Tuesday, October 27, 2009

platform diving

Do I dare switch? It's still a work in progress, or maybe not. Maybe I'm just playing around, using another tool to perform the exact same task, like that time I decided to use my Spalding basketball for the first half, and my Wilson ball for the second.

What's a lonely blogger to do?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

you wouldn't, so why would you?

I found it! My mother insisted that it had been thrown out, or left behind on Oliver Road. But I persisted because I once spent a year's worth of in-service learning about Dimensions of Learning and Habits of Mind. That was meaningful professional development, so much so that when I went looking for the aforementioned it, I refused to give up. I checked my basement, my dad's basement, Public Storage, and my friend's house. Okay, the last one was a way for me to get out for a bit.

But I found it. And it's a beauty. Thirteen convex inches providing the best black-and-white television coverage. It has these dials just over to the right of the screen, and whenever I want to see what's happening on another channel, I just get up, walk over, and turn that dial. It even makes a clicking sound as it goes from channel to channel. That's a bonus feature, indeed!

Oh, and did I tell you that it has these silvery appendages? They're like beagle ears, but they stick straight up, and whenever I tilt them to and fro, I'm able to control how the transmitted images appear on screen.

There is no TV today that allows me to perform that type of control. Nowadays, all I do is watch a digital transmission, or something high-definitiony, pre-pixelated by 'other people'. People not in my living room, that's for sure.
But every two years, I upgrade my cell phone. A lot of people do. Don't believe me? Go to your Verizon store.

Every thirty-nine months, I lease a new car. A lot of people do. Don't believe me? Go ask ten people. Okay, that's not a lot of people, but then multiply your answer by 736 and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Every time an appliance dies, I attend its funeral. I once delivered a stirring eulogy for my Frigidaire A-72 Side-By-Side. I'll never forget its egg-shell finish or it's sensuous hinges. Oh, and how it made me giggle. And you know what I do every time an appliance passes away, I buy an older one new one.

Whenever I can, I upgrade in every facet of my life. Am I too much of a consumer? Possibly, but you'll never get my J.Crew flat-front chino pants. Never!

I occupy a world that promotes planned and perceived obsolescence, and I can fight this if I wish (like Annie). I could go off-grid. I could worship a tree, eat, dress, and sleep organic. But I don't. I buy new, hoping for better, believing in the idea of improvement.

And I take this philosophy with me to school, well aware that I'm not really purchasing items; instead, I'm accepting a new idea or a new approach. Because if I upgrade in every other facet of my life, why would I chose not to at school?

Monday, October 12, 2009

heiny differential

Nowadays & thenanights, I sit in front of my computer and let edutech content rain all over me, drip by digital drip.

Like this morning, sitting in my gmail inbox, are today's shared Diigo items from a group to which I subscribe.

In comes Word Magnets. And I click, cut, copy, paste, and then I've magically made some interactive word magnets.

I'm thinking about how this refrigerator-free tool could find its way in to a myriad of different classes, varying grade levels. There are two impressive elements to Word Magnets:
  1. it's frill-less, welcoming techno-phobes with simplicitiy of use.
  2. it's fun, and that's not a bad word in education anymore.
So give Word Magnets a try. Or that other site you've seen. But then, take the next step, the only step that matters. Think of ways these tools can find a meaningful place in your classroom.

And you can do that thinking sitting on your heiny.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Student Says, "Well, i'll do anything once...

especially if it's homework!

And I never have to do it again.

So teachers, whack me with your hardest, toughest, most challenging open-ended conundrum. Because on October 21, the Wolfram/Alpha Homework Day will arrive, promising a:

...groundbreaking, live interactive web event [that] brings together students and educators from across the country to solve your toughest assignments and explore the power of using WolframAlpha for school, college, and beyond
And then the inexorable passage of time will triumph, ushering in October 22
(and all the days that follow), and with it, 364 days with no direct affiliation
to homework."