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Peer Review

Infinite Thinking Machine

by Chris Fitzgerald Walsh , Mike Lawrence


Overall Numeric Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Mar 11, 2013 by Teacher Education
Overview: Infinite Thinking Machine (ITM) examines ingenuity and innovation in Education. This Internet TV show focuses on K-12 educators, parents, and teachers with inspirational video segments on using technology to advance student achievements. This site is supported in part by Computer Using Educators (CUE) and has been designated part of MERLOT's Collection for Academic Support Services. The purpose is to inspire creativity and innovation in education but also keep parents and students informed of technology changes.
Type of Material: Web site and Internet TV
Recommended Uses: This program is geared towards teachers who wish to learn more about current and new technology resources for classroom instruction. Videos included informarion on blended learning, weird science, Mind-shift. Along with videos (set up as interviews or field trips), additional papers, podcasts, and you-tube examples provided. It could be used as classroom lessons, discussion starters, motivational starts for learning units, inspiration, tech-savvy ideas and information sources.
Technical Requirements: Users would need to have access to these resources: internet, flash player, audio, video They can access this course and participate using a variety of devices, including iOS™, iPad, and Android™ devices.
Identify Major Learning Goals: 1. Inspire internet activity and use of tools resources and networks to build technology skills in educators 2. Examine programs and ideas to incorporate technology into the classroom 3. View videos (YouTube)showing new technology in action 4. Provide leadership support to incorporate new technology ideas (connected with CUE - Computer Using Educators, non-profit professional organization which will provide direct suppport to questions and concerns about new technology implimentation) 5. Advance student achievement in the ed tech community
Target Student Population: Target population is for the classroom teachers; however, school administrators could keep up-to-date with information from this program while parents and students can gain information on the upcoming and relevant technology they may see in the school setting today. As well, the site would be useful for student teachers and higher ed faculty in teacher preparation.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: The content is rich, innovative and timely. The video clips present current issues, trends, educational concepts and ways to find out more information and try out skills. The Internet TV clips are well-paced and fun to watch. The clips are archived back to 2006 so there is much to explore, view, and use. Viewers are invited to contribute ideas and communicate with the presenters. Content addressed in each segment is hyperlinked on the web site for quick access to more information. Supported by CUE and ISTE, the program has been nominated for various internet awards: International Academy of Web Television and 2012 Best Podcast Series- Edublog Award. Viewers are given an opportunity through Twitter/Facebook or email to connect and request additional information.
Concerns: Getting the information out to new users who may not be aware that this resource is a concern. The program does not provide "How-To" steps but entices viewers to further investigate on their own the resources introduced in their videos.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Each show features a classroom teacher as its host, engaging educators as "Field Trip" correspondents and amazing innovators as guests. Innovative approaches to education are showcased, and the teachers, administrators and students behind them are celebrated. Special segments address deeper topics head-on, challenging conventional edu-thinking. The upbeat shows are approximately seven minutes in length. The content supports the learning process and can be readily integrated into the curriculum in a variety of ways. Different types of lessons, investigations, and student research can be developed from these shows. The range of learner for effective use is quite a spectrum, from new beginners, who want simple information and how to's to the more advanced users of technolgy, who are even invited to join and share their use of techology in the classroom. The programs, materials, ideas can be integrated into the classroom, but new users would need more direct instruction of how to imbed such practices into their regular coursework. Many of the ideas presented will help the teacher keep the classroom alive and engaging for students.
Concerns: This presents information to keep teachers current with techology use in the classroom - what is happening in classrooms across America and elsewher; it does not provide the instruction on how to build into the class.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The site is systematically organized and very easy to navigate. Clearly labeled buttons are placed at the top of the site. The wealth of information available is organized in a clean, appealing layout. The Internet TV shows are added once every two weeks along with website hyperlinks that cover the key content in the given show. Direct links to Twitter and Facebook are provided.
Concerns: None.

Creative Commons:
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States