What is the purpose of this blog?

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke

Friday, January 30, 2009

Once Upon A School - Great School Projects

"This site is an online initiative developed in response to author and philanthropist Dave Eggers' 2008 TED Prize wish to inspire and collect the stories of private citizens engaged in their local public schools." Even if it is for public schools, it is still an excellent school resource for everyone. Check out the promo video to learn more and go to their website if you are intrigued. www.onceuponaschool.org

video

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I Spoke Arabic Today! And I don't even know how...

I decided to play a trick on a friend from Lebanon and use Google Language Tools to "talk" to him. It may be a bit hard to understand since my side is in Arabic but he states at the end that he understands 90% of what I am saying. Here some of the transcipt.








When local is better than global (or how the internet is not always your friend)

After my stroke they put a stent in my neck. In order for the stent to settle into place and not clog up I have to take Plavix and aspirin. Well as of Jan. 1st my Plavix went through the roof price wise so I did some shopping around ON THE INTERNET.

And boy did I find deals! Instead of $165 (for 30 pills) at the local pharmacy I found Plavix for as little as $18 for 50 pills! Well you do the math and you'll figure out what I did next. I'm sure we've all heard about seniors that take bus trips across the border to fill their prescriptions because it's so much cheaper. I decided to skip the bus trip and through the internet order directly from a Canadian company. Sound slick so far? Just wait...

The medication arrived a couple weeks later and when I opened the package I noticed a couple things. First, it didn't look like the Plavix I was used to taking and secondly I could tell from the invoice that the drugs originated in INDIA. Hmmm... What's a guy to do?

Well I tried googling the medication and looked at other people's comments about drugs manufactured in India and it didn't look too bad (didn't look too good either) but I was nonetheless worried. But what the heck, I like to throw caution to the wind like the next guy (I can't imagine my wife doing this) and I started taking the medication. Within 2 days I started getting ill. I'll skip the details (I'm better now) but suffice it to say it was PAINFUL.

So I went to my regular pharmacist, told her my story (her eyes rolled up into her head a few times) and now I'm back on the expensive stuff. Heck, it's my life we're talking about, right?! You probably think I'm crazy to have tried in the first place and you're probably right. I guess I learned to shop locally when it comes to my health and that maybe internet "deals" really can be too good to be true...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Children are no more at risk online than off, a study says.

The study says "Don't Blame the Internet"

Food for thought. To read the article, click here.

Now this one will surely get you commenting...

If the Pope can do it, so can you!

"Urbi et Orbi" So the Pope has his own Youtube Channel. How cool is that? But it made me think that if even the Pope is jumping on the technological superhighway, then anybody can do it. Fear not! And if you get a little scarred or frazzled, just email old Tech Keith and he'll take away the pain...

Click here to go right to the Vatican's Youtube page


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

FETC - UPDATES

Final Sessions Video Diary (3 mins):

video

Saturday (final day) - Attending an excellent Google "forms" presentation. Google this guy now! Rushton Hurley. Later, now at final couple of presentations. Can't wait to bring this stuff back and present. Very exciting stuff. Apple's "curriculum evangelist" is talking now, but after Rushton it's kind of a letdown.
Friday video highlights (10 mins)

video

Friday - Aloha! Got here early to go visit exhibits but they weren't open yet so I went and got my free FETC mug and coffee and started work on today's video update which I will put online tonight. Sitting in now on Google Sky/Mars/Moon and all they do including embedded podcasting, whoa... After lunch now, am at an educational "gaming" multiuser, virtual presentation... Very futurist... Here is an example of educational gaming frenzy:


Find more videos like this on DimensionM


Thursday video highlights:


video

Thursday Afternoon - Problem I'm encountering quite a bit is too many people and not enough space at these sessions... problematic... Got seated way early for the next session, yippee! Wow, this presentation rocks! Check out her website here: Tammy Worcester

Wow! Tammy's resources are the best! Can't wait to stockpile and share with you!


