Good-bye Printed Dictionaries, Hello Increased Sales?

LONDON (AP) - It weighs in at more than 130 pounds, but the authoritative guide to the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary, may eventually slim down to nothing. Oxford University Press, the publisher, said Sunday so many people prefer to look up words using its online product that it's uncertain whether the 126-year-old dictionary's next edition will be printed on paper at all.

The digital version of the Oxford English Dictionary now gets 2 million hits a month from subscribers, who pay $295 a year for the service in the U.S. In contrast, the current printed edition _ a 20-volume, 750-pound ($1,165) set published in 1989 _ has sold about 30,000 sets in total.

This is the first time I remember seeing a major player like this admit that online resources are bringing in more revenue than traditional media.

Cross-posted on Thinking Out Loud... Let's learn together.

Leadership Day 2010

Wondering what leaders in the field of education are currently thinking? This year's list is larger than ever and full of a wide range of excellent posts, written by leaders in the field that have learned that one of the simplest ways to extend one's sphere of influence is to simply link to others while posting to a blog.

If you're a "leader" in education, then what are you waiting for?

(And it sure beats watching TV!)

Cross-posted on Thinking Out Loud... Let's learn together.

Recent Inspiration

I thought I'd take a few of the more meaningful statements I've heard and read lately and share with you the images that have been brought to my mind.

Original image source: Flickr user It'sGreg
Quotation source: Erica Goldson
  • Question: What are you doing to ensure that next year's Valedictorian doesn't one-up Ms. Goldson?

Original image source: Flickr user
Quotation source: Scott McLeod
  • Answer: Um, good question.
  • More serious answer: This year in our District, we will be developing a series of after-school classes that parents can attend with their students. These classes will focus on social networking and other technology-related behaviors that today's kids engage in.
  • Question: Are the issues surrounding teaching kids about online social networking similar to those also surrounding sex-ed?

Original image source: Flickr user natalielucier
Quotation source: Elliot Soloway
  • Question: What is your school doing with data? Is it helping kids learn?

Original image source: Flickr user horizontal.integration
Quotation source: Chris Lehmann
  • Question: What is your school doing to build citizens? I mean, other than helping them pass the test...
Finally, one that I found while searching for pics. I just couldn't pass this up.

Original image source: Flickr user superkimbo in BKK.
Quotation source: Kim Cofino

Strong. Very strong.

Innovators or Cheapskates?

Does this graphic illustrate that North America is lacking in innovation or spending more on research and development?

Cross-posted on Thinking Out Loud... Let's learn together.

The Most Important Post of the Year, Valedictorians, and Getting Out As Soon As Possible

This isn't the most important post of the year.

But this is; the text of a speech given by the Valedictorian of Coxsackie-Athens High School a few weeks back, I'm struck by how bold she was at a time she could have behaved so typical. Instead:

School is not all that it can be. Right now, it is a place for most people to determine that their goal is to get out as soon as possible.
Click through, give it a read, come back and let's talk.

My initial take? Donna Bryan, the "avant-garde tenth grade English teacher" referenced in the talk, deserves a healthy dose of merit pay.

Introducing @Alltop_Edu. Plays well with #Flipboard.

Why I love social media:

For those not living on the technology planet, consider this carefully:
  1. Guy Kawasaki (Wikipedia entry) is one of the most influential people in all of Internet-dom.
  2. Before yesterday, his path had never crossed mine.
Now several important questions, which may or may not apply to you:
  1. If you're a teacher, why aren't you empowering your students to access the potential of networked learning?
  2. If you're an administrator, why would you ever want to prevent teachers and students from accessing this kind of tool? Are you afraid of the power? While you might be afraid of its potential for evil, consider first its potential for good.
Regardless of how you answered the above questions:

Quit acting so surprised when kids complain of boredom and irrelevancy because they're forced to sit in the technologically-barren, disconnected environments some call "school". School to me should be empowering. School to me should be engaging. School to me should be real.

There's tremendous potential for good in networked learning environments. To ignore this fact - as a teacher and as a learner - is wrong.

For the record, I was @Alltop_Edu's first follower.

Enhancing Teachers’ Take-up of Digital Content - Further Evidence of Intrinsic Barriers to Technology Integration

The Enhancing_Teacher_Takeup_of_Digital_Content_Report commissioned by Education Services Australia (a merger between Curriculum Corporation and and written by Professor Michael Gaffney has recently been published.

The Executive Summary explains:

  • Although digital uptake in schools is increasing, many teachers do not use technology in their classroom.

While at ISTE this year, I met an IT Director from Australia that was in a school that had been using laptops with their students for the last 14 years. He mentioned that in spite of his students having such open access to computers, his number one problem was getting his school's teachers to use the technology.

This document alone illustrates that there are multiple factors at play - multiple barriers to technology integration - and sometimes bridging the digital divide requires more than just money and equipment. At times, the largest barriers are those caused by deep philosophical convictions maintained by teachers and school administrators alike.

I'm interested to see how well the recommendations made in the "Enhancing Teacher Takeup" document serve to improve the pedagogical use of technology in Australian schools.

Cross-posted on Thinking Out Loud... Let's learn together.

Creative Commons License
Original content distributed on this site is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.