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The futures that never happened

A great blog, Paleo-Future, has emerged over the past couple months. The site provides “a look into the future that never was” –often for good reason. Here’s one: Bill Gates’ vision of the future classroom.

Matt writes:

The paleo-future of 1995 is filled with ethnically diverse students academically engaged by the high-tech presentations of their fellow classmates. The teacher brings the class to attention by telling them to “get off the net.” Every child has a diverse array of technology at their disposal. The keyboard Mr. Ballard uses is the most confusing of the supposed advances we see in the video.

Allow me to be more brutal to Mr. Gates’ vision: Why did his future of learning require kids to get off the net before they could start learning? And, why did he suggest that we use technologies to learn the same “download,” non-knowledge-producing garbage that schools have always taught. In a lesson or presentation on Mayan culture, why did he focus on displaying how technologies can be used to portray cultural essentialist “learning” as opposed to real cultural learning through intercultural interactions –perhaps, using cultural simulations?

Bah. Enough of my questions. Visit Matt’s blog. It’s good.

Blidget: Blog meets widget

Education Futures BlidgetThis seems like a good idea. From Crunch Gear:

Widgetbox, a marketplace for Web widgets, now lets you quickly and easily build a widget for your blog.

Called Blidgets, they combine the power of RSS feeds with the “easy page integration of widgets.” The Blidget Maker auto-discovers RSS feeds, images and descriptions for the blog and then lets you customize the look and feel.

Once created, a one-click integration feature easily installs it and a “Get Widget” button onto the blog. Plus, all widgets registered with Widgetbox receive Widgetbox Syndication Metrics, showing you information about the use and adoption of the Blidget.

Feeling inspired, I made a Blidget for Education Futures: Get this widget from Widgetbox

Will it catch on?

Solution Watch: Comment tracking with coComment

Solution Watch writes about coComment:

The way it works is very simple. When you signup to coComment, you are given a bookmarklet that you are asked to add to your browser. Then, the next time you come across a blog post that you want to comment on, click on the bookmarklet before commenting. You will then see coComment logo and your username come up next to the submit button of the comment form to show that it has been enabled (clicking on it will show information about coComment). Click on submit and you will see a message saying that coComment has processed the comment and added it to your conversation page.

Once you have used coComment to track comments on a blog, you will then be able to track it in the “Your Conversations” section. The conversations section will show a list of every post that you have used coComment on.

“Web2.0” lives!