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.


Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential

Bill Gates has appeared in a YouTube video praising Microsoft’s supposed goal to:

“bring the benefits of technology to people in a meaningful and relevant way to help address the diverse social and economic issues they face and to foster an environment where people make the most of their skills and abilities.”

These may seem some altruistic goals on the surface and something that TeacherJay agrees with, but today’s post takes a look at the video and some of the reasons to be cautious of Billy Boy’s address. 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.
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Wikipedia in Education

Wikipedia Globe

Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit has become a source of information for millions. The site has close to 2 million articles in English and, while less is offered, is also available in dozens of other languages. Many students at all levels, but especially in high school and college, may use the site for research. Is this a good idea? What do they need to know when evaluating the veracity of Wikipedia articles? How should the site be used responsibly? Should it be ignored altogether? Today’s post gives some suggestions on using the site, but also asks more questions. Read the rest of this entry »


Have you ever wanted to put your skills to use to help people in a developing nation? Most of us probably have at some point in our lives, but something stopped us… maybe it was distance, time, money, or just not knowing where or how to help. Well, Siegfried Woldhek, former CEO of the World Wildlife Foundation, and may just have a solution for you. Here is Woldhek, explaining why he started Nabuur:

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Online Productivity Suites to Bridge the Digital Divide?

TeacherJay is working on a large post compiling links and descriptions of places to get free software, but he was so excited about a new (to him) site that he didn’t want to wait to post it. Thanks to Ionut Alex Chitu over at Google Operating System, TeacherJay has learned about This site is mostly free and has online services that can be used in place of many office/productivity applications, such as a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation builder, chat, planner and even a project manager (a few of the apps are limited before a subscription fee is required). This goes a little above what is offered on and even Google Docs & Spreadsheets. Although all three services definitely need some work, it is exciting to see that someday we may be able to run all of our software over the ‘net.

Why is this important to a blog concerned with education you ask? Read the rest of this entry »

What is RSS?

TeacherJay was going to write a post on this, but Iain Magee has already on a very nice job of explaining this concept for the casual reader. Long gone are the days when checking for new content meant typing in that URL again and trying to figure out if you had read the latest post or not. Today we can “subscribe” to a lot of sites, especially news sites and blogs, to get the latest content. TeacherJay is an avid reader of many different RSS Feeds. Some browsers have integrated feed readers, or you can use an aggregator such as Google Reader, or Bloglines. So happy reading, and don’t forget to subscribe to this blog, too!

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