This is what it's about:
TeachersFirst is proud to offer this chance to experience the life of a physics researcher through the eyes and dry humor of our own physics blogger, Andy. As an undergraduate not long out of the high school physics lab, Andy brings us into the "real world" of scientific research but can still connect with the middle or high school student who may be wondering, "When am I ever gunna use this stuff?" Spending the summer of 2007 at Los Alamos National Labs, Andy shares his day-to-day discoveries and gives your students a chance to respond to the blog, perhaps connecting to a "real" scientist for the first time.
This looks like it will be good. Check it out.
Thanks to Candice S for sharing this one.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Wait until you see THIS! The future is NOW. Amazing technology.
This is what thet site says about this talk:
Using photos of oft-snapped subjects (like Notre Dame) scraped from around the Web, Photosynth creates breathtaking multidimensional spaces with zoom and navigation features that outstrip all expectation. Its architect, Blaise Aguera y Arcas, shows it off in this standing-ovation demo. Curious about that speck in corner? Dive into a freefall and watch as the speck becomes a gargoyle. With an unpleasant grimace. And an ant-sized chip in its lower left molar. "Perhaps the most amazing demo I've seen this year," wrote Ethan Zuckerman, after TED2007. Indeed, Photosynth might utterly transform the way we manipulate and experience digital images.
Make sure you catch the meaning of things when he talks about doing a search on Flickr for a Notre Dame and then building a picture of it from the bits and pieces of the search results. Pictures will be linked together. Incredible!
Make sure you watch this if you'd like to see the future.
This is a nice post about the media coverage that has happened as a result of the story of Celest being skyped into her 4th grade class while she was home recovering from cancer treatments. Make sure you read the whole thing, and DO check out their wikis and other projects.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Until now. (Does that sound like a Ted introduction?) :-)
Box.net has announced that it has made a free add-in for Office that will integrate directly to box.net. Once you install the free add-in a special "Save to box.net" option will appear in the add-ins section. Well... here is what the email release from box.net says about it:
Save files from Microsoft Office to Box
In other news, Microsoft Office is now Box Enabled! We've released a plug-in for Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher that conveniently uploads any document you're editing to Box. Once the software has been installed, a "Save to Box.net" link will appear in the "Add-Ins" section. Clicking on this button will save your file to Box, making it easy to access from anywhere, share with anyone, or keep safe for later.
Download the first version of it here: http://www.box.net/shared/m0jjh7n610
Very cool, eh?
Thanks to John G for sharing this with me via the for:jgates513 tag on Del.icio.us.
This very moving video was done back in November of last year, but it is very appropriate for Memorial Day.
Note her comments. She had to turn OFF the comment feature for this video because so many folks had decided to turn the comments into a forum for public debates. Very sad. Sorta missed the point, eh?
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
"OK, class, imagine this: Today, an engineer in the oil fields somewhere in the Middle East area has just finished analyzing the data, and to his/her horror the data shows that the Earth has reached 'Peak Oil.' In other words, we have just hit the midway point of the world's oil supply. From now on we are consuming the final oil deposits on the planet. Talk to me about what would likely happen in the short run and the long run when this news is made public." (It just may be THIS generation who will be faced with this inevitability.) "Use whatever tools you feel appropriate (Inspiration, the outline feature in Word, whatever tool you think works best for you) to jot down ideas. Not complete sentences yet. Just ideas. Things like, "Gas prices rise sharply" or "Panic on Wall Street." - whatever thoughts come to mind. You'll have 10 minutes to record your thoughts. Go."
Ten minutes later you say, "Let's hear some of the things on your list. Say just two items. If you hear something that you like but you didn't think of it, feel free to add it to your list." Then you go around the class to let them tell what they thought of.
Then, give them a wiki and let them build this out. Show them the Discussion area and encourage them to use it to discuss how they will format the front page, etc. Will this be written as a futuristic 'story?' What is the "voice" of the wiki? Present tense, past tense, future tense? What are your ground rules? For example, will you agree that instead of deleting someone's post that you will use the strike out style to strike itout and then put your idea after it - perhaps with your initials to show who made the change? Let them decide all that.
What will be interesting is how they talk about what happens in response to the situation, what the governments do, etc, as those are their ideas for possible solutions, aren't they?
So, Do you like the idea for an economics class?
BTW - digg is itself a site you may want to check out. See what other folks are "digging." Subscribe to various categories, like educational videos, perhaps. That's how I found this movie.
Here is an interesting wiki that a school librarian recently started with her students. Here is how she described the project to me in an email:
"I created a good book wiki with 3 classes in my middle school building. Many books have multiple reviews but so far we have almost 300 unique titles in. With one class, I have taken it to the next level. They have been spending time adding links to the author's website, podcast of an excerpt and for further reading suggestions. Check out "Great and Terrible Beauty" under "Fantasy". "
Won't this be a good resource for the kids as this grows? And, it's THEIR resource! Check it out. I can see the kids linking to all sorts of outside resources in some cases. What if they also recorded themselves reading a short passage and then posted that file to the wiki? What if they made a splashcast (www.splashcastmedia.com) to a wiki page? What about adding a slideshare (slideshare.net)? There are lots of cool things that I'll bet will show up in this wiki over time.
