Resources and Reflections

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Tech Roundtable Notes and other good info

Tech Roundtable Notes 10/27/09 and other good info...

Availability - It was discussed that staff would like to have assistance with the technology and software used by us (laptops, mimioboards, tanberg conferencing unit -and not just the skills - but the support for technology's role assisting the curriculum).  A plan is being devised for me to move from technician to a greater role as  integrator, although the former role will not disappear nor will the administrator role. 

We have the technology and now we need to learn how to use it

Support structures:  Devise, share, and decide on hardware and software structures (specialists, trainers, etc...)

Choose specific software and learn it well so staff can share uses, tips, limitations, ....

Evaluation procedure - survey.  What software apps do we have that will assist our teaching and learning - and are they the ones best suited for us? 

Spot check - Friday revealed a student using Skype.  Skype does not require a download and so students can 'install' Skype easily.  Skype has great academic and communication potential and used with the video option 1:1 conferencing is a snap.  Communicating visually is awesome but so is the danger.  What is our position for students using Skype? Would we want to consider disabling Macs onboard camera enabling it as needed? Answer by visiting our Ning Forums .    

Bandwidth - the round table meeting revealed that streaming vids for classes can be slow.  Keep in mind data flow is not infinite and media intensive websites and applications can disrupt flow. Streaming music from music sites like pandora (awesome site by the way), espn radio, and animations are bandwidth hogs and streamed during school can affect a teacher's use of a video or sound byte during class.  So check your media habits.  Solutions to this might be to schedule when you stream a movie, audio, etc to let others know....or do not stream sound or vids, except for class...or use LCD TV's..... or just keep on keeping on.     Reminder:  YouTube Vids can be downloaded and burned from home and right from the MacBooks.  For assistance, visit http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090525201636AAMlh9a,   http://www.freakitude.com/2007/09/09/top-10-online-video-converters/ ,  http://vixy.net/ , http://www.mediaconverter.org/.  So...How to deal with bandwidth?  Answer by visiting our Ning  Forums page

Safe search engines:  A helpful way to assist spot checking is to implement a policy in your class using safe search engines like GoGooligans (see this list  and this one  also) which is a kids/teens search engine from Google.  So...if you see a student not using a safe search engine, redirect them.  Also, creating a 'Hot Links' list assists your monitoring.   


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