Monday, December 22, 2008

Two new products I am dying to see at FETC in Orlando next month.

Bummer... on my way out the door Chuck let me know that I will have to "figure out how to work FETC into" my January plans. Given that I have been begging to go to FETC for years, I will "make do".

Here are two products I am dying to get my hands on next month:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


A nice bit of news from an otherwise dreary economic week:

As Americans grapple with the economic downtown that has pinched their disposable income, more people than ever are turning to libraries for a both enrichment and enjoyment, reports the Connecticut Post. In recent years, libraries across the region have evolved into bustling meeting places where the public has easy--and often, free--access to electronic technology useful for both learning and entertainment. Maura Ritz, director of the Fairfield, Conn., Public Library, reported that circulation of all items borrowed from that town's busy libraries is up about 16 percent over last year. Ritz is certain the nation's sagging economy is the primary reason for the surge in library patronage. "We're a lot busier," she said. "The library is a huge bargain.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sharon Campbell and the Promethean Board

Ms. Campbell has been receiving a lot of press lately, mainly due to her unique classroom and teaching style.  Here is a short video highlighting her use of the Promethean ACTIVboard.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Touchy Touchy

Buttons? who needs em...

If you thought a touch user interface would just be a fad you are sadly mistaken.  Check out this article from the New York Times.  

As expected the hype around a touch interface is far stronger than the actual implications.  This still seems to be the next logical step in communication devices, especially when we perfect the technology.  So what are we seeing now?  A genuine change in user interface for a bunch of Iphone copycats trying to keep up with Apple?

Only time will tell.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

More Teachers Helping Teachers

After viewing this video, I'm starting to consider a switch to a career solely in classroom technology...just cool.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Iphone Takes Down a Giant

Photo courtesy of Gizmodo.

So it finally happened.  The generation shift consumer communication technology has happened yet again...and in record time nonetheless.  The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Apple's Iphone has officially out sold the Motorola Razr in the third quarter.  Remember the Razr...the slim nifty phone.  Well after a 100 ripoffs and improvements by other manufacturers, the public has clearly stated that they want a features latent cell phone or at least a laptop they can fit in their pocket.  I know Japanese consumers are light years ahead of us in cell phone technology, but what next?  I look forward to my cell phone being able to raise my kids...can't wait.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Teachers Helping Teachers in The Midwest

If you Activboard users are looking for some help check out this blog.  The Wired Classroom had a great post had a great post this week.  This is great, because not everyone adapts to new technology as well as others.  So in order to get the full benefit from IWBs like Promethean and Smart, educators need to be educated on how to use the devices correctly.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Any Good Science Needs an Experiment

Another update from the good folks at Promethean.  They are now working with schools in the UK

The 8 week training/trial will take a special look at the changes in teaching and learning behavior.

Good luck guys, hopefully the kids across the pond will be as enthralled as I was when I first saw this phenomenal teaching tool.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Two IWB brands living together.

I was spending some time at the Education I.C.T and Learning Blog today and they had an interesting predicament.  Though I would call it a blessing rather than a burden, they have both Smart boards and Promethean Activboards to choose from at their school.  Click here to see how they are incorporating this technology in their classrooms.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Return of the Black

Uh-oh...Blackberry Bold is set to release next month.  It's decision time.  Will I sway to the dark side of Apple's Iphone or will I stick with my trusty Blackberry series.  Only time will tell.  $300 bucks on the AT&T package so not a bad deal.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Virtual Field Trip or the Death of the Permission Slip?

"Follow me kids to a place where you wouldn't get beat up for dressing like this"

Wasn't this the vision of the Internet about 10 years ago?  Kids seeing distant places from the comfort and cost effectiveness of their classrooms?  Well hey it's here and what do you know it is actually working.  Check out this article about the schools in Niagara, NY and their distance learning experience.  Imagine following a revolutionary war soldier into battle and seeing through his eyes in real time at the real scenery.  Technology in the classroom is all about improving the level of engagement and until we invent time machines that work without leaving people stuck in alternate dimensions this will have to be the alternative.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A contest worth entering

The boys at Gizmodo have got one great contest going this week and it's for the betterment of society...maybe.  This is a MS Paint contest to illustrate your vision of the future.  This may be the only time anyone asks you for your opinion on matters this have fun with it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

WOW and Distance Learning

I'm assuming my hours logged onto World of Warcraft with people across the nation won't count as distance learning education.  However, it's interesting to see classrooms incorporating online gaming into their distant learning sessions.  I've been reading much about the improvement of this form of education.  I can only imagine how fun it would have been to learn English grammar rules in the 8th grade, while watching a Chinese 5th grader cover the same material.  Nowadays it's not just two classes that can see each other...they are bringing in shared lesson plans, quizzes and even games where the two classrooms can compete.  These are truly inspirational times and you've got to be happy with the way the education system is keeping up with technology.  Just got to keep an eye out on the roll call for a youngster named Leroy Jenkins.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Fear the snooze button

If you are like me, you rarely need the snooze button, being you were cursed with an internal clock that wakes you up at 5:17 am, 6:30 am, 8:15 am and sometimes 10:36 am.  However, I do use the alarm function on my clock from time to time.  There are people out there who absolutely rely on an alarm clock to wake them up.  For example; my roommate in college had the horrible trait of not waking up to his alarm...though I would.  I soon found out that if I turn off his alarm for him...he will sleep for days.  I chose to just wake him up, being the smell of his funk building up rivaled all the lack of sleep.

