Digital Content – You keep using that word . . .

See more on Know Your Meme Granted, it’s more than possible I have no idea what “digital content” means either. I may also be the guy walking around arguing that water is wet. The White Whale “Digital content” is what everyone wants as we move towards the magical BYOD-Edu-singularity. What that means is likely very different depending on the person saying it.1 I think you can divide what people mean by digital content into a few major categories. Link Lists – the venerable link list divided by your content label of choice (state standard, topic header, novel, etc.). The “new” version would likely be built using a social bookmarking solution and tagging but it’s the same concept. Context for the resources is minimal if it exists at all. PDF/HTML textbooks – no substantial changes in what we’ve always had but in digital format. The rationale usually involves things like lighter backpacks and the ability to update/correct errors.2 It is a sterile environment where you have to take what you get and integrating additional resources fluidly is difficult. Topical content integration isn’t facilitated. Augmented Textbooks – start with a traditional textbook and replace some of the pictures with movies, add self-grading multiple choice quizzes,3 and some links to internal content. Some simple tools may be integrated (think highlighter, light note taking). […]

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Colonial Research – Ephemera

Beaver Hats Here are examples of hats made of felted beaver fur, because if you ask your students to draw a picture of a beaver hat, you’re likely to get some sort of coonskin monstrosity. (Seriously, you should try that.) Pukestocking, Puke-stocking, Puke Stocking tl;dr – Being called puke-stocking likely has everything to do with fashion instead of seasickness. Despite many sites claiming that Pilgrims were called puke stockings, I can’t find anything substantial to back that up (and now think it means something entirely different anyway). I did find a reference to puke stockings in Shakespeare’s King Henry IV – Wilt thou rob this leathern jerkin, crystal-button, not-pated, agate-ring, puke-stocking, caddis-garter, smooth-tongue, Spanish-pouch,– Which led first to this explanation and then to this one which seems to have some backing. In 1598, when Shakespeare wrote his play, “puke” was a very fine grade of woolen cloth, often used to make stockings as well as other garments. This kind of “puke” first appeared in English in the mid-15th century, derived from the Middle Dutch word “puuc,” meaning “the best grade of cloth.” Interestingly, “puke” cloth was, in Shakespeare’s day, usually dyed deep bluish-black or dark brown, leading to the term “puke color.” This “puke,” however, is unrelated to the brownish-purple color we know today as “puce,” which takes its name […]

Internet Ephemera – Sociology Edition

Statistics Reducing a player’s worth to a single number can be contemptible, says John Thorn, a seminal sabermetric writer and the author of the 1984 book The Hidden Game of Baseball. That book introduced the Linear Weights System, which attaches a value in runs to every offensive event. (For instance, a single when the book was released was worth 0.47 of a run.) Linear Weights System provides the mathematical basis for WAR’s offensive components. Thorn, while supportive of WAR, criticizes the way it is often deployed to end an argument. “The current lowest common denominator of statistical writing is the fixation on comparing Player A with Player B, which seems to me not only worthless but serves to obscure the larger story of baseball,” Thorn says. “Enjoyment of baseball is like enjoyment of art. If you decide it has to have a utilitarian function & you make it seem like work. It’s supposed to be play.” –ESPN Given there aren’t many baseball players, they are already filmed and analyzed from virtually every angle1 in a game that’s relatively simple compared to something like, say, teaching, I don’t have a lot of hope for the assessment of teacher quality working out well. Roger Shank doesn’t make me feel any better. We’re trivializing the idea of evaluating teachers in part because culturally […]

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Internet Detritus – History Continued

Same as it ever was The Massachusetts Body of Liberties 1620 More proof Pilgrams were more interesting than your history book would admit with a hat tip to my own dad for sending the link. No torture . . . unless you’re convicted and we feel like you’re holding something back but we promise not to be “Barbarous” or “inhumane.” 45. No man shall be forced by Torture to confesse any Crime against himselfe nor any other unlesse it be in some Capitall case, where he is first fullie convicted by cleare and suffitient evidence to be guilty, After which if the cause be of that nature, That it is very apparent there be other conspiratours, or confederates with him, Then he may be tortured, yet not with such Tortures as be Barbarous and inhumane. And of course the classics . . . (Deut. 13. 6, 10. Deut. 17. 2, 6. Ex. 22.20) If any man or woeman be a witch, (that is hath or consulteth with a familiar spirit,) They shall be put to death. and (Lev. 24. 15,16.) If any person shall Blaspheme the name of god, the father, Sonne or Holie Ghost, with direct, expresse, presumptuous or high handed blasphemie, or shall curse god in the like manner, he shall be put to death. Notice the Biblical […]


Colonial History Timeline

This was made with Timeline JS and is predominantly dates from the Virginia Standards of Learning USI5 and USI6 but I’m sure this is pretty standard fare for any US history course. I’ve got a fair amount more work to do but things are at least sketched out based on the “required knowledge.” My goal is to have a decent mix of primary source material, video, and links to places with fairly deep content. The difficult thing about making content like this for anyone other than yourself is that the ideas I have about how to use particular items aren’t easily seen by others. Adding a layer of “teacher directions” is fairly odious for me and unless done very, very well it will likely be ignored anyway. For example, I opted to use an image of the Geneva Bible to represent Massachusetts Bay. There’s the obvious ideas around how the colonists tried to use biblical elements to guide all aspects of their life. I was struck by this statement on the cover “With moste profitable annotations upon all the hard places, and other things of great importance as may appeare in the Epistle to the Reader.” The Geneva Bible was seen as the first “study bible” and had extensive margin notes, numbered verses, was likely used by Shakespeare as reference […]

Internet Detritus – History Edition

I have been building out a timeline for US History to 18761 and so have been wandering around the LOC site and other historical places quite a bit. As a result, I have found many things that interest me and may, just may, interest you. Here Be Pirates! cc licensed ( BY SD ) flickr photo shared by bionicteaching via LOC where you can see the whole document. For as much as there coasts have been and still are infected with divers piratical sea rovers and other enemies; whereby sundry depredations, robberies and damages have been done to and committed upon many of the KING and QUEENS majesties liege subjects, and ?, goods and estates to the great impoverishing and hurt of the same. Pirates are always a good thing to work into history and it sure looks like these are essentially taxes to pay for defense from said piratical sea rovers. It makes for a good counterpoint to the Boston Tea Party. Remember that f looking s is not just for decoration- learn about the long s at Wikipedia. Castaway Dental Tips cc licensed ( BY SD ) flickr photo shared by bionicteaching There was just something about the fact that the stranded sailors came back with shining white teeth that amused me. I was also surprised no one […]