Showing posts with label Center Networks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Center Networks. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Same Content, Different Presentation

Here's a fun video of a Southwest Airlines flight attendant giving the pre-flight instructions to passengers. This is not the standard, boring reading of instructions, it's entertaining and the flight attendant still delivers the same message as you would get from someone reading off a card. The video made me wonder, how many of our students would be more engaged in school if they could choose the method in which they demonstrate understanding of content.

Thanks to Center Networks for sharing the video.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Gradspot - Practical Advice for Graduates

Gradspot is the companion website to the Gradspot Guide to Life After College. The book is available in paperback or for free as an e-book. I explored the Gradspot website for a while today after reading the Center Networks review of the site. In the Center Networks review of Gradspot, Allen Stern focused on the message board aspect of the website. He was right, the message boards appear to be dormant for the most part. That said, there is some great content on Gradspot for soon-to-be college graduates. Some the content could also apply to high school graduates.

As most websites in this genre do, Gradspot offers readers solid advice about job hunting, resume writing, and monitoring/ cleaning digital footprints. For students striking out on their own for the first time, Gradspot offers some very practical advice articles covering everything from cooking at home to choosing a doctor (something I knew nothing about when I graduated from college) to managing debt and finances. Overall, while there is nothing groundbreaking about the site itself, Gradspot does a good job of providing new graduates with some solid advice to help them get off on the right foot.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Apple Updates Products, But Doesn't Shrink Digital Divide

Disclaimer: I like most of Apple's products, in fact I use a MacBook for 90% of my work.

Yesterday, the blog-o-sphere was buzzing with the news of Apple's newest product updates. There are definitely some nice improvements to the Mac line of products. The entry level MacBook now comes in an aluminum case instead of plastic and the display has been improved. The MacBook Pro will have vastly improved graphics display as compared to the current MacBook Pro. All of the Mac laptops now have multi-touch track pads which is cool, but not a difference maker for me when choosing a laptop. Read more about the Apple product updates here, here, or here.

What Apple didn't reveal yesterday was a rumored $800 MacBook. However, Apple did announce that the retail price for the entry level MacBook has been reduced by $100 to $999. Unfortunately, the education discount for students, according to Allen Stern at Center Networks, is now only $50 instead of $100. This still represents a $150 decrease in price over the old pricing structure. As of this writing the Apple Store website has been down for over 16 hours so I have not been able to confirm Allen's report.

I like most of Apple's products and I use them a lot and I think that Apple does some very good things for the education community. However, the prices of their products put the products out of reach for many school districts and for many students. As long as PC makers continue to offer lower cost products, students and schools in less affluent areas will continue to use computers operating on Windows and Linux. Unless Apple begins to offer lower cost laptops or netbooks they're not doing anything to shrink the digital divide between the "have's" and "have not's" of school districts. Then again, maybe Apple likes the divide.

What are your thoughts about Apple and the digital divide? What needs to happen to shrink the digital divide? Do computer manufacturers have a responsibility to help shrink the divide or is it purely the responsibility of state departments of education and local school districts?

Update: The Apple store is back online and I have confirmed that Allen Stern was right, the education discount for teachers and students is now only $50 on the basic MacBook.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Make Websites in a Snap with Snap Pages

Snap Pages is a new website design and hosting service that is showing off their service at TechCrunch 50 this week. Snap Pages provides a free service as well as a premium upgrade service. The free service has more than enough features for a teacher to set up and maintain a class website. The editing and customizing options of Snap Pages allow users to create pages that are little more clean and professional looking than some of the other companies in this market. The image resizing tool reminds me of the one found in Apple's Keynote presentation software. The other feature that I really like is the integrated calendar tool that offers a few different privacy settings.

This video shot by Allen Stern of Center Networks shows Snap Pages being demonstrated at TechCrunch 50.

Click here for another video demonstration of Snap Pages.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ode to Twitter Down Time

Those of you who use Twitter a lot know that Twitter is prone to having downtime. This week I even asked the question on Twitter, "what do you plan to do when Twitter goes down again?" Allen Stern at Center Networks put together a song about Twitter down time. I love Allen's website, Center Networks, but he should stick with writing and make singing a one time event. Regardless of vocal quality the video is worth watching once, so here it is.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: A Challenge for Twitterholics

Allen Stern at Center Networks has put out a challenge to tech bloggers, can you go a week without mentioning Twitter? (I'm not sure I can). One of his readers responded with a challenge of going a week without using Twitter. Can you go a week without using Twitter?
I was unplugged from the Internet and social networking for the afternoon and evening yesterday and it was kind of a nice feeling to take a break. I had almost forgotten what it felt like not to be multitasking.

Update: I broke down and used Twitter today. It's hard to stay away when you're always looking for the next great tech development.