Friday, November 30, 2007

[TIPS] we'll have to watch this case carefully

Depending upon how this case comes out, this could REALLY drive a stake through the heart of creativity in schools. http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/1196318455194970.xml&coll=1

 

Some kids made a video for class. Fine.

Some kids edited the movie to make fun of the kid who starred in it. Wrong.

Mother of abused kid sues the school. Outrageous!!

 

 

 

[TIPS] list of historical anniversaries

During a recent "out-of-the-box" training by the Apple folks as part of the Classrooms for the Future this site was presented to us as part of.. well, part of something else, actually. But I thought your social studies teachers might like this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_anniversaries

Yes, it's a wikipedia article. And it shows another reason why wikipedia should NOT be blocked at school. (https://webmail.caiu.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20071127-banning-wikipedia-at-school-good-idea-or-missed-opportunity.html - thanks to Courtney Engle for sharing that one with us) Yes, we ALL know by now that you don't want to cite it. Fine. Now let's get past the fear, shall we?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

[TIPS] E&ETV - for environmental science teachers

http://www.eenews.net/tv/

 

There are those who will point to this site and declare it to be a very one-sided viewpoint – and the WRONG side to boot. Others will argue that it’s the correct side and impartial. Whatever your viewpoints this is bound to provide tons of material for debate, or some excellent writing prompt material.

 

How did I find this? First, I was perusing the list of nominated wikis for the Edublogs contest. One wiki (http://goapes.wikispaces.com/) was mentioned and I spent some time in there. (What? You say you can’t view wikis in school? Shame!) This wiki was put together by the teachers and students of an AP Environmental Science program. It is excellent! Check it out. Look at the books they’re reading. Look at the feeds they’re getting. Check out their projects. This is good stuff.

 

Oh, and here are the other nominated wikis:
Horizon Project 2007

Mr. Lee’s Math 12 Advanced Class

Salute to Seuss

Welker’s Wikinomics

 

Hurry and vote for your favorite wiki or blog. Voting ends on December 6th. http://edublogawards.com/2007/best-resource-sharing-blog-2007/

J

[TIPS] Part 2 of the Online story on NPR

Check this out: “The University of Illinois hopes its new "global campus," set to launch early 2008, will reach more than 10,000 new online students in the next few years. At the university's campus in Springfield, Ill., faculty already use blogs and wikis in their courses.”

 

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16709807&ft=1&f=1013 This is part two of the series I mentioned earlier. What struck me about that introduction to the feed is that it mentions the professors using blogs and wikis in their classrooms. Yet, many of the districts right around here do not permit such tools. Tools that not only should not be blocked but should be promoted.  Can they even say that they’re preparing students for college? They SURELY cannot say that they’re preparing them for life. <sigh>

 

Give part 2 a listen.

[TIPS] Online Education - an NPR story

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16638700

It's a fact - online education is here to stay. And it's big business, too. I just finished my Master's in Instructional Technology from Bloomsburg University - all done online. We met once a week synchronously via Centra and the rest of the materials were on Blackboard. For me, the only thing that kept me going were the live weekly sessions. They gave me a sense on a real connection to a class. But, the point is, the entire program was online.

The above NPR story is the first part of a two part story. They talk about the University of Illinois-Springfield, in particular. The second part should appear sometime today. If you get a chance, listen to the story. Both parts. Do you subscribe to the podcast?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

[TIPS] when does voting end? And a tip

People have been asking (ok… A person has asked), “When does the voting close for the Edublogs award?” To that person I say, “Thanks for asking. Voting ends on December 6th and the winners to be announced the next day.”

So, if you’re reading this post, I’d SURELY appreciate a vote here: http://edublogawards.com/2007/best-resource-sharing-blog-2007/

I feel cheapened. Begging for votes. So sad.             

OK.. so here’s a tip to balance it out. Lots of folks have been talking about his site recently: http://www.asterpix.com/ Very cool site. It lets you build interactive videos with hypertext bubbles on your videos. Click on a link in the bubble to go to learn more about what’s going on. The only thing that bothers me, again, is that it IS going to be blocked at school. NO doubt. A very cool tool, perhaps, but it’ll never see the light of day. I’d tell you why but then this email would get caught in the spam filter. J

 

 

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

[TIPS] edublogs finalist - holy mackerel!

