Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Vietnam-istan

Daniel Ellsberg used this word today in DN! with Amy Goodman. Also Ralph Peters used it in the New York Post. last summer. I was a teenager when Ellsberg changed his life completely, from a clog in the machine, to a very painful sore toe in the US Empire apparatus.

Below I write about seeing what is in plain sight, if we just chose to see. Karzai's brother, Wali, just like Carlos Salinas de Gortari's brother, Rubén, in the early nineties in Mexico, runs a corrupt operation in that country. Ellsberg warns us that now Obama, just like Clinton then, chooses to lie to the American people about the useless efforts of the US soldiers to win the war, in the aptly called Vietnam-istan.

If you want a dictionary to translate from Vietnam to Afghanistan read Tom Friedman.

13 Bankers

This book, was released this week to the bookstores. The authors mention people I admire in the Economics arena, Brooksley Born, Elizabeth Warren, Paul Krugman, and Joe Stiglitz. Furthermore the first author, Simon Johnson, is a professor at MIT, with experience in the International Monetary Fund (IMF). You can check the authors' blog, Baseline Scenario, on my blog list.

Mexico is being managed with old IMF ideas, when the rest of the world is getting out of that framework, it seems; even the US is not happy with the results.

Browsing the book at Borders, I felt that it was relevant to my note on Agualeguas and powerful entrenched people. Also on the uncompromising book by Roberto Bolaño, 2666.

When one looks objectively at the problems facing us, the answers are there for everybody to see, but somehow, we cannot bring up the courage to talk about them. A few greedy people taking us for a ride. As long as we continue in this business as usual set of mind we are risking ourselves, and even those ignorant and greedy people that do not know what the consequences of their acts are. We are all in danger, and if the Obama administration and its supporters do no act, then the problems we are facing will only get worse.

There. Read the book.

John Cook

Today Andrew Revkin from the NYT, highlights this Australian contribution to the climate debate. I already added his blog, Skeptical Science, to my blog list. I started this blog as Relevant Science, because I wanted it to be relevant mainly to high school students. When I was a Physics teacher at Glenbard East High School, in Lombard Illinois, I felt that even though my students were smart, they were not getting as interested in Physics as I wanted.

I like skepticism more than I like relevance, though. I feel that by trying to be relevant, somehow one is trying to pander, not ponder; also Mr. Cook is more focused, there you will find only climate talk. I believe this is the most important conversation going on at this point. Either we get it right, or we are doomed.

Welcome skepticism, welcome John Cook.

Basketball Coach and Me

I did not grow up in the US, you know. Nevertheless I ended being a Physics teacher at an American high school. The head of the Science Department at this high school, clearly told me that I was not teaching well, and he decided not to rehire me. Fair.

I did not know though, how important Basketball Coaches are. During my stay at the school he was not the coach anymore; now that I find out how much money a college coach can make, I am starting to wonder if this good man, was unhappy because he didn't make it to the higher education world, and was not very fond of us, high brow PhDs from those universities.

Just wondering.

Roger Cohen

"These are real shifts. They are prerequisites for the rapprochement with the Muslim world Obama rightly seeks. Lo, even the Middle East moves."

From the NYT.

Just Saying: Cerda in Agualeguas?

I do not have any proof whatsoever for the following, just putting things together.

Last week, two persons by the name of Cerda were killed in Agualeguas, Nuevo León in Mexico. I happen to have had a cousin, Rubén Uriza Cerda, recently dead. He told me that he knew the former president of Mexico Carlos Salinas de Gortari, also from Agualeguas. This man likes to horse ride, and my cousin was an expert rider, given that his father got a Gold Medal in the equestrian competition during the 1948 Olympiad in England.

The recent killings are related to the drug war going on in Mexico. The brother of the former president, Raúl Salinas de Gortari, spent some years in prison, because he sent somebody to kill his ex brother in law, who was gay and a candidate for a higher office in their political party, the PRI; this party ruled Mexico for seventy years. Later on, another brother of the Salinas family, Enrique Eduardo Guillermo , was killed in a mysterious way.

I do not know if those Cerdas are related to my cousin, but I feel I should put this in the public record, since I noticed that the news agencies that have reported and the recent crimes do not mention any of this. Maybe my cousin recommended these Cerdas to the Salinas.

Just saying.

BTW, Carlos Slim Helu (Forbes magazine has information on him) also knows Carlos Salinas de Gortari.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Joseph Rotblat and I

I write in the blog  Globalove Think Tank once in a while. Today I found a very interesting piece that I share here.

I am not anywhere close to this courageous man, in character or fame; but I have been thinking about  intellectual's responsibilities. Reading Prof. Susskind book (below) I thought about the proximity of myself and these giants of Theoretical Physics. In my mind I feel that I may know something they don't. Now it is possible to use General Relativity ideas in Nuclear Physics. The American Government does not seem to know this, or if they know, they are not telling; all I can tell you is that I am not in the loop, and I understand what these scientists are doing more than the average person.

My responsibility is with the truth, if I find it, I will divulge it.

