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  • mcquaid 3:15 pm on November 6, 2011
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    This is a trick question in the sense that it’s more than one question. Whether or not I think the iPad(#) is a global education changer may not match my opinion on whether I would invest in it or not. As long as it was profitable and I stood to make some money on it, […]

    Continue reading D#3 – Will iPad, or Won’t I? Posted in: Week 09: iPad Apps
    • Everton Walker 4:58 pm on November 6, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      I like how you zoomed in on what should iPads do to consider a game-changer. I think a technology has to change all aspects of teaching and learning with proven results overtime to be considered a game-changer.


  • mcquaid 3:13 pm on November 1, 2011
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    Actually, I don’t use an iPad – or any other tablet. Never have beyond the aisle of a store. It’s not that I’m not interested in one, it’s just that I don’t see enough personal benefit in them to justify the large pricetag at the moment. What about student benefits, though? Surely, we can all […]

    Continue reading Discussion #2 – iPad, uPad, willweallPad? Posted in: Week 09: iPad Apps
    • bcourey 4:07 pm on November 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Any chance of theft of these devices in schools? How do teachers deal with that? Or is it a concern at all?


      • mcquaid 11:05 am on November 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        It must be a concern. I wonder if there could be some remote bricking command that could be transmitted to an iPad recognized as stolen…

        One story I heard before of a school that got one iPad for every student went something like this:
        Someone asked the principal what they would do if one of them broke. The principal said they would replace it. Expensive, but a clear solution!

    • Angela Novoa 7:23 pm on November 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Stephen, I do agree with you about the Flash issue. However, as I mentioned before, there are some tools based on Flash that are working on developing apps for iPad and overcome this issue (e.g. Prezi,

      About the Internet connection (WiFi), you argue that it is not a device fault. Do you have in mind some options that might overcome this?

      And, Brenda, theft of these devices in schools is a relevant issue to consider. Educators must inspire a their students of taking care of technologies. However, some precautions must be taken. Any thoughts about what precautions should we take?

      • bcourey 6:16 am on November 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        I suppose it is up to each school board as to what policies they have in place for any kind of theft – cell phones, school equipment, iPods etc.

        • mcquaid 11:03 am on November 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          I wonder if any schools have students rent them or put damage deposits down on them (similar to the use of instruments in a band program).

      • mcquaid 11:02 am on November 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Angela, I know there are some tools based on Flash that are becoming compatible, but I don’t want some. I want all! I don’t want some device I use to not be able to handle something that is a fairly standard file type, plugin, etc.

        As for WiFi, it’s not so much that I am arguing but just saying it in passing – the fact that it needs WiFi to function fully isn’t the device’s “fault” – it just needs it. It puts the pressure on schools or places of work to have the infrastructure in place to do such things. I think that at this time, education / the work world needs to have things like wireless access set up to enable people to do more things. To me, there’s no point in even investigating them / inquiring about them until our school gets such access. The only options I can think of that would overcome that hurdle would be wired network access (talk about annoying on a device like that), or to have large chunks of information stored on it to use it offline.

    • Deb Giesbrecht 1:42 pm on November 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I love the cartoon – that’s great and I agree we all go a little crazy over new technology.

      I too have not found a good enough reason to get one. One of my friends have one and they happen to mention they were downloading apps to replace some of the other ‘tools’ in their house – like a calculator, etc. I cannot find good enough reasons to justify the cost – even if I replaced all my calculators, rulers, etc.
      I do a lot of word processing and find the touch screen difficult to manage my typing – although you can get keyboards for them now. I still need a better reason to get one though.
      It’s great to have a new toy – but lets call it what it is. If we are using it for gaming and videos than it is an entertainment system and depending on how many games you play depends if the end justifies the means.

  • mcquaid 8:12 am on October 31, 2011
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    The goal for this week was to critically examine and evaluate the cloud computing market. We felt that whether you were contemplating adopting cloud storage or a cloud application for a business or school district, as an EVA, the topics presented this week would help you make an informed decision. With your help, we highlighted […]

    Continue reading Week 8 Wrap-up: Meteorology in Computing Posted in: Week 08: Files in the Cloud
    • Deb Kim 3:10 pm on November 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thank you, Stephen, James, and Ashley. I had a great week learning about cloud computing.
      I didn’t know exactly what cloud computing was before, so I didn’t pay a lot of attention to it until the topic was brought up last week. I realized that I’d been using cloud-based apps since a few years ago.
      Thank you for the conclusion.


