Saturday, 27 June 2009
Friday, 26 June 2009
As he puts it, "the textbook system is broken. There are too few publishers and those that exist are behaving badly:
- textbooks cost too much.
- teachers are often forced into adopting costly new versions with little additional benefit over the previous version.
- the physical weight of textbooks is contributing to back problems among the students who must schlep them from class to class.
- textbooks consume huge amount of natural resources in their production. Disposal of textbooks is not as easy as one may think."
Tuesday, 23 June 2009
An extensive study was done in June 2005, sponsored by Apple, called Research: What It Says About 1 to 1 Learning.
Their main findings were:
• Effecting change in teaching practice depends on professional development and changing some teachers’ beliefs about the role of technology and students’ capabilities.
• Available research-based evidence is generally positive, especially with respect to laptop programs’ effects on technology use, technology proficiency, and writing skills.
• Overall, however, there is limited research-based evidence from rigorously designed experimental or quasi-experimental studies of laptop programs’ effectiveness.
• More quasi-experimental and experimental research is needed that examines both outcomes and implementation if further major investments in 1 to 1 initiatives are to be warranted by the research base.
So, generally positive, but more research needs to be done.
Learning environments are transformed. Collaborative project work promoted.
Assessment techniques change. More authentic assessment techniques.
Teachers look to a variety of sources for training. Professional development now tailored to teachers' individual content area and pedagogical needs.
Mastery is no longer solely the province of technology gurus.
Students are highly engaged. "Like teachers, students also show improved technology skills and sophistication. But this, too, varies, with some students taking to certain specialized applications such as movie making, and others using the tools as a functional, almost transparent element in their schoolwork. In Indianapolis and Crawfordsville, teachers report, anecdotally, that students have greater engagement in their assigned work, fewer behavioral referrals, and higher attendance—positive trends that other research has substantiated. In their study of the Piscataquis Community High School in Guilford, Maine, for instance, the Mitchell Institute found daily student attendance improved from 91 percent to over 98 percent since the laptop program began last year. And significantly, 48 percent of parents reported their children are more motivated now that they work with laptops."
Productivity increases. Students develop better organizational skills.
Attitudes toward writing improve.
Where is the RECENT research?
Sunday, 21 June 2009
Sunday, 14 June 2009
Drop Box is a folder on your computer. Drag anything into it (or save into it) and off it goes into the cloud. But it remains on your computer. And, if you install Drop Box on your second computer/laptop, it updates it there too.
So you have up-to-date copies of your documents where you need them.
It is really "awesome" to watch when you have your laptop next to your desktop - drag a document into your Drop Box on your laptop, seconds later you can see it in your Drop Box on your desktop. Oh, did I tell you that I run XP on my laptop but Ubuntu on the desktop? It doesn't matter!
Please get it following this link and I will get a bit more storage space.
Tuesday, 2 June 2009
In an earlier post I considered the CMS as being at the opposite end of a Personal Learning Environment - the latter being well personisable and configurable.
Could Google Wave be a PLE? More, could it be a Collaborative PLE?
A CPLE such as this would allow the selection of the learning group as a Wave, perhaps by the learning facilitator (tutor, convenor, etc). The Wave would then serve as the learning environment.
It would allow the usual asynchronous communication providing for extended reflection, thought and response, the source of documents and assignments, and course calendars, etc. But it will also allow synchronous communication, without any wait time - almost instant responses appearing on your platform as another participant types, no more "Joe is typing..." waits.
Additionally, it looks as if you can have sub-Waves. And also confidential conversations which need not include others (tutor discussions with individuals over late assignments, perhaps...).
Developers, please consider the role that GWave could have as a CPLE!