I need to clear out some tabs in my browser…

Back to School 2.0–A Business Week article that highlights some of the work teachers have been doing with Web 2.0 tools, many of whom participated in Sheryl Nussbaum Beach’s most excellent professional development program in Alabama. (You go, girl!) “Freeman says her district is trying to help teach children to solve problems, think creatively, and understand the world on a global scale. To do so, Trussville City Schools and other forward-thinking schools across the country are using technology such as podcasting, blogging, Internet calling via eBay’s (EBAY) Skype, and other tools to foster collaboration, creativity, and the ability to connect with others globally.” What a concept!

YouTube Video Gets Boys Sued by A&P for $1 Million–Just up the road from me in Califon, NJ, two brothers who work at a local supermarket do an after hours rap video about produce that has its lowpoints, post it to YouTube, and get sued when some patrons see it and say they’ll never shop at the store again. “‘The defendants sing various disparaging and disgusting lyrics pertaining to groceries and produce,” the suit said.’” Meanwhile the D’Avellas are providing regular updates on their Web site about the lawsuit. They said, ‘Truthfully, the jobs mean nothing to us; we are merely fighting for what is right.’” Which is what, exactly?

Girl Power–”Ashley Qualls, 17, has built a million-dollar web site. She’s LOL all the way to the bank.” Whateverlife.com, which provides skins and social connections for MySpace sites and is bigger than Oprah! You can even “calculate the exact name of your perfect lover.” Crazy kids. (Twitter nod to Chris Sessums.)

Porn Filters No Barrier for Net Users–A Melbourne student disabled the Australian government’s $84 million porn filter in minutes. “Tom stressed the filters were missing the mark by a long way regardless of how easy they were to break. ‘Filters aren’t addressing the bigger issues anyway,’ he said. ‘Cyber bullying, educating children on how to protect themselves and their privacy are the first problems I’d fix.’” Outta the mouths of babes… (Nod to Stephen Downes)

And last, but not least…

Local Schools Battling High Tech Distractions–Seems the beligerent kids in San Diego schools are actually text messaging during class, admitting to cheating with their phones, and listening to iPods during lectures. Why is that? “Social psychologist Jean Twenge believes she knows why personal technology devices are all the rage among teenagers. Her research indicates young people today are [wait for it...] more self-absorbed than ever before, and iPods and cellphones play into that.” Was that absorbed or abs-bored? The administration response? No surprise… “So Vista students now can only use electronic devices at lunch, break, or after school. Students who break the rule more than once could face detention. And the district is even holding teachers more accountable.” But here’s the good news. There is another voice! Jeff Robin of High Tech High says “Kids will always change, it’s up to the teachers to do something more, and it’s a lot of work. I’ve seen so many teachers out there that say, well I’ve been giving these same worksheets out for 30 years and if it’s good enough for them, then it’s good enough for these kids. It’s not though, times have changed.” Get out of the county…

Messy, messy times.

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