Waraku Education

Ideas, experiments and observations as they occur [and I have time] relating to teaching and learning in a secondary school - special focus on ICT.

Friday, May 04, 2007

My Notebook

I've just discovered the Google Notebook extension for Firefox and I'm in love. I now have a little link at the bottom RH of my browser window that can open the Notebook. I can highlight bits of a web page and then click on 'clip' in the notepad. The notebook entry that is made has a link back to the source. I can have various notebooks and I can have sections in each notebook. It all seemed rather useless until I considered a student doing research and suddenly it became brilliant. FAQ's for Notebook here.

Why don't we use Google apps at school? Every student and staff member could
  • have 1gig of space for their email
  • use the notebook for their research hack work
  • make use of the Google wordprocessor and spreadsheet for documentation and other school work
  • have their own calendar and then subscribe to their subject calendars

Then there are the various other Web2.0 applications available and bingo, just about all a student needs through a browser window.

It's all free and IT admin could get away with having no virus ridden Microsoft stuff to maintain. Students can continue their work from any place with an internet connection. The computers that students needed to do their work would not have to be anything flash making it affordable to families. It would have the same benefits for a school.



  • At 8:29 pm, Blogger John said…

    I agree. Why can't a school do this? Is this another example of the great filter conspiracy? Great Web 2 tools are appearing every week and seem to be the wave of the future.

  • At 11:03 pm, Blogger Wara said…

    I'm keen to look at ways for schools to do this. A quick think about what might get in our road follows.

    There may be an issue with possibly another login for students to remember.
    I think we would need to have another domain because I would like to trial it with a group of our students first prior to broader implementation.
    I'm not sure how I would marry the calendar in Moodle with that of Google and quite probably we couldn't bring these together.
    We have had trouble with email from Google accounts being bounced by the school system’s email filtering and would need to feel confident that this would not continue.
    There is the issue of cost due to using resources outside of the school system’s vpn – better pricing for internet traffic would help to fix this.
    I’d reckon that we would still be hit with a Microsoft licensing bill.
    I would like to have a play with the administration panel for Google Apps.
    It would probably be useful to have the blessing of central to do this I would reckon.

    Do you have any other ideas to add to the list of possible hurdles to jump? Getting some opinions around these issues would help a lot. This is where we need a bunch of people doing a structured brainstorm.

    I'm not familiar with the great filter conspiracy. I did find Great Filter Conspiracy. The section dealing with 'water filters' made me laugh as did the question "Why is most of the good stuff taken out of Bottled Water?".

  • At 12:42 pm, Blogger Elke said…

    Thankyou Peter. I will try it and see how it could be used. I have already sent my univerity student daughter the link for her to explore and probably exploit.


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