Happy Birthday! Today the PM Technology Blog is officially 5 years old.
Over the past several years, blog readership has grown at a steady clip–we are just shy of 28,000 visits. During this time, technology has transformed at a mind-melting pace. Consider that in July 2007:
- MySpace was the king of social media with 70 million subscribers; Facebook had a mere 30 million accounts.
- Android/Apple tablets and the Kindle did not yet exist.
- RIM’s Blackberry was the smartphone giant. The iPhone was just a few weeks old; Android phones arrived a year later.
- Nintendo’s 1st generation Wii was still new and difficult to find in stores.
- Windows Vista, Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) and Ubuntu 7 were state-of-the-art.
- Twitter passed the paltry 60,000 messages a day mark.
- Blockbuster began sinking as Netflix had delivered its 1 billionth DVD.
- Wikipedia published its 2 millionth article. (They crossed the 22 million mark in June 2012.)
In parallel to rapidly evolving business technology, Penn Manor I.T. has grown and expanded since 2007. Our schools have benefited from:
- BYOT initiatives to open our networks for student personal devices
- Anytime, anywhere classroom web publishing via WordPress blogs
- Strong leadership in open-source solutions and software
- Major classroom and facility technology upgrades
- Large-scale student laptop initiatives and deployments
- Significant infusions of interactive teaching technology
- Expanding our support resources via the help desk and support suite
- Launching online classes and virtual school programs
- The ongoing adoption of rich software tools for teaching and learning
Infrastructure, hardware and network gear is only part of the story–the real magic is interwoven in our people. I am so proud of my team’s innovative school technology contributions and continue to be amazed by the remarkable accomplishments of our students and staff. The past 5 years have been the most rewarding time of my career.
So where do we go from here? I am much more fond of reminiscing than making future technology predictions; however, is it too ambitious to predict that by July 2017 we will have flying school buses?
I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone in the Penn Manor community the best for 2011. We’ve had an extraordinary number of student and staff accomplishments over the past 12 months. I look forward to new innovations, ideas and successes in the coming year and wish you all a very happy 2011.
The following pretty much sums up the point I’ve been making to staff and faculty for the past several years:
See the original XKCD post here: http://xkcd.com/743/
Penn Manor students and staff were prominently featured at the PA Educational Technology Conference (PETE&C) this past week. On Sunday, Shelby Foster conduced a pre-conference workshop on Moodle basics. Monday featured two poster sessions from Pequea staff: Kevin Bower and Carin Leisure. Kevin demoed the Tech-it-Out parent tech showcase initiative while Carin showed off her Tech Mates video conference project. A special thanks to Megan Augustine for her support with both of these Pequea initiatives. Finally, Charlie delivered a conference session on Penn Manor’s Internet safety initiatives and the Millersville University Cyber-partnership.
On Tuesday, more Pequea projects were featured as part of the PETE&C student showcase. Students from Lisa Koetteritz and Megan Urban’s 4th grade demonstrated their winning commercial for the Pay-It-Forward project. Additionally, Kevin showcased the 6th Grade TechTrek problem-based learning wequest project. Congratulations to the staff and students for being accepted to present these outstanding initiatives at the state-level!
Microsoft Office has long been the de-facto program for word processing, spreadsheets and presentation creation. That standard comes with a price. Even with educational discounts, MS Office can be a costly program to license, upgrade and maintain. Over the past few years, independent open-source software developers have created several free alternatives to Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The best of these alternatives, OpenOffice for Windows/Mac and NeoOffice for Mac are excellent, no-cost replacements for Microsoft Office and are worth a try for individuals, schools and businesses craving an escape from Microsoft’s pricey version-upgrade treadmill.
James, Shawn and I spent the morning transferring approximately 4000 pounds of obsolete and dead computer equipment from a storage area under the high school gym into a large box truck provided by EZ PC Recycling. As you might have thought, the process wasn’t much fun. We had to lift all sorts of heavy PC gear up a flight of steps, unit-by-unit, and then hoist it into the back of a truck. The whole process took several hours and was rather exhausting. While we were marching up and down the steps, loading up the recycle truck and receiving our tech workout, several ideas about technology footprints came to mind.