Archive for May, 2007

Brief Google Teacher Academy Review

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

By the way, the Google Teacher Academy in Southern California was another amazing and full day… from literally 8:30 in the morning until 8:30 at night (with the debrief after). Everyone (leaders, presenters, participants, and Googlers) was high energy – and sharing inspiring thinking. The segment I presented (three times in 90 minutes – sheesh) went great and I really enjoyed connecting with so many innovative educators, especially since this time they all live within 90 minutes of me! I’m really appreciating the build-a-community model Google and WestEd have put together.

Incidentally, despite all the “cool tools” and amazing people in attendance the biggest “to do” I took away from the event was to get back into Second Life and check out the new Education Island II. I may even try to make the ISTE social tonight.

Also, the Google philosophy of letting employees spend 20% of their time on projects of their own choice struck me as a wise thing to incorporate into a classroom. How about letting students spend Friday learning whatever they want… with all the resources of the school and their teacher(s) at their disposal?

Link: Teacher in Space: August 2007!

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

Teacher in Space: August 2007! (Via Moving at the Speed of Creativity.) Wes reports some news from NASA that is both exciting and sad (as most NASA news is these days). In a few months Barbara Morgan will (finally) become the first teacher in space. Amazingly, she was the original backup for Christa McAuliffe in 1986. I suppose it’s about time. Read Wesley’s link-loaded post to learn more.

Link: What Do Non-Gamers Want?

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

What Do Non-Gamers Want? (Via Grand Text Auto.) I haven’t linked to Grand Text Auto in a while, but in this post Andrew addresses a question that we will need to ask if we’re to use video games in formal (public) education… what do non-gamers want? He approaches the subject from a design perspective and the post has some depth to it. It turns out he’s something of a non-gamer himself (and his reasons are similar to those that keep me from gaming more), and this particular excerpt caught my attention. I think it hints at what we should be aiming for:

Videogames could regain a place on my list of entertainment choices if: as I played I gained experience of people’s lives, culture, and especially human behavior and psychology — and therefore, learned about myself — just as I gain from the best TV shows, movies, books, and so on. And, if I’m going to do work to interact with my entertainment, I want my actions to be meaningful, to be expressive of who I am, and to matter.

Link: An Amazing Feat of Collaborative Web

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

An Amazing Feat of Collaborative Web (Via 2 Cents Worth.) I was stoked to see this post from David Warlick this morning. It seems the CUE 2007 conference is among the top 10 on hitchhikr… and is the only 2007 conference on the list. David notes that “clearly there is a lot of collaborative conversation going on in The Golden State.” As a conference attendee, presenter, and blogger – and as a member of the CUE conference planning committee – I’m proud to hear it. Congrats fellow CUE members!

Of course, last year David noted that the CUE 2006 conference was the first he had seen that publicized the tags bloggers should use for the conference right on the program, so perhaps that forward thinking has something to do with it. Credit to Mike Lawrence, executive director of CUE, for that.

Link: Math in Wikispaces

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

Math in Wikispaces (Via Wikispaces Blog.) Wikispaces has added support for LaTex mathematical markup. It looks a bit technical for most teachers, but perhaps this is something math teachers know or would be more than happy to learn given the results – really cool looking formulas on a wiki. :)

Link: K12 Onlince Conference Call for Proposals

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

Call for Proposals (Via k12 Online Conference.) The second annual K12 Online Conference has been announced on the conference blog and on each of the convener’s blogs. I highly recommend both attendance (which occurs over the web during a two week period) and participation. I submitted several sessions last year and wound up being selected to present three. I did each as a full-motion full-hour video and didn’t realize how much work I had gotten myself into. There is no compensation for presenters, but the experience generated such great learning for me I won’t hesitate to do it again. Putting tother the videos was a rewarding challenge… and connecting with participants during the conference (and for months after) exposed me to a lot of new people and perspectives I would never have experienced without the conference. You can still learn from last year’s sessions (and still contact the presenters)… and you can make a proposal to present yourself this year. :)

Reflection and Metacognition (LONG)

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

Back on April 11th I posted a “one page” overview of Reflection and Metacognition (with respect to video games in education). I’ve now fleshed that out, and happily it’s not nearly as long as some of the other sections I’ve written recently. However, this is primarily due to the fact that I had noted fewer resources in my outliner rather than due to any self-editing efforts on my part. In any case, I’m relatively happy with it, though some of the sub sections may be moved around or combined with other parts of the paper in the end.

