News by way of fave-blog site Lifehacker, Internet Explorer 8 will be released out of beta testing today. It’s supposed to be standards compliant from the get-go (Thank God and we’ll see), and it’s supposed to have options for rendering to IE7 or IE6 (but who’d want to?– see “Bring down IE6”). It’s also supposed to be faster. I encourage you to check it out, particularly if your workplace isn’t giving in to Firefox.
by Jongpil Cheon
The faculty members in instructional technology program were invited to visit some classrooms by a technology support team of a school district. All the classes we visited in two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school were using a Smartboard and clickers (classroom response system). In the discussion session, the main request from the technology support team was that these tools should be in pre-service teacher curriculum. I understand that these tools become more popular and we need to teach how to use the tools. However, all classroom activities were still teacher-centered except that the students chose their answers with clickers or pointed at something on the screen in front of the class. I felt there was a gap between real classroom settings and research findings. I started thinking about how to narrow the gap in a practical way. There should be something we could provide for teachers rather than journal article. That’s my initial thought.
Web 2.0 has been a big word. As the owner of this blog stated, Web 2.0 tools have three big features: a) easy to learn, b) variety of tools, and c) low cost and networked community. There are many websites introducing Web 2.0 tools such as http://www.go2web20.net. In addition, some sites focus on classroom tools such as http://www.classroom20.com. However, there are a few websites that introduce currently available technology tools for K-12 classrooms with useful categories and application samples. Therefore, I opened a wiki space (http://tools4classroom.wetpaint.com) to collect any available tools including hardware and software as well as website using Web 2.0 technology. I asked my students to add a tool they know. It is the beginning of my own project. The main goal is creating a resource to support effective Web 2.0 technology integration that would be the second edition of teacher technology handbook (http://teacherhandbook.memphis.edu). I am seeking ways of categorizing various tools based on a teacher’s point of view. Furthermore, an evaluation system such as a benchmarking system can be implemented with another Web 2.0 tool.
If you have time, please add a tool to the wiki space, and let me know any useful website about Web 2.0 technology integration to classroom. You are more than welcome to suggest a categorizing method as a comment.
(Last, congratulations on launching a blog! I hope this blog will be a resource and a communication point in the instructional technology field.)
Guest blogger: Dr. Jongpil Cheon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership in the Instructional Technology program at Texas Tech University. He taught elementary schools in Incheon, Korea, and has served as an instructor at the Incheon Education and Science Research Institute, Incheon, Korea. Dr. Cheon has received numerous honors, such as being named outstanding doctoral student at the University of Memphis, and was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society. He has contributed to several instructional technology books and has many presentations and publications in the fields of adaptive learning system, online instruction and interface design. He has also served as a system manager in Advanced Instructional Multimedia Lab at the University of Memphis, and developed numerous websites, instructional technology integration manuals, and Web-based courses.
These are my Jumptags for March 16th through March 17th:
- The Future of Open Source CMS – by 23 Web Designers & Developers – Open Source Content Management Systems are the most used for almost any kind of site on the web. All of us have been using these systems and sure will continue using them. Well, the Future of Open Source CMS can sure be predicted based on how they ar…
- Here’s How I Built That PowerPoint E-Learning Template – A tutorial on how to build an elearning template in Powerpoint.
- Interactive Learning Systems Evaluation book Downloads – Downloads for Reeves & Hedberg's (2003) book on Interactive Learning Systems Evaluation.
- Interactive Learning Systems Evaluation – Official support site for Reeves & Hedberg (2003) book on Interactive Learning Systems Evaluation.
