If I Were A Pompous White Man

I know a lot of people have already responded to “If I Were A Poor Black Kid” but no one did it in quite the mocking way I’d hoped for so, as usual, I gave it a shot when I probably should have let it go. I started off angry and just became more depressed the more I broke it down. There were some possible points in his article but it’s wrapped in such stupidity and arrogance that they’re not worth delineating. __________________________________________________________________ I am not a pompous white man.1 So life is easier for me. But that doesn’t mean that prospects are impossible for pompous white men. I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that the pompous white man should be content with saying obnoxious things to the people in his general physical location. I believe the pompous white man should broadcast his ignorance to the far corners of the globe so that no one is in doubt. Even a poor black kid in West Philadelphia. It takes egotism. It take banality. It takes an online site dedicated to other pompous white people. It takes the help of people who should know better. It takes the arrogance to enjoy coming across as a pompous jerk who knows little about education and less about technology. If I were a pompous […]

Daily Shoot Meets #VSTE

We were looking to do something to get participants more involved in documenting the VSTE conference this year. Essentially what we decided to do was create a random assignment generator and aggregate that content to a Posterous blog. We’ll work on our Tebowing skills but all in all it feels like it worked pretty well. Given that we only had three people 1 tag anything with #vste2011 on Flickr we had pretty good participation. The goal was to try to keep the assignments really small and quick. We tried to mix opportunities for serious stuff in with a fair amount of fun things. I believe this was originally worked in as part of a QR code activity. I’m not sure if that hurt things. I saw multiple people struggling to get QR codes to work at a few other sessions where a tinyURL would have done a much better job. I’d describe how I used Google to find a php script or two that would allow me to randomize some text to make the page I used but . . . if I’d be thinking more clearly I’d have just used WordPress to do this. I also tacked on a Google Form to allow for the submission of additional project ideas (WordPress comments would have been simpler). No fuss, no […]

My Take on #DS106

I recently tried to present something on #ds106 and MOOCs in general at VSTE. It’s probably best it wasn’t filmed. I’m going to try to present something more coherent in writing.1 This will be a description of what made this course work for me although I believe it could be generalized at least some to the world as a whole. My description of #DS106 was essentially an online course2 meets Woodstock. You take a guided online experience and mix it with both chaos and, more importantly, community. At the core, this is all about community. I’ll play out a few of the things that seem to indicate that to me. Mechanical Aggregation DS106 seems to have the semi-mythical eduglu working. People are writing in all sorts of places with a variety of clients and it’s being captured in a way that encourages both commenting, community, and creativity. The synchronous aspect of this course is important and one that is encouraged and leveraged by being able to display both content and comments in one space with very little effort on the user. It’s a really interesting world when we can both have a “room of our own” and aggregate to communal place. It doesn’t take a room of Java developers or a million dollar a year site license for the shiniest […]


Common Tools, Irregular Uses

Files Screenshots Word – Onion Skinning Comic Templates – Word/PPT PPT – Visual Timer Excel – MadLibs style Excel – Code breaker Excel – Self-Checking Crossword Puzzle Google Forms – Choose Your Own Adventure (Spreadsheet) Google Earth – Choose Your Own Adventure Excel – Easy HTML Formatting WordPress – Dictionary, Audio Repository, student newspaper etc.


Google Form as Choose Your Own Adventure Tool

Just a quick proof of concept for a session I’m doing at VSTE. I’m trying to show how you can use most things in all sorts of ways despite what they were intended to do. Apparently the example Google put out for this way back when actually used choose your own adventure to demo the concept. I promise I didn’t know that. Embedded below is a simple example of a choose your own adventure story using the branch logic options in Google forms. It’s a little hard to keep the pages straight at first but it gets easier as you go. Were I doing something large, I’d probably have to map it out first. Loading…

All My Cars are Immigrants

I heard this line coming home. My drama need a passport. All my cars are immigrants.1 How could I not make a poster for Gucci Mane and adding a whole slew of immigrant cars? I’m sure he meant he had a lot of Kias. 1 Language and themes in this song are questionable if you aren’t keeping straight gangsta.

VSTE Conference Presentations

I’ll be updating this post as I pull the content together. These are presentations I’m doing at VSTE this year. Common Tools, Uncommon Uses Take a sideways look at educational uses for common tools and websites. Projectile motion in Word? Google forms for a choose-your-own-adventure novel? Yep. Stuff like that. This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list and the goal is more about encouraging people to look at these tools and realize that no matter the goal of the creators/marketers we can use them in all kinds of powerful ways that were never intended. I think in the end, I’m going to organize it by concept and show multiple applications that support those concepts. SCREENSHOTS Movie frames for comics Capture motion data Summarize movies PPT Visual timer ComicLife/Mind Mapping Choose Your Own Adventure EXCEL Text manipulation Self-Correcting Crossword Puzzle MadLibs 8 bit graphic design WORD Onion skinning to map motion DIY ComicLife, Omnigraffle etc. GOOGLE FORMS Choose your own adventure Intelligent assessments WORDPRESS/BLOGS MOOCs: Define and Applied to K12 Massive Online Open Courses are catching on. What are they and what can K12 teachers learn from them? Both professional development and concrete classroom applications will be explored After I explain what a MOOC is and show a few examples that might be interesting for K12 educators. I’m going to […]

Bloom’s Rocks!

Rocks are going to REVOLUTIONIZE education! Just look how easily rocks cover all levels of Bloom’s! Remembering I write things on my rocks and it helps me remember. I can also use rocks as eco-friendly flash cards. Understanding Comparing my rock to other rocks demonstrates my understanding. Sometime I categorize all of my rocks. Applying I apply what I know about physics and use my kinesthetic intelligence to skip my rock. Analyzing I like to use conglomerates to help me differentiate between components and analyze the role of different composite pieces. Evaluating Sometimes I just sit on a large rock, quietly reflecting on my rock- thinking about how we are all on a large rock and stuff like that. Creating My rock can be used to make many things. I use it as a hammer mostly but I can stack my rocks into cool towers, use it as a canvas, make it into an arrowhead, or use to ground grain.


HCPS’s Path to 21st Century-ish Stuff in 5 minutes

In case you’re feeling masochistic, here’s my 5 minute Ignite style presentation on Henrico’s path to 21st century skills.1 You can see the other 5 min presentations here. It’s an interesting national look at what people are trying to do. I’m always interesting in how these things overlap. 1 Yes, I plan to transition to awkward PPT based comedy in the near future.



I’m at the State Educational Technology Directors Association leadership summit, yet I am clearly not a state director of anything. Nonetheless, it is an interesting place to be and I’ve heard and had a number of interesting conversations. I’m going to attempt to get a few of them down on digital paper before they get too buried in email and other mental garbage. Prior to the conference starting, I had some time to read Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius and it roughly corresponded with seeing another one of those useless top 100 web 2.0 apps for education lists on Twitter.1 Anyway, the point was that the Montessori classroom was structured around choice but carefully selected choice. It went on to discuss that given more choice than they’re prepared for people become overwhelmed and constantly second guess their choice after the fact. I think that happens a lot with technology options. People are presented with all their options when in many cases they just need to choose between three or four that are presented to them. We (HCPS) need to give this some thought with regard to how we structure and display our digital tool options. Clearly, having a sense of control over one’s environment is associated with better learning and performance in children. That was another quote about choice […]