I’m participating on a panel right now, with Conn McQuinn and Tim Laurer. Tim is talking now about his school. I am amazed. I have a sense from the flow of information that teaching and learning is accessable at any time, any where. The students write to a wiki that actually resides on the teacher’s laptop. The laptop, evidently serves as a server during the day, students write to it, and the teacher can access the students writing at home. Plus the student’s write is safe.
Everytime I hear Tim talk about his school, it’s like hearing the ideas for the first time. Very amazing. He’s mention Google Earth a lot. One of the most interesting stories is a FireFox extenion that they have installed on the student computers where if they look up a book on Amazon, they also get a reference to that book’s availability at the local bookstore, and at their public library. Now think about that kind of interconnected access to information.
Conn tells a story about loading Apple II computers. He then displayes his new iPod Nano, and says that the memory on his Nano is the equivalent of 5,500 vanloads of computers in early 1980s. McQuinn is impressed with document cameras and projectors. He says that it does allow teachers to protect their position as learning leader, but what happens, invariably, is that the students use the device to share their work. It becomes a point of classroom conversation. The kids love having their finger blown up on the screen, as they point things out.
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