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Archive for June, 2010

School Geek Squad

June 25, 2010 2 comments

I have been busy lately trying to find new and innovative ideas for my classroom.  But my latest idea came as I drove 20 miles to work on a friends fax machine.  How cool would it be if a high school ran their own version of the Best Buy “Geek Squad.”  It would be kind of like a work release program.  Students could get credit for going out into the community to help people for simple computer problems.  It would be a great way to get them experience and an assist to the community.

I know someone out there is thinking, won’t this take jobs away from computer repair businesses, but I do not think it would.  They would be fixing or solving basic level problems, ones that someone does not want to pay someone a hundred dollars to fix.  Also, this would be a great way for those businesses to find their future employees!  I have a meeting in two weeks with a couple of my districts tech people, and this is an idea I will surely bring up.

flash drives

I work in a district that many students have no high speed Internet access. This is not out of want, but geography. High speed access is almost unobtainable to many parts of the Northwoods. Because of this, students can not download many of the great open source programs out there.

This morning I had the thought of purchasing a bunch of flash drives and pre-loading them with programs like Open Office, GIMP, and other useful tools. It could also be used to replace many of the documents that are printed each year with PDFs.

I know this has been done many times to varying success around the country in schools and businesses, but feel that it could be helpful here. If you have stories of success or failure in the use of flash drives, please share.

Plans

Went to the Wisconsin School Leadership Academy this week. I got to hear two very interesting speakers Yong Zhao and David Warlick. They had very interesting views on the future of education. Zhao gave me hope and Warlick gave me a goal. I have decided I am going to try to make my classroom totally digital and I will establish a better presence on the web.

I have tried blogs and Twitter before but never stayed with it. So now Cowen 2.0 is in gear and I will give this another try!

Feel free to check out my Twitter at justincowen.twitter.com.

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