About Anything

The personal blog of Al Stevens. Focus is overrated.

Archive for January 16th, 2009

Getting Mobile Technology into Schools

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Cathie Norris, Regents Professor at the College of Information, Library Science, & Technology at the University of North Texas and Elliot Soloway,  Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in the Computer Science & Engineering Dept. at the University of Michigan writing in SciTech Today argue that:

Rather than spending a bundle on building a sophisticated wireless infrastructure and another bundle on maintaining it, a school could make use of cell-phone computers and the telecoms’ existing wireless infrastructure for Internet access. Besides connectivity at school, the students would then have wireless access to the Internet at home.”

One computer per student isn’t enough. Schools should emphasize the notion of “continuous, seamless use.” The focus on providing a 1-to-1 ratio of laptops to students should be shifted to how students use technology. The State Education Technology Directors Assn. just published a vision statement that reflects this idea: “Ensure that technology tools and resources are used continuously and seamlessly for instruction, collaboration, and assessment.”

Article on the Sci-Tech website: Getting Mobile Technology into Schools

Written by Al Stevens

January 16th, 2009 at 5:23 pm

University of Central Florida and Florida Virtual School Partnership Announced

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The University of Central Florida and Florida Virtual School have announced program that  allows college students will train to become educators by interning with teachers at the Florida Virtual School (FLVS). In the 2007-2008 school year, the virtual school served more than 63,000 students in grades six through 12.

Six UCF education majors will be immersed in the virtual school environment and gain experience teaching online. During the internship, they will work closely with FLVS teachers, providing direct instruction via webinars and meeting with middle- or high-school students and their families via conference calls.

Article on the UCF website: Florida Virtual School and UCF Team Up for First-of-Its-Kind Program

Written by Al Stevens

January 16th, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Intel Announces Tablet Classmate PC

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Announced at the CES show last week, the Classmate, designed to be small and light enough for a child to easily carry is equipped with a water-resistant keyboard. Intel also claims it to be  “backpack friendly” – able to withstand bumping in a backpack and accidental drops by students. In tablet mode, the convertible classmate PC screen has a “palm rejection” feature that is designed to allow the child to write more naturally by resting their palm on the touch screen. It also includes education-oriented software and applications from software and content vendors in the Intel Learning Series.

The new design, converts instantly from a clamshell to a tablet mode with a touch screen. Intel reports that according to research with students and teachers, the 180-degree swivel design, rotational camera and touch screen encourage flexible classroom interaction and natural collaboration.

Lila Ibrahim, general manager of the Intel Emerging Markets Platform Group, quoted in the Intel press release said  “Education is one of the best ways to improve the future for individuals, villages, or nations. There are 1.3 billion school-age children around the world and of those only 5 percent have access to a PC or the Internet. The IT industry has a huge opportunity to contribute to how technology can improve students’ learning and students’ lives. With our announcement today, Intel continues its long-standing commitment to advancing education through technology to transform lives around the world.”

Intel News Release: Intuitive Convertible Design for the Intel-Powered Classmate PC Enhances Collaborative Learning

Written by Al Stevens

January 16th, 2009 at 11:28 am