Sunday, January 10, 2010

Follow-up to "My First Take on Ubuntu"

As I was sitting in a Starbucks in Tianjin this morning doing some quick research on the "Schools Interoperability Framework" (my background in the data integration world makes me naturally curious about such things), I also ran across two recent well-written blog postings regarding the possibilities for widespread adoption of Ubuntu, one decidedly pro (by Christopher Dawson) and one unwaveringly con (by Jason Hiner).

While it is unwise, particularly in the realm of competing computer technologies, to say that a particular technology will never succeed, at this point in the game both my personal experiences with Ubuntu and the hard stats presented in the graph in Jason Hiner's posting indicate to me that the broad introduction of Ubuntu into a primary/secondary school environment is not currently a good idea (although I always want to regularly keep my finger on the pulse of alternatives to both Windows and Mac operating systems). It remains unfortunately true that FREEWARE ISN'T FREE -- the total cost of ownership is more than just the dollars and cents entailed in license fees.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Action research into metacognition development

As we are "reporting" on our Professional Portfolio website, my wife, Lora, and I have been doing some interesting work with her Grade 2 students in developing their reading skills (or more importantly, their ability to oversee the development of their own reading skills).

As we say on our site:
In working with the Grade 2 students at the International School of Tianjin, we have discovered a straightforward yet quite effective use of Flip camera technology in the classroom for development of metacognition skills in the language arts program.

Check out the full descriptive text and the accompanying documentary videos (showing of few of Lora's students in action) on our website.