January 30, 2009
1. I’d really like a whole lotta sleep & cash right now.
2. Good [in lieu of using God's name in vain while gritting teeth]… is the word you’d most often hear me say if I stubbed my toe.
3. Possession is usually confused with idolatry depending on duration of ownership.
4. My uncle went to school and played hooky with Captain Jack Sparrow.
5. Marshmallows and fire go together like ketchup on French fries.
6. I wonder happened to the Energizer bunny that went on and on.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to cold lampin’ out at the crib, tomorrow my plans include visiting my local library or geocaching in the cold and Sunday, I want to watch the Steelers smash the Cardinals!
January 29, 2009
- data (n) : pieces of information; information
Thanks to the Internet, data has significant value. Data builds information, information builds knowledge, and knowledge builds wisdom (In my humble opinion, lessons must be learned through application to produce true wisdom.).
Data has infiltrated and currently controls the direction of local school districts, individual schools, and even students through an on-going plethora of assessments. Let us not forget that some of this data is freely available to the public.
I am sure that one day, data of teachers will be next in being released such as salaries, attendance, class performance, professional accomplishments, etc. to be accessible by anyone.
As an educator, I must be comfortable with my professional data. Of course, sometimes data hurts. As we tell our students, it is up us on how others perceive us even if data is involved.
January 29, 2009
Learning Management System
Education, learningmanagementsystem, lms, Technology
Whether you call it a Learning or Content Management System, there are many to choose from. Fortunately, I had the opportunity back in 2004 to take advantage of the resource provide by the Oracle Education Foundation called think.com or thinkquest.org.
At my school, in the first year, we piloted this resource on one grade level. The student use and engagement was high, however teacher monitoring and use was low.Since then, truthfully, noone used besides me.
This year, I decided to share access to the Careers & Technical Education (CTE) department. So far they are using the site daily and are experiencing success! Students are able to collaborate and teachers are able to communicate and assign tasks just like in Moodle or Blackboard.
If you are interest in using this resource at your school, just follow the steps to enroll on the main page.
January 28, 2009
Education, eyeglasses, glasses, parents, Teaching
I have been wearing my glasses since the seventh grade – the adolescent years. Before then, I think that I had one teacher, Ms. Williamson, in the third grade that recommended to my parents that I needed glasses; because I would squint a lot to see the board. I would not say that my parents neglected me in not getting me glasses. However I was able to function well enough without them.
In my reflection, if my parents listened and obtained glasses for me in the third grade, would I have been a better reader or my academics in general improved? Would my vision be improved now as an adult? Would I have had less friends because of them? Were glasses too expensive then for my parents to purchase for me? I wonder if any other of my classmates needed glasses?
In my honest opinion, we take having good vision for granted. Students (that are not labeled of having a vision impairment) who do not wear their glasses but need them because they have myopia struggle to learn daily. To make my point, if you currently wear glasses remove them and try to picture yourself in a classroom (even in the front) trying to read something on the board, or a worksheet. After a while for me, it becomes frustrating and annoying.
I am sure that you know a student that needs to wear their glasses and do not wear them. Politely pull them to the side and ask them why. Please share your responses.
January 27, 2009
constants, expectations, Teaching, variables
Here is one of my posts saved for a rainy day… Well it is not raining but a major ice storm is on the way!!!
Constant: that which is permanent or invariable; a quantity that remains at a fixed value throughout a given discussion
Variable : something that is variable; something whose value may be dictated or discovered
definitions provided by ninjawords.com
Today as I sat in a team meeting where the variables and constants were discussed. Usually these two terms are used in a mathematical way (I was enlightened on this topic because automatically in my brain I could see the application as a Believer.) However, the presenter stated that in school, there are variables and constants.
An example would be the students, they will always come therefore they would be considered constants. You would assume that effective and engaging instruction would be a constant in all classes, unfortunately this does not occur therefore becoming variables. So are variables always seen as negative?
In the classroom (and in life) take a minute and determine what are your constants and variables. Please comment any “ah-ha” moments or what I’ve share is just a bunch of baloney…
January 26, 2009
Interactive, IWB, promethean, Technology, whiteboard
activsoftware, IWB, promethean
My friend Chris Odom clued me on this topic…. This week, I’ll be playing around with Activsoftware (Inspire Edition) to participate in the Promethean Blogging Contest.
