“Hop the Pond” for a great illustration
I happened upon this BBC site while tutoring a student last year, and I used it this year in my classes with great success. It’s an interactive activity that shows the student how adjectives and adverbs beef up a simple sentence and change the image the sentence places in our heads. My students loved it, and they really started to understand how descriptive details are often well placed adjectives and adverbs.
I gave a variation of a talk I’ve given before about all the stuff on the web that ought to be considered both educational and open. My rather blurry definition of open is that I can link to it on the Internet without a password- from there it’s degrees of openness towards Nirvana. I may be getting towards some elements that I think matter in the selfies series of links and with the Shorpy photo becoming a writing prompt randomizer thanks to interactions with Luke Neff. They both start to grow and change based on input, then interaction, and then creation. Anyway, there may be some stuff that’s useful to someone and since I went to all the trouble of writing it down I might as well make it visible.
Google spreadsheets now lets you share editing by sending out a custom form. This is a huge deal. No, really. Huge. It solves so many problems I see happening all the time in schools. This is such a great way to get large amounts of information from all sorts of people of varying technical skill levels so you have it one place to manipulate. No need for the hassle of Adobe PDF and the complications of those forms or the need to create custom web forms of various types. It’s free and dead simple. I’m going to use it to collect testing information on programs for our upcoming Vista move. Previously, I was going to use cforms ii (awesome WordPress plug in by the way- especially if you need to fully customize the CSS- see an example I did for the NSDC here– it is real so don’t fill out fake info please). But there’s no real easy way to share that information. You could give people the password to the blog but that’s no always a good thing and the information that’s there is really just for looking at or exporting. I wanted something more dynamic. I think you could write some custom php pages and pull the info out but that’s a hassle and it takes time. I […]
I’ve been on the job for about two months with the staff and have realized one thing: email is dead. I get little to no response when I send a text email to my staff, so I’ve started to play with important messages for my teachers. For instance, I needed them to complete a survey and reminded them with this Bollywood themed message from Bombay TV. It hooked half of the MIA teachers with a good laugh. The staff stopped me for days to talk about it. When I received a run of emails concerning computers were not working, I created a reminder featuring a very young Bob Dylan (previous). The emails subsided, and now many of my teachers are quick to tell me that they have restarted a couple times when their computers are acting up. They just seem to listen better when I can get it across in an entertaining way. I guess some things never change. I know your students tune out the same way we do when something is visually monotonous. We are children of an instant, entertaining culture. So, here’s a suggestion: Think of that one rule in your classroom your kids are still having trouble with the second month of school. Are they standing up to sharpen their pencil while you are leading the […]