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Internet @ Schools

EDITOR'S NOTES: Toward the Cutting Edge

By David Hoffman - Posted May 1, 2006
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Well, I've now gotten a needed "infoboost," the one I refer to when I encourage people to attend conferences—in particular, of course, our Internet@Schools conferences. Just back from moderating the Washington, D.C., Internet at Schools event, I'm infused and enthused with the information and energy our speakers poured forth. It wouldn't do to single any one speaker out, as they were all good.

I@S East was paired with the Computers in Libraries conference for librarians operating in the broader information realm. So attendees could participate in our very schools-focused sessions or stop by a CIL session or two to learn from experts in academic, public, corporate, or special libraries fields. About the only down side to this as far as I can tell is the frustration of having to choose between concurrent sessions like Alice Yucht's  "How Bloglines Made Me Look Brilliant," for I@S East, and Pew Internet & American Life Project director Lee Rainie's speech for CIL on his project's latest research.

This combination of a schools focus plus additional breadth and richness of content is a benefit for our Internet@Schools attendees that we plan to offer next October in Monterey, Calif., as well, during Internet at Schools West. I@S West will be paired with the highly reputed Internet Librarian conference.

The Issue at Hand

We're into cutting-edge issues this time around, along with the usual practicalities and resources delivered though our reviews and the Look At … feature. (This time, Charlie Doe takes A Look At … Marvelous Math Products, starting on page 30.)

To cover one out-front issue, Joanne Barrett has written a feature on Facebook, MySpace, and, in general, social networking and what turmoil it's bringing to the education space. See Social Networking—A New Tech Tool and a New Security Concern for Teens and Schools, page 8.

Then Patrick Greene addresses the issue of online interactive games and gaming environments so popular with the digitally native student generation you are all teaching. Patrick traces some theory, history, and research on gaming in an educational context, culminating with a discussion of the intriguing offerings at The Education Arcade. For example, he notes, there's Environmental Detectives, Electromagnetic Knockout, and, get this, Supercharged!, a 3-D simulation based on AP and freshman physics curriculum. The Potential of Gaming on K-12 Education begins on page 16.

Finally, Stephen Abram's Pipeline column for this issue, The Proof Is in the Podding, page 22, is devoted to what he sees as the bellwether technology of MP3 players.

David Hoffman, Editor

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