Blogging and Wireless on Long Island

A couple of articles have come out over the past two days in Newsday that relate to vacation blogging and Long Island’s plan for wireless access for all.

In “Blogging your vacation keeps loved ones in touch” by Beth Whitehouse, the author describes her use of logs to keep others in the loop of their vacations. In the article, Beth quotes Dane Atkinson chief executive of Squarespace.com who said; “If you do blog, you can craft a story about your trip.” What a great idea. Instead of just posting pictures and video you can focus on certain aspects of the trip. Maybe it was a hilarious experince, a great dinner, or a map of what you had done (and maybe calculating the amount of miles walked in a day at a theme park. I could see kids using skitch to show the map and point at starting points, ending points, the “trail” they took around the park with a key to determine calculations).

Another piece of the article that I found interesting was some of the suggestions the author made. One suggestions was to “respect your child’s voice.” Allow your child to create their story about their vacation without the parent telling what and how to write. We as educators should capitalize on this, with our upcoming spring vacation, four days away. This accomplishes not only the obvious, getting kids to write authentically, but introduces blogs to parents, creates another home-school connection and augments the goal of creating 21st century learners.

Long Island’s wireless internet project appears to have hit a snag. The project, which is endorsed by Suffolk and Nassau County Executives, Steve Levy and Tom Suozzi and is suppose to be built by E-Path Communications (based in Florida), has past its initial target date. The project is suppose to be built without tax-payer money. The N.Y. Times recently ran an article about the failures nationwide regarding the implementation of wi-fi. There are projects out there that I believe are having some success (Minneapolis, St. Cloud and Providence) but have used a lot of public financing and pledges from local governments to purchase access.

A company called Meraki sells low-cost equipment that can be placed in your home to broadcast a signal. Another piece of hardware, called a repeater, can be purchased and placed on roofs, walls, etc. to capture the original signal. In San Francisco there are approximately 70,000 users.

There seems like there are models out there that can be copied. One can only hope that people deliver on their promises.

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