As I spend additional time in my iGoogle, I will share information on some of the other web 2.0 features. Creating and saving your documents online makes it easy to direct readers to your common documents as Google Apps assigns each document an URL which can be copied and pasted for use in any blog, website, email, or online course.

Similar to most other web 2.0 tools, documents are saved and can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection. I keep finding more and more ways to make my computers less important for saving and organizing my past work.

How do you envison schools integrating Google Apps? Anyone with a connected computer can create and save documents and spreadsheets from anywhere in the world and then access their work from school-based computers/terminals. No need for the proper version of the same software to interpret/open documents on a different computer.

Tags: 2.0, apps, google, web, wp

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I sent a copy of your message to Gina at Ning, just so they continue to see me advocating for changes to Ning to help educators. Here is her reply:

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Steve, thanks for passing this along. I’ll be curious how the test goes.



As of next week, we’ll be tightening up our messaging and friend controls so that you can only message people who are your friends and only make friends with people who are members of the network.



As you know, on Ning you also have administrative controls to moderate photos and videos ahead of posting them. We’ll be adding the ability to approve members before they are adding to a network shortly. We’ll also be adding a new activity feed across your friends and everyone on a given network a bit later this summer as well.



Feel free to pass any and all of this information along to your members.



Thanks!
Gina
Okay, this is where I could have the MOST control as a teacher/admin...On the Ning profile page for EACH member there is a choice about notifications. Having that "let me check these myself" choice disappear would probably work. If I set up the accounts with "dummy" gmail accounts (the +name, appened name to email) then I will get all the notifications, seeing folks asking to be their friend, private messages that are sent to them, etc.
Hi Alice, could you explain the dummy gmail accounts please - it sound interesting
Look for a post from Malik Sp about three-quarters of the way down the first page:

http://classroom20.ning.com/forum/topic/show?id=649749%3ATopic%3A26399

Basically you use your gmail account but append the students name with a "+" before @gmail.com

so if your account is teachersusan, and your students is joesmall:

teachersusan+joesmall@gmail.com

The email will be routed to your teachersusan account by gmail. It works! I still get friend requests sometimes for the Malik Sp account I made.

The beauty of this is that any email notifications on that student account will go to you, so you know if they are getting messages, even private ones from other members.

It reminds me of the hacks on dates that folks do in WordPress that exploit the date ambiguities inherent in the program. It wasn't intended for this purpose, but it does the job?
Thank you! I'm tryinto set up edublog\learnerblog accounts for my students and I was using Hotmail accounts. This is great!
Thanks Alice - that beats using a catch all account! great stuff
Do your students have their own account? If so, do the students/parents have to sign an AUP? I have been flip flopping on a daily basis for the last month as to whether I should allow 8th grade students to have their own account.

As far as blocking, I am the gatekeeper of the network so I can adjust the firewall on the fly.
OH--to be the blocking gatekeeper AND the using teacher!! What a dream!

However, I do have my kids sign up with their own accounts. We're a small charter school with very involved parents, so I don't deal with a lot of the issues that some have to deal with. I can't make a recommendation for what anyone else should or should not do in this instance.
We are a Catholic K-8 school in Houston and our world consists of 700 students and 80 staff members. Parent support is a double edged sword -- they'll love the gee whiz nature of web 2.0 but they are also very protective of their precious little angels. I'm going to have a chat with our Asst. Principal next week and see where he is at. He's tasted the Google Kool-Aid and he loves it so I'm hoping that with the right policies in place we can make a go of it.

What's nice is that my Digital Media class is a year-long class so I can really extend my curriculum and immerse the kids into web 2.0 as they explore a myriad of topics.

I'd love to share some curriculum ideas here.
I am researching firewall/proxy/content filtering solutions. We have 300 K-8 students. I am the "Computer Teacher" and (by default) the network admin. (low knowledge level). I am looking for cheaper solutions than SurfControl/Websense for annual subscriptions. I would prefer to find an open source solution running on a Linux box. Do you have any suggestions? Links? Any assistance you provide is MUCH appreciated.
I'm looking for the same but cannot see the responses you got. Would you share what have you gotten?
We are currently considering smartfilter, 8e6technologies but need to have more options.
Input from what you have found will be appreciated.
Thanks,
I'd love to tell you that I got lots of responses on this question on this forum, but I got none. My research (driven by ourt VERY limited budget) lead me to chose IPCop for our firewall solution. It is a free Linux solution and has an URLFilter add-on for content filtering. After some initial testing, we are ready to deploy it across the entire LAN. I have heard good things about 8e6 technologies but in the end it was too pricey for our needs. IPCop runs great on older hardware with sufficient hard drive space and we expect it to meet our expectations while also being economical. If you have a small or mid-sized school with general filtering needs, you should look into it. Good luck.

For content filtering, you should also consider using OpenDNS. Also check out Astaro, which would be similar to 8e6 I would think.

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