I saw this story in USAToday, while in Atlanta, but wasn’t able to pull it up until I found the original source, (First-Ever State-By-State Report on Internet Connection Speed Shows U.S. Far Behind Other Industrialized Nations) just a minute ago — a report from the Communications workers of America. It’s important to note that the union has a vested interest in working to increase Internet speeds in the U.S.
The first paragraph of the report reads…
Washington, DC.â€”Results released today (Jun 25, 2007) of the first-ever state-by-state report on Internet connection speed reveal that the United States is falling far behind other industrialized nations. The report, based on aggregated data from nearly 80,000 users, shows that the median real-time download speed in the U.S. is a mere 1.9 megabits per second (mbps). The best available estimates show average download speeds in Japan of 61 mbps, in South Korea of 45 mbps, in France of 17 mbps and in Canada of 7 mbps.
I extracted the data from the PDF file, and imported it into an MS Excel spreadheet. You can get it here. The top 10 states (fasted) for download speeds are:
- Rhode Island
- New Jersey
- New York
- New Hampshire
The bottom ten (slowest) are:
- North Dakota
- West Virginia
- South Dakota
“First-Ever State-By-State Report on Internet Connection Speed Shows U.S. Far Behind Other Industrialized Nations.” CWA. 25 Jun 2007. Communications Workshops of America. 30 Jun 2007 <http://www.cwa-union.org/news/page.jsp?itemID=28663094>.
I’m finally grounded again, sitting in my office, too early in the morning, with some nagging issues on my mind. ..and I wish that I could cause them to jell in my head so that I knew what I’m getting ready to write about. I guess I’m hoping that writing will cause it all to make sense.
The first thing I did, when I got up (afterchecking my Twitter listing), was to run a quick search on Technorati for the number of blog posts that mention NECC 2007 and compare them to mentions of NECC 2006. I searched for occurrances of necc06, necc2006, necc07, and necc2007. These, I reason, would pull up blog entries that are likely tagged, assuming that these are more sophisticated bloggers. As a second thought, I also search for blogs that mention “NECC 2006″ and “NECC 2007″ to include bloggers who are not yet tagging their entries.
As you can see, the blogging activity increased pretty significantly this year. I suspect that there are a variety of reasons. More educators are blogging, and many more opportunities to blog were available to us in Atlanta. It was certainly a conference that shined like no other, as it has already reached position 35 on Hitchhikr’s sorting of visited conference pages (the #1 position held by NECC 2006).
|Just a picture that I took in Charleston. Lots of energy.|
But I think my itch started with Steve Dembo’s June 28 Twitter..
Ok, I need feedback on this one. If EduBloggerCon and the Bloggers Cafe was the best part of NECC… Do we (bloggers) need NECC to do it?
and I very glibly replied
…i think we need necc. i also think necc needs us.
I just watched Chris Walsh’s NECC live wrap-up with ron Cravey, Donella Evonluk, Anita McAnear, and Linda Whitacre. It was mentioned that there were almost 20,000 educators in attendance in Atlanta. They were teaching, learning, conversing, and taking oh so much home with them —
and compared to that, we (bloggers) are just a cult.
I think that what we are doing is extraordinarily important. We are drilling through barriers that insist on keeping things the same. But the barriers persist. Too many schools still can’t view blog pages, podcasts, or other social sites. Most teachers have no time built into their work schedules to participate in these conversations. Way too many children do not have access to the technology they need to become in any way acquainted with today’s information landscape. The concepts of Web 2.0 remain couched in tech-speak that is either to esoteric for many to understand or it down-right turns people off.
I guess I’m just trying to force a reality check on myself, now that I’m back home in my office and planning for more work over the coming months. This year I’ll have a number of opportunities to speak to education leaders, both administrative and political. It’s a huge and humbling responsibility, and I wish, so much, that I could just bring them NECC, or at least its energy.
I know one thing. The cult is growing, and it’s happening because of the energy, passion, and inventiveness of the educators who are driving it. If that’s all it’s going to take, then we’re home free.
