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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Scarcity versus Glut

No posts yet in March?

I found this article in New Republic interesting. The author proposes the NEW library. He explains that libraries were established thousands of years ago as repositories of rare information, and they've changed little since that time. Nowadays information is far from rare, we're drowning in it. This leads him to ask "what should become of the library?". He proposes an amalgamation (sort of) of Google books & Internet Archive & the New York Public Library - with everything online, appendable and immediately at-hand.

Interesting fact from the article - 80% of college students start a research project by going to Google, while 1% begin with their college library catalogue...jr

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Get with the times, man....

It seems an old broadcast model just doesn't satisfy a twittering, texting, blogging audience:

Friday, February 19, 2010

Digital Nation

Very interesting program from Frontline:

The discussions about distraction and multi-tasking, and the "Internet Rescue School" in South Korea are fascinating.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Remembrance of things past...

Here's an interesting discussion on the age-old problems of generational differences, educational hand-wringing, literacy and peanut butter (peanut butter gets mentioned in the comments :) ).

Two points struck me as particularly relevant:

1. Every older generation thinks the upcoming generation is: "declining, less well-educated, sloppier, etc." than their own generation was. What's relevant about this point (for me) is that the decline is in the eyes of the older generation, not in the performance of the younger generation. It's a bias of viewpoint. Sociologists even have a name for this tendency to view the present as not living up to the glories of the past - "pessimistic bias".

2. There's a significant difference between the purpose of literacy - which I think is "the ability to communicate and understand" - and the formal teaching and assessment of Literacy. What I find relevant about this is the time lag between media fluency and educational assessments. We educators focus on measuring students' skills in using traditional media, and ignore their skills in using new media.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Special Delivery

Here's a very interesting blog post from Dangerously Irrelevant. It discusses providing students with delivery options for their work. The idea being that students shouldn't always have to write a paper or give an oral presentation - they could choose to create web sites, make videos, create animations, etc. This reminds me a lot of Aimee's & Phil's Career Growth work, where they are offering students a great deal of choice. JR

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Allure or aversion?

Here's a thought-provoking article on the benefits/costs of multi-media & multi-tasking. A sampling:

"One of the deepest questions in this field is whether media multitasking is driven by a desire for new information or by an avoidance of existing information. Are people in these settings multitasking because the other media are alluring—that is, they're really dying to play Freecell or read Facebook or shop on eBay—or is it just an aversion to the task at hand?"

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Are iPad's Limitations Design Decisions?

This guy suggests that many of the iPad's so-called limitations are deliberate design decisions made to ensure that the future of computing is not weighed down by issues from the past.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

As the 2010 Olympics are just a few days away, I'd like to embed this Olympic Widget here for giggles and information.
I'll post it on the SHS Wellness Blog as well so that it will be in a place that students may access it!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Changed forever?

How does the iPad change things? What is its impact on public education? Here's one take (and an excerpt):

"The nature of personal computing has changed. Until recently, we mainly used our computers to run software programs (Microsoft Word, Quicken) installed on our hard drives. Now, we use them mainly to connect to the vast databases of the Internet—to “the cloud,” as the geeks say. And as the Internet has absorbed the traditional products of media—songs, TV shows, movies, games, the printed word—we’ve begun to look to our computers to act as multifunctional media players. The computer business and the media business are now the same business..."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

If We Hear Only a Single Story, We Risk Critical Misunderstanding

Another great site that I sometimes visit offered this TED talk from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian author who offers this incredible piece of perspective for us all. Well worth spending the 19 minutes viewing, even if it isn't totally related to our blog.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The kids are online

According to a new Kaiser media habits study, kids are spending 7 1/2 hours (yup!) with media every day. You can read more about it in the NY Times here.

Interesting to note that the cell phone is growing in importance as the default media device.

