News and Trends(7) - Tech Learning

News and Trends(7)

Yahoo! for Educators By Amy Poftak Sixty-five Bay Area educators stormed Yahoo!'s Sunnyvale, Calif. campus this summer for the first annual Yahoo! Teachers of Merit Summer Session. During the seven-day "teacher camp," Yahoo! held working sessions on how new tools such as Flickr and blogs could be harnessed for
Author:
Publish date:

Yahoo! for Educators

By Amy Poftak

Sixty-five Bay Area educators stormed Yahoo!'s Sunnyvale, Calif. campus this summer for the first annual Yahoo! Teachers of Merit Summer Session. During the seven-day "teacher camp," Yahoo! held working sessions on how new tools such as Flickr and blogs could be harnessed for curriculum activities. The company also involved campers in discussions about common ed tech challenges and product development. "We talked to them a lot about what they need and what they're not getting," says vice president Lorna Borenstein. "It was like rapid prototyping using industry experts." Could Yahoo!, which first jumped into the education fray with Yahooligans, be gearing up for a product launch? Borenstein did not say. However, she notes they want to make educational search better. "There's a great opportunity with Web 2.0 tools for education to jump ahead," she says.

Teens' IM Talk A-Okay

By: KC Jones, courtesy TechWeb

Researchers at the University of Toronto report that instant messaging does not deserve its bad reputation as a syntax spoiler. Sali Tagliamonte and Derek Denis studied about 70 Toronto teens and compared their use of language in speech and instant messaging. The research focused on characteristic features of computer-mediated communication and examined four features of grammar: intensifiers, future tenses, quotes, and deontic modality.

The study found that instant messaging language mirrors patterns in speech but teens fuse informal and formal speech. It concluded that adverse claims about instant messaging are overblown.

"Everybody thinks kids are ruining their language by using instant messaging, but these teens' messaging shows them expressing themselves flexibly through all registers," Tagliamonte said in a statement. "They actually show an extremely lucid command of the language."

E-Learning: Patent 6,988,138

By: Amy Poftak

Course management system provider Blackboard made news — some might say waves — recently when it announced it had been issued a U.S. patent for online learning technology. According to a company statement, the patent encompasses "core technology relating to certain systems and methods involved in offering online education, including course management systems and enterprise e-learning systems." That same day the company filed suit against Canadian-based Desire2Learn for patent infringement.

To be sure, the move has drawn the ire of many e-learning outfits. eCollege CEO Oakleigh Thorne said in a statement: "As one of the pioneers of online education, we launched our first customer's e-learning program in January 1997, before Blackboard even existed...after consulting with patent counsel, we believe the patent is invalid."

Quote of the Month

"It would be like trying to protect children from being injured or killed by drunk drivers by ruling that kids can no longer walk, ride a bike, or even ride in a car or bus to school."

— Larry Magid, CBSNews.com columnist and Blogsafety.com co-director, on why the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA) is a bad idea. Source: "House Misfires on Internet Safety," CBSNews.com

Hoosier Daddy? In Indiana, It's Linux.

By: Edward F. Moltzen, courtesy CRN

How's this for back-to-school fashion: More than 20,000 Indiana students are now Linux-enabled under a state grant program to roll out workstations running various versions of the open-source operating system.

Mike Huffman, special assistant for technology at the Indiana Department of Education, says schools in the state have added Linux workstations for 22,000 students over the past year under the Affordable Classroom Computers for Every Secondary Student program. This year, Huffman expects Linux desktop deployments to grow from 24 to 80 high schools, driven by lower costs, higher functionality, and early successes.

"We have a million kids in the state of Indiana," Huffman says. "If we were to pay $100 for software on each machine, each year, that's $100 million for software. That's well beyond our ability. That's why open source is so attractive. We can cut those costs down to $5 [on each computer] per year."

Approved suppliers for the program include Dell and HP, as well as several system builders.

Bandwidth Crisis Predicted

By Amy Poftak

According to a new study, K-12 districts and schools may be unprepared to handle future computing demands. The America's Digital Schools 2006 study, conducted by the Hayes Connection and the Greaves Group, says the projected bandwidth per student in 2011 will be 9.6 Kbps, almost a four-fold jump from today's bandwidth per student of 2.9 Kbps. Even that, according to ADS, is a fraction — about one-quarter — of what's needed, especially given the rise of ubiquitous computing and media-rich Internet applications.

"Yes, there's a bandwidth crisis, but many schools are finding ways around it," says Allen Daugherty, manager of telecommunications for the West Virginia Network. Daugherty, who resells bandwidth from Sprint to K-12 schools, says at least four West Virginia counties are aggregating their bandwidth capabilities by running transparent LAN services, a methodology that allows schools to bypass local bottlenecks and share a 100 MB connection to the county board office. "It's not a cheap proposition," says Daugherty, who suggests all districts should analyze their bandwidth use and project growth patterns.

Featured

Related

News and Trends

News & Trend Topics Debating the Future Net Reading First Under Scrutiny Quotation of the Month Survey Says Blog Watch Debating the Future Net Sharing large video files at astonishing speeds over a school network may be the wave of the future, but technology experts have yet to agree on what that new Insert Above Insert Below Duplicate Move Up Move Down Remove

News and Trends(11)

Apple's iPhone, the power of infinite thinking, and what teens reveal on MySpace. Plus: Florida Educational Technology Conference Macworld in Brief When Apple's iPhone becomes available in June, consumers will get a threefer: a phone, an iPod, and an Internet device. Two-and-a-half years in the making, the

News and Trends(26)

Negroponte Speaks Out By Susan McLester MIT Media Lab chairman and NECC keynoter Nicholas Negroponte updated a packed audience on his One Laptop Per Child project, which aims to equip the most impoverished children globally with $100 laptops (see "On the Horizon"). In addition to tracing the progress of OLPC in

News and Trends(8)

Opening day at the School of the Future, bad batteries, and a Web 2.0 confab for educators. Plus: parent's attitudes toward cell phones in class. But Will There Be Tchotchkes? By Amy Poftak Prepare to get geeky. This month ushers in the first-ever online convention to discuss Web 2.0 tools in K-12 education and

News and Trends(25)

Microsoft Thinks Small with UMPC By Mark Smith After months of operating under the exotic moniker Project Origami, Microsoft has unveiled the Ultra-Mobile Personal Computer (UMPC), which squeezes PC functionality into a compact device that's considerably smaller than a laptop. Preloaded with Microsoft's Touch Pack

News and Trends(22)

from Technology & Learning The global talent crisis, virtual environments for innovative learning, growing software developers, quick-and-easy Web site creation. 85% That's the percentage of the world's population comprising emerging markets. At the Autodesk World Press Days in San Francisco in

News and Trends(12)

from Technology & Learning The future of intellectual property, chipping away at E2T2, new dimensions to Second Life, highlighting the Web, and more. Virtual World, Real Voices Appropriately enough, Linden Lab's Second Life Grid is getting a second life. The virtual 3D world, which already boasts members from over Insert Above Insert Below Duplicate Move Up Move Down Remove

News and Trends(31)

Next big thing: Epson MovieMate 55 Open-source reading literacy resources Benefits of virtualization How green are schools really getting? The essential facts about RTI Fighting back against cyber bullies Interactive math Sites we like

Trend Watch(7)

Got Grokker? In the ever-expanding World Wide Web, the most relevant resources for research are not always on the first page of Google results. Sometimes they're not even on the first 20 pages. Data visualization tool Grokker offers some relief for users looking to quickly retrieve pertinent information from deep