Mark Barnes

Apple iPad Is Coming Soon, May Revolutionize Education

Posted in Gadgets, Recent Events, Teaching Tools by Mark Barnes on February 21, 2010

A couple of years ago, surface technology was introduced, and people didn’t really get it. You could drag things around your computer, mostly pictures, which looked kind of cool, but how practical would this really be? 

Time went by and people forgot about this amazing new technology. Then came the iPod. Now, it made a little sense — at least for this small gadget. Then, the Smart Phone. Really neat, people thought. 

Now, enter the iPad. Admittedly, I didn’t see the attraction, until I saw this video. Welcome to the power of  surface technology, which may just revolutionize education. 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “iPad Changing Everything“, posted with vodpod


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Is Entourage Edge better than the iPad?

Posted in Gadgets, Impact on Education, multimedia, Recent Events, Teaching Tools by Mark Barnes on February 13, 2010

I just saw this video on the Entourage Edge. It’s maybe the coolest computer/notebook/eReader I’ve ever seen.  

Wonder how long before we can actually use these in our classrooms.  

Vodpod videos no longer available.


more about “Best notebook ever?“, posted with vodpod


Widgets add spice to classroom web site

Posted in applications, Classroom strategies, classroom web site, Gadgets, Web 2.0 by Mark Barnes on February 10, 2010
A widget is an Internet feature that allows users to interact with a web-based application. Sounds technical, I know, but widgets are actually very easy to use and can add nice spice to a classroom web site.

With a wiki like, the widget is modular and added with a simple “include” code. So, in this classroom web site example, the html from the eSchool News widget was copied and placed in the module. Then, the code, [[include:eschoolnews]], places the widget on the page.

A site like widgetbox contains the widget codes for  hundreds of educational widgets.

Try a widget on your classroom web site today; your students and parents will love it.

Can the Apple iPad revolutionize education technology?

Posted in Gadgets, Teaching Tools by Mark Barnes on January 28, 2010

According to Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs, it’s neither a smart phone nor a laptop. The Apple iPad, however, may be the sort of revolutionary technology that changes the classroom forever.

With education technology evolving faster than Usein Bolt in a 100-meter dash, it seems that every week there is some new tool or application for teachers to integrate into the classroom.

The iPad, though, may be just what the teacher assigned ordered. If the iPad delivers what Jobs promises, eBooks might become more popular than ever, and a giant leap toward eliminating paper text could be made. At just $499 per unit, putting the iPad in students’ hands is just a technology grant or two away.

We’ll know more about the success of the iPad when it hits stores in a few months; I, for one, hope Steve Jobs delivers as well as he usually does.

How long before there is a Kindle in every student’s hands?

Posted in Gadgets, multimedia, Teaching Tools by Mark Barnes on January 20, 2010

Although this Kindle blog may just be an advertisement disguised as information, there is certainly merit to the comments that the students make in the post.

The blog contends that polled students say they like the ability to change font size, being able to bookmark pages and the fact that they don’t have to carry heavy textbooks, among other things.

In the digital world, one has to wonder how long it will be before all students are reading their novels and their science texts on digital readers like Kindle.

Can my Droid teach my class?

Posted in classroom web site, Gadgets, Recent Events, Teaching Tools by Mark Barnes on January 16, 2010

In an attempt to remain with the now generation, or at least to stay about three feet ahead of my precocious seventh graders, I recently bought a smart phone — an Android Eris.  It didn’t take long for me to see that the smart phone is a lot smarter than I am.

I inadvertently called several friends and family the other day, because I didn’t realize that the Droid’s touch screen is as delicate as an Anne Murray ballad, and I found myself driving 10 miles off course, when I mistakenly asked my Droid to take me to the wrong Interstate. The Droid, of course, went exactly where I told it to go.

Since we teachers are prone to numerous mishaps in our daily instruction, I couldn’t help but wonder if the smart phone could help me teach my class. I figure, if it’s smart enough to dial my relatives on its own and drive me places even I didn’t realize I wanted to go, perhaps the Droid could anticipate points I want to make in class and help me avoid human error.

My Droid was about 30 minutes old before it smoothly located my classroom web site, with my voice command of,

Now, all I have to do is get it to read and score the book reports my students posted on their individual web pages.

I wonder if the smart phone offers a robot teacher application? Let me check. I’ll get back to you.

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