Archive for August, 2009

school_tech_toolsThe following is a list of sites that have been shared with me over the past several days.  Generally, you will see all kinds of findings in my Delicious links on the top right hand side of this blog.  Enjoy!

What to read?

Library Thing Suggest

What Should I Read Next?




That Quiz Math Test Activities (Science & Geography too!)

Social Studies/Current Events

Know Thy Congressman


National Geographic Little Kids


NSF Scrub Club


Digital Citizenship

Creative Thinking Home

World Languages

Foreign Internet Radio

Virtual Field Trips (All Subjects)



Seth Godin and Tom Peters explain why!

As always  I have found interesting information at Miguel Guhlin’s blog Around the Corner!  The following three videos are worth reflecting on.   Thanks Miguel!

In this first video I hope the answer is YES!!!

Since I reside in Nebraska I wish I could have caught this act, but alas tragedy struck!!!  It’s kind of like my trees the power district cut down and the one they butchered (I have to let this go, but this song captures some of what I feel!).

It seems amazing to me that we would need to create a sense of urgency in education, but the ideas presented here are valid for any organization.

This is a great article from Maximum PC and takes a fun look down memory lane of web browsing:  “Surfing Since 1991:  The Evolution of Web Browsers.”

Article exerpt:

“No matter which browser you choose to surf the web with, the features you take for granted today are the result of nearly two decades of browser design. On the following pages, we’ll take you through a visual tour, in chronological order, of every major PC-based (read: not Mac) web browser that ever was, starting with the very first one: WorldWideWeb. We’ll tell you what made each one unique and, when applicable, what it contributed to modern browser development.”


U.S. Department of Education Study Finds that Good Teaching can be Enhanced with New Technology

Providing further evidence of the tremendous opportunity to use technology to improve teaching and learning, the U.S. Department of Education today released an analysis of controlled studies comparing online and face-to-face instruction.

A systematic search of the research literature from 1996 through July 2008 identified over 1,000 empirical studies of online learning. Of these, 46 met the high bar for quality that was required for the studies to be included in the analysis. The meta analysis showed that “blended” instruction – combining elements of online and face-to-face instruction – had a larger advantage relative to purely face to face instruction or instruction conducted wholly online. The analysis also showed that the instruction conducted wholly on line was more effective in improving student achievement than the purely face to face instruction. In addition, the report noted that the blended conditions often included additional learning time and instructional elements not received by students in control conditions.

“This new report reinforces that effective teachers need to incorporate digital content into everyday classes and consider open-source learning management systems, which have proven cost effective in school districts and colleges nationwide,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “We must take advantage of this historic opportunity to use American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to bring broadband access and online learning to more communities.

“To avoid being caught short when stimulus money runs out, school officials should use the short-term federal funding to make immediate upgrades to technology to enhance classroom instruction and to improve the tracking of student data,” Duncan added. “Technology presents a huge opportunity that can be leveraged in rural communities and inner-city urban settings, particularly in subjects where there is a shortage of highly qualified teachers. At the same time, good teachers can utilize new technology to accelerate learning and provide extended learning opportunities for students.”

Few rigorous research studies have been published on the effectiveness of online learning for K-12 students. The systematic search found just five experimental or controlled quasi-experimental studies comparing the learning effects of online versus face-to-face instruction for K-12 students. For this reason, caution is required in generalizing the study’s findings to the K-12 population because the results are for the most part based on studies in other settings, such as in medical, career, military training, and higher education.

“Studies of earlier generations of distance and online learning courses have concluded that they are usually as effective as classroom-based instruction,” said Marshall “Mike” Smith, a Senior Counselor to the secretary. “The studies of more recent online instruction included in this meta-analysis found that, on average, online learning, at the post-secondary level, is not just as good as but more effective than conventional face-to-face instruction..”

The study was conducted by the Center for Technology and Learning, SRI International under contract to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Policy and Program Studies Service, which commissioned the study.

The full report can be found at”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

24 Hours in Walmart on Vimeo

Posted: August 11, 2009 in Uncategorized

By the way, these are my relatives (nhokanson)!!! Way cool video!!! My cousin and I spent a considerable amount of time in Walmart, of which he took some video of on his phone. The video quality is lame, but I’ve edited them together and put it on the internet for you to see.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "24 Hours in Walmart on Vimeo", posted with vodpod

Mozilla Labs » Ubiquity

Posted: August 11, 2009 in Uncategorized

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "Mozilla Labs » Ubiquity", posted with vodpod

I am an instructional technology professional, a teacher, and this is my first day back on the job since I broke my arm 40 days ago.  I am so thankful for my kind colleagues that have welcomed me back but also pulled for me over the past few weeks.  I am glad to be back, and I’m excited to be preparing for the return of teachers and students in the coming days.  I am thankful that despite my current limitations I am able to be a part of the greatest work:  teaching and learning.  I am tired at the end of this day, but I have missed this kind of tired that comes from being a part of education and the future.  It is a good tired, and I hope you are all “good tired.”