I noticed your interest in handheld technologies and would love to be in contact. I have worked for 16 years in school in England (13) and North Carolina (3) and currently am studying for my PhD in education with a focus on handheld technology.
I think there might be an opportunity for our two organizations...
Our Brainyflix video contest just ended. We got 800 submissions from across the country! MIT was really happy with the results and will let us run another contest, so we're going for it! But this time, we're gonna have kids create Brainypics flashcards - which are images and sentences paired up with a one of our SAT/ACT words. The contest ends May 22nd, and there'll be iTunes and a cash prize like last time. To boot, we'll double the payout if the kids can hit a certain goal. More details at brainyflix.com/main/contest_rules.
Maybe we can cross-promote a little bit. We have a blog where we can post about your website and maybe you can have a link to our website somewhere...
Good to hear from you, Karen! Perhaps you can offer your insight into the matter of using copyrighted material. Per our research, we believe that the videos fall under Fair Use because 1) this is a charity event being sponsored by a non-profit and 2) it is for free public education.
We are definitely open to collaborations! Did you have something specific in mind?
If you can email me directly at email@example.com, that'd be great. It's just an easier interface than these Ning comments.
Hi Karen. I was wondering if your students would be interested in participating in a nationwide SAT Vocab Video Contest @ MIT university. If not, perhaps you have some educator contacts you could direct me to. You can view contest details at BrainyFlix.com Please let me know. Thanks!
With your work to integrate technology into schools I recommend you take a look at Wiziq's virtual classroom and authorstream's power point presentation platform. Both are web based, have a bunch of features and free basic service.
Yes, this is difficult for me too as I am absolutely passionate about this. I am so passionate, that my biological children 9 and 12 year old have had their own domain names and web presence without my moderation for a couple years. They ask before they do something anyway, but they have the ability to put up whatever the want. They can install any software that they like.
This is what I am lobbying for my fifth grade:
Parent choice on access to content
Use of pseudonyms
And I will lobby my parents passionately to consent to "open to the world." I did it last year and it went great. Not one problem.
I like the website and wonder how it is that I have not run into it sooner!
I have come to the conclusion that there needs to be a formal school board approved policy on this matter that has been drafted and approved by the technology committee.
Without going into details, for political reasons--really nothing to do with technology, some of what I have been done was called into question-- even though it was well known what I was doing and had the approval of our superintendent.
While there were no real problems as a consequence, it led me to come to the position that I would not leave myself vulnerable in the future. Nor should anyone else in my opinion.
We are in the middle of drafting a policy in a subcommittee. It's tough because there really isn't much out there. I plan on blogging more about that real soon as I need to present something to discuss next Wednesday.
I agree that teaching responsibility is important. What is your school and community willing to accepts? How do the parents feel?
I plan on offering a range of options to parents, but I'm not sure that I could get the school to accepts unmoderated posts and replies.
Regarding Administration and moderation:
Yes, it can get to be a load. I think it best to start small with a few teachers who are highly motivated, and they in turn, start with one class. In our school, teachers who wanted their students to blog were responsible for moderation.
Make sure you have good spam mechanisms in place because if you don't, you will have a lot more to deal with.
Let me know if I can help. Perhaps I should set up an Elgg community so we have a place to toss these ideas around. It something that I'd like to see more collaboration on and I have been frustrated by lack of resources.
I agree there are a number of inappropriate widgets available for a starter page. I've mentioned this in some of the feedback I've given on Google Apps for Ed. but nothing has changed yet. The administrator can turn the feature off pretty easily - so I think it's best to just not have an iGoogle starter page.
My kiddos are using 21classes.com. I did not have to enter email addresses and I could set it up so that I approve everything that gets published. I DID end up going with the PAID subscription, because they kids really wanted to be able to add pictures, and with the free version, there's just not enough memory to add more than a handful for the entire site. So far I am pleased with the site. It's been down only once late at night when I wanted to review entries from home. You can view our class blog front page by going to www.mrstg.com and clicking in "student blogs" right in the middle.
Yes, almost neighbors. In fact, I'm originally from LB. Thanks a TON for all of the valuable information. I may be contacting you about doing a partnership on a grant. That sounds really cool.