Emerging Technologies Presentation

I offered a short presentation focused on emerging technologies and digital literacies last Friday (Feb 2/07) to faculty members and library staff at the University of Regina. I think it went well.

When I began preparing for the presentation, my first instinct was to use a presentation tool (Apple Keynote). I got about 3 slides in when I realized that my brain no longer operates that way. I opted for the wiki-presentation method and here’s an outline of what I came up with.


I borrowed from another similar presentation facilitated by Rob Wall and Donna DesRoches. I thought for a bit about just going in and editing their wiki for my presentation. I’m sure they wouldn’t have minded, but I guess I just felt my digital immigrant accent cut in when I thought 1) I shouldn’t mess with their stuff, and 2) about the need for some control over my own work.

Wow, no wonder it’s hard to convince others of trying to let go of “old ways”.

University of Regina Offers Open Source Course

I posted this news earlier, but the posting disappeared.

Here’s a link to the CBC story covering the new open source course offering at the U of R.

While this open source course focuses on software developed, I am currently developing a course for the Faculty of Education that will focus on open source methodologies and practice as they apply to educational communities. Stay tuned.

Upcoming Wikis In Education Skypecast

Steve Hargadon will be interviewing Victoria Davis (Westwood Schools) and Adam Frey (Wikispaces) regarding the use of wikis in education.

“Vicky is the technology teacher at Westwood
School in Georgia and a pioneer in the use of wikis in education (see
http://westwood.wikispaces.com), and Adam is the co-founder of the
wiki hosting company Wikispaces (www.wikispaces.com).

“The interview will be broadcast live by “Skypecast,” meaning that you can listen to the interview by using Skype and also participate in the Q & A session at the end.

Here is the Skypecast link.

Also, be sure to check out previous interviews at edtechlive.com.

One Red Paper Clip & Kipling Saskatchewan Confirmed

As Sean confirms, Kyle of One Red Paper Clip has successfully traded for a house in Kipling, Saskatchewan. Read the details of the deal here.

What I really like is that the town of Kipling is really using this web phenomenon to promote activities in their town. For instance:

– Kipling is going to set up “American Idol style” auditions for the role in Donna on Demand over the Labour Day weekend (Sept 1-4). These auditions are open to ANYBODY from ANYWHERE. Yes, that means you!

– Kipling will build the world’s largest red paperclip in dedication to you and your “one red paperclip project”

– Dom and I will move into the house in time for the Labour Day weekend, and will throw (feel free to quote me on this) “Saskatchewan’s Biggest Housewarming Party, Ever.” It will take place on the Labour day weekend. Everyone in the entire world is invited to come to Kipling for the party. Yes, once again, that includes you! You are invited to our housewarming party this Labour Day weekend (Sept 1-4).

This is an amazing chain of events from something that started with one red paperclip.


I just wanted to mention a couple of new(ish) bloggers that are certainly worth the read.

First, my brother George has begun blogging again. He’s starting a new position next year near Edmonton and he’s becoming more heavily involved in educational technology. I’m sure he’ll have lots of great resources and thoughts to share.

Second, my colleague Dr. Cyril Kesten started a blog a few weeks ago. He’s been heavily involved in our Faculty of Education for many years now, and is very influential and knowledgeable in the area of Business Education. He’s written some terrific stuff already.

Second International Enhanced Learning Strategy Showcase Of The Eastern Townships School Board

The Second International Enhanced Learning Strategy Showcase Of The Eastern Townships School Board will be held March 27-29/06. This looks interesting, and I will likely attend to learn more about this initiative.

In March 2006 take the opportunity to visit with the only district in Canada that has a board wide one-to-one laptop program! This exciting project is in its third year with over 5600 laptops deployed throughout the Eastern Townships School Board in Magog, Quebec. (Only 1.5 hours from Montreal & 30 minutes from the Vermont border) This innovative project combines the integration of technology on an unprecedented basis supported with extensive professional development.

This combination has created a unique learning environment that has increased student achievement, empowered teachers and promoted excellence throughout. Last year’s showcase saw educators from across North America visiting classrooms and taking part in this innovative redesign of traditional learning environments.

See more here: http://www.etef.org/showcase06.htm

I am also considering attending “iPods in Education: Improving Learning With Mobile Devices” (sponsored by Apple & McGraw-Hill Ryerson) to be held March 2/06 in Toronto. However, I’m a bit worried that it will be too much of a sales-pitch from two very proprietary-minded companies.

