The dangers of tethering and Web 2.0

Generative Machine vs. Appliance We are moving increasingly toward appliancized machines — think TiVo, iPod, Blackberry, iPhone.  With software and applications moving off the PC and onto the Web we can use our PC as a dummy terminal to access online applications.  Continuous internet access creates the situation where our PCs and appliances can be …

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Generativity

A key concept in Zitrain’s book, The Future of the Internet and How to Stop it, is generativity. Every machine is not (and should not be) designed with generativity in mind. Generative systems are not inherently superior to non-generative systems; each must be examined as to its benefits and shortcomings individually. Generative systems facilitate innovation and invite outside contributions. These affordances of PCs and the Internet are also a source of risk to all who use them.

Your data is out there for everyone

Social networking applications have experienced amazing growth. I have a Facebook account and a MySpace account, although I do not use them nearly as much as my students do. I also use Netflix, which provides its users a service by tracking what movies you say you like so that it can offer you similar titles …

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The future of the internet — and how to stop it

Yesterday I recieved my copy of Jonathan Zittrain’s book The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It. Zittrain is a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.  When I first saw the title, I wondered why anyone would want to stop it?  So, I decided to read the book and find out. Chapter …

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Using Podcasts to Revolutionize the Use of Instructional Time

While researching podcast use, I stumbled across a Ning for Educational Vodcasting. A vodcast is a podcast with video content. Vodcasts and podcasts have been in use in the university setting for about five years now, since the Duke University initiative of 2005 where all students were issued iPods.  The most common use of the …

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The evolution of the machine: from content dispenser to learning response system

In Chapter 4 of Teachers and Machines, Cuban examines the teaching profession and the myriad of tasks the teacher is expected to accomplish in a relatively small amount of time. One of those tasks is the evaluation, selection and adaptation of appropriate technologies into  the teaching routine. The teacher must perceive that the technology has …

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Instructional TV… a short-lived love affair

In Chapter 2 of Teachers and Machines, Larry Cuban reminds us of the cyclic nature of technology implementations in education. Instructional TV goes through its cycle… Early adopters are followed by varied degrees of adoption. Small pockets of best-practice appear and some poor usage is noted. Eventually the novelty wears off and there is a …

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Everything changes and nothing changes…

When I first opened this book, my initial thought was… Why am I reading this 24 year old book? So, perhaps my mindset was a bit negative at the outset. I dutifully began reading Chapter 1 of Teachers and Machines. Cuban’s discussion of reform in American education at the turn of the century struck a …

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