I just realized that I’d been sitting here for the past 5 minutes with my jaw hanging open in complete shock at this. http://edublogawards.com/edublog-awards-2007-finalists-announced/ I had no idea until I read Darren Draper’s post about it and … there it was. MY blog! Nominated in the Best Resource Sharing Blog category. It’s true. Here it is: http://edublogawards.com/2007/best-resource-sharing-blog-2007/

I’m blown away. I’m STILL having to slam my mouth closed when I think of it. Holy cow.


Anyway, why not stop in over there and vote for YOUR favorite blog. There are lots of categories.


Wow.. I just saw that I can get a ‘badge’ to put on my blog that shows that I am a finalist. This is WAYYY too exciting!


Holy mackerel …



[TIPS] Understanding the foot

Show this one to your biology teachers. http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/195 When I saw that it was about the foot I thought, “How good could this be?” I’m glad I watched it.

 

In this video Robert Full from UC Berkley shows slow motion video of how many different creatures use their feet. Why? To be able to build a robot who feet function just as well. Just wait until you see this video.

I think that it would be a fun video to show the biology classes.

 

 

[TIPS] social studies videos

http://www.izzit.org/videoclub/index.php

I saw an excellent video in a social studies class today. It was about eminent domain. It was free to teachers. In fact, teachers can get one free each year that they're in the classroom. The ONLY requirement is that they submit a feedback form to them regarding the video. Not bad, eh?

The teacher also said that the video he has from this site: http://stosselintheclassroom.org/ is also excellent.

Share this with your favorite social studies teacher.

Monday, November 26, 2007

[TIPS] help for PETE&C conference

Ever since last year’s PETE&C conference and word that I was going to be involved with the conference this year, many people have said, “If you need any help, let me know.” Well, if that offer still stands, I’m letting you know. We’re looking for “Ambassadors” (aka volunteers) to help out with a variety of simple tasks from helping the presenters to helping with the many odd jobs that come up throughout the conference.

There are two goals for us and for those who take on those roles. First, we want to make sure that the volunteers can still get to see and hear the sessions that interest them. Second, we want to make sure those tasks are done.

And so, if you ARE interested in donating a bit of your time, please send me an email to jgates513@gmail.com to let me know. And thank you for even considering to help!

[TIPS] study to determine if technology helps students learn

Here’s another article that was included in a recent ASCD brief. http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071124/LOCAL/711240506/1196/LOCAL11 Indiana University will receive a $3.1 million grant to study how effective technology is in helping students learn. This will be one of the most watched studies in recent years, I’m sure, as districts around the nation –the WORLD – are asking if the money spent on technology is worth it.

Now, I don’t want to come off sounding like I’m making excuses before the facts are known, but I would like to ask a question of my own before the study starts. What is the alternative?

I hope that the study doesn’t just look at test scores, for example. I know that test scores can make or break a district in these days of NCLB, but I wonder if Vicki Davis’ and Julie Lindsey’s students are scoring higher on their tests. And if not, I wonder how anyone could possibly say that this project isn’t worth EVERY OUNCE of effort and EVERY second of lost sleep in terms of what it did for these students to connect them to the world like that? Will that experience show up on a test score? Probably not. Will it change how they look at their world? Most definitely.

[TIPS] iTunes tutorial

http://www.5min.com/Video/The-complete-I-tunes-tutorial-3455

Looking for a short iTunes tutorial on how to subscribe to podcasts? Check out that short video clip. The video is a bit bumpy in places, but it does a VERY nice job in showing the novice how to subscribe to podcasts.

[TIPS] free Camtasia?

Yes, it’s true. How on earth did I learn about this? Yes, you guessed it. Through my blogs, of course. J THIS post, to be exact: http://www.edsupport.cc/mguhlin/archives/2007/11/entry_3928.htm

 

I have used Camtasia to record all sorts of screencasts or to convert other movies I’ve made into other more web-friendly formats. Like this video: http://home.comcast.net/~gates808/cabin/turkey2_controller.swf that I took with my digital camera and converted to flash for fast loading on the web.