This is not a threat, just an observation. Knowledge is less and less secret. Is this safe? I do not know.

Information in Physics

For those faithful readers of this blog the title of this note may not come as a surprise . This has been my quest: coming from Communications Engineering to Black Hole Entropy via the Mexican-American-Israeli Jacobo Bekenstein, I want to know what Information is.

He does not know me, I never met him in person, but since he is famous I know about him.

Today though, the note has to do with my readings of a giant Theoretical Physics Professor. I subscribe to the Stanford University YouTube channel, where I follow his great lectures for the masses. Given that he is the plumber son, of a plumber from the Bronx, his story obviously draws the attention of this 60 year working class aspiring scientist.

I am reading the Black Hole Wars, by Leonard Susskind.

It is a great book, the one I would have liked to have written myself. So it goes; here are my thoughts about it.

I haven't finished the book, but already I can see some things. First that I was right, second that the story is not finished, so there is hope, and third that I may be in the story.

Susskind has been to one place I spent seven years of my life in. The Physics Department at UCSB, so far I don't see in the book, if he has been at CINVESTAV, if that is so, it may be partly my fault. Not that I didn't invite him, I only was a student there in the early seventies; but that I have not put into a refereed magazine any of my ideas relevant to his interests. That is my fault, and people that know me, feel that something is odd with me. I have a little of that unnerving disease that Grisha Perelman has; at least Grisha is still considering whether or not to go get the million dollars he deserves.

I know two others worse than me: Vinod Janghiani, and Augusto Sabbattini. Both Jim Hartle's students lost to intellectual black holes of their own making. There is one other that saved himself, Terry Sejnowski, now in San Diego. I guess we are like those virtual strings coming out of Polchinsky's D-Branes, and never making it out as Hawking Radiation.

That is it for today,

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Who's White?

Today in the NYT a new book is reviewed: "The History of White People". I have been faced with this issue twice recently. A little context.

Since I came to the US in 1973 I was faced with the odd American hung up of forcing one to choose a "race", whatever that means. In Mexico, you know, the government never asks you, are you white, green, or yellow. Scientifically it has been hard to identify these traits, it is only skin deep, as far as the genetics I am aware of, is concerned. Maybe some groups, by circumstance, have been chosen, like the Ashkenazi Jews, that seem to have been bred to count somebody else's money; but besides that , all members of the Human Species, can breed among themselves, so this race thing is a bit odd.

Let us accept race then. After all I have been in the US, on and off, for the past 37 years. This time I went to Mexico I discovered in my mom's apartment a book that gives our genealogy. To my surprise I found out that I am white. In the small town where she grew up, they took the land four hundred years ago from Indians, Amerindians. They were not going to marry Indians and give the land back. So we are white; but last time I was asked in the US, I proudly answered Mestizo. Now I know that is not true. So when I answered the Census sheet this year, I identified myself as Hispanic, and when I went to renew my green card, they asked me again, and now I wrote White. I didn't notice fast enough though, that I had the option of writing Hispanic, whatever that means. We have white, black, yellow, green, whatever color of Hispanic down there, or as the article linked about has it: white, yellow, copper, tawny, and tawny-black to jet-black.

So if somebody starts a fuss, I will say: I was born in Mexico City, a little shade of dark, then when I went to California and got less sunshine, I turned pale. Now that I am in Chicago, I am planning to get lighter: Whatever.

I guess what the US government wants to know is if I support Mexican Immigration. To that question I answer: Yes.

Seder in the White House

Today we can read about this event. This year my family is not going to Seder; usually we go to Glencoe. It is nice to see that Mr. Obama is having one in the White House; like myself he is not Jewish, but feels welcome by the Jewish Family, like I do.

Family

Around where I grew up; a boy meets a girl, falls in love and follows the bible instruction: "be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth" (Genesis 9:1).

I have two beautiful children, so I have done my part right? Wrong. I still feel that our viability is not assured. You know, I set them in a path, similar to what my father set me on before. They are not good material for the army or the church, and sometimes I wonder if they are good material for business, other people's business I mean.

When I got scholarships which more or less left me free to do what I wanted, I was OK, but then came the time of fulfilling somebody else's expectations, and that didn't work that well. For a long time I have been contemplating building my own business. My daughter is not making use of the best she has to offer, because her employer doesn't even know what she can  do. Some of my employer's also didn't know what to do with me. I set myself to discover important ideas good for everybody. I haven't done that, and now I am stranded.

More to come.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tim Burton's Alice

I went with my precious little girl to see Alice in Wonderland today. I read her many years ago Prof. Dodgson's version, with the hope she would like math. I think she thinks, and loves independence. Today we both enjoyed what Mr. Burton did with it.

I liked the live/fantasy characters; ever since I saw Final Fantasy, I felt that now we can have realistic looking animations, and with this movie I see a satisfying hybrid. Crispin Glover, is Crispin Glover, but he is also the Knave. I liked these Burton mermaids, half actors half animations. For me this is important, what part technology, what part Art? For that matter, what part humanity, what part machines?

