Monday, August 27, 2007
In some instances the athletic departments banned their athletes from using the sites. A female athlete admits to using Facebook under a fake name to get around the ban. Other colleges make it a point to educate their student athletes about the dangers of posting photos that the entire world can see, even if the students assume they're only for friends to view.
You can see the complete story on the ESPN website at: http://broadband.espn.go.com/ivp/splash2?id=2991868
This would make for an excellent classroom discussion with all students, not just athletes.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
I especially like Vicki's blog because she is a real, live teacher. She does some amazing, incredible, unbelievable things with her students, and yet you have a real sense that she's HUMAN. She understands the frustrations of teaching because she lives them every day. Her blog has great advice about the "nuts and bolts" of teaching with technology, but she also includes at least a weekly pep talk for her readers around the world, like this:
It is a fight to keep positive when you're a teacher. And if you're empathetic (like me) watch out! It can be like living on a roller coaster! However, keeping the hope of a better tomorrow is vital to being a teacher who gets things done. Knowing that you can make a difference is a key ingredient to the recipe of a good education.
On his web page Horowitz explains each "bad" email, and how to tell it's a phony. Believe it or not, I actually keep PDFs of phishing or virus emails to use during workshops on email. Michael has documented many of the most common scams that are out there including eBay, PayPal, the Nigerian scam, and several banks. He also provides links to several important websites and online articles. This is a great resource that I plan to use in future workshops.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I called Microsoft's repair service number, and while on hold for a half hour (at least), I googled the symptoms. Low and behold, there are a number of Xbox users reporting the EXACT SAME PROBLEM! Read the article (and comments) for yourself on the Engadget website: http://www.engadget.com/2007/06/24/xbox-360-owners-reporting-blank-video-output-issue/#comments
And when I finally got through to Microsoft, I learned that this issue is not covered under warranty. Well, it would be if it were less than a year old, but of course my son's console is about a month or two past that milestone. So, I can either ante up another 100 bucks, or have a really nice $500 (or was it $600) door stop/paperweight. My son had saved birthday and Christmas money, and had originally wanted a PS3, but if you'll recall Sony was VERY late in getting that console to market. He finally caved in and bought the 360.
I expressed my frustration to the Microsoft rep, and I asked for another name, email address, or phone number to contact and complain to someone higher up the "food chain." He could not provide me with any, unfortunately.
Had this been an isolated incident, I would not feel so ripped off. However, Microsoft has had previous large scale problems with the 360, so much so it extend the warranty to 3 years for any console that displayed 3 blinking red lights. Read this article: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2003776998_xbox06.html
Another article claims this will cost Microsoft about a billion dollars!
My point to the Microsoft rep is that failing to address this latest issue will cost Microsoft MUCH more than if they just bite the bullet and pay for the repairs: lost game revenue, online subscriptions, accessories, and all the other stuff that makes up this multi billion dollar gaming industry will find it's way to Sony's revenue stream.
Other frustrated 360 users have said that only a class action lawsuit will get Bill Gates attention. I'm trying the grass roots approach. If I and all the others who feel ripped off tell everyone they know of their experience, and tell others to buy a PS3 NOT an Xbox, I will feel somewhat vindicated if we make even a small dent in Microsoft's cash flow. This is not a simple video game or toy, it's a $600 COMPUTER (not including games and accessories)! It should last for more than a year, and there should not be such widespread problems that are simply ignored by the manufacturer.
Forgive my rant, but my son truly feels ripped off! And so do hundreds or even thousands of other Xbox users.
See if you can find the school where I used to teach. Zoom out far enough, and you'll get a real appreciation for how isolated this town is. It was 48 miles to the nearest K-mart in Sheridan, WY.
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Monday, August 20, 2007
Here's a YouTube video posted on the GE Blog that explains the GE weather layers in greater detail.
This reminded me of the first time I truly realized the power of the Internet. My son, currently in college, was in the 3rd or 4th grade at the time and he was assigned the topic of "Ancient Egyptian Agriculture." We had made a trip to the local public library, but had found very little information-- just the usual "broad strokes" and generalities. I don't even think Google was around yet in 1994 or 95, but I remember using a search engine to help my son with his project. One resource in particular was from a professor at a university in Illinois, if I remember correctly, that even had illustrations and diagrams. JACKPOT! Then we had to figure out how to cite the resource for the bibliography, back before OttoBib, Noodle Tools, or Citation Machine. The website was just static information-- text and pictures-- but it was one of those obscure moments that I still remember because it was like a great discovery.
