Thursday, October 26, 2006

Google Customized Search

I just played around with Google's customized search. There is one on my homepage for educational technology . Feel free to contribute to building it. Nice new application of Web 2.0.

Open Source

Well for the last couple of days I have been getting my open source freak on. I have tried out Ubuntu - of course the day before the new release came out (so -I'll do it again). Is was really impressed by the ease of install, speed of start-up, clean interface, and usability. Included was open office, Firefox, gimp, open office, and lots of other good stuff. I am starting to think that for most users out there that just surf and type this is an awesome cheap alternative - I know this isn't news to many people, but as a long-time M$ lover I wasn't sure I could leave the dark side. I am going to play around with SUSE now and see what kind of interactivity I can get within our environment. I am wondering if in the long run we can save some resources using this in the educational setting. More to come as I experiment more.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Fantasy Congress

I just saw this on fantasy congress. You can join in and draft a congressman and earn points based on the passage of laws. Once again another way games are finding their way into people's interest.

Internet Safety

A report on Internet safety was released from Virginia - I expect that other states may follow suit. Maybe not Illinois -
Offtrack Moment - we can't even get our test scores compiled. Well, that is not exactly true. We finally got our scores. This might teach the politicians not to fire a company until you get you results. Illinois has now hired ACT to administer it's tests. This should make scoring real quick for the high schools because our tests are written by ACT.
Anyway - my original idea in writing this is that people are starting to wise up to the dangers of the net. Now I will wait for the obligatory backlash that the Internet is "bad". Things will get better when parents understand that they can unplug the computer at home and schools work with parents to educate the kids about what is out there. That is what I really like about this document. they talk about what students, guardians, teachers, techies, and administrators need to know about Internet safety. Hopefully others will adopt or follow this model.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Video Games and Education

This is an idea that the educational world better catch up on. This article from CNN talks about the ideas that have been floating around in back circles for a while. The fact that kids don't want to spend 15 minutes learning about complex geography, but they will memorize every map, item, and terminology in Halo. Kids want to be challenged, and video games do a great job of doing that.