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The Humanity of a S.S. Officer

When I taught The Cage by Ruth Minsky Sender over the past few years, my students found it difficult to understand the compassion of one of the guards in the story. They couldn’t see these beastly men and women in a kind light. We had wonderful conversations about how someone could be both joyful and […]

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Rap for English

I’ve been playing around with the idea of doing a blog for my middle school focusing on using rap lyrics to get at daily oral language and to build vocabulary. I think the potential is definitely there. I’m worried about two things. Can I come up with material consistently enough to make it worthwhile for […]

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A 6 Word Story and A 4 Slide Sales Pitch

I heard an amazing graphic designer say something about loving restrictions because they force creativity (a great podcast from SXSW). That’s something we ought to use, as well as do, in teaching. So let’s start by restricting the students . . . 6 Word Stories This is a great way to get students focused on […]

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Bob Dylan weighs in on fussy Dells

A little creative communication I put together for my teachers and students. I wanted to remind them of the cardinal rule of a PC: If it’s not working right, try restarting your computer. Click the picture below for my video. The link to the site I created this on is under the pic. Make your […]

Wikipedia Mindmap – more data visualization!

Wiki Mind Map.org This is a really cool free site that’d be great to use in the classroom. You pick a topic from wikipedia and it creates an interactive mind map of the content. Click on the pluses and topics expand. You can even change the “center” topic of the map on the fly. Lots […]

Exhibit and Data Visualization

The kind and brilliant folks at MIT have come out with a new Exhibit API that allows for more flexibility and power. The bonus is that it looks good doing it. I’ve now revised my Google spreadsheet fed history example to use some of the new power. It’s here if you’re interested. In the end […]

Magic Bullets Don’t Exist

Techlearning has an article that was passed around our school email celebrating Eight More Reasons for Technology in Education. After reading it, I’m feeling a little like the crab in the photo above. Now you may have noticed that I?m a fan of technology in education but I feel this list is, for the most […]

Mock Powerpoints

I don’t know who did it but there’s a great bad powerpoint version of the Gettysburg Address. It summarizes the points in an effective, and humorous way. The students would create the notes the speech makers would need, set the agenda etc. Everything a really bad business powerpoint user would need. This is a great […]

Google Earth – The Next Level

I found this KMZ file the other night. It’s really the greatest Google Earth file I’ve ever seen. It’s tracking bird flu but it’s doing it through, time, space and evolution. It creates a three dimensional representation of the changing aspects of the virus as it moves from carrier to carrier and place to place. […]