Posted by Jon Ketchum at 11:05:48 AM Wed 11/04/2009
Published by: Jon Ketchum
Thinking back to the ‘glory days’ of my high school career I can remember four things vividly, my friends, my teachers, my homework and oddly enough, my worn backpack. Although the last nostalgic component may seem a bit out of place, this back-bound essential was my lifesaver. It was the one tool that would allow me to ‘mule’ my many textbooks between classes.
Because of the geographic location of my locker I seldom visited the storage space between classes. Instead, my canvas backpack doubled as a temporary supply stash between multiple periods. However, after just one week of toting my essentials everywhere I went, I dreamt of a technology that would remedy my then need for Bengay muscle relief after a long day at school.
My latent prayers were answered when the introduction of a student laptop, or netbook entered the education market recently. Not only are these ‘bite-sized’ machines easy to handle, they’re also an extremely effective ‘notebook.’ These machines enable students to create, publish and most importantly share class work no matter the curriculum. The sheer functionality of a netbook can foster great ingenuity and collaboration within any classroom.
Affordability is another tremendous feature of these lightweight student aides. For about as much as the typical student would spend in stationary over their 4-year high school career they could purchase a netbook. Teachers also appreciate the affordability of these classroom tools as they offer the perfect platform to engage students when introducing new concepts.
Needless to say, I am ever envious of today’s back-packless students, who can simply hold a magazine-sized think tank against their side.
Posted by Jon Ketchum at 03:50:24 PM Tue 10/27/2009
Published by: Jon Ketchum
Digital Wish will expand its teacher and donor communication through a grant received from the Adele E. Pierce Fund which is managed by The Vermont Community Foundation. The grant will go towards the production of a newsletter that will help inform the Digital Wish community about exciting site activity. These graphical monthlies will highlight Digital Wish news for our 19,000 current users and all future community members.
The award will allow Digital Wish to ‘keep in touch’ in a colorful and professional way. Keep an eye out for our first edition in your mailbox soon!
Posted by Jon Ketchum at 03:12:51 PM Tue 10/20/2009
Published by: Jon Ketchum
If there’s one thing that’s difficult for anyone to encounter when trekking through the swaying trends of technological know-how, it’s a steep learning curve. Whether you are a self-proclaimed “technology native” or “immigrant,” it is seldom easy to ratchet on a new set of training wheels to learn the ‘next’ new system.
There are some organizations however, that purposefully develop new technologies to meet the needs of nearly every ‘adopter.’ In my observation, these companies are successful in their outreach because they do 3 things well; they offer products that have a purpose, products that are user-friendly and most importantly, products that are fun.
There is one company in particular that has mastered the art of ‘reaching out’ to a varied audience. With the release of their inexpensive point and shoot camcorder in 2007, Flip Video single handedly demolished the latent learning curve associated with operating a video camera for its users. Their “plug and play” product was fresh, fun and easy to use, providing certain satisfaction for anyone willing to hold the device in their palm.
User-friendly products such as the Flip Video are especially useful in the education sector because they offer needed ‘clarity’ for both technology immigrants and natives within a collaborative center, the classroom. Consequently, these well-packaged systems fuel many new thoughts and ideas for both learners and teachers furthering a student’s education.
Because the Flip Video is a practical system it is also a practical tool. Often times, a routine lesson plans is given new life when a new technology like the Flip Video is introduced. Instead of handing in a report for only the teacher to read and learn from, students now have the potential to craft projects that an entire class can learn from. In essence, these user-friendly ‘tools’ help inspire new learners, giving them a sense of exploration and ownership over their work.
In retrospect, ‘we’ are a divided group of technology adopters. As such, we should all hope that ‘plug and play’ products will continue to be readily available for our use as new systems come and go. Maybe then we can ditch the training wheels once and for all and rest assure that our learning curves will forever be slight in their inclination.
Posted by Jon Ketchum at 11:45:07 AM Wed 10/14/2009
Digital Wish received a consultancy grant to hire social media professional, Josh Groth in an effort to strengthen connections with users. Through the grant, a detailed media strategy was crafted to help increase Digital Wish’s “digital-footprint” in accordance with Groth’s expertise in the field.
