Just a few quick notes about a few things catching my attention over the last week or so.
With very little fanfare, del.icio.us has officially become delicious.com and the new interface (which I'd checked out a while back with a beta invite) is the new default. I found out about the upgrade via our school web filter system as several teachers reported to me that "delicious is blocked again". I checked it out and found the new URL needed to be added to the whitelist - with that done, it was back to business as usual. I still maintain that delicious is one of the easiest social media entry points for teachers and its power is in its simplicity.
I got to see the new Acer Aspire One ultra portable laptop (or netbook as described in the Acer brochure) on Monday night. Yet another outcome from the ideas and concepts generated by the OLPC program and what I liked about it besides the fact that it was compact, light, durable, robust and very useable was that it makes the idea of more wireless laptops in the hands of students palatable and manageable to Windows Server loving technicians commonly found in South Australian schools. Most regular sized laptops contain so much bloatware barely used by students that it makes sense to trim the fat on classroom based machines. Politically, we are nowhere near students owning their network compatible computers in public education here. It's up to schools to prioritise and fund their own way - the more choice we have in these more lightweight ultraportable laptops, the better the affordability. After all, having an interactive whiteboard in your classroom is just the start.
I noticed the change on Delicious too. I preferred the clever del.icio.us domain to the ordinary delicious.com, but I’m just a geeky network technology teacher.
The Acer notebook looks very interesting. I see they offer a Linux version as well as MS windows. I’m hoping to do more with Linux with my students this year. I’ve had a fascination with that OS for some time, but haven’t ever done anything about it in the classroom or lab. Maybe the Acer is something to consider.
I’ve asked the Acer rep to drop one of these machines over for evaluation next week so will be interesting to see how they measure up. My thinking is that 30 of these machines is better value than 15 Dells or regular Acer notebooks. Maybe I’ll blog my impressions. I have to admit I do not know enough about Linux and my technician wouldn’t be keen to cross-platform when he has so much already on his plate.
I agree with the thoughts about delicious’ easy access for staff (and students). I am beginning the ICT online journey with my students not through a wiki or class blog (though I hope come) but through delicious.