 

Now, this free version is an older version, but so what? It’ll get you started editing and converting and making movies and screencasts in record time. And you’re then eligible for an upgrade to the current version. Still, I believe the education discounts are better than this upgrade price, but I’ve been wrong before. What I’m NOT wrong about is how good the program is. If you’re a windows user, rush out and get this today.

 

 

Friday, November 23, 2007

[TIPS] The Blue Dot

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p86BPM1GV8M

Carl Sagen narrates this perspective of the Earth in the galaxy and beyond. Another good writing prompt, perhaps? Someone posted this on the Classroom 2.0 ning.

Remember to use zamzar (or something similar) to download it if you can't see YouTube.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

[TIPS] The Doomsday Vault

Hardly a topic for Thanksgiving, I realize, but this is when I’ll have time to write about it for a while.

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7097052.stm

 

I first heard of this story from one of my blogs (can you imagine?), the Long Views blog. I’m a member of the Long Now organization, and a metal card-carrying one, at that. But I digress…

 

Here is a story about the doomsday vault which is built into a mountain. The vault “…will house seeds from all known varieties of key food crops.” Why? Well, in case of a major disaster of some kind. We’ll need seeds to begin growing crops again. It’s costing the Norwegian government $9m to build.

 

I don’t know what to say about this. I just think it’s … interesting.

 

[TIPS] cyber-bullying at its worst

http://www.pbs.org/teachers/learning.now/2007/11/megans_tragedy.html

 

You won’t believe this story.

 

Cyber-bullying has been around since the first bulletin board. But THIS story will shock you. It ends with the suicide of Megan Meier due to continued cyber bullying. But the REAL tragedy and horror of this story lies with who was DOING the bullying. Read it.

 

You would think that cyber bullying would be the easiest thing in the world to avoid, wouldn’t you? If it’s happening in a chat, block that user. If it’s happening via email, set a rule to auto-delete. But, when it’s happening in your facebook account then only YOU can delete the comments – and you must first read them to see if they should be deleted.

 

Show these videos to your students: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3oO3lbBGJQ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtFtbaKIYyg And remember, if you can’t view these at school, DOWNLOAD them from sites like http://www.zamzar.com/url/ Just paste those url’s in the Step 1 field, choose your output format in step 2, give an email address in step three, then click to convert. You’ll receive an email later with al ink to the converted movie so you can download it to show to your classes. This is SO important, isn’t it?

[TIPS] Read this

http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/2007/11/half-world-away-and-still-youre-near-me.html

 

Read that post. As she asks, “What are YOU doing to connect?”

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

[TIPS] More from TED

Q: What do these folks have in common: Neil Turok, Dave Eggers, and Karen Armstrong?

A: They are all winners of the Ted Prize and will be granted a Wish

Watch the Ted site for the video of their acceptance speeches. I’m looking forward to it.

In the meantime, check out this page: http://www.ted.com/index.php/pages/view/id/6 It collects the videos by themes. “The Power of Cities”, “Animals that Amaze”, “Rethinking Poverty”, “The Rise of Collaboration” and more. Hover over a picture to see the talks dealing with that topic.

You know, I’ve GOT to believe that we’ve got students in our schools who would be motivated and moved to action by some of these folks. Can’t we set aside part of a day each week/month to show a talk and invite conversation? Do you have a moodle site? Set up a discussion forum for those videos and let the kids talk about them. I’d LOVE to live long enough to hear back from a student or two who would point back to that video as being a defining moment in their lives.

[TIPS] Kindle book reader

Many thanks to Joan Adams for sharing this with me.

“Did You Know… Predictions are that e-paper will be cheaper than real paper.”

Remember that? Well, at almost $400 we’re not there yet. BUT… you MUST check this out. The Kindle reader lets you wirelessly read books, blogs, news feeds and much more. You’ve GOTTA see this video demo on this page!

Project this out ten years. Twenty years. Do you think textbook publishers are nervous? Or do you think they’re already making plans for the conversion?

