Raise the brands by choosing by adoption of desktop strategies

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Effective Planning and Implementation of Computer Technology in Schools

In today’s world, the workplace has been transformed. Computer technology is present to one degree or another in virtually every job or profession. To prepare students adequately for the workplace we must recognize that integrating computer technology into the classroom is essential. To execute this integration properly, careful planning must precede implementation. We must be prepared to explore different means of implementation inasmuch as there is no perfect system or a “one size fits all” software program. Each institution must decide to what degree they will implement technology and how quickly they will do so. It is also important to appeal to educational leaders for support as well as gathering preferences from both teachers and students.

In his article, “Investing in Digital Resources” David McArthur explored the notion that the decision regarding whether or not to use technology as an educational medium has already been made. What must be done is plan carefully to ensure that the long-range goals of technology integration are properly served.

The leaders in higher education must “plan for and invest in e-learning.” (McArthur, 2004, p3) E-learning has become an accepted method of education just as the “Web” has been accepted in business and at home. Integrating the newer technologies to supplement existing learning has become imperative. When planning is performed correctly, the educational environment should be able to use technologies to increase teacher/student communication, enhance faculty morale by use of an “on-line resource center,” (McArthur, 2004, p2) use web-based programs to enhance recruitment, and better prepare students for the workplace.

There are potential problems that must be overcome when planning for technological integration. First, the technological options are myriad and only a few will be appropriate for a given school or college. Second, while many institutions become accustomed to the idea of augmenting their educational system via e-learning, it can be troublesome and radical.

Some key issues in the potential success in the adoption of e-learning can include (but is not limited to) the school or college’s present computer network capacity, the willingness of the school’s leaders to support change, current or probable resources, the potential accessibility of the e-learning services by the students.

In looking at a comprehensive long-range plan, there are a number of options available. One is “Staged Implementation.” (McArthur, 2004, p4) While the critical planning should be virtually complete, not all components of the final plan need be in place at the outset. A planned multi-year plan of implementation can be used. Not only does this allow for the development of resources, it is possible to troubleshoot elements as each stage progresses. Another is “Appropriate Outsourcing.” (McArthur, 2004, p4) Not every educational institution has the in-house resources (personnel, tools, equipment) to implement even a staged plan. Outsourcing can be both cost and time saving. While it may be difficult to convince some leaders of the potential advantage in outsourcing, especially since this type of expertise “is regarded as an educational core asset” (McArthur, 2004, p6), drawing comparisons to the business world may help to demonstrate the benefits.

In his article, “Herding Elephants: Coping with the Technological Revolution in our Schools” Scott Tunison addressed the issues of: 1. the extents to which schools need to visit computer technology and 2. The tactics used to make the most of the potential advantages and diminish the potential pitfalls in the integration of the technology.

His reference regarding “Herding Elephants” is allegorical to managing the coming technology and learning to “integrate it into the educational framework” or moving aside and letting the “technological revolution” pass by. (Tunison, 2004, p7) Either way, educational technology is not to be ignored and it cannot be allowed to manage itself.

Fundamentally speaking, much of education is unchanged from long past. The methods that have been used were for the most part appropriate for the subject at hand. A perception might be that, if the concepts to be learned have not changed then a change in teaching method is not necessary. However, even if some of the concepts have not changed, the application context as well as the learners’ context has. While computers have entered the educational environment they often have been simple substitutes for other tools that already exist and are in place; tools such as blackboards, books, etc. What this means is that the process of learning remains unchanged when new uses for the available technology are not fully utilized.

Educational reform is necessary if we are going to meet the needs of our students. If our culture has developed electronic media, animation, etc. then that is the context through which we must reach our students.

The changes that must be made can make some educators uneasy. The learning paradigm must shift from the teacher as dispenser of knowledge to the student as active learner. Tunison cites Fullan (2001) in an identification of “three broad phases to the change process.” The phases are identified as “initiation, implementation, and institutionalization”

Initiation involves some entity proposing directional change. Sometimes students ask for change and sometimes groups of teachers, administrators, and parents form committees to begin a planning process for technological integration.

