Monday, July 30, 2007

OK. Say it. "You're so niave"

Upon further investigation I see that it IS computer animation. OK. Fine. But, it's still very ingenious, don't you think?


FantasticMachine - AWESOME!

This one won't raise test scores, either, but it WILL amaze you. I kept watching to see if I could tell if it was computer animation but I couldn't be sure. My GUT says it is, but then... people are very ingenious, so it COULD be for real.

Send this to your friends who like music - or machines.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

[TIPS] free podcasting unconference at Drexel

MANY thanks to Leann Cox for sharing this one with me in email today.
This free unconference will be held at Drexel University on September 7, 8 and 9. Why should YOU attend? Check out their top ten reasons: Here are the sessions so far:
Who is planning to attend? Check out this list: Wow! Now add YOUR name and GET THERE!

[TIPS] world clock

Thanks to Barry Sullivan for sharing this one with me.
We've seen world population clocks before that tick away (presumably) as the population of the planet increases. This one goes a step - several steps - further. It also counts things such as the earth's temperature, the number of species that have gone extinct, the number of deaths (broken down by causes), and many more items - even how many bicycles have been produced. You can view the clock by the yearly stats, monthly, weekly, daily, or even one that will reset the counter to NOW.
Have this running up on the screen when the students enter the classroom and let them decide for themselves which statistic is the most.. interesting?.. alarming?.. to them. A writing prompt? A topic for further research? A class wiki?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

[TIPS] schoolcomputing - Wikis from Wikia - sample


Once again I don’t recall who sent this to me or where I found it so I apologize to whoever it was who first pointed this out to me to share. is a wiki site where you can create a free wiki. That’s not the real news here. I just wanted to point out that second link – the school computing wiki. There are three tons of links on here to some excellent sites and information. And you may contribute to it, if you wish. That’s what a wiki is all about.


But there are a couple of things I want to point out here. First, this is written, it appears to me, on mediawiki, the one that Wikipedia was built on. But, it’s skinable, as that second link shows. Up in the top right corner is a link to the Monobook skin. Try it – mediawiki, no? Second, when I’m in places like this and I see a link called, “Cool Web Sites” I click it. It’s fun to see what others call cool. Here’s one they posted: You may have seen this before in an email, but this is an excellent ‘movie’ version of the world as expressed in terms of a population of 100. Another is the ashesandsnow site that I had pointed to some time back. Or, this page of links ( for social studies games.


You could end up spending HOURS on this wiki.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Don't Panic!

Everywhere you look nowadays the leading conference presenters and the education bloggers (myself Included) and various companies have been warning us that we have to change the way we teach or we rob the kids of their future. Why? Because we're not teaching them by using the tools that they use at home (presumably). There are some EXCELLENT videos that do an excellent job of putting today's students into perspective with the global economy and the flat world in which they find themselves. (Sorry, I had to say it. Everyone can fill in that block on their buzzword Bingo cards, now.)

The argument goes something like this: Kids are different. Kids THINK differently. Kids are digital natives. (Oops. Everyone can fill in that block, too.) Kid's BRAINS are different. They're going to be entering a world in which they will be asked to solve problems that we don't even know will exist in 20 years or so. They're going to change jobs frequently. They're going to be competing with people from all over the world, unlike at ANY time in our history. And, by golly, we MUST change the way we teach them (and use all the technology we can in the process) or they're doomed. The U.S. is doomed. We are failing our kids by our failure to teach them using all this technology. My GOSH the changes that they will experience in their lifetimes! How WILL they survive?

I'm old. No, I'm in the youth of my old age - my 50's. I was born in 1949 - a baby boomer. I recall the excitement over our first TV set, a 9" rounded black and white screen on which I watched Howdy Doody. I was paddled three times with a leather strap on my FIRST DAY of school in FIRST GRADE - for drawing a star on my new tablet after the teacher told us not to make any marks on them. I cried every morning and every afternoon that year, and even hid out in the doghouse in an effort to hide the fact that I wasn't going to school. I survived.

