Sunday, May 28, 2006

a $100 computer for only $300

What a Deal!!!!!

You have probably heard of the MIT $100 computer by now. This is a computer that is designed to make computing available for underdeveloped countries.

The proposed $100 machine will be a Linux-based, with a dual-mode display—both a full-color, transmissive DVD mode, and a second display option that is black and white reflective and sunlight-readable at 3× the resolution. The laptop will have a 500MHz processor and 128MB of DRAM, with 500MB of Flash memory; it will not have a hard disk, but it will have four USB ports. The laptops will have wireless broadband that, among other things, allows them to work as a mesh network; each laptop will be able to talk to its nearest neighbors, creating an ad hoc, local area network. The laptops will use innovative power (including wind-up) and will be able to do most everything except store huge amounts of data. (

This computer is designed to provide computing power at an affordable price. I was listening to the TWIT (This Week In Technology) podcast where they were discussing the features of the computer including the power generating crank. I heard Leo Laport say "What are you going to use a computer for if you don't have the power to run it?" He obviously "doesn't get it." I have lived in Malaysia where many of the children went to school by day and returned to their homes which were plywood huts that had no electricity. Having one of these computers would allow them to continue in their studies. They don't have to be chatting or web surfing. Writing in the dynamic world of word processing allows for students to revise at will and develop into better writers. The world is not based upon technology, but if students have the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledgebase through technology, they will be better prepared for the world of today and tomorrow. KUDOS MIT!!!!

An interesting proposal has come to the forefront. Let's purchase these $100 computer for $300. Pledgebank is providing an opportunity to make this purchase so that you can help support providing computers for students in underdeveloped countries. Basically, your additional $200 would buy 2 computers for the needy students. (I would suppose that it would be tax-deductible but I would check with your CPA.)

Nicholas Negroponte will be speaking at NECC 2006 in San Diego on Thursday, July 6, 8:30 - 9:45 am. He will discuss the "One Laptop Per Child" initiative.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Podcasting Workshop for Carver Fellows

I had the privilege of presenting a 45-minute workshop on podcasting for the UNI Interdisciplinary Carver Fellowship. This workshop, Podcasting in the Classroom, was meant as an introduction to the world of podcasting and ideas for how it can be used in the classroom.

I have a few notes here concerning some of the links I included in the discussion: This is a site where you can download audio versions of books and other resources.

Atus The brand of wireless microphone that I used to record my Database class in Fall, 2005.

Rogue Amoeba Software The creators of Audio Hijack Pro software. Great software that will record anything that comes through your computer. I used this to record my Database class.

Databases in Education (Fall, 2005)
The website which holds the podcasts for my Using Databases in Education classes.

Skype The software discussed that will enable you to phone anywhere in the world free-of-charge. This is a computer-to-computer connection. Skype needs to be downloaded on computers at each end of the conversation and then just follow the directions to make the connections.

Dr. Larry Anderson The president of the National Center for Technology Planning.

Dr. David Thornburg Long-time speaker on using technology in education. Head of the Thornburg Center for Professional Development.

Radio Willow Web Podcasts that have been created by 1st through 5th grade students in Omaha, Nebraska.

Audio Yahoo Search engine for audio files including podcasts.

Olympus Digital Voice Recorder WS-100 The digital recorder used to record the podcast that is available at the bottom of this posting.

Additional Resources from the Workshop:

Podcast of the Workshop This 45-minute recording can be heard directly from your computer by clicking on it or by subscribing to the podcast.

Podcasts Resources Handout - Handout filled with resources for finding, making and publishing podcasts.

Podcasting in the Classroom PowerPoint - Presentation provided in the workshop.

I hope that this is useful for you. Please contact me if you have any questions about how you can integrate podcasting into your classroom.