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Showing posts from November, 2007

Asus Eee Series Pc - Day II

So I showed the Asus off yesterday at a staff development meeting. Lots of wide eyes and a few good questions. It will be in the hands of a couple of kids over the next few weeks. I had this article passed on to me about Fresno Unified School District that has put them in several classrooms to work on student portfolios. Here are a couple of quotes: "Anything we can do as a district to engage students in learning and keep them here is a good thing," Superintendent Michael Hanson said Yes - engagement is a key piece here. Changing the way we teach is an even bigger one which is why I like this statement better school officials said they purchased 1,000 wireless laptops that fit on a desk alongside textbooks and notebooks, as well as give students the opportunity to build a digital portfolio of essays, drawings and other creations But what really scares me is that we continue to see statements like these: Stephen Lewis, a geology professor at California State Universit

Asus Eee Series Pc

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I responded yesterday to Jeff Utecht's post on R&D in education - by coincidence our R&D Asus Eee Series Pc arrived on the same day (yeah that is the one - right there next to my business card - so you can get an idea of size). I have already lined up some students that are going to each carry it around for a few days and use it in their classes and at home - with the agreement that they will meet with me afterwards to give me feedback. Here is the question for you - what should I ask them? What do you want to know about the student experience with this type of device? We have also ordered an XO to do the same thing with. I will use the same students. So please consider that when submitting your suggested questions.

Brainfood

Ran across this site called brainfood that has logic puzzles and it reminded me of how I used to start my class periods. Many times I would have a logic puzzle on the board or a question of the day. It gave the students something to think about while I took attendance and put their focus on what we were about to do. Especially in my chemistry classes where logical thinking got you further than memorizing the periodic table. This gets me thinking again about the skill based approach. What should I have been more concerned about as a chemistry teacher? I did make it a habit of telling my students that they should take chemistry because it taught you how to logically think through complex problems and find abstract relationships. I don't know how I came up with that, or where it came from, but I remember saying it a lot. I would tell my students that it really wouldn't matter for most of them if they could "do chemistry" later in life - what mattered was if they

The Tech Plan

As a first time tech director I have spent more time planning and dreading this process more than anything I have done in my professional career. I could have played this safe and just done what had been done before - instead I sent this email (I have changed the survey links to a copy of the same survey) - this is the start - I am open to it changing and developing as we move forward, but this is where we are now... We are beginning the phase of the technology planning stage where we are gathering the organization’s trends and needs for the next few years. Each staff member has the opportunity to submit resources that should be considered in the technology planning process. You can choose to submit items we already have and need to refresh or maintain, or resources that we should add to the district in the future. The plan will be in place for 3-years, so forecast appropriately. I have attached a pdf and word document that show what the online survey looks like. The

How I Spent 10 Minutes Changing the World Tonight

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I spent 10 minutes today correctly identifying 100 words at http://freerice.com/ For my time of brushing up on a few words and making myself a little smarter I donated 1000 grains of rice through the United Nations. It is pretty fun and is basically a creative billboard, but it also serves to show that games work. I wouldn't have stuck around as long as I did if a little game wasn't at work here. Plus I felt good every time I got a word right. Seeing as that it is very similar to many of the vocabulary tests that show up in standardized tests I could also see this used as a tool in the classroom. Maybe an enrichment exercize or as part of a center.

Blog Readability

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Passed on from Doug Johnson I guess I am hitting the target audience...

the rambling draft of a developing philosophy...

I am into day 2 of the IETC Conference - These are the ideas that continue to become solidified in my mind - They might not make a lot of sense yet, but I am working on many of the details... I guess this has been building - consider this the rambling draft of a developing philosophy... 1. The key to developing prepared students is skills - refining the traditional skills that we know that all kids must have (3r's, communication, life skills) with the new ones that are developing through the power of technology (multimedia, social networking, living an online persona, etc(i still need to make a list of these things) 2. We need to understand that teaching content is a dying art. The collaborative informational tools on the internet are replacing the need for teachers as informers. We are more in need of teachers as connectors. Education must become an activity that shows how to find and use the infinite growing quantity of information. Information Literacy + Authentic Learni

Tech Tip 11/9 - Introduction/Refresher Web 2.0

My quick definition of Web 2.0 is a collection of tools that allow for 2-way (or more) communication, collaboration, and creation across the web and its nature causes sharing to shape the content. If you aren't familiar with web 2.0 (or would like a refresher) check out the following resources: Web 2.0 Workshop from Atomic Learning http://movies.atomiclearning.com/k12/web20/ The Machines are Us/ing Us http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLlGopyXT_g Web 2.0 Workshop http://davidwarlick.com/wiki/pmwiki.php?n=Main.Web2Workshop Go To Web 2.0 - the complete Web 2.0 Directory http://www.go2web20.net/

Tough Questions - Social Networking

I just got asked 4 tough questions from one of the schools' newspaper. 1.Is a program like Facebook safe for kids? Why? 2.What measures are taken to protect kids and prevent online predators? 3.Are online predators as big a threat as they are made out to be? 4.Do you feel that it is fair for school administrators to look at students' facebooks sites and punish them in school if they have inappropriate pictures or comments? Here were my responses: 1.Is a program like Facebook safe for kids? Why? Like anything else there is a level of safety that is based on how it is used. It is easy to forget in virtual worlds that the same social rules apply. We have all learned from an early age not to trust strangers, this advice holds true in our virtual environments as well. Facebook, and other social network sites, do have policies in place to help maintain safe atmospheres but there are always people that are on the fringes of society that will look for ways to take advantage o