  • mcquaid 3:16 am on October 24, 2011
    0 votes

    But… then again, you’re already here! Welcome to Week 8, where you will investigate many of the ins and outs of cloud computing. As EVA’s, we hope that you will help our group to look critically at the usefulness, promises, and pitfalls of working in a cloud. Throughout your activities and discussions this week, we […]

    Continue reading Welcome to Cloud Computing Posted in: Week 08: Files in the Cloud
  • mcquaid 4:39 pm on October 23, 2011
    0 votes


    Things have been pretty busy, here in the cloud for the last few days, so I didn’t get to do my fifth post on the right day. Here it goes now: As for my own blogs, there is nothing really to show for moment that is either impressive or content-appropriate. I have my school site, […]

    Continue reading Day 7 is the new Day 5… + Market Thoughts Posted in: Week 07: Blogs
    • jarvise 5:34 am on October 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      You’re right about the lack of comments being discouraging. Someone else commented earlier in the week on the effect of negative comments too. It would be interesting to examine the psychological implications of blogging. Whenever I post a comment on CBC, I’m always obsessed with how many ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ I get. Then I try to analyze why people wouldn’t like what I said. Its crazy how we get caught up in it. Maybe a venture focusing on the future of blogging might be a self-help site on how to handle feedback (or lack thereof). Perhaps it could link back to some old Jack Handy quotes.


  • mcquaid 2:26 pm on October 20, 2011
    0 votes


    God made the sun, moon, stars… I just made this post. Time In some ways, blogging definitely takes time. For my own site, I need the time to gather some information, create my own thoughts, take a picture, put a name/stamp on it, and then post it all. I wish it was faster… I feel […]

    Continue reading On the 4th Day… Posted in: Week 07: Blogs
    • bcourey 2:34 pm on October 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Amazing how many teaching opportunities you have linked to the use of blogs! Your students will benefit greatly. Interesting too how you find blogging for yourself to be very time consuming, but a time-saver for your teaching! Doesn’t that tell us that educators find very little time to do their own reflections online.

    • Keisha Edwards-Hamilton 6:55 pm on October 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Time is a huge factor when it comes on to blogging. Blogging takes time. It takes time to compile a post. I can hardly remember writing a post and publish immediately ….. I would normally write, edit, re-write, and proofread before I make hitting the submit button. There’s nothing worse than a post with bad grammar and spelling errors.


    • jenaca 12:12 am on October 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      It is true that blogging takes time, and time is very precious these days with everything we have going on in our lives. I always try to perfect my blog, so like Keisha stated, I write, edit, write again, proofread and finally post. However, do you think that over time blogging will become easier? That we will no longer have to edit and re-edit several times?

      • mcquaid 3:05 pm on October 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        In some ways, I think that’s already here… it just depends on what you think a blog post is. If it can be really short, Twitter fits the bill. If it can be a combo of info from other places, it can be a semi-automatic post like Gleanr (which Dave showed us this week). I think… to make quality blog posts as we currently know them… will always take a little more time, but will also always be of a bit better quality than the bite-sized or automatic stuff.
        The only “cheat” I used to use (and still would, only it doesn’t work in Chrome) is Zemanta – it’s good for generating links for you in the text, and for adding relevant pics if you want them.

    • Deb Kim 11:36 pm on October 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thank you for the insightful post!
      I agree with you that filtering has helped avoid spam but I was surprised when I saw the number of spam on the course blog. Although they are not published, there’s quite a lot of spam.


  • mcquaid 7:56 am on October 19, 2011
    0 votes

    The blog I decided to look at with a critical eye today is “elementary teacher blog” (capitals left out to expose the guilty). I judged it according to the 4-section rubric given to us, as well as some notes based on the criteria that went with today’s reading / viewing. Content I give it a […]

    Continue reading Day 3… the Day of Blog Reckoning Posted in: Week 07: Blogs
    • Juliana 5:54 pm on October 19, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      You touched on an issue that we have seen in many blogs…many have been started but not kept up or they don’t have much of a following. We are often told that blogs improve intereaction and discussion, but is this really true? Are they hard to manage and that is why they are discontinued? Or are there other issues?

