Showing posts with label Internet Use. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Internet Use. Show all posts

Friday, August 13, 2010

Where Will Kids Put the Internet in the World?

Read Write Web and Latitude recently conducted a survey of children in which they asked the kids to share the things they think computers and the Internet should do. As you might expect some of the responses were very imaginative. I look at the results of the survey as a preview of what computers and the Internet will do in the next decade or two. If you don't want to read the reports here and here, at least watch the video below summarizing some of the students' responses.

Latitude 42 Study Findings: Where Else Will Kids Think to Put the Web in the World? from latddotcom on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Social Web Counter - How Quickly the Web Expands

As we all know from watching videos like Did You Know the Internet and connections between us are constantly expanding. Gary Hayes built a widget to keep track of just how fast the social web expands. The widget starts counting as soon as you load a page containing that widget. I've embedded the widget below.

Applications for Education
As I mentioned yesterday on Twitter, I'm going to be teaching a course titled Global Identity next fall. In the course students will be exploring the question "what does it mean to be a global citizen in the 21st century?" I'll probably put this widget on the course blog to illustrate just how quickly we can share ideas with anyone around the world today.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Why .Org v. .Com is Irrelevant

Warning: You might not agree with everything I say in this post. Please feel free to tell me why I'm wrong in the comments.

Earlier today I came across a blog that, based on the tone of the posts and the recent blog creation date, appears to be written as part of a continuing education class requirement. One of the posts listed fifteen education websites. Each website was given a score of 0-100 based on a set of criteria. One part of the criteria was .org v. .org domains. Websites with .org domains were automatically given ten points while websites with .com domains were penalized ten points. Unfortunately, that teacher's blog post reflects a practice that I too often hear and see a lot of teachers telling their students to use. So I responded to the post with the comment that determining the validity of a website's content based on whether or not it uses .org is not a good practice. It's not a good practice because anyone can register a .org domain. If you want to test this for yourself head over to Go Daddy and see how quickly you can register "your name".org.

What is important to teach students is to recognize bias and recognize flawed reasoning displayed on websites. It is also important to teach students how to find the contact information for the author's of a website or blog. Then if you still feel that domain registry is an important criteria for determining validity, teach your students how to run a WHOIS domain registry search.

Where does .org v. .com rate in your criteria for determining the value of a website's or blog's content?

1. I discovered the blog post I referenced above through a Google Alert I have set up for "Free Technology for Teachers." I purposely did not link to that person's blog because I did not want to bring undue negative attention to it. If the author I'm referencing contacts me with permission, I will link to it.
2. Free Technology for Teachers was given a relatively low score based on using a .com domain, having distracting advertising, and navigation difficulty. These are issues I was aware of before I redesigned the blog layout 8 days ago. If you have suggestions for making the layout better, please let me know because as Gary Vaynerchuk says, "I'm not talented enough to see what I've done wrong."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Least Restrictive Environment for Educators

I usually don't write much about the philosophy and politics of school leadership because it doesn't really fit with the purpose of this blog. But Dr. Scott McLeod put out a call for all edubloggers to post their thoughts about school leadership today. This post is my contribution to Leadership Day 2009.

In my work with special education students over the last six years, I have consistently heard from special education teachers and administrators the refrain of "creating a least restrictive environment for students." The idea being that in a least restrictive environment students have the most opportunities to experience new things, explore their creativity, and grow personally and academically. I completely agree with these ideas.

The irony I see in school leadership with regards to technology in the classroom is that often, by imposing strict internet filters, school leaders don't create a least restrictive environment for their faculty. Some of the most restrictive environments that I've heard of include the blocking of wiki services, gmail, and Google image search (which recently added Creative Commons search). By restricting access to the internet, including such innocuous things as Yahoo mail, schools limit the ability of teachers to use their creativity in lesson planning.

I understand that schools are worried about lawsuits arising from student access to the internet. At the same time if school leaders are filtering the internet out of fear or misunderstanding of the law they are not helping their teachers prepare students for life after high school. (Please note that I did not say "prepare students for the 21st century." We're a decade into the 21st century we should stop saying "21st century skills" and just say "skills" or "skills for academic and professional success.") To address these fears and misunderstandings, Wes Fryer and others created Unmasking the Digital Truth. If you're a school administrator or a teacher who works in a district that doesn't create a least restrictive internet environment, please visit Unmasking the Digital Truth.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tekzilla's Top Ten Computing Tips of 2008

Tekzilla is a short daily show that features tips, tricks, and shortcuts for improving your computer's performance and improving your Internet user experience. Today's episode highlights the ten most popular tips of 2008.

Applications for Education
Tekzilla is a good show for those that teach computer applications classes. Due to the tone of some of advertising that occasionally appears on the show, I can't recommend it as something to have students watch, but it is a good show for your own professional learning.