Innovate Journal Call For Submissions: Open Source Issue

Innovate Journal has put out a call for submissions for an upcoming issue to focus on open-source software (thanks Heather).

We seek manuscripts that cover the following topics: (1) developments in open-source programs around the world, (2) challenges related to the development, deployment, and adoption of open source programs, including how specific software is being used, (3) the advantages and disadvantages of open source and proprietary systems, and (5) the future of the OSS movement. We expect authors to take full advantage of Innovate’s multimedia capacity; supplementary files that illuminate the text are welcome, and we are especially interested in the possibility of hosting “Try it!” sites that would offer readers hands-on experience with particular OSS features.

If you would like to submit a manuscript on this topic, please review our submission guidelines at http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=submit and send your manuscript to the guest editor of this issue, Vijay Kumar (vkumar@MIT.EDU ), and to the editor-in-chief, James Morrison (jlm@nova.edu ) no later than March 30, 2006.

I’m thinking I’ll submit something once I get a bit further into my study. I encourage others to as well as I am looking forward to reading some of the fresh research in the field. Maybe someone can write about the greatly hyped, super top-secret Linux announcement expected in less than 72 hours. Hmmmm.

2005 Edublogs Award Shortlist

I’ve just noticed that the 2005 Edublogs shortlist has been released, and WOW … I’m actually a player in two of the nominations. First, our EdTech Posse has been nominated under the category “Best audio and/or visual blog”. This just further demonstrates that we really need to keep this podcast rolling (it’s been a bit slow lately, especially in this busy time of year). Second, the work of our Faculty of Education’s iTeacherEd project has been noticed as we have done our best over the past several years to integrate blogging (and other technologies) into our preservice teacher education program. This work has been nominated under the “Best example/case study of use of weblogs within teaching and learning” category.

I really didn’t expect either nomination, but I am genuinely flattered, and much more grateful to be a part of such a rich community of peers.

Do check out the other nominees. Everyone of the sites listed should be in your RSS aggregator.

Paris Accelerates Move To Open Source

InfoWorld reports (thanks Michael) that the City of Paris is stepping-up the move toward open source software alternatives to its current, mostly-proprietary environment.

The city of Paris is accelerating its move to free and open-source software as part of a strategy to reduce its dependence on suppliers. It plans to replace more of its server software with free and open-source alternatives, and to install open-source applications on desktops.

Earlier this year, volunteers among the city’s 46,000 staff were invited to download and install open-source software to their desktops, including the Firefox browser and the Open Office.org productivity suite. Now, the city is planning to migrate all the users of one city department or all of those in one of the city’s 20 districts, not just the volunteers, to test a larger migration. The city has 17,000 workstations, up from 12,000 in 2001.

I find this particularly interesting as I still see much resistance to open source in our local schools. Today, I sent out a Python tutorial (via Downes) to a former student of mine, who is now a teacher in a local highschool. He told me that, although thankful for the resource, he couldn’t use it in school as they don’t allow the installation of Firefox (the resource is designed for the Firefox sidebar). So, not only does the school ban the use of a superior, alternative web browser, they effectively block excellent, openly developed content.

Free Software And Open Source Symposium

I think this has been mention a few times in the blogosphere, but if you missed it …

Free Software and Open Source Symposium
Monday, October 24th, 2005 – 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
York University Campus, Toronto

Do you use – or have you considered using – free or open source software for educational, training or research purposes? If so, we invite you to join us at our 4th annual Free Software and Open Source Symposium.

The Symposium is a one-day event aimed at bringing together educators and other interested parties to discuss common free software and open source issues, learn new technologies and to promote the use of free and open source software in our classrooms, labs and educational infrastructure. At Seneca College, we think free and open source software are real alternatives.

Speakers this year include:

* Jim McQuillan, Founder and Project Leader of the Linux Terminal Server Project
* Marcel Gagne, Author of “Moving to Linux: Kiss the Bluescreen of Death Goodbye!” and Linux Journal Columnist
* Marcus Bornfreund, Director, Creative Commons, Canada
* Jesse Hirsh, President, Openflows Networks Ltd.

To register, or for more information (including a full list of speakers), please visit http://cs.senecac.on.ca/sos/2005/.

Please note the deadline for presentation proposals for this year’s symposium is August 31.

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