Dec. 11,2007 7:00PM


Guest: David Jakes

Topics:

We threw around the idea of Christmas Wish List which could take many forms from gadgets to big picture wishes around educational reform (I'd suggest trying to avoid motherhood type statements but feel free). If we each came up with 2 that will likely be more than enough. Maybe one hardware/gadget and one reform idea. I'll start:

Dean:
  • Flip Video Camera (leads me to think about the changing nature of hardware. With the advent of youtube, small digital cameras and devices are taking over from larger more traditional video cameras....good or bad?)
  • Selfish teachers Reminds me of something Rick said about a year ago in one of our podcasts about taking a class (can't remember what it was...something obscure) that had no relevance to his classes at the time but he really enjoyed the experience
Dave:
  • 15 minutes: I'm tired and bored with the time excuse, why not devote 15 minutes every day to personal professional development? What would that look like? What activities would you participate in? Would it be beneficial? See Carolyn Foote's post about the idea.
  • Relentless Schools: a phrase that absolutely caught my attention when reading the U.S. News and World Report article on America's Best High Schools. What are the characteristics of a "relentless" school?
Heather:
  • SIAST has just bought into using Turnitin. I heard Alec speaking about this once and this topic deserves some more discussion time. (Heather: we've used Turnitin in my school district for 5 years, so I have a good deal of experience with it. Dave)
  • As for my wish list, I'm with David Warlick in that I'd like a tech free holiday.
  • I mentioned LibriVox for free audio books (classics that are out of copyright protection) and ThinkingRock (free, cross-platform, open source, GTD software).

Rob:
  • I might have picked the Flip Camera as well. Another thing on my mind is a Nintendo Wii, but I'm not sure that qualifies as a gadget. I think I'll go with an iPod Touch (or an iPhone, if ever available in Canada and the data plan rates are realistic). Aside from the obvious uber-geeky joy, I think that the Apple has set a standard for a portable online interface. This is how the upcoming learners will want to get their info and how they be connecting.
  • Ed Reform? Hmmm - I'm not sure if this is a large scale reform, but I think it is a local one. My school is offering online courses next semester and I'm hoping that it goes well for students and we (teaching team) learn a lot from the experience. Also hoping for a successful first run-through for ECI 831 with Alec. It will be very open, connected and social.
  • Discussion topic - based on a chat Dean and I were just having. Is OLPC missing the boat. Will laptops be the next generation digital learning platform, or is it condemned to become old school as cell phones, iPhone-like devices, digital cameras etc. gain more computer-like functionality with (arguably) a better user interface?

Rick:
  • Pay it forward gifts. We're starting a new tradition in my family this year by giving our kids sheep, pigs and goats for families somewhere else on the planet through PLAN International (http://www.plan-international.org/ ). There are also books, teaching kits, etc. available for this kind of gifting, and we may move to those in the future (the educational reform part), but we thought we'd start with four-legged technology first. Our kids will do the same, and the idea is to find a miniature/toy animal figurine of whatever you're giving and send it to the person you're sending it for. Over time, our family will see how big our herds have grown. When it comes to educational reform, it could be that it has to start in the belly. (our family, Dean that is, is doing this as well...a few grumbles were heard but pretty well received)
  • Water Buffalo Movie
  • And despite my growing irritation with consumption and consumerism, I would love to get/give an iTouch, just like Alec's!

Alec:
  • Gadgets: I have ordered an XO, want the April 2008 version of the Asus Eee and would like one of the LiveScribe Pens (although not sure it will work with my Mac). I am really interesting in seeing the potential for adoption of tools like this (or even the iTouch) where the goal is 1:1. Would love to get a chance to sponsor, collaborate or research this learning environment.
  • XO article by John Dvorak why he doesn't like the project>
  • I'm hoping the proposed Canadian DMCA act does not go through, it's touted as being even worse than the American DMCA. I'd love to see our laws go toward more openness and copyleft than to supporting corporate greed. When talking about kids and creativity,
  • Lessig hit the nail on the head when he said: "We can't kill the instinct that technology produces, you can only criminalize it. We can't stop kids from using it, we can only drive it underground. We can't make our kids passive again, we can only make them "pirates". And is that good? We live in this weird time, an age of prohibitions, where in many areas of our life, we live life constantly against the law. Ordinary people live life against the law. And that's what we are doing to our kids. They live life knowing they live it against the law. That realization is extraordinarily corrosive, extraordinarily corrupting, and in a democracy, we ought to be able to do better, do better at least for them."

Discussion - TurnItIn

http://myskitch.com/courosa/dock-20071211-193640/ (from Alec)

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