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I was listening to the news report on CBC recently about Stephanie Rengel, the young Toronto girl murdered recently. Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act media were forbidden from identifying Stefanie or the two youths accused of her murder. Of course, this did not stop Stefanie’s friends from creating a Facebook memorial for their friend which violated all aspects of the ban. More on the CBC report here

This got me thinking about the futility of publication bans in the internet age. It also got me wondering if these students were aware of the ban and decided to ignore it, were unaware of the ban or (and I think this is the most likely) were aware of the ban and unaware that their Facebook memorial violated it and the privacy of their friend’s family.

There is a great article in December Wired magazine about managing your online presence or taking care of the “Brand Called You”. Don’t ban facebook, teach facebook.

Instead of banning students from Social Networking and other Web 2.0 phenomenons we should be teaching them about the oldest lesson in creative writing – Consider Your Audience…and how that advice applies to the Web 2.0 paradigm.

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Categories Work

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So we just finished a day of reviewing the board’s current plan with the IT Planning Committee. I thought it went really well. There were a number of things we talked about but the one that stuck with me was the concept of glanceability. It is not anything new but when you start talking about dashboards and tag clouds in the context of student achievement it gets people thinking (me included). A tag cloud of students where their name is larger the more “at risk” alarm bells they set off…And then someone says “Can you add another data set that would change the colour?” Wow…can I? You bet I can. Is it geeky that this stuff gets me excited? You bet it is.

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Categories Work

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Well, I am definitely not the first person to blog about their first impressions of the eeepc, probably not even the thousandth. But my question is does the Eee PC have a place in the arsenal of tools teachers will use in classrooms. I say that because I have no doubt that this machine will make its way into the class, particularly after this Christmas. My question is should it be recommended and purchased for use in the classroom by me? My answer right now is No. It\‘s tough buying an Alphasmart or Neo for $300 when you can buy a micro laptop for the same price that can run XP and Linux. Having said that, anyone who has attempted typing on the Eee PC will recognize immediately that it is not appropriate for Special Education use. The small screen is difficult to read and would be tough on young eyes. I have successfully installed Wine on the Xandros Linux partition and have run a few programs like Kidworks and Speedway..they look great but again very small. Anyway, it has been long enough since I have been in the classroom that I will definitely need a second opinion. I plan on posting my eeepc experience here and will give (hopefully) very specific instructions to configure the Linux partition with Wine and some Windows software titles. First off, I need to make a backup of the default install. It is on DVD but what a pain it is to get an external DVD drive and hook it up everytime I break the thing. So, there are instructions on using a Windows XP computer with DVD drive to copy the contents of the DVD to a USB Key which I plan on checking out tomorrow.

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Categories Funny tech tricks, Work

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