Friday, September 29, 2006

Global Effects on Classrooms

I came across this article and it really made me sit up and think. Companies all over the world have sourced their product manufacturing overseas for years due to reduced costs (basically countries where the minimum wage is really low). We as consumers have more or less accepted this as our end product is then much less expensive.

Now education is being sourced overseas for the same reasons?

Two things from this article that stand out for me.....1. the online environment is definately taking hold. 2. what education standards are being adhered to? Are we moving towards one global educational standard?

When a teacher moves to another country/state/province they go through very strict checks and double checks with the various teacher councils/government to ensure their qualifications are not only real but to ensure their teacher training is to the standards of that country/state/province. In some cases upgrading of courses is required before a provisional teaching certificate is given.

Who checks the eTutors from these countries?

What do you think?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

UNESCO releases study on innovative media use of youth

UNESCO released the findings of a study carried out by Sanjay Asthana from Middle Tennessee State University on the basis of case studies in Ghana, Haiti, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Mozambique, Nigeria, Somalia, South Africa, Vietnam, and Zambia, the study examines how youth get involved with an assortment of media including newspaper and magazine, radio, television and video, the Internet, and personal digital assistants.

“This book will be useful as a research and reference guide to community-based media centres, media education practitioners, non governmental organizations, policy-makers, planners, media professionals, social activists, researchers, and others ”, says UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General Abdul Waheed Khan.

The document can be downloaded directly from this link.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Polar Science

A team of scientists are leaving for Antarctica and will be sending data back to those schools that have signed up to participate. This collaboration is brought to you free of charge by the McMaster University YES I Can! Science Project in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Biology Department of Colorado State University.

The Ice Team led by Dr. Shane B. Kanatous (other members: Dr. Stephen J. Trumble, Dr. Shawn R. Noren, Jay W. Davis, and Linnea Pearson) will be performing the field research, analysis and collecting samples from McMurdo Station in Antarctica. The Lab Team, led by Dr. Thomas Hawke (other members: Peter Jaksa, Jesse Wolfstadt, and Sophia Kapchinsky), will be performing experiments and analyzing samples in his lab at York University in Toronto. The Teams will be in constant communication via email and web logs (that you will get to look in on!).

If you missed signing up for 2006...look forward to next years project. Although it might not be too late to sign-up....

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


This gallery software makes web albums of your digital images. Easy to use. Just drag and drop an image folder onto JAlbum, select an output directory and press "Make album."

JAlbum runs on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and others and speaks 29 languages.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Acronym Finder

Ever have the need to figure out what WYSIWYG stands for?
Acronym Finder does just that....scours through its database to hopefully respond to your acronym queries.

With more than 500,000 human-edited entries, Acronym Finder is the world's largest and most comprehensive dictionary of acronyms, abbreviations, and initialisms.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Media Awareness Network

MNet's primary focus has been to help bring teachers and librarians up to speed on the issues emerging as young people go online.

MNet’s Web site hosts a wide variety of resources including:
- More than 300 lesson plans for educators to use in classrooms
- Professional development resources for librarians and teachers
- Tips, information and practical tools for parents
- An ever-expanding database of articles, research, reports and other reference materials on current and emerging media issues

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Cmap Tools

Cmap Tools ia a free knowledge modeling kit. It helps users to construct, navigate, share, and criticize knowledge models represented as Concepts Maps.

Use in the classroom for any student collaboration or brainstorming project. ICT students can use this to help build any of web or multimedia projects.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Free Downloads For The Classroom

PhotoStory 3 - free program from Microsoft to help bring your digital photos to life.
Audacity - free audio editing program (be sure to also download and install the lame.dll file - this will enable you to export your sound files as .mp3 files).
ccMIXTER - a community music site featuring remixes licensed under Creative Commons.

Tools for students and teachers to use to create digital photo stories.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Professionally Speaking

The Ontario College of Teachers commissioned COMPAS INC. to conduct a survey of teachers in the province of Ontario, Canada. The survey was done by phone of 1,000 teachers during the month of July (summer holidays). From an ICT perspective it is interesting that the teachers felt the Internet and computer games had little or no value to the student in the classroom (not helpful and were harmful).

I am sad to see that teachers still haven't embraced the tools that our students use everyday to engage them in the classroom.

One of my favourite quotes by Douglas Rushkoff:

"Our kids may be younger than us, but they are also newer. They are the latest model of human being, and are equipped with a whole lot of new features.

Looking at the world of children is not looking backwards at our own pasts--it's looking ahead.

They are our evolutionary future."

What do you think?

Monday, September 18, 2006


Pando lets you send your home videos, giant presentations and entire folders of original quality photos to anyone with an email address.