In the 50's when I was in elementary school we were forced to learn poetry (I think that I shall never see a poem more lovely than a tree...), and we stood to recite our times tables, and our projects involved cutting up magazines to make posters, and we sat in rows, and we worked independently, and we - or at least *I* - had much cooler things to play with at home than I did at school. I didn't have my own tablet at home, though – or a tablet or my very own (I didn’t have to share it!) pencil. While I was doing that, the U.S. was rebuilding after a war I knew nothing about. There were lots of jobs, and the local coal mines were hiring. The future for the students of the time looked bright and full of promise. There was no mention ANYWHERE about something called a ‘computer.’ Meanwhile the world was inventing the bar code, and the hydrogen bomb, and oral contraceptives, and the MODEM!! And those things were being invented by folks who went to school in the ‘30’s, probably.

Around the time I turned twelve or so, the transistor radio hit the market (or at least it hit my school) and I was one who would walk around with it stuck to my ear, and turn it on at night with the volume low under my pillow to listen to Cousin Brucey in Chicago. My junior high years were marked with the Kennedy assassination, the Lee Harvey Oswald killing, the Martin Luther King, Jr assassination, and the Bobby Kennedy assassination. The world was coming apart at the seams, so my mother said. Yes, we landed a man on the moon using a computer that was smaller than the ones in your watch, today, but that changed nothing at school where we were forced to learn poetry (I think that I shall never see a poem more lovely than a tree...), and we stood to recite our times tables, and our projects involved cutting up magazines to make posters, and we sat in rows, and we worked independently… but at least I had a transistor radio at home which I couldn’t use at school. Didn’t the school realize that we were going to be called upon within the next 10-20-30 years or more to solve problems that we didn’t even know WERE problems? Didn’t the school know that we were going to be changing jobs and careers two or three times in our lifetimes? (I’ve been a music teacher, a quality assurance monitor for Ralston Purina, a realtor, a security monitor, a computer teacher, and now I’m... doing this.) Meanwhile, the world was inventing the video cassette, contact lenses, and permanent press fabric – by people who went to school in the ‘30’s and ‘40’s, no doubt.

In high school it was the same. I graduated from high school in 1967 (the year that the handheld calculator was invented probably by someone who went to school in the ‘30’s or ‘40’s) when the biggest problem that the teachers could envision for us was whether to go to college, to the coal mines, or into a trade. Do you think that even ONE of those teachers back then had ANY idea the kinds of jobs that we graduates would have in our lifetimes? Or the kinds of problems we would be asked to solve? And I would bet my CABIN on the fact that NOT ONE of my teachers would have given me even odds of becoming even remotely successful. I am too ashamed to tell you what my junior and senior year report cards were like, but suffice it to say that they were…awful! AWFUL!

Think of all the amazing inventions of the past 50 years, from Teflon to Velcro to space flight to microwave ovens to the micro chip to the world wide web. Which one of the inventors of those items went to a school where they KNEW the kinds of problems that would need to be solved? Not one, I’m sure. Yet, they all managed to solve those problems, perhaps in SPITE of their education.

What’s my point? I don’t think that today’s students will see any more of a dramatic change in their world than I experienced in mine. I went from a 9” black and white TV to seeing a lunar landing and space flights and the world wide web and the global economy. The change they will experience may be different. It will take them into space and into an unimaginable network of information, and it will link them to the world unlike ANYTHING we can imagine now. But, they will be fine, just as WE were fine in the face of OUR changing world. Sure the kids are digital natives, but it was the digital IMMIGRANTS who invented this digital world, don’t forget.

That said… we DO face an appalling dropout rate – as high as 75% in some schools. The expanding global economy cannot be understated. So, we MUST find a way to re-engage our students to keep them in school. But, we DON’T have to teach them, as Sir Ken Robinson said in his Ted Talks video, “ as though they’re all going to be college professors.” We need to do our jobs. We need to excite them about learning, true. And, as we do that there will be many instances where the proper tool to bring about that excitement and the desired level of understanding will be a computer. And the web. Likewise, there will be times when it’s NOT the right tool. And, for those teachers who are unwilling to learn the technology to use for those times when it IS the best tool, we must charge them with malpractice and bring in others who DO know the tools. But, I have to believe that the kids will survive and flourish, perhaps in SPITE of their education – just like we did.

So, let’s take a deep breath and relax a bit. Yes, we DO have to change some things, but I don’t think we need to panic.

What say you? SURELY I said something in there that struck a nerve, eh?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Podcast People

Thanks to Kevin Conner who shared this with me via the for:jgates513 tag at He says he read about it in Wes Fryer's blog.

