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J Black

Why People Don't Like Video Chatting - TIME - 10 views

  • Only 34% of Skype calls even use video. And when Skype announced on Jan. 5 at the Consumer Electronics Show that we'll soon have videophones on our televisions, everyone went right back to talking about which booths gave out the best key-chain lights.
  • That's because Skype breaks the century-old social contract of the phone: we pay close attention while we're talking and zone out while you are.
  • But Skype requires me to look at you while you're talking, which is totally ridiculous. The only sci-fi show that understood this was Star Trek. Bones and Jim would use their flip phones to talk quickly about beaming or health issues. The only time they'd fire up the videophone was when a Klingon was sitting in a spaceship 20 yards away with guns pointed at them.
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  • people are not only uninterested in Skype, we're also not interested in talking on the regular phone. We want to TiVo our lives, avoiding real time by texting or e-mailing people when we feel like it. "Skype, which was the fantasy of our childhood, gets you back to sitting there and being available in that old-fashioned way. Our model of what it was to be present to each other, we thought we liked that," she said. "But it turns out that time shifting is our most valued product. This new technology is about control. Emotional control and time control."
  • Maybe all the stuff we thought we wanted in the future sucks. Flying cars would block our light, food pills would make Gordon Ramsey's screaming even more preposterous, and those moving sidewalks just give me another reason to hate fat people at airports. Far better is to have control over our most valuable commodity: time. Sure, we complain about being busy, but that's pretty great as long as we get to choose when we do things.
J Black

Lesson planning tool: Learning Score - Lesson planning tool: Learning Score - 26 views

shared by J Black on 07 Jul 10 - Cached
  • Learning Score is a new and imaginative take on lesson-planning. Using the metaphor of a music score, Learning Score shows the planned activities for a lesson, and any multimedia attachments, as a graphical time line. Whole lesson plans can be saved, along with all the embedded resources and annotations, to be used again at a later date, or to be shared with colleagues.Learning Score was invented by John Davitt and grew out of a desire to provide teachers and learners with a modern, flexible, technology-friendly and pedagogically rigorous approach to lesson-planning that is suitable for the 21st-century classroom.
J Black

Free Technology for Teachers: Free Online Conversion of Many Media Formats - 8 views

  • Need to convert a document to HTML of PDF? Online-ConVert does that. Want to convert a video to a new format or download a video from the web? Online-Convert does that too. Do you need to convert an audio file to MP3 or WAV? No problem, Online-Convert has you covered.
    "Need to convert a document to HTML of PDF? Online-ConVert does that. Want to convert a video to a new format or download a video from the web? Online-Convert does that too. Do you need to convert an audio file to MP3 or WAV? No problem, Online-Convert has you covered."
J Black

Teachers should be seen and not heard - Road Diaries: Teacher of the Year - Education W... - 7 views

  • "I think we need to consider the role of teachers in the classroom," she replies in a soft voice. "We are headed toward a teacherless classroom and must be guided by this fact." A teacherless classroom? I look around the table and hope one of the esteemed guests will ask her to clarify or possibly expand upon her statement. Instead, the guests just nod their heads in agreement. The strange little man interrupts. "I agree. Technology is making the traditional classroom teacher less relevant-possibly obsolete. Soon students will be learning at home from online classes on their laptops." I silently question who will be teaching the online classes.
  • The Harvard professor tugs at his chin with his right thumb and index finger and compliments the senator. "In the future," he says, "students will be learning at home using their computers. School buildings and classrooms will not be the primary learning environment." Really? Could any sane person envision millions of school children staying home and learning a full curriculum online? I foresee a stay-at-home mom or dad spending most of the day trying to keep their children away from Facebook.
  • Where do I begin? I spent the last thirty minutes listening to a group of arrogant and condescending non educators disrespect my colleagues and profession. I listened to a group of disingenuous people whose own self-interests guide their policies rather than the interests of children. I listened to a cabal of people who sit on national education committees that will have a profound impact on classroom teaching practices. And I heard nothing of value.
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  • "I'm thinking about the current health care debate, "I said. "And I am wondering if I will be asked to sit on a national committee charged with the task of creating a core curriculum of medical procedures to be used in hospital emergency rooms." The strange little man cocks his head and, suddenly, the fly on the wall has everyone's attention.
  • "I realize that most people would think I am unqualified to sit on such a committee because I am not a doctor, I have never worked in an emergency room, and I have never treated a single patient. So what? Today I have listened to people who are not teachers, have never worked in a classroom, and have never taught a single student tell me how to teach." An uneasy silence cloaks the table. The governor from the South looks at his watch, the governor from the North bows his head, the governor from the Midwest stirs his coffee, the diminutive senator stares at me, and the strange little man grabs another strawberry. One by one the lunch guests leave the table. I return to being a fly on a wall at a table. I wonder how many other teachers have been treated in such a manner.
J Black