We have to find a happy medium.

Marcela Davison Aviles

"Can the memory of our heritage and history serve today to alleviate the current tension on the subject of immigration? We must not allow our shared culture to be another victim -- to become olividado. Instead, we must claim our heritage, our mixed identities, and call upon ourselves to recover the dream of our anthem: Out of many, one."

From CNN.

Eric Cantor: We are at a Crossroads (1)

From Politico.com:

"Cantor said he doesn’t release information about the incidents of threats against himself to the media because it would only ratchet up violence. But he did say a bullet shot through the window in his campaign office in Richmond on Monday evening, and he has received threats because he is Jewish.

"Mobile Learning: Trends and Challenges"

1

10:21

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Edweek Producer: Jennifer: 
Today's chat, "Mobile Learning: Trends and Challenges," sponsored by CDW-G is open for questions. Please start submitting them now.

The chat itself will begin at 2 p.m. Eastern. Thanks for joining us.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 10:21 Edweek Producer: Jennifer
2:00

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Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Hello everyone, and welcome to today's chat about mobile learning devices. We've got lots of questions to get through, so let's get started. Today we have Mark Hess and Shawn Gross with us - if you two could take a minute to introduce yourselves and what you do, that would be great!
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:00 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:00

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Shawn Gross: 
Good afternoon, my name is Shawn Gross and I am the Project Director for Project K-Nect. My organization, Digital Millennial Consulting was responsible for the design and development of Project K-Nect. Prior to starting Project K-Nect,, I held a variety of positions in the education technology sector from a number of firms including with Sun Microsystems and Apple Computer. Prior to this, I also held a variety of positions both domestically and internationally in the public sector, including Legislative Aide to Senator Howard Metzenbaum on education policy, Senior Policy Advisor on international affairs to Congressman Erick Fingerhut, and Political Risk consultant to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. I obtained my Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the Ohio State University, a Masters of Business Administration from the Katz School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh, and a Masters of Public Policy and International Affairs from the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:00 Shawn Gross
2:01

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Shawn Gross: 
No I really cannot type that fast by the way :)
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:01 Shawn Gross

2:01

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Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Haha - sounds like you've got quite a bit of expertise in this subject, Shawn.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:01 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:02

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Shawn Gross: 
Perhaps I am starting to date myself but I am glad to be hear
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:02 Shawn Gross

2:02

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Mark Hess: 
Hello from Michigan! My name is Mark Hess and I currently serve as the principal of Sarah Banks Middle School. Banks is a suburban Detroit, 6-8 school, with 900 students. Banks is a Michigan Technology Showcase School, Blue Ribbon Exemplary School, and SMART Tech. demonstration school. I have three children ages 15, 12, and 6. Glad to be here with you today.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:02 Mark Hess
2:02

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Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Excellent! I'm so glad you both can join us today.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:02 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:03
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
I think it might be good to start off with some general questions about mobile learning.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:03 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:03
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's one from John Lee:
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:03 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:03
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[Comment From John Lee John Lee: ] 
What is the benefit of having mobile technology in the classroom? Is this a replacement for desktop machines or a new tool being added to the mix?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:03 John Lee
2:03
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
I'm sure both of you can speak to that question.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:03 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:03
Shawn Gross: 
It can be considered both a replacement and compliment to existing devices
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:03 Shawn Gross
2:04
Shawn Gross: 
Mobile devices enable education institutions to extend the learning process well beyond the school day
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:04 Shawn Gross

2:04
Mark Hess: 
I agree with Shawn. PC, laptop, mobile all go hand in hand (no pun intended). Mobile technologies are portable and thus making learning available anytime, anywhere.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:04 Mark Hess
2:05
Shawn Gross: 
Therefore, I like to emphasize that regardless of the device type, students should be enabled with connectivity for communication and collaboration anytime, anywhere
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:05 Shawn Gross

2:05
Mark Hess: 
Mobile technologies break down traditional barriers of learning.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:05 Mark Hess
2:05
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Excellent.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:05 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:06
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
This might be an interesting question for you guys considering Mark's school is using laptops and Shawn's project uses smartphones.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:06 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:06
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[Comment From techbytes techbytes: ] 
Could smartphones for education be more prevalent in high schools in the next few years than laptop programs?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:06 techbytes

2:06
Shawn Gross: 
Guest asked the question about mobile devices acting as a nuisance, I think of them as educational assets now, however, educators must learn how to use them for the benefit of the instructional process
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:06 Shawn Gross
2:07
Shawn Gross: 
Absolutely, we are finally starting to see a trend towards adoption and acceptance of this type of technology
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:07 Shawn Gross

2:07
Shawn Gross: 
furthermore, these smaller handheld devices are becoming increasing more powerful
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:07 Shawn Gross
2:07
Shawn Gross: 
finally, this is preference of the student
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:07 Shawn Gross

2:07
Mark Hess: 
Yes to techbytes about Smart phones being more prevalent....more and more students have them....the cost is attractive and the applications are amazing...
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:07 Mark Hess
2:08
Shawn Gross: 
Annah asks about applications with Smartphones, we are managing Project K-Nect
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:08 Shawn Gross

