David Lyon

Tech Conference '05 - Draft Notes   [show]  [hide]

These notes are from the TechED '05 conference held in Pasadena, CA from April 5-7. See http://www.techedevents.org/2005/ for more information.

Sessions and other information is provided below.

< 1 Secure Wireless Networks: Balancing User Access and Asset Protection

Peter Alexander, VP, Commercial Marketing, Cisco

Peter introduced the acronym "SWAN" for Structured Wireless Aware Network. Merging data and voice. Provides the ability to roam and remain authenticated.

Network will sense rogue point and disable it. In the future, they will use Cat-5 as a power source and power a device across the Ethernet. It will allow you to maintain nv-ram of your computer.

At James Madison University, file sharing makes up 45 percent of the traffic.

< 2 Keynote - Teaching Zack to Think: Developing Critical Think Skills on the Net

Alan November, Senior Partner, Building Learning Communities

The Y2k scare resulted in the hiring of many Indian programmers, opening the door to off-shoring. They had a strong work ethic compared to U.S. workers. Students here lack the ethic. The trend is continuing. Disney fired all US based animators and is off-shoring. The work ethic is much stronger overseas. The infrastructure of technology enables off-shoring. Kids are not economically viable. "If we succeed at 'No Child Left Behind", we will fail.

Technology permits us to:

  • Access information the moment we need it.
  • All classrooms can be global communication center.

Teach students how to outsource. Children are motivated by expanding relationships. Teach people to be self directed.

None of the above is in "No child left behind."

See http://www.martinlutherking.org. This is a very odious website, owned by www.stormfront.org. This is a white pride site. It gets filtered but the MLK site doesn't get filtered. The stormfront site has blogs, podcasting, etc. "These people have it figured out". A shame that this site is more entertaining and engaging than any school site he has seen.

Real revolution not about technology but about information and communication. Teach children the rules of information, the grammar of the Internet. Teach them who controls information. See http://www.easywhois.com.

Blogging, the current number one technology will change society. The kids have blogs but the teachers don't. Every student is going to have a web page - connected to other web pages. A powerful communication set at their fingertips.

They will have a bigger voice than we did. One of the most important things schools should teach is the ethics of communication. See his site: http://www.novemberlearning.com/blogs/alannovember/. It is number four in google. Google counts the number of links to a site. The site has been "google bombed." Teach kids the architecture of the web so they know what is truth. Google is used more than the library.

Notes to this are at his site.

Student example: legend of concentration camps. Student used the site and didn't realize. See http://noodletools.com for search engines. What do the pattern of links tell you about the validity of the site? If links all go to the author, assume bias. Watch for a self-referencing website.

What do the external links tell you about this site? Example: See http://pubweb.northwestern.edu/~abutz/di/intro.html.

Search the above on google so see all other people connected to his work. See http://pubweb.northwestern.edu/~abutz/di/dc/camps.html for revisionist information. Teach students using more web based assignments. There are thirteen schools in country that have links to the professors website.

Work ethic of a global economy requires we teach students to design more and more of their learning. Staff development benefits as they don't have to do all the work.

  • Search Commands Tutorial
  • host: hostname (Works on Altavista)
    url: must be in web address
    link: all links coming into that address

    Students are highly motivated when they have an authentic audience that are their clients.


    search host:ac.uk "American Revolution"

    Are the British accurate in their depiction of the American Revolution?

    Baywatch is the number one TV program in the world. Many only see the U.S. through the media. Compete or cooperate.

    For country codes, go to "netlingo.com". Duke University gave every freshmen entering university an iPod. Search "Duke University and iPod and Learning". An iPod will store an audio course. Students can download lessons to iPod off of the website.

    host: nasa.gov

    Determine how many links off of this domain. You can create a virtual TOC.

    Host: nasa.gov "Mars Rover" "solar panel".

    "solar panel" host:edu

    The host option works only in altavista. Others, use url or "domain:.edu" on Yahoo and "site:edu" on google.


    site:k12 "third grade".

    Find out who is linked to your website using "link:".

    See http://visitmyclass.com/. Must improve work ethic in this expanding age of technology.

< 3 Exhibit Hall

There was a substantial exhibit hall. I visited Mirapoint and WebCT and several others and have information available for viewing.

< 4 Laptop Initiative: Results from a Pilot Study

Dr. Gabriel Esteban, Provost
John Gale, Director
Dr. Sam Buchanan, Associate Provost

University of Central Arkansas.

The University of Central Arkansas conducted a pilot study to determine the pros and cons of requiring laptops. They referenced the successful program at Northern Michigan University. See http://www.nmu.edu/academics/tlc.htm for more information. The results of the Arkansas pilot program are described below.

