Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ed Tech Quotes

"Disagreement" Flickr CC Photo by Scott McLeod 
“When the cold war ended, we thought we were going to have a clash of civilizations. It turns out we’re having a clash of generations” -- David Rothkopf

"This fits with the cliché of “If all one knows is a hammer, then everything is viewed as a nail.”  The same tenet applies to educational technology integration, “If all the educator knows is Word and PPT, then all technology-integrated learning experiences will be viewed through the lens of a Powerpoint.” -- Jackie Gerstein, EdD  

"Thick textbooks weighing on students’ shoulders might disappear across South Korea in four years, as the government seeks to convert all paper textbooks into digital versions by 2015, the Education Ministry said." -- eSchoolNews

"It’s a mistake to deprecate digital images just because they are suddenly everywhere, reproduced so effortlessly. We’re in the habit of associating value with scarcity, but the digital world unlinks them. You can be the sole owner of a Jackson Pollock or a Blue Mauritius but not of a piece of information — not for long, anyway. Nor is obscurity a virtue. A hidden parchment page enters the light when it molts into a digital simulacrum. It was never the parchment that mattered." --JAMES GLEICK

"Apple turned its tablet into a $6 billion business in the quarter. That is twice as big as Dell’s entire consumer PC business." -- Verne G. Kopytoff

[About the closing of Borders Books] "Even traditionalists who relish the heft of a new book, who crave quiet time to read in a soft chair, are driving the technological shift. We, too, who whirl an iPad with an almost childlike wonderment, who pack iTunes with something new, who decide we don't have to pay for, say, the daily newspaper because "it's free on the Internet."  Until it's gone — like Borders soon will be, another monument to missed business opportunity and to changing times."  -- Daniel Howes

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Parent Information Night

This latest information on the "Mercy iPad Bundle" was communicated at the New Student Information Meeting on the evening of Monday February 20, 2012.

Students will be entering a school where technology has deeply impacted the curriculum for for several years. This year we are switching the computing device that each student will possess by requiring the iPad for each incoming ninth grader.

The Mercy iPad bundle will be sold directly and exclusively through the school web site.

The bundle will include an IPad (discounted), extended 2 year warranty (discounted), an app fee (used to purchase discounted apps), a small administrative fee to cover the transactions costs, and a protective case with Mercy custom design.  This bundle will be uniform for any Mercy student.

The exact pricing will be  contingent on the exact model of iPad and case that the school selects. Parents may expect the final price to fall within the $600-$700 range.  The exact pricing will be communicated as soon as these factors are settled.  Books are not part of the package though our academic departments are aggressively  pursuing digital content options for our students of all grades.

A student may not substitute another iPad or mobile device for the “Mercy iPad”.   App deployment,  administration, loaner program, and service are all contingent on our students using the Mercy iPad .

Optional accessories such as a keyboard or stylus will be available through a third party (subject to further discussions).

The Mercy IT Department will host an iPad information night at Mercy on May 14.  That evening families may make their purchase, ask questions and examine optional accessories.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Apple Slices

Apple "Mountain Lion" OS logo
Rethinking Testing in the Age of iPad
Moving assessments onto mobile devices may open the door to quicker feedback for students and teachers as well as richer data, but without proper management of the devices and a strong infrastructure to support them, integrating the devices can be a challenge.

Why China and Apple Are a Match Made in Hell
As recent events have demonstrated, Apple is incompatible with China’s business culture, legal system and worker culture.

iPad Owners Rush to Sell Devices ahead of iPad3
According to the Boston Herald, Gazelle, an online service that buys used electronics and resells them through retail outlets, saw a 500% increase in iPad resale orders last Thursday, a number that grew steadily stronger over the weekend.

30 New OS Mountain Lion Features
Since only developers have access to the Mountain Lion beta at this point, I put together this quick video for all of Cult Of Mac’s great readers detailing 30 of the best new features of Mountain Lion, all jam packed into just two minutes.

RIP iChat,  2002-12

What we mourn today is the loss of your earthly shell: the name that became a verb. “I’ll iChat you” — how many times have I said that? It took a while for it to shift to “I’ll gChat you,” which is what I say now. I used the name iChat while using gChat for at least a year.

WSJ Predicts New iPad Release on March 7
The iPad 3 will come in 4G LTE versions for Verizon and AT&T according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. It was reported earlier today that the iPad 3 announcement would come on March 7.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Math is Dead, Long Live Mathematics!" & other links

Flicr CC Photo by pitel

Math is Dead, Long Live Mathematics!

 “Mathematics” comes from the Greekmáthēma which means learning, study, and science. It is a way of deducing truth – an absolutely essential human ability. Yet when a smart 17-year old kid says to me “I can’t do math”, I never think he’s really telling me “I can’t learn”, or “I can’t think scientifically”, or “I don’t know how to seek truth.” Rather, I think he’s saying he isn’t good at calculating answers from book problems.

Do the Opposite
Sometimes innovation stems from just deciding NOT to do something.
Have your desks in rows? Change it up. Let your kids set up the room the way they want.
Find yourself lecturing too much? Don't lecture. Having trouble with the wi-fi? Take the kids out for a walk.   

YouTube Launches Site Specifically for Teachers

The new teachers site is part one of two big initiatives on the part of YouTube geared towards educators.  Teachers can also sign up to become part of the YouTube Teachers Community, a mailing list that allows them to share ideas and best practices.