Better yet – do you think this device will be banned in our schools? :-)

[TIPS] bubbleshare

Once again someone has asked for a suggestion for an alternative to flickr for creating photo slideshows. Why? If you create an embed object that pulls its images from flickr – and flickr is blocked – then your object won’t work. You can embed a slideshow, send a link to it, or post a or share a photo from the slideshow. You can also order prints or create gifts (calendars, books, posters, etc). There are some nice templates to use with your photos, too.

Bubbleshare doesn’t mashup with flickr. You must upload your photos. So, as long as bubbleshare isn’t blocked you can see your pictures. If it IS blocked, ask to have it evaluated. This looks like a very family friendly site. Now, I’m not guaranteeing ANYTHING. I looked at the first 7 pages and didn’t find any that were inappropriate. But, I did NOT look at all of them.

Anyway, check it out: http://www.bubbleshare.com/

[TIPS] shared links on delicious

My del.icio.us account has become quite the resource for me. It’s not because of what *I* add to it, but for what others have sent me. This is fun. But, it’s also a very good way for students to share sites with you. Show them delicious and let them know your account name. Then encourage them to send you links. Oh… but delicious is blocked in so many schools, isn’t it? Oh well….

Look at what has been sent to me recently:

1. Mosaic Listserve Tools

2. CogDogRoo » Dominoe 50 Ways

3. Welcome to MyRocketbook.com! ROCKETBOOK Online Study Guides: Watch. Read. Succeed.

4. http://iteachr.com/learn2gether.html

5. Teaching the Civil War with Technology

6. Veropedia - Main Page

7. FreeRice

8. A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods

9. New Class(room) War: Teacher vs. Technology - New York Times

10. Google For Educators

11. Cornell Notetaking Method Custom PDF Generator

12. eNature: America's Wildlife Resource

13. idealist.org - Welcome to Idealist.org - Imagine. Connect. Act.

14. Laptop Institute

15. Create Polls, Surveys, Quizzes, and Personality Quizzes at Quibblo

16. Glossary of Instructional Strategies

17. FeedHub

MANY thanks to those who are sharing these links with me. Sue, Ken R, Ken P, Kevin, Kristin, Chris, Alma, mlcst, alytapp, prdon1, and plumetailrat

Friday, November 16, 2007

[TIPS] Today's Cartoon

Anyone else see today's Dilbert cartoon? Since it's likely blocked at school I'll give you the details. ;-)

Scene 1: "Mordac: The preventer of Information Services"
Mordac (who has tiny little devil horns) says: "Security is more important than Usability"

Scene 2: Mordac continues, "In a perfect world, no-one would be able to use ANYthing."

Scene 3: User sitting at a computer. The message on the computer reads, "To complete the log-in procedure stare directly at the sun."

Have a GREAT Friday!  :-)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

[TIPS] Thanksgiving site to see

Many thanks to Ken Pruitt (http://dasdtips.blogspot.com/2007/11/knowing-vs-understanding.html) for sharing this one with us on his blog.  http://www.plimoth.org/education/olc/index_js2.html

 

This flash-based site will have the kids exploring and discovering all sorts of things about the first Thanksgiving. Make sure you see the Teacher’s Guide.

 

Oh, and this may load slowly for you as the word spreads on this very timely site.

 

[TIPS] A Thanksgiving Lesson idea

I love my blogs. Not "MY" blogs, y' know, but the blogs that I read. Have I mentioned that lately?

Take this post: http://learningismessy.com/blog/?p=357

He asked his third graders to write a short essay about what they were thankful for this Thanksgiving. Then he.. well, I'll let you read it. But he pointed me/us to this site: http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1626519_1373664,00.html It's a photo story entitled, "What the World Eats." It's just 16 slides. Take a look. THEN write YOUR essay.

I'm a lucky man.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

[TIPS] Meet Vicki's students

Why can’t WE do this? http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/2007/11/meet-my-students-live-on-wednesday.html

Vicki has some of her students at a conference in Atlanta and they’re going to work on their Flat Classroom Project LIVE! Nice, eh? But the NICER part is that she’s going to stream them live on UStream.tv. She’s going to broadcast her students live to the world as they work on their flat classroom wiki.

