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.

Kindle

Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO of Amazon.com, is debuting their newest product, the Kindle, a small paperback-sized electronic book reader. Could this device be the improvement to the book? Even Bezos comments that the book is elegant and ponders if it is even possible to improve upon it. In today’s post, TeacherJay takes a look at the development of eBook readers and has a few words for the practical use of the devices. Read the rest of this entry »

WikiProject Classroom Coordination

Wikipedia Globe

TeacherJay has long been fascinated with the experiment that is Wikipedia (see previous post). It is still surprising to him that users all over the world have come together to create a body of knowledge that is responsible when it comes to copyrighted information and accurate, insofar as references and citations are included to verify information. In his daily wandering of Wikipedia (he loves that Random Article link), TeacherJay came across the WikiProject Classroom Coordination page and also information on School and University Projects. These two projects are aimed at encouraging teachers to use Wikipedia not as a research tool, but as an authoring tool by creating lesson plans for students to learn how to contribute to the Wikipedia community. Students can research topics and help to revise articles – this could provide them with much-needed support that their work is actually meaningful and will be used by others, as well as instill in them a responsibility in their work.

Google Presentations

The wait is over… Google has finally released its online presentation software. TeacherJay has been using the online productivity suite for a while and wanted to take a few minutes to share his first thoughts on the newest addition to the Google family and what some of the implications may be for the world of education. Read the rest of this entry »

Whatever Happened to Carmen Sandiego?…

…did she die from dysentery on the Oregon Trail? Ever since the Apple II began making its way into homes and classrooms the software market has been making games and other applications designed to be educational. How have they evolved?, Are they any good?, and Where can I find my old favorites? are just a few of the questions that today’s post looks at, as well as handing out some gold stars to some of the early developers of this now multi-million dollar industry. Read the rest of this entry »

One Laptop Per Child

Wouldn’t it be great if every child, everywhere, had her or his own laptop computer to use? Not just any laptop, but one specifically designed for children that was rugged enough to withstand harsh environments, did not need constant software upgrades and had an operating system that was easy to learn and came packed with educational software. Well, that is the goal of the One Laptop Per Child project and they already have a few prototypes out there. Today’s post looks not just at the organization, but also at the new possibilities their success may bring and the consequences it could have for some of the world’s poorest people.
Read the rest of this entry »