2:08
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[Comment From Annah Annah: ] 
what are some examples of smartphone use in the classroom?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:08 Annah
2:08
Shawn Gross: 
functionalities of Project K-Nect include access math curriculoim optimized for mobile devices, instant messaging, blogging, assessment, student performance data reporting tools and remote monitoring tools to insure
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:08 Shawn Gross

2:09
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Cool. Here's another question about implementing mobile devices.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:09 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:09
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[Comment From Guest Guest: ] 
What do you consider the top five barriers to successful implementation of mobile learning in the schools?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:09 Guest

2:09
Shawn Gross: 
In 2006, in partnership with the US Dept. of Education conducted research asking students why they felt so disengaged in math and science and how technology could become an enabler to motivate them in these areas. In a nutshell, students stated that they wanted to be connected beyond the school walls, have access to curriculum with real world applications, access to social networking technologies and utilize mobile devices (handheld devices).
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:09 Shawn Gross
2:09
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
What are the biggest barriers or challenges to successful implementation of mobile technologies into schools?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:09 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:10
Mark Hess: 
with smart phones one can access the web, wikipedia a topic, text a question or gather information for a team project, call a reference, calculate a math equation, balance a chemical formula, discuss literature with students from another country, etc.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:10 Mark Hess
2:10
Shawn Gross: 
I love the barrier question, 1. Professional Development, 2. Teachers willingness to give up some control in the classroom, 3. Infrastrucuture, 4. Cost
 
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:10 Shawn Gross

2:11
Mark Hess: 
Barriers include demystifying the notion that mobile technologies will make students lose critical thinking skills (which in my opinion mobile tech. actually foster critical thinking), professional development, cost...
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:11 Mark Hess
2:11
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Definitely.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:11 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:11
Shawn Gross: 
Cristina asks about Data and we have been collecting much research data
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:11 Shawn Gross
2:11
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[Comment From Cristina Getson Cristina Getson: ] 
Is there enough data at this point to show that mobile learning is actually helping students?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:11 Cristina Getson

2:12
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Good question from Cristina.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:12 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:12
Mark Hess: 
yes. visit the CARET website through www.iste.org...lots of great research and data
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:12 Mark Hess

2:12
Shawn Gross: 
With our 9th grade students, they outperformed the District and State averages on the Algebra I end of course exam by 40%
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:12 Shawn Gross
2:13
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a follow-up question from Tracey about one of the challenges of implementing mobile devices:
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:13 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:13
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[Comment From Tracey Jewell Tracey Jewell: ] 
Creating buy-in for use of these devices is a breeze among students. How do you create a good comfort level for buy-in among teachers/administrators? What's your "sell"?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:13 Tracey Jewell
2:13
Mark Hess: 
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:13 Mark Hess

2:13
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Any tips on gaining teacher support?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:13 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:14
Shawn Gross: 
Teacher support and buy-in is something we could talk about for hours. In a nutshell, support comes with utilization and implementation
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:14 Shawn Gross

2:14
Shawn Gross: 
Once the teacher utilizes the tool sets available in mobile learning, they begin to see the net benefits
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:14 Shawn Gross
2:15
Mark Hess: 
I tell teachers that failure to embrace emerging technologies in today's 2010 classroom is educational malpractice...we would never send our children to pediatricians who were practicing medicine from the 80's, so why on earth would we expect parents to send their children to school with teacher's practicing decades old methodologies
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:15 Mark Hess

2:15
Shawn Gross: 
The other way of thinking about teacher support is to allow them to see other implementations going on locally to view some of these benefits
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:15 Shawn Gross
2:15
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
I know many teachers are concerned about technology in the classroom becoming a distraction.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:15 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:15
Mark Hess: 
Technology is no longer an option in 2010 but a norm
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:15 Mark Hess
2:16
Shawn Gross: 
We have implemented a comprehensive monitoring system that enables us to control all features and applications on the device
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:16 Shawn Gross

2:16
Mark Hess: 
Distraction - no. Is a notebook, calculator, ruler, or dictionary a distraction?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:16 Mark Hess
2:17
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Let's switch gears a little bit.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:17 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:17
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[Comment From Laura Laura: ] 
How are schools/districts funding these tools and the training they require
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:17 Laura
2:17
Shawn Gross: 
I agree with Mark's point but schools are still asking for the controls
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:17 Shawn Gross

2:17
Shawn Gross: 
Funding comes from a variety of sources including E2T2, E-Rate and now i3 and Broadband Stimulus
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:17 Shawn Gross
2:18
Mark Hess: 
With mobile tech., I see more and more students bringing their won to school....iTouch, iPhones, smartphones, etc.
Grant writing helps....PTA/PTO parent groups providing financial support
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:18 Mark Hess