Thursday Morning
- Well darnit I got here early to visit exhibition booths but they don't open until tonight. Met up with Merry who will be giving me an interview on what she's up to later today. Working on a short video that sums up the day. I will post it later this evening for the millions out there waiting! Right now I'm attending a session on using Social Networking Sites with Social Studies and English. Looks good so far.

video

Wednesday Afternoon - Learned that more Americans (22%) can name the 5 members of the Simpsons better than naming the 5 freedoms in the Bill of Rights (1%). Learned about using humor to make ideas stick. Learned that the eye goes towards images and color before it goes to black and white and text. Learned also that "laughter is the shortest distance between 2 people." Imagery and making ideas stick. PowerPoint images are "stacked in time" and linear. Putting images side by side instead of one after the other is far more powerful an imaging tool.

Wednesday Morning - I arrived blank and bleary eyed early this morning to attend the pre-conference workshops I had signed up for to discover that coffee wasn't flowing freely. I was already in a state of shock from the 32 degree weather (in Florida) and this put me into a stupor from which I wasn't sure to survive. The first workshop was entitled "Less is More..." which seemed kind of apt given the lack of temperature or coffee and it lived up its title by being one of the least entertaining or informative workshops I have ever attended. I won't go into the details but suffice it to say that it didn't wake me up. Poor guy, he really was well intentioned, but not a presenter. Maybe he should have attended my 2nd workshop entitled "Making Education Stick" which was all about how to make ideas stick with your students. I'll keep updating this post as things come up. More soon, I need to find some coffee...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Heading to Florida but...

Expect lots of awesome tech education updates as I rock and roll the FETC conference. I'm hoping to see lots of cutting edge ideas for use in the classroom and beyond. Expect the unexpected! Check back soon...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Adding Gadgets To Your Blog

Free Video Editing Tool Online!

Why stop with photo editing when you can video edit too... ONLINE.
Free and easy and you aren't tied to software like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. So check it out by going to jumpcut.com

Excellent Basic Photo Editing Tool Online!

picnik.com has a quick and free photo editor that you can use on the fly. Plus, you don't even need to register, you click Get Started and then Upload. Click here to see.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Technologically Teaching Vol. 4

Technologically Teaching Vol. 4

Jan. 7, 2009
Happy New Year All!
Well, with the passing of another year it would seem a good time to remember some past very serious quotes about technology that have bit the dust:
"Email has no place at work" (1994)
"Internet access has no place at work" (1996)
"eCommerce is too high a risk for our company" (1998)
"Instant Messaging has no place at work" (2002)
"Social Software has no place at work" (2005)

I got these quotes at the last T.I.E.S conference I attended in Minneapolis just before Christmas and they seem to make clear that technology marches forward with or without the naysayers. So what to do? Hmmm.... Persevere I suppose and continue to give technology the human face it needs, for that human face as we know it may disappear.

One of the featured speakers pointed out that the ultimate technological situation would be one where everyone has a handheld computer (see iPhone, Blackberry) and ubiquitous access to the internet. Seems like we're already there.

Want more exciting/scary stuff? Check out this quote from Ray Kurzweil

The Law of Accelerating Returns
by Ray Kurzweil

"An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense "intuitive linear" view. So we won't experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century -- it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today's rate). The "returns," such as chip speed and cost-effectiveness, also increase exponentially. There's even exponential growth in the rate of exponential growth. Within a few decades, machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence, leading to The Singularity -- technological change so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history. The implications include the merger of biological and nonbiological intelligence, immortal software-based humans, and ultra-high levels of intelligence that expand outward in the universe at the speed of light."

Did he say "merger of biological and non-biological intelligence"? Did he use the word "immortal"? Sounds good to me, but I suppose for many it sounds a bit frightening.

Want to read more about it?
Click here: http://www.kurzweilai.net/articles/art0134.html?printable=1

Well, I just wanted to throw a few curve balls at you to think about in 2009. Enjoy!

And keep checking out my blog I'm adding new stuff all the time. See you in the real world (for now)...

"Tech Keith"

Monday, January 5, 2009

Plain English Videos on Computers Topics

The Common Craft Show has an amazing collection of videos which give very easy to understand explanations of technology subjects. I've highlighted their videos in the past, but they are so good I decided to push their cause. These include: web searching, blogs, wikis, podcasting, social networking and much more. So CLICK HERE to get started learning about all these cool concepts easily, quickly and most importantly, painlessly!