Monthly Archives: November 2007

True to his Grammar – Dizzee Rascal

dizzee rascal

Big version here

Probably not much use to U.S.A. teachers but I was listening to a song by Dizzee Rascal (he’s big in the UK – I swear). The phrase “true to his grammar” was too good to resist and there were some great high resolution shots out there. So, once again you get a classroom related rap/English poster.

Remember the whole point is to find interests you and your students share and then leverag them to the hilt. Despite growing up in Alabama, I like rap, always have. If you don’t like rap and you try to fake it things will go very, very badly. This is true of most things in life and in teaching. Faking = bad. (that’s the condensed wisdom of this comment thread)

If rap, or strange UK rap, isn’t for you (or your students) find out what will work for them and you. Then come up with ways to use it. This comes from a guy who used to dress up like a ninja to discuss backing up computers. Strange things work but only if you’re really behind them. Take a risk but make it one you believe in.

On another note- go vote dy/dat for best individual blog and best new blog. If you aren’t reading him, I suggest you start.

2007 EduBlog Award Nominee


Just a quick note that our blog has been nominated for best group edublog 2007. We appreciate the recognition and your support of our project. A year ago, we set out to create a place where instructional technology theory met practical, creative ideas. Your frequent visits and thought-provoking comments are evidence that we have achieved some measure of success. Thanks for stopping by.

More Money, More Problems

Mo Money, Mo Problems

I know it’s been done but I couldn’t resist. I really need gold $ signs instead of pluses and I’m not thrilled overall but it’s better than nothing. Maybe there will be a version 2.0- depends on how much life intervenes.

What would make this a project, something you could use to teach as opposed to just another poster, would be to get your kids making things like these based on the concepts your covering but they choose what pop culture elements to use. They’re then thinking more deeply about the concept in order to figure out the link and they’d be doing it far more frequently (and away from school). It’s like installing a secret little education ninja in their head.

I’m working on a poster that ties together Nietzsche’s ideas regarding “eternal return” and TuPac’s “my only fear of death is reincarnation” quote. But I have to re-read Nietzsche in order to make sure I’ve got it right.

Step Up Yo Vocab

I’ve got to give complete credit to Dan for the idea and the example rap poster. After seeing his great poster of Talib Kweli I had to make some of my own. Both images will link to fairly large jpgs. Dan’s blog is what this one might be if it were better so be sure to pay a visit.

Let knowledge drop

Step up you vocab

While some will take issue with the grammar/spelling (I’m not sure which subject “yo” would fall under)- they’re great lines from the lyrics of both artists (although Jay Z doesn’t actually say that line I’m giving him credit because it’s in his song).

I would have killed to have posters like these back when I was teaching or in the Boy’s & Girl’s Club I worked at. They’re the perfect fit for certain demographics. Granted they won’t fit all places or all teachers. Remember to “keep it real“- which would probably include not using phrases like “keep it real.”

iPod Touch Hack for iCal

I got an iPod Touch as a gift recently and was thrilled. As I started playing around with it I found I really wanted to be able to do more- like some of the stuff the iPhone could do. I especially wanted to be able to add to my calendar on the fly and to take notes.

So the first thing I did was use iJailbreak which required no brains on my part. It’s really just restarting a few times- no coding, no terminal, nothing difficult at all. That got me the iPhone apps and the option to install more programs later (assuming the next update doesn’t kill the iPod).

I still could not add events to iCal and that was nagging at me so I found this hack. All you’re doing is adding one small chunk of xml to a specific plist file (/System/Library/CoreServices/ on your iPod.

That turned out to be fairly easy as well.

  1. I got the IP address for my iPod (under Settings>WiFi>then click the blue arrow to the right of your network)
  2. I opened Cyberduck and opened a new connection using SFTP to that IP with the user name root and the password alpine
  3. I then navigated to /System/Library/CoreServices/ (Cyberduck may open your window in something other than the root view so make sure you start off there)
  4. Out of mild paranoia I copied the plist to my desktop and made a copy of it in case I screwed something up.
  5. Now I had to get that plist out of binary form and into xml that I could edit. I opened up Terminal (Applications>Utilities>Terminal) and typed the following plutil -convert xml1 I then dragged the file to the terminal window (which creates an automatic path to the file) and hit return. You’ll end up with something like plutil -convert xml1 /Users/teacher/Desktop/N45AP.plist if you’re dragging from your desktop. It will seem like nothing happened but it did.
  6. I then opened the plist in SubEthaEdit (I think any text editor will work) and added the lines as shown below, saved the file and quit SubEthaEdit.

  7. I now had to convert it back to binary form so I put the following into Terminal plutil -convert binary1 /Users/teacher/Desktop/N45AP.plist This path to the plist should be the same as the one you used earlier and once again, nothing seems to happen but if you try opening the file with your text editor now you’ll see it’s very different than before.
  8. The final step was sending the modified file back to the iPod using Cyberduck. You should be able to just drag and drop it. Then say it’s ok to overwrite the old file. I then restarted the iPod just to make sure.

It sounds like a lot but it was really easy and now I have what I want (which is what’s really important, right? :))

Standard disclaimer- I’m not saying you should do this. It’s just what I did. You’re an individual and should make your own decisions about your own property.