2:18
Mark Hess: 
E-rate as well...I agree with Shawn....
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:18 Mark Hess
2:18
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Yeah - this might be a good question for you, Mark, since I know that students provide their own laptops with your program.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:18 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:18
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[Comment From Sharon Sharon: ] 
What are the implications of having students use their own devices vs. school-owned devices?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:18 Sharon
2:19
Mark Hess: 
Yes - our 1:1 laptop program...parents purchase a laptop for their child....I have about 400 kids that carry their own, parent purchased laptop daily...
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:19 Mark Hess

2:19
Shawn Gross: 
Sharon, for project k-nect, we would not be in a position to have the signifigant monitoring tools installed on the studen owned devices
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:19 Shawn Gross
2:19
Shawn Gross: 
So we get into some privacy issues and concerns with this model
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:19 Shawn Gross

2:19
Mark Hess: 
District laptops stay in school.....parent purchased laptops go home with the kids
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:19 Mark Hess
2:20
Shawn Gross: 
However, I support this approach as I have seen it work well in the UK with a project called learning2go
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:20 Shawn Gross

2:21
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Let's talk a little bit about content.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:21 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:21
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Karen has this question.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:21 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:21
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[Comment From Karen Greenleaf Karen Greenleaf: ] 
What are the expections for publishers to provide a mobile version of the textbook for students (assuming highschool, maybe middleschool)? Do you foresee states starting to mandate this as part of adoption requirements?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:21 Karen Greenleaf
2:22
Mark Hess: 
We see more and ore publishers offering online, web-based, or imaged based textbooks. Imaged-based simply means the textbook is part of the network image and is pushed down to all devices.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:22 Mark Hess

2:22
Mark Hess: 
w.web based texts, kids can access anywhere...via laptop or mobile devices
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:22 Mark Hess
2:22
Shawn Gross: 
Very good question, some publishers currently provide electronic versions of their textbooks and other resources, our students are already accessing them from their phones!
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:22 Shawn Gross

2:22
Mark Hess: 
w/web (sorry)
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:22 Mark Hess
2:23
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[Comment From Mary Adham Mary Adham: ] 
I know that Pearson Technology has developed some apps for use in education and their products.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:23 Mary Adham

2:23
Mark Hess: 
yes - we are seeing more and more applications being developed for mobile devices...
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:23 Mark Hess
2:23
Shawn Gross: 
That's right Mary and we have enabled our mobile phones to access some of their content and applications
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:23 Shawn Gross

2:24
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
We touched on this question a little bit earlier on our conversation, but we might want to go into it in a little more detail.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:24 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:24
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[Comment From Linda Melin Linda Melin: ] 
What implications does mobile learning have on the ability to offer more flexibility in school time scheduling? Is there any consideration of offering online or hybrid types of classes for older or more advanced students?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:24 Linda Melin

2:24
Mark Hess: 
visit iTunesU...lots of great apps...iTunes University...good k-12 content
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:24 Mark Hess
2:24
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
It seems that one of the biggest advantages of mobile learning is the portability - the potential for anytime, anywhere learning.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:24 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:25
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
What does that mean for the structure of the classroom?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:25 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:25
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
And is there a link between that and online learning, which is another sector that is expanding quite rapidly in K-12?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:25 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:25
Mark Hess: 
yes - we have online course options for advanced math students...the high schools in our district offer over 20 online courses....I had a student take an online Mandarin Chinese class last year.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:25 Mark Hess
2:25
Shawn Gross: 
Linda, this is a great question and what we are seeing is the formation of learning communities by students to extend the learning process. More to your question though, schools will be able to offer the hybrid solution for classes when we solve the connectitivy probelm
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:25 Shawn Gross

2:26
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
What exactly is the "connectivity problem," Mark?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:26 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:26
Mark Hess: 
We are seeing a significant number of students w/hybrid schedules...some seat time, some online, some comm. college courses
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:26 Mark Hess

2:26
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
excuse me - that was for Shawn
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:26 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:27
Shawn Gross: 
Absolutely a link exists in that students now have the opporuntity to take advantage of statewide virtual classes to augment their learning process
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:27 Shawn Gross

2:27
Shawn Gross: 
Connectivity problem = Digital Divide
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:27 Shawn Gross
2:27
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
I see.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:27 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:27
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a follow-up from Linda.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:27 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:27
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[Comment From Linda Melin Linda Melin: ] 
I understand that mobile learning devices support learning anytime, anywhere. I am asking about actually changing the structure of the school day to offer classes that do not meet on campus at all, or that have limited requirements for attending the school campus. Any notions along these lines? I am thinking about ways to eliminate overcrowding, to use personnel to deliver instruction to larger groups, to allow students to take classes in the evenings, etc.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:27 Linda Melin

2:27
Mark Hess: 
learning is no longer confined to the classroom between the hours of 8:00-3:00...learning can, and does take place 24-7
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:27 Mark Hess
2:28
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a question I think many people are interested in -
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:28 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:28
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[Comment From Kelly W Kelly W: ] 
I see that Mark has a 6 year old...is he seeing mobile technology being used at this early age?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:28 Kelly W
2:28
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Are these devices being used in earlier grades?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:28 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:28
Mark Hess: 
Yes - I believe online course environments that are rich with content, engaging, and facilitated by a teacher can help some of those issues mentioned by Linda
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:28 Mark Hess
2:29
Shawn Gross: 
Linda, we are utilizing many tools to support online learning with traditional LEAs. However, we are now moving towards sustainable models for online learning only
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:29 Shawn Gross

