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Showing posts from September, 2011

Technology for Learning - A Moral Imperative?

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On Friday I had the honor of sharing my thinking with some middle school teachers about the future, the role of technology, some current education technology practices, and new possibilities.  Actually, I didn’t quite make it to the new possibilities piece as we needed to move into the workshop stage.  There was some great dialogue during my presentation.  I asked the participants to respond to some “big questions” and that opened up all sorts of conversations.  One table group was lamenting how difficult it is to embed the use of technology into teaching and learning when there isn’t equitable access to good technology for students and teachers.  It varies significantly across schools.  One teacher shared a story of how her son (in elementary school) created a “glog” (at home) to represent his learning and then when he tried to share it with his teacher and classmates, it failed due to the state of technology and the network for his school.  The consumer side of technology seems to f…

Empowering the People

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I seem to have an intellectual interest in conspiracy theories and stories.  I will “dip” into that “field of inquiry” from time to time but not so long that my thinking becomes irrational...  Last night for fun I watched Disney’s National Treasure, a seemingly endless search for ancient treasure “once protected by the Knights Templar and hidden by the Freemasons during the early years of the United States”.  A friend recently gave me a set of videos to watch, documentary-style, on various strands of this topic.  I watched one that aims to convince the listener that 9/11 was intentionally arranged by various individuals and organizations attached to the US and other governments.  I watched a second video that painted a bleak picture of coming world domination, the new world order so to speak.  Why am I writing about this you might ask?  Well, I’ve been thinking a lot about whether our technology empowers us or has the potential for enslaving us (if one takes the conspiracies to be at …

Presentation Dilemma - Powerpoint or Prezi

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I’m pretty sure that we all have experienced that painful phenomenon “death by Power Point”.  Endless slides filled with bullets of text that the presenter proceeds to read for us because for some reason they think we can’t read it ourselves.  Oh right, the presenter used a 12 or 14 point font because they had to fit all the text on the slide, so actually we really can’t read it!  Yes they may add some multimedia affect by using every one of the slide transitions available at least once to impress their audience.  They may fill their slides with creative animations, as well as funky sound effects, and blinking icons.  Anyone experienced this?  Anyone stayed awake through to the end?  If you’ve done or still do this to others, please read on…  there is a better way!Yes I’m guilty of doing this to others in my presentations early on in my career.  I have been using Microsoft’s Power Point since it was invented. I used to do the typical things: choose a template (background, color, and f…

Devices of the Future

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I don’t know about you but I’m finding the pace of change, driven and accelerated by technology, to be a little overwhelming at times.  When I was a kid, talking to someone on a phone meant picking up the handset of the only phone in the house, hoping the party line wasn’t on, and using my finger to dial (turn a dial) number by number.  Now we carry our phones (which is a limiting description) around with us in our pockets.  We call from our cars, anywhere in any building, from the grocery store, or the top of a mountain.  Call is maybe too narrow a descriptor – we can text, instant message, Facebook, tweet, BBM, or e-mail.  Our phones, let’s call them devices, know who’s contacting us, know where we are on a map, take pictures and videos and let us post them for the world to see, and connect us to each other in live video calls.  Instead of dialing we say “call Home” or “call John at work” or do any of the other contact actions using people’s names stored in an address book.Our devic…