Saturday, September 19, 2009

Post weekly (weekly)

  • This should be bookmarked on every geography teacher's computer, I think. Great data.

    tags: maps, usgs

  • Play monopoly with real streets using Google maps.

    tags: google, game, monopoly

  • This is an excellent article. I think every school should take this to a meeting with Administrators to discuss bringing sanity to this issue once and for all.

    tags: filtering

    • Instead of blocking the many exit ramps and side routes on the information superhighway, they have decided that educating students and teachers on how to navigate the Internet’s vast resources responsibly, safely, and productively—and setting clear rules and expectations for doing so—is the best way to head off online collisions.
    • “We are known in our district for technology, so I don’t see how you can teach kids 21st-century values if you’re not teaching them digital citizenship and appropriate ways of sharing and using everything that’s available on the Web,” said Shawn Nutting, the technology director for the Trussville district. “How can you, in 2009, not use the Internet for everything? It blows me away that all these schools block things out” that are valuable.
    • While schools are required by federal and state laws to block pornography and other content that poses a danger to minors, Internet-filtering software often prevents students from accessing information on legitimate topics that tend to get caught in the censoring process: think breast cancer, sexuality, or even innocuous keywords that sound like blocked terms. One teacher who commented on one of Mr. Fryer’s blog posts, for example, complained that a search for biographical information on a person named Thacker was caught by his school’s Internet filter because the prohibited term “hacker” is included within the spelling of the word.
    • The K-2 school provides e-mail addresses to each of its 880 students and maintains accounts on the Facebook and Twitter networking sites. Children can also interact with peers in other schools and across the country through protected wiki spaces and blogs the school has set up.
    • “Rather than saying this is a scary tool and something bad could happen, instead we believe it’s an incredible tool that connects you with the entire world out there. ... [L]et’s show you the best way to use it.”
    • As Trussville students move through the grades and encounter more-complex educational content and expectations, their Internet access is incrementally expanded.
    • In 2001, the Children’s Internet Protection Act instituted new requirements for schools to establish policies and safeguards for Internet use as a condition of receiving federal E-rate funding.

      Many districts have responded by restricting any potentially troublesome sites. But many educators and media specialists complain that the filters are set too broadly and cannot discriminate between good and bad content. Drawing the line between what material is acceptable and what’s not is a local decision that has to take into account each district’s comfort level with using Internet content

    • The American Civil Liberties Union sued Tennesee’s Knox County and Nashville school districts on behalf of several students and a school librarian for blocking Internet sites related to gay and lesbian issues. While the districts’ filtering software prohibited students from accessing sites that provided information and resources on the subject, it did not block sites run by organizations that promoted the controversial view that homosexuals can be “rehabilitated” and become heterosexuals. Last month, a federal court dismissed the lawsuit after school officials agreed to unblock the sites.
    • Students are using personal technology tools more readily to study subject matter, collaborate with classmates, and complete assignments than they were several years ago, but they are generally asked to “power down” at school and abandon the electronic resources they rely on for learning outside of class, the survey found. Administrators generally cite safety issues and concerns that students will misuse such tools to dawdle, cheat, or view inappropriate content in school as reasons for not offering more open online access to students. ("Students See Schools Inhibiting Their Use of New Technologies,", April 1, 2009.)
    • A reportRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader commissioned by the NSBA found that social networking can be beneficial to students, and urged school board members to “find ways to harness the educational value” of so-called Web 2.0 tools, such as setting up chat rooms or online journals that allow students to collaborate on their classwork. The 2007 report also told school boards to re-evaluate policies that ban or tightly restrict the use of the Internet or social-networking sites.
    • Federal Requirements for Schools on Internet Safety

      The Children’s Internet Protection Act, or CIPA, is a federal law intended to block access to offensive Web content on school and library computers. Under CIPA, schools and libraries that receive funding through the federal E-rate program for Internet access must:

      • Have an Internet-safety policy and technology-protection measures in place. The policy must include measures to block or filter Internet access to obscene photos, child pornography, and other images that can be harmful to minors;

      • Educate minors about appropriate and inappropriate online behavior, including activities like cyberbullying and social networking;

      • Adopt and enforce a policy to monitor online activities
      of minors; and

      • Adopt and implement policies related to Internet use by minors that address access to inappropriate online materials, student safety and privacy issues, and the hacking of unauthorized sites.

      Source: Federal Communications Commission

    • “We believe that you can’t have goals about kids’ collaborating globally and then block their ability to do that,” said Becky Fisher, the Virginia district’s technology coordinator.
  • Very interesting read, I think

    tags: information

    • For example, a recently announced storage technology using carbon nanotubes may allow digital information to be held without degradation for a billion years or more – an innovation that would eliminate the major shortcoming of the digital archive.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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