"Publish text, audio, and video to a customized show."

Looks very interesting, but I didn't try it. I do have one question however. If it is so great, why didn't they use it to make the tour/demo of the site?

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Slideshare - now with audio!!

I can't WAIT to get over there and try it. Slideshare has LONG been very cool from the start, but this makes it a killer app. Go here for an audio demo:

Let the fun begin!!!

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The Fantastic Voyage - Ted video

Not quite, but these animations show life inside the cell. Send this to your favorite Biology teacher(s).

"Medical animator David Bolinsky presents 3 minutes of stunning
animation that show the bustling life inside a cell. Built by his
company, XVIVO, to teach Harvard medical students, the clip features
sweeping cinematic values and even a little drama. It communicates not
only the facts of life, but life's truth and beauty."

Are you SURE that none of you can send me to Ted?

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Anti-bullying video worth seeing

I've been waiting for this one to appear on TeacherTube but I don't see it there yet. It's from The Spirit Desk, and it's one I think you're going to like.

Click the "View Anti-Bullying Video" link under the picture here:

Anyone here ever been bullied? I was beaten up once because the report card I was carrying home had all A's and B's. ???

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Monday, July 23, 2007

How's this for MAJOR reform?

Thanks to Kevin Sandridge for pointing me to this page. Kevin is about to start his own blog and I'm anxious to become a reader. He's got the fire! He started here: but he's going to be moving to a new home soon. :-)

This post: talks about how one school in Norway went from being one that people fled to one that is turning people away because the school is full. What made the difference? Uh-uh. I won't tell. You have to read it for yourself. But, I'll tell you some things to look for. First, look at how they restructured TIME. Second, look at what they did with the physical space.

"Teaching had to now focus on the individual, on the pupil, using
computer technology as a prominent element of teaching and learning." And, "Active problem solving should be the preferred method of teaching and learning (much in the way that an element of extreme learning tackles learning)."

I'd LOVE to hear what parts of this reform resonate with you the most. Comment, anyone?

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[TIPS] Calling the Network

Ken Pruitt is doing something I like over here: Hes calling his network for help. His network are those people with whom he communicates via his blog or their blog or skype or in, etc. He has learned the power of a network of friends and fellow educators to aid in his learning, and hes asking those kind folks to share some ideas with him regarding how he might takle a project at his school. Hes being charged with helping to provide professional development to the teachers in his elementary and middle schools, and hes looking for input on the most effective ways that it can be done.

I like it for a couple of reasons. First, the appeal shows that hes feeling truly connected to his online community of friends and fellow educators, and so hes actively networking with them to get ideas. Second you get to see the really cute pictures of his new son on Flickr. J

In any case, if youve got a minute, maybe you could drop on over there and provide a helpful hint or two. Not that were trying to start a mass campaign of open helpdesk requests. This is a teacher who gets it asking for opinions from others who get it and who may have something they wish to share.

I like it.

[TIPS] Digg - A two minute history of Middle East Oil

Perhaps THIS one is a better fit for a writing prompt. A two minue video that details the pursuit of oil. Its not pretty. Can anyone refute anything in this video?

[TIPS] Digg - A 45-minute history of Middle East Oil

Look what I just dugg this entertaining and informative video about the history of Middle East oil. Robert Newman is the brains behind this very clever performance. While I do get a bit lost in the accent at times, overall I follow him perfectly well.

Maybe THIS is another writing prompt for your seniors, eh?

[TIPS] Google Earth for educators


Darren Draper, author of Drapes Takes, has this post about two things. First, the article mentions how great the presentation by Hal Davidson was at NECC when he presented on Google Earth Pro. Second, he points to how educators can get a free copy of Google Earth Pro.


Check it out!

(P.S. I sent this before with the word free in the subject line and our spam filter wouldnt let it out. @#$% spammers!!)

Friday, July 20, 2007

[TIPS] What are the Differences Between Message Boards and Weblogs?

The question, Whats the difference between a blog and a Discussion forum? gets asked a lot of times by lots of different people. The answer is not easily explained when you not right in front of a computer. NOW it IS! Just point them to this page that does an excellent job of explaining the difference. Theres even a nice table there that compares blogs and forums side by side in a number of categories.