Langwitches Blog » It's Not About the Tools. It's About the Skills - 10 views

    Great images - thanks for the share.
J Black

U.S. Steps Lightly in Google-China Feud - - 0 views

  • Still, Google's move threatened to add to a growing list of disputes between the U.S. and China. Tensions have run high over the nation's trade imbalance and China's currency, as well as the push for a global climate-change agreement. This week, China tested a missile-defense system in a move widely viewed by Washington as a response to an expected U.S. weapons sale to Taiwan.
  • Google's move also put pressure on large multinationals, at a time when many are feeling their own tensions in China. Google said its internal investigation showed at least 20 other companies were affected. People familiar with the attack say at least 34 companies in the Internet, finance, technology, media and chemical sectors were hit by the cyber attacks. Only Adobe Systems Inc. has publicly verified an incident so far. Another company, Rackspace Hosting Inc., says it was victimized as part of the attack on Google.
  • Google and other U.S. search providers, for instance, have agreed to filter search results on Chinese sites at the behest of the government, a stance that has drawn heated criticism from human-rights activists.
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  • When the Chinese government in June tried to force personal-computer makers to include Web-filtering software known as "Green Dam" with all new PCs in China, foreign business groups representing scores of major technology companies publicly criticized the move and called on China's leadership to reconsider. Authorities announced an indefinite delay to the plan on the eve of its July 1 start date.
  • "China is such a huge growth opportunity that few U.S. companies will want to shut that door completely when there's money to be made. There has already been a lot of negative publicity about China—censorship there is well-known. None of these things are secret. This is how the world works—China is playing hardball."
  • Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, said he doubts Google's move "is going to start a bandwagon....I think the dollars will motivate against these other companies following suit."
  • "They have planted the idea that someone can stand up and say we are not going to take this anymore to the Chinese government. And somebody has to be first."
J Black

If Your Kids Are Awake, They're Probably Online - - 1 views

  • Those ages 8 to 18 spend more than seven and a half hours a day with such devices, compared with less than six and a half hours five years ago, when the study was last conducted. And that does not count the hour and a half that youths spend texting, or the half-hour they talk on their cellphones.
  • The study’s findings shocked its authors, who had concluded in 2005 that use could not possibly grow further, and confirmed the fears of many parents whose children are constantly tethered to media devices. It found, moreover, that heavy media use is associated with several negatives, including behavior problems and lower grades.
J Black

How to choose the right CMS for Education @ Dave's Educational Blog - 0 views

J Black

Books Are Becoming Fringe Media - GigaOM - 1 views

  • Whether published in ink or pixels, books are facing tough competition from updates, posts, and a blizzard of free, brief and ephemeral writings that distract eyeballs from the task of digesting 300 pages of text.
  • Book publishers may be hoping the iPad and other tablets will solve this problem, but I think such devices are only going to make things worse.
  • It’s a refuge from the distractions of the web, a quiet garden walled off from the web except to download a book.
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  • since the advent of the web reading has increased drastically and publishers are publishing more titles than ever. Merely looking at last year’s stats is poor reporting- last year the economy was in a deep recession and people weren’t buying. However, library use was up sharply. I don’t believe there is a future for printed volumes. It makes no sense economically. However, I do believe there is a book-like format that will survive because all the media you describe do not deliver long format information, including stories, well. Books are an immersion experience, not a skimming experience.
    "But notably, according to an informal survey of Kindle devotees, 59 percent of people who buy the e-readers are over 55. Meanwhile, as a NEA study pointed out two years ago, people under 25 were already doing most of their reading on the web, with only 7 minutes a day devoted to books."
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