Educational Technology and the Social Web

February 10, 2010

Students’ View of Technology in the Classroom

Filed under: Education and Technology — Ken @ 2:12 pm

Although much progress has been made with the effective use of technology in the classroom, a disparity still exists between student expectations and faculty capabilities. There are many things to chew on in this video (it’s a parody, I know) but three things jump out for me: 1) faculty need the right kind of support to use technology in the classroom; 2) the use of technology should always serve a specific purpose; 3) today’s students need to play an active role in their learning and one way to engage them in that role is to allow them to facilitate their learning through technology.


January 28, 2010

National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies

Filed under: Education and Technology — Ken @ 5:20 pm

NYT Article announces federal funding for educational technologies…finally.

January 26, 2010

Microsoft: A New Source of Funding for Online Learning?

Filed under: Education and Technology — Ken @ 2:42 pm

Is Microsoft  positioning itself for a move into online learning?

Bill Gates and Online Learning.

September 27, 2009

Hans Rosling and data visualization

Filed under: Education and Technology — Ken @ 2:19 pm

This video from TED 2006 features Hans Rosling talking about changes in birth rates in the developing and developed world.  He uses data visualization tools to really bring the data to life and in the process shows how these tools can make statistical data engaging for the rest of us.

September 25, 2009

Do schools kill creativity?

Filed under: Education and Technology,Social Software — Ken @ 6:49 pm

I found this presentation by Sir Ken Robinson fascinating. As you reflect on your own education, was creativity encouraged or even allowed to flourish?  I know my schooling was much more about conformity than it was about individual expression or creative thought.

October 16, 2008

Web 2.0

Filed under: Education and Technology — Ken @ 6:58 pm


Vijay Kumar has recently co-edited a book called Opening Up Education which discusses the need for shifting from a teacher centered methodology to a active learning, student centered one. This is not a new argument but Kumar incorporates the impact of Web 2.0 and how these technologies make a compelling argument for changing education now to utilize these ubiquitous technologies.  Trent Bateson from MIT who wrote a chapter in this book that talks about evidence based learning argues for this shift now.

A central component of the technology that can drive this shift are ePortfolios. There are several options in this space. A few worth mentioning are Open Source Portfolio, Digication, Ning, and Elgg.  Tuft’s University has licensed VUE which is a visual environment for structuring, presenting, and sharing digital information. Tuft’s University has also devloped SPARK which is an amalgamation of tools such as wikis, blogs, podcast publisher, forums, maps, and a media annotator.

Mark Frydenberg teaches IT concepts at Bentley College. He uses mashups in his Web 2.0 class focusing on three areas: technology, strategy, and community. His students concentrate on six actions: appreciate, participate, investigate, communicate, colaborate, create as they delve into Web 2.0 technologies.  Mark uses Microsft Popfly to teach his students IT programming concepts.

September 3, 2008

Educational Wikis

Filed under: Education and Technology — Ken @ 1:22 pm

An interview with Stephan Mader, wiki evangelist, provides a good summary for using wikis in higher education. Stephan’s blog is a rich resource for exploring the use of wikis in depth.

June 21, 2008

RSS & Widgets: How to put your law school on iGoogle, My Yahoo, Facebook, and MySpace

Filed under: Education and Technology — Ken @ 3:15 pm

Live blogging from CALI 2008: Len Davidson from the DuFour Law Library at Catholic University of America has created several widgets for students to access library resources.  DuFour has not made it’s widgets publicly available yet so it’s impossible to provide usage statistics but stats from UPenn’s library say .4% of UPenn students use their widgets (from widget box) to access their library resources.  The take away here is widgets are easy to build but it’s difficult to get target audience to use them. Business Week has published a couple of articles on widgets and their effectiveness. There are many resources out there that talk about widgets or widget tools. Magtoo is a cool widget that stitches pictures together into a one panorama picture. Len has a nice review on his blog.

Laptop Hard drive encryption

Filed under: Education and Technology — Ken @ 2:06 pm

Live blogging from CALI 2008: Thomas Ryan and Timothy Divito from Rutgers School of Law – Camden are discussing laptop encryption. They recommend all deans, department chairs, faculty, clinical staff, admin staff, and clerical staff have encrypted drives. They posit that most laptop thefts are not for the purposes of identity theft but rather for the system itself and that the majority of thefts are inside jobs. Regardless of the impetus, rules and regulations require disclosure of the theft to all who may be affected. This is obviously an undesirable situation.

They reviewed many different products but are highlighting two today: Free CompuSec and Truecrypt. CompuSec’s nicest feature is GlobalAdmin which is a central management system. CompuSec supports Windows (2000, XP, Vista) and Linux and has additional sw packages such as single sign on, encryption of CDs, Floppies and other removable storge, single file encryption, SafeLan (for network storage) and VOIP encryption. Time for encryption: 40GB drive, 3-4 hours, 80GB, 6-7 hours.  

Truecrypt now offers full disk encryption. It is an open source product. It differs from CompuSec in that its original purpose was to encrypt individual files. Accordingly, it’s install is very quick-only two files. TrueCrypt forces you to burn a rescue disk with the key while CompuSec stores this key in a file which you can store anywhere-USB key, network share, CD, etc.  TrueCrypt is recommended for single laptop encryption for advanced users while CompuSec is recommended for multiple systems because you can use the same key for each system. 

It seems easier to deal with full time employees of an institution if the hardware is owned by the school. What is less clear is how schools deal with students who often use their personal machines when working on client files particularly in clinics. What policies and procedures should be in place to protect client data on student machines?  Should schools ban the use of student personal machines when working on client cases?  Should schools provide students with encryption tools?  Or should schools mandate students have encryption software much like they would mandate the use of an administrators password?  There are no easy answers here but it’s clear schools need to do something to address the risk of confidential information becoming exposed due to theft or loss.

June 20, 2008

Radical Evolution

Filed under: Education and Technology — Ken @ 1:40 pm

Book Cover of Radical Evolutio    Live blogging from CALI 2008: Joel Garreau is a student of culture, values, and change. Most recently he is the author of  Radical Evolution  Joel is a reporter and editor at The Washington Post and principal of The Garreau Group, the network of his best sources committed to understanding who we are, how we got that way, and where we’re headed, worldwide. He has served as a senior fellow at the University of California at Berkeley and George Mason University, and is an affiliate of the James Martin Institute for Science and Civilization at Oxford.

OK. Let’s see where this goes. Joel is describing a scenario of super humans, enhanced human beings, silent messaging…this is interesting. He’s arguing that Moore’s Law is leading us to a place where this kind of ability will be possible. Look around, he suggests, Barry Bonds, Dolly the sheep, brain implants, these technologies are here and are advancing fast.

I think I’ll read his book.

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