I will take my time and put this app to the test since the deadline for blog submission is February 13th. I will of course use this software on a non-Promethean board. Don’t know if that will disqualify me for the contest, but I will still contribute. Please join me and check it out on your IWB.
January 25, 2009
BarCampCLT, Conferences, Technology
BarCampCLT, charlotte, Technology
Today was my 2nd experience with an unconference. BarCampCLT allowed people to bring topics to the people, and through a voting process organized the sessions. If you are a very structured individual, you might have issues with this conference format. However, I had the opportunity to sit on the following presentations. Here are some major points to share with you.
- This tool is considered as an information buffet; Only take what you need!
- tweetdeck was overwhelmingly the apparent the choice of twitter client
- Be weary of the disruptive elements if you use twitter under your brand – People are known to falsely retweet
2. OLPC (One Laptop Per Child)
- XO2 is not under development yet – still considered as an artists rendering
- OLPC discovered that $$ was not an issue for customers
- Recommended reading: End of Poverty (Jeffrey Sachs) & Innovator’s Dilemma (Clayton M. Christensen)
- Before OLPC, there was NO netbook market
- Strength: Cannot beat it’s rugged design & run on very little power
- Weakness: Networking aspect – Not stable when networking 20-30 XOs; glitch discovered at a conference
- SW developers & educators are in demand with project; Have you tried XO’s GUI? Get Sugar today!
3. How to make $$ online
- You should have been here!
4. LinkedIn & Facebook
- What is your brand?
- Discussed usage of FB & LinkedIn
- FB limits you to only 5000 friends; fan page is unlimited
- In conclusion: Who you are=FB What you do=LinkedIn
5. Resume Killers
- Resume should go no farther than 10 years back
- Know your niche
- +1 versions of resume; customize for market
- If still employed, you can post anonymously to job search sites and should ask for at least 10% increase
Look for audio from the above sessions later over here.
January 23, 2009
BarCampCLT, Conferences, Technology
Today is a teacher workday in my school district. So I am taking an annual day to reorganize and refocus. Tomorrow I will be attending a BarCamp conference to take a small pulse of local nerdom or nerdativity in Charlotte. So far, I have not seen any topics posted on the BarCamp blog related to education; possible podcasting and video usage, maybe… However I will take good notes as usual and try to do a decent write-up on this event.
January 23, 2009
Education, Math, Teaching
Education, Math, mathematics
I had the opportunity way back in 1992 & 1993 to receive valuable experience in the classroom as a teacher assistant in the MS2 (Math & Science for Minority Students) Summer program.
This program recruits minority students nation-wide to take challenging high level classes on the campus of Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. I had the honor to work with Mthomba Bon Amari (formerly known as Anthony Scott). Before he taught any content, he made sure that the students knew the following 8 properties of mathematics.
1. Order – Example… PEMDAS, or even the steps in solving an equation
2. Rigor – Math stands on its own and is different that any other discipline
3. Logical development from simple to complex – The natural progression of difficulty math presents
4. Elegance – the beauty of math such as the symmetry of a butterfly, or the Mandelbrot set in fractals
5. Economy – Saves space; Usage of exponents, scientific notation, math symbols, etc.
6. Exactness – In math, there is only one answer; many paths, but only one destination
7. Abstractness – The concept of numbers not connecting to concrete objects
8. Universality – The answer for 3 x4 is same in the US and Cambodia
If you have the opportunity, please share any comments or share the following information with your students!
January 22, 2009
Cell phones, Technology
cellphones, sexting, Technology
We’ve heard of students using their cell phones to record brawls and post them on YouTube. We also heard of students using cell phones to capture the lack of professionalism of educators and people in the locker rooms. Now, I ask… what is next?!
Today, my administrator had alert the staff of the latest issue that is going on with cell phones. The issue is called ‘sexting‘. I did a little research and located the following article that goes a little more in depth.
As educators that embrace technology, we must be aware of what our students are doing with it since we are overwhelmingly NOT using them to good use. If you wonder how can they be used constructively in the classroom? Let me share some ideas from Ms. Lisa Nielsen’s blog – The Innovative Educator.
In the words of GI Joe, “Now you know, and knowing is half the battle!”