Back in the day when I went to the school library to find a book on a particular topic, I crossed my fingers that someone else had not beat me to it. It's tough to do a report on ancient Rome when the R volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica is missing! Today students have the opposite problem-- TOO MUCH information. They have to know how to separate the good from the bad, the fair from the biased, the reliable from the questionable resources. Amy Tiemann sums it up nicely: "Whatever quality control issues the web may have, it's good to remember that it is a luxury to be able to analyze information for its quality and relevance, rather than hunt for facts like a needle in a haystack."
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
As the week went on, I became aware of myself thinking aloud in front of the students "I wonder..." And I wasn't pretending, or putting on an act for the students, I truly DID wonder about 100 or so questions I had that I couldn't answer, like "do fish yawn", or "what do dragonflies eat?"
It made me think not only about how much I still have to learn, but also about how much I still ENJOY learning. Although I'm not in a classroom full time anymore, I would hope that when I was I modeled my curiosity and love of learning for my students. And maybe "model" isn't the right word because, in my mind, it somehow implies I'm faking it. I'm still, at age 47, filled with a sense of wonder at the big, wide, "wonder"ful world around me.
I hope the students I met this week encounter a teacher or have a parent or guardian that will instill in them the love of learning, a sense of wonder, and will be able to guide them to find the answers to their questions with the many incredible resources on the Internet. I wonder how they'll turn out???
My brilliant idea is to develop a series of workshops that revolve around the idea of Professional Development 2.0 (I know, I know, enough with the 2.0 already!). Trying to help teachers get past the paradigm of the face to face workshop, and on to the myriad of online opportunities currently available: like attending a conference "virtually", reading blogs, listening to podcasts, attending a webinar, viewing online just-in-time tutorials, participating in a wiki, and joining an online community of practice (I can't remember where I first saw that term), or professional learning community, or finding or being a mentor.
So dear readers (both of you!), let me know what you think of my latest brainstorm, and be sure to offer your suggestions for websites and resources related to the above.
Here's a sample question: What percentage of Americans under the age of 30 read a newspaper on a typical day?
Wow! I thought I was pretty savvy, but I only got 4 questions right! Even better, after you take the quiz, you'll see an explanation for each answer and the source for all of the data cited. There are even links to related websites and classroom activity ideas. If nothing else you'll be able to start some great discussions, especially after you survey your own students.
First, the rules:
1. Post these rules before you give your facts.
2. List 8 random facts about yourself.
3. At the end of your post, choose (tag) 8 people and list their names, linking to them.
4. Leave a comment on their blog, letting them know they’ve been tagged.
Hmmm... I seem to remember posting 5 facts about myself a few months ago, but I'll try to come up with something original...
1. I was born in Cleveland, Ohio and ended up in Michigan via Montana. I still love it in Cleveland, also known as "the best location in the nation." I didn't make that up, it was an oft repeated mantra from the Cleveland media or some civic organization in the 60's.
2. I learned to play the flute in 3rd grade. Other students didn't start until 5th grade, but I didn't know that and just asked the school orchestra director if I could join in the 3rd grade. Knowing what I know now, having been a band director for 20 years, I can't believe I was able to reach the keys and produce a tone at such a young age! Why the flute? Because my sister had dropped out of band as a senior in high school and my parents didn't have to buy me another instrument.
3. While in college I competed in the Yamaha organ competition and earned a distinguished performance award at a regional finals competition in Illinois. I was THIS close to going to the national finals.
4. The first foul ball I ever got at a baseball game was off the bat of my baseball idol Cal Ripken Jr. It took a few years of trying, but I finally got him to autograph it the last year he played.
5. And speaking of autographs, I have a print by James Bama entitled "Oldest Living Crow" that I had autographed by the subject in the print, Robbie Yellowtail. My first teaching job was on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana, and Robbie was still alive back then. A very quiet, dignified, intelligent man. Google his name some time.
6. I'm not a very good cook, but I make a mean macaroni & cheese!
7. Sometimes I catch myself sounding EXACTLY like my dad! Even my wife notices, and we both have a good laugh remembering him. I hope my kids do the same for me some day (a LONG time from now!)
8. To paraphrase Lou Gehrig, "I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth." Truly, I have been blessed, and I love listening to Montgomery Gentry's song "Lucky man." to remind me of that fact.
So there you go. I'm having a tough time coming up with 8 bloggers who haven't already been tagged. I'll think about it and give you a list later. Thanks again Cheryl, this was fun.
His advice to me, when I went to some length to tell him how he affected my life was classic Lynn. “Mr. Fulghum, don’t bother me with talk about great teachers, just concentrate on trying to be one. How? Always be a great student and pass the disease along.”
Friday, August 10, 2007
Rest in peace dear friend. Good boy.
(P.S.-- for those of you reading this in an aggregator (i.e. Bloglines), I found and uploaded my short video to YouTube. You may have to return to my blog to click on the video player. I don't know why I can't get them to show up in Bloglines although other bloggers have.)