Compare that to the fact that I tried to show my own little wiki (on Wikispaces) tonight to some teachers in a local district (who don’t get internet from MY IU) and it was BLOCKED. So was my blog. That IU is VERY heavy handed with its filter, but to block Wikispaces? What the @!#$%^ kind of educational philosophy is THAT?

Now, we’re all following the same CIPA law, but we’ve got VASTLY different opinions about what it means. I’m reading a listserv where folks are talking about how they block skype and itunes. Another group talks about how they don’t allow Google Earth on their network. (Can’t be having those hi-res images clogging the lines and preventing REAL education, y’ know) Another group proudly announces that they won’t tell the teachers that they can have a different filtering policy than the students. Others block wikis of any kind as being a risk for kids to say things that will embarrass the school. Another one wants us to stop letting kids use photo story (watered down PowerPoint) as it’s not a real tool that they will see in the business world. I’m not kidding here. All this is for real. Sad but true.

Once again, let’s take note of this. Many districts in PA cannot read blogs (where I read of Vicki’s presentation), and they can’t see wikis (where her kids are building what will inevitably be another award winning wiki), and they can’t see ustream.tv, where her kids will be making an historic – or at least a very cool – presentation.

Pennsylvania is pumping half a billion dollars into infrastructure (Act 183) and Keystones programs, and now the Classrooms for the Future program. Those programs combine for about half a billion dollars. Yet, it may all be for naught if we don’t soon bring some sanity to this out of control situation.

[TIPS] The gobbler episode

http://www.itsjerrytime.com/

Nope – this has NOTHING at all to do with school, or tests, or students, or even retirement J

I just LOVE the work these two guys do. (Jerry and his brother) If this is your first time watching these, make sure you watch the episode called ”The Strange Trip” or the one about the swimming episode. You’ll see why I can’t mention the exact name.

Enjoy.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

[TIPS] remote control for powerpoint on the mac

MANY thanks to Kurt Paccio for his post that tells us of a free, remote control ap for PowerPoint on the macs. http://weblog.techruminations.org/2007/11/macbook-remote-control-with-powerpoint.html As soon as I get home I'm going to download this one and give it a workout. As Kurt asks, has anyone out there tried this one yet?

 

Friday, November 09, 2007

[TIPS] factcheckEd.org

This site is a repeat from a few years ago< I think. But, I just today came upon it again and it appears to have undergone some improvements. So, here it is again: http://www.factchecked.org/LessonPlans.aspx

That's the lesson plans page. Excellent lessons deisgned to do some higher level thinking skills lessons. From the site:

"FactCheckEd.org is an educational resource for high school teachers and students. It’s  designed to help students learn to cut through the fog of misinformation and deception that surrounds the many messages they’re bombarded with every day. Our site is a sister to the award-winning Annenberg Political Fact Check, which goes by the Internet address FactCheck.org. and monitors the factual accuracy of what is said in the nation’s political arena."

Check out both sites. This is good stuff.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

[TIPS] Tell a Story in 5 frames

http://www.flickr.com/groups/visualstory/

 

This flickr group asks people to create a story using 5 images from flickr. Clever idea. Check out some of the stories. Can YOU students do this?

 

[TIPS] 275 flickr mashups

From the programmable web comes this page containing a list of 275 flickr mashups. This will keep you busy for a LONG time. Tell me, via a comment on the blog, which is YOUR favorite.

 

 

[TIPS] google docs for educators

Thanks again to Sue Sheffer for sharing this with me via the for:jgates513 tag on del.icio.us.

 

http://www.google.com/educators/weeklyreader.html

 

“Revision is a critical piece of the writing process—and of your classroom curriculum. Now, Google Docs has partnered with Weekly Reader’s Writing for Teens magazine to help you teach it in a meaningful and practical way.”

 

There are two great tutorials, too. This one is a tutorial for Google Docs. This one is a tutorial on the revision features in Google Docs. And, check out the links in the left margin. Plan to stay a while – there’s a lot to look at here.

 

This can solve a lot of problems, you know. And, remember that you can also get the whole sh’bang here: https://www.google.com/a/edu/. Get the google apps on YOUR domain. Don’t automatically reject this stuff. Think of the issues this would address.

