Another NCTIES come and gone. NCTIES is North Carolina’s branch of ISTE, the international organization for school technology. When I went to NECC a few years ago, an entire strand was devoted to Open Source sessions. So what did I find at NCTIES that excited me? It was definitely less on the open source side this year, which surprised me. With the economy slacking and school budgets tight, I figured more would be look for cheap/free alternatives. Although we definitely seem to witness the Google effect. They continue to take over the world, and the number of Google sessions proved that!
With all the focus these days on portable devices, I really expected some sessions on iPhones, Androids, nooks, and Kindles. I guess many iPod Touch sessions did go on, but nothing on the mobile phones/eReaders, which really surprises me. Does this mean North Carolina is behind the country? Does it mean our country is behind the world? Or are no educators doing anything with these devices yet? I assume many of our students do possess them, but maybe just not being integrated instructionally yet.
I did attend a Linux in the Classroom session. The presenter was a tech facilitator in a small early college (40 some students). They bought Dell Latitude 2100s and use Ubuntu Netbook Remix on them. One surprise was that he uses Dropbox to provide a place for students to share/save content, as they do not connect to the network. With Ubuntu One right there, I wondered why they did not use that, but I assume that was due to personal preference. Something else that I will look into is their use of OpenDNS for the laptops at home. Like us, they use Lightspeed at school for filtering. Because of the Security Agent not running with Linux, they needed something for home. OpenDNS is the solution they chose, and it only costs them a $500 per year license. Pretty smart! Great to see a Linux session at an NC conference though. Hopefully more in the future!