This will change EVERYTHING we know about our life in our solar system. It will change the way our earth and space teachers teach. This is... almost beyond words in its leap into the future and what it does for our understanding of the universe. Here is the descriptive paragraph from the Ted site itself:
"Science educator Roy Gould and Microsoft's Curtis Wong give an astonishing sneak preview of Microsoft's new WorldWide Telescope -- a technology that combines feeds from satellites and telescopes all over the world and the heavens, and weaves them together holistically to build a comprehensive view of our universe. (Yes, it's the technology that made Robert Scoble cry.)" (http://scobleizer.com/2008/02/27/what-made-me-cry-microsofts-world-wide-telescope/)
And that paragraph doesn't do it justice. This will be available this spring. It'll be free at http://worldwidetelescope.org
Send this to every science teacher you know. Oh, my suggestion is that you download the video to watch it, rather than try to stream it.
Oh my... SO VERY MUCH to learn. Imagine the kids who are going into second or third grade next year and how they will come to learn about the universe.
And I thought I felt insignificant just looking at our own Milky Way!
Friday, February 29, 2008
Darren Drapper (The guy behind the “Paying Attention” video) has been conducting Open Professional Development sessions for some time. He uses the social tools to teach ABOUT the social tools and it’s been an amazing success, with people from around the world tuning in to participate.
That link includes a video he just released that talks about this efforts and includes clips from those who have been participating.
Something to think about… we’ve got the tools to collaborate and learn ANYTIME and ANYWHERE. When we think about education in 100 years will it be some form of this model?
Thursday, February 28, 2008
This just in... http://www.ncs-tech.org/?p=1170
Two things about this post. First, there's the google sites news itself. This looks incredible! Note the google pages site - this is... well, read Jarrett's post and then go check it out for yourself.
The second thing about this is how I first heard about it. I went to Twitter to find someone to ask a question and I read his "tweet" about this post.
Y' gotta luv it!!!
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I’m a lucky man – for many reasons. But one reason is that I’ve been lucky enough to have found some excellent blogs written by some excellent educators. I’ve written about Anne Smith before. I won’t bother linking to all the posts I’m written that mentioned her and her students. But, here’s another great assignment that she gave to her students.
English teachers, take note of this one. I’d LOVE to hear what you think about it. Send it along to your favorite English teacher. I think they’ll appreciate the thought.
Anne’s post also pointed me to another teacher’s blog and I really enjoyed this post: http://21cgaffney.blogspot.com/2008/02/my-guilty-conscience.html
See what you think.
You get a phone call from a man with a heavy Indian accent. He says that he accidentally withdrew $480 from your account and he’s SO VERY sorry. But, the honest chap will gladly put it back. All he needs to make it happen is your bank account number.
PLEASE tell me that you wouldn’t fall for that. NO WAY, right?
Well, give this a listen. http://consumerist.com/360921/man-records-phishing-call It’s almost 9 minutes, but you’ll get the idea after just a couple, I’m sure.
YOU may be smart enough to avoid these scams, but your son or daughter or parent who is new to the web may NOT be. PLEASE have “The Talk” with them. Tell them that even if it IS true that they got your money, it’s cheaper to let them have it than to risk divulging your account number.
I'll have a guest author assigned to my blog who will take notes and moderate the coveritlive chats, making them public when appropriate. We'll just have to see how it works with the filter. It may end being a total flop - which is why I'm not telling anyone but you. ;-)
So, come back here on Tuesday if you'd like to try this out with us. Who knows, someone may even hold an audio skype call so others can hear, too. But, the important thing here is to see how this works.
This is where it will be. Want a reminder? Fill in the form there. Y' gotta LUV it!
Friday, February 22, 2008
This one isn't about education or discovery or technology or about ANYTHING - except fun. These two jugglers are flat out amazing - and pure fun.
When you get a few minutes for yourself, watch it. I laughed out loud and even applauded.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
This one came to me in the "Neat New Stuff" mailing. Sign up for yourself at, http://marylaine.com/neatnew.html
- - -
From the site:
"If you're tired of using the same old search box on your local library website for research projects, it might be time to broaden your horizons. Try out one of these in-the-works betas sponsored by world-class libraries around the world. From academic libraries like that at MIT or renowned research centers like the Library of Congress, the following beta research tools feature innovative tricks to connect you with the most relevant, valid results on the Internet and in their card catalogs. Melvil Dewey would be proud."
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
For the fourth time this week I have received an email in which my name appeared - along with about 100 others - in the TO: field of the email. This is a DEFINITE no-no!
If you need to send an email to a lot of people there are lots of ways of doing that while still protecting their privacy. In the to: field, put your OWN email address, for example. Then, in the BCC (NOT the CC) field, put all the other addresses, That way nobody else will see all those addresses.
Have you ever received a forward from someone and you've had to scroll down through several pages of headers that contained dozens and dozens of email addresses? Talk about a spammer's dream!
