Sunday, November 10, 2013

When you decided to obtain a DVD for your science fiction assignment in Module 4, where did you go to find a movie based on a Philip K. Dick book? Did you rent or purchase a DVD, or did you view it digitally on your computer using Netflix or a similar vendor of video-on-demand? 

 I chose to watch  A Scanner Darkly using Amazon Prime. This Amazon Prime service and Netflix were the only places I knew I could watch one of the movies very cheaply and find the movie easily.  In my community the only movie rental  store has been Blockbuster and it is in the process of closing.  Redbox is also available as a cheap rental place, but always finding the movie you want is not easy. With Amazon Prime I had the movie started within minutes and I never had to leave my home.

Is the current competition between DVDs and video-on-demand an example of increasing returns or Red Queens?
The video on demand and DVDs are an example of Red Queens. Both share the same market, but the video on demand makes it easier for the consumer to have the movie they want right then.  I don't have to worry if the last copy is rented because with on demand it is always available. Even the DVDs rental company Redbox now has video streaming available to stay in the market of both areas.

Where do you think DVDs and video-on-demand are on the four criteria of McLuhan's tetrad? 

DVDs are being replaced and becoming obsolete by the video on demand services.  The convenience that having the exact video you want streamed to your television, computer, or other electronic device is something consumers want.  I think the on demand enhances YouTube where people have been downloading how to, funny, and entertaining videos for the past several years.   

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Second Life

Second Life is a virtual world that the users can create their own worlds, appearance, and how they move about.  The users can communicate with other users that have similar interests, but may live thousands of miles apart.  

Second Life is a disruptive technology that is a new technology, but like an old technology but is enhanced and a replacement of an old technology according to Dr. Thornburg (Laurette Education, 2008).   One of the technologies this has replaced is the gaming industry where people can play their friends in real time.  They can still play games in Second Life, but can also chat and move about.

The Virtual World Kitely maybe the next replacement of Second Life.  Graphics are better, the cost is less, and there are restrictions to reduce adult content.  In comparing the two virtual worlds the use of Kitely seemed better for the K -12 education world. 


Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2008).Emerging and future technology: Disruptive technologies. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Ashwood, B. (2013) Virtual worlds - kitely is a keen replacement for second life retrieved from 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Rhymes of History

Over the last 30 years the way presentations are presented in classrooms and for businesses has greatly evolved.  Starting with the overhead projector and transparencies that were taken off the screen one at a time while the audience waited to see what was next.   The presenter had to make sure they were organized and all of their information was together and in the right order or this could be a major failure.

In 1987, Microsoft launched PowerPoint and the digital presentation began.  Companies began to use them for their presentations.  Keeping an audiences attention was much easier.  Soon sound, graphics, and videos were able to be added to the presentation. Teachers who used them in the classroom could keep students engaged easier. 

Moving to 2013 the top presentations are easy to create and include animations.  Prezi, Go Animate, Google Docs, Slide Rocket, SoHo Show, and Slide Snack are 6 of the best presentation software alternatives from PowerPoint.

Kelly, K. (2007, December). Kevin Kelly on the next 5,000 days of the Web [Speech]. Speech delivered at the EG 2007 Conference, Los Angeles. Retrieved from

Friday, September 27, 2013

IPads and Computers in the Classroom

The iPads have been on the market a few years, but almost instantly they began to appear in the classroom as a new technology tool for the students and teachers to use.  Students have access to interactive books just by touching the screen. Student textbooks or books are easily updated as opposed to having to purchase all new textbooks every few years.   The iPads are easier to store and transport for the students.

IPads were created after the touchscreen of the smartphone.  Laptops are smaller than the Ipads, but still taking from place to place can be more difficult.    The iPad is easier to carry and take from place to place.  The IPad has the capability of accessing the internet through a wireless connection or 3G.  Many websites have also made the transformation to an app. 

Students can easily manage the iPads.  Finding information through the technology device is second nature to them.  Students are excited to be able to learn new content using these devices.  The engagement of the students during lessons with this technology is much greater than just having class with the teacher as the main focus or the textbook.  

One thing that would make the iPads more useful in the classroom would be the ability to have the data transferred from one device to another more easily for the students. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Current Trends in Educational Technology

Identify a current technology that has emerged in the last few years that shapes learning or productivity in your industry. 

SMARTboards or interactive white boards have been around for many years, but schools are just reaching the point that some can afford them. I teach in a K-5 building that in the last few years my building has been able to purchase a SMARTboard for every teacher (grade level, special needs, art, music, library, etc) in the building. This has allowed us to be able to model interactive text materials that the district has purchased, we can have small group instruction where the students can touch the screen and make it interactive, and students are more engaged in the lessons.  Lessons for the SMARTboard are easily found on the internet.  

What problems or challenges have been associated with this technology? 

The cost is a huge problem. The SMARTboards and projectors can cost approximately $3900 each.  For the small building I teach at this was close to a $33,000 expense.   Through school fundraisers and grants we were able to complete this in 3 years. 

Another challenge is getting some teachers away from just using it as a big movie screen.  Our technology specialist in the building works with teachers frequently to show them the many benefits.  There is also technology professional development offered through our district during the school year and summer.  We have a requirement of obtaining 24 hours of professional development outside of the school day each contract year. 

The following blog discusses why she doesn’t feel like having SMARTboards in the classroom is that great. 

What societal need does it meet, and what are its benefits? 

SMARTboards allow teachers to be able to model interactive text materials that the district has purchased, teachers can have small group (can be whole group) instruction where the students can touch the screen and make it interactive and students are more engaged in the lessons.  Students, especially at the elementary age, are used to seeing animation from PBS kids shows/cartoons, learning websites, and their toys.  To keep them engaged in the classroom having something that is interactive and moving is Lessons for the SMARTboard are easily found on the internet.  One of the best teacher created SMARTboard lesson sites used is Smarttech .  It is free for teachers to sign up and use. 

What would make this technology even better, avoiding the pitfalls you identified?

If a school wants to purchase SMARTboards or interactive whiteboards they need to think ahead the professional development aspect.  Have a technology team of teachers willing to provide some sort of professional development to unsure teachers is a great start.  

The cost is a huge problem, but not sure how that can be fixed.  There is a school discount already in place from majority if not all companies that sell SMARTboards.