Friday, September 21, 2007

Paper Thin TV's...What's Next?

I had a conversation with my Professor about the idea of a computer being on a piece of plastic paper. So I did some research and found a technology called OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes). This technology is quite expensive but Sony and Kodak are already using it in digital cameras. The TV companies already have prototypes for very thin TVs and cell phones. Can you imagine a 1/4 inch thick 80in TV, it would be a lot easier to move around and steal.

My question, is how can this change education? What if students were given a small 8x10 OLED that they could view their textbooks and Internet via a wireless network? Think of all the money that is spent on textbooks and paper in any given school, this could revolutionize education! When ever I talk about students using online text books, I always get resistance stating its hard to read on a computer screen. Students read online (digital natives) all the time, maybe its the adults (digital immigrants) that have the problems with it. When I think about it, I do most of my reading online, I would love to have a sheet 1/4in thick with me to read different blogs and surf the web. Oh, the possibilities!

Check out OLED link to see about the technology.

Freudenrich, Ph.d., Craig. "How OLEDs Work." How Stuff Works. 21 Sept. 2007 .

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Morpheus is off!!!!!!

I am so excited about the fact that the furry little guy is on his way to another school! It's weird, all the power of his success is now out of my hands and in the hands of all the great teachers that have signed up. I did not get to do as much as I expected with him. My students pretty much met him and now he is off. I found that the beginning of the school year was a tough time to introduce him, but you live and learn, below is a picture of me with Morpheus before he left us.

So what's next? It will be interesting to see the ideas that everyone comes up with to utilize Morpheus in classrooms and schools. I can't wait to see all the content that will be created on the wiki and the blog posts. I am hoping that Morpheus will be used to integrate technology and children will come to understand Web 2.0 and its various uses through Morpheus' visits. In addition I am hopeful Morpheus will be able to travel abroad. I have a contact in Africa and I know Morpheus would love to visit. Keep checking Morpheus' site to see where he is going. I would also like to set up some Skype video conferences between myself and Morpheus' host school to keep tabs on him.

On another note, I looked at all my comments and I wanted to say thank you to everyone that gave me your insight. The key thing I have come to realize is that I need to do what I do and not worry about trying to compete with everyone else out there creating and doing great things. I just need to embrace their ideas and take all your insights to shape my journey through all the great technologies! My niche will come. Morpheus may be my mark on the world for now and I can handle that!


Monday, September 10, 2007

My Classroom Wiki

Today was the first day with students and I started out showing them my classroom wiki. I plan on using this wiki as the main focus of all my lessons this year. I enjoyed being able to write my classroom rules with all my class's input. My main focus was to let them know, they are going to help me to create the content on this wiki. For my kick off class, I pretty much had a list of things we wanted to talk about, class rules, grading policy, Internet Safety, Morpheus to name a few and then I had links to different pages on the site. lot of the pages were blank, and as the classes saw the site we changed it and added the content they wanted.

I tried to explain to them how a wiki works, and the only way I could explain it was by having them draw a picture together. I started with one person and told the class they could only draw one line. Which ended up being a line equals not taking the pencil off the paper. Some of the pictures came out pretty well. Here are the three best might have to click on them to see them a little better.

These pictures were drawn by 30 students...I found it pretty interesting. I asked them how they could have made it better and they stated that they should have decided what to draw before they started. I explained that most wikis have a topic, like ours that it is about technology.

So one of my main issues is how to get my students to access the wiki and ass content on their own. The majority of my students are not 13, so with out parent permission they can not create their own wikispaces user name and password. I had the idea to create a generic ID the students can use in class to add content. Or I thought they can create content and then e-mail it to me and I will post it. I am still sorting that one out, but I feel like the site is going to become a pretty powerful teaching tool and a resource for students outside my classroom.