By way of the Kreativuse blog, I heard about “Bring Down IE 6,” a campaign to encourage web designers and developers to put IE6 out to pasture (or straight on to the glue factory as the metaphor lends). The inconsistency among browsers and platforms for HTML and CSS is ludicrous. Adding hacks to support a variety of browsers is pretty much the norm for developers, because their is inconsistencies about which features are supported within each of the browsers. Having a site look the same in Firefox and IE (not to mention on a Mac and a PC) is pretty much unheard of. Well, “Bring Down IE 6” is one effort to stop a small portion of the madness. From the site, designer Craig Grannell says,
Even in 2001, Internet Explorer didn’t set the world on fire. Incomplete standards support rapidly made it look shoddy in the face of strong competition. In today’s market, surrounded by Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera and its own successor, Internet Explorer 7, version 6 of Microsoft’s browser looks positively ancient.
Go on and read the rest of the informative and well argued article. You gotta luv this kind of passion and plea to the masses. What do you think? Can we let IE6 go? I’m particularly interested to hear what the corporate, government and healthcare designers have to say. Can we sing the torch song and set it adrift like a forgotten Viking warrior?
I have studied educational technology for over 20 years; my work has focused primarily on teachers’ use of technology for teaching, learning, and professional enhancement. Overall, we have always seen wonderful pockets of projects and ideas that are making a difference but we have not really seen the dramatic, large scale implementations that some of us have hoped for! Recently, I reread The National Education Technology Plan (http://www.nationaledtechplan.org/), released by the U.S. Department of Education in January 2005, and I was struck that its first action step is to “strengthen leadership.” A true “ah-ha” moment!
Although teachers often have courses in technology integration at the preservice and inservice levels, unless those teachers also have the leadership of their administrator, they may be unable to successfully use that technology (NCES, 2000). It seems clear that administrators are not able to lead their schools’ or districts’ technology integration if they do not understand what is involved in this process. Additionally, while the ISTE NETS for students and teachers have been widely adopted and adapted, the administrator standards (currently being refreshed: http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/NETSRefreshProject/NETS_Refresh.htm) have had little impact thus far.
In a recent review of the 50 United States, Schrum, Galizio, and Ledesma (under review) found that only a few states mentioned technology integration as necessity for new administrators to earn their license. A few required a portfolio (although not necessarily an electronic one!), and one did mention technology, but in general, states leave it up to institutions to determine what a future administrator needs to know about technology. In an examination of several universities who are recognized by each state to grant or recommend administrators, many have a course on “Data Driven Decision Making” but only a few had a course on technology integration as a requirement. We can be pretty certain that there is a relationship between the technology training school leaders have (or seek) and the support teachers receive for integrating it.
This perspective of the need for collective mobilization guided a new research study and became the lens through which the data were filtered. We are inviting school leaders who are using, supporting, or even encouraging their schools to integrate technology in meaningful ways to answer some of our questions.
Or, if you are lucky enough to know such a leader, you can invite him/her to complete the survey.
Guest blogger: Lynne Schrum is a Professor and Director of Teacher Education in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University. Her research and teaching focus on appropriate uses of information technology, online and distance learning, and preparing teachers for the 21st century. She has written four books and numerous articles on these subjects; the most recent is New Tools, New Schools: Getting Started with Web 2.0. Lynne is currently on AERA’s Council, past-president of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and currently editor of the Journal of Research on Technology in Education (JRTE) (2002-2011). More information can be found at http://mason.gmu.edu/~lschrum.
These are my Jumptags for March 13th through March 16th:
- 27 Things To Do Before a Conference – If you're attending events over the next several months, you might give some thought to a quick checklist that might help you better accomplish your goals. As
- Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning – a resource for educators planning to incorporate technologies in their teaching and learning activities
- Tim Berners-Lee on the next Web – TED Talks 20 years ago, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. For his next project, he's building a web for open, linked data that could do for numbers what the Web did for words, pictures, video: unlock our data and reframe the way we use it …
These are my Jumptags for March 3rd through March 10th:
- Userfly Review – The service lets you record your site’s users’ actions and then play them back in your own browser.
- eXe : eLearning XHTML editor – tool to specifically assist teachers and academics to publish professional looking web pages according to the structure and form required for good teaching, and in such a way that this content could be integrated with existing LMS applications.
