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One draw back about allowing the public in on discussions around technology is that people with their own agendas show up and try to dominate the process. I would recommend getting one or two tech-savvy parents in on the process just so their valuable ideas are floating around. After all, for most of the rest of the public, they’ll see technology purchases as a way to increase their taxes.


We have a 1-on-1 program with ibooks for all grade 6s and 7s in our district with a focus on improving writing skills. right up your alley.

Wirelss Writing


I agree with Gerry: a few carefully selected, tech-savvy parents would be great asset to your discussion. Last year at our tech advisory meetings, we had one parent who showed up with her own agenda, and dominated the meetings.... It was as nightmare.

Our school board is balking at passing the proposed budget to upgrade the necessary tech improvements at our school. Ironically, there is not a single, tech-savvy member on the school board.



For those of you who have students blog: what blogging software do you use? How do you use it in your classes? I would love to hear how other teachers use blogs in the educational setting. Check out this link:


Concern: all of the free blogging software that I know requires a functioning email address. I'm not sure how to handle the issue.

Any ideas?


you have computers at your school? and the internet? i can only dream.


Check out http://gaggle.net/

It is free, filtered, email for students and comes highly recommended by area tech leaders.

Our school issues e-mail to all students but then we are a very small district. (900 students k-12)


I agree with Randy; Gaggle is an excellent email service for students.

As for the online journals, I set my students up on Diaryland, because you can lock them down. You'll also be notified whenever any of them updates, and the comments allow you (and the other students but NO outsiders) to, well, comment. I think an email address is required for all blogging services. If you do decide to go with Diaryland, be sure you lock your students' diaries down. You know how it is with any public internet service. . . . .


Thanks to everyone for the tips.

We do have a couple parent-types involved, so that's good. And I'll check out gaggle!

I've used both livejournal and blogger with my students. There are advantages and disadvantages to each.

I like that livejournal allows a bit of privacy, by choosing the option to publish only for "friends," and the format allows you to easily see all the new posts without having to go through all these links. It also has those teen-friendly extras where they can list what song they are listening do and add little emoticons.

I like blogger because the templates are more stylish, you can add links to the sidebars and such, add pictures easily, and trick out type without knowing any html. That's important because I don't have instructional time to teach that too. But--no privacy.

So far, I have all my kids choose pen names and never mention geographic location. And I haven't been fired yet.


In the school district I teach in, each student has the option of "leasing" an G4 iBook for the duration of the school year. Additionally, classrooms have airports so that students can connect to the Internet and engage in varied educational activities.
Each teacher has grading software, and the county has a server where we can back up files and store lesson plans.
Sounds pretty great, right? It is definitely wonderful... until you consider the kids who can't afford to pay $50 for an iBook, who aren't responsible enough to take care of a laptop, and the time it takes to get the computers fixed when something goes wrong. And, there's always the students who use their laptops to download porn.
The county is considering whether or not to continue the iBook initiative next year. I hope that students will have access to laptops next year- I don't want to be responsible for storing and monitoring a class set. However, the fee is a issue that increases the divide between the haves and the have-nots.
For those who students have acess to technology, check out the site Quia. There are tons of games you can use, and you can create online quizzes and tests. My students really enjoy it.

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