I have some how found myself on our district’s copyright committee and we’re redesigning our whole course for teachers. It’s been pretty interesting and I only occasionally want to kill myself. Luckily, I’m with a bunch of ninja librarian copyright experts who are handling all the heavy lifting while I make jokes.
The site is up here (but not finished) if you’re interested.
I found these beautiful notes from SXSW via Boing Boing where I saw Battledecks which led to this summary. credit Mike Rohde Powerpoint meets Karaoke in this battle of wits. Watch your favorite speakers craft an off-the-cuff presentation using slides they’ve never seen before. Eight competitors will have five minutes to complete their presentation. Three judges will score the participants based on their use of jargon, gesturing and credibility. Who will take home the trophy and who will totally choke? Come see for yourself! Two things came to mind for me. 1. Battledecks with your class. You set up a serious of slides that deal with your topic. Divide the class into groups and give out the deck. They’ve got X minutes to come up with the content to match the slides. Points are awarded for relevancy, creativity/entertainment, jargon etc. For English, this could get really creative. It’d be an awesome way to do work with vocabulary words or story structure. They could pitch a story Hollywood style using as many vocabulary words as possible while working the story through the basic steps (rising action, etc). You could add difficulty by forcing genres on the students (nice way to review those elements as well). Now, this won’t work at all if you’re giving them traditional bullet point slide decks to […]
The following is how I adapted the Markov chain generator from Hay Kranen. Thanks to the commentsComments matter and help stitch together the Internet. I found below Hay’s postwhich is from 2008 I might add- long tail etc. etc. this Markov + Shakespeare version inspired me to figure out the “post-to-Twitter” option.Note to self and other clueless people, urlencode is just a bit easier way to clean up the text than trying to think through a str_replace. That’s a fairly awesome example of the fact that I have no idea what I’m doing. I only happened across that function (?) by chance on some random StackOverflow post and it was as if the world just fell into place. Anyway, the much cleaner version is up and running. It now allows you to push the results to Twitter although I’m still adjusting this a bit. The code for the page I modified is below. It’s still slower than I’d like but it’ll do for now. The fact that I can go from a conversation one day to a fairly finished product the next is the piece that amazes me about computers and the Internet. I cannot stress enough that I don’t know how to write PHP. I feel that’s a statement of empowerment. This project took about three hours of work. […]
Looking for a way to get your students thinking about current events, how the US is not the only place on Earth and have it all in a nice humorous weekly package? Where else will you get a mix of Chinese communists, Australian Aborigines and German polar bears in one paragraph. It’s also all properly referenced so you can easily send students out to the source material (although that didn’t transfer well through the copy and paste). Check out (email subscribable) the Weekly Review from, fittingly, Harper’s Weekly. The Chinese government expelled more than five hundred people from the Communist Party for violating the country’s one-child policy, South Asia was suffering from severe food shortages, and the Australian government refused to provide compensation to Aborigines (who until 1967 were governed under flora and fauna laws) who were stolen from their parents as children. Keepers at the Nuremberg Zoo, under criticism for allegedly allowing polar bear mothers to eat and abandon their young, announced that they would hand-rear an at-risk cub but also made clear that they do not want a repeat of the Berlin Zoo’s Knut-mania. -Harper’s Weekly The authors vary so does the quality but it’s usually a really interesting and subtly linked variety of news from all over. It’d make for some interesting conversation just talking about why […]