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Go to the Source: Sustainable Energy for Technology

Energy is basic requirement for all life, and it is part of the fabric of the universe. It seems to me that research and practical application of micro-production of energy receives the short shrift in discussions about technology in education.

Who will reach the nexus of technology and science, and publicize our need for lightweight, dependable, safe energy packs?

Will the first adopters of this cause be the technology education professionals, scientists or ordinary folk, often referred to as consumers?

There are organic based energy microproduction units, including nanotube technologies. Researchers make designs and prototypes for mini-solar panels that can be part of your clothing.

I think that all people who use technology, especially web2.0 tech, including such tech gear as: cell phones, tablets, and handhelds, need to be more in tuned with sustainable energy production.

Here is what I propose to the researchers and clothing manufacturers: Put various types of energy microproduction units on our clothes, especially outer wear.

If I had an energy microproduction unit in or on my clothing today, my digital camera wouldn't have run out of energy. I had to replace the battery, and recharge the old one. This means that I cannot reuse this battery for at least 24 hours.

I know this research exists, and I know that we need its practical application in our lives now.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Maybe It's Your Tags and Links! or lack thereof

A colleague on Classroom 2.0 mentioned that he was not getting any feedback, on his blog, when he started a conversation about international educational technology groups. Since many teachers have provided information about these groups, I thought I will help him add to his list.

Doesn't each writer hope that people find their blog interesting and helpful? I thought the answer was yes, so I was curious to discover why he wasn't receiving feedback on this blog posting. I began to investigate the situation so that I could learn from it. Learning from others is a common goal among teachers involved in professional development. Find an interesting question and learn about it.

What started out as a short bypass to help out a colleague, turned into another, excellent learning opportunity for me. I discovered that links need to be accurate, the link in a posting should take you to the exact posting the blogger wants you the reader to access. I also discovered that blogs need to have layers of organization for ease of access, and tag clouds can represent a necessary equivalent of an online bibliography.

At first glance, I looked at my colleague's CR2.0 discussion tags, and I selected a "lack of significant tags" thesis that may be keeping people from his blog post. I know that many of our international edtech friends watch our blogs, just as we watch theirs. I thought maybe his intended audience, international education technology advocates, didn't scope out any relevant tags. To figure out if this might be the case, I looked at the tags he used in his CR2.0 discussion.

The CR2.0 tags for his discussion, Non-US Ed Tech Organizations, were: ed, organizations, tim, blogging, tech, intended, consequences, holt. I believe that the tags: organizations, tech, and ed, were helpful and quite appropriate. The other tags seemed fine for people looking for my colleague's blogs, but didn't relate to the topic at hand, international organizations for educational technology. Therefore, I noted that adding the tags, international, educational, technology, provided in his CR2.0 discussion title might allow improved access to the relevant blog posting, therefore helping him get more comments relevant to his request for names of organizations.

Next, I went to my CR2.0 colleagues' blog link to find the posting he was referencing, so I could reference the tags he used there. The blog link provided did not take me to the relevant blog posting. The link given took me to the front page of his website/blog, so I had to click on it to get to his blog postings. That was alright because I felt confident that I would find the relevant blog posting soon.

After I clicked into his blog postings, I began to look through his current postings and the archives for a title that related to International Educational Technology Organizations. There were two postings that "kinda sorta" looked like a title that related to his CR2.0 discussion topic. I clicked on one of them and read it. This blog posting was not about international educational technology organizations, per se.

Since I always keep a time record for my professional development journal, I looked up to discover that I already spent an hour trying to find the relevant blog posting, so I stopped there. While I was happy to spend this time to help a colleague, it appears that I was not successful. I did not find his original blog, so I could not add to his database he was hoping to build.

While the intended consequence of my initial adventure did not occur, the unintended consequence was more valuable. I received an extremely important aha moment and discovered that some key organizational tools, such as tag clouds or titles with ALL relevant key tags, can make or break the viability of our blog posts. This is knowledge that any of us might use to enhance our own blogs.

Belatedly, I discovered that while my "lack of tags" thesis may be partially correct, the larger concern was appropriate access to the content of his blog. I found a table of contents in the archives, and so I had to click on Archives to access the list of postings. None of the blog postings that I could see mentioned the key words: international educational technology organizations. I looked around for some other way to easily refine my search, for instance a tag cloud for his blog postings. I didn't find one.

It seems that my colleagues' blog is set up to increase click statistics, but accessibility is a more critical concern because it brings people back to your blog. Quick access has special relevance for those bloggers who direct you to read a particular blog posting.

Why do we use links in our postings? I think we use links to improve ease of access to relevant data and keep the reader interested in the topic we are discussing.

In the end, my colleague gave me the opportunity to increase his Technorati rating and include an excellent topic for my own blog posting. BTW, I discovered that the missing tag was world. I did finally find the appropriate blog posting on developing a database for international educational technology organizations....I think;D

What started as a journey to provide a list of international educational technology organizations became a constructivist search for relevance. As a result, I learned some valuable lessons that I will use.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Walk a Mile!

