Technology in the Classroom: How to 'Get It' - Part 4

podcast student learning through technologyThe biggest thing I learned from college was how to study. The biggest thing I learned in the years that followed was how to teach myself marketable skills. Online communities exist, that are as important to students as their real-world communities. Here are some curriculum suggestions for the coming year:

  1. Help children build self-esteem and identity through (online) community involvement.

  2. Help teenagers learn to study and teach themselves (through new media).

  3. Help young adults learn how to create things that make a better world (using digital tools).

Teach Innovation and Encourage Creativity

One of the beautiful things about the American educational system is the way in which we encourage creativity. We have art, band, theater, etc. We honor the artists and influences of the past. We've always had tools we use to create. Read More

Hardware -> Software -> Design: The Development Cycle of Consumer Electronics

hard drive fossilConsumer electronics are constantly evolving - from laptops to cellphones, and everything in between. How these devices evolve however, is something that doesn't get talked about much. It's part of a larger development cycle that allows devices to start as a piece of advanced hardware and follows a trail through ever advancing software, with the end result being a well-designed unit of thoughtfully integrated design, turning it into an object of desire with a true advantage against competing products.

The consumer electronics (CE) development cycle looks something like this: Hardware -> Software -> Design...
consumer electronics cycle
...where design is not an end, but an end product that allows the cycle to start over again, with newer hardware and software.

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Anything But Conventional

There is no such thing as a "conventional person", but there is "conventional thinking" - something you should always try to avoid.

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Technology in the Classroom: How to 'Get It' - Part 3

Students with iPadsIf your school provides enough funding for every student to get an iPad, then great! You're in the minority. But an emerging concept has been gaining ground in recent years, called BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). While we could argue endlessly about the merit of this idea and the problems it presents, it's more useful to just accept the fact that most students will do this anyway.

So instead of focusing on how to hand out devices, let's acknowledge that devices change as fast as the technologies that drive them. Let's focus on teaching students how to effectively use these devices for learning, and work towards providing an infrastructure that enables students to use these devices, unencumbered.

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Finally, Facebook! The IPO and Beyond

Finally, Facebook! The IPO and BeyondUp to this point, I've refrained from spending too much time talking directly about the big three tech companies: Facebook, Google and Apple. But the time has come where Facebook will become a publicly traded entity this year, with its initial public offering. And regardless of your personal usage of the site, your vested interests with other tech giants, or your stance on internet privacy...

It's Kind of a Big Deal

For starters it's going to be the biggest tech IPO - ever. It's also projected to put $10 billion in Facebook's coffers and value the company at $100 billion. It won't be the biggest IPO, however (that honor belongs to General Motors at $23.1 billion). Still, for a company whose projected revenue in 2011 was *only* $4.2 billion it's an interesting investment choice. Especially when you consider that Facebook has pretty much saturated the U.S. market and will be competing head to head with Google+ for eyeballs from 2012 and beyond.

Speaking of Google

Sometimes it helps to put things in perspective. Google+ hopes to have 400 million users by the end of 2012. Compare that with Facebook's 800 million users and 500 million daily users, and you've got yourself a battle for the web. Read More


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About Chris

Chris Collins My name is Chris Collins. I'm an artist, designer and marketer, specializing in new media.
The opinions shared on this blog are my own, and do not represent the opinions of my employers or clients, past, present or future.

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