Thursday, February 28, 2008

Installing Ubuntu on an iMac G3

While surfing Craigslist the other day I came across an old Blueberry iMac G3 with a 266 mhz processor, 64mb of RAM and huge 5 gb hard drive; but the best part of this was that it was $30. For that price I would have been a fool not buy it. I got it home started it up and thought that $30 was way too high. The OS was slow and the most recent browser that you could download was Netscape 5. Oops. So what was I supposed to do with this behemoth.

Well that's when the experimentation began. I download the alternate CD version of Xubuntu an official derivative of Ubuntu using the xfce desktop environment and burned the image to a CD. I did this several time because the boot disk was bad each time. I finally got a working copy by burning it at the slowest speed allowable. The install was a very slow process it took around two hours for the install to complete. But what a wonderful sight to see the boot up work and Xubuntu install. I immediately started to download all the educational software that is available since its primary use will be by my 20 month old. (I know its a little early but it was $30) The install was great. The computer runs quick not fast just quick. Quite frankly, I have been overly impressed with the OS. I would highly recommend.

Downfall: Every good thing has something that just doesn't go right. Xubuntu comes with Firefox which is the greatest browser. However, I cannot get a working version of Adobe Flash to install. I have found versions for the x86 just not the PPC processor. Any recommendations would be appreciated. In the spirit of sharing.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Instead of Broadcast Yourself how about Teach Yourself and others

What does it take to motivate or engage the digital native? In the age YouTube and "broadcast yourself" we must meet our students on their playing field or risk losing them. Students need to be able to create their own educational content and learn from each other. We can all agree that we really did not know our subject until we started teaching it. Why would this be any different for our students?

A teacher from one of my schools came up with a great idea. He has his students writing up TAKS Science skits and digitally recording them to burn them to a DVD for students to watch and review before the TAKS Exam. (Ruby Payne would be so proud) As standardized testing becomes more and more prominent we owe it to our students to make learning fun / engaging.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Future

Are we preparing our students for the jobs of the future? Do you remember the Polaroid cameras that were popular during the 1970’s and 80’s or at least know the line from the OutKast song “Shake it like a Polaroid picture.” Polaroid failed to embrace the digital age of photography and a global company that boasted 21,000 employees in 1978 now has a meager 150 employees.

What technology are you afraid to embrace? Do you want to try something new?

Don't be left out be on the cutting edge

Here is the NY Times article that inspired this.