Five reasons not to fear a $200 Linux PC


http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9584_22-6227419.html?tag=nl.e539

You sure hear enough in certain places about the joys of these less expensive computers. How much longer before they become mainstream and students show up at your doorsteps demanding to use them in their classes. How long can an educational system say no?

Want to try it out? Before you throw our your old outdated computer and spend big bucks to upgrade at home, get yourself a Linux distribution and throw it on the machine.

My old MDG machine which was getting progressively slower and more sluggish with Windows Home Edition is like a brand new machine with Edubuntu on it. It’s got my required suite of applications: Flock, FirstClass, OpenOffice, NVU, Python as well as lots of other things that I use on a rotating basis.

The cool thing is that there is no shortage of support should you need it.

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Facebook Everywhere


I’m still wading my way through the implications of this but I see school boards who block websites shaking over this announcement.

On Saturday, Facebook announced that it was releasing a Facebook API that will allow you to host Facebook applications on your own website. If this plays out like it might, you could be hosting your own favourite application just a quick click away. This would, in theory, allow your application to share the wealth of information that Facebook apps collect about its users.

This potentially extends the power of the social network to areas that we may not have anticipated. Suppose the world all of a sudden embraces the concept of OpenID. If you’re a marketing type, just think of where this might take you. Create an online educational application using OpenID and there’s no stopping you.

Fully understanding Facebook’s Beacon may well be a learning that we all have to take.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/tech/hightech/facebook-beacon.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beacon_(Facebook)
http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,140182-c,onlineprivacy/article.html

OSAPAC’s recent announcement of its licensing of the Media Awareness Network’s Webworkshop is timely. The lessons contained therein are good resources for school districts.

We’ve known for a long time that internet content blocking is marginally effective.

Is it time for a universal internet curriculum? Should a consortium of social networking developers be on the writing team?

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