Just home from NECC 2007 and a side trip to Columbia for an all-day workshop with technology and media educators, and administrators from Richland Two School District, and scanning through some of the buzz about this years mega conference — only to run across a very interesting conference put on by a small school in New Zealand, Flaxmere Kid’s Conference. It’s kids, teaching kids, about how they are using contemporary technologies to do their work.
Iron Gate and Peterhead came together to showcase what they have been doing with ICT over the past couple of months. We had groups of children demonstrating how Google SketchUp, Art Rage and PowerPoint worked, we had some working with a green screen and my kids showed off their Talk and Write work with Taradale Intermediate School.
Alas, I think we (NECCsters) may congratulate ourselves a little too much More about that later!
I was lucky enough to run into David Thornburg in the exhibitor’s hall on Tuesday afternoon, and he directed me to two pretty interesting products. One was a portable computer called, one2oneMate. It is an AlphaSmart style contraption that is actually a full computer running Linux and a pretty rich set of instructional and productivity applications. The OS is tricked out for speed and memory management, so it is mostly not possible to install your own applications — which I think is a weakness. But what’s there is better than anything else if seen for $399 (Volume discounts available). If you can recommend some other inexpensive portable computers, please do.
Thornburg also pointed me to P3D, a virtual walk through of the human body. It was very slick, when used with an interactive white board. You can grab part of the body, expand, turn, and enter, exploring the visual aspects easily and interactively. You can see some video demos by going to the web site, at http://www.p3d.com.br/. Click your preferred language (the company is in Brazil), then products, then Biology 1, Biology 2, or Geography. They are working on a Physics product.
One of the aspect of the product that I found intriguing was that there is no text utilized, enabling it to be used regardless of language and when appropriate, regardless of age.
At some point in the next few days, I’d like to write about about some of the trends that I saw in this years NECC Exhibit Hall.
It’s the morning after NECC. Brenda and I left Atlanta just before Tyson’s keynote (bummer) and after picking up a couple of video dongles for my MacBook (having left mine in the Omni on Sunday morning and discovering that my backup was not compaitble at the spotlight). I woke up in Charleston around 7:00 and set out hunting for free wifi and good espresso for fuel. I found both, after three near misses, and I’m sitting here preparing for a workshop in Columbia tomorrow.
Charleston is a magnificent little city in the low country of South Carolina. If you want to learn more, read anything (everything) by Pat Conroy. He’s the reason I became a teacher. But before I get back to my preps, I’d like to set down some thoughts that were running around in my head early this morning, just as I woke.
I’ve already talked about some of very interesting and powerful qualities of this year’s NECC. It was, and everyone I talked to agreed, an extraordinary event. Read NECC is Almost Too Good on 2Â¢ Worth and just stop by Hitchhikr’s NECC to read the stream of blogospheric conversations imitating from Atlanta over the past week — and don’t miss the pictures.
Educational technology conferences, and most conferences, are places where you go to learn — where you go to get taught. Certainly there are open and extremely valuable conversations in the halls, and this is a quality that edubloggers (even in the U.S.) have been talking about for some time. But, primarily, it is for sessions to go sit in and learn and think and then share when and where you can.
At NECC07, for many of us, the session were no longer primary. They were important and they were essential. But for me and many I talked to, it was the conversations that happened in the hall, and especially in the Blogger Cafe that was where the real learning, experimenting, and discovery took place. Certainly this did not happen with everyone, or perhaps not even the majority. It might even be an echo chamber of bloggeratery. But there was energy there and I sense that the energy was a big part of this event and that it will continue to expand.
What I got up this morning thinking, wishing, hoping, was that this was, perhaps, that we are seeing a maturing of the profession, where educators are gathering, face-2-face, and over the airways, to teacher, learn, share, experiment, and explore, respecting each other and ourselves and our ability to grow our knowledge, our experience, and our mission — beyond many of the barriers that persist.
