In wonderful news YouTube announces a partnership with Creative Commons to let people use Creative Commons licensed music easily in any uploaded videos. They have an online editor to let you do so. This is great for teachers and students creating video projects. I often find myself helping students and teachers walking about of copyright traps when they just slap an iTunes song on a video and want to upload them to the web. People can also elect to share their end-product videos back into the commons allowing others to use their work. Talk about creating a useful video!
Microsoft previews the highly touch-centric Windows 8 operating system. I like the idea of tiles, but wonder if that is the ideal interface metaphor for the next shift. I'm already victim of app fatigue, I wonder if tile fatigue is next. I don't mean to be a doubter, this looks quite beautiful. Just keeping up with the change right now seems to be overwhelming for technologists, let alone users.
Customers will be able to borrow Kindle books from over 11,000 local libraries to read on Kindle and free Kindle reading apps
Whispersyncing of notes, highlights and last page read to work for Kindle library books
Wow, in an incredible marketplace move, Amazon announced that later this year over 11,000 libraries will offer the ability to take out books on any Kindle (the actual device, iPad, iPhone, Android phone, etc). You will be able to highlight and annotate in the books. Then, if you check that book out again, or buy it, it preserves your annotations. It is definitely worth thinking about as schools watch e-reader developments.
I personally have read 10 books via the Kindle app on my Android phone. I have loved it, but have some critiques. That is for another post, I suppose.
Here is the article on Amazon's website, although via an odd URL that they seem to use for news releases.
The title of this post is certainly meant as a joke, but I thought it was catchy. I do worry about the future of books, but that is for another post...
This is as much a note to myself as to any of my readers, but ed tech folks need to be careful about promising too much to leaders who agree to blog 'n' tweet. John Maeda, President of RISD, via MIT Media Lab, gets it. He uses social media in excellent ways. But, being an individual user does not lead to school-wide adoption or school-wide change. You need to bring people along in the sharing game, help them see how social media makes them better at their jobs. He should be able to struggle through this, but it will take more than tweets and blog posts...
More on his struggles via the Fast Company article
Rigid, narrow codes of tradition masculinity and femininity drive poorer reproductive health outcomes, homophobia and gender-based violence. This is especially true among at-risk youth, like those who are of color or LGBT.
To improve outcomes, there has been an increased focus and commitment on "gender transformative” interventions and policies. Gender Transformative approaches question, challenge and change rigid gender norms and inequities. Major international donors–like PEPFAR, UNAIDS, USAID and WHO–have already endorsed Gender Transformative interventions.
Truechild.org is a wonderful resource for grappling with the issue of combating traditional gender norms for young people. This is essential reading/understanding for all educators. Use TrueChild's "learn the facts" section to get yourself up to speed, fast. Our kids need us on this issue as much as any other.
Yesterday Nicholas Kristoff of the NY Times wrote an opinion piece about paying teachers more. I was interested in the topic, so read the piece. It is worth reading, but is not the point of this post. At the bottom of the article I found this little blip of text (see the image). He has a blog, a Facebook page, a YouTube account, and a Twitter account. This is clearly the modern journalist's toolkit, and I might argue that it's the modern educator's toolkit, too.
Salman Khan, of Khan Academy, builds videos which kids can learn from. They're about adding, subtracting, algebra, calculus, history, and more. His first idea was just to post helpful videos for his cousins. Then, thousands of others kids and teachers started using his videos. Realizing the energy behind them he kept developing content, but also wisely started to build an infrastructure that could enhance how students use the videos.
The data sets he shows are pretty powerful. I do think we have to be careful about data. Jonathan Martin at NEIT2010 did a great job of talking about being data informing, not replacing, judgement.
I think his ideas around using game mechanics are incredible. I have been to so many talks about gaming for education where finding the right balance between play and education has been the discussion. Someone on a panel I was at said 70% play, 30% game. That seems like the oddest approach, and I think Khan's merit badges and other structures are a much better look at ed tools might use gaming structures.
Khan Academy is exciting stuff, and some of my teachers have been engaged in producing their own videos. We're going to see there "the flip" might take our students.
Thinking about #DiversityScorecard at ed conferences like #tedxnyed. Audre Lorde's words are pressing on me.
Audre Lorde's seminal piece about using patriarchy to upset patriarchy (read it below) is stirring in me as I think about how we as educators need to think about diversity of attendees/presenters at educational innovation conferences like TEDxNYED. On Saturday I found myself reconnected to a familiar conference past time...where are all the people of color?
So I called for a lunch meeting to fire up a new idea of addressing the issue. I thought, let's create a diversity scorecard. In my mind the scorecard is a little widget that conferences would put on their site that would show their "diversity grade." This initself is a somewhat preposterous idea. As an informed person, I know that you can't give diversity a grade on an A-F scale. It's too complicated. But, knowing who is present is a start to dialog. And in fact, it forces you to face the reality of who has access to the space. So, over 20 minutes after a wonderful lunch dialog with some smart folks, we banged out a survey dealing with identity of those at TEDxNYED, and here are the results thus far (or see images below). @bkolani, one of the TEDxNYED curators said that he would include the survey in the post-conference e-mail, that so that will help get more data. There is much work to do on this, and if you're interested (and capable) of helping me build the diversity scorecard widget, do let me know! My programming skills just aren't up for this one right now.
Kiran Bir Sethi's TED talk about empowering young people to change their local community was beyond inspiring. Her kids changed the town they lived in. She wrote up the strategy, translated it into 8 languages, and distributed it all around India. The result? Over 40,000 schools working for real change all around India.
For those who don't think that educational change can scale, Kiran Bir Sethi shows you that it indeed can. Want your school to be a part of this? Join the Design for Change contest.
Thanks to TEDxNYED for bringing this video to my awareness.