Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Tech Curve Show - Episode 7

As follow up to my previous post, some of my high school students watch and discussed parts of the Frontline video 'Growing Up Online' and there is some discussion of the OLPC.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Frontline's "Growing Up Online"

The Frontline had an interesting episode earlier this week called Growing Up Online. It's certainly worth your time if you're a parent or teacher and there were are number of posts across the net about it. One post I thought was noteworthy was from Doug Johnson's blog. He makes the distinction between 'entertain' and 'engage' and I couldn't agree more.

The entertainment angle is something I'm hearing in more and more in edutech conversations around games in education or 'edutainment' (dreadful word) and something that would get the hackles up of many of my staff, "I'm not here to entertain them!" is a direct quote. At the same time just doing the traditional Chalk Talk is going to lose them. So, where do we go from here? We have to find, what Seymour Papert calls, the hard fun in what we're doing.

The most critical thing I took from the Frontline piece is how the students were craving the attention of others, not that that's anything new. A favorite past time of my 2 year old is to mug in front of the camera on our Mac (like I assume everyone does the first time they discover PhotoBooth.) But we no longer provide the audience our kids are looking for. It's a strange new world where everyone is a 'friend' with each other, before they even know their name. This is where we, as educators, must come in. Providing a real audience for our students is a way not only to engage them but tap into something they already are passionate about.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Multiple User Google Accounts

For anyone with more than one Google account who's tired of logging out and in again, and uses Firefox - I have the addon for you! (Two actually)

First install the Grease Monkey Firefox add-on Grease Monkey "Allows you to customize the way a webpage displays using small bits of JavaScript" but it's certainly more geared to the technically minded. The good thing is many people have made scripts to share like:

Second go to and install it. Once you are logged into your Google Account, where it had once said Sign Out, it now has a pull down to easily switch between different accounts.

For anyone not familiar with Google Apps here's a previous post about what's offered.

Stimulating Survery

One of the blogs I read is Scott McLeod's Dangerously Irrelevant and he recently posted an Edublogger's survey Which I recommend for anyone with a blog, the thing is . . . once I did the survey, I realized how much I've enjoyed blogging and how much I miss doing it. I keep putting it on the back burner whenever something else comes up. And so, I've made a New Year's resolution (the first ever I think) to start being more diligent about posting, ok, here goes . . .

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Tech Curve - Episode 5

The Tech Curve
Episode 5
(If you cannot see the video below, please unblock BESS)


Saturday, January 05, 2008

Google Presentations now Embeddable

Google Presentations now can be embedded into web pages, blogs or where ever. It was just a matter of time for this feature, like YouTube videos, or other gadgets. And now it's here!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Analog television

Even though this seems like an unlikely subject for the new year, I had someone tell me that over the holiday break that they had been in a nameless electronics box store and "the guy there told me I would have to by a new T.V. this year because everything's going digital and my old one isn't going to work."

First off, not true. Of course the salesperson there is going to tell you whatever you need to hear to get you to buy that new, big screen 50' plasma TV with optional cup holders.
What is really going to happen can be found here: