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Monday, January 10, 2005

Promises, promises...

President Bush's nominee for Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings, promised on Thursday to iron out problems with the No Child Left Behind education law if she is confirmed as education secretary. The Washington Post's Michael Dobbs tells of her senate hearings in Spellings Promises Fixes to No Child Left Behind Law.

Down on the Farm

Associated Press writer, John Seewer, tells an engaging story about city school kids tending milk cows and other students growing lettuce and basil hydroponically in City kids take to studying agriculture. (Alternate AP/Yahoo Link)

A friend of mine from Indy, Lee Wiggam, used to say he'd open a farm school someday. It sounds like the idea has taken hold elsewhere. Seewer quotes the principal at Saul High School for Agricultural Sciences in Philadelphia, Thomas Scott, as saying, "We're not trying to teach cows, sows and plows. What we're really trying to do is teach skills so that they can apply them to science or any field they want to go into."

The Education Terminator

Three columns from The Los Angeles Times tell the sad story of Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed K-12 spending cuts of $2.2 billion:

Schwarzenegger's budget plan is to be released today.

In contrast, Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack told the Iowa State Education Association at a legislative forum on Saturday "that he'll propose the largest financial commitment to K-12 education in a decade." (Credit: KCCI 8, The Iowa Channel)

Why Not Just Use the Word "Bribe?"

From an Associated Press/Yahoo posting:

The Bush administration paid a prominent black journalist to promote President Bush (news - web sites)'s education law and give Education Secretary Rod Paige media time, records show.
 
Armstrong Williams, a nationally syndicated radio, print and television personality, was paid $240,000 by the Education Department to promote the No Child Left Behind Act.

The story has been carried by numerous print news sources:

A New Column

I just couldn't resist putting up a piece about the rumored new offerings from Apple to be announced at Macworld tomorrow. The big surprise is the my old friend and PC nemesis, the "Evil NT Techie" wants a "headless iMac," just like me! Read MWSF Rumors: Count Two Sales for the "Headless iMac."

Is EdNews Coming Back?

I've received a number of emails over the last few months asking if I might consider reopening Educators' News on a regular basis. While flattering, the reality at this point is that my new job as User Community Liaison for the PRISM web portal keeps me very busy. On the other hand, my job at PRISM also regularly exposes me to lots of interesting education stories...

PRISM

PRISM is a free, assistive web portal for middle school (and other) math, science, and technology teachers. It's funded by a grant from the Lilly Foundation and hosted at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Currently, the site links Indiana state standards in the subjects above to relevant web-based activities. The site also has an excellent search engine that actually makes it useful far beyond the target audience of Indiana middle school teachers. Folks from other states and countries use the site as well as what appears to be a number of homeschoolers.

We've just entering a new phase for the site of attempting to generate a "community of practice" among educators. While we offer the standard forums, we soon will have some new offerings that promise to make the site the "watering hole for educators" that EdNews was supposed to be...and never became:-(. We've added a new member to the PRISM team, Bob Piercy, to handle the programming chores involved in this new effort.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Jobs & Mini NYTCool

Educators' News has always been a site for all educators interested in technology. We've leaned pretty heavily at times to the Mac side, but have always clearly stated that EdNews is not a "Mac site."

Of course, the site is almost always updated on a Mac. With that in mind, take a look at the New York Times front page. The front page photo of Apple CEO Steve Jobs holding the new Mac Mini links to the column, Changing Course, Apple Offers Low-Priced Mac for the Home.

Mac MiniApple introduced a $499 Macintosh yesterday, the Mac Mini. While there are lots of complete computer systems available in that price range, they're not Macs! As usual with Apple, this unit makes a bit of a statement with its tiny footprint.

The specs on the unit, other than the price for a Mac, won't blow you away, but there's enough power in such a unit for folks to get stuff done. Here's the specs from the Apple press release:

1.25 GHz Mac mini (MSRP $499)

1.42 GHz Mac mini (MSRP $599 )

1.25 GHz PowerPC G4 processor
256MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM, expandable to 1GB
40GB Ultra ATA hard drive
Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive
ATI Radeon 9200 graphics processor with 32MB video memory
One FireWire 400 and two USB 2.0 ports
10/100 BASE-T Ethernet networking and 56K V.92 modem
Internal support for AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth
DVI or VGA out (adapter included), composite/S-video out with optional adapter
Built-in speaker and headphone/line out.

1.42 GHz PowerPC G4 processor
256MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM, expandable to 1GB
80GB Ultra ATA hard drive
Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive
ATI Radeon 9200 graphics processor with 32MB video memory
One FireWire 400 and two USB 2.0 ports;10/100 BASE-T Ethernet networking and 56K V.92 modem
Internal support for AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth
DVI or VGA out (adapter included), composite/S-video out with optional adapter
Built-in speaker and headphone/line out.

So to review, we're not a Mac site. We're an education site that got its socks blown off by the new Mac Mini!

The New Mac mini

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We're Outa Here!

Educators' News is no longer an active site. It was regularly published from April 18, 2001, through April 18, 2003. Content from the site (archives and features) will remain available via the current URLs for the time being.

For those seeking current education news, let me recommend the following links:

School and Society

Education Week
(free registration required)  

ScienceMan.com

The New York Times
(Education page -- free registration required)

The Washington Post
(Education page)

The Boston Globe
(Sunday education page)

U.S. Department of Education

The Los Angeles Times
(Education page -- free registration required)

The Chicago Sun-Times
(Education page)

CNN Education

National Education Association

Yahoo Education Search

For Macintosh specific news, including some education links, let me suggest:

MyAppleMenu
(formerly AppleSurf)

 MacSurfer's Headline News

Low End Mac

 
Macs Only
 

My sincere thanks go out to the regular readers and contributors to this site for their support over the last two years. Please stay in touch. I'm not dying, just closing this part of the site:-).

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