Thursday, August 28, 2008

Internet Explorer 8 Beta Update

It appears that there is a "Good news/Bad news" scenario with the new beta of Internet Explorer. The good news is that compared to newest features of Firefox...

Internet Explorer 8 Catches Up Shows Improvements With Beta 2 - Webmonkey
So it’s no surprise to see that several of these features also pop up in IE8 Beta 2. There’s a smarter address bar, a better add-on manager, better ways to subscribe to dynamic feeds, and a new cross-site scripting filter. However, this is not just an example of cut-and-paste software development on Microsoft’s part. Whatever may appear to be a “me too” addition to the browser has been extended beyond the current model to incorporate some new innovations. It’s safe to say, at least as far as user-facing features are concerned, that Microsoft has not only caught up to the other browsers, but upped the ante.
The bad news, according to Infoworld, is that installing IE 8 can create uninstall problems:

Microsoft warns of IE8 lock-in with XP SP3 | InfoWorld | News | 2008-08-28 | By Gregg Keizer, Computerworld
Microsoft yesterday warned users of Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) that they won't be able to uninstall either the service pack or Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) under some circumstances. The warning was reminiscent of one Microsoft made in May, when Windows XP SP3 had just been made available for downloading. At the time, the company told users they wouldn't be able to downgrade from IE7 to the older IE6 browser without uninstalling the service pack.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

7 Things You Should Know About...

The EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative's (ELI's) 7 Things You Should Know About... series provides concise information on emerging learning technologies and related practices. Each brief focuses on a single technology or practice and describes:

  • What it is
  • How it works
  • Where it is going
  • Why it matters to teaching and learning
7 Things You Should Know About...pieces provide quick, no-jargon overviews of emerging technologies and related practices that have demonstrated or may demonstrate positive learning impacts. Any time you need to explain a new learning technology or practice quickly and clearly, look for a 7 Things You Should Know About... brief from ELI.

Second Life and Flickr are 2 of the 7 listed for 2008. Each piece of technology includes a PDF addressing the bulleted points above. You can access this via this website

Monday, August 25, 2008

Walled Gardens?

I thought I'd have more time to develop a "back to school" blog post, and then I realized that many of our South Dakota schools are already in session. In much of my "catch up" reading over the past few months, which I apparently should have done outside more as my husband looked at my pale skin the other day and asked if I ever got any sun, I've noticed that the concept of creating a walled garden, or a sandbox, for students has been getting more and more attention.

I am certain that the issue of access v. security is one that will continue to develop as we begin to take advantage of more and more online tools for learning. And I'm looking forward to the conversation--how do we best provide our students with all of the digital tools for them to be creative, innovative, problem solvers, yet ensure as best we can that they are using these tools in a safe learning environment?