The Strength of Weak Ties

Everyone participates. Everyone contributes. Leveraging the power of digital networks to connect people, resources and ideas to drive creativity and innovation forward...and actually accomplish something!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

TechForum San Diego

It's Thursday and I'm in San Diego, getting ready to present at the initial TechForum San Diego conference, as the 2005-06 Out of Options Tour makes its westward swing before returning to cold and cloudy Illinois. I'll be presenting with Hall Davidson tomorrow morning-the session is entitled The New Literacies: Essential or Enrichment-and in the afternoon I go solo with Cutting Edge Tools for Schools-my take on the tools of Web 2.0-where I will talk of these tools in regard to personal and professional learning, as well as their ability to create dynamic classroom learning environments.

Tomorrow morning should be interesting-I'm prepared to talk on online learning, blogs and wikis, and digital storytelling. In fact, I have a slide that lists those, but the next slide is the one that is important. Online learning becomes inquiry and information literacy, blogs and wikis becomes writing and collaboration, and digital storytelling becomes writing, communication, and visual literacy. So, its not about the tools but about the fundamental learning that they support. Basic. So, you can guess that I will make a case for these being essential.

My Thursday post over at Techlearning addresses essential vs. enrichment in more detail.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Congratulations to Flickr

Via Heather Champ and the FlickrBlog, see the 100,000,000 photo uploaded into Flickr. That's amazing for being very slightly over 2 years old.

One Hundred Million photos. Amazing.

More MySpace Troubles

I recently worked with a group of teachers on the process of digital storytelling. One participant was a student teacher from a university in Illinois. At some point in the workshop while they were creating stories, we started talking about blogging, MySpace, etc. She said that several of her classmates had been denied student teaching positions at schools in Illinois as the result of the principals at those schools investigating their MySpace accounts and seeing the content posted at their sites.

Kids just don't get the digital record thing, and that they publish for everyone, not just their friends.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Did you mean Mesopotamia?

In this week's Thursday Techlearning post, I consider the role of content in a comtemporary 2006 education. Do we really need to study Mesopotamia-I couldn't even spell it (no worries-we've got Google, right?). And do biology teachers really need to spend 8 class periods having kids memorizing characteristics of biomes? When was the last time you were asked to name a representative plant and animal from the tundra? From the taiga? Or from the temperate decidious forest? How long would that take to find on the Web? Consider that a challenge-ready, set, go...I'll bet you can do it in under 10 seconds.

When will we start teaching people and stop "covering" content?

Something's gotta give. Yes, we have standards and high-stakes testing. We can do better than biomes and Me-so-po-tam-ia.

Read the post at

David Jakes publishes every Thursday at Techlearning. See his T+L posts here and meet the rest of the T+L Blogerati.

Friday, February 03, 2006


Check out flAppr, a very cool Flash front-end to Flickr. If you are a Flickr user, you will love this.

Begin by entering a favorite tag in the search window. flAppr will present a set of images on that tag. Clicking on that image displays the image, along with the Flickr member's information in a sort of pop-up bar, displaying that user's favorite tags and photosets from their Flickr account. Very cool. As you examine more photos, the "pop-ups' tile across the bottom. A menu bar in each photo gives additional access to Flickr capabilities.

I'd like to see Creative Commons searching added to the search capabilities.