If you've got an idea for this project, why not add your thoughts in the comments on the blog post? This will be fun to watch over time.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
"Section 1. Section 1317.1 of the act of March 10, 1949
11 (P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, added
12 December 22, 1989 (P.L.749, No.103), is amended to read:
13 Section 1317.1. Possession of [Telephone Pagers] Electronic
14 Devices Prohibited.--(a) The possession by students of
15 telephone paging devices, commonly referred to as beepers,
16 cellular telephones and portable electronic devices that record
17 or play audio or video material shall be prohibited on school
18 grounds, at school sponsored activities and on buses or other
19 vehicles provided by the school district.
First of all, why is the STATE involved in what is arguably a LOCAL issue? Second, why are people who have NO CLUE about this topic even involved in the conversation? Who are they? "INTRODUCED BY CRUZ, MAHONEY, SAYLOR, READSHAW, SABATINA, THOMAS AND KORTZ, MAY 18, 2007"
To be fair, they DO make exceptions for student volunteer firefighters or students with medical conditions.
Simon says, "Pennsylvania, take two giant steps backwards."
Here it is: http://snipurl.com/1llp9
Monday, May 21, 2007
This is one that you will want to share with your musician friends. Bobby McFerrin is shown in this one performing a Bach prelude. But what's so VERY cool about this is that he invites the audience to sing the beautiful Ave Maria that Charles Gounod wrote to work as a descant to the prelude. The result just may send chills up your arms. What a beautiful moment this audience shared with this fabulous musician.
While you're there check out some of the other videos of his that you'll see listed.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Anyway, this one is from the same site: http://map.talleye.com/ But here you choose a location and a direction and it wll plot out your path as if you walked a straight line in that direction. It's not going to be at all what they think for THIS one, either.
Dble click PA on the map, or zoom in and let them start on their house, if you wish. When you dble click that spot a green(ish) flag appears at that spot. Click it and it will let you choose the direction. When you do it will plot it. You can even see it the readl Google Earth, too, if you wish.
Before they create a Facebook account they should see this video. Does this scare you? If not, watch it again.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
"The Entropia Universe is more than a game. The Entropia Universe is for real. Real people, real activities and a Real Cash Economy in a massive online universe.
Join people from around the globe who use the Entropia Universe currency, the PED, to develop their characters everyday on the untamed planet of Calypso. The unique and secure Real Cash Economy allows you to transfer your accumulated PED back into real world funds."
The NY Times calls it, "The buying game." I KNOW I'll pass on this one, thank you very much.
Besides, that ain't no way to raise test scores! :-)
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Anyway, yesterday she happened to be in the building so she stopped by to show me those notebooks. Yes, plural. Two thick binders FULL of the printed tips dating back to 2002, shortly after I started at the IU and began again to send daily tips. Back then they were Office tips, mostly. But, her notebooks had tabs to identify the categories of the tips, from Word and Excel to Protecting yourself online, to websites, etc. She had a third notebook started, as well, I believe, but I was too much in shock to absorb everything I was seeing and hearing.
One never knows who all is reading blog posts or emails, I suppose. But, it was an awesome experience to realize that she had been, and in fact had even been printing and organizing them. Maybe I should buy them back from her. I lost two years worth of tips when my hard drive crashed and the archived emails were lost. That's what made me start the blog - as an archive.
Anyway.... I had to share the moment.
I've been taking some wonderful Apple workshops in a district down the road a bit, and have been frustrated time after time when I try to check my bloglines account there. It's blocked. One reason for it to be blocked is that the url contains the word 'blog' and that organization (an IU) that provides the filter blocks everything with the word blog in it. Outrageous, I know. But, in the case of bloglines, the person in charge of the filtering decisions always points to the image wall in bloglines as the reason to have it blocked. Today I went back in there to see for myself, and the very first screen contained three images of topless women among the images. *FLAG!* *Sirens!* *Danger, Will Robinson!*
I've written to them before, but I wrote again to the bloglines folks to ask them to PLEASE remove that VERY UNNECESSARY "feature." It serves NO PURPOSE! Worse, it's forcing the schools in PA to block the site, which means that we must use other sites (netvibes, pageflakes, google reader). And, in my opinion, the bloglines site has some otherwise excellent features that keep me there for my home use. I LOVE the "Keep new" option, and the 'email this' option, for example. But, as long as that image wall remains I cannot use it in school, and what a shame that is. I can't even point folks to my public feed roll there.
I had commented on this before in this blog and a short while later, this response (http://www.bloglines.com/about/news#133) came from the bloglines folks, and I thought the situation was resolved. But, I never look at that feature so I didn’t know if it was resolved or not. It’s NOT.
So, I wonder if it would have ANY impact if the education blogosphere would join in on this campaign to get the image wall removed. Do you think? It certainly can’t hurt. Do YOU think that the feature is unnecessary and are you finding that it’s being blocked in your school, as a result? If so, PLEASE visit the bloglines site and use their Contact Us page to ask them to remove it. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan (and Pink Floyd), “Mr Bloglines, tear down the wall!”