      Anyone have any thoughts on this?


      • Karen Jones 6:07 pm on October 19, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        I think it comes down to the author’s original purpose, as to whether a blog stands the test of time, Juliana. I know my first blog lies gathering digital dust because I used it to prepare for MET by researching e-portfolios and collections of digital tools. It wasn’t really a daily journal kind of blog. As well, quality of the blog is important, as Stephen has attested. Perhaps the most dynamic blogs are pertinent and serve a purpose for a larger public. I know I like blogs that review things that I am intending on purchasing 😉 Anyone have any comments on buying TV’s?

      • Deb Kim 12:15 pm on October 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply


        You raised a good point.
        I can answer your question: “Are they hard to manage and that is why they are discontinued?”
        I don’t know what others use their blogs for, but I use my blog to give students what I’ll be doing in each class and updates on their quizzes/tests. That means, my blog runs for 1 year until the course is over. As the purpose of my blogs is for the course use only, they are discontinued once the course is finished.


      • mcquaid 1:27 pm on October 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        “…blogs improve intereaction and discussion, but is this really true?”

        I think blogs can enable interaction and discussion for people that are separated by time and space. As far as improve, I don’t think that’s necessarily true. I would retool what you said to be, “Blogs improve WITH interaction and discussion.” Feedback and comments can motivate a blogger and keep them going. Without this show of interest, a blogger can feel dejected or a little bored… as if their words and thoughts aren’t as important or interesting as they thought they were or once were.

        • Juliana 9:51 pm on October 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          Thank you for your response. More and more I am getting the sense that blogging does not equal increase in classroom interactions as was previously thought.

          Which brings me to my next question…what can be changed about blogs to improve interaction? Is there anything that can be changed to the platform itself to improve interaction or is it up to the teacher to try and devise ways to improve interaction?


  • mcquaid 7:02 am on October 19, 2011
    0 votes

    How have I used blogging as an educator? It’s not useful for me for class management. I teach in a small school, with a relatively small number of students. Two or three classes don’t spark a need for me to manage them online – it would just be more work in my case. I could […]

    Continue reading Day 2’s post – blog use as a teacher/student Posted in: Week 07: Blogs
    • jarvise 12:42 pm on October 19, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      I think you hit on a good point in discussing how some students really enjoy it and others don’t. Hopefully, as managing students with technology improves (less time-consuming, more time-producing ?) we can allow students to produce their assignments using the formats of their choosing.

      Also, totally agree on the discussion being hard to follow in this format. This is my second MET course I’ve done on wordpress, and it hasn’t improved any on that front. With this format, it seems like once the week is done, there is no looking back. Just like dropping your keys into a pile of lava, we just need to let it go 😉


      • Karen Jones 6:00 pm on October 19, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Ha! I totally agree about this WordPress environment. I am OCD enough to find the linear flow of posts and comments “messy”. I thought I disliked the Vista environment that most of the other ETEC courses have been hosted in, but now agree with you, Stephen, that threaded comments are easier to follow. I have been using the Manage Posts and Manage Comments menus, but am still not sold on this format for a wide variety of blog content, even when it is categorized and tagged. Call me old-fashioned…!

    • Juliana 5:50 pm on October 19, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I am glad that you brought up that there wasn’t a real need for you to use blogs in your class. I know that we are in a technology program, but I find that we often neglect to discuss those times where there really isn’t a need to incorporate technology. If your class sizes are small enough, you may get enough discussion and collaboration through classroom discussions.

      I also find it very interesting that the high achieving students don’t seem to like blogging whereas the student who has an IEP did well. It is really amazing how some students like the opportunity to have their work published, while some students just don’t respond to it.


    • bcourey 5:51 pm on October 19, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I agree that not all students like blogging, nor does blogging work in all circumstances – but I do think that your use of blogs as portfolios could be very valuable – why keep a box of your school work in the basement for some future reference when you can keep it online for much easier access?

