Monthly Archives: August 2008

Educational technology takes center stage – Coming Soon: A National Center for Edtech Research

Via PBS Teachers

This past week, President Bush signed into law a bill that will establish a new national research center for studying digital technology and learning. The center aspires be to edtech what the National Institutes of Health have been for medical research.

The National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies is part of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, approved by Congress at the end of July, and signed into law by President Bush on August 14.

“This new National Center will help move schools, universities, and training facilities nationwide into the 21st century,” said Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), one of the project’s original sponsors. “America’s reputation as an international leader rests in the hands of our youth, and it should be among our top priorities to provide our students with the tools they need to maintain and build upon this standing. The National Center will help future American workers compete in the global marketplace.”

“The National Center couldn’t come at a more critical time,” added Congressman John Yarmuth (D-KY). “American businesses know that they need a well-educated workforce to face growing competition from China, India, and Europe. Americans need to constantly upgrade their skills to keep pace with technology and international competition, and people who are losing their jobs often need to acquire new skills to rejoin the workforce.”

Successful projects require – the Maven, the Salesman, & the Connector

Great piece from Lifehacker today

 Mavens are information specialists.

They are the ones who tell Connectors about what’s hot. They always have the newest inside scoops on gadgets and specials. They tend to be creative.  They tend to create and discover new things.  The upside of Mavens is that they amass a vast store of knowledge and are eager to share it with others. The downside is that Mavens can sometimes be a bit geeky and awkward around people.

Salesmen are charismatic.

They are able to build instant rapport with another person and gain their trust. That Salesmen are able to build rapport implies that they can tune in to others. But there is also another dimension: others find it easy to tune into the emotions of Salesmen. Gladwell explains that some people are very good at expressing emotions and feelings, which means that they are much more ’socially contagious’ than others.

Connectors are people specialists.

The strength of Connectors is that they know and keep in touch with many people.
They also tend to associate with other Connectors. Because of their rich network of friends and acquaintances, Connector are trendsetters. The upside of a Connector is that he or she is able to create and maintain long-lasting friendships. The downside is that Connectors can be dazzled by their vast collection of acquaintances, without investing in real friendships. Gladwell explains:

Connector are people who link us up with the world. People with a special gift for bringing the world together.

Lifehacker
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Virtual Worlds on the Smartboard/Activeboard/Mimio/eBeam Interactive Whiteboards – Edusim turns 1

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We launched the Edusim project approximatley 12 months ago – creating the first virtual world for the interactive whiteboard.  The Edusim users group is approachng its 800 th member – our videos on TeacherTube & Youtube are approaching 100,000 views and virtual worlds are becoming bigger-quicker than ever imagined.  This year we plan to leverage the Cobalt work to bring a beta quality application, a new Edusim Pro advanced client with a common directory for users to submit and download shared lessons.

Find our more about Edusim at http://edusim3d.com 

Open source, Choice, and early adopters

“The idea with open source software is to allow early adopters access to the buggier pieces of code so they can help fix them or let people who want to wait for a solid release the ability to do that,” says developer Casey Borders. “The key is choice”.

Social networks for the enterprise

 Microsoft calls it TownSquare. Deloitte hosts D Street. IBM has its Beehive, and Best Buy its BlueShirt Nation.No, it’s not a real estate explosion. In industries from retail to high tech, banking and manufacturing, companies are increasingly building networks behind the firewall where employees can create profiles and connect with one another in ways first demonstrated by LinkedIn, Facebook and MySpace.

“The whole Web 2.0 explosion has moved from the consumer and college student world to professionals in the business world,” says Amy Shuen, author of Web 2.0: A Strategy

Read the rest here

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