2:30
Shawn Gross: 
We are using Project K-Nect in both Math and Science
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:30 Shawn Gross
2:30
Mark Hess: 
My house is indeed a digital world....by kids Skype, text, chat, use Flip cams, use web-based simulations for projects, etc... my 6 yr. old has a custom web page that enables her to only access sites I have approved...Google Chrome is great for that
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:30 Mark Hess

2:30
Mark Hess: 
my kids...not by kids...sorry
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:30 Mark Hess
2:30
Shawn Gross: 
A good program again also to look at for K-6 is learning2go in the UK
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:30 Shawn Gross

2:31
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Do you want to tell us a little more about that, Shawn? I know some of our guests are interested.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:31 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:31
Mark Hess: 
My 6 yr. old loves the Flip cam...she's a mini iCarly...she takes the Flip cam and connects via USB to her PC and downloads her own home videos
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:31 Mark Hess

2:31
Shawn Gross: 
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:31 Shawn Gross
2:31
Mark Hess: 
Skype is wonderful for collaboration as well for student projects
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:31 Mark Hess

2:32
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Mary has this to add:
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:32 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:32
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[Comment From Mary Adham Mary Adham: ] 
Yes. I see them being used at the Pre-School level, ie. Apps such as "Wheels on the Bus." Also PBS has a line of apps geared toward the pre-school set.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:32 Mary Adham

2:32
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[Comment From Mary Adham Mary Adham: ] 
At my blog, you can see 3 year olds flipping through iPhone screens several levels up and down (YouTube), my bog imacmary.com
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:32 Mary Adham
2:32
Shawn Gross: 
Learning2go has deployed over 3000 devices to K-7
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:32 Shawn Gross

2:32
Shawn Gross: 
Thanks Mary
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:32 Shawn Gross
2:33
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
There are a couple of questions about the different types of devices. Here's one from Michael.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:33 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:33
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[Comment From Michael Connet Michael Connet: ] 
Mark has suggested that mobile learning programs in schools should harness the availability of student devices, such as cell phones, smart phones and PDA's. How does a teacher create content that works across so many different devices?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:33 Michael Connet
2:33
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Does every student need the exact same device?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:33 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:34
Mark Hess: 
Mark has suggested that mobile learning programs in schools should harness the availability of student devices, such as cell phones, smart phones and PDA's. How does a teacher create content that works across so many different devices?

Web-based, 2.0 applications....if the device can access the web, then the ideas and limitless
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:34 Mark Hess
2:34
Shawn Gross: 
This is a key question. Every student should not neccessarily have the same device, it is about ubiqitious access to instructional resoruces, this is mobile learning
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:34 Shawn Gross

2:34
Shawn Gross: 
However, different standards exists for content
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:34 Shawn Gross
2:34
Mark Hess: 
Different brands and devices, but if they can all text, call, access the web, cross platform apps, etc. ....then good things can happen
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:34 Mark Hess

2:34
Shawn Gross: 
We support development on Flash as a media that crosses many Mobile OS and Desktop OS providers
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:34 Shawn Gross
2:35
Mark Hess: 
Flash - yes..agree
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:35 Mark Hess

2:35
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
excellent.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:35 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:35
Shawn Gross: 
K-Nect device does not stay at school, it goes whereever the student goes
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:35 Shawn Gross

2:36
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
I think that was in response to Laura's ?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:36 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:36
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[Comment From Laura Laura: ] 
if the knect devices stay at school how does the learning go beyond the school day
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:36 Laura

2:36
Shawn Gross: 
Laura, the devices are always connected to the mobile broadband network so students use the devices on the bus, at home, whereever
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:36 Shawn Gross
2:37
Shawn Gross: 
This has been the component that has enabled personalized learning for the students
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:37 Shawn Gross

2:37
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a question from Jay:
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:37 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:37
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[Comment From Jay Blanchard Jay Blanchard: ] 
Do you see 'mobile' being discussed in comments to the Nat Ed Tech Plan 2010...it is absent in the Ex Summary?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:37 Jay Blanchard

2:37
Shawn Gross: 
They are able to connect and access their resources when they need it
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:37 Shawn Gross
2:38
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Do you think the current administration has been supportive of mobile devices?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:38 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:38
Shawn Gross: 
Jay, it is a signifigant component within the Natl Ed Tech Plan
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:38 Shawn Gross
2:38
Mark Hess: 
Do you see 'mobile' being discussed in comments to the Nat Ed Tech Plan 2010...it is absent in the Ex Summary?