So, if youre not sure what the difference is, THIS page just may clear it up for you. From the maker (Lee Lefever) of RSS in Plain English, and Wikis in Plain English.

[TIPS] - a video aggregator

I found this one from the blog. Youll not get this one at school, but I do suggest you try it out at home.

In the search field under the initial (lame) video, type the word education, or math, or science and hit enter. That will search MANY different sites for videos tagged with that keyword and put the search results in a list underneath the video. You can cycle through the found videos by clicking the right arrow that appears when you hover over the video, or you can scroll through the list at the bottom. Or well youre smart enough to figure it out.

Dont forget that there are several firefox plugins that allow you to save the movie youre watching so that you can take it to school for your classes.

Check it out. Remember, as with any public site, there are folks using it whom you wish werent. J

Thursday, July 19, 2007

[TIPS] OH NO!!! This just in... The Internet Crashed!

Am I too geeky, or is this really funny? I mean, I GET all the little references like the hardest hit nation is Nigeria since “…94% of its gross national product comes from Internet ventures. ROFL!! Get it? Coming up.. one mans effort to rebuild his Flickr albums. TOO FUNNY!!!

OK so maybe I should shut this down and go outside and play for a while.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

[TIPS] Missed the NECC closing Keynote?

It's 45 minutes long, but (IMHO) well worth the time invested to watch it. You'll see examples of student-produced videos on some heavy duty subjects - made by MIDDLE SCHOOL students. A couple things to think about. First, could you get YOUR teachers to accept this kind of project instead of a final exam? Second, given the quality of these videos, are we underestimating our high school students and accepting material that truly is beneath their ability?
Oh, and when he interviews the kids, make sure you watch the first girl. I LOVED the expression on her face at one point. You'll know it. :-)
Don't have 45 minutes to watch this? Turn it on and let it run in the background then switch over to it when he shows the movies. You'll be glad you did.
His school's website is here: . Check out the link to their Film Festival.

Monday, July 16, 2007

[TIPS] Thinking system and method invention

This one was on Rocketboom today. Someone has filed a patent application for. Drum roll a THINKING MACHINE! (cymbal crash!)

Heres what the site says about this machine:

      A thinking system and method is provided by the present invention. In the present invention, the “thinking” system is capable of accepting information from outside environment, analyzing the information, requesting additional information, and then resulting the problem. More particularly, the system can make new rules according to the information within the system and the new information received and requested. The rule making process is not controlled by outside command, but by an internal controlling mechanism that can be modified by the outside commands. Further, the system comprises a knowledge structure that can be used by the system for analyzing the inputted information, making request for additional information, making new rules, and solving problems, wherein the knowledge structure comprises element files include direct link information of the elements with other elements of the element files in the knowledge structure.”

No word on how much it will cost or how soon we can expect to equip our students with one so they wont have to think at all! In theory, then, ALL of our students will be able to get perfect scores on their SATs. Of course, like the calculators before them, it may take a couple of years before students will be able to use one when taking the test. J

[TIPS] What do YOU know about Aids? -another Ted video

 Ask your high school students to write about what they know about the Aids virus in Africa. What do they know about the spread in Africa? What do they think is the cause? How do they think it might be prevented?

NOW, show them this video and ask, How do you think and feel about this problem NOW? This is a WONDERFUL perspective of the epidemic framed in economic issues and sociological issues. You know, this is one of the worlds problems that they will have to solve.

[TIPS] A Moment On Earth Mosaic - see it NOW!

Hows THIS for a VERY cool idea? On a given day at a given time(s) you get photographers from around the world to document what was going on where they were. Then, you collect all this data and put it into an amazing mosaic. Trace your mouse over the mosaic to see popups of the photos below. Click a photo to read the story associated with it. Make sure you watch the trailers, too. Breathtaking! (The link to the second one is a tiny link under the first trailer.) The world at work, at play, at war, at rest. Outstanding. And to think that the films producers had to sell shave ice to raise money to make the film. I especially liked the one mans comment about there being so many creative people in the world. Indeed there are.

This site is chuck FULL of writing prompts, isnt it?

[TIPS] Screencast-O-Matic

OKok..ok. (echo fades.) This was posted here: and I read it first here: Screencast-o-matic (not to be confused with Bass-o-matic) will let you make screencasts right from your browser and save it, then grab the code for your web page or link to it directly. Check out this screencast done with the program itself, entitled, How to Make A Screencast.