Groth’s 2-month correspondence yielded a systematic ‘new media’ approach, detailing how best to use social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook and You Tube. His “90-day challenge” provided a methodical mix of ways to use social trends to voice a cause.
Groth was connected to Digital Wish through an outreach program for non-profits on www.idealist.org.
You can track Digital Wish’s progress throughout Groth’s 90-day challenge by following us on Twitter, becoming a fan on Facebook or staying tuned to our channel on You Tube.
Posted by Jon Ketchum at 10:55:44 AM Mon 10/05/2009
Published by: Jon Ketchum
Technologically speaking, many of my friends and family are still considered ‘weak swimmers’ when treading through today’s tumultuous “e-ocean.” Even when they are in the knee-deep depths of technological understanding they can barely keep their chin afloat without the help of a well trained “life guard” on duty.
Growing up in the wake of Internet explosion I had a difficult time finding my buoyancy on the “technology-wave” as well. No matter how many times my 3rd grade teacher threw me into the ‘Mario Typing’ shark tank, I rarely came out alive. After all, the Mario that I was most familiar with moved fluidly when coaxed across the screen; mobility was not determined by my ability to accurately spell the words ‘run’ and ‘jump.’
My ideologies however changed after “experiencing” the Northwest Territory through an ever-historic journey of “The Oregon Trail.” Although I suffered continuous bouts of the dreaded typhoid fever and a dismal two-month stretch of starvation due to a lack of bison, I was stimulated in a new way. I was learning.
My days on “the trail” have since expired, however my experience on the cart path brought forth a lasting confidence to explore further and faster. Without them I fear my academics would have suffered greatly. I shutter to think that masterpiece projects like, “The Life of Jerry;” a ‘mockumentary’ film about my college professor who lived with his mother, might never have existed!
Even though skeptics could attribute my new ability to fluidly surf technology’s wave to a seemingly rigorous seventeen-year course-study, I would argue differently. My present ability to navigate the tides of technology is solely reminiscent of simple character trait, curiosity. Through sheer wonder coupled with a bit of trial and error my fear of all that was technology was demolished.
My suggestion for all those people still sunbathing on technology’s beach; ditch the arm-floaties and dive into the ‘e-sea’ headfirst. You may doggy paddle your way back to shore at first, but I’m fairly certain that if you keep testing the waters you will find your buoyancy and so much more.
We don't receive many perks in the field of education and we frequently have to stretch a dollar. The website Digital Wish is
for nonprofit education. You can make a wish here and then the site
will collect money towards your wish. They also sell to educators for
The latest item is a 2 for 1 digital flip video camera! You have to register and they will confirm you are a teacher before you are allowed to purchase.
Posted by Digital Wish Support at 03:19:58 PM Tue 09/15/2009
Buy one Flip Ultra™ 120-minute camcorder, get another free!
Thanks to the generous support of Flip Video™, Digital Wish™ is proud to offer the ideal tool for integrating video into your classroom. For just $150*, you can get TWO Flip Ultra camcorders for your classroom.
So what’s the catch? Actually, there is no catch. No application. No drawing. No waiting game. Just log in to www.digitalwish.org and click on the 2 for 1 banner or use the link below to access the product page. You can either purchase it directly or add it to your wish list, and tell everyone you know about how they can help make a difference in your classroom.
We at Flip Video and Digital Wish are committed to helping teachers bring video into the classroom and share the great work that happens there. Check it out: http://www.digitalwish.com/dw/digitalwish/product?id=4310
Posted by Polly Davis at 10:58:11 AM Tue 06/09/2009
Do you have any budding artists in your class who are longing to experiment with Adobe Photoshop®? Are you currently struggling with a prehistoric version of Microsoft Office®? We’ve heard your requests, and we’re happy to announce that Digital Wish now carries a host of Adobe and Microsoft products on our site. So go ahead – make a Digital Wish!
To add Adobe or Microsoft products to your wish list, simply go to the Shopping area of the site, search for the product you want, and click “Add to wish list.” Then send your wish list out to friends, family, and community members (tip: you can email your wish list from your profile page). You’d be surprised how excited people are to help, but they’ll never know how unless you tell them!