K-12 Tech Trends :: October 18, 2006


Why Are We Still Using PowerPoint?

Sometimes I wonder if we (educators) will ever really use technology for what it should be used for. Yes, I know there are great examples of schools and teachers doing wonderful things. But I contend that when we take a broad view of how technology is being used, we see a lot of PowerPoint and electronic textbooks. Ouch!

How did it happen?

It has been said many times that any new technology is first used to do what you always have done. PowerPoint, which is essentially an electronic poster, is a great example of this. Teachers and technology coordinators alike (myself included) grabbed on to this as a quick way to get many teachers using technology. And I think there was some value to this in terms of getting teachers to start using technology if they never had before. But we need to move on. Consider another example, in this case, using technology only for the sake of using technology: I observed a teacher spend an entire period using Inspiration software to create printed concept maps. This could have been done in five minutes with paper and markers, and the teacher could have spent the rest of the time actually teaching about the connections they made or did not make...

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News Briefs

IntelliTools Awarded $1.3 Million Federal Grant for Product Development

IntelliTools Inc., a member of Cambium Learning Technologies, has received a $1.3-million federal grant award to develop and research a new version of IntelliTools Classroom Suite with greatly enhanced mathematics capabilities...

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TEA Standardizes on Watchfire to Manage Web Application Security, Compliance

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has standardized on Watchfire AppScan Enterprise and Watchfire WebXM to manage Web application security and online compliance on its more than 85,000 Web pages...

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Kaplan to Acquire Aspect Education

Kaplan Inc. has acquired Aspect Education Ltd., a major provider of English-language instruction with 19 schools located in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the US...

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SETDA Honors Three Outstanding Educational Leaders

The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) recently honored three outstanding educational leaders for their efforts to ensure students and teachers receive the opportunities they need to be competitive in the global marketplace...

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By the Numbers

Insight Media Releases '2006 Low-Cost Projector Report'

Insight Media has released its “ 2006 Low-Cost Projector Report.” This 135-page report defines a “low-cost projector” as a front-projection system with a retail street price of $300 or less. This threshold was chosen because this is the price point where retail sales of consumer electronics can increase dramatically and the item becomes a commodity. Front-projection systems are expected to reach this price point in the next few years. The figure shows the expected growth of the low-cost projector market through 2010. The primary engine of growth in this projector category is existing markets for projectors. Purchasers who buy a $650 projector in 2006 can be expected to buy a $300 projector in 2009/2010. There will also be new markets enabled by these low prices, including the Digital Teen market...

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Show Me the Money

Christopher Columbus Awards Challenge Kids to Explore Their World Through Science, Technology

In the spirit of Christopher Columbus, a national competition is once again asking students across the US to explore new worlds using science and technology. The Christopher Columbus Awards is a free program that challenges teams of middle school students and a coach to identify a community issue and use science to solve it. Finalists win an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World where they compete for US savings bonds and the $25,000 Columbus Foundation Community Grant to help bring their idea to life in their community. Now in its 11th year, the program has attracted more than 14,000 “everyday” students from across the US. The deadline for entries is Feb. 12, 2007...

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Products & Services

eChalk Introduces First Lesson-Planning Service Integrated Into an Online Classroom

eChalk Inc., a provider of online learning environments for K-12 schools, recently released Lesson Planner, a comprehensive framework that helps K-12 schools align curriculum with state and local standards...

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Atomic Learning Adds Flash Capability

Atomic Learning, provider of affordable Web-based software training and tutorials, has added more features and enhancements, including Flash capability for all Windows tutorials...

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Coming Up

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 [email protected]

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