Wow! That was pretty heavy for a day I’m supposed to be taking off…
I’m sitting in a spotlight session, being delivered by Joyce Valenza, Information Fluency and Web 2.0. She’s tlaking about how we blend two ideas, info fluency and these new tools. Her confession? She’s actually 1.8. A few of us are 2.0, but most of us are somewhere between 1 and 2. This is clever and useful, but I’d like to figure our how to express this as layers. Web 1 is still here and will nearly always be with us.
She also suggests that we should be bringing our children’s information experiences into the school library. To do that, the library needs to look like their outside the school information experience. I’m not sure what that looks like, but you can’t just say, we want you to talk about your video games, and you can bring your Gameboys into our media center. Joyce’s school would be a great place to visit.
I need to start paying attention. We too much information and web sites.
Yesterday was a great day at NECC. No presentations. Just listening, conversing, and learning. Today I have two panel sessions and the spotlight (2:00PM Murphy 2/3). But I think that Sunday was the quintessential day of NECC for me. It started out at the ISTE Leadership Symposium, rubbing elbows with state technology leaders (State Educational Technology Directors Association — SETDA).
Then I headed down to my pre-conference workshop on Advanced Blogging, which was kicked off by Chris Lehmann and Marcie Hull. It was a challenging workshop as some of the participants were already advanced and many didn’t have a blog yet. It was a bit frustrating, but it was NECC. We’re all over the place here, experienced and noobs — and we can all learn from each other, because folks who are new to this have a perspective that continues to be invaluable to the rest of us.
After the workshop, I rushed over to the International reception and was able to say about three words to about 50 people. To many people, to much to say and listen too, and too little time. This is very exciting.
Then over to an amazing keynote address, the notes of which I will post soon. Andrew Zolli was high energy and all of the information and ideas he shared was relevant to education in general and TO US. I would love to see it again, but in slow motion. Zolli is young, and so, talks fast. I’d also like to see the comedy as one presentation and the content as another. This is no criticism, just some supplementals I’d like to have.
Finally, I had dinner with Chris Craft, from South Carolina, Vicki Davis, from Georgia, Jeff Wipple, from New Brunswick Canada, and Julie Lindsay from Australia, who teaches in Bangladesh, but fixing to take a new job in Qatar. This is what NECC is about.
Nations coming together to make nations of ideas.
This is a great conference! But I’m still trying to figure out this convention center. Every time I think I have the geography figured out, it all crumbles. My first impression was that it was shaped like at J, but the ends of the “J” are never where I expected. Infact what was there yesterday, isn’t there today. It’t like a quantum facilitate that behaves relative to where you want to go — keeping it a place you are trying to get to and never quite making it. — or am I being paranoid…
Right now, I’m in the Bloggers Cafe, doing some blogging and reviewing the slides for this afternoons Spotlight address (2:00PM Murphy)
I’m in a session about programming with Michael Kolling. He works for Kent University in Canterbury, England, but actually from Germany, as evidence by the two little dots over the “O” in his last name, which I can’t figure out how to make with my blog editor.
He says that we have a huge shortage of programmers and other computer science fields because we drive out kids out of any interest in these field by teaching them computer science/computer applications. We kill them with word processing and Excel. He’s talking about programming, games, and Java.
He’s demonstrating a program now that creates virtual insects that are programmed to behave as ants. They randomly wander around until they find food. Then they come home laying down feramones. They need to leave high school interested, enthusastic, and curious about computers, then that’s all they need. When they come into his university class curious and enthused, then he can teach them anything. This is actually true with many subjects.
Michael is promoted a project called Greenfoot. This is very similar to what I’m thinking a Second Life for children should be. No just a place to interact and socialize, but also to create experience through objects that behave.
I was just walking through the hall with my friend Yvonne Hallman, and it occurred to me how much learning is going on here. You’re either in-session or in-world. You are either having fantastic conversations in the hall, or engaged in one of the poster session or the new lounges. Right out side the room I’m in right now (B303 Avatars) is what looks like an impromptu session, where people are sitting on the floor, on sofas, standing and leaning. You can’t turn around here without learning.keep looking »