- MOS Solo – MOS is a Windows only content development package that creates SCORM 2004 packages.
Something must be done about the utilization of Web-based technology resources in schools. Too often I visit campuses where computer equipment sets idly collecting dust. While computers are the main gateways to Web-based resources, dusty equipment is a clear and obvious indication that barriers exist to the land of plenty we commonly refer to as the World Wide Web. Web-based applications and resources continue to emerge at rapid rates as the debate over technology utilization and student achievement cycles around conflicting reports and research findings. These factors lead me to believe that we are focusing on the wrong stages of technology implementation.
The U.S. Department of Education reported that 25 percent of district Title II, Part A funding was spent on professional development for teachers. At a minimum, this indicates that training is being offered in the initial stages of a professional development model. However, there are weak or missing links throughout many professional development programs that continue to prevent us from ultimately increasing student achievement through technology integration.
We must find ways to provide teachers with on-going training and support. Richard DuFour provided a study guide for the Best Practices for Enhancing Student Achievement that utilizes Personal Learning Communities. Personal Learning Communities offer both support and training by connecting professionals who are dedicated to increasing student achievement. PLCs are a great way to collaborate with other professionals around the world and make use of equipment that is currently underutilized. Web-based technologies provide an atmosphere that fosters mutual learning and continuous development. PLCs may reinforce knowledge gained during professional development workshops, increasing the odds of teachers using skills rather than losing them.
Guest Blogger: Corey is an Instructional Development Specialist with Federal Express Flight Training. Prior to joining FedEx, Mr. Johnson worked as an Instructional Trainer at the West Memphis School District. Corey holds a M.S. in Instructional Design and Technology from Mississippi State University and is currently completing research residency requirements towards his Educational Doctorate Degree in Instructional Design and Technology from the University of Memphis.
Increasingly social networks are being used in business, education and by non-profit groups. Which social networks do you use? Which one is your favorite? Why is it your favorite? How should educators be using these networks? How can these networks be used in the classroom? What kinds of student projects could be done for course credit? Here’s a list of some popular and some niche networks. Add your thoughts in the comments below.
Professional Social Networks
Guest blogger: At St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Yuri Quintana has led the development of several international online projects, including www.Cure4Kids.org, an online pediatric cancer education Web site used by thousands of health professionals in 164 countries; Pond4Kids, an online system used for international pediatric cancer protocol research; and Consult4Kids, a Web-based system used by health professionals for clinical consultations. Prior to coming to St. Jude, Quintana was a principal investigator in the Canadian HealNet Research Network focusing on consumer health informatics; while there, he designed breast cancer decision support systems for the Canadian Cancer Society. Formerly a faculty member at the University of Western Ontario, Quintana also served as director of the New Media Research Lab. He has held high-tech positions at IBM Canada Limited, Watcom Inc., WATFAC, and the University of Waterloo. The chair of four international conferences on medical informatics, Quintana earned master’s and doctoral degrees in systems design engineering and an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and computer science, all from the University of Waterloo. Quintana is currently focused on the development of innovative Internet technologies that empower communities of health care professionals and consumers to communicate, learn and collaborate on a worldwide basis.
These are my Jumptags for March 3rd
- 104 Free Fonts for Web Designers and Logo Artists – It's very essential for Designers to have an good understanding of typography and selection as the importance of typography in design can’t be neglected. The
- 21 Most Used Fonts By Professional Designers – The fonts are one of the most important parts of every web Project. All though there have been many other selective collection font posts around which most of
- 22 Most Used Free Fonts By Professional Designers – As we already know that the fonts are one of the most important parts of every web Project and choosing them is quit a difficult job for a web designer if his
- How To Use Icons To Support Content In Web Design – Why use icons? Design is all about communication: it doesn't matter how important or exciting the information that you're sharing is if you fail to hook your visitors. When initially viewing a