May 7

Thinkfinity.org is Closing

Thinkfinity.org has announced that they will be closing up on June 30, 2014.

From their blog post, it looks like Verizon has decided to stop funding for Thinkfinity.org.  That’s too bad, Thinkfinity.org was a good repository of resources from Kindergarten through 12th Grade.  In their announcement, they have listed several of their content partners who provided many of their resources. In addition, their updated FAQ section suggests saving information and your favorite Thinkfinity pages as PDF’s for use later on.  After June 30, 2014 most of the content on their site will be gone. Unfortunately, this is one of the risks of using “free” content sites.

May 7

California Needs More Computer Science Students

Several tech industry leaders have contacted the Governor of California to try to boost Computer Science Education across the board in California.  Right now there are approximately 70,000 Open Computer Science Jobs in California.  Based on the current estimates of students in that state taking Computer Science, this is about 16 jobs for every Computer Science Student in California.

To help meet the needs, executives from Microsoft, Salesforce, Netflix, Twitter, and Google want the State of California to increase Computer Science Education in all grades from K through 12.

Read more here.

May 7

Google is looking at getting into the Classroom

Today, Google announced their Google Classroom LMS.  Its still very early and not much information exists about Google’s entry into the Learning Management System neighborhood.  They do have some details about signing up for their Beta test and an assurance that Google will not be placing ads into their LMS.  Click here for more information from Google’s Blog.

It will be interesting to see how Google Classroom affects the established LMS’s such as Moodle, Instructure, and Edmodo.

March 29

ASK3 App is shutting down

Another useful app for the classroom is shutting down. Techsmith will be shutting down the ASK3 App this summer.  According to their blog, they will continue to keep Ask3 in the Appstore until June in order to give teachers who are using it the opportunity to continue using through the end of the school year.  By August 2014, they will be purging their online storage for the app.

 

 

March 15

Web-Based News is Officially More Popular Than Print Newspapers

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The Pew Research Center has reported than people officially now get their news from the web more than from print media.  The trend towards digital news has been growing for some time.  The wise members of the “old media” community have recognized this and have worked towards newer business models   A good comparison can be made with educators who refuse to embrace technology as tools in the classroom.

November 23

Microsoft and Barbie Team Up

Microsoft and Barbie are teaming up to encourage more girls to look at tech careers.

Microsoft showed off the “Computer Engineer Barbie” at its  Digigirlz Summit.  According to Microsoft, on 18% of women choose computer engineering career paths.  Only 10% of current engineers in the U.S. are women. 

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August 3

Important Safety Topic to Cover this year… Music and Movie Sharing Online

So far this year, the RIAA has won two copyright infringement cases against just two individuals totaling over $2 1/2 million.  According to representatives from the RIAA, they have stopped filing lawsuits against individuals.  Supposedly, they are now going to be working directly with ISP’s to try to stop illegal music sharing.  As far as movies go, the MPAA is currently still pursuing lawsuits to stop the illegal sharing of movies online.

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August 3

The FCC wants some answers about Apple’s refusal of the Google Voice App for the iphone.

After Apple refused the iphone app for Google Voice, the FCC has stepped up demanding some answers about why the app was rejected.  The FCC sent letters to Google, AT&T, and Apple giving them until August 21 to respond.  This might clear up some of the reasons for Apple’s inconsistent rejection of apps.  

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