Institutionalization includes the perception of importance. One might say this is the stage of “damage control.” Clear policies, well trained teachers and administrators, and a supportive school board are crucial in this stage. It is important in this stage to record relevant data regarding the program for analysis. What was well planned and conceived may still have “bugs” to work out. The analysis of the data can assist in the “tweaking” of the program.

Educators must be aware of the importance of technology in the educational environment and be prepared to integrate it. Technology is extensive in our contemporary culture and reaching our students must involve meeting their needs in the world they know. We may, in fact, reach more students and perhaps stem the tide of dropouts.

In her article, “What Students Want to Learn About Computers” Judith O’Donnell Dooling, has informed the reader that students, parents, and administrators have specific preferences with regard to computer technology.

Over time, the importance of computers and related technology has been realized. However, while spending for computers has risen, some schools have not been as successful in identifying specific computer skills and its power as a tool of learning and teaching.

Student responses were varied. Many reported that they began learning about computers at an early age, usually from a more experienced person. Some students, especially in grades four through seven thought learning independently was the most enjoyable.

Interestingly, students of both genders reported that they had a reasonable confidence in their computer abilities, but some differences in perception were evident. To a degree girls, but primarily boys, thought that computers were too technical for girls.

The experience students had prior to school, the teacher, and computer access had a significant effect on student computer learning. Even if they, at home, had seen the computer more as a toy, they began to see them more as a tool in the school setting. They recognized the importance and power of the computer as their exposure increased.

Perhaps unlike other subjects students learn in school, students exchanged computer tips, recommended hardware and software, and generally discussed the subject of computers during their lunchtime and recess.

The students also saw the importance of computer knowledge as it related to its use in the workplace after their school experiences. They observed that, no matter where you work, you would be using computers to some degree.

The teachers expressed the concern that not all shared the same proficiency. Many mentioned that often the students knew more than the teacher did. Teachers also observed that, though the students had a great deal of computer knowledge, it was often limited to games and software. Another observation was that computer curriculums vary greatly school to school.

Teachers expressed that computer knowledge needs to be relevant. That is, it needs to be applied across the curriculum and used as an integral tool of learning. All agreed that the role of teacher needs redefinition and adequate professional development provided to facilitate the needed change.

In conclusion, we have seen that computer technology in the educational setting is essential for learning in contemporary society. Selecting, planning, and implementing must be done with great care to avoid waste and potential incompatibility with the goals of the educational institution. School leaders must be convinced that paradigm shift is not an option; that teachers and students must assume new roles, and their support for new ideas is essential.

We must also be able to meet students where they are. Our culture has created systems of technology to which students are accustomed. To continue teaching in an antiquated fashion does our students a disservice, especially if we are to prepare them for the workforce following their education. We must also be aware of teacher and student preferences if we are to expect them to fully utilize the new resources.

5 Additional Computer and Laptop Gadgets For Your Travel

With the invention and advancement in technology, there are lots of requirements that have become the basic mandate in our present lives. To be more precise, unlike earlier days, we have a blended life of work and vacation together now. We carry our laptops even during vacation and club both work and vacation. This practice has become unavoidable in the present market conditions. When we carry laptops to every other place, it is important to carry few basic gadgets along with it in order to ensure smooth running of the laptop and also to use the laptop to its best.

Laptop Security Cable: During travel, it becomes mandatory to safeguard your laptop. Security cable is one of the most important among all computer gadgets in order to ensure safety to your laptop. These computer gadgets or security cables come with password operations that are very easy to use. The average cost of the security cable is around 6 dollars and is very effective for its price. The length of these computer gadgets are good and comes with a good finish. You just need to enter the password to lock and unlock the cable. The security cable is made out of alloy and weights about 168 grams only.

