Historical Selfies

These were all focused on historical “selfies” right before disasters but you could do the opposite. I was inspired by the horrible and fascinating Selfies at Funerals Tumblr. You might also be appalled/inspired by Rich Kids of Instagram. I really don’t know quite enough about the selfie/hashtag culture to do this really well. The details with hashtags are what make it interesting and you need to do some research to make it work properly. There is work in humor. Get the Photoshop template here.

RVA Zombie Walk and Internet Karma

I brought my two older boys to the RVA Zombie Walk. It was our first time and it was pretty amazing just how many people participated and how professional many of the costumes were. I wanted to take pictures but I also wanted to be able to give those pictures to the participants if they wanted them. As a result I put a little more effort into metadata than I usually do and I made sure I got the pictures online quickly. My daily Flickr views usually hover around 2,000. You can see just a bit of a spike as a result of the zombie pictures. That’s amusing in certain ways but if lots of views was my aim I’d play a very different game. I do like that the people looking for these particular images were able to find them. What’s more I got some comments on a few of the images from people who knew some additional details. I love those interactions. It’s something that Alan talks about with his True Stories of Openess. Here Bryan talks a bit about the screech he made that impressed me so much. I was also able to point him to another picture I took of him that I liked. It’s not a world changing interaction but I find it fascinating and […]


Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

http://policeforum.org/library/technology/SocialMediaandTacticalConsiderationsforLawEnforcement.pdf Social media strategy guide for law enforcement- Do not allow an over-sensitivity to risk assessment to derail the process of developing social media . There will always be individuals in any organization who focus on the potential pitfalls of a new technology or process. Police leaders should focus on the potential rewards of using social media and then work to mitigate risks. http://t.co/0cLLzO3AN4 http://t.co/0cLLzO3AN4 #hcpsitrt — Tom Woodward (@twoodwar) October 25, 2013 tags: IFTTT Twitter law police socialmedia guide weekly itrt The true story about the woman who sued McDonald’s over hot coffee – Boing Boing “The story of a woman who spilled coffee on her lap and ended up being awarded $2.9 million in a lawsuit against McDonald’s is often cited as THE example of frivolous lawsuits and out-of-control juries. The real story, though, is different from the version you’ve probably heard. For one thing, the woman suffered burns to 16% of her body, some of which were 3rd degree. For another, at the time, McDonald’s served their coffee at a temperature 30 degrees hotter than the stuff that comes out of home coffeemakers. Also the $2.9 million was only the jury-recommended award, based on just two days worth of McDonald’s coffee sales. This New York Times video is an interesting look at the nuance that gets lost […]

Vocabulary Acquisition & Digital Word Walls

Kendall Latham worked with all of our ITRTs this past Friday around best practices in vocabulary acquisition. She gave us a decent overview of the research including the idea that it takes upwards of 13 interactions with a word to make it stick. That’s a lot more interactions than normally happen. We also have a push in a number of schools around word walls. This has the normal mix of decent implementation and compliance implementation. It did start me wondering about ways we might use online word walls to take this to the next level as both a teacher led interaction and as a way to aggregate diverse student content in ways that would be interesting.1 I thought about a range of examples I’ve encountered over time and space that might be educational/inspiring/worth thinking about. General Activities Around Words 2 100 Words – Defective Yeti – a quiz that allows you to select a portion of words from a total and enter your self-created definitions. It then provides a place for you to see your definitions vs the official definitions and decide if you were correct. His tool gives you an embedable “score sheet” but I wonder what could be done with aggregate data in terms of redisplay and in terms of analyzing submissions. It seems it wouldn’t be too […]

This Man Refused to Open His Eyes & Other Web Flotsam

This picture has been default online photograph on a number of services for a while now. Recently a number of people have asked about it. It’s a mugshot from 1920’s Australia. I saw it a good while back. I can’t recall where but there’s something in the futile defiance that has remained interesting to me.   There is a pretty decent way to see the reality of the world of online education by searching Twitter. There will be cursing, plenty of cursing.     The Internet of things is well on it’s way to reality. Hello NewThermostat.     Targeted ads end up doing odd things when you mostly go to Amazon as a result of Boing Boing articles rather than to shop.     Someone somewhere was paid to write this ad copy. English teachers everywhere ought to post it on their walls.     The VADOE is full of malware. You have been warned.


Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

After finishing my degree in philosophy, I needed… – more than 95 theses “After finishing my degree in philosophy, I needed a career. I have no regrets pursuing my MBA at Stanford and in the various experiences that followed from that choice. Would I have done the same thing if I had, say, a trust fund paying my living expenses? Probably not. But I am more of a person today for the intellectual rigor I assimilated at the Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey, or for doing an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. I could list many benefits I gained from these experiences, but I will cite one. The microeconomic modeling and game theory analysis I learned at the Boston Consulting Group has helped me explain developments in the history of music that I would never have understood if I had spent my entire life in the arts. “ tags: weekly blends interdisciplinary arts sciences Business McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: I’m All Caught Up! “Guys, I did it. I did it! I’m caught up! I experienced every show, movie, webisode, album, book, webcomic, podcast, video game, Twitter feed, Tumblr, Instagram, Reddit AMA, and op-ed you guys were telling me I had to check out. Now we can talk about them and I won’t feel like such an outcast when we […]

A Non-Definition of OER

THe following two photographs of slides are from David Wiley’s presentation on open education (which was awesome). I am playing against his definition for a variety of reasons which may become clear as I progress. (1) Any kind of teaching materials- textbooks, syllabi, lesson plans, videos, readings, exams “Teaching materials” are in the eye of the beholder but leading with this phrase puts people in a certain mindset around content and one that is actually harmful. People make fun of “educational” resources for good reason. A large part of what needs to be opened is our ideas around what content might be educational and how we might use that content. (2) Free and unfettered access, and (3) Free permission to engage in the “4R activities“ I won’t argue much with #2, although I do realize I “pay” for access to some of this content when a 3rd party tracks me. While I recognize the importance and goodness of #3, I hate to exclude all the content that falls outside that definition. I’d rather have a larger “house” of content and a few rooms that help people decide what they can do with it. I think it’s actually good that content might be ephemeral and might eventually go away. I am ok that I can’t remix certain things. I still find […]


Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

ActiveLit “Set up your own private area for creating and playing interactive stories and text-based games. Find out more” tags: english tool cyoa chooseyourownadventure writing games creativity itrt weekly McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Why a Gorilla Nanny is the Right Choice for Our Family. Makes for an interesting way to research and write about any animal . . . tags: gorilla nanny McSweeney’s animal creative writing writingprompt english weekly The problem with education? Children aren’t feral enough | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian My children are feral but I’m working on taking them to the next level. I do wonder if it’s less about wilderness per se and more about real experiences. You could probably do many things in the city/suburbs that would engage kids in a similar way. tags: education children feral outdoors freerange itrt weekly The Cursing Stone – Futility Closet This is a serious curse. tags: curse weekly from the top of their head to the soles of their feet, before and behind, within and without. I take from them, and cast down all the good deeds that ever they did, or shall do The Pain and the Glory: Running Iowa’ BIG Competency Based School | ThinkThankThunk tags: thinkthankthunk competency project itrt weekly It’s not about pigeon-holing the project, it’s about being open to […]


Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

The Speed of Sound – Futility Closet “When the Erie Canal was opened on Oct. 26, 1825, the fact was known in New York City, 425 miles away, within 81 minutes. This was before the advent of radio or telegraph. How was it done? Cannons were placed along the length of the canal and the Hudson River, each within earshot of the last. When the crew of each cannon heard the boom of its upstream neighbor, it fired its own gun. As a result, New Yorkers knew within an hour and half that they had a navigable route to the Great Lakes — the fastest news dispatch, to that date, in world history.” tags: speed sound weekly wcydwt math geography history itrt There She Blows! Reading in a Participatory Culture and Flows of Reading Launch Today “Flows of Reading takes this process to the next level. We have created a rich environment designed to encourage close critical engagement not only with Moby-Dick but a range of other texts, including the children’s picture book, Flotsam; Harry Potter; Hunger Games; and Lord of the Rings. We want to demonstrate that the book’s approach can be applied to many different kinds of texts and may revitalize how we teach a diversity of forms of human expression.  We look at many different adaptions and […]