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Showing posts from July, 2012

Should it be Invented?

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I don’t know about you but I often wonder about the pace of invention and innovation in our world.  There are marvels being envisioned, designed, engineered, and produced all the time.  Many inventions are meant to improve our lives in some way.  While driving the country side of Germany in May, we say many wind farms.  These are pretty cool devices to see.  Harnessing wind power to generate electricity is a good use of invention to try to tackle the problem of less clean technologies that power our always on lives.As I get older, I’m looking forward to the results of research into personalized health care which might yield amazing improvements in how disease is detected and dealt with.  Imagine smart “drugs” that are actually super miniature computers, nanobots, programmed to be compatible with your DNA and once injected, rapidly seek out specific diseased cells.  Once found, the nanobots rearrange at a molecular level, the cell structure to correct the anomaly causing the disease.  …

Technology is NOT Just a Tool!

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To tune into what is happening in our world I like to read a lot of books, the newspaper (yes, a “real” one), blogs, web articles, talk to diverse people, etc. to stay informed.  I continue to be puzzled by comments minimizing the importance of technology, especially in education systems.  I attended the SFU Summer Institute last Thursday evening and all day Friday and frequently heard people make statements that “technology is just a tool”.  If it was, it would be optional, replaceable by something else.  We should think about that the next time we fly in a plane, ride on a train, visit a hospital, look at a crowd of people communicating on small super powered hand held computers connected by nothing to everything, search the Internet for any topic you can imagine and get a set of tuned options to pursue out of millions, explore a foreign city’s streets on your mobile device, participate in an online video conference, and thousands of other activities.  Without technology, the advanc…

Professional Learning Practices

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I am about 75% of the way through an enjoyably informative book by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Lani Ritter Hall.  I recently met Sheryl in the vendor exhibition at ISTE 2012 in San Diego.  She introduced me to the Powerful Learning Practice (PLP) organization she and Will Richardson started to support professional development for educators.  She scanned my ISTE badge and my name and contact information entered their contact database.  I received an invitation shortly thereafter to participate in a free “Do It Yourself Web 2.0 Tools Course” which I accepted.  Each day participants receive an email with a new “play” – today’s is Play #4 which asks us to write a blog post reflecting on what we expect to gain or learn.My expectations are straightforward in that I am interested in the process of how PLP courses and development are run and I felt the best way to experience that was by going through it personally.  I am also interested in how the various models and structures in the book might…

Parents in the Loop Via the Class Blog

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When my kids were in school the proverbial answer to “What did you learn today?” was, wait for it…  “nothing”.  Do any of you get that response from your kids?  I suspect so as it seems to be some kind of natural law.  As parents, we were never quite sure what our kids were learning.  The periodic report card or the marked work didn’t tell the real story.  With today’s access to technology, there are ways to mitigate this and keep parents ‘in the loop’.  There are various tools that provide a range of connections for parents.  Some enable simple consumption of lesson outlines, homework lists, pictures, stories, spelling lists, and with portals or other secure spaces, the viewing of marks.  Other tools such as wikis, blogs, etc., depending on how they’re configured, enable parents to interact with their kids and their teachers.  “Technology makes connecting, collaborating, and learning easier than ever before in human history” (Kindle 413, The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading i…