Transparent History PNGs
I’ve taken a fair number of public domain photos and dropped the backgrounds so I could use them in various projects. I figured they might be of use to some other people out there. If you click through to the largest image size you’ll find they are decently done (not perfect by any means) but the smaller versions auto generated by Flickr look like COMPLETE garbage. I’m not sure why. But they are PNG files so you can clean them up some more pretty easily if you’d like.
The flickr set is here. Most of the ones up there right now are history related and it’ll likely stay that way for the immediate future.
Here are the things I’d be working into the mix if I were teaching English, government, math/stats or history in this fine political season. Political Bias? Lifehacker pointed out this cool little Greasemonkey script “Memeorandum Colors script colors sites that usually link to conservative topics red, and sites that generally link to liberal topics blue (the colors get darker or lighter depending on the sites’ linking activity). The result is a quick visualization of what kind of political site a link points to using colors.” Let them read how it works and think about how that might slant things in strange ways (what if I’m conservative but am consistently linking to liberal blogs in order to attack them?) This would be the start of a conversation between the class and myself. What purpose does this script serve? In what ways can we use the data it generates to inform what we’re reading? What happens to readers and the way we consume information as ideas like this become more commonplace? Red vs Blue Book Buying Here’s a chance for some discussion of voting demographics and a chance to really get some good critical thinking going with data and causation. The maps are of “red” and “blue” books and their purchase rate (through Amazon) prior to 2004 and 2008 elections. The great […]
Bronze Age Orientation The “lessons” in the video are funny because they’re true (I think I’m quoting Homer Simpson)- don’t be a pompous ass (period, but especially not when advocating for a major change) positive version – Be humble. You don’t know everything and your way is not the only way. don’t make change a threat or tie it to a threat (the tribes with the bronze axes will kill you, the kids won’t learn etc.) positive version – Tie the change to positive outcomes for those involved. Focus on how it will improve their life. Why is it worthwhile for them? don’t put down the old ways (and then they’ll throw away your stone axes because they’re rubbish) positive version – Honor the past*. Even if you hate the old way, insulting it will tend to increase resistance to change. In education, the focus should be on adding tools and exploring options rather than in taking them away. The bronze shoes and window are also pretty similar to the “must use twitter based podcasts wikis” in class mentality too often seen in EduBlogosphere Land. Tools are tools and each has its place. This video shows the hypothetical meeting held to discuss changing from stone age technology to bronze age technology. You’ve got the reluctance you normally see (funny but […]
From the Tech Ninja bio pageI’ve still got a full manga style cartoon based on this bio that a student drew for me that I’ll have to scan and post. . . . The Early Years The Technology Ninja’s mother was a volcano and his father was an accountant from Belarus. His parents always had an explosive relationship and that drove him to leave home at the age of 1. He has wandered the world for centuries doing battle with all kinds of evil. The Technology Ninja has no friends, no family and no college loans. He lives in a shadowy world full of danger, suspense, dramatic music, excessive sound effects and, of course, many, many, many differently colored ninjas. How Technology became his Name-O (as opposed to Bingo) Having defeated all his enemies, the ninja was growing bored. All ninjas need enemies after all. Finding no worthy foe he decided to conquer cyberspace and all the computers of the world. He is winning, of course, but his quest continues to this day. Although many suspect he is simply taking his time so that he doesn’t have to retire and start playing bingo and shuffleboard. (It’s not that he’s against either diversion but I mean, come on, he’s a ninja.) Stupid. I know. But I miss the kind of fun […]