Imagination into action

Monday, July 18th, 2005
Mark Gershon posted a great comment on my blog this weekend:
Eric, I have the other side to hand to you, Yes, the Robotics are cool, but can't we wait until they know how to read, and write (i.e.  hand writing skills) before the computer takes over.  Please remember they need to move physically just as much!!!!

Mark, I agree with you, however, my children all know how to read and write. In fact, each of them began to read full-length books on their own by the age of 5, some at age 4. Dick, Jane, and their dog Spot were a great help in the early years. (Kathy had these books from many years ago) Dr. Seuss will of course remain a starter classic in our home. Amy and Wendy read the entire [original] Nancy Drew series a few years later. They love to read and write as much as they love to run and play outdoors.

We did not have to push them into reading. We simply read and spoke to them in full, complete, sentences from birth - no baby talk.

Kathy and I encourage reading and writing in everything that we do, whether it's in our homeschool or just for recreation. (We don't have television in our home, but we do have a large library of great books.)

I don't advocate robotics or computers in place of learning the basics; but, when kids have the basics, I think robotics are a great way for them to put their imagination into action.
Shared sessions allow two (or more) people to share a screen and collaborate on a document in real time. The latest version of Microsoft OneNote provides this capability from a simple menu option.

I recently asked my two resident junior technologists - Amy and Wendy Mack- to explore the shared session capability of Microsoft OneNote so that they might show their robotics team how to use OneNote to work together, apart. Amy and Wendy did this - they used OneNote and Skype to collaborate on a document from different rooms of the house,

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I have invited Michael Sampson, of Shared Spaces Research and Consulting, to join me as Amy and Wendy teach us about how they use OneNoteShared Sessions. During this unedited podcast, Amy and Wendy even walk us through a live 4-way shared session. (It works!)

Highlights:

Brief overview of OneNote features
How to launch a shared session (A live 4-way session)
OneNote in School
Audio recording and playback (You can record video, too)
Amy's tour of OneNote as a clipboard for research
Wendy describes OneNote templates and planners
OneNote in School as a tool for note taking (Amy)
Note Flags in OneNote (Wendy)
Wendy hints that she really needs a Tablet PC
OneNote for Mind Mapping - Wendy says MindManager is better suited
Amy & Wendy share about their experience the FIRST Robotics Competition
Using OneNote and MindManager as collaborative tools for a robotics team

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In this, their first podcast, Amy and Wendy, eProductivity specialists in their own right, teach us about their experience using OneNote Shared Sessions.


Amy & Wendy on OneNote Shared Sessions

Eric Mack On-line - June 16, (20 min 30 sec) MP3 9.3 MB


Update:
Amy & Wendy asked me to clarify that they did not actually get in trouble for using OneNote shared sessions during school. I promised them I would.

Amy and Wendy on OneNote Shared Sessions

A quick tour of Pine Mountain Club

Monday, July 11th, 2005
Kathy said that it's not good for boys to play inside all day - even in the Digital Sandbox, so she told us to go outside and get some fresh air...

I decided to take Michael on a quick tour around our community.

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Making Music in the Digital Sandbox

Monday, July 11th, 2005
What's a day in the sandbox without music? As part of our office tour, Michael Sampson spotted the contraption in the center of my office - a collection of pipes, wires, and cables. When he asked what it was, I decided to show him; rather, I decided to play it for him.

Listen along for a digital-to-analog treat, live from my Digital Sandbox

Making Music in the Digital Sandbox

Eric Mack On-line - June 16, (3 min 26 sec) MP3 1.7 MB


Making Music in the Digital SandBox

Happy Birthday America!

Monday, July 4th, 2005
This weekend, we celebrated July 4th by attending a parade and a spectacular 30-minute display of fireworks at Cal State University, Stanislaus.

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I'm thankful to live in the United States of America, and I'm grateful to the men and women who have contributed to our nation's great heritage.

Thank you.