Monday, February 28, 2011
I have been using blogs off and on since I taught at the Middle School (and Blogger is still, for me, the easiest, most intuitive platform), but it was at the beginning of this year, my second at the Upper School, that I decided to make a bigger leap: the blog would be a yearlong course activity and resource run completely by the students. I gave them a rubric for posting and commenting, but the topics of their posts were up to them. Resistance from the students was immediate: You mean we have to write on top of the reading? We have to read the book and our classmates’ thoughts? And then comment? After a few weeks, however, as the blog became part of the rhythm of the course, I noticed a dialogue forming between the blog and my classroom; students were taking ideas raised by others in class and talking about them on the blog and vice versa. I was getting two classes worth of discussion for each “live class” I taught.
Especially with my sophomore courses, where students in two different sections could interact via the blog, I found the students taking initiative beyond what I required: one student, for example, noticed that the actress who played Lady Macbeth in the recent PBS version of the play also had a role in the “Harry Potter” films. That student posted a few stills from both movies on the blog, which set the class abuzz.
This is the ultimate goal of a blog: connections students make in their own minds on their own time can be shared immediately and in real time. It can be an outlet for those students who might be shy, or might not be able to get in that key idea during class discussion, or need to write their thoughts out in advance to feel confident enough to say something in front of a group.
The side effect I never anticipated? The writing on the blog is excellent, sometimes even better than what I get in essays. It seems that when you’re writing something you know fifteen of your peers will be reading, you’re more motivated to put your best writing forward.
- Eric Hudson
US English Teacher
Sunday, February 27, 2011
|NAIS 2011 Conference|
1) We need to help improve public education.
2) YouTube has some pretty amazing analytic tools. (see video below)
3) North Carolina Association of Independent Schools is leading an online learning program.
4) Cloud computing offers a wealth of free online software.
5) Google's iCal feeds are pretty cool.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Doodle 4 Google is a competition where Google invites K-12 students to use their artistic talents to think big and redesign Google’s homepage logo for millions to see. At Google, they believe that dreaming about future possibilities leads to tomorrow’s leaders and inventors, so this year they're inviting U.S. kids to exercise their creative imaginations around the theme, "What I’d like to do someday…"
Whether students want to find a cure for cancer or take a trip to the moon, it all starts with art supplies and some 8.5" x 11" paper. And, one lucky student artist will take home a $15,000 college scholarship and $25,000 technology grant for their school, among many other prizes.
Registration closes at 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Time (PT) on March 2, 2011, and entries must be postmarked by March 16, 2011 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Time (PT). The winning doodle will be featured on Google.com's homepage on May 20, 2011.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
- Fair Use Question of the Month
- Code of Best Practices in Fair -Use for Creating Video, Documentary, Poetry, Remix Culture
- Examples of Successful Fair Use in Documentary Film
- Did These Mashups Use "Fair Use"? You Decide! Ten grad students used the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video to try to create "fair use" mash-up videos. Take a look at the videos and decide how well (or not) they did!
• Listen to youtube your best source for converting YouTube to MP3. You can convert unlimited YouTubevideos to MP3 for FREE.
• Video2Mp3 allows you to convert and download YouTube videos to MP3 file online.
• Screencast-O-Matic is the original online screen recorder for one-click recording from your browser on Windows, Mac, or Linux with no install for FREE!
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Green Globs is a game in which 13 green globs are randomly placed on the grid. Students earn points by entering equations that pass through as many green globs as possibleAfter learning about coordinate graphs and equations in math class, students in eight grade came to the middle school tech lab to put their knowledge to work by playing the "Green Globs". Here's how the game was played: If student's correctly entered an equation, they hit a green glob target. After becoming more proficient at the game, the eighth graders can advance to the higher level - challenged by "blockers" that force them to find alternative equations to hit the targets.
2. What is the "best" leak? the "worst"? (you define)
3. Should news outlets be prevented from publishing them?
4. Is the phenomenon - that this happened - surprising.
5. Should Assange be prosecuted for WikiLeaks?
2. Why do you think lawmakers aren't creating any new restrictions for gun control? Why
3. If you were given a chance to make a restriction on gun control what would it be? Why
4. Do you think that shooting in Arizona is a reason for creating more regulations on people's guns? Why?
5. Do you think that by making it harder to have access to guns, it would reduce the gun violence? Why?
Seventh Graders have recently finished creating individual websites as part of the Latin American History Country Project. This is the third year of the websites, which replaced individual poster projects as a far more interactive way for students to learn and teach about their countries.The websites allow students to complete a number of skills tasks within a creative framework.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Created with Scratch - a programming language for everyone.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
In my research and exploration of the iPad, I have found that it is superhandy for media viewing, internet browsing, doing research and keeping my calendar organized. However, in my attempts to use it as I use the tablet PC for teaching, I found it was severely limited in three very important ways: 1. Projectability 2. Note-taking 3. Syncing. Currently, I use my Tablet PC for all of my classroom work: grading, lesson planning, scaffolding, modeling, etc. The Tablet allows me to write over text or documents, so I can project the text of a book we are reading, add to a lesson agenda, model proper mechanics, edit an essay. This is where the iPad falls short as a teaching tool because only a limited numbers of apps can a. be projected and b. allow me to write with a stylus on a document (none of the e-book readers that I have explored allow this).