It should be there...mobile tech. is alive and well and will only continue to grow.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:38 Mark Hess

2:39
Shawn Gross: 
However, I encourage further comments in the natl ed tech plan about the benefits of mobile learning
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:39 Shawn Gross
2:39
Mark Hess: 
http://www.slideshare.net/UpsideLearning/the-advent-of-mobile-learning-technology

This is a great slide show on mobile tech....worth a look
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:39 Mark Hess

2:39
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Excellent. Let's talk a little bit about professional development.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:39 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:39
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[Comment From Linda L. Linda L.: ] 
What are the best procedures for professional development of teachers?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:39 Linda L.

2:40
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
I know we mentioned before that professional development is one of the challenges of successful implementation. What are some of the key components to good prof. dev.?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:40 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:40
Shawn Gross: 
Teachers must buy-in to the concept first
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:40 Shawn Gross

2:41
Mark Hess: 
What are the best procedures for professional development of teachers?

Teachers teaching teachers. Tap in to the expertise of the teacher leaders in your building....collaborate...professional learning communities....share best practice ideas
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:41 Mark Hess
2:41
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a good question along these lines from Elizabeth:
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:41 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:41
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[Comment From Elizabeth Stanley Elizabeth Stanley: ] 
How do teachers feel about being connected to their students 24/7?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:41 Elizabeth Stanley
2:41
Shawn Gross: 
In addition, new teachers are typically NOT comfortable with mobile learning, therefore, start with teachers that are 3 plus years out of school
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:41 Shawn Gross

2:42
Mark Hess: 
How do teachers feel about being connected to their students 24/7?

I think it's just part of teaching and learning in the year 2010. Of course, set norms, limits, clear expectations....
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:42 Mark Hess
2:43
Shawn Gross: 
Elizabeth, I hear about concerns about connectivity to students beyond the school day all the time. However, I have seen transformations by most teachers
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:43 Shawn Gross

2:43
Mark Hess: 
All 900 students and parents have my cell phone #....my e-mail, direct line, etc. They can call, text, e-mail me anytime.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:43 Mark Hess
2:43
Shawn Gross: 
The teachers begin to see the impact that the mobile learning applicaitons are having on the learning process and they become more invested
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:43 Shawn Gross

2:43
Shawn Gross: 
HOWEVER
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:43 Shawn Gross
2:44
Shawn Gross: 
Some teachers specify to students when they can and cannot communicate with them after hours
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:44 Shawn Gross

2:45
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Yes. Like Mark said, having clear boundaries, limits, and expectations is important
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:45 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:45
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
This might be a good time to talk about another group of stakeholders - administrators.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:45 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:45
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[Comment From Eduardo Eduardo: ] 
What is the role of school administrators?Sponsors, participants, other?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:45 Eduardo
2:45
Mark Hess: 
Most people embrace technologies in their personal life to create efficiency, convenience, organization, etc....we should expect the same thing in our professional life; especially teaching.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:45 Mark Hess

2:45
Shawn Gross: 
School administrators need to support the concept of mobile learning before it can have widespread success at the LEA levels
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:45 Shawn Gross
2:46
Mark Hess: 
Admin. should promote, model, and expect high levels of technology integration in their school.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:46 Mark Hess

2:46
Mark Hess: 
Admin. must be digital leaders in the year 2010.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:46 Mark Hess
2:47
Shawn Gross: 
Digital Leadership is so important and I have seen a great example of this in Onslow County Schools with their administrators
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:47 Shawn Gross

2:47
Shawn Gross: 
Onslow County is in North Carolina
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:47 Shawn Gross
2:48
Shawn Gross: 
They have set out on a vision for 21st century learning and connectivity and they are slowing moving towards making this a reality for all its learners
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:48 Shawn Gross

2:48
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
It seems like initiatives like these really have to be a systematic effort with support from all levels.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:48 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:49
Shawn Gross: 
That is right Katie!!!
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:49 Shawn Gross

2:49
Mark Hess: 
Yes - indeed. Systemic is key. Clear organizational goals, shared vision, and collaboration are critical.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:49 Mark Hess
2:49
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
There have been a couple of questions about what subjects work best with mobile technologies.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:49 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:49
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[Comment From Cristina Getson Cristina Getson: ] 
Project K-Nect seems to target students struggling with math; from a publishing perspective, which group are mobile apps best targeted to? Should publishers focus on content for struggling students?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:49 Cristina Getson
2:50
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Are there certain subject areas or groups of students that we should be targeting at this point?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:50 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:50
Shawn Gross: 
We initially focused on struggling students (at risk populations) and saw signifigant gains in the short term in math and science. Since then we have expanded to other populations
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:50 Shawn Gross
2:51
Shawn Gross: 
As far as subject areas are concerned, I like personally math, science, social studies and language arts
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:51 Shawn Gross

2:51
Mark Hess: 
There are some really good apps for EL classrooms (bi-lingual). I use my iPhone to engage in conversation with parents who do not speak English.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:51 Mark Hess
2:51
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Neat.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:51 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:51
Mark Hess: 
ELL - English Language Learners
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:51 Mark Hess
2:51
Shawn Gross: 
Absolutely Mark!!!!!
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:51 Shawn Gross

