(1) Project MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Repository for Learning and On-line Teaching)
Found this article to be pretty interesting. I have often wondered how they validate or attempt to validate all of the information that floats about in cyber space. I know that I sometimes feel overwhelmed when doing even a basic search for information to help me in my class lectures. I have also read things on "educational" sights that I knew was inaccurate. Thankfully it was before I tried to incorporate it into my power-point. It must be getting extremely difficult to try and monitor all of the information that floats around as to what is fact vs. fiction. I question whether or not a program could be created to do such an ominous task. Imagine the difficulty in attempting to filter all the different ways and means people have to get information out into the public that might be nothing more than opinion.
(2) Always On
Was not my favorite article but one thing that I thought about when I read this is my Wife's little brother. He is 14 and a HS freshman. I started thinking about he has this whole "on-line" life. He is on X-Box Live, online gaming networks, tweets with friends, and even updates his myspace from his new "droid" phone. It is unbelievable how much that he as a 14 year old uses so many devices so frequently.
Over the Christmas break when he was visiting us we got to talking and he told me he was checking his grades. I was shocked to find out that using his phone he was able to access a school site that posted his grades. He told me how the school no longer even sends grades home but parents get emails and calls when students grades are posted with an access code. In addition, that any discipline issues the school will notify his parents via text message rather than disrupt them at work. It was really interesting to think about. I also think it is a good demonstration of how education can utilize these new technologies in so many ways.
(3) Social Software
I agree with many of the other students that there are some serious concerns about how these sites are used. I remember that I got a call one day from the Tech department because kids in my class were using a site that let them circumvent the firewall and access myspace. Obviously they were not "working" on anything. Also, last year I know that we had an incident with a player that was recorded and put on the web that was later used in the investigation against him and implemented two others because they sent text messages and multi-media messages to others.
It is a lot of work to keep up with all of the new ways that kids try and access and distribute this information and as teachers and coaches we have to have some sort of base understanding not to act as preventionists but more so guardians against our students using poor judgement or being taken advantage of.