There is a website (that I've mentioned before) called ThanksNo (http://www.thanksno.com) that you might consider sending to the person who puts your email address in with all those others for all to see. The site does a nice - polite- job of telling the person what they did something wrong. It isn't quite as firm as I'd prefer, but it's a good start. So, simply reply to that person and include the address listed above. That way your own frustrations don't come out in the tone of your email when you reply to tell them to remove your name from their list if they're going to INSIST on ... er. well.. you see what I mean. :-)
This is NOT just a pleasantry. It's not a LAW, either. But, it IS proper email etiquette that everyone SHOULD abide.
This is a brief article, but an interesting one. It's probably something that we've all been thinking - or maybe even saying to anyone who would listen. That is, NCLB is punishing schools for the problems of our society. Is there an achievement gap? Yes. Is it the fault of the schools? Read the brief article for one man's opinion.
Monday, February 18, 2008
"Teachers, do you dream of a learning resource that will grab your students’ attention and engage them as thoroughly as the video games they play at home and on their mobile phones? Are you looking for a classroom resource that will motivate your students to apply science and math concepts to real world problems? Would you like to spark your students interest in pursuing a career in Science or Engineering?Enter the world of PowerUp, a free, online, multiplayer game that allows students to experience the excitement and the diversity of modern engineering!
Playing the game, students work together in teams to investigate the rich, 3D game environment and learn about the environmental disasters that threaten the game world and its inhabitants.
Players meet Expert Engineer characters and experience the great diversity of the field. Conversations with these experts and engaging interactive activities allow players to explore ways engineers design and build systems to harness renewable energy sources as alternatives to burning fossil fuels.
Players take on the role of Engineers, working together designing and building energy solutions to save the world. "
Saturday, February 16, 2008
I think most of the folks who read blogs have already seen these videos, but I know some haven't. And, I keep thinking that I've mentioned them before so when I want to find them I search for them in my blog and can't find them. So, this is for you AND for me.
This blog is quite good. You'll want to check it out for the posts. But the reason I'm pointing you here is for his videos. This page shows one of them, but if you look on the right side of the page you'll see links to his others. Take some time to watch them all. They include 1620, 42, 180, and "Cut and Paste." Which one stayed with YOU the longeset after you saw them all?
Friday, February 15, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Friday, February 08, 2008
Who says Twitter is useless? (Ok… but I won’t say it any longer!) Today I had it running while I was working and a twit came through from kjarrett which pointed me to this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjq41_HETdU
It’s the “Exploding Walls” video produced by Mr Mayo and his 8th grade English students. Take a look. It does a nice job of showing the effectiveness of using today’s tools to open up learning – OUTSIDE the walls of the school.
Nice job, kids! As Pink Floyd would say, “Tear down the wall!”
Reminder to teachers: Youtube blocked? Paste that video’s address into the field in step 1 here: http://www.zamzar.com/url/ and in step 2 choose mov (or whatever format you wish). Give it your email address and it will convert the video to your format and send you a link where you can download it.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Thanks to a post from Tim Lauer (http://timlauer.org/2008/02/06/sharing-formsspreadsheets-in-google-docs/) I learned about the new forms in Google Spreadsheets. Instead of having to share the spreadsheet with the contributors (a real problem if you're talking about students with no email accounts) you can instead create an online form which can be used by the students to enter the data. VERY cool!!
It was VERY easy to create, too. It knew my column headings and the data types I wanted. But, I could choose to make the form have multiple choice values or check boxes, etc. You can even have it so that users can see the data that was entered by others. I sent the form to myself, both to my gmail account and to my work account. It worked perfectly in the gmail account. I entered the data right into the form that appeared IN the email (that was an option to send it that way) and <Presto!> it went right into the spreadsheet.
However, it did add a field called "Date and Time Stamp" and it moved everything over one column - from that row on. So, anything that was in the spreadsheet already is no longer lined up correctly. I managed to insert a column, move some data, and repair the form, and now it works just fine. But, the moral of the story is, if you're going to use a form, START with the form!
Oh, and if you've got an iGoogle portal page, you can drop the forms gadget onto that iGoogle page to monitor your form data. That is VERY cool!!
Remember the days when your students would each do an experiment and write their data onto their own spreadsheets? Can you see how this can REALLY add new dimensions to the labs?
This is SO much fun!
1) Don't practice on live/real data.
2) No matter what you do you can fix it
3) If you want to use a form, START with the form to get the columns aligned correctly.
4) I hope the person who invented Undo is filthy rich!
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Thanks to Shaun who alerted me to the fact that the category may be gone, but the content is still there. And it is.
SO, issuu.com is OUT. At least for the foreseeable future until we hear that it’s cleaned up its act.
Sorry ‘bout that, folks.
Many thanks to Bryan MacLeod for sharing this one with me via email.
This TV station site has a little survey on this page which asks you your views on several issues. You choose your views, then it will tell you which candidate most closely matches those views. How's THAT for a cool starter with the students? It will be interesting to ask them to write down who they'd vote for, then take this survey, then tell whether or not the poll matched their candidate. This would be good for adults, too, wouldn't it?
I just saw this in Cliotech's del.icio.us links. http://lifehacker.com/339474/top-10-obscure-google-search-tricks
Some of these I HAD seen before, but most I had not. Check out how to convert money, find out time in another city, compare items, and MUCH more. VERY cool tricks.