For such people comes the Tyrant Alarm Clock.  Tyrant hijacks your cell phone's contact list and makes random calls until you tell it to stop.  Wow!  Imagine oversleeping and your phone randomly calls your ex.  Your situation just got a lot worse very quickly.   I'm all for this technology...for other people.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A door closes as one opens

I talked about the Promethean Activboards in the past and how much I like the way they engage children in the classroom.  Well it seems Promethean isn't alone in the journey to alter the classroom.  Well June brings the end to most public school terms and this is when schools start to figure out budgets and the purchases of new equipment.  This is where the world of ICT plays a huge part.  Not only is there a great space for improvement when it comes to education technology, but everyone involved can actually feel good about what they are doing.  SMART Technologies is the producer of interactive whiteboards much like the ones brought to schools by Promethean.  Since competition breeds innovation I'm happy to report on this brand and their efforts.

Here is there classroom remote Senteo, that allows students to respond and vote from their seats and see the results.

Here is the SMARTboard in action

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Future is here...which is bad news for the mouse

Touch UI is coming to the common PC form.  Or at least that's what Window's is planning for 2009 for the operating system Windows 7.  This article focuses on the business aspects of the advances in touch interface and mentions some pretty nifty ideas.  MS Paint with touch is kind of an old idea that has already taken form on interactive whiteboards but still a fun notion.  Imagine, someday we may have an office completely devoid of mice and mouse pads.

You know what this means right?  We aren't very far from holograms in the workplace.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Iron Man or Why I hate Robert Downey Jr.

I'm an old school nerd.  I read comics, played video games and listened to music produced by people much angrier than any human has the right to be.  As a nerd I was eagerly awaiting the Iron Man movie.  To sum it up, I wasn't nearly as blown away as everyone else was by this movie.  Roberty Downey does a good job at playing himself...which I hear requires a tremendous effort by any actor...especially when thats all you do.   The action was pretty cool...except for a couple of phantom tank shells...which I hear tend to explode, except when fired at Iron Man.  The plot worked well enough.  Maybe I was just expecting too much from this one.  Maybe it's the fact that I never really got into Iron Man comics.  Maybe it's because I ran out of popcorn 10 minutes into the movie (never split popcorn between more than 3 people).  This movie was a B effort but with the hype of an A movie.  Well at least Samuel Jackson is going to play Nick Fury...which makes sense I hear.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Pencils, Paper and touch screens

PC World ran an article this week about the increase in technology used in the classroom.  Technology in the education system is one of the more interesting aspects of my profession.  Whether it be Promethean interactive whiteboards, projectors, shared monitors, or laptop programs, the education system seems willing to take on new ideas.  

Youngsters are attracted to technology as much as anyone.  They practically drive the cell phone market in the states.  It should be the duty of teachers, principals and super intendents to investigate these advances thoroughly and educate themselves on how to effectively use them as tools to engage students more deeply.

Just a quick thought.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A great resource from Tom Snyder

Not this Tom Snyder...

but rather Tom Snyder Productions that specializes in creating aides for k-12 classrooms.  You can read a very in depth article here on how to better incorporate interactive white boards.  13 pages of genuinely good information.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Honda's green initiative.

I hope in the future we get to see a solar powered Honda Civic...lowered to one inch off the ground, carbon fiber hood, black race rims and a giant spoiler.  

Specific Highlight:  The Products and Lifecycle pages give you an idea of the substance behind Honda's green promise.  I find it difficult to buy this sort of jive from an auto maker, but Honda actually has been producing next generation specs for quite some time and their hybrid versions of the Accord and Civic help to supplement the Prius rage going on.

A lot of people probably never got to see this commercial in the states, but it's a good one.

Friday, March 21, 2008

This is Why I'll Never Be Able to Save for My Retirement

I'm damn near 40 and stuff like this still get my goose.  I need a support group...after I recreate the intro to Knight Rider on my DS.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Darkside is beginning to look awefully attractive.

"These are not the cellphones you are looking for."

I find my self in the middle of a growing war at work.  On one side we have the vigilant PC supporters and the other the growing resistance movement manned by Apple fan boys.  My day as a data management worker has been compromised by this war as I pledge allegiance to neither side.  However, I just read this article on about Iphones trying to usurp Blackberry's dominance of the business world.  I'm in the market for a new cell phone (yeah its been about 4 months on this Sidekick) and I gotta say the Iphone is drawing me into its web of design and brand affinity.  I just fear the retaliation from the PC guys at work when they find out I've been converted.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Simmuh Down Now

Grabbed from my second home

I like green technology, but it's difficult to support the market when it's more expensive and ellusive to get a hold of.  Dig this little gadget though that cools down your motherboard without using extra electricity.  

This is made by the good folks at MSI in Taiwan.  A bit bulky but a good starting point.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Promethean: Good things growing in my back yard

Not a lot to cheer about these days in ole Atlanta.  The Falcons are back to being the Falcons.  The Hawks still sorely miss Domonique Wilkins.  There is light though.  Promethean the producer of interactive whiteboards and Activstudio software, based in ATL took home a couple of Codie awards this week at the SIIAs (Software Information Industry Association).  Check out this video from Baltimore (can't believe this is gonna be the last season of The Wire btw).

At least the world of ICT will give Atlanta something to cheer about...until the demise of Ted Turner that is.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Gaming and Education

Let's take a moment to review this idea simply.  Can Master Chief help kids learn about the solar system?  Can Mario teach kids about math?  What can children learn from a the same industry that brought us Grand Theft Auto?  Okay maybe that's too simple.

"I've found that the battle rifle has proven effective as a discipline tool"

This week the Florida Education Technology Conference highlighted video games used as education tools.  As a strong proponent of brining technology to the classroom I'm on the fence on this issue.  I would rather explore the use of laptops and interactive whiteboards in the classroom.  I'm sure kids would love to play games in school, hell I like to play them at work.  However, just because the bridge is there doesn't mean we should cross the connection.  Afterall kids already have a connection to gaming and associate it with fun and liesure...which have no place in the classroom.