Archive for January, 2010

A Great Tool for Embedding Videos into Your Blog!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “The World is Open“, posted with vodpod
[tweetmeme] Last night I posted a quick blog on Curriki about the interview above with Curt Bonk, author of  The World is Open: How Technology is Revolutionizing Education. Finding it difficult to embed the original video into WordPress, I called upon my friend Kim for suggestions. Kim in turn recommended that I convert the original film into a WordPress blog embed using VodPod-a service that allows you to collect videos from around the Net and then add them to your blog.
If you’ve ever had troubles with video embed formats, make sure to bookmark VodPod. Take a look at the VodPod Videos Widget too!



Why Digital Literacy is Imperative!

[tweetmeme]Thanks to Thomas Boito for bringing the above video to my attention via a comment on my last post, “A Vision of Students Today“.

The stats in the video above will blow you and your students away and are a great starting point for a conversation about the importance of digital literacy–the ability to ask questions, research and locate information online, validate and interpret that information, and contribute meaningfully and responsibly to online conversations and content.

Thinking about Did You Know 4.0!


Founder, Bon Education



A Vision of Students Today…

[tweetmeme] While browsing through this unit on 21st Century Skills, I came across the video above. A bit dated (the video was added to YouTube in 2007), the stats may be a slightly off, but messages are still applicable today.

Thanks to Michael Wesch and the students in his Introduction to Cultural Anthropology class for reminding the education establishment that we must continuously adapt to education the needs, habits and outlook of each generation.

To keeping up with the times and learning along the way!




Information is everywhere; the challenge is to make effective use of it.

I just posted a blog entry on Curriki that I suspect many Literacy is Priceless readers will enjoy as well. To see the original post, visit the Curriki blog.

The movement towards open content reflects a growing shift in the way academics in many parts of the world are conceptualizing education to a view that is more about the process of learning than the information conveyed in their courses. Information is everywhere; the challenge is to make effective use of it. -2010 Horizon Report

[tweetmeme] Open education enthusiasts will be delighted to read the 2010 Horizon Report—an annual document put out by the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative highlighting six emerging technologies/practices likely to enter mainstream education in the coming five years.

This year’s list includes:

  • Mobile computing (next 12 months) – Learning via devices such as smart phones and netbooks
  • Open content (next 12 months) – Think Curriki (i.e. free education resources that people can mix, modify, customize and share)
  • Electronic books (next 2-3 years) – Electronic reading devices à la the Kindle and the Sony Reader
  • Simple augmented reality (next 2-3 years) – Real world images with virtual computer-generated imagery/data overlays (Watch this video to see examples of simple augmented reality.)
  • Gesture-based computing (next 4-5 years) – Devices controlled by your body movements (See video example here)
  • Visual data analysis (next 2-5 years) – A combo of stats, data mining and visualizations to better understand large data sets (For examples of this, take a look at visual complexity.)

The Horizon Report points out that behind these emerging technologies/practices are four trends:

  • The abundance of information available online today is challenging traditional notions of what it means to be educators from keepers of information to coaches and sense-makers.
  • People expect to work and study anywhere and anytime.
  • Technologies are increasingly cloud-based. (For more on cloud-computing, click here.)
  • The work of students is increasingly collaborative and multidisciplinary.

If you have the time, this year’s Horizon Report is a fascinating and practical read filled with examples and further readings on each of the technologies/practices above. Make sure to check out the section on Open Content where you will discover more great OERs such as SmartHistory and FolkSemantic.

Until next week…

Anna Batchelder

Founder, Bon Education


P.S. Curious what emerging technologies were highlighted last year? Check out our 2009 summary of the Horizon Report.


Education is Priceless

The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance.

– Benjamin Franklin

[tweetmeme] Gotta love Ben F! Lucky for us, education doesn’t have to come at such a steep price thanks to the growing open education movement

Last week while reading Open Education News, I learned about the January 6, 2010 launch of NalandaU (Chennai, India)—a free online university that aggregates video and course content from universities such as MIT, Stanford, Yale, Berkeley and the Indian Institute of Technology. As Nalanda’s blog points out:

Apart from watching the videos, the students can take notes in the page and access them later – organized by courses. They can also connect with their friends in Facebook who are also in the same virtual class, and share information. The course pages also have related courses that the student can take next and improve the knowledge further. Selected courses also have online quiz that the students can take to get their grades, and can manage their transcripts from a central location. It has a simple search tool with search suggestions and course results organized by broad topics.

The site has been designed to reduce distraction and information-intimidation as much as possible. The information available at each page is organized well, unintimidating and more homogeneous, and when playing the videos you can go full screen or hide everything other than the lecture by using “Dim the lights” option.

NalandaU is a wonderful site of reference and study for educators, parents and high school/university students wishing to brush up on subject matter knowledge, explore new areas of interest and connect with subject-specific enthusiasts around the world. Course topics range from the American Novel to the History of Economic Thought to Mobile Application Development (see more courses here).

I wonder what good ol’ Ben would have thought of NalandaU? Off to explore some Nalanda U courses on entrepreneurship



PS Curious about the original Nalanda University? Learn a bit of history here. Moving to the other side of the globe… For more tips and quotes from Benjamin Franklin, click here.


Empowering Students with a “Can do!” Learning Attitude!

[tweetmeme] Recently while reading a back issue of the New Yorker, I came across a piece titled, “FOOD FIGHTER: Does Whole Foods’ C.E.O. know what is best for you?” While learning about the eccentric and seemingly contradictory nature and political views of the CEO of my favorite grocery chain, one paragraph forced me to pause and fold down the corner of page 40:

In high school, Mackey was an indifferent student, a late bloomer, puberty-wise, and a fanatic about basketball, science fiction, and girls. Before his senior year, he was cut from the varsity basketball team, and he persuaded his parents to move so that he could switch schools and play. “That changed my life, because for the first time I realized that if you didn’t like the hand you were dealt you didn’t just have to feel sorry for yourself. You could do something about it.

You could do something about it! You could do something about it!! YOU COULD DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!  Or, as my father used to tell me in college, “Anna—think multiple paths. If you can’t achieve your goal one way, be prepared to try a dozen others”.

Beyond teaching skills and content, perhaps the best gifts we can give students (both children and adults) are hope, faith in their own abilities and a “can do” attitude.

Digital technologies offer so much promise when it comes to helping students pursue their passions and the multiple paths to their goals… Aspiring writers no longer have to “wait” for an agent to get noticed, but can use sites like Storybird, Scribd and LuLu to spread their words. Future diplomats can connect with children around the world using sites like Panwapa and ePals. Language lovers can learn second and third languages with LiveMocha and italki. So many apps and endless learning possibilities!

How are you using digital technologies to empower your students to pursue their learning passions?

To doing!




Free Literacy Resources Online

[tweetmeme] Thanks to Tech & Learning for giving Literacy is Priceless a shout out over the holidays! LIP has received a significant traffic as a result!

If you are short on time (who isn’t?!) and into reading edtech research summaries, take a look at Tech & Learning’s Best Practices for the Classroom page where you will find short summaries such as:

To technology, literacy and learning!




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