Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Zune Coming Nov. 14
If you live in a bubble, as we sometimes do, you may not be ready for Zune--Microsoft's answer and ante to the iPod. Bigger screen, bigger battery, well,...have fun Googling on it!

We did see several Flash-to-Zune converters advertised. Why wouldn't it support Flash natively?

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Department of Education recognizes the promise of single-sex schools.
OK, nothing at all to do with web media. Should some kids learn without co-ed pressures? I have no idea. Do boys and girls learn differently sometimes? We sure better be open to that possibility--the evidences keep coming.

Hmmm. Maybe this does have something to do with history media. Think you that some stories will grab girls attention more than boys? Vice versa? Can the same story start with two (or more) different introductory narratives?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The 2006 Brown Center Report on American Education: How Well Are Our Students Learning?
You guessed it. We still haven't persuaded funders to stop funding more of the same reports on the problem; and give us money for the solution. But we whine...This one comes from the Brookings Institute (Report PDF):
..two very fascinating questions. The first is: Does the road of contentment, of happiness, if you will, as best we can measure it, of students in school make a discernible difference in their performance? The report then also takes up another somewhat unrelated question but equally important in the ongoing debate on No Child Left Behind, and that is the question of: How much truth is there to the common contention that the states are really gaming this law, artificially inflating the reported numbers of students that meet proficiency standards?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

BBC - History - Interactive Content
BBC continues to add to its interactive and multimedia history content. This index gives you access to the whole lot of it. We saw a few previously not noticed: The Colosseum: Building the Arena of Death; Animated Map: Battle of the Somme; and Interactive Map of Auschwitz .

Monday, October 23, 2006

Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution PBS
The timeline/dynamic map of Global Revolution revolution is quite revealing.

Also, under "Royal Life" there's some great VR, spliced in with scenes from the film, all organized as a tour of the palace.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Turning the Corner to Quality Thomas B. Fordham Foundation
They say Edison tried a thousand materials before he hit on a working light bulb. Experimentation is critical to improving education; but like surgery, experimental failures hurt real people.

The Gates Foundation, the state of Ohio, and others asked Fordham to take a look at the work so far in Ohio's charter schools. Now, charter schools are generally beyond the scope of this blog. Yet we do have a certain interest in seeing a few education dollars unleashed from the entrenched, unimaginative, hidebound educrats and given over to people who emulate the visionaries of other professions... and actually try new things.

This report takes a hard look at Ohio's steps and mis-steps on the charter school path.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Give Kids Good Schools Week
I can't find one whiff of substance here, but hey: Rah! Rah!! Go Schools!! Doesn't that make you feel better?!

Monday, October 16, 2006

NewsHour Poetry Series PBS
The U.S. has a new poet laureate, and the Newshour continues its tradition of introducing and recognizing these and other outstanding poets. Says new laureate Donald Hall, "I've seen enormous increases in the consumption of poetry...poetry is simply becoming more popular. It's still not as popular as dog racing...but it has become infinitely more popular."

If writing with feeling interests you (and it should as a storyteller), visit the Newshour's poetry project, learn of some poets, read and hear their works, and explore more resources on poetry.
What a week! Downtown D.C. and AUSA 2006, with briefings from the G3/5/7 on out and down, not to mention hair-raising details on software-based radio waveforms, electromagnetic armor, and machine language translation. Then back to Ohio and straight into 36 hours of the Algonquin Mill Festival, with spinner-weavers, cloggers, flint-knappers, and way, way too much pancake batter, biscuit mix, and coffee grounds. We even got to chat extensively with the would-be replacement to Congressman Bob Ney, Joy Padgette; and a visitor from the Washington Times White-House team.

What a country!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

AUSA 2006 Expo
This week took us to the world's greatest annual study of people, policy, terrain, technology, medicine, you name it. Friends, there is old history, and there is evolving history and if you want to meet people really deep into tomorrow's headline history, the AUSA annual meeting is the place to do it.

I can only summarize this way: I've encountered more than my share of real geniuses. The guys who invented machine learning and A.I. The The folks inventing Rails as we speak. Avi Tevanian, inventor of the Mac/NeXT OS Kernel. The men and women running our army are some awfully bright, learned, adaptive, creative, committed people. Hearing their briefings on the progress and change of the past three years is truly inspiring.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The State Of Web Development - Ajax set to surpass Flash in ‘07 Ajaxian
We always thought Flash was an iffy technology for many web applications. Maybe now, Flash can start concentrating on what it was invented to do: Tell Stories!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Now Hear This: Downloadable Audio Study Guides
We asked you: "How soon will it be till college students are learning more from their iPod than from the professor lecturing in front of them?

Textbook publisher Pearson and audio vendor Audible.com have teamed up to produce study notes: Vangonotes.com . We've already downloaded our first two (free) modules on reconstruction and are excited (OK, it's still a textbook publisher - yawn) to hear them!