Visitors to eSchool News Online are privy to a very special society. The Ed-Tech Insider at http://www.eschoolnews.com/eti/index.php is an educator blog community dedicated to putting the promise of technology into practice. The site features 12 ed-tech professionals so passionate about enhancing learning through technology that they’ve agreed to share their expertise in a dialogue with eSN Online readers.

Here’s a sampling of some of the best Ed-Tech Insider posts in recent weeks. All of these posts are still active, so if you want to comment on any of them, simply visit the site to do so.

From “Online Collaborative Word Processing with Writely”

“… I’ve found a tool [that] I’m highly impressed with and have been using for a couple of months, and that is Writely [http://www.writely.com]. … This tool … not only allows me compose online (and save, publish to the web, or export as a Word doc or PDF), but I can also collaborate with others in real time. That is, you can invite others to start writing on the document, and the site uses Ajax to update the text and you can write/edit together. … For teachers, I think it opens up a terrific world of collaborative note-taking and documentation. Plus, the interface is so simple to use that I think younger students will find it much easier to use that Word.”

From “No, No, No, for the Love of God, NO”

“Apparently Don Knezek, CEO of [the International Society for Technology in Education], and Doug Johnson think it would be a cool idea to add technology and information’ literacy requirements to [the No Child Left Behind Act]. I hate this idea so much I don’t know where to start. So … we should add technology before history? Or music and art? What happened to integrating technology? [And] how would we test this stuff? You’d either end up with paper tests that are a sham, or expensive online versions. Either way, the emphasis won’t fall on the complex, higher-level skills we’re actually interested in, but will inevitably end up being reductive and rote. …”

From “BubbleShare: A Very Interesting Photo Sharing Tool”

“BubbleShare [http://www.bubbleshare.com] is a social networking photo-sharing tool that has a number of interesting features. … You can immediately add photographs via a web interface, or an iPhoto plug-in, without registration. Once you have uploaded your photographs, you receive two eMail messages from BubbleShare. One eMail contains the public link to your gallery. You can send this link to friends so they can view your pictures. Another eMail is sent with a link to an administrative interface, where you can access a number of features, including text captioning and audio captioning. … You can also add the gallery to your web log by copying a bit of code and pasting it into your blog editor. … Am thinking that this might be a nice way for teachers to share images from a classroom without posting them to a school web site. Lots of interesting possibilities …”

From “Audio Podcast Search Technology”

“A friend and fellow [University of Minnesota] grad student pointed me to an article in Wired called “Podcast Chaos Be Gone,” which brought me to Podzinger [http://podzinger.com], an online service that scans audio podcasts and uses speech-recognition technology to create transcripts. I submitted the Savvy Technologist Podcast recently and was informed a few days later that my podcasts had been analyzed and were ready for searching. A quick search for ‘digital storytelling’ brings up my recent podcast with Michael Searson, with links to the sections of the podcast where that text was spoken. Pretty cool. Unfortunately, it appears that RealPlayer and [Internet Explorer] 5.0 are required to play the clips directly from the search results page. RSS feeds are available for all search results, which means that you could subscribe to a feed that should notify you if any particular word or phrase is spoken in any podcast that Podzinger has indexed.”