Articles by Charles Thacker
Charles Thacker has been working in public education since 1994 as an art educator, network administrator and most recently as the Chief Technology Officer for Farmington Municipal Schools. His areas of focus are OS X client and server management in an enterprise environment, automated imaging techniques, unified communications and VoIP in a cross-platform network, with some digital imaging and desktop publishing work when time allows.
Dictionary: The Ultimate Educational Application
February 7, 2008
As part of Farmington Municipal Schools’ Learning Initiative, we are focusing on providing quick and easy ways to take advantage of some great tools built into Apple’s operating system. One of these tools can help you with language (definitions, pronunciations, synonyms, and antonyms) and is an indispensable tool in any classroom. I’m referring to the built-in Dictionary application, of course. But it’s not just the application you launch and use directly that is so powerful in OS X.
How to Use Comic Life in the Classroom
March 7, 2007
There’s a long history of comics in the classroom, and the list of references at the end of this article is a great starting point for learning about this concept. While there’s still resistance to this medium being used in education - whether by staff or students - there is also a growing movement to use every valuable tool available. Comics have some great uses in the classroom and in a variety of curricula.
Unified Communications in Education
February 14, 2007
One Box to rule them all, One Box to find them, One Box to bring them all and in the network bind them. Unified Communications (UC) is most definitely becoming, if it hasn’t already become, the buzzword of networking companies talking about an organization’s next step in communication systems. There are few, if any, major networking companies—or even small and medium ones—that are not creating, marketing, selling, re-selling, or implementing unified communications systems.
Podcasts In Education
February 7, 2007
Although the concept of streaming media has been around almost as long as the Internet itself, and Podcasts specifically since 2000, the use of Podcasts in education has recently experienced a growth spurt around the world. Education is not generally known for its quick adoption of new technologies. There are still districts that don’t have a presence on the Internet, although I would be surprised to find some that don’t communicate electronically.
Internet Safety for Families
January 31, 2007
School districts across the United States provide Internet access for students and staff through their district networks. The purpose of this access is to provide an additional resource for the educational environment and meet the needs of an increasingly dynamic instructional model. Technology in general, and the Internet specifically, is just a tool. It is inherently neither good nor bad - it just is, until it’s used. Like many new advances in our society, the Internet has brought out the best and the worst in humanity.
District Spotlight: Farmington Municipal Schools
January 24, 2007
We’ll occasionally reference school districts in our articles to illustrate concepts or identify how technology can be implemented, and it will be helpful if some general information about the districts is available. We’ll call these articles ‘Spotlights’. Public school districts in the United States vary greatly in many aspects. The size (in students and geographical distances), available funding, socioeconomic factors of the community, internal leadership, and age of a school district are all important ingredients in how technology is implemented.
Why Use Technology in Education?
January 17, 2007
If you’re a regular visitor to this website, you may not need to read any supporting arguments for the use of technology in your educational system. However, it is beneficial to begin any discussion with a solid foundation in the topic to be presented. Why students should be using technology in their education can be a complex issue, and there are many small points to be made here about the value of learning, understanding and using technology.