Author Archives: Greg Odell

eBooks – Where are the Answers???

Rarely a day goes by when I am not asked a question about eBooks that I don’t have an answer for.  The goal of this post is to list the questions I hear most often in hopes of finding answers.  I find it hard to believe the supply is as far behind the demand as it seems.   The depth of selection at the various eBook vendor sites seems to indicate otherwise.  This list is in no certain order:

  1. How are teachers/schools to buy multiple copies of the same title in eBook format and make them accessible to students/teachers  on both personal and district-owned devices?
  2. Does Overdrive really have as little competition as it appears?
  3. Is DRM an appropriate model for K-12 eBooks?
  4. How are traditional media center book vendors adapting to the demand for eBooks?
  5. How close are textbook publishers to moving to the eBook format?

Recent related articles:

Librarian Unhappiness Over New Harper e-Book Lending Policy Grows

K-12 educators’ views on e-books

DRM: Publishers Crippling Library eBooks

New Way to Check Out eBooks – Wall Street Journal

I welcome any/all responses to the questions above.

Thank you for your time,

Gregory Odell

e-Learning Specialist

Hall County Schools

Gainesville, GA

Twitter:  ugaodawg

2011 Horizon Report – Emerging Technologies in Education

The 2011 Horizon Report was recently released by the New Media Consortium and Educause.  Each edition of the Horizon Report examines six emerging technologies and their potential impact on teaching and learning in the next 5 years.  The six chosen technologies are the result of a series of discussions by the 2011 Horizon Report Advisory Board and  selection process than can be analyzed at the Horizon Report Wiki.

The report recognizes the following trends that are affecting teaching, learning, and creative inquiry:

  • The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators in sense-making, coaching, and credentialing.
  • People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want.
  • The world of work is increasingly collaborative, giving rise to reflection about the way student projects are structured.
  • The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based, and our notions of IT support are decentralized.

The report also recognizes the following challenges to technology adoption:

  • Digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and profession.
  • Appropriate metrics of evaluation lag the emergence of new scholarly forms of authoring, publishing, and researching.
  • Economic pressures and new models of education are presenting unprecedented competition to traditional models of the university.
  • Keeping pace with the rapid proliferation of information, software tools, and devices is challenging for students and teachers alike.

Each section of the report about an emerging technology includes an overview, relevance to teaching and learning, how it is in current practice (with links), and further reading (also with links).  The following are the final topics for the 2011 report and are arranged by a Time-to-Adoption Horizon:

It is interesting to compare the final 2011 topics with the 2010 finalists as outlined in this post by the Unquiet Librarian.  Some of the technologies have continually been on the list with evolved names and adjustments on their time-to-adoption.

What does this all mean to us as educators?  Never before has the technology demand out-paced the availability of resources at such a rate.  How will we incorporate these emerging technologies in our practice?  I look forward to learning with you.

Gregory Odell

e-Learning Specialist

Hall County Schools

Gainesville, GA

Twitter:  ugaodawg

Tech Tool Value vs. Teacher Value

I really like this slide that I came across today on The Tempered Radical by Bill Ferriter:

Tech Tool Value vs. Teacher Value

The Tempered Radical by Bill Ferriter

You can read more of his post about this slide here.  I love the way the slide values teachers.  A good teacher’s value can never be equaled by any tech tool.

Interactive Whiteboards: Your Thoughts?

Hello everyone, my name is Greg Odell.  This is my initial post on the GLMA Blog.  I am honored to be asked to contribute here.  I work as an e-Learning Specialist with Hall County Schools, and I am in my 15th year as a teacher including 7 years as an elementary media specialist.  I look forward to the conversation.

If you were asked what the ideal 21st century classroom should include, would you include an interactive white board (IWB)?  Do they really change instruction in today’s classrooms, or do they encourage teachers to hold on to traditional practices?  I’m still trying to make up my mind on this issue.  I welcome your comments.  Thank you.

Gregory Odell

e-Learning Specialist

Hall County Schools

Gainesville, GA

Twitter:  ugaodawg