Mini Laptop Optical Mouse: Optical mouse, one other important computer gadgets that comes handy for convenient usage. The size of these computer gadgets are very small and hence easy portable. This mini optical mouse is capable of capturing every motion with amazing digital accuracy. You need not connect these computer gadgets with that of a cord and hence unrestricted motion space for the optical mouse. If you have children who love playing games or surf net, these are the ideal laptop gadgets that you must have.

USB 3D Sound Adapter: These computer gadgets are capable of transferring analog signals to digital sound signals and there is no manual installation required for the set up. The sound quality is very good and you can enjoy listening to music anywhere you go. The size of these computer gadgets are just 12mm thick and fits easily in the USB port of the laptop. These are simple and cost effective computer gadgets.

Mini Wireless Keyboard: These wireless keyboards work fine with batteries. These laptop gadgets are very sturdy and can be used the normal way any keyboard is used at home. Due to the mini size, it is very convenient and very soft. Ideal for traveling purposes where your kids can have uninterrupted usage of the laptop. The weight of these laptop gadgets are just 5.5 oz.

Flexible Keyboard Light: These laptop gadgets are a mandate when you travel as you can access the keyboard even in a dark room. The light is bright and it is very useful with a good range. The cost of these laptop gadgets are around 5 dollars. Even when you have to be awake in the night due to work requirement, you can use the keyboard light without disturbing anyone around you.

How Technology Creates Wealth

Dynamic markets create opportunity

Markets create energy because they are dynamic. They are constantly evolving in response to changes in the economic, political and technological environments. Understanding what causes a market to evolve helps you predict where opportunities will emerge; how fast they will develop, and when and whether mass adoption will occur. If you can capture this energy, you can use it to drive the sales process.

Dynamic systems create energy. If left unchecked, any systemic change tends to grow. A snowball rolling downhill gets bigger. Growth creates momentum. As the snowball grows bigger, it goes faster. Momentum creates energy. The faster the snowball rolls; the bigger it gets; the harder it hits the tree. Energy drives change. (Source The Fifth Discipline)

You can use the energy sources created by an evolving market to motivate prospects to buy your solution. Persuading people to try out a new technology is an uphill battle. You have to invest a lot of your precious energy – sales resources, capital, technical expertise, etc. – into convincing prospects they can benefit from using your technology to support their business. However, if you understand what is driving market change- an increasingly mobile workforce, higher need for personal security, faster access to global markets – then you use the energy created by the market to motivate prospects to buy. Thus, you need to invest less of your own resources and you can sell more productively and efficiently.

Technology markets create abundance.

There are two laws that explain why technology-enabled markets generate extraordinary amounts of energy.
1. Moore’s Law predicts that technology is going to improve in the future and cost less.
2 Metcalf’s Law states that technologies become more useful as more people use them.

The combination of these two laws creates an economy of abundance that is unique to technology markets. As Moore’s Law predicts an endless supply of ever-increasing resources and Metcalf’s Law promises that innovations will be quickly adopted, the nature of the economy changes.

Gordon Moore, the founder of Intel, said, “Every 18 months processing power doubles while the cost holds constant.” The implications of Moore’s Law are that every 18 months technology is going to cost half as much and be twice as powerful. Moore’s Law has held true for over 30 years. Previous economies were based on the laws of scarcity, where you have a limited amount of resources and value is based on how scarce they are – gold, oil, land, etc. The more you use up the resources the less energy you have.

A technology-based economy is based on the laws of abundance. According to Moore’s law, there will always be cheaper resources tomorrow. This ever-increasing pool of resources enables customers to implement new business strategies. If it isn’t possible today, it will be possible tomorrow. Improved technology is constantly fueling the market, creating energy.

Furthermore, thanks to this simple formula technological obsolescence is only a few months away. Customers can never afford to sit still for fear that a competitor will be able to leapfrog ahead of them if they adopt the next generation of technology faster. This anxiety is another powerful source of energy that you can use to drive your sales.

