What the World Eats

An interesting photo essay from Time that shows you the food eaten by families all over the world along with the grocery bill for one week and their favorite foods. It’s pretty interesting and would make a good way to expose students to other cultures, explore geography, talk about economics and even get into some health related concerns. It worries me how much Coke the family in the picture above is drinking in a week and the amount of processed food some of the families eat is kind of scary as well. I’m not a health food nut so I imagine my own groceries would look as bad all piled up. That might make for an interesting project. Have your students bring the receipt from a weekly grocery trip in and compile a digital image full of all the food their family bought. It’d make for an interesting conversation starter. You could also graph the results, total how many bags of potato chips, how many gallons of Coke were bought. It’d be a great project to do collaboratively in Google Spreadsheets and then export to Swivel for graphing and manipulation If you wanted to go the extra yard it’d be fun to calculate the total calories and the amount of exercise needed to burn them- how many miles of running, […]

Continuing Millennials Comic Book

So I’m up to page 4 on the Millennials comic book which is what I’m using to brainstorm and story board for a movie I’ll be making for our teachers. It’s below if you’re interested. If you’d like the whole set click here. Click on the image for the larger version.


Free Screencast From Your Browser!

Screencast-O-Matic Amazing and free! This ought to make a lot of people happy and I like the social aspect of free hosting/sharing of screencast. The whole deal is a pretty neat trick using Java. Screencast-O-Matic is the free and easy way to create a video recording of your screen (aka screencast) and upload it for free hosting all from your browser with no install! The length is limited to 15 minutes but really that’s a good thing. I’d keep it way under 15 if at all possible. Link via Kevin J. Amboe


Whirligig MyMap Evolution Continues

So I’ve added a lot more to the Whirligig map since last time. It turned out to be an awesome choice for this project. Talk about a project that requires a close reading! I spent more time with this short book than I care to admit to. Almost everything in the Whirligig was accurate. It’s worth checking out the San Diego area for pure insanely psychotic detail and there’s some fun links scattered throughout as well as some great CC photos from Flickr. I crammed the map in below using MyMapsPlus which allows you to put the maps you create on other sites. It’s better in the larger view here. The interesting thing I mentioned to kids was that all the photos were from the actual places. I briefly presented the file to students in three classes and tried to stress that this was all real and it seemed to add an some additional dimension to the novel (I’m hoping next year they make their own files). The students seemed to like what this added to the book and it led to some good questions and some wasted time. Some of the kids couldn’t handle the blood alcohol calculator I linked to. There was also a decent amount of students looking up their houses. I don’t have a problem with […]

What Education Should Be Like

IMG_5978.JPG Originally uploaded by woodward98 Two semi-philosophical posts in a row. I’m very sorry. I’ll get back on track soon, I promise. I took this picture of my son a while back. We found what a Flickr commenter tells me is a luna moth caterpillar. To me it embodies everything education should be. It was real. It was exciting. It was hands on. It made an impression. It was fun. To top it off, the social nature of the Internet and commenting gave us another avenue to explore and that led to more learning. He still remembers it today and this experience increased his interest in animals and nature. I wonder how often this happens for students in school?

Yet Another Reason Your Filter is Useless (or neat trick to post to jaiku, wordpress or twitter)

The first part of this post is actually useful. The second part is just me venting about the wrong application of time and energy that is, all too often, school filtering. So I started using Jaiku (like Twitter but with the ability to aggregate all your feeds and a few other neat tricks). Jaiku was blocked pretty quickly at school as a personal/dating site for some reason. I’ve stopped trying to guess the rationale behind certain things. I’ve been using Jott. This free service that allows me to call a number, say who I want to send the message to, dictate and that person (mostly myself) gets a text email of what I said and a link to the audio file as well. I highly recommend it.) Driving to work listening to net@night about egorcast which allows me to use Jott to post text to jaiku, twitter and wordpress– all with a simple phone call. So now I can post to a blocked site without even typing. Now if I could touch text with my phone imagine the fun I could have. This is the kind of flexible communication that schools are trying to stop. It has always been a losing battle but more so as phones and free services take it to the next level. I’ve heard way too […]

Seal Generator

Click and create official looking seals (no bad puns please) of various sorts. It’s easy, quick and fun. You can also order them on magnets which could make for some fun games and ways to decorate your classroom (or house). You can have a lot of fun with this in History and English for sure. I made up one for edubloggercon 2007 just for kicks. I’d like to see emblems for Greek gods, different literary characters, accurate presidential buttons, commemorative badges for battles etc.

Moving On…

I have some good news. I have accepted a job as a technology resource teacher in a local high school. I start in August, and I am so happy I’m bordering on giddy. The school is in the same county as Byrd (where Tom and I currently work), and Tom and I expect to collaborate on some new projects. As you know from previous posts, our middle schools students work on iBooks. Our high schoolers, on the other hand, work on Dells. This will be a challenge for me. I haven’t work on a Windows machine in quite a while, so this is a call for help. I need to know the places to go to find interesting 3rd party software and freeware. How have you modified your machine to maximize your time and productivity? If you are working on two different platforms (Mac/PC), how do you live in these two different worlds with some sense of harmony? Any advise would be relished!

Google Maps Street View

Another pretty amazing option in Google Maps. You now have the “street view” option in addition to map, satellite and hybrid views. This view appears to be a real street level view of the city’s streets that you can advance incrementally (using the arrows you see). Talk about a great way to give your students a view of a particular novel or historical location. It appears to be just major cities right now but it’s pretty impressive. via Digg