Trend Watch(3) - Tech Learning

Trend Watch(3)

Nature: The Anti-Internet The German government has developed a new social service program for kids perpetually tethered to IM chats and multiplayer Web games: a summer camp for Internet addicts. The first program of its kind, reports German media company Deutsche Welle, it feeds youngsters with a steady stream of
Publish date:

Nature: The Anti-Internet

The German government has developed a new social service program for kids perpetually tethered to IM chats and multiplayer Web games: a summer camp for Internet addicts. The first program of its kind, reports German media company Deutsche Welle, it feeds youngsters with a steady stream of swimming, aerobics, and psychological counseling; and allows them only 30 minutes online per day. While the numbers are fuzzy, it's estimated that Internet Addiction Disorder affects one million Germans. University of Florida researchers have identified the symptoms of IAD using the acronym MOUSE:

  • More than intended time spent online
  • Other responsibilities neglected
  • Unsuccessful attempts to cut down
  • Significant relationship discord because of use
  • Excessive thoughts or anxiety when not online.

Philly Plans School of the Future

In early September, Philadelphia announced plans for a $46 million state-of-the-art high school in which ubiquitous wireless and mobile technologies would streamline both school operations and curriculum instruction. Scheduled to open for 700 students in 2006, the school will act as a prototype for other schools that want to infuse academic study with extensive technology resources, including 24-hour homework help, online library services, and interactive digital textbooks — not to mention a computer for every student. Microsoft has grabbed headlines by providing the district with technology consulting and a full-time project manager for the venture, but the district, although plagued by budget woes as recently as 2001, will pay for, own, and manage the school independently.

What's Your Opinion?

Does RFID technology seem like a useful, practical solution for school security issues? Click here and let us know what you think. We'll report your responses on Back Page.

Boon or Big Brother?

At an editor's day at Sun Microsystems, T&L saw RFID in action. RFID means Radio Frequency Identification Devices, tiny wireless ID chips that can be embedded into everything from a bank note to a cereal box to allow the tracking of items via a scanner's radio beam. The chips, which can be as small as a pepper flake, respond to a scanning unit's signal by transmitting back a digital code with a serial number that uniquely identifies the tagged item. Businesses are understandably excited about the improved efficiency in shipping promised by this technology, and many libraries see it as a great solution for eliminating the risk of lost or stolen materials. But not so fast, say the technology's detractors. Protestors in both the UK and California see RFID as the incarnation of the proverbial "Big Brother." Their point is if these chips are placed in our clothing, household items, and other personal belongings, it's not just the items themselves that can be tracked. The publicly accessible scanners can be used to dog our own movements as well. We anticipate a healthy long-lived debate over this issue, and predict the argument will find its way into schools where books, child protection, and mobile technology security issues may become the talking points of proponents.

Quotation of the Month

"They say these things that have nothing to do with reality."
— Ellen Foote, principal of Intermediate School 89 in New York City

Foote is responding to Mayor Bloomberg's statement that he wants middle school literacy classes limited to 28 students. At the time of her statement, I.S. 89 was dealing with an unanticipated onslaught of transfer students who had come from schools labeled "failing" under NCLB.

Read other articles from the October Issue



Trend Watch

Like, Get a Clue Eighth-grade girls from Maryland are playing a pivotal role in nabbing online pedophiles, reports Phuong Ly of The Washington Post. Their expertise: teaching seasoned FBI agents to pose as teenage girls online without giving away their cover. A non-standards-based curriculum that includes pop

Trend Watch(8)

Blogging, Not So Safe Wildly popular with teens, Web logs and social networking sites can be valuable tools to help users develop a sense of personal identity. But, as BBC product developer Fiona Romeo pointed out in her presentation at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference last winter, many popular blogging

Trend Watch(4)

Talking Technology While we're starting to see Voice over Internet Protocol make inroads in K-12, higher education seems to be where the communications technology is getting the most traction. Case in point: New Hampshire's Dartmouth College has established a campus-wide VoIP network, which essentially turns a

Trend Watch(14)

File Sharing for Fun and Profit "How many hours have you spent doing work that you aren't being paid for?" asks the Web site, whose new Einstein file sharing program is sure to raise ire in the education community. Primarily designed to allow high school and college students to share homework and

Trend Watch(9)

E-Rate Windfall Last March, a selection of libraries and school districts across the country got some very good news indeed. Due to a significant carryover in unused E-Rate funds from previous years, some $420 million fattened up the 2003 coffers. This means the Universal Service Administrative Company was able to

Trend Watch(2)

Un-Trend of the Month Todd Oppenheimer's book, The Flickering Mind: The False Promise of Technology in the Classroom and How Learning Can Be Saved (Random House, 2003). OK, so he won a National Magazine Award back in 1998 for his controversial Atlantic Monthly story on this subject, but we say: Time to arise from

Trend Watch(19)

Trendwatch Topics Rolling Up our Sleeves Probeware Revisited Special 25th Anniversary Survey Quotables The Learning Game Educated Opinions New on Rolling Up our Sleeves Practical tools were definitely front and center in this year's conference offerings. Organizations and vendors alike

Trend Watch(6)

GarageBand Rocks Although he didn't address K-12 education in his annual Macworld speech, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled software that will offer hope to music educators facing ever-shrinking budgets. GarageBand-perhaps the coolest application Apple's turned out in recent memory-essentially turns any Mac into a

Trend Watch(5)

Going Mobile in South America While handheld computing has steadily been gaining momentum in U.S. schools over the past three years, it's also drawn the attention of developing countries looking to provide their students with a low-cost, portable educational tool. For example, researchers at the Catholic University