Ill tell you what the tools on the web, now, are SO cool, arent they? If any of you makes a screencast with this and youd like to share, let me know.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

[TIPS] calling all presenters - to PETE&C

Once again I came up late in trying to post something. At yesterdays conference committee meeting for PETE&C I said that I would send out a message to my blog to alert folks to the fact that theres still time (Until August 17th) to submit a proposal for PETE&C 2008. When I got home I decided to read my blogs first, and Im glad I did. Jennifer Dorman beat me to the punch (again) with her mention of this call for presenters.

So, Ill just point you to hers: She put a lot more into her post than I would have into mine, anyway. :-/

While youre there, subscribe to her blog. And check out her resources like the link to her class blog and her class podcast page, and others. Do they give you ideas?

[TIPS] will an iPhone blend?

Those who have enjoyed some of the many Will it Blend episodes might enjoy this one with an iPhone!!! Mac and iPhone lovers maybe you shouldnt watch this.

Why cant he stick to blending pens and aluminum cans and send ME his iphone?

[TIPS] kids need to hear this - parents, too

I like Andy Carvin' blog. I watch for new posts every day. Today's installment is about an 8th grade student who was suspended from school for having a threatening avatar.
Now, of COURSE there is more to the story, and I won't spoil it for you. But the bottom line is that kids in YOUR school need to know this. They would like to think that what they do outside of school has no bearing on what happens INside of school. WRONG! Heck, *I* would like to think that if I allowed a hunter to hunt on my land and he accidentally shot someone that I wouldn't be sued, but.. "you can't always get what you want." It may not seem reasonable or even rational to some, but that's the way it is, and your students need to know about it.
Here's the link:
I checked cliotech's blog and she didn't mention this yet. :-) It seems I've been behind her a lot lately.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

[TIPS] creative commons video

OK.. this is what the bloggers at NECC complained about, but sometimes you HAVE to do this. They called it the vast echo chamber, where all the bloggers are saying the same thing. That may be true. Take THIS post, for example. First, I read about it here: and then here: I respect both these guys - they bought me beer at NECC.  :-) But, the point is that we've all got our circles or readers. Sometimes the circles overlap, sometimes they don't.
So, for those readers of my tips who do not read the other two, check out either of those links for a great video advocating the Creative Commons license. Very nice.
Consider this: we're now at a point where open source software has become so well accepted (As Steve Hargadon, speaking of the open source movement said at Edubloggercon, "We've already won",) and we've got the ever-growing creative commons license idea making the free exchange of ideas and creations so easy, while at the same time there is the very real threat to Internet neutrality from the giant cable companies and backbone owners that could severely limit our access to this information?

[TIPS] Declaration of Independance - for the internet

Thanks to Tim at AssortedStuff for this post ( that points to this post: by David Weinberger. David is commenting on the dangerous way that the Internet is heading. He does a much better job than I could do in summarizing it, so I'll let you read it. Read Tim's post for the summary, but read the real thing for an interesting view of the argument over Net Neutrality.
I might point out that this site: lists Net Neutrality as the top most censored story in 2005-2006.
"For 30 years, Sonoma State University's Project Censored has released an annual list of the most important news stories not covered by the corporate media in the United States. Here again are the Top 10 news stories that didn't make much news."
You might want to also see what they list as the other nine most censored stories. Whether you agree with the list or not it's interesting reading.

[TIPS] Another great Ted movie

Heres the About this Talk from the site:

Jonathan Harris wants to make sense of the infinite world on the Web -- so he builds dazzling graphic interfaces that help us visualize the data floating around out there. Here he presents "We Feel Fine," a project that scours blogs to collect the planet's emoti(c)ons, and the "Yahoo! Time Capsule," which preserves images, quotes and thoughts snapped up in 2006. And he premieres "Universe," which presents current events as constellations of words -- a tag cloud of our collective consciousness.

Once you watch this movie, check out the website here: Go to the “Open We Feel Fine” applet.

This is truly one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.

[TIPS] democracy - TIVO for your internet videos

Thanks to Kristin ( ) for leaving this as a comment to my last post. This looks amazing! Here's what the site says about itself:


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

[TIPS] keepvid

One thing I like about doing workshops is that I learn as much as I teach. Here's a great little tool that will save the video you're watching. Perfect for the YouTube videos that you can't see at school.

