Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tech Divide or Tech Indifference?

For a while now, those of us in education have been blitzed with the need to make our kids better digital citizens...we need to take advantage of the tools that kids are already using on the read/write web. Facebook and MySpace, they tell us, are where kids spend the lion's share of their time when online. The fact that many school filters block them both is a discussion for another time. I have tried it, and I am not sure that I buy it and here's why:

1. Kids who can update facebook but cannot center text in a Word document should not be considered digital citizens
2. When teachers post (me) class notes on a class Wiki and 2 students have used it, they are not showing themelves to be digital citizens
3. When lessons and links from teachers (me) are posted for other teachers to use and they are not, the teacher is not a digital citizen
4. Finally, when a student insists that an ethernet port and a USB port are the same thing, they are not digital citizens

I can hear you now..."but we need to catch kids where they are" and "since they are using the technology let's show them how to use it better". And I argue that we are teaching them how to use it but that they refuse to, or lack the means, to use it. As far as using technology because the kids do...doesn't that amount to pandering to some extent?

Now it's your turn...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Searching made easy?

Like most of us, I get tons of junk mail daily. Most of it I ignore and if I know that it is a scam or if I get irritated enough with it, I just mark it as spam and block future mailings.

Today, a friend of mine who usually sends me jokes or funny clips sent me a link. When I followed this link I was taken to a site where the icons for popular sites by category were listed. Each icon was clickable and took me to the very site!

What I find cool is that they are updating it daily AND I can add my sites to it! If you look at the left side of their home page, there are categories to choose from. Clicking a category breaks it down to even MORE categories! Check it out! Thanks to goes out to Jim Larkin of Silver Spring.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Google Does it Again!

Once again, the folks at Google are making me eat my words. As if Google Earth was not impressive enough, they now have come up with Google Earth in the Deep Blue sea! Now not only can you see underwater formations, but they claim to have the ability to find and follow migratory tagged fish! See the video here.

What a cool idea! Kids can "adopt" an animal and see how the habits and habitats are impacted by pollution, shipping, climate change and the like! Check it out!