Monthly Archives: February 2008

Centering the Web 2.0 conversation

web 2.0 centered conversation

There is a conversation already started that talks about Web 2.0 integration into K12 schools and the classroom.  Teachers around the world has already embraced the technology and are discovering  ways to intergrate it’s vast potential  into their classrooms.  School administrators and IT departments need to join the Web 2.0 conversation to form a complete “centered team”.  Implementation of Web 2.0 without this necessary centered conversation in 2008 will limit Web 2.0’s potential in the school house.     

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First look at Secure Computing

Secure Computing There is a company out there named Secure Computing.  They say they want to be “your trusted source for enterprise security”.  Yesterday I sat down with them to see if they could be our trusted source for K12 security.

Web Gateway Security Secure Computing products are broken into solutions sets.  The solution set presented yesterday was based around their Web Gateway Security solution.

Webwasher Everything in their Web Gateway Security Solution seems to based around the product Webwasher.   Like most security products in the Web 1.0 world, Webwasher does URL fitering.  Their marketing says this “First reputation based URL Filter eliminating security exposure, limiting legal risks and productivity losses caused by in adverted or unauthorized employee access to inappropriate, malicious or distracting Web content.”

There is another module of Webwasher that addresses “Anti-Malware”.  They use this module to bring the Web 2.0 conversation into their marketing conversation.  From a marketing standpoint brilliant.

Other modules include AntiVirus, SSL Scanner, Content Reporter, Instant message and Peer-to-peer security and SecureCache.

Buying all of these modules together is not cheap or in my opinion smart.  Because their architecture is module based it allows you take a la carte approach and build the solution that works best for your school district as you go.

My next step is to get one of their appliance’s in my district and open the hood to see what it can do.

Interactive whiteboard design

I am starting to learn that there are many design choices when it comes to classroom interactive whiteboards.

From a hardware standpoint I see 4 main choices on the market right now:

1) A touch-sensitive whiteboard that connects to your computer and digital projector.   In the past when I heard someone say smart-board this is what came to my mind.

Interactive whiteboard

2) Interactive projector that connects to your PC and then used with your computer and classroom whiteboard.

Interactive projector

3) An interactive device that attaches to a classroom whiteboard, connects to your PC by wire or wirelessly and then used with your computer and projector.

Whiteboard interactive device

4) This seems to be a new entry.  It is a combination short throw projector and interactive-whiteboard.

Short throw projector with whiteboard

If you know of any other designs let me know.

Each of the above designs is limited by the manufacture’s software features which will be a great subject for another post.

Everex $399 CloudBook available at Walmart.com on the 15th

Everex Cloudbook

The much anticipated $399 Everex Cloudbook is making its way to a classroom near you later this month. According to Everex’s website, the CloudBookwill be available at Walmart.com and ZaReason.com beginning 2/15/08. Additional Preinstalled and Linked Software
Mozilla Firefox, gMail, Meebo, Skype, Wikipedia, GIMP, Blogger, YouTube, Xing Movie Player, RythemBox, Faqly, Facebook and OpenOffice.org 2.3 (includes WRITER, IMPRESS, DRAW, CALC, BASE)

Hardware Specifications
1.2GHz, VIA C7®-M Processor ULV, 512MB DDR2 533MHz, SDRAM, 30GB Hard Disk Drive, 7″ WVGA TFT Display (800 x 480), VIA UniChrome Pro IGP Graphics, VIA High-Definition Audio, 802.11b/g, (1) 10/100 Ethernet Port, (1) DVI-I Port, (2) USB 2.0 Ports, (1) 4-in1 Media Card Reader, (1) .3MP Webcam, (1) Headphone/Line-Out Port, (1) Microphone/Line-In Port, (1) Set of Stereo Speaker, (1) Touchpad, (1) 4-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery

Introducing the Sony PCS-XG80 1080i video conferencing system

Sony PCS-XG80

Just when you thought your classroom had the latest and greatest in classroom video conferencing hardware Sony introduces the PCS-XG80,  the “industry’s first” 1080i high-definition videoconferencing system. 

According to the electronics-maker Sony of Canada Ltd. , the PCS-XG80 will provide a frame rate of 60 fields-per-second, while users can share PC data at 30 fps over IP or ISDN connections.  

The PCS-XG80 has dual stream functionality, which allows the system to send two simultaneous streams of live, HD information, like a live camera and animated PowerPoint presentation.

It also comes equipped multi-point conferencing, allowing users to call up to five other remote sites to meet simultaneously.  

Sony’s PCS-XG80 will be available in Spring 2008 for under $9,000.

Via [Engadget]