Archive for October, 2006

Decline of the PDA? In education?

Sunday, October 15th, 2006

Decline of the PDA? (Via Technorati Search for: “Educational Technology”.) Having spent a good deal of time on handhelds in education, but having recently suggested that CUE could drop the handheld course description from a pending press release about the CUEtoYOU professional development program, I found this headline interesting. This is a thorough and balanced post on a trend I’ve been noticing lately, and from an educational perspective in places – from a blog I haven’t noticed before. Lets hear it for Technorati search feeds.

Alright, back to work for me…

My Space in MySpace

Saturday, October 14th, 2006

I’m spending a little time in MySpace as I prepare a hands-on workshop for parents. Check out my first blog entry there. Also, pop in and check my profile if you’re interested.

I’m amazed how many of my former students, and former school mates, I’m finding on here… and that are finding me, too! Hopefully I’ll be able to add them all to my friends list. ;)

I’m also working on my k12onlineconference sessions this weekend, so I better get back to it…

Meme Alert: School 2.0

Thursday, October 12th, 2006

In addition to the “Google in Education” and “Video Games” in education trends I saw in the 1212 posts I skimmed and read this morning, I also noted a resurgence of the School 2.0 or School Restructuring meme. Doug Belshaw (who I seem to link to disproportionately often here) asksIs this the future of schools? in reference to an article about an innovative new school being built in Australia.

Meanwhile, Will Richardson (and others) report that the School 2.0 conversation started by the US Department of Education at the NECC conference in July continues. In fact, the plans we saw at the conference are finally available online – and on paper by request. Visit School 2.0 – Join the Conversation to see what the educational technology leaders in this country have in mind. Naturally, there are many Web 2.0 (and ubiquitous computing – and networking) technologies involved, as well as some innovative organizational changes. Again, this is an exciting trend to see.

New Posts on Video Games in Education

Thursday, October 12th, 2006

Session on Video Games (Via 2 Cents Worth.) David Warlick is writing about video games in education again, and he is beginning to discover some of the things I’ve spent the last two years learning about, including Jim Gee’s work on video games and learning. It continues to be exciting to see one of the (well-read) leaders in educational technology give some thought to the potential of video games in education.

Terry Freedman also picked up Warlick’s post and ran with it (attributing a quote to Warlick that I know I’ve seen elsewhere first) over at The Educational Technology Site: ICT in Education: –> Beyond Games. Freedman says he “could teach at least half the Economics syllabus through Sim City, if the school could have afforded the licence fees.” He also recalled the use of “a game called Running the British Economy” with his students back in 1978. His reflections conclude with the realization that “the real power of games in an educational context lies in taking the lid off to see what makes them tick, and using them out of context.”

Meanwhile, I should mention that long-time video games in education enthusiast Bill Mackenty has posted a brief excerpt about using the new game Spore in education from an article by Wil Wright, the games’ creator, in NYT Magazine: Spore in the NYT”

MySpace Classes Help Protect Kids

Thursday, October 12th, 2006

The Signal: News for Santa Clarita Valley, California This headline caught my eye straight away… this is the approach I am advocating in dealing with MySpace and social networking in schools… and disruptive technologies in general. Also, I am leading workshops for educators and parents on this very topic.

Interestingly, this is not what it seems at first. The article does not start in talking about classes for kids, but about kids teaching their parents:

Two teens from VIP will facilitate each class and teach parents how to navigate the popular Web site, create their own accounts and alter safety settings for their underage children.

I would love to attend one of these myself! My first workshop for parents is next week, and I still have a lot of prep and testing to do. Good thing I love my work, and this is for a good cause…

Google in Education (and for the Mac)

Thursday, October 12th, 2006

I spent just over an hour catching up on my RSS feeds this morning. The new Google Mac team’s blog caught my attention several times, as did the Google Mac Google Software Downloads for the Mac, especially the new Picasa Web Albums plug-in for iPhoto.

Ironically I just lead an iPhoto workshop on Tuesday – and many of those folks will also be in my Picasa workshop this afternoon. I told people on Tuesday that it was sad iPhoto web albums cost $99 a year (via a .Mac account), but raved about the new free Web Albums in Picasa. Now, just two days later, I discover that thanks to the new Google Mac team, iPhoto users can also take advantage of free Picasa Web Albums. What a great way for teachers to share images with students, parents, and each other! Also what a great way for students to create a visual portfolio of their work and achievements!

While I’m on the subject of Google in Education, Doug Belshaw (in the UK) points us toward Vicky Davis’ post on how to search Google Video for educational content. It’s a simple tip worth learning.

Speaking of Google, and of catching up on my feeds, apparently I need to play with the new version of Google Reader. I was unimpressed with the first go, but folks are raving about the new features, especially sharing. Still, without the three pane interface that I love in NetNewsWire and Feed Reader, I doubt Google Reader will induce me to switch to a web-based reader.