On the site, drag the button to your links bar. Then find a video on youtube or teachertube , etc, and click the new button. Very slick!

Then how do you watch the flv file? Try the VLC converter. Multi-platform. Just great!

Two great tools. Get 'em today!

[TIPS] celtx - media application for storyboarding - and more

Thanks to Chris W for sharing this with me at the Getting to One workshop tonight.

"Celtx is the first, cross-platform media application that provides support for the entire pre-production process."

It does storyboarding, character development, and so much more. And, it's FREE! And cross platform!

Check it out!

Monday, July 09, 2007

[TIPS] 2057 on Google Video

I read this tip in one of the blogs that I read faithfully, but now I cant find it to give credit. My apologies.

Remember this post about the then upcoming show called 2057? Well, now its on google video. Holy cow.If even a tiny percentage of this actually comes true wow.

2057 – The City

2057 – The Body

2057 – The World

These are about 40 minutes long each. Whether you believe this will actually happen, these make GREAT writing prompts.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

I'm NOT addicted to blogging!!!

YES!!! According to the site below, I'm only 57% addicted. Barely over half. Pffft! That's nothing. I can kick it ANY time I want.

OK... so I wasn't quite totally honest with a couple answers, but I thought some of them were obvious gotchas. Like, have I ever thought of something to blog about while in the shower. Come ON! No serious blogger will say Yes to that one if you're looking to keep your addiction score down. What were they thinking?


57%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Mingle2 - Online Dating

Saturday, July 07, 2007

[TIPS] A wiki to see - wow!

Jennifer Dorman has a blog that I follow faithfully. It's here: If you don't read it you may want to give it a try.
Today's tip points to her wiki that deals with web 2,0 sites. Got a day or so to play? Check this out. She has done such a good job on this. From her Voki introduction, to a polldaddy poll, to the embedded videos, to the MANY links she has in there to sites I've not seen before, she's made it a wonderful place to go explore. And for those teachers who are new to this one can imagine the "Wow!" factor that they'll have. Heck, I went WOW, too.

Friday, July 06, 2007

[TIPS] Regenerating new limbs? on Ted

I'm not sure how I feel about this. What if it were possible - and it appears from this video that it IS - to force our bodies to regenerate new limbs taht were lost in an accident? What if we could grow new fingers on the hands of the carpenter who just had a run-in with his tablesaw. What if we could help the body to grow new skin on burn victims? I think it's amazing technology, and it's GOING to happen more often because it's already happening now, to some extent, and mankind never goes backwards.  (As someone said, "One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.")
Anyway, the above video shows some amazing accomplishments in the field of regeneration. Watch the awe-inspiring before and after of a woman's foot that was being eaten away by diabetes. (Warning - REALLY gruesome images!) Watch the effect it had on a horse's head when it developed an ugly opening. And there's more. Then, consider his notion that this sort of tratment might one day be used as preventative medicine.
Projected out 100 years (in the lifetime of your great grandchildren, perhaps) this will lead to treatments that will change everything. That's good. Isn't it?
How about this as a writing prompt?

[TIPS] Gapminder - a MUST-SEE!

Thanks to Jaron F (how many Jarons do YOU know?) J for sharing a site with me that led me to Gapminder. Watch this video on Ted that features this VERY cool tool. This one is for your sociology teachers. Send it to them. Tie them down and MAKE them watch it. Theyll be glad you did. Then watch the one on the gapminder site itself: Youll get an idea of how that tool works. This is perhaps the BEST presentation Ive EVER seen and not one powerpoint-like slide. Watch for yourself.

The top link, however, is a direct link to a particular Presentation (More presentations found in the Left Nav area) that youll like. THAT  is the one that your sociology teachers will be bookmarking. Just watch the first one dealing with Income in the world. (Hint: were VERY lucky people to be living where we do.)

Enough talking. Go check them out!

[TIPS] Pennsound - Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing

Thanks to Sue S, again, for sharing this site. Heres one for your English teachers. Its the Center for Programs in Contemporary Wring at the University of *Pennsylvania. Hear poetry read by the authors and others. Check out the Anthologies area and in particular the Dada Sounds section. This may not be MY cup of tea, but Ill bet it would make for a great (threaded?) discussion with your upperclassmen. Have them listen to some of the work in the Stray Singles Index area and blog about them, perhaps. This is also well.. so much more.

