Bob Dylan weighs in on fussy Dells

A little creative communication I put together for my teachers and students. I wanted to remind them of the cardinal rule of a PC: If it’s not working right, try restarting your computer. Click the picture below for my video. The link to the site I created this on is under the pic. Make your own here.

Wikipedia Mindmap – more data visualization!

Wiki Mind Map.org This is a really cool free site that’d be great to use in the classroom. You pick a topic from wikipedia and it creates an interactive mind map of the content. Click on the pluses and topics expand. You can even change the “center” topic of the map on the fly. Lots of cool stuff you could do with this and it’d be a great way to get to those visual learners that don’t respond well to outlines or even static mind maps. Too bad you can’t point it at any mediawiki site. That’d really open up some interesting options in the classroom.

Mock Powerpoints

I don’t know who did it but there’s a great bad powerpoint version of the Gettysburg Address. It summarizes the points in an effective, and humorous way. The students would create the notes the speech makers would need, set the agenda etc. Everything a really bad business powerpoint user would need. This is a great way to really explore a famous speech or historical document. You’d have to really examine the document/speech, the speaker etc. The key would be NOT to have them present for real but demo the presentation to the class explaining why they chose certain aspects of the presentation etc. It’d be a lot of fun and require lots of deep processing to make it funny. I’d love to see a bad powerpoint version of Macbeth’s soliloquy or The Constitution etc.

Back on the Internet Safety Bandwagon

I’m back working on Internet safety stuff. Here are some ideas I’m playing with on searching and source validity. If you see anything I’m missing etc. let me hear it. This is kind of a PR poster for classroom/hallway display. I’m aiming to get students creating them as part of art class or a contest of some sort. Click for a full size PDF This is more for teacher use (and a little less fun). We’re trying to create simple reference sheets for key computer activities so that Internet safety is covered throughout the year. Click for a full size PDF

The Director’s Bureau Special Projects Idea Generator

So The Director’s Bureau Special Projects Idea Generator generates fairly random three word idea strings like the one above – Do-it-yourself levitating animal. This is one of those things that I’d love to use in the classroom because it’s so simple and fun. It’s also flexible in terms of how big or small you’d like it to be. It could kill 10 minutes or be part of a whole unit. This particular generator isn’t really fit for student use because it’ll throw in “erotic” and some other iffy stuff but the teacher could spin the wheel a few times and come up with a great phrase for each week. I’d probably screen grab it or make something visual for the word results- as the packaging does matter. It can then be use for a variety of things. It’d be pretty cool right off as a creative writing or journal prompt but where things would be neat would be in tweaking it to focus on what you’re covering at the time. For instance- Describe the do-it-yourself levitating animal kit using every word from this week’s vocabulary list Write an ad for the do-it-yourself levitating animal creation kit using the bandwagon technique Write two responses to seeing an ad for the do-it-yourself levitating animal kit. In the first one respond in the […]

Web 2.0 Hits the Streets–Graffiti Report Card

Does this sound familiar? You’re driving downtown and see a piece of graffiti that doesn’t quite “tickle your fancy” (as the kids say). You pine to yourself, “Man, I wish I could leave some feedback for that artist. If this were on The Web, I could simply leave a comment.” Well, pine no more. I give you the Graffiti Report Card. Seriously, it excites me to find an example of such a fundamental characteristic of our internet bleed out into real life. It might be fun to create a stylized sticky note template (similar to this one) that would allow students to give feedback on all sorts of things (behavior, performance, product, compassion). Link (via BoingBoing)