Reflection and Metacognition (LONG) – 40 KB Word Doc

References – 132 KB Word Doc

This is only about nine pages double spaced, so it is a bit more friendly for a quick read. If you check it out, I’d love to hear back from you in the comments. And thank you again to everyone who has been commenting along the way. I have a bit of a backlog to respond to right now, but I really appreciate the feedback. :)

Link: Images, Audio, and Video Resources for Student Projects

Monday, May 21st, 2007

Images, Audio, and Video Resources for Student Projects (Via Tammy Stephens.) This is a wiki with links to many resources for student projects – images, audio, and video. This will be useful in my multimedia workshops such as iLife, Audacity, and Moviemaker, so I thought I’d pass it on.

Link: How Scoble Reads 622 RSS Feeds Each Morning

Monday, May 21st, 2007

How Scoble Reads 622 RSS Feeds Each Morning (Via Tim Ferriss). Mike Guerena turned me on to Tim Ferriss’s book, The Four Hour Workweek… I bought the book on iTunes* and I subscribed to Tim’s blog. I was quickly rewarded for my new subscription as Tim has just posted an interview with Robert Scoble. In this, the first installment, he asks Scoble how he manages reading 622 feeds, which is about the amount I am subscribed to in NetNewsWire. Scoble uses GoogleReader and some different strategies than I do, but for anyone interested in how to manage large numbers of feeds, it might be worth it. I’ve read Scoble for some time, so I enjoyed seeing him talk about the process, too.

Tim has also posted a second installment of the interview with Scoble, this one about how he manages… over 10,000 email… Sheesh: How Scoble Absorbs 10,000+ E-mail

*Note: For some reason the audio book won’t play on my iPod. Anyone have any idea why?

…and Life: Goodbye Gilmore Girls

Saturday, May 19th, 2007

Adieu Gilmore Girls (Via Thoughts From A Technospud.) I can definitely second Jen’s thoughts on the final Gilmore Girls. Eva and I have watched it religiously since the very first episode. For a long time I proclaimed it “arguably the best show on television.” I always appreciated the brilliant dialog, especially the pop culture references, including the frequent Bono references. And I’m not ashamed to admit I found myself a bit teary eyed more than a few times watching that show.

After Amy Sherman-Palladino left at the end of last season, though, the dialog suffered, and we were more or less watching to see how things turned out for the characters we were invested in. Eva pretty much lost interest a few months ago, so as a result we hadn’t watched the last three episodes at all.

So, friday night we ordered pizza (like we used to religiously on Tuesday nights) and settled in to watch the last three episodes. It turned out to feel a whole lot like a feature film to wrap up the series… beginning with a dream sequence that included a flashback to Rory’s Chilton days (and a picture of future Paris standing next to Bono) and ending with the final scene in the diner (that mirrored the first scene of the series). Of course, Luke and Lorelai ended up together. It was an extra bonus (for me) that Rory was leaving to work as a reporter on the campaign trail with Barack Obama. It was, as my mom said, a “sweet and sad” conclusion to the show. I’ll miss the show and the characters.

These last three episodes seemed much more like the show in seasons past (that is, better) and in the final episode I noted that Amy Sherman-Palladino had an executive producer credit. I didn’t notice though if that was always there all season, or if she returned for the final episode (or three). From what I can find Googling around the internet I see no evidence that she did return. If anyone can shine any light on this I’d love to hear more.

In any case, I feel like Eva and I watched Rory grow up and I think Eva got a preview of just how sentimental I’ll be about our own kids someday…