  • Shortcomings
  • Get Faculty and student buy-in. Get buy-in and early involvement with board of

    trustees. Central Arkansas was premature in this roll out.

    At some point, the got new leadership.

    • Issues
    • With the new provost, there was a shift to academics.

  • Cost
  • Charging $ 350-400 each semester. Looked at Thinkpad, MS office, Norton, etc. They were thinking of providing 24x7 support. They knew students would want to go to Best Buy so the University had to do a cost basis analysis to show the benefit. They estimated $ 2500 in benefits for the $ 400 spent. They did the pilot for $ 250000 and used some one time funds from the president. They would recycle the laptops to faculty after pilot was done. The president OK'd this.

  • Benefits
  • You are creating a level playing field, providing technology proficiency, increased enrollment, retention, and graduation. About 40 percent of the students could not afford a laptop. There are first-mover advantages. At NMU, applications went up 30-40 percent.

  • Technology
  • Student government leader at NMU was dead against it. A team met with her. After meeting with her, she endorsed it - she saw the possibilities about what you could do with it.

  • Infrastructure
  • IBM was to provide wireless. They are the first party in the country to be a third party neutral host, working on infrastructure within and between buildings. They have contracts with cellular providers - getting revenue from there. For the long term, Arkansas is thinking

    of services offered through cell phones.

  • Faculty Support
  • They have a "Faculty Associates" program and half have attended. They are looking at a technology fee to do regular replacement. Next phase of pilot will provide 400-500 laptops to the faculty/staff.

    They are also doing technology upgrades - smart classrooms (with better security).

  • Design
  • NMU failed in 2001 to launch a ubiquitous laptop initiative. At UCA, they had 140 students participating in the pilot. All either had a writing or political science course, tied together. This helped in doing training and helped mitigate some of the help desk issues. The majority of the classes were in wireless environments. They set up some assessment mechanisms. The technology did the assessment. Part of this was myth busting. "Its not going to work". The cost was $ 125.00 per semester to provide support, hardware and software. The fee was automatically added at enrollment - based on classes being taken. The support desk was expanded. The clustered class engendered support amongst students. Additional student workers were brought in for helpdesk support. "Train the trainers".

    Students had responsibilities - there was no replacement for damage or theft.

    • Assessment
    • See hardcopy proposal. Students overwhelmingly thought the program important.

      The biggest complaint was the network which connects via the State of Arkansas. It was having problems. There were many gripes but students still liked the program. They did faculty focus groups too. They adopted the Model R51 IBM thinkpad for better power management. It has a 40 GIG drive, and 512 RAM. They did not make accommodations for electrical in labs/classrooms.

      They had to really re-think furniture and it will be a problem as they ramp up.

    • Tech Committee Recommendations
    • The committee recommended unanimously that they launch a ubiquitous notebook computing program with the incoming freshmen class ASAP. They are allowing one thousand to apply for the upcoming year with full implementation in fall of 2007. The cost will be $ 250/semester but will go to $ 400. They will assess infrastructure and roll out an expanded pilot.

      At graduation, you have option for buy-back as this is a lease program through GE. They looked at a 3 year replacement cycle but think it may not be worth it. You only keep the laptop for one year at present. They think they'll have 400 freshmen this fall. Financial aid doesn't cover it unless all students are participating.

      Another lesson learned - is the need for an insurance plan for damage, theft.

      Students have put pressure on faculty to communicate via technology.

      IBM was used because of ruggedness and availability of a disk airbag, protecting disks and provided an easy swap out. IBM had financing, inventory management, manuals, insurance, all laid out. It was not so much the machine, but all the support they provided.

      Arkansas doesn't currently push an image. Students must connect in front of firewall. Another lesson learned was that they must get computers well in advance to have time to install the images. The other option is to teach students to image themselves.

< 5 IPod in Education: Podcasting and Much More

Mike Lawrence, Executive Director, Computer-Using Educators (CUE)

Podcasting in education. There have been 23 million sold. A podcast is essentially a personal radio station.

Who is using? Education leaders, administrators, fac/staff, media specialists, teachers, and students.

Synchronizing SIS with iPod being experimented with. Itunes links with iPod and can run on PC or Mac.

It is also a great organizational tool with clock, calendar, contacts, student emergency information. It is lacking windows based links. It can also be used for notes. You can transfer text files from computer and even PDF. It serves as a small scale database.

Podcasts are available on the web. And audio broadcast can be received and then downloaded to an iPod. It uses an RSS feed and those can be subscribed to. There are freely available ones as well. Audio books are also available.