My only frustration with the site is that it had so many file types, and I still dont have Real Player installed so I couldnt watch a couple of the movies. But, for the serious English class that is studying poetry, this site is a must-see.

* Anyone here remember watching the old Jiminy Cricket? Do you remember the song that he would sing about the Encyclopedia? E-nc-yc-lo-pediaaaaa. Well, thats how I learned how to spell Pennsylvania when I was a kid. It fit to the same tune and rhythm that Jiminy used for Encyclopedia. To this day, when I type or spell those words I mentally do so to that tune. I even type them to the rhythm. Er is that a sign of a sickness? J

Thursday, July 05, 2007

[TIPS] cell biology animations

MANY thanks to Chris C (and his wife) for sharing this site. Send this to your biology teachers. It's a bookmarked site, for sure.
From Amino acids and Proteins to Photsynthesis and Water, this site contains simple, but effective animations that help explain what goes on in a cell. Don't wait. Send this to your favorite biology teacher today!
Why do I feel like adding, "And if you act right now, we'll also throw in this wonderful collection of animations at no extra charge:

[TIPS] What Does Literature Say About Human Beings?

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Anne Smith from Arapahoe SD at the NECC conference in Atlanta. I’ve pointed you to her site before ( . While I didn’t get to talk with her as much as I would have liked, I did talk to her long enough for her to suggest that I check out the student work that was done for her final project of the year. I will let you read it as she wrote it so that I don’t misspeak about any part of it.

But, you should see – you NEED to see – the student projects that she has posted there. You need to see them for a couple of reasons. First, they are OUTSTANDING! Second – these are 9th graders! When I see work like this I keep thinking, “My, how we underestimate them.” Third, I LOVE the idea of this assessment – AND of the BIG question that she put forth at the beginning of the year, “What does literature say about human beings?” Fourth, I love how they made this assignment personal. Watch their movies. Listen to them. My, how we underestimate them. Fifth, this is BOUND to give you ideas for other ways that YOU can assess your students. Perhaps, rather than marching them through a multiple choice test, if you give them the opportunity to tell you what the stories mean to them, you will find a MUCH deeper understanding of the stories than you thought.

Check out her rubric, too. As she says, the students worked with her to develop that rubic.

Hats off to Anne and especially to her students whose work is shown here.

Monday, July 02, 2007

[TIPS] More wikis to see - in Spanish (give anyone an idea?)


I was on the Wikispaces site today and clicked on a couple links to see what others are doing with the wiki. Above are four wikis that I thought would spark a bit of creativity in you. Check them out. Did any of them give you an idea for what you’ll do with YOUR students next fall?


[TIPS] How to cut a hole in a 3x5 index card that you can fit through...

MANY thanks to Sherri M for sharing this one.

Can YOU cut a hole in a 3x5 note card large enough to crawl through? Robert Krampf can. Check it out. Don’t share this with your students until they return in the fall. He films an experiment of the week for his site. You HAVE to check out some of the others linked along the left side. Browse around this site. You’ll find LOTS of good things to do with your science classes, too.

Caution: For the younger, more invincible students, remind them NOT to try the tablecloth experiment on mom’s good china. J

My only question – why no feeds?

[TIPS] Karen's Mashups

I stumbled upon this page after seeing her post on the Classroom 2.0 ning site. The above page contains some links to some great resources for free visual materials, from clipart to videos, and all licensed on the “Copyleft” licenses. (See her description of that on the site.

While you’re there, scroll all the way down to see her post on free audio resources, as well. The click Previous Posts to see other episodes of hers.

[TIPS] wikis - in Plain English

For those of you who aren’t blog readers, you may not have seen this movie about wikis. CommonCraft has created a few of these movies designed to make the ideas of RSS, Social Networking, Blogs, and even wikis easy to understand. This one, “Wikis in Plain English” my be just what your students (or other teachers) need in order to have that “ah-ha!” moment with wikis.

Here are the YouTube links to some of those movies:

  1. – wikis in Plain English
  2. – social networking in Plain English
  3. – RSS in Plain English

Here is the TeacherTube link to one of them

  1. – Wikis in Plain English