Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Use of Web Albums Combined with Google Earth for the Classroom

I frequently use iPhoto on my laptop combined with a projector to show students in my American History and Fine Art classes images relevant to the lesson plan of the day. It is not infrequent, particularly in my American History classes to jump back and forth between an image of an event – like Magellan’s ships – and a map – like the Straits of Magellan – to illustrate an historical point. In my Art classes I might discuss architecture – like that of Pompeii – and show painted depictions of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. In both instances, having images embedded in Google Earth can give a sense to the students of to where it is that I am referring.

If we are planning on going on a class trip to, say, the Fitzmaurice Ruins or Montezuma’s Castle, embedded photos in Google Earth can help the students understand where the ruins are and their relationship to each other.

Kestrel High School students go on many wilderness trips. When we plan our school yearbook, we can use Picasa and Google Earth to supplement the yearbook sections on wilderness trips by showing – instead of a just a collage of images – where exactly the images were taken.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Social Networking Sites

Back in the late eighties/early nineties I produced a kids show at a television station in New York City and hired as the writer a very creative young woman who had done some terrific things for Nickelodeon. And she’d pound out weekly scripts on the electric typewriter in her cubicle. I kept telling her how much easier her life would be if she would only type her scripts on a computer. But she steadfastly refused. Long story short and nearly twenty years later: she’s trying to get me to sign up for LinkedIn.

Since all that I know about this SNS is the little that my former colleague has told me (popular among professionals in the television industry), and the Boyd-Ellison journal article, I have taken on to research this site.

What was the target audience for this social networking site?

The target audience are business and professional people. Currently, there are approximately 150 industries networking within the site. Of the 45 million members, half are outside of the United States.

How long was the site in existence?

The site was conceived in the fall of 2002, and launched in May of 2003 with 300 members.

Why was it popular? What was its demise?

LinkedIn’s popularity appears to be due to making connections with colleagues that people have lost touch with and establishing networks; very much like networks people create when job hunting.

Is/was there another competitor in the same market that was more popular?

There are other sites competing for the same market that LinkedIn goes after. However, it appears that there is no other site currently as successful. One such site is Visible Path a business network that tracks the contacts members make during the course of business. Another site attempting to be competitive is Fast Pitch! which helps small businesses promote their products.

Would you ever consider creating an account and using it? Explain your reason using a personal experience as an example.

I may consider creating an account on LinkedIn, if I can manufacture another half-hour in the day. I guess everyone creates a priority list of chores and responsibilities. I feel like I am so far behind the 8-ball already with personal correspondence, that if I begin forming contacts and communicating with long-lost colleagues, necessary responsibilities – like coursework and lesson plans – will fall by the wayside. If I every get up to date and have a portion of free time on my hands, I’ll sign up for LinkedIn.