As we look towards investigating, implementing and integrating new technology in our classrooms, schools and other educational public places, we must accept that some people, especially the more experienced teachers, will be reticent to join in the hoopla. You must note that I said reticent, not hesitant.

Some famous viral marketers have coined a phrase, "laggards", for those members of a group who don't virally buy into the NEW program. In this day of instantaneous, rapid fire, viral marketing of products of all kinds, it is easier for them to leave a small group behind. These marketers are selling an idea today, so they are running scared. They believe they can't afford to be concerned about the last adopters. In their line of work, they are probably correct.

IN EDUCATION, we cannot and must not be interested in that way of thinking. It is antithetical to all we know about teaching. It's not just a platitude, we believe that all people can learn if we teach them from wherever they are on the continuum of knowledge and experience. Before we can teach, we must truly understand their perspective. We must stand in the place where they are.

It seems that educators believe we should use our vast array of knowledge, technique and technology to draw the "laggards"(isn't that a horrible label?) into the group. We should NEVER think there are groups of people who will be left behind or jettisoned at the first opportunity. Often the most conservative in our groups have helped us manage more effectively because of their stable, steady as you go attitudes. Conservative actions should be directed and used as a valuable tool to contain and direct the chaos of change.

It is my premise that those teachers who will be the last adapters just haven't found a good reason to use a new technology.

Let's remember the Golden Rule. It is one of the basic tenets of education. In our modern times, it is more important. Now, in the age of "lifelong learning", we must make and take time to understand the thinking of those who are happy with the status quo.

What would happen to your educational organization if they don't change? Make lists. Use your problem solving methodologies. If they do change, what would be the costs and benefits to:

* their way of teaching AND
* the way students learn in their classes.

If we can discover the antecedents of their mindset, then we have the opportunity to help these teachers find reasons for adopting the new technology with a spirit of cooperation. We are all in this together. Please don't forget lifelong learners deserve respect and opportunities to understand and buy into change. They can and will adapt if you are good teachers and leaders.

LOL! BTW, threatening to:

* fire them,
* put them on "a improvement plan" or
* offer their colleagues subsidies

when they adapt quickly are not the types of reasons that came to mind.

Let's remember the Golden Rule (aka Ethic of Reciprococity), "Do unto others as you would wish them do unto you". It is one of the basic tenets of education. In our modern times, it becomes more important in collaboration. Now, in the age of "lifelong learning", we must make and take time to understand the thinking of those who are happy with the status quo.

Wouldn't you agree that everyone deserves to enjoy and reap the benefits that the new technologies bring to our students, teachers, parents and communities? We all have to work to achieve it.....TOGETHER!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

n2teaching Recommendations for Photo Sharing

Do I recommend Flickr or Photobucket:

My n2teaching answer to Injenuity who asked in her gathering data stage for the development of a recommendation for the teachers she works with now.

One of my programming friends recommended smugmug over flickr, and his photographs are very professional looking. The smugmug website is highly recommended and aesthetically pleasing.

Currently, I use Flickr because other teachers were using it when I needed to put pictures online. I think that Flickr gained a presence early on and became officially recognized by many applications, especially when Yahoo purchased Flickr. Some Google applications, such as Blogger and Jaiku also recognize Flickr.

Since I first began to use Flickr, I have learned more about Photobucket because my tech-ed mentor uses it, as does my daughter and her friends. Photobucket has an immediate use function that is great when texting or in a webinar meeting and speed is necessary.

I don’t believe that you should limit yourself to one online photo application, especially since there are many differences in the uses of these applications.

Scratch and Squeak are programming languages based on Smalltalk. Many programmers use these languages, and they are recommended for use when teaching students to program. AND

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Frozen Pea Players

Bessie and the Herd want to join Susan Reynolds in her fight against cancer. The cowpokes have even made a pea-themed Utterz player that will play all the Utterz posted by the PEAple.

Maybe you've noticed the Peavatars (pea-themed avatars) or various Pea Posts in the last few weeks. Well, these are all made in support of the <a href="">Frozen Pea Fund</a>, a special cause dedicated to breast cancer awareness. Susan Reynolds, a regular contributor, at Twitter found herself diagnosed with cancer, and set about raising awareness for the cause. Soon other Tweeters had joined in, and before you know, one big green snowball was turning into an avalanche of support.

If you want to join in, via Utterz, we've made you two pea-themed players.

Here is the code for the green player:

<object width="400" height="160"><param name="movie"

value="…60-fpf.swf" /><param



oplay=0&amp;wu=NDk1NjI2OQ" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent"

/><embed src="…60-fpf.swf"


;autoplay=0&amp;wu=NDk1NjI2OQ" width="160" height="400" wmode="transparent"

type="application/x-shockwave-flash" /></object>

And the code for the white/grey/green player:

<object width="400" height="160"><param name="movie"

value="…0-fpf2.swf" /><param



oplay=0&amp;wu=NDk1NjI2OQ" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent"

/><embed src="…0-fpf2.swf"


;autoplay=0&amp;wu=NDk1NjI2OQ" width="160" height="400" wmode="transparent"

type="application/x-shockwave-flash" /></object>

Cowlisto's Mobile post sent by n2teaching using Utterz Replies.