Thursday, October 23, 2008

Class Scene

I received an email from somebody at ClassScene asking me to write a post about this company's service. It seems to be a social network site that is safe for students. But, the site does not reveal how much it costs for a school to sign up, and it's obvious there is a charge.

I'm not sure why somebody would pay for something that they can get for free.

But this leads me to a question, does anybody know of a good social network site that elementary school students can use? I work with schools all the time and one issue that we constantly confront is safety. I'd love to find a social network site that can be made private and does not require email addresses. It would also be very helpful if the teacher could approve things before they were posted.

Any feedback would be much appreciated.

By the way, if anybody has used ClassScene share some feedback on what you think of it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Smart Table for Sale

I think we might really be moving closer to the day when every student works at a smart desk that is a desk and a computer built into one.

SmartTech has released information about a new smart table that it will start selling on Thursday for pre-schoolers and elemetnary school students. It will cost between $7000 and $8000. (How much did the original desk top computers cost?)

Here's the press release:

SMARTTablerelease - Free Legal Forms

Monday, October 6, 2008

School Funding

Congressman Mike Honda's office has asked me to inform readers that he has introduced a bill into the House that would create a commission to study school funding issues.

An email from his office states, "Congressman Honda, a former teacher and principal, introduced legislation to address this problem last week. The bill would create a commission to conduct research and gather public opinions about solutions to address the inequitable distribution of resources among our schools."

Read a blog article that the Congressman wrote, here.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Watching Television

Have you ever suggested that your students watch a particular television show in the evening? Well, if CBS succeeds, not only will you be able to make these suggestions, but you'll be able to invite students into a common chat room. (It would be interesting tonight for a civics class to meet virtually to discuss the debate.) Read TechCrunch's article about it!!

Certainly, this is possible using an online class forum, like Elluminate. But, I thought that the article was interesting. Has anybody ever actually convened a face to face class virtually to do something in the evening?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Donors Choose

Are you familiar with Donors Choose? Well, you should be!! It's description states: is a simple way to provide students in need with resources that our public schools often lack. At this not-for-profit web site, teachers submit project proposals for materials or experiences their students need to learn. These ideas become classroom reality when concerned individuals, whom we call Citizen Philanthropists, choose projects to fund.

Cell Phones in Learning

I just came across this blog that has an awful lot of interesting information about using cell phones for learning.