"Can you instill a love of life-long learning in others if you aren't an enthusiastic life-long learner yourself?"
Amen, brother. How many school mission statements have you read that have "life-long learner" or "compete in a global economy" in them?
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Microsoft has made the job just a little easier with their fresh start program:
"Microsoft's Fresh Start for Donated Computers program helps primary and secondary (K-12) schools ensure its donated computers are properly licensed—so students and teachers can gain additional access to technology... A school completes a short online application. Once Microsoft has reviewed and approved the application, we will provide the school with a letter that serves as proof of valid Windows 2000 licenses for their donated personal computers. Microsoft also will provide one copy of the software on CD for customers who have received donated personal computers."To learn more or to apply go to: http://www.microsoft.com/Education/Freshstart/FSSplash.aspx
"Our educational video games offer an innovative approach to teaching basic academic skills by incorporating features of arcade games and educational practices that into online games that will motivate, intrigue, and teach your students."
I'm intrigued by the fact that their games are playable on the Nintendo wii using the wii browser and controllers! Can't wait to try it! It's from the same folks who brought us QuizStar and RubiStar.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Google Earth Links
Google Earth: http://earth.google.com/
Google Earth Blog: http://www.gearthblog.com/
Google LatLong Blog: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/
Using Google Earth Blog: http://googleearthuser.blogspot.com/
Geocaching- The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site: http://www.geocaching.com/
NOVA Online Lost at Sea- The Search for Longitude: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/longitude/
GPS Tracklog Blog: http://gpstracklog.typepad.com/gps_tracklog/
GPS Visualizer: http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/
Free Geography Tools: http://freegeographytools.com/
Groundspeak GPS in Education forum: http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showforum=12
Dr. Alice Christie's Geocaching site: http://www.west.asu.edu/achristie/geocaching/index.html
Dr. Christie's GPS and Geocaching Guide for Educators: http://www.alicechristie.org/geocaching/
How GPS Receivers Work: http://www.howstuffworks.com/gps.htm
USGS Educational Resources: http://education.usgs.gov/
GPS in the Classroom: http://www.sjd.water.ca.gov/watershed/gps_class/index.cfm
GPS & Place-based Learning: http://eduscapes.com/omrp/gps.htm
Geocache Simulator: http://web.telia.com/~u32007998/geocache/eng/gpscache_eng.html
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
|Jott From Jim Dornberg|
|Hi this is Jim, bloging(?) from my cell phone using the Jott service. Just trying this out to see, if its really works.|
|Listen to Audio|
Brought to you by Jott Networks, Inc.
Note: This took about 2 minutes to arrive on my blog. There are just a couple of minor errors, but overall it's pretty amazing, don't you think?
Google Mobile: http://www.google.com/intl/en_us/mobile/sms/
How to send a text message (4Info): http://www.4info.net/howto/demo.jsp
CNN Mobile: http://us.cnn.com/mobile/
NY Times Daily Lesson Plan: http://www.nytimes.com/learning/teachers/lessons/20040930thursday.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1186506070-oJ3r8yiiTRRceyVRO7Gr3g
USA Today Mobile: http://www.usatoday.com/brand_marketing/sms/sports/sportsinfo.html
(content provided by 4Info)
The Wireless Wizard: http://www.thewirelesswizard.com/tips-tricks-shortcuts/
Think Mobile Phones for Learning: http://thinkingmachine.pbwiki.com/Think%20Mobile%20Phones%20for%20Learning
American Rhetoric – Top 100 historic speeches
Audible- free 14 day trial
eBooks and Education
Free Audio Books - Audiobooks.net
Free Classic AudioBooks
The Audio Books Project - Gutenberg
The Official Robert Munsch Website – children’s author reads his own books
Lesson plan resources
Apple Education - iPod in the Classroom - Lesson Plans
Apple Learning Interchange 2007 - Teaching with iPod and iTunes
Articles, links, and other resources
Are iPod-banning schools cheating our kids?