What does this mean for us as educators? How many hours a day do we adults spend online?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

McLeod's Blog "Dangerously Irrelevant"

Before I get on to comment on some of the other fine posts, I felt it necessary to post Scott McLeod's blog post entitled "13 Technologies I can't live Without."


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

ISTE Priorities

The ISTE* has posted a "Top 10" list of priorities for Technology in Education. You can read them here. What do you think, do we agree with these at Souhegan? JR

* (description of the ISTE from their web site) "The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®) is the premier membership association for educators and education leaders engaged in improving teaching and learning by advancing the effective use of technology in PK-12 and teacher education. Home of NETS and ISTE's annual conference and exposition (formerly NECC), ISTE represents more than 100,000 professionals worldwide."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Jenkins & Chaplin

Thanks to a reminder from Jenny, I spent some time this week reading Henry Jenkins' blog. He's an MIT guy we've mentioned here before as one of the thought-leaders in "new media" education, and that I've referenced in my Career Growth work. He recently posted a 2-part interview with Heather Chaplin, who makes a lot of idealistic (but worthy) points about "new media" education in public schools. I posted a reply to her interview in the Comments section of Henry Jenkins' blog, if y'all are interested. JR

Saturday, January 9, 2010

How is the Internet changing the way we think?

The Edge has just published the responses to its annual question - which is the title of this post. I have just managed to read through the first dozen essays (you can find them here), and found two that I think are particularly interesting for we teachnologists, one by Jonas Mekas and one by Kevin Kelly. As a teaser, here's an excerpt from Kelly's essay:

"(The internet) is one thing now, an intermedia with 2 billion screens peering into it. The whole ball of connections — including all its books, all its pages, all its tweets, all its movies, all its games, all its posts, all its streams — is like one vast global book (or movie, etc.), and we are only beginning to learn how to read it. Knowing that this large thing is there, and that I am in constant communication with it, has changed how I think."

Enjoy! JR

Friday, January 8, 2010

Free Documentaries!

Check this out:
"At we strongly believe that in order to have a true democracy, there has to be a free flow of easily accessible information. Unfortunately, many important perspectives, opinions, and facts never make it to our televisions or cinemas (you can watch movies in our media category if you want to know why)."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Online Technology Workshops

Simmons Library School: Continuing Education
A great selection of (mostly) online technology and information-related courses offered through Simmons' grad. program:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Verizon Math

I couldn't resist posting this video, and if you'd like to follow the whole story you could follow the link to this story:


Monday, January 4, 2010

I was celebrating the holidays with some friends, and was really digging the diverse selection of Christmas music playing in their home. As it turns out, they were tuned into Pandora Internet Radio, an amazing customizable internet radio station.

Here's the link:

From their website:

Since we started back in 2000, we have been hard at work on the Music Genome Project. It's the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken. Together our team of fifty musician-analysts has been listening to music, one song at a time, studying and collecting literally hundreds of musical details on every song. It takes 20-30 minutes per song to capture all of the little details that give each recording its magical sound - melody, harmony, instrumentation, rhythm, vocals, lyrics ... and more - close to 400 attributes! We continue this work every day to keep up with the incredible flow of great new music coming from studios, stadiums and garages around the country.

With Pandora you can explore this vast trove of music to your heart's content. Just drop the name of one of your favorite songs or artists into Pandora and let the Genome Project go. It will quickly scan its entire world of analyzed music, almost a century of popular recordings - new and old, well known and completely obscure - to find songs with interesting musical similarities to your choice. Then sit back and enjoy as it creates a listening experience full of current and soon-to-be favorite songs for you.

You can create up to 100 unique "stations." And you can even refine them. If it's not quite right you can tell it so and it will get better for you.

The Music Genome Project was founded by musicians and music-lovers. We believe in the value of music and have a profound respect for those who create it. We like all kinds of music, from the most obtuse bebop, to the most tripped-out drum n bass, to the simplest catchy pop tune. Our mission is to help you connect with the music YOU like.

We hope you enjoy the experience!