Ed Bilodeau

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This weblog had moved: http://www.coolweblog.com/bilodeau/

# Notice (Oct 19/05): So ends my stay here on Blogger. This morning Google implemented an anti-spam 'feature' that forces me to answer a challenge phrase when I want to post to my own blog. No notice of the change, nothing. Worse is that it doesn't even work! I type the phrase, submit, "An error occured", post deleted. Damn you, Google. Chances are I will revive my blog somewhere else, sometime soon. I'll post the new coordinates here as soon as they become available. (BTW, I'm unable to post anything to my RSS stream, so I'd appreciate it if readers could spread the word and ask people to take a look at this notice)

Update (Oct 19/05, ~noon): After a frustrating few hours (and not just trying out alternatives to Blogger), I've decided that this is a good time to take a break from all this. A day? A week? Who knows. But I need to step away from it before I pass a heavy magnet over the whole mess.

Update 2: According to this post, the reason I'm seeing the CAPTCHA (challenge phrase) is that Blogger has classified my blog as spam. Thanks. User for five years and now I'm spam. I searched the Blogger site, but there is no mention of how to get the spam flag turned off. There is also no way of contacting anyone at Blogger. Wow. Spam they say I am, so spam I must be. Maybe it is time to take a break.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Wireless in the classroom : Last week I was talking with a few other folks on campus about the use of wireless access in the classroom. There are a few pilot projects currently underway at the university, with some preliminary results coming back already. The response from those teachers involved has generally been positive. Only a minority and issues relating to classroom management (ex. students surfing and checking email when they should be paying attention.).

I'm not sure how much value I would place on having wireless access in the classroom, especially in I am a big believer in never demoing anything live. Screenshots all the way. Less interactive, but less likely for something to go wrong.

Now if there was some kind of application that the students could make use of during the lecture, that could be useful. Maybe something like an IRC chat backchannel that would be recorded and saved to the class website. Or maybe something more elaborate, like the Marquee annotation system developed at Xerox Parc or the eClass initiative at Georgia Tech.

In considering these applications, though, I think it is important to question whether we are addressing a real deficiency in the classroom experience, and if technology is in fact the best way for the problem to be addressed.

Maybe having an application isn't so important. Maybe wireless in the classroom is more of a convenience factor, just like installing an electrical outlet or phone in the classroom. Some teachers may make pedagogical use of it, but mostly is just makes it easier for teachers and students to do the things they normally do.