Friday, September 15, 2006

FastStone - Image Viewer

ImageViewersupports all major graphic formats including BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, GIF, PNG, PCX, TIFF, WMF, ICO and TGA. It has a nice array of features such as image viewing, management, comparison, red-eye removal, emailing, resizing, cropping, color adjustments, musical slideshow and much more.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Campus Technology

Campus Technology is a monthly publication focusing exclusively on the use of technology across all areas of higher education. Campus Technology provides in-depth coverage of specific technologies and their implementations, including wireless networks and mobile devices; enterprise resource planning; eLearning and course management systems; ‘smart classroom’ technologies; telecom, Web, and security solutions - all the important issues and trends for campus IT decision makers.

Articles and support for all ICT Directors and IT decision makers.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The New iPod Shuffle

The world's smallest digital music player (DMP). 1GB of memory onboard, 12 hours of battery life, holds about 240 songs, weighs about 1/2 an ounce.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

MusicJam - Portable Effects Mixer for the iPod

What a cool idea for any school music program! The iPod is a tool that can be used throughout many different school the music program won't be left out.

Now students can play backing tracks or songs and sing along. There is an added echo effect that can be added to your voice to make it sound like you are on stage!

Includes a high-quality microphone, cables, AC adapter, and microphone stand clamp. Also included is an electric guitar input--the MusicJam has a guitar preamp with Tone and Distortion controls.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Digital Web Magazine

Digital Web Magazine is an online magazine intended for professional web designers, web developers and information architects. The magazine consists primarily of work contributed by web authors, as well as by others who occasionally delve into the web realm.

Articles are great for senior ICT programmes and web development courses.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Comic Book Creator

The Comic Book Creator software uses a simple Drag 'n Drop format that lets you import digital images from whatever discipline you are teaching, whether it be Maths, Science, History, English, ICT, Art, ESOL, any program and any age group.

The software comes with over 500 different Comic Book style layout and design page templates to choose from, which makes it easy for teacher or student with even with minimal computer skills, creativity and design skills and knowledge to create masterpieces.

I had fun with this software taking photos from a recent holiday and making a "Comic Book" that I was able to share with our friends and family back in Canada. It is very easy software to use.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Anti-Phishing Working Group

The Phishing and Crimeware map displays the most recent data collected by Websense Security Labs (WS Labs) and provides a historical look into where Phishing and Crimeware related websites are hosted on the Internet.

What is Phishing and Pharming?
"Phishing attacks use both social engineering and technical subterfuge to steal consumers' personal identity data and financial account credentials. Social-engineering schemes use 'spoofed' e-mails to lead consumers to counterfeit websites designed to trick recipients into divulging financial data such as credit card numbers, account usernames, passwords and social security numbers. Hijacking brand names of banks, e-retailers and credit card companies, phishers often convince recipients to respond. Technical subterfuge schemes plant crimeware onto PCs to steal credentials directly, often using Trojan keylogger spyware.

Pharming crimeware misdirects users to fraudulent sites or proxy servers, typically through DNS hijacking or poisoning."
(Anti-Phishing Working Group)

Use this information in ICT, Business, Law and Social Sciences classes.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Elgg is an open source software platform designed to allow people to easily connect and share resources. Elgg allows you to create a social network and host it on your own infrastructure, modifying the features to fit your specific needs.

Users establish personal digital identities and connect with other people, collaborate with them and discover new resources through their connections. Plugins allow users on different social networks to collaborate, and provide specific functionality for tasks like project management, mobile browsing and collaboration through user-controlled wikis.

This can be used for student or teacher blogs and as a podcasting platform.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Backpack is an online tool that helps collect, organize and get things done.

You can keep your to-dos, notes, ideas, and calendar together online. Check online to see some of the examples that people are using Backpack for....think of all the uses you might be able to use it in your a planning collaboration tool for student groups as an example.

Monday, September 04, 2006


Lulu is a unique site that has been around for about 4 years. During its maturity it has become a "one stop shop" for budding journalists. The publishing process has been put into the hands of the writer. Whether you are developing a paperback book, hardcover book, calendar, CDs, DVDs, e-books, brochures....this site will help you publish these. No set-up fees, no minimum can set your own price. Each product is printed as it is ordered so no excess inventory.

This can be used for a class fund raiser, student artbooks, student poetry books, summary of a sport teams season.....the ideas are endless.

Friday, September 01, 2006

TED Talks

Some of the most intriguing figures of this century. Talking about creativity, education, technology, etc...

Each week there are new them as videos or listen to them as audio. Load them to your iPod so you can listen to them in the coffee shop.