Bummer – Flip is Dead

Cisco two years ago made a big splash by buying the maker of the Flip, the perfect-for-the-YouTube-age video camera that was then a tech geek accessory of choice. Now, Cisco is killing off the Flip.

Today, the company announced it will “exit aspects of its consumer businesses,” including shutting down Flip.

Elementary School Newspaper

Terracetimes.com started a number of weeks ago. Posts are generated by students, mostly without being assigned. In the lower grades, teachers are pulling together class projects on the curriculum in VoiceThread, MovieMaker, PhotoStory and posting them.

Are their ideas we could take away from this video which could be implemented in an elementary setting?

Click Below to Watch:

An email I sent to the staff today ….

Dear All (This impacts you):

The Department Of Information Technology sent me an email at noon today with the following information:

“Deployment of Internet Explorer 8 (IE 8) will begin on April 5, 2011 and run through April 22, 2011.”

This means starting today, your computer might act funny when you turn it on over the next few weeks. Don’t worry, it’s not a virus from some sinister outside source. It’s more like a virus from somebody you know.

During the first week, you’ll get an “optional advertisement” that IE8 is available. My advice is, go ahead and download it.

The second week, any computer that doesn’t have EI8 will have it automatically loaded when the computer is turned on. I think they should call that the “optional is optional” plan. You can stop it during the second week by pushing the “restart now” button while it is automatically downloading.

On the third week the “restart now” button goes away. Much like every radio tuner had to be licensed by the Soviet Regime, all computers which are turned on will have EI8 downloaded on them immediately, like it or not, no options to stop it.

So my advice is go ahead and download it when it is “offered,” optionally, the first week. At least then you’ll have the illusion you have freedom of choice.


Why Yahoo will never find a buyer for Delicious

(I truly hope I’m wrong about this.)

There’s been a lot of vitriol about Yahoo’s decision to deprecate Delicious.  We teachers use it to share links with classrooms or schools or online networks full of people.  It’s great.

Yahoo has put out a release saying they are “actively looking for a buyer” for Delicious.  Here’s why they won’t find what they seek.

Delicious is a huge compilation of links, ordered by value by crowd sourcing.  It takes very little financial backing to maintain, because there is no algorithm, no heavy technology.  The power is provided by the community.  One can go there, search for almost anything, and get very good results on a search, because only the best stuff has been put in there.

On the other hand …

Yahoo’s search depends on a huge infrastructure, constantly tweaking the technology, and monetizing by selling ranking in search results as well as (they hope) start charging subscription fees, the holy grail for online endeavors. (I mean, if netflix can get $6.90 a month, why can’t google/yahoo search?)

Here’s the thing.  If Yahoo sells Delicious, they will create a competitor that will hamper their ability to grow their core business.  Will Delicious under new management out-pace Google and Yahoo search?  Probably not.  But if Delicious survives under new management, it will be a competent alternative to a pay-for-search service which is the goal of Yahoo and Google search.

So the requirements for a buyer for Delicious would be:

1) Someone who has millions of dollars to spend

2) Someone with a business model that will never compete with Google and Yahoo search

3) Someone who will turn off the ability to search through all Delicious bookmarks

The catch is, if the new buyers of Delicious turn off the ability to search through all Delicious bookmarks, the potential revenue for the new buyer to charge for advertisements is diminished.  Getting a return on their investment on a multimillion dollar purchase will be all but impossible.

I certainly hope I’m wrong.



Elementary School Student Newspaper

Screen shot 2011-03-02 at 8.10.05 PM

There is an elementary school student newspaper done by a friend of mine using wordpress.

It is still “early days” but the kids are taking to it.

I’m told some student editors were appointed in 4th grade yesterday.

By this morning, they were holding court in the school library, before school started.  Each had a table with a netbook and were having writing conferences with authors from their class as they edited their submitted work for publication.

No direction was given for this activity – it was organic.

Very cool stuff.


The security on it is flawless. No information is given to identify anything about the school – whatsoever. No school names, no student names, no county names, no state, no country. Very, very cool stuff indeed.

No walled garden here – just the safety of anonymity.

And the kids don’t seem to care. They know what they’ve written, and their friends and families know too.

Good Lord! I’ve Been Filtered Out of Existance

Screen shot 2011-02-24 at 9.43.17 AM


I’ve written about the perils of web filtering just 15 days ago: http://clairvoy.com/2011/02/09/the-best-use-of-web-filtering-system/ and it looks like the man has caught up with me.

God forbid if teachers want to get together and discuss how they can better their practice.

Who the hell is making these decisions?  What goes in and what stays free?  Not a thinking person, we know that much.