Friday, May 11, 2007
- Schools Adopt 21st Century Methods
- Innovative Student Podcasting
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
What I like are the discussion pages. Take a moment to read down through those pages from time to time. It's fun to see the thought processes going on with it. The kids just don't quite know what to do. But, they gradually warm to it and now I think they are ready to go with it. Kristin said that one student commented that since people IN those countries can read what they write she feels she has to be REALLY accurate and she has to correct her grammar, etc. See what authentic assessment can do for motivation?
Wouldn't it be great if a school in one of those countries picked up on this and asked to join in? Just imagine the spark THAT would have with those kids. Next thing you know there is a kype meeting to introduce the classes. Then some brainstorming to see how the two groups could work together. THen some timetables set. Then the fun begins!
Monday, May 07, 2007
So, that's, what.. three different sites that help you download those videos? Surely ONE of them will be to your liking. :-)
In any case, if you're looking from some good fonts, especially those that are movie fonts, check this site first.
And, if you're a windows user you can embed the fonts you're using right into your Word or Powerpoint document. Simply choose the Tools menu from your Save or Save as dialog box. It's up along the top near the right side. There you'll find the option to embed the font. Save the entire character set, and not just the characters in use.
Look around. You'll see what I mean.
http://snipurl.com/1gtqj (The url is WAYYY too long to post. If your school blocks these, that's OK. Send it home and watch it at home.)
Here's an idea... First, show this to your students. They'll get a kick out of it, I'm sure. Then, go back through and check off (from your handout) the different kinds of simple machines that these folks used in this contraption. OK... it was a reach... but really, you should see this video. It reminds me of this one from a while back: http://autorepair.about.com/cs/funstuff/l/bl_honda.htm That one had professional lighting and took a spooky 666 times before it went off perfectly.)
Sunday, May 06, 2007
The Creative Commons (http://creativecommons.org) is.. well... here's what it says about itself:
"Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. You can use CC to change your copyright terms from "All Rights Reserved" to "Some Rights Reserved." "
It might be described as a 'movement' that is encouraging folks to lighten up a bit on the copyright rules that they apply to their work. Of course, in some cases you just wouldn't want to do that. But, there are many, many cases where you just might. I've released several photographs on the creative Commons license. I'd release a lot more, but I didn't think anyone would possibly want them. But, just MAYBE someone might want to use this one, for example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jgates513/271869116/. The point is, I'm able to apply different, less strict, rules to the use of the photographs that I've posted on Flickr, so a school student could use it in a project without worry that the copyright police would be showing up to bring down the law.
The educause link above points to a nice guide to the Creative Commons. I hope you'll read it and pass it along to all your teacher friends. A school might be wise to focus a faculty meeting or two on the Creative Commons, I believe. I'm SURE that most teachers don't know about it. Is it taught in colleges, now? (I know that someone did talk about it in my last grad class this past week.)
Anyway, it's a nice guide. Share it.
* Tired of waiting for pdf's to load? Check out this tip on how to get them to load faster. http://blogs.msdn.com/jonathanh/archive/2004/12/22/330288.aspx
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Want to have TWO sites open when you open firefox? As the article says, simple go into the Options and in the field where you have your start page listed, add the pipe symbol - | - the shifted BACKspace key (the REAL backspace, not the one in URL's that some folks mistakenly call the backslash*) and then your second URL.
Mine looks like this:
They each open in their own tab. I think I'll see if I can add a third.. and a fourth... and... OK, I'm calm now. Check it out!
* Sometimes I'll gently inform the person that it's NOT a backslash it's a forward slash, or just a slash. Embarassed, they'll sometimes say, "Well, that's just what I call it." Depending on my relationship with the person I'll say (or think), "Why don't you call it a CHICKEN? It's not THAT, EITHER!" :-)
Oh, and BTW... save yourself the time and aggrevation. You NEVER have to type the http:// in your url. Your browser assumes that. I've seen folks who OWN a computer or software company carefully drag-select the www, etc part in a url to leave the http:// when they type a new url. Don't bother. Just type the url: tipline.blogpost.com and off it goes. And, while we're at it, got a url that begins with http://www. and ends with .com? Just type in the part in the middle and press CTRL-ENTER (command-enter on the macs) and the browser will put in all the other stuff. There are ways to get the computer to the w's and the .org, too, but that's not one I've bothered to remember.
Try it now. Click in your address field and select the url (if it's not already selected). Now just type: vivisimo and press CTRL-ENTER. If you don't want to type vivisimo, try another favorite .com site. Type google, or ebay, or something like that.
OK.. I'm done now. Try out that double url thing in your home page field in the Options.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
You can image the power demands that the google servers require. What do you DO when you consume SO MUCH electricity? You install solar panels. They amount to 1.6 MEGAWATTS of solar power and they not only cover some rooftops, but they also cover some parking spaces. Well, they're raised so that cars can park under them for some shade. Clever? I suppose they didn't get where they are by being stupid, eh?
That article points to some Google Earth files that will show you a 3D drawing of that facility. Check it out.