Metcalf’s Law also has a powerful effect on developing markets. Robert Metcalf, the founder of 3Com, said “New technologies are valuable only if many people use them… the utility of a network equates the square of the number of users. ” This means that the more people use a technology, the more useful it becomes. If there was only one fax machine in the world, it wouldn’t be useful. With two fax machines you can send mail back and forth faster and cheaper than if you send it through the post office. With 2,000,000 fax machines, you never have to wait in line at the post office again.

According to Metcalf a technology’s usefulness equals the number of users squared. If two people use a fax it is four times easier than using the postal system. If 20 people use the fax machine, it is 400 times easier. This creates a geometric increase in the technology’s utility, which is just another way of saying why customers would want to buy it. So if 2 people want to buy a fax machine today; 4 people will want to buy it tomorrow; 16 people will want to buy it the day after tomorrow; 256 people will want to buy it next week, and 2,147,483,648 will want to buy it by the end of the month. That is a lot of potential customers lining up to buy your product, which is what market energy is all about.

Abundance creates demand for your technology. Since technology markets create abundance they are not subject to the constraints of scarcity. They have unlimited growth potential and consequently unlimited potential to create wealth.

7 Wireless Technologies That Make the World Go Round

Wireless technology is everywhere. Whether it’s buzz about something new or a product currently available, I cannot go through a day without reading or bumping into something related to wireless technology.There are seven built in wireless technologies that make the world go round. When I say “built in” I’m talking about products which have wireless technology inside the device. Most familiar to most people are Wireless USB, Bluetooth and RFID. However, there are four more technologies you should at least know about. So here are all seven technologies: WUSB, Bluetooth, RFID, WiMedia, UWB, NFC and ZigBee.

WiMedia – WiMedia refers to the Ultra Wide Band radio platform which enables high data transfer rates. The goal of WiMedia is to standardize the protocols or code used in wireless devices. For example, WiMedia standards are used in Ultra Wide Band (UWB), Bluetooth and WUSB technology products. The end result for a consumer is that WiMedia guarantees wireless devices work together without an end-user knowing about set-up procedures or configuration options. I guess you could say plug-n-play, but we are talking about wireless.

UWB or Ultra Wideband – UWB is wireless technology operating in a radio frequency greater then 500MHz. What this means is that UWB is excellent for sending a lot of data wirelessly.

The transfer of data on this radio frequency works as a pulse. Due to the extremely low emission levels allowed by the FCC, UWB systems tend to be short-range and indoors. With the short duration of these pulses it’s easier to transfer high amounts of data, but can also be engineered to transfer less data over a longer distance. It’s the give-n-take of UWB.

An example of high data transfer rates using the UWB technology would be wireless computer monitors or digital camcorders playing video without the need of a host computer or wired connection to the TV.

WUSB or Wireless USB – Wireless USB is the combination of high speed data transfer rates with the ease-of-use of USB connectivity. WUSB takes USB one step further and removes the cable from the connection.

WUSB uses the Ultra Wide Band radio frequency technology and standard. What WUSB has done to the UWB is adopt the necessary protocols to have it work with USB connectors (or ports). As with Bluetooth, wireless USB is ideal for short range networks – usually called personal networks.

WUSB has become very strong in personal networks around the office, for example networking your PC together with mouse, keyboard, printer and camera is usually done via WUSB. Bluetooth has become very popular for personal networks in relation to mobile devices, such as cell phones, headsets and PDAs.

What WUSB really brings to the table is the wide range of products using the connection standard of USB to a world without wires.

Bluetooth – Bluetooth is a short range radio communications method ideal for small networks – usually called personal networks. Bluetooth is unique because it has three different classes to define how far it will communicate; 1 meter, 10 meters and 100 meters.

An example of a personal network would be a Bluetooth headset and it’s base unit, or mobile phone. Another example would be a wireless network between your PC, keyboard, mouse and printer.

Bluetooth works at the same frequency as many cordless telephones and microwaves – the 2.4GHz range – but since the power output is very small there are no real health concerns with Bluetooth technology.