 

[TIPS] Professional Development book - online now

Thanks to a post from Eric Rosendale that pointed me to this: http://www.teachermagazine.org/tm/toc/2007/10/25/index.html, The Teacher Professional Development Sourcebook. It's online now. You need only register on the site. Both are free.

Lots of good reading here. Too much for me to type at this hour as I try to rush out the door.

 

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

[TIPS] Another great Ted video - on copyright

Have I mentioned that I LOVE my blogs that I read? And I LOVE Ted, too. (still looking for the kind person who wants to send me there. It's only $6500. Or $3000 to go to Aspen to watch it over video conference. I'd take that.)

Anyway, this video: http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/187 is of Larry Lessig, a copyright lawyer who makes a wonderfully compelling arguement for changes to our copyright laws. At the end he gets a standing ovation, if that's a hint about how good it is. But then, I can't think of one YET that wouldn't have me on my feet.

Monday, November 05, 2007

[TIPS] web 2.0 atomic learning workshop

How's this for pretty darn cool? The Atomic Learning site will be offering a free online workshop entitled, "Web 2.0." Created by Vicki Davis (the CoolCatTeacher), this FREE workshop will be available until the end of the month. You KNOW if Vicki did it it's SURE to be top notch.

Here's what I read from Atomimc Learning:

"Created by Vicki Davis, a classroom teacher who has been recognized for her innovative use of Web 2.0 tools in the classroom and for her Cool Cat Teacher blog, the Web 2.0 workshop discusses blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, social networking and other online tools dubbed as “Web 2.0.”

The Web 2.0 workshop will be available at www.AtomicLearning.com/k12/web20 free of charge until November 30. For a complete list of Atomic Learning workshops, visit www.AtomicLearning.com/workshops. "

I've GOT to check this out!

[TIPS] Are you living a sustainable lifestyle?

Many thanks to Jeff Zeiders for sharing this with me.

http://sustainability.publicradio.org/consumerconsequences/

This is a flash-based activity (game? NO! Can't call it that!) that asks you about your living practices and tells you how sustainable this lifestyle is for the Earth in the long run. VERY interesting, whether you agree with the  results or not. It asks questions about your home, your utilities, your transportation, and more. VERY interesting.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

[TIPS] Cutting the Crap from Student iMovies

Many thanks AGAIN to Sue Sheffer for sharing this one with me via email.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbVSYJ-I8x8

This movie starts out talking about a student's movie or wiki that was SO good.. but which no longer exists because of copyright violations. Yep, been thre. Done that., Got the t-shirt, right? But then it goges on to talk about how easy it is to AVOID this problem.

Watch this video (or paste the url into http://www.zamzar.com/url and download it. Keep it hand for when you start a project with your students. You MUST address copyright with them. Oh, and don't forget this cute movie about copyright that might be a good lead-in for it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJn_jC4FNDo

[TIPS] What do the college kids know about this stuff

David Warlick wrote a post a while back (sorry, I can't find it to link to it)  in which he mentioned being in a room with about 300 college students, almost none of them who knew what he meant by web 2.0, or "the read-write" web. I can now add my voice to that and say that I just had a similar experience. I was at the California University of PA campus on Thursday and I had a chance to speak to literally tens of.. students :-/ who were education majors. A few had blogs (facebook) but not one read a blog for professional development, not one had used a wiki and only a few knew of wikipedia. When I showed a few tools on the web they were as blown away by them as the veteran teachers that I've worked with in the past. So, if there is a course on technology integration, it does not include the new tools. And I don't mean to imply that this is unique in ANY way to CUP. I'm SURE it's not.

What can we do about this? We've got Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay and others collaborating with classrooms from around the world. We've got Chris Lehman showing his students uStream.tv and backchanneling with Skype. We've got Kristin Hokanson and her teachers making a wonderful wiki on Latin America. We've got student newspapers being published using Joomla. We've got kids participating in Megaconference JR. And, we've got kids graduating as would-be teachers who know little more than the stand up and lecture modus operandi. Meanwhile, PA  is pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into the Classrooms for the Future program to show teachers OTHER ways to organize their classes and get kids involved in collaborative lessons.

