New Blog

TeacherJay wishes to send out a big thank you to all of his regular readers, and apologize for the long hiatus. I have returned, but at a new address, because I have finally purchased my own domain. My new blog appears at http://edublog.teacherjay.net/ and the new feed is: http://feeds.feedburner.com/TeacherJays-EduBlog

The new blog will be similar, but have less of a technology focus, and instead be more focused on education issues. Please visit me soon!

Mayatan’s New Website Debuts and TeacherJay Moves On

TeacherJay will be giving up his position as Technology Coordinator at a NYC-area university in the next few weeks. He has accepted a position as Director of Development for Mayatan Foundation in Copán Ruinas, Honduras.

Although this is a change for him and he will miss the actual direct teaching involvement in education, he is excited about the move. Mayatan currently runs a bilingual school and soon hopes to open a medical clinic and a library. Over the last few weeks he has been working furiously on improving the technology situation for the organization and also designing new websites.

Please check out our sites and check back here to stay informed on our progress.

The “Magic” School Bus

The other night on NBC Nightly News was a story of a man with a plan – a plan to use that wasted time on the schoolbus in the morning and put some technology to better use. As it ran on TV.

But, online they have a somewhat extended video that talks a bit more with the kids about their experiences.
Sorry for the links and no embedded video, but apparently wordpress.com things MSNBC videos are dangerous and keeps stripping them from this post.

Billy Hudson, from Vanderbilt University deserves a gold star for his efforts in putting that time on the schoolbus to use through eLearning sites and podcasts. Hopefully school districts will take note of what is being done and decide to make some similar modifications on their own. This should serve as evidence of how feasible it is to get some sort of mLearning into use. Look closely and you can see some of OLPC’s XO machines.

By the way – TeacherJay was going to post on this earlier, but he was too casual in his conversations and he got beat to the punch. Thanks, Allan, really, thanks =P

Closing the Digital Divide…

… using our own computers and internet access to help give access to others…

TeacherJay has long been an advocate for bridging the digital divide – that unfortunate set of circumstances, such as poverty, and access to equipment, that has keeps computers and telecommunications out of the hands of so many of the world’s citizens. He joined the Digital Divide Network, a project of TakingITGlobal, some time ago to read articles and participate in discussions. Just this morning, he learned they have now formed a Causes group on Facebook. With donation amounts as low as $10 US, it’s very easy to show your support for this important cause. Thanks to some special ‘challenges’ on the site, special gifts may be awarded to the organization for having the most new donors.

Give One Get One Extended

TeacherJay is a big fan of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project that has the goal of creating affordable and rugged wireless laptop computers to be used as educational tools for children in developing third-world nations. He has posted on them previously. Their Give One Get One campaign in which a donor is able to purchase 1 machine for a child in a developing nation and, in recognition, receive a second for that special child in their life. They recently announced that the program will be extended until December 31.

To learn more about the program, click here.

To learn more about the One Laptop Per Child project, click here.

Thought and Language

Lev Vygotsky was a genius developmental psychologist. Perhaps his best known theories relate to the construct of the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). TeacherJay is also fascinated with Vygotsky’s work reagarding the connections between thought and language and wanted to post a few words about Vygotsky’s 1934 book with the same title. Read the rest of this entry »

RSS in Plain English

TeacherJay is a big fan of Really Simple Syndication and the eXtensible Markup Language. He has tried to explain these technologies using plain English, but he is surely no expert in that. However, the guys over at The Common Craft Show, with their wonderfully low-tech productions, have done a very nice job and TeacherJay wanted to share it.

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