Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Do you realize!?!

This video is amazing....

I never knew Canada was so progressive! Outstanding!

How do we do this in the St. Louis area. I'm ready to start the discussion how implementing this in my classroom TODAY! Are you doing it? Do you know how to make it happen?

Let's figure it out. TOGETHER!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Google for Teachers

Check this out. Great resource for making your google experience better and benefit the environment by going paperless. Also learn more than just docs, maps, and shopping!

Free Technology for Teachers: Free 33 Page Guide - Google for Teachers

School of One

This video makes you think about the future of education in america. Is this the perfect school? Is this the best answers we have at this point in our understanding of education? I think it's definitely a step in the right direction.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Being Good at School

Great image and comment:
Agree or Disagree?

Credits: Image Credit: That’s How You Take Half by David Swayze


Licensed Creative Commons Attribution

Quote Credit: Seth Godin, Linchpin, Kindle Location 779-83

Slide Credit: Bill Ferriter, The Tempered Radical


How do you spend your $$MONEY$$???

This is a great article from Visual Economics on how the average american spends their money. Some interesting information here when thinking about the demographics of the community we serve. How do your kids/familes fit into this chart, more/less, discuss......

Image found at: http://www.visualeconomics.com/how-the-average-us-consumer-spends-their-paycheck/

Understanding the Digital Generation

Great video from Ian Jukes (Twitter id: ijukes)

Check it out, comment away...here's your question....are schools today meeting kid's needs?

You can also become a committed sardine at: http://www.committedsardine.com/

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Food Revolution

Jamie Oliver's food revolution debuted this past week.

Some of the items he showed were just appalling and to think we serve these food items every day in schools across the country. What can we do about it? Well, not much if you are just going to read my blog! What you should do is at least join the movement and sign his petition online: http://www.jamieoliver.com/campaigns/jamies-food-revolution/petition. We want (dare I say need) to see this show succeed.

Why? Because at least we can make a difference in our school where students spend 180 days of the year eating 1 to 2 meals.

Let's face it, we have a problem in our schools across the country there is something wrong with chicken rings, pork patties and pizza every day of the school year. We are taking dramatic steps forward in our schools to provide healthy options. I think we have two options here:
1. Educate our youth on making healthy choices.
2. No longer provide unhealthy options.

OOOOOHHHHH that's scary and unpopular to say but this show fired me up. I hate being the one to identify the problem without providing the solution but I'm not ready to understand how to make this change. I think this is one solution. Can you think of another way to help? Comment away I'm ready to learn how to help!

Check it out online at: http://www.jamieoliver.com/campaigns/jamies-food-revolution

Jamie's Award winning presentation to TED:

Interesting Research on Motivation and Sleep

Ashley Merryman’s and Po Bronson's book called NutureShock has interesting information on parenting and the effects of praise and rewards on kids. I haven't read the book yet. It's on my list now (Thank you Andrew!) but here is one author's presentation at Poptech! (www.poptech.org)

Some great insights from her presentation:

- Kids praised for effort tried harder problems.

- One sentence of praise different changed the outcome of performance and improvement.

- 85% of parent believe its important to praise intelligence.

- Self esteem is the most important part of the persons being....oops, maybe it isn't!

- Realizing that boosting self esteem may not have any effect on intelligence, in fact it may hurt!

- "When you tell someone you are innately great there is no need to improve."

- Missing the kick, it's not about self esteem it's no longer about trust it's more about the effort.


- 60% of high school students suffer from sleep depravation.

- 5% of high school seniors get 8 hours of sleep, they should have about 9 hours of sleep.

- 6th graders who lost an average 30 minutes of sleep a night scored cognitively like 4th graders.

- A students get 15 minutes more sleep than B students, who get 15 more minutes of sleep than C students.

- Sleep affects college students too!

- Teen rebellion and moodiness could all be sleep depravation!

- Sleep is a health issue.

Sometime improving kids lives and making life easier, maybe getting a little more sleep could be the answer.

If you like this information check out Caroline Dweck's book mindset: http://mindsetonline.com/

Also check out information on sleep depravation and it's effect on our students: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_F._Dinges

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How do you spend your time???

This was a fascinating graphing. I wish they would have extended it to kids ages 11 - 15. That would have groundbreaking to communicate to middle school educators. Check this image out, comment away...


Monday, March 22, 2010

What I hate about powerpoint...

After attending many conferences recently and presenting in class myself I'm noticing a trend in powerpoints and presentations that are a little scary to me. Presenters and lecturers are getting boring....

Reading up on power point I have come across some REALLY funny thoughts on this topic and adapted some rules that I'm publishing simply for my own benefit. I want to publish these so that I can be better at presenting information to a group. SO hold me to these, make sure I don't do them and have some fun with the rules. Comment away, add more rules for me to follow:

What I hate about power point adapted from: http://jeremyharmer.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/10-things-i-hate-about-powerpoint/

1 Powerpoint as lecture notes
Make it interesting don’t use the power point and stare at your power point while you talk. If you don’t know what yu are going to say, maybe you shouldn’t be the one saying it…

2 Visual assault
“Pictures, flashes, whizzy entrances, funny faces. It can all get far far too much. I’ll need to re-evaluate what I do with pictures and animation.”

3 Aural assault
“Thwack! Zing! Bzzzz! Kerpow! Wow. Is it too much?”

4 Bullet points
“If I never see another bullet point again I will be
• Happy
• Relieved
• Surprised
They’re everywhere in Microsoft’s Powerpoint template and they screw up the hierarchy of information. And they’re boring.”

5 Powerpoint backgrounds
Don’t use the ones given to you, find some of your own. Or better yet, use black or white and use the imags on the screen as the excitement. Think about an Art Museum, what colors are the walls? WHITE! Why? TO NOT TAKE AWAY FORM THE ART!

6 Early closing
“Leave the last screen up there until people have left the room. It’s good manners.”

7 Lecturers who stand in front of the projector
Just don’t do it..

8 Lecturers who are stuck to the computer
Get out, walk around be yourself. Unless you are boring then be someone else…

9 Technology experts

“fitting the technology to the child, not the child to the technology as the British academic Susan Greenfield said in the House of Lords (Britain’s second legislative chamber) the other day.”

Basically don’t make this overcomplicated or try to WOW the crowd unless you are giving a presentation on WOWing. Keep t simple and not distracting.

10 Technology failure
Prepare for it and have a back up plan in case your powerpoint doexn’t work.

My Final thoughts...

If you are like me….be creative with your presentation, and censor those around you (namely me) to not be too creative. Don’t limit yourself to power point there are a lot of great resources out there that will get your point across too. In fact some of the best presentations I’ve seen was someone simply flipping through their Flickr images. Think about it!

Great video!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Just Google it!

What does that phrase mean anymore? All too often I'll be in conversation with someone and we will come up with a question. Last night's was: How much is a flight to Ireland? The response to the quandaries while eating Mexican food on St. Patrick's day was: Just google it!

So we did. The answer is around 1K.

Then as I was trudging through my Google Reader I ran across this video from Google about how a web search works. Fascinating stuff! It makes me think about how cool this whole internet thing truely is. Thank you Al Gore!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Video on Social Media

Watch this video from Shell Terrell:

This brings about a great conversation about why students today use social media. Why do you use social media? I've stayed away from Facebook but love the educational usage of twitter. Thoughts?