RFID or Radio Frequency Identification – RFID is an automatic identification method used to assign an ID to an item. Most common is an RFID tag placed on an object. The tag is really a silicon chip which houses an internal antenna. When an external electrical current hits the RFID tag a response is generated which tells the ID of the object.

There are two types of tags. 1) Passive – a tag which does not have internal power, but rather uses the electric pulse sent to it to wake-up and send a response. 2) Active – a tag which uses internal power to provide an ID response.

Two examples you can identify with would be a passive RFID tag used in a shopping mall or clothing store. These are tags attached to clothing (or item) which sound a store alarm when not removed.

An example of the active RFID tag would be the toll-road transponders. Here you have a battery powered RFID unit that communicates with the toll-road service to auto charge your account for use of the road.

NFC or Near Field Communication – NFC is a wireless technology aimed at being used in mobile phones. The premise of this technology is based off magnetic field induction. Another words, a magnetic field is used to activate a device when in close proximity. The furthest distance NFC works is 20 centimeters – so I’m talking real close!

In interesting example would be walking past a movie poster and waving your cell phone in front of it to download the trailer. A real world example is using your mobile phone to make a payment and rather then swipe a credit card you would simply touch the phone to a terminal and the transaction would be executed. This technology is also being implemented into credit cards.

ZigBee – Is a wireless protocol used in low-powered devices that don’t transfer a lot of data, need a long battery life and communicate on a secure network. The ZigBee technology is based of RF or radio frequency applications.

A practical example of the ZigBee technology is a home network system controlling items such as lights, security systems, fire alarms, heating and air conditioning. This example demonstrates each “item” needing to communicate with a central station and have low data transfer needs (light on, light off) along with a long battery life.

In the picture you can see the red lines as routing links where the wireless signal “touches” each device along with a grey link which leads to an end point, or control point.

If you notice, I have not included WiFi and the reason is simple. WiFi is not a technology embedded into a product. In addition, WiFi needs configuration and is not plug-n-play as the technologies mentioned above. The strength in WiFi is the ability to handle multiple devices over a longer distance while maintaining high transfer rates.

Keep in mind, this article is a high-level overview of built-in wireless technologies and there is an infinite amount of information available for each technology.

Computer Education For Everyone Including You

Receiving computer education is easily done today. You can basically do it three ways. You could do it on the internet by correspondence course, you could attend and online university, or you could take college classes at a technical college, community college, junior college, or university. Various factors could come into play on which you decide to do.

Here are a few of the reasons why you would want to get computer education and where you might do it.

1. You just want to learn more about computers. This really could apply to almost anyone. We live in a computer age and people of all ages are getting more and more used to using their computers. It is not unusual to see 80 year old grandmas emailing their kids and grand-kids. Even 2 and 3 year old are surfing the net and are comfortable in logging on and finding their favorite websites.

If you are not personally at ease on a computer do no worry. The Video Professor offers online and CD’s as a way to learn how to use the internet and do various things on your computer. You can try their product without obligation for 14 days. With over 20 million customers they are one of the largest computer education companies in the world.

2. Taking computer classes online is usually going to be for someone who is interested in getting into this as a profession. Starting with associates degrees all the way up to doctorates The University Of Phoenix offers degrees in IT/Networking. Another option as you get trained is to start your own internet business offering your computer skills on every thing from website development and design to marketing and advertising.

3. Many people want to be able to interact with a professor and other students. This is certainly an advantage if you live in an area where you have access to colleges. Local community colleges will be the least expensive and can offer even the most casual computer user an opportunity to learn the basics. If you are a technical person you can get a degree in repairing computers and work in people’s homes or at a computer repair shop.

Regardless of the reason you want computer education there is no better time in history to find the best place to get it. As technology continues to advance computers and how to use them are now part of the lives of everyone regardless of where they live. Why fight it. Join it, become educated, and enjoy everything.

Here are a few of the reasons why you would want to get computer education and where you might do it.