T.H.E. SmartClassroom :: January 18, 2007

Viewpoint

Open-Source Schools: Got Data?

We all have our opinions about open-source technologies. While many are in favor of "free" and "open" software conceptually, there are those whose reservations about open source trump even the high ace in the deck, also known as budgetary restrictions. So, no matter how good open source might seem to many of us--no matter how many benefits we can enumerate--those reservations hold back any serious attempts at implementation.

So what are those reservations?

From an IT perspective, support is always near the top of the list. Most open-source projects/initiatives (AKA software) do not include support as an option, at least not at the level of the paid support offered by commercial developers. Some do. Many don't. And that leaves it to IT to know everything and to be called upon personally when problems arise. (Heaven forfend.)....

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Ed Tech News

1105 Media Acquires Florida Educational Technology Corporation

1105 Media Inc. announced today it has acquired the Florida Educational Technology Corporation, producer of the annual FETC Conference, one of the oldest and largest education technology conferences focusing on the K-12 market. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed....

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Toshiba Ships Combo Projector/Document Camera

Toshiba this week announced its new TDP-SC35U, a single-chip DLP projector that also includes a detachable document camera. The new model, designed for education and conference room applications, is available now for $899....

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CoSN Releases Second Study for K-12 Open Technologies Initiative

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) has released a new study in its ongoing series in the K-12 Open Technologies Initiative. The latest on covers Indiana's inACCESS program, focusing on the state's Linux Desktop initiative, which placed a number of Linux-based workstations in K-12 classrooms....

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Products & Services

GTCO Releases InterWrite 3 Mac

GTCO CalComp has released version 3.0 of its InterWrite software for Mac OS X. InterWrite is the software behind GTCO's classroom hardware products, which include the InterWrite SchoolPad, InterWrite iPanel and InterWrite SchoolBoard....

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Autodesk Releases Maya 8.5

Autodesk is releasing Maya 8.5 today, an update to the company's high-end 3D modeling, animation, effects and rendering suite. The new version is a Universal Binary with native support for Intel-based Macs, as well as Windows and Linux. A Personal Learning Edition is slated for release this spring....

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Case Study

MyD230: District 230's Online Grade Book

For the last six years or so, Consolidated High School District 230, in suburban Chicago, has been using a custom-built online grade book. Initially, the goals were simply to provide students and parents with information more quickly and readily and to simplify grade tracking for our teachers. But the result has been far more profound and illustrates how one seemingly minor project can evolve into a tool that can not only store data but use the data to help students achieve more in their academic careers—as long as we, as technology directors, take the right approach.

Back in 2000, the "right approach" wasn't necessarily immediately apparent. The state of education technology and all related technologies was quite different. A 1:1 school would have been cover material for Time magazine. A personal computer running at a 1 GHz CPU clock speed was science fiction. The Web was still referred to by cutesy phrases like "cyberspace." (Try to remember that without getting a little red in the face.) And few, if any, student record systems incorporated an online grade book. (Little of anything in K-12 education incorporated an online component.)

So back in 2000, when we set of on this online grade book project, we had precious few antecedents to work with. We set our goals (again: to provide ready access to grades for parents and students and to simplify grade tracking for teachers) and contracted with an outside firm, Apps Communications, a local Web development company, about creating and implementing our online grade book....

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Web Notes

EducatorTemplates.com

EducatorTemplates.com is a FREE directory of customizable & printable education related templates. Templates will help you focus on content instead of format, create an identifiable look for all your items, standardize the way a project is completed and/or presented, and help you get your projects completed faster. You'll also find tips and support for downloading, saving, opening, resaving, printing, and troubleshooting templates.

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Events Calendar

  • JAN 24-26, 2007
    FETC 2007
    Florida Educational Technology Conference
    Orlando, FL
  • FEB 5-9, 2007
    TCEA 2007
    Texas Computer Education Association
    Austin, Texas

  • JUNE 24-27, 2007
    NECC 2007
    28th-Annual National Educational Computing Conference
    Atlanta, GA

THE Journal Opportunities

Share Your Best Practices

T.H.E. Journal is currently looking for the following types of articles for future issues and for our eNewsletter, T.H.E. SmartClassroom:

  • School Perspectives - discuss a specific topic, trend, or concern about education technology.
  • Case Studies – have you implemented technology and learned a lot from the experience? If so, share your efforts about what worked -- and what didn't.

If you have a potential article, or questions about the above topics, please e-mail editorial@thejournal.com

Awesome Clipart for Educators

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