Also, keep an eye out for my next post on the Google sponsored Infinite Thinking Machine blog… after the first show has its day at the top. Oh, yeah, go watch the show – there’s great stuff on Google tools in education!

Google Teacher Newsletter – 1st issue

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

I’m passing on the 1st Issue of the Google Teacher Newsletter in it’s entirety! If you’d like to subscribe to future issues of this newsletter, visit and subcsribe with your email address in the lower right hand corner of the site.

Greetings, and welcome to the first issue of the Google Teacher Newsletter.

We hope you’ve cleared the “back to school” hurdle and are full swing into the new year – enjoying your students and learning as much from them as they are from you. It’s in the spirit of collaboration and mutual learning that we’re sending this newsletter – an invitation for you to join us in creating a truly useful resource for educators.

Today, teachers like you are using technology in innovative ways to help students build knowledge. You play a critical role in breaking down the barriers between people and information, and we support your efforts to empower your students. We’re reaching out to you as a way to bolster that support and explore how we can work together.

As a start, we’re inviting you to share your best ideas for using the web in the classroom. Visit us at: for a teacher’s guide to 12 Google products. You’ll find information about each tool, examples of how educators are using them, and lesson ideas. You’ll also find lesson plans and videos from our partners at Discovery Education focusing on two of our most popular teaching tools: Google Earth and Google SketchUp.

We think of the site as a basic platform of teaching resources – for everything from blogging and videos to geographical search tools and 3-D modeling software – and we want you to fill it in with your great ideas. You can explore a Google tool you’ve never tried before, then tell us what you think about it. Or road test our lesson ideas, then follow the links to submit your own. And if you’d like to share your expertise with fellow educators, we encourage you to send us your story – we’d love to feature it in this newsletter or on the site.

We’re also working with WestEd to help teachers learn about the newest technologies for the classroom, including Google tools. If you’d like to be a Google Certified Teacher, we invite you to check out the details on our November 7th training academy here:

So what’s next? In addition to adding your ideas to our site, we’ll continue to develop new teaching resources and keep you updated on tools you can use in the classroom. And in the next issue of this newsletter, we’ll further explore how Google is getting involved in the teaching community and how you can join us.

We hope you find this newsletter useful. If you have any questions about the newsletter or website, please feel free to fire away and send an email to:

Until next time, thanks for reading.

Cristin Frodella
Google K-12 Education Outreach

Today is an exciting day for teachers and educational technologists everywhere; Google is officially reaching out and offering support to educators. :)

The Infinite Thinking Machine Official Launch

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

I am proud to join CUE, WestEd, KZO Webcasting, and Google Education in the launch of the Infinite Thinking Machine blog and Internet TV show today.

The ITM is a positive vehicle for K-12 educators to share stories and ideas that tap into the infinite resources available on the Internet. Our goal is simple: to show how today’s digital tools can impact student learning in meaningful ways. The ITM is about learning, thinking, communicating, and creativity – not technology. We sincerely hope that this blog and our media productions can jumpstart a wider conversation about innovation and creativity in K-12 education, and we look forward to hearing your ideas and feedback.

I will be contributing to the ITM blog along with Lucie deLaBruere, Julie Duffield, Wesley Fryer, Lucy Gray, Steve Hargadon, Tom March, and Chris Walsh. In addition, many other CUE leaders are involved in the show, including Hall Davidson, Ray Hernandez, and Mike Lawrence.

100 principal blogs in 100 days!

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

I love the sounds of this project and hope that some of the principals I know and that I’ve trained will jump on bord. Scott McLeod said to share this widely, so I’m posting the message in its entirety here. (And thanks to Mike Lawrence for passing it on.)

From: Scott McLeod
Sent: Tuesday, October 03, 2006 4:51 AM
To: ISTE SIGTC Discussion List
Subject: [sigtc-discussion] 100 principal blogs in 100 days!

Do you know a technology-inclined principal? Or a principal that would like to enhance communication with his or her local community?

The UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE) has initiated a project to create 100 new principal blogs in 100 days. Blogs are excellent tools for communicating with parents, publicizing school activities, and enhancing community satisfaction. Some superb examples include Meriwether Lewis Elementary and Mabry Middle School (GA).

CASTLE is looking for some principals who want to experiment with this new communication medium. Participants will be provided with a free blog and will receive ongoing support as they integrate their blogs into existing communication strategies. If you know a principal who might be interested, please pass this message along. More information about the Principal Blogging Project is available here:

Please share information about this project widely. Thanks!

Incidentally, if you want to get invovled, visit the Principal Blogging Project Home Page.

NECC Proposals Submitted

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

Sweet! Today I submitted my proposals to present at the NECC conference in June. Those are much more work than the other conferences I submit to. But I finished seven of them today, and just under the wire… I wrapped up the last one at 11:45pm.

More on this (and other topics) soon…

And with this post I start the NECC07 catergory here. :)