2:52
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[Comment From Laura Laura: ] 
what work has been done with the special education pop
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:52 Laura
2:52
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
There have been a couple of questions about accessibility for students with disabilities.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:52 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:52
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Is that an area mobile learning can address as well?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:52 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:53
Mark Hess: 
Using mobile devices to help w/ motor skills, text to speech recognition, note taking, flashcards, educational apps, etc.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:53 Mark Hess

2:53
Shawn Gross: 
good answer mark
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:53 Shawn Gross
2:53
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a question/idea from Mary.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:53 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:53
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[Comment From Mary Adham Mary Adham: ] 
Is there a way to connect the State Standards to specific apps, and create some type of hub where teachers can access this information.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:53 Mary Adham
2:53
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
How much documentation is there on educational apps at this point?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:53 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:53
Shawn Gross: 
All of our content is alligned to state standards and mapped to textbooks in use
 
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:53 Shawn Gross
2:54
Mark Hess: 
We had a special ed. class go outside as use portable devices to take pictures (using their phones) of a wetlands area located near our school....those pics were e-mailed to their teacher, printed, and used as photos for an environmental broochure
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:54 Mark Hess

2:54
Shawn Gross: 
Please feel free to visit our sites to get more information about this and other questions:
http://www.projectknect.org
http://projectknect.blogspot.com
 
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:54 Shawn Gross
2:55
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a question from Andrea about safety and security:
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:55 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:55
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[Comment From Andrea Blanco Andrea Blanco: ] 
What are some of the security risks associated with mobile technology in the classroom? How can things like cyber bullying be monitored by teachers and other adults if mobile technology being used is personal property?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:55 Andrea Blanco
2:55
Mark Hess: 
How much documentation is there on educational apps at this point?
Not sure. Although I just Googled 'educational apps' and 7,950,000 web pages appeared
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:55 Mark Hess

2:55
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Wow - that's a lot of info.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:55 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:56
Shawn Gross: 
We use a tools that enable us to access the transcripts of all instant messaging traffic, in addition, we also have tools that allow us to monitor in real time all text based and multimedia based content that is posted
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:56 Shawn Gross

2:56
Shawn Gross: 
However, regardless of these tools, we start with student training and this never stops
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:56 Shawn Gross
2:56
Mark Hess: 
What are some of the security risks associated with mobile technology in the classroom? How can things like cyber bullying be monitored by teachers and other adults if mobile technology being used is personal property?

Excellent question. Approach it like you would other forms of bullying, gossip, name calling, etc. Clear policy, expectations, consequences...involve the stakeholders in the policy (parents, kids, staff)
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:56 Mark Hess

2:57
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
It seems like keeping kids safe online is a huge issue with technology, in general, and becomes even more relevant when you start talking about providing students with Web-enabled devices.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:57 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:58
Mark Hess: 
Keeping kids safe should always be a priority, with or without technology.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:58 Mark Hess

2:58
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Definitely.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:58 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:58
Shawn Gross: 
Right Mark
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:58 Shawn Gross

2:58
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
That's just about all the time we have for today - do you guys want to wrap it up with any closing thoughts/advice/tips you might have for our readers?
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:58 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:59
Shawn Gross: 
My only piece of advice is keep an open mind on mobile learning because it is coming :) Have a great day and thanks to Ed Week for organizing this event
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:59 Shawn Gross

2:59
Mark Hess: 
I'm not an expert nor do I have all the answers....I can just share my thoughts and tell my story. Keep plugging away as technology is here to stay....kids eat, breath, and sleep in a digital world...we might as well embrace.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:59 Mark Hess
2:59
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Thanks, Shawn! Thank YOU for participating! This has been a really informative chat.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:59 Moderator: Katie Ash

2:59
Edweek Producer: Jennifer: 
Thanks for joining us for today's chat, "Mobile Learning: Trends and Challenges," sponsored by CDW-G. A transcript of this chat will be available shortly on this same page.

Make sure to check out our other upcoming Education Week chats and webinars.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:59 Edweek Producer: Jennifer
2:59
Shawn Gross: 
I can be reached at shawngross@projectknect.org if you have further questions
Tuesday March 23, 2010 2:59 Shawn Gross

3:00
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Perfect! Thanks, Mark!
Tuesday March 23, 2010 3:00 Moderator: Katie Ash
3:00
Mark Hess: 
Tuesday March 23, 2010 3:00 Mark Hess

3:00
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[Comment From Carol Carol: ] 
thanks :)
Tuesday March 23, 2010 3:00 Carol
3:00
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[Comment From Rebecca Rampy Rebecca Rampy: ] 
Valuable information. Thanks.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 3:00 Rebecca Rampy

3:00
Mark Hess: 
Thanks everyone. Be well.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 3:00 Mark Hess
3:00
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[Comment From steve cavrak steve cavrak: ] 
Wow. Where did the time go ? Very nice chat ... well organized, on topic, and informative ... wonder if this would have worked on an iPad :) Very nice indeed ... Thanks !

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