Archive for November, 2008

Finding the Money

Education Weekly has an interesting article full of ideas for how schools can continue to afford their technology programs.  Open source is a highly touted solution to reduce expenses.  Are there any central resources that list open source resources for schools?


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So thanks again to Freakonomics for pointing me to a great article.  Edgar Johns of JobApp Network Inc., has found that for his company there are significant differences between white and minority applicants over the phone versus the internet.  They discuss that one cause of this could be access to the internet.  They also found similar patterns for younger and older applicants.  I would use this to argue that maybe it is not technology access, but technology savvy that leads an applicant to internet over phone applications.  This is a large problem as companies move toward internet-only based applications, as I know the UCs are (if they haven’t already).

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The Three R’s

In reading Freakonimics this morning I cam across one of their latest posts on The Three R’s.  The article shows a few great bits for commentary on learning and technology and the disconnect with schools.

First, the assignment is several questions on general knowledge.  The young girl’s first reaction is to open up her web browser to Google.  For her, general knowledge no longer needs to be stored in the brain, but can be retrieved in real time from a larger community brain.

Secondly, the girl’s answer to the Three R’s is recycle, reuse, reduce.  This is similar to an anecdote I once heard about a ESL student answering a word problem such as “What is two plus two?  How do you know that?” with a story about how he and his sister used to play house.  The story was used to illustrate the cultural assumptions inherent in the classroom.  Since this girl is obviously of middle class origin, her father being a regular blogger for Freakonomics, can we still blame cultural differences on her lack of understanding?  Is this a problem of generations or a problem of teachers being inculcated into a seperate “teacher culture”?

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Before the “Dean Scream” of 2004, political analysts were enthralled with democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean and the innovative way that he used the Internet to line his campaign coffers. Sadly for Dean, the “YeE-AAAah!” overshadowed his message and his campaign stalled.

It’s now 2008 and America has a new democratic presidential nominee who has also used the Internet and new media to get his message across—with sleek political savvy, no less. No gaffes, no apologies—just a message of hope and change that has resonated with the American people. A message pumped out through glossy 30-minute infomercials, TV ads, text messages, Internet pop-ups, banner ads, websites, Youtube videos, Obama girl(s)—it’s everywhere! Barack and his team have found every media outlet possible and spent a pretty penny (pennies that add up to a little over $150,000—btw, how much do Greek columns cost?) to saturate the market. This advertising has even spilled over into videogames. There is no doubt that the Obama campaign is innovative and ahead of its time. Videogames?! While McCain is carving “Country First” onto spinning tops, Barack Obama and his team have posted ads in popular online videogames in key battleground states. The McCain campaign has been outmatched throughout the election, with videogame advertising as the icing on the Obama presidential campaign cake.


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