Tag Archive for acpe08

Mini Laptops for Classroom Use

CTL 2go PC
CTL 2go PC

I got my hands on two mini laptops at ACPE this week, the CTL 2go PC and the HP 2133 Mini Note PC. Along the same lines as the ASUS eeePC and the XO, they promise to provide a low-cost device that is suitable for basic classroom use. The HP appears to be just a low-cost version of a regular laptop, whereas the CTL 2go sports a carrying handle and rugged case. The 2go is also less expensive: $379 for the Linux version. The HP keyboard is nearly normal size, whereas the 2go has small keys. While I am sure that these fit kids’ fingers just fine, will they have any difficulty adjusting from full-size and small keyboard formats?

HP 2133 Mini Note
HP 2133 Mini Note PC

Although both models offer a Windows option, I can’t believe that the computers would remain useful for more than a couple of years running Windows XP on an underpowered processor. With Linux, we would have to learn to manage Linux on the desktop for the first time, but the machines would likely last longer. We would also have the opportunity to choose a Linux distribution with a super kid-friendly user interface. We will evaluate and purchase a handful of these devices next year with an eye to purchasing classroom units by next summer. I would like to hear your experiences with inexpensive, classroom laptops.

E-Mail Archiving

Mary Beth Herkert
Archives Division, Information Resource Management Unit

Work on home computers is part of public record
Records retention schedules
Preserve only for as long as it is needed to accurately document agency functions
Core Elements of a Good Policy
– appropriate use statement
– access to employee computers and accounts; privacy notice
– retention of e-records
– policy awareness
– training
– compliance
Email management manual online (state archives)
Alternative communication devices
– IM
– PDAs
– Chat roms
– Blogs
Public employees — no expectation of privacy
Individual employees make decisions about what to retain (realistic?)
“Knowingly destroy public records” – okay if it’s a mistake
Synchronizing email to home computer — yes, the home computer could be subpenead
Messages that need to be saved for a long period of time should be exported from the email system
Create a filing system that is the same for both electronic and paper records (e.g., naming conventions)
Voicemail is not a public record for retention in Oregon
No jurisdiction over a private school — subject to federal requirements
Audio recordings need to be kept for one year, even if minutes were taken
May not need to capture email messages if records are documented elsewhere (e.g., teacher communicates progress report to parents)

Mary Beth Herkert
Archives Division, Information Resource Management Unit

Web Site Design and Management


Jeff Huggin, Snoqualmie District: Dreamweaver, ASP, Access, IIS

Mike Stewart, Mt. Angel School District: Win 2k3, Dreamweaver

Austin James, Redmond District (OR): hosted solution (SchoolWires)

Jeff Dobbs, Beaverton: wrote a custom content management system (Oracle)

Mike Finstrom, Highline District (WA): custom CMS the supports Dreamweaver and Contribute

How did you go about determining what systems you would use?

Found experienced developer at the ESD.

Developed culture of people who embraced content management system. Now looking at Sharepoint for next iteration. Allows for both novice and advanced users.

Mandate from superintendent that every teacher would have a web page, and look and feel would be consistent. Moved to a hosted solution. Teachers focus on posting content rather than what color it would be. Hosted solution was equal in cost to licenses for Frontpage.

Ease of use a huge barrier to buy-in: from Frontpage to MS Word to emailing items to tech department. Currently a voluntary system who send content to tech director via email.

Cost considerations, Puget Sound ESD developers built different modules for administrative functions.

How many staff members in your department are dedicated to web?

Communications person is the key, tech staff devote small fractions to site. ESD helps with back-end tweaks.

One small fraction.

Office staff already typing this content for newsletters. Just have to copy and paste into web interface. Does switching and routing for district, does not devote much time to web site. Does CSS, HTML, graphic development (1-2 days per month).

Web content staff member. Who owns the web site? IT department or others? Distribute stake in the web site. They are going to have to enforce policy, IT trains and supports.

3 of 5 district communications staff devoted to web site. Each district has a web manager. HR posts jobs, contract changes. One SQL developer. Goal of 1000 contributors. Moodle didn’t extend. Randy Orwin has hacked it to extent.

How many teachers are maintaining sites?

Web-publishing through FirstClass — a lot of teachers were initially turned off by it. A number of teachers have gone out on their own. Working with ESDs to facilitate blogs, wikis, and web pages. Union prevents requiring teachers to create web pages. Receives blog requests daily. Biggest issue is support. Planning to use Drupal for teachers. (Beaverton)

Will have 100% by next year, per superintendent. Top goal is communication/contact information.

25% on teacher web sites daily. One teacher records lessons every day and posts them on web site.

Made it fun and easy, focused on content.

Biggest challenges

Support and training is very taxing on district resources. Space is a huge consideration, as all content teachers use now go into the database.


Administration wants more professional-looking web site with zero budget.

Other issues

Posting links to off-site content (okay with panelists)

Pictures of students online: centralized permissions to one form, to allow blanket ability to show many pictures on web site. Want to centralize permission for student academic work next.

Chris Lehmann

Chris Lehmann

(uStreamed here)

Chris is challenging the audience in several ways. I think he’s trying to raise the level of urgency for school reform.

School 2.0 is simple: progressive education with 21st century tools
Who has read Dewey (a few hands) since grad school (almost none)
There is no silver bullet (to school reform)
Stop blaming schools
Industrial age created the current dominant school model
Funding does matter, because it pays people
John Cleese: “If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play.”
“Lifelong kindergarten” (MIT Media Lab)
“Scary thought: What are we willing to unlearn and relearn?”

Pedagogy matters: be more intentional about the way we create our schools
Create caring institutions
If you give a test, you are not doing project-based learning
Incredibly empowered students

What do we gain/lose?
Have to give up breadth as the goal
Technology must be like oxygen: ubiquitous, necessary, and invisible
Don’t talk about “what” before “why”
Certain technologies are not additive, they are transformative (Neil Postman) (e.g., printing press)
Process trumps product
Simplify all the easy tasks, so we have time and energy for the complex
Research -> Collaborate -> Present -> Network
George Siemens: Connectivism
What if kids did “academic” networking, not just social network?
Transparency: we can invite the world to our schools
What is the role of the teacher in the age of Google?

David Pogue keynote

David Pogue

(very broad liveblogging)

David Pogue “sticks his neck out” to predict five rising technology trends.

Convergence of phone and internet

VOIP, Vonage, Skype, TMobile @ Home

GrandCentral.com (phone call forwarding)

Google Cellular (texting Google to get business lookups, weather, driving directions, etc.

800 GOOG 411

Voice-to-text, e.g., SimulScribe, CallWave

Popularity Dialer (funny way to get out of a meeting)

RFID transmitters (embedding transmittable digital information in library books, shipping pallets, pets!, clothing, prisoners!)

FuturePhone: free international phone calls via Iowa due to a government subsidy for calls from rural areas, but they’ve been shut down as a result!

A la Carte Video


iTunes Video

Web 2.0

Facebook, YouTube, Craigslist

“Blogs can put a face on a company” — a more personal face on an organization (my note: this works when regular employees post about daily life, not when an organization posts official notices in a blog-type format)

Less well-known sites that are incredibly successful at putting people in touch with each other around certain information:

Prosper: person-to-person microloans

Kiva: Microloans for international businesses

Goloco: ad-hoc carpooling

E-Petitions: UK site for anyone to create a petition on any topic

Who Is Sick?: tracking what illnesses are going around