Life Long Learning in Action

Sunday, December 5, 2010

[Attention] el/ed/tech has moved...

Wow! It has gotten dusty around these parts!

I forgot to post on here about the change to el/ed/tech. I realized this when I saw the Blogspot version of this site posted over at Wes Fryer's Moving at the Speed of Creativity.

You can now access el/ed/tech at this new address...

I also have been working on edu.Mac.nation...

Both sites go through periods of dormancy due to other projects that I am working on so make sure to subscribe for the latest posts!

You can subscribe to el/ed/tech here...

and edu.Mac.nation here...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The SMART Table: Classroom Desktop Computing

Hmm. Interesting. Reminds me of the Microsoft Surface.

SMART - SMART Table.jpg

It is hard to form an opinion yet based on an advertisement. I would like to see how this is used within the context of an actual classroom. Also I wonder if the table runs with its own open source operating system, or comes with a proprietary SMART O.S. Most likely I assume the table will function like the SMART Board and can be plugged into a local computer.

What do you think about this?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Acquia Debuts Drupal for Free": My Thoughts...

Drupal - Content Management System | Acquia-1.jpg

This is pretty exciting news especially since I use Drupal for my classroom website! It could mean improvements in the future such as a one click update module (I have hoped for this for a LONG TIME) just like the Wordpress InstantUpgrade plugin that I love. I looked around a little to find some business information on Acquia and I found out who is running the show over there.

Acquia Readies Commercial Drupal CMS

"Acquia is headed up by Dries Buytaert, the founder and still a lead developer of Drupal."

(Via GigaOM.)

I believe that this is a good thing because it hopefully means that there will be significant initiative to push out updates/improvements to the community instead of keeping them proprietary and closed source.

At least this is what I hope!

I just installed Acquia's flavor of Drupal on my hosted server (the same that hosts this blog) and already I really like the administration panel across the top of the page.

Site building | Mr. Circe_s Website.jpg

Later on I will have to copy over some of the modules I use over at my classroom website to see how they are compatible.

Still looking forward to the DrupalEd update that should be coming soon. I will wait until then to make my decision on which version to start pulling my content over to.

Acquia Debuts Drupal for Free

"Acquia has announced the availability of Acquia Drupal, a free and commercially supported distribution of the popular Drupal open source social publishing system. They also unveiled the Acquia Network, which offers subscription-based access to technical support and remote network services that simplify the development and operation of Drupal Web sites. Entry level subscriptions to the Acquia Network will be free of charge through the end of the year.

For those that aren’t overly familiar with Drupal, it’s an open source web development and content management platform that publishes, manages and organizes a wide variety of content on websites. Tens of thousands of people and organizations are using Drupal.

With the release of Acquia Drupal with its streamlined packaging of Drupal and a support system via the Acquia Network, there will definitely be a tremendous increase in Drupal developers and websites powered by this Drupal.

All subscribers to the Acquia Network will gain access to the Acquia Network’s subscriber forums, remote network services such as software update notifications, uptime monitoring, Mollom spam blocking, and Acquia Drupal documentation.

What all this means is that many more companies, especially enterprise class entities, will be much more willing to dip their toes in the Drupal pool now that there’s a commercial grade package available that includes tech support. If all this sounds familiar, you’re probably thinking about Linux and how similar its path has been to the corporate world. At one point, only extreme geeks used Linux, until some big names like IBM and Novell started proving technical support plans with their Linux offerings. That allowed larger companies to try Linux much the same way they will try Drupal thanks to the Acquia partnership and support offering.

It seems like the natural evolutionary progression for all open source projects to go from a handful of geek’s using it in their basement to the corporate enterprise once a commercial package with tech support is distributed. It will be interesting to see what kind of websites and social networks are born from this marriage between Acquia and Drupal."

(Via Mashable!.)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Found this ironic...

Yesterday I was at the store and instead of seeing a traditional paper shredder I saw this instead...


Would this have caught your eye as well?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Shiny Eyes

The other day my wife, son, and I traveled upstate to spend some time with our family. Along the way we listened to a couple TED talks. These talks are free to download via the TED website or you can subscribe to a feed through iTunes. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design and their annual conference brings together some of the most interesting speakers from around the world. These individuals range from famous politicians to scientists doing some amazing work. They are given 18 minutes to give the "talk of their lives." Often I look for talks related to education or technology but somehow a talk on classical music slipped in.

We had finished listening to four other talks when I decided we should give the last one a listen.

We listened and we loved it.

The talk was given by Benjamin Zander and the most memorable part of the talk is when he speaks about "shiny eyes". He relates his experiences as a conductor and his personal realization that he wanted to consistently "awaken possibilities in other people." In order to assess how he was "awakening" these possibilities all he had to do was look at their eyes to see if they were "shining".

"Who am I being if my players eyes are not shining?"

For parents, relatives, and teachers...

"Who am I being that my children's eyes are not shining?"

As a parent and a teacher this caused me to pause and think about what I do daily to awaken possibilities in my son's life and the lives of my students. Often we can get caught up in the daily grind leading to the simple things and glorious opportunities passing us by.

Take a listen to the talk and enjoy. We loved it and I hope you do too!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

iTunes U for K-12

Pretty exciting news came my way via Kelly Dumont.

iTunes U, a wonderful free service full of rich content from universities and community colleges across the nation, is now spreading to K-12!

Kelly has a great post on his blog where he talks a little bit about the program.

"I believe this project will be somewhat of a game changer. Here K12 ed will have a central gathering place for resources, be they audio, video, text-based, etc." - Kelly Dumont

In order to check out some of the schools and state programs who were part of the the launch you can find the K-12 link within iTunes. After launching iTunes and the iTunes Store all you need to do is click on "iTunes U"

Then click on "K-12"...


After you have navigated your way through you can select one of the schools or organizations from the list. For right now the list is short but I am sure the list and interface will grow with time.

Here is a look at Michigan's MILearning page...


While you are checking out the K-12 content you should definitely take some time to explore the university content. Neat stuff!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Google Applications and Google Sketchup

Tonight is my last night of class for a ten session graduate class at SUNY New Paltz which is part of the Classroom Technology Institute (CTI) summer classes. The title of the course is Google Applications for Teachers. I had a lot of fun taking this course! Here is a list of some of the different Google tools that we have explored.


Google Calendar

Google Documents

Google SketchUp


Google Reader

Google Earth


and iGoogle

Quite a bit of these web-based applications I am familiar with and use. Regardless of what I use I find there is always new things to learn about these types of tools. It is interesting hearing from other teachers how they look to use these tools in their classrooms.

One tool I had a lot of fun playing and working with was Google SketchUp. This application brings me back to my technical drawing classes back in high school!

Here is a quick snapshot I took from the project I worked on for the course. I decided to try my best at drafting up a model of the school I teach in.

Google Sketchup

On the left monitor is an aerial view of my school via Google Earth. On the right screen I tried my best to draw the different portions. It is amazing how powerful a free application such as this is. Kevin Jarrett informed me via Twitter that Google SketchUp Pro is free for educators. I look forward to going through the process of obtaining one of these free teacher licenses in order to see the type of features that are present in the Pro version.

Enough about me...

My question for teachers out there is...what Google tool do you use the most personally? Also, which is your favorite to use with your students?

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!