    • Deb Kim 12:07 pm on October 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I agree with you on discussion and posting. I also prefer bulletin/message board style just like Vista Blackboard. Blogs are more ideal for instructions and articles. If a reader wants to leave comments on what he/she thinks about articles, then blogs are better. But for courses like the ones in MET program, the message board style is more ideal. This one is my first blog-based course as well and it took a bit of time to get used to it. I still prefer Vista Blackboard.


  • mcquaid 5:58 pm on October 17, 2011
    0 votes

    Problogue: I have, what I think, is a relatively long history with blogging. I don’t recall when I started reading or using some specific ones, but I started writing and maintaining my own personal blog in July of 2005. I did it as a place to express myself with words and to share humour and […]

    Continue reading Going Blog Wild? Posted in: Week 07: Blogs
    • Juliana 6:43 pm on October 17, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for your post! You spoke about using blogger for personal use and WordPress for school use. From a venture point of view, what do you think should be done to the design of these blogs to improve them and make them better for your personal and school applications?


      • mcquaid 10:17 am on October 19, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        A couple of features I’d like to see (if they don’t exist somewhere yet):
        – I would love it if Blogger allowed you to make separate pages like WP does
        – better threading of conversations – more like a message board
        – maybe Edublogs does this… more control of accounts, groups, comments, etc.

        Just for starters, perhaps!

        • Juliana 4:37 pm on October 19, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          Thanks for your responses! Threading of conversations is important and it would be nice if the blogs out there give did give us more control of accounts and groups. May be in the future


    • bcourey 7:34 pm on October 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Your experience with blogging began in the same way we described in the history of blogging – as a personal journal, and because of your positive experience with this format, it sounds like you could see the benefits of this communication tool for your students. As Juliana points out, what do you think would make blogs even better if you had a wish list/

      • mcquaid 10:21 am on October 19, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Another feature I would like to see is suggested links / “pages like…”, perhaps. In it, students who post under certain topics / subjects may have suggested pre-checked, safe blogs / sites that may be of interest to them. Perhaps this could just be something to add in a sidebar.
        Another thing I would like is some sort of penpals matchmaking… maybe a meeting place of sorts on a parent site (or just from the parent site). Say… you were doing a project on Flat Stanley or a class was working on a theme from a certain country. The matching utility could math that class (or student(s) up with other students exploring a similar topic or from that particular place. It would be a good way to facilitate some community-of-learning / collaborative type “stuff”!

    • Deb Kim 8:28 pm on October 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Wow, thanks for the thorough analysis on the blogs.
      I’ve tried Blogger once when my friend introduced it to me. She was using it for her Science and Chemistry classes and had a good experience with it, so she recommended it to me. She also gave me a training session on how to create Blogger. However, since I was a big fan of WordPress and had used anything else other than WP, I had hard time setting up a blog using Blogger. Many setup functions were different, so I had to go back to WP.
      But I’ve heard from many people around me that Blogger is a good one to use for courses, so I’d like to try it this coming summer.
      I agree with you that WordPress is easier than Blogger in terms of how Dashboard is set up. That’s probably why I always go back to WP.
      Thanks for sharing!


      • mcquaid 10:22 am on October 19, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        You’ve got it backwards, Deb! I find Blogger easier to use – it’s simpler than WordPress. I like WordPress. It’s just more… “involved”.

    • Deb Giesbrecht 5:53 pm on October 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for the list of blogs – I never have explored this arena before and find that there are many options available for one’s use. Like anything though, learning a new ‘technology’ takes a lot of time and energy. I am always surprised to find people who use these tools effectively in their classroom, while others appear to not be so efficient at it.

  • mcquaid 10:56 am on October 17, 2011
    0 votes

    A flaw in most music / rhythm games is that they don’t actually teach you how to play any real instrument. While browsing Amazon today, I saw a gaming product that’s pure genius… a game that teaches musical skills – “Rocksmith”. Essentially, the game has a cord that lets you plug in any guitar to […]

    Continue reading A Serious Game Posted in: Blog Café, Week 05: Game-Based Learning
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