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From an Instructional Technology Specialist

This blog is focused on the use of technology and education. The thoughts here may sometimes be Pie In The Sky, but I hope they are helpful.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Posting in another place

I have started simply using our ITS community blog. One blog to rule them all :)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Moving on

For work we have decided to move our Blog to the following Blog. I am going to try to become a bit more focused in the up coming months to make an effort to post at least monthly. So change your RSS Feeds.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Lessig to Speak at RIT

If anyone is interested in the concepts of Creative Commons and Free Culture and lives near Rochester, New York you should mark your date book for March 24, 2006, from 9AM-11AM since Lawrence Lessig will be speaking at the Rochester Institute of Technology! I happened to run across this in RIT's wiki.

This leads me to another interesting story about how funny life can be. I was on my way to buy an iPod, which I have debated on for over a year, and overheard an Apple store employee talking about a class at RIT. They were talking about a class called "Film as Literature, Literature as Film". This sparked my interest due to the BOCES Streaming project. I thought what a great connection to help us in our use of streaming media in the classroom. The fact that film can be a form of literature is not only interesting to me, but is something that I believe.

So needless to say I jumped at the chance to talk to this person. After a little bit of conversation I managed to get an email to try to connect with the RIT Professor. After writing the RIT student and receiving a reply with an email for the Professor and a link to the RIT wiki, I began to check out who the professor was. Needless to say I found that he had similar interest and now I am waiting for an email reply. Anyways enough of that rambling I want to share one last thing.

Reading out here on the web for me is nothing new, but RSS has put a great spin on it for me. Instead of reading some great article in a magazine or hearing about something on the news I am finding that I can stay on top of things much easier with blogs that are interesting to me. Point in case while reading blogs last night I found that there was a beta release of Internet Explore 7! As with anything in beta you wonder a little and then download it hoping you don't make your computer explode! So far I think it is pretty nice, I don't think I will be moving away from Firefox anytime soon. It is nice to see what is coming from Microsoft as they are always very creative with their software. Any way check out the screen shots!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Wicked Wikipedia

Some of you may have seen the recent Siegenthaler issue on the news as it relates to Wikipedia. I have to say that it disappoints me that people abuse those things that are out there trying to increase the collective knowledge of mankind. After a few different people questioning me on this I thought that there had to be something out there that showed Wikipedia wasn't the only source that is open to this. To my surprise I did find an interesting incident out there that happened to a scholarly journal. (I am liking to the Wikipedia article please cross reference other sources.) This was followed by an interesting Podcast found by Brian from a group of 3rd and 4th graders in their Room 208 Podcast. The students made some great points on how information should be cross referenced and that sources have different levels of validity. This is a huge lesson for students. I know that there are college students that don't understand this. If this lesson sticks with half of the students in Room 208 then it is a worth while lesson. I am see Wikipedia as a great resource as are many websites. However the scholar in me knows that I have to check other sources whether they support or undermine my hypothesis or ideas. This is something that we need to teach our students in all of the things they read whether they are those great library databases or Wikipedia.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Links of Interest

I haven't been reading my list of blogs a lot lately, but today I sat down to read the news. I subscribe to the BBC and found some interesting articles. They really relate to what we are constantly asking and looking at.

US youths use internet to create

Sony slated over anti-piracy CD

Microsoft scans British Library

Google posts first books online

Internet phone calls on the rise

So what are these things and why do they have an impact on us as educators? Each article has its own implications. Talking about students as creators seems the most significant to me. Fostering these types of activities and allowing them to be done in the educational context seems to be the place we should hope that education goes. This article also relates to the article about Sony. Will our students allow this type of restrictions on the media that they purchase legitimately? It seems to me that this type of thing shouldn't be needed. If we as educators obey copyright laws and teach our students about these things we can make a difference. By speaking up to Microsoft, MGM, Sony, and other companies who use Digital Rights Management (DRM) that is prohibitive to our rights as consumers, maybe we can change their practices. These companies are being reactive in and not proactive when it comes to these problems. Maybe if they helped consumers understand the laws that they want us to support then perhaps they would have more compliance, or perhaps the laws could change.

The two articles about digitizing libraries are simply interesting and something to keep an eye on. Especially if you are a member of Microsoft's Live Network or Google's Personalized homepage. Since I am betting that both of the libraries will require some type of login.

The last link is interesting since it seems that maybe someday we won't have to buy separate services for things such as our cell phones, home phones, web, and TV service. Also the simply fact that the globe is shrinking due to these things makes for an interesting future! Oh and one last link to another VOIP client that is similar to Skype, but different it is called Gizmo!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Local News Team Blog

So now here in little old Rochester, New York there are actual news teams working on blogs. So the blog world is now seeing small news venues enter the fold of the "blogosphere"!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Testing Out a Widget

I have to say that the more I use different features of different computers the more I wish that certain things were consistent across platforms. Take the Widgets on OS X from Apple. They really can save you time from doing certain tasks that you would be doing from somewhere else on your machine. For example right now I am posting this from my Dashboard. This is similar to the different applets in Linux that allow you to do certain tasks quickly. It is always amazing to me the new things that you can find while your are roaming the web. I know that the Dashboard feature has been out for a while, but until recently I couldn't place my finger on how I might use it. Now with it being something that has matured a little I am going to reinvestigate this. I am really going to be curious what Vista is going to look like and how the new 64 bit chips are going to change things. Well have to wait and see. That's enought for a Sunday post. I have a feeling that I am going to start using this more often.