State of the Union Address Tag Cloud

I thought we posted on this last year.  Jason Griffey takes The State of the Union address and remixes the top 75 words into a tag cloud.  Now that he’s done it two years in a row, it could be an interesting look at the state of affairs over the last two years. 2008 Address 2007 Address via BoingBoing


Reading of Constitution/Declaration

Debra Jean Dean, a voiceover artist, has released a creative commons reading of both The Constitution and The Declaration of Independence.  Beautifully read, totally free to share, cut, and remix with attribution. The Constitution The Declaration via BoingBoing 


My Secret Shame (best of twitter 1-30-08)

Well not so secret anymore- here are some interesting quotes I pulled from Twitter* today. They are at a conference and may be quoting others so please excuse any misattributions. Perhaps we should define digital fluency not in terms of *being* (what I am) but in terms of *doing* (what I can do, and habitually do). Gardner Campbell I liked it because it puts the onus on the individual to “do” what they need to do, not hide behind nonsense like “being” digital immigrants. Now, to what extent does what you “do” impact who you are? Are they the same? Does it matter? On training vs. education: would you want your child to have sex education or sex training? Kevin Creamer That echoes my hatred for the word trainer at my old job and the idea of getting together to have “trainings” for teachers. I tended to start what I called conversations with “This is not a training. You are not seals . . . ” Great line from Glenda Morgan: Jesuit approach to faculty development. We don’t want their projects; we want their souls! Gardner Campbell Exactly, but you can/should expect people to be careful with their souls and less careful with projects. Are projects the route to faculty souls? (Is the love of money the root of all […]

Interactive Introduction to the Human Body

National Geographic has an amazing interactive look at the brain, heart, digestive system, lungs and skin. You can stimulate the brain with a variety of inputs and see what part of the brain reacts. The heart can be “put through the paces”, the digestive system fed, and the skin aged. You can even trigger an asthma attack in the lungs. Each section looks at anatomy, function, and ills. This could be the centerpiece of some great student-centered exploration in a health or science class. via BoingBoing


Technology Mistakes

This question on the MACUL Ning space got me thinking (you may be wondering why I’m part of a Michigan edtech group when I live in VA- answer Ben Rimes). As a School Board Trustee in Lapeer Community Schools(6500 students) I am very excited about passing our first Bond in 34 years!!! With the passage were looking at $6,000,000 for technology. The big question now is…where do we spend the money and how do we get the biggest bang for our taxpayers hard earned dollars. Certainly we are involving the teachers, administration, students,etc…but I dont want to just dump computers and white boards in every class only to see them sitting in the corner not being used. Has anyone observed mistakes when purchasing technology, or have any success stories about implementing teachnology in their schools? So here’s my two cents based on my experience in Henrico county with our 1 to 1. It’s not exactly coherent or ordered but I think there’s some truth in there. Am I missing things? Too paranoid? Plain wrong? I think these concepts seem to get left behind or only partially implemented far too often. 1. Staff development– this isn’t just how to use the computer/white board etc. (although that is important) the focus should be on why you’d want to use it, ways to […]

Periodic Table Printmaking Project

Here’s another example of art meeting science. A group of printmakers from all over the world created individual prints (using a variety of mediums) to create a periodic table. This might be a great cross-curriculum project. You could also apply this idea to math formulas and scientific/physical laws. via Neatorama


Harper’s Weekly – Weekly Review

Looking for a way to get your students thinking about current events, how the US is not the only place on Earth and have it all in a nice humorous weekly package? Where else will you get a mix of Chinese communists, Australian Aborigines and German polar bears in one paragraph. It’s also all properly referenced so you can easily send students out to the source material (although that didn’t transfer well through the copy and paste). Check out (email subscribable) the Weekly Review from, fittingly, Harper’s Weekly. The Chinese government expelled more than five hundred people from the Communist Party for violating the country’s one-child policy, South Asia was suffering from severe food shortages, and the Australian government refused to provide compensation to Aborigines (who until 1967 were governed under flora and fauna laws) who were stolen from their parents as children. Keepers at the Nuremberg Zoo, under criticism for allegedly allowing polar bear mothers to eat and abandon their young, announced that they would hand-rear an at-risk cub but also made clear that they do not want a repeat of the Berlin Zoo’s Knut-mania. -Harper’s Weekly The authors vary so does the quality but it’s usually a really interesting and subtly linked variety of news from all over. It’d make for some interesting conversation just talking about why […]

Feel Like Going to TED?

There’s a TED Conference pass for sale on EBay. It’s now at $32,000 (starting price was $10,000 and it’s gone up $9,000 since I looked last night). Bidding ends on February 3rd so you’ve still got time. If you haven’t watched the TED conferences they are up for free on iTunes (video or audio) or the TED site. I’d check them out for three reasons. There are some great talks relating directly to education There are tons of options to pull these videos into class to introduce or enrich any subject you can think of This is a perfect chance to watch some really spectacular presentations and look for ways to use their techniques and style in your delivery


Today’s Lesson: A Learner is a Learner

Our county has adopted Exam View Pro for assessments this year. Every middle and high school teacher has been trained on how to use the software, and they were asked to create their exams on it for this first semester. We have been using Exam View’s Test Center as a host for the tests. Tuesday, as (conservatively) 8,000 middle school students and 5,000 high school students tried to access their respective tests, the who system started to, well, crap out. Error messages were flying. My inbox started puking out emails from panic-stricken teachers, and the phone outside my office starting “cooing” at me. Now, I feel I’m a competent troubleshooter, so when I started making rounds to see what was going down, I figured the mantra that I have lived by this year (“Easy Fix”) would come into play as usual. Then I saw the first classroom of computers with database error messages cutting through the screen. They reminded me of many of my misplaced bits of code that sent the blogs I have customized into a tizzy. This mess was totally out of my hands. No “Easy Fix”. Before I let the panic set in as I told the teacher there was nothing I could do, but I would report it to our Technology Department, I remembered something I […]