There has GOT to be a way to get higher ed involved with this movement, don't you think? How?

 

Saturday, November 03, 2007

[TIPS] An experimental school

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15322289&ft=1&f=1013

How about this - a school with no classes, and no teachers. What do you think?

"The feeling is comfortable. There is a hum of constant conversation, none of the screaming and yelling heard in a traditional school. Kids are free to move about the school, so there's no need for hall passes or for teachers to patrol the hall. And there's no need to send kids to the office."

This reminds me of the IBM school in the late 1940's in which Mr Watson put a group of brihgt students into a room that contained lots of electronic equipment, lots of chemical equipment, and lots of other equipment. Teachers were there to make sure the kids didn't hurt themselves. The kids eventually drifted to one area or another, depending upon their interest. EVERY student in that school ended up becomming a major player, or CEO, or inventor, or leading scientist in his/her adult life. I remember hearing this story on NPR one time but I cannot find it again to save my soul.

This isn't anything that is replicable in a large scale, to be sure. But, does it show that kids will learn in spite of the teachers? Does it show that all we need to do is expose them to lots of different things and they will drift naturally to the one that interests them the most? How the heck can we test THAT? :-)

Read the story. What do you think (besides the fact that it's not something that we can do in large scale?)

[TIPS] What do you do when this happens?

We all hear things like, "We can't do that here. What if something comes up that's inappropriate?"

I've got two posts for you to read. You know Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davis, right? They're the two behind the Horizon Project (http://horizonproject.wikispaces.com/), and The Flat Classroom Project, (http://flatclassroomproject.wikispaces.com/)  and others. They're now in the middle this wonderful collaborative project that pairs two schools in Georgia and Quatar. I hope you're following their progress.

But, what happens when one of the tools you've been using suddenly shows an inappropriate ad? Before you read the two articles, try to answer the question. What would you do?

Now read these:  http://123elearning.blogspot.com/2007/11/straw-camel-and-ning.html and http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/2007/11/how-flat-classroom-project-almost-died.html. What bothers me is that the project DID almost die on the vine - or at least the use of that particular tool.

I love this excerpt:

Oh, the walled garden people are going to say,

             "Yes! Walled Garden! Walled Garden!"

I say to them,

              "Raise a bubble boy for 18 years and take him to the mall... he won't live a week!"

How best to reach me

I can't begin to tell you the struggles we've had trying to resolve the issues that MANY folks are having trying to email me. These are legitimate emails, many being replies to my own original posts. Yet, our filter is blocking them, sometimes even after whitelisting them. ARGH!!

That puts this image of my inbox in a particularly funny perspective.


So, it would appear that the best way to reach me is to try to sell me some Viagra at low-low prices. :-)

[TIPS] The Last Lecture

First, my apologies to the person who posted this in your blog, as I didn't make note of it and I can't find it again.

http://www.cmu.edu/homepage/multimedia/randy-pausch-lecture.shtml

I can't even begin to imagine who this must be like for Dr Pausch. At the time this was made he knew he had maybe two or three more months TO LIVE. He was dying of liver cancer. He had an opportunity to give one last lecture. This is it. It's called his, "Childhood Dreams Lecture."

Watch it.

I LOVED his "second head fake" at the end.

[TIPS] why can't WE do this?

 
Meanwhile, many of our districts can't even read this post - nor HIS, as they are blocked as somehow being bad.
 
But, I want you to read this. Print it out. GIve it to someone in your district who might also appreciate reading it. Who knows. Do you believe in miracles?
 
:-)

Friday, November 02, 2007

[TIPS] Eye-Fi - looks VERY interesting!

http://www.eye.fi/

Thanks to K. Willson for sharing this with me via email. It looks like a VERY cool invention. It will automatically upload your digital pictures to any of a host of different sites as soon as you take the picture! Watch the demo movie on that page to learn more.

The only thing I could not determine is if your cell phone plan must be a data plan for this to work. I would think it WOULD, but it didn’t say. I’m sure it would eat into your minutes, though. Still, what a VERY cool idea, yes?