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My-oh-my, have times changed

Thanks to Jamie Schumacher for passing along the video link:

“Imagine […] turning on your home computer to read the day’s newspaper.”

…and, 28 years later, newspapers are shutting down because they cannot compete with the home computer.

Five predictions for 2009 …and more!

future1

Continuing a tradition that started last year, I am listing my predictions for the big stories that will impact the education world in 2009.  My predictions from last year were hit-and-miss, but I did well overall.  How will I fare this year?

  1. No Child Left Behind won’t get left behind.  Contrary to all the data that shows that NCLB is a miserable failure, it still has too many fans within the Washington Beltway to disappear.  Besides, would the Obama administration want to send a message that they’re giving up on the noble quest of educating all children?  NCLB is here to stay, but it will evolve into something else.  Would we recognize it by 2010?
  2. The economic downturn will get much worse before it gets better, but the international impact will be greater than within the U.S.  Expect economic tragedies in China and elsewhere that depend on exports to the U.S. and other highly industrialized nations.
  3. With limits in available venture capital and new development funds within corporations, technological innovation will slow in the United States. Companies will focus on improving their core products and services at the expense of research and development.  What does this mean for education, which is in desperate need of transformative, innovative technologies?
  4. The footprint of open source software will increase, but development will slow down.  Unless if a business is committing code to the OSS community, individuals and corporations have fewer time resources available to contribute to projects.  However, OSS adoption will increase as a cost-saving measure in homes, offices and schools.  (This contrasts with last year’s prediction, where I said “education-oriented open source development will boom.”)
  5. I’m keeping my money on India, and repeating last year’s prediction: India is the place to be. As more U.S. companies quietly continue to offshore their creative work to India, India’s knowledge economy will boom. The world will take notice of this in 2008 2009.
Here are predictions for 2009 from elsewhere:

Simple + Streamlined + Slick = Chrome

I thought I would start my week of ‘guest blogging’ by introducing a new tech tool. Have you heard of Chrome? It is the new search engine by Google. Wired magazine had a great article titled “Inside Chrome: The Secret Project to Crush IE and Remake the Web“. I thought I would chime in and give my top reasons why I am digging this tool:

  1. Tabbed browsing is old news…but pullng out tabs as an independent browser is cool. It works much like a real file cabinet. Old skool meets new skool.
  2. Since tabs are independent, if one site crashes, you do not loose the other tabs.
  3. Who needs a search bar AND and address bar? With Chrome, they are one in the same.
  4. Going to a site where you don’t really want to leave tracks…go incognito.
  5. Your most visited sites are saved in a new tab and displayed a mini-pages.

We all started out on Netscape, fell for the wow of Internet Explorer, and really dug Mozilla’s Firefox. Maybe Chrome will finally squash the way we think a web browser should be. It is changing my mind!

So, why is the introduction of Chrome a big deal and what is its implication on education? This tool is a sign that tech tool developers are breaking away from the way we ‘think’ things work and are listening to the experiences of the users. If teachers and school leaders shift their thoughts away from ‘business as usual’, maybe they will listen to the users (i.e, students) and radically change the way the schooling experience works. What if we break down these preconceived walls and build a new type of educational system? Perhaps a user-driven, user-friendly system?