How do you find good Educational Apps?
There are a lot of amazing new educational apps out there, whether you’re looking for native apps or Web apps, apps for your mobile phone, for your tablet, or for your laptop.

iPad and iPad2 Deployments
Yale University, has certainly taken note of that. The private Ivy League university has given iPads to all its medical students. As Yale’s Daily News describes it – “Yale School of Medicine students’ backpacks just got a whole lot lighter.” Yale’s School of Medicine is giving all its med students an iPad 2. Students will be able to use Apple’s tablet in the classroom and clinical labs.

Encyclopaedia Britannica Now fits into an App
The Britannica, however, isn’t going away, or ignoring the digital world. It has long had a paid website. When it comes to school research, it is often trusted by many teachers and parents over less rigorously vetted sources. And now, it is about to launch a slick iPad app containing its entire content at a greatly reduced price: $2 a month, or $24 a year

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Loving My Gmail

I am one of the Gmail "beta-users" at Mercy.  Our tech department has already assigned all students and staff Google accounts, but we do not all switch to Gmail until June.  However, I have several personal and administrative reasons to thrill at the switch:

*We each will have ten times the amount of mail storage as we do presently.
*Gmail is free.
*Gmail has terrific spam recognition software.
*It is "smart" in other ways too, like autofilling addresses
*No email has a better search function (After all, this is a Google app).
*As a "cloud" service it suits both desk top and mobile users.
*It will naturally integrate well with our other Google Apps.
*It is fast.

Like anything new, there will be adjustments.  But this is one area where I think the payoffs for changing will be realized very quickly.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

M-Hub, Launched and Running

I have posted a number of photos from our January M-Hub launch at the staff meeting. (The are supplied courtesy of Carly, one of our members and a Yearbook staffer).

We have a number of operations running, but our next main initiative will be to connect with parents.  We wish to plan forward the recruitment of parent mentors into our database.  We are partnering with the Moms and Dads Clubs to do so.

In the mean time, one student reported to me that she has made a nice connection to NYU through an alumna member.  My AP Government students will soon be using M-Hub for their challenge projects as well.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl, Embracing Digital Textbooks, (and other Links)

Super Bowl Viewers Will Check iPhones Ten Times . . . .

Nearly half of Super Bowl XLVI viewers will check their mobile device as many as 10 times during the game, and almost a third of viewers under age 45 will watch the game “with device in hand.”

The Secrets Apple Keeps
Apple employees know something big is afoot when the carpenters appear in their office building. New walls are quickly erected. Doors are added and new security protocols put into place. Windows that once were transparent are now frosted. Other rooms have no windows at all. They are called lockdown rooms: No information goes in or out without a reason.

Worksheets and Kodachrome-- Lessons [for Schools] in Kodak's Bankruptcy
At the same time the George Eastman popularized photography, compulsory public education brought education to the masses. Instruction was based on the notion that you could tell people what they needed to know. State education departments, publishers and teachers decided what was important and then delivered it to students via textbook and lectures. Perhaps the unstated slogan of that instructional model was "you listen and take the notes, and we do the rest.”

Three Phrases that Change EducationTo really move education, maybe it takes three phrases.

To change the landscape of a classroom, maybe it takes just three phrases.
To empower, engage, excite, energize a student it might just take three phrases.

Challenge to Schools -- Embracing Digital Textbooks
Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski on Wednesday challenged schools and companies to get digital textbooks in students' hands within five years.

The Magician
Innovation used to spill over from military and corporate laboratories to the consumer market, but lately this process has gone into reverse. Many people’s homes now have more powerful, and more flexible, devices than their offices do; consumer gizmos and online services are smarter and easier to use than most companies’ systems. Familiar consumer products are being adopted by businesses, government and the armed forces. Companies are employing in-house versions of Facebook and creating their own “app stores” to deliver software to smartphone-toting employees. Doctors use tablet computers for their work in hospitals.  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

iPad Projects (and Management)

We officially have half a dozen school iPads in the building.  We are testing apps and testing out our Apple TVs, projectors, and (soon) our administrative software.

Megan puts on an awesome iPad demonstration 
Unofficially, we allowed several student iPads onto the network so that the girls could put on a demonstration at our Open House for prospective students.  There was a terrific buzz in the Media Center as the did so.

We have so many initiatives going with our Mercy 2.0 plans that I put out a call to my fellow ADEs for help selecting project management software.  I've placed the following projects into my new Basecamp software:

*iPad Deployment -- We want to sell the iPads directly to students through the school web site.  

*Professional Development -- Our president has mandated that robust professional development, precede, accompany, and follow iPad implementation.  We are working closely with a terrific consultant on this challenge. (More later!).

*Leveraging ebooks.

*iPad app selection.  We are attempting to put together an app starter pack for the ninth graders.  Four teachers have been given iPads in order to work this selection with me.

*App Deployment and fee structure.  How will we distribute the apps?  How much should their cost be rolled into tuition?

*Computer Lab.  Our new ninth grade curriculum is calling for a second computer lab.  We may very well have 26 iMacs coming our way this summer.

I don't know how the project management software will work out, but I am certain the projects themselves will provide plenty of content for the Drive-thru.

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