Wednesday, January 27, 2010

rock on, rock-and-roller

Some day, Sisyphus will reach the apex of the mountain.

He and his rock will rest, forever at the mountain top. Sisyphus will update his resume, perhaps contemplate going back for his Bachelor's degree, and seek out gainful employment in something a bit more white-collar.

But, as Camus once noted, myths are around for us to breathe life in to them, so as long as people need the differences between an overhead and an interactive white board explained, neither Sisyphus or Instructional Technologists are going away.

And neither will update their respective resumes.

Monday, January 25, 2010

explaining I-T to a boy in a 5-T

Last week, I sat on the floor in the living room, because all the cushions on the couch and chair had been deployed to fort-building duties. The Minnesota Vikings just beat the, well, you know who, I won't even say their name, and Fox Sports took viewers inside the Viking's locker room to watch Brett Favre lead his team in a new, American Idol-inspired chant.

Later that evening, I sat at the kitchen table, this time on a chair, and began to chant about pants being on the ground. My oldest wanted to know what I was saying. He wanted to know if my pants were on the ground. He wanted to know why I was chanting 'pants on the ground'.

So after the twins went to sleep, I pulled out the laptop, loaded up YouTube, and found the video. He watched. He laughed. He wanted to know why the Vikings were saying 'pants on the ground'.

I knew that any answer should be age-appropriate, so I told him that Brett Favre heard it on a TV show. And Mark was satisfied.

This morning, my Mark woke up, walked down to the kitchen, and asked me who won last night, the Saints or the Vikings?

I told him that the Saints won in overtime, and that the Vikings lost. He thought for a moment and asked if he could ask me a question.

Okay, how do I explain 'overtime' to a five-year old? Think, think.

How did that football player get that pants on the ground video on our computer just for us?
So I told him that it's on everyone's computer. Problem solved.
How did that football player get that pants on the ground video on everyone's computer?
So I told him that he could put the butter on his bagel all by himself. And he could have juice instead of milk.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

do you teach avatar?

Regarding a little slice of entertainment playing at the nickelodeon, Avatar,'s editor in chief, Annalee Newitz, notes that:
the fantastical elements of [science fiction] works offer a place of “narrative safety” to contemplate real-life issues like environmental decay, totalitarianism and torture.*
Do Language Arts classrooms offer up cozy "narrative safety" spots to discuss the aforementioned issues?

And why do movies get all the credit?

*Source: You Saw What in 'Avatar'? Pass Those Glasses!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

priority shipping

Stuck on four shirt designs.

A bit of choice paralysis. Each one designed with whimsy and irony, and they convey fairness at $18 dollars each. I already own three other shirts from Threadless, so I'm one checkout away from having a week's worth.

I can't stop thinking about those shirts. I'm visualizing the shipping process, imagining the arrival of the package, sandwiched between the screen and front doors.

I have to think about those shirts. Because every time I stop, I'm thinking about Haiti, the death toll, the rubble, and the bodies pinned under roofs, walls, beams. Because the information pouring forth from my flat-screen HDTV indicates that even the saved are still at peril. No food, no medicine, one runway.

But I can pick up my tricked-out, app-ed up phone and donate $10. I can sit back on Friday night and watch (on my flat-screen HDTV) George Clooney telethon, celebrity-style, to raise needed funds.

And if all goes according to priority-shipping, I'll have one of those new shirts on Friday night, amazed and disgusted with a process that brings me cotton trash with greater celerity than food, medicine, and people to a country in dire need of on-going support.

Friday, January 8, 2010

found in five

Okay, maybe ten minutes is more spot-on, but I adore alliteration.

Here's what I discovered, read, tagged (and magically shared) in a sixth of an hour on Twitter:
The Happiness Index - Thank you, Scott McLeod, for sharing. This article confirms a recent assertion that using adjectives is a tough endeavor.

Girl Talk Radio - Kudos to you, Kevin Jarrett, for opening up your blog to the world.

College Cost Calculator
- Expressions of gratitude bestowed upon you, Richard Byrne, for allowing me to cry, four-fold, over the impending money suck investment for the education of my four children

Lullabies for Elmo - Much obliged, Guy Kawasaki, for overloading my tweet stream with links and links and links.
So, in the most simple manner I can muster, I still marvel over resistance to using a resource like Twitter.