iPod Helps Special-Needs Students Make the Grade
iPod in Education Links
learninginhand.com - iPods in Education
Louisa-Muscatine iPod Project
PBS Teachers learning.now-- The iPod of the Beholder
Schools banning iPods to beat cheaters - USATODAY.com
The Stingy Scholar ipod
Podcasts (many of these are in the iTunes music store)
10 Podcasts for Teachers and Kids- Scholastic.com
B O O K W I N K
Colonial Williamsburg Past and Present Podcasts
Earth & Sky for Kids
ESL and Archie Comics
Family Health Radio
Historical Sounds in MP3 Format - The Free Information Society
Kids Music, Children's Music - Free MP3 Downloads of Kids Songs
Living on Earth-- Sound Journalism for the Whole Planet
NASA - Digital Learning Network Podcast Directory
NPR Podcast Directory
Reader's Digest- RD Out Loud
San Diego Zoo Podcasts
Storynory- Free Audio Stories for Kids
Vocab Minute Podcasts- The Princeton Review
Software and file conversion
iPod Notes Packager—create ebooks for your iPod
iQuiz Maker – works with iQuiz game available from iTunes music store
iTunes—free download from Apple, works with or without an iPod
mogopop – create your own content for the iPod
Scribd – convert documents to spoken words and download
Vixy.net -- free online flash video converter
Tips and tutorials
Aspira.org- iPod Education Resources Portal
iTunes - Hot Tips
iTunes 6 - Atomic Learning, Inc.
Apple iTunes Tutorial Apple - Introduction
playlistmag- iPod and iTunes Product Guide, News, Reviews, How-To’s and More
National Archives – historic video on Google Video
TeacherTube – teacher created content
ScienceHack- math and science videos pre-screened for quality and accuracy
Monday, August 06, 2007
The creators of the CPS. You can download the latest version of the CPS software here. Also check out the video tutorials for this new software which debuted in July: http://einstruction.com/Training/Videos/
MMLA Mathematics Assessments: http://mathassessments.mscenters.org/
Generate MEAP like items for grades K-8 aligned with Michigan GLCEs. It's very easy to use these PDFs as a "fast grade" lesson in CPS.
CoolSchoolTools.com CPS video tutorials: http://coolschooltools.com/cps/tutorials.html
and even more tutorials on the Tevebaugh Group website: http://www.tevebaughgroup.com/
FSCreations Title Track: http://www.fscreations.com/titletrack/
Does your textbook come with ExamView question banks? Find out by searching the FSCreations database. ExamView questions can be used with the CPS.
Kenton County Kentucky CPS lessons: http://www.kenton.k12.ky.us/max/max_cps.htm
Lots of sample CPS lesson files can be downloaded here.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Tony Vincent's Learning in Hand: http://learninginhand.com/ (if you have time to visit only ONE Palm related website, make it this one!)
District Administration's Education in Hand: http://districtadministration.ccsct.com//page.cfm?p=328
University of Virginia eBooks: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/ebooks/
The PDA Librarian: http://user.pa.net/~thompson/
GoKnow: http://goknow.com/index.php (be sure to see the Sketchy contest winners!)
Palm Education Solutions: http://www.palm.com/us/business/solutions/education.html
Well, here is a website with about 30 video podcasts on SketchUp: http://go-2-school.com/podcasts Haven't looked at them yet, but they come highly recommended from the Google Earth Blog. They even have an RSS feed and an iTunes subscription.
You can purchase their complete DVD for $79. Or you can buy the new SketchUp for Dummies book.
I think my list of things to do has about 1000 things right now.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
I also took a Gray Line Katrina tour to see first hand the devastation from the hurricane. The premise of the tour is that Katrina was a huge natural disaster, but an even bigger man-made disaster. If you're ever in New Orleans, I highly recommend you take this tour. Unbelievable.
A fellow tourist noted that the good people of New Orleans seem "exhausted" from all they've had to deal with in the past 2 years, and I totally agree with that observation.
The French Quarter, near the Mississippi River, sits on the highest ground, and is almost back to normal. I observed only a few stores and restaurants that are either closed, or on reduced hours, and the merchants I talked to say business is much better in 2007 than in 2006. The streets were much more crowded on Thursday, Friday and Saturday than they were earlier in the week, but I can't say if this was typical pre-Katrina.
I got to thinking (and thinking and thinking) about all I had observed, and I wondered how many lessons could be devoted to New Orleans. Obviously the incredibly rich history, but now, post-Katrina, the many lessons to be learned about Geography, human adaptation, and some of the other major "themes" in Social Studies. Also Science: the weather, animals and their habitat, the Mississippi river, global warming... well, you get the idea.
Luckily for me, the August 2007 issue of the National Geographic hit the newsstands while I was there, so I had some interesting reading for the plane ride home. You can see the online version of an excellent article entitled New Orleans: A Perilous Future with photos and videos on the National Geographic website.
And now for one of my "epiphanies." Many of the remaining houses are being raised up onto a first floor basement (click on the 3rd picture). Because of the high water table a "typical" basement isn't doable. Ironically, the French settlers had this figured out in the 18th century. Without getting into a lot of the city's history (which I'd probably get wrong anyway), after getting hit with a couple of hurricanes, the residents of the French Quarter figured out that having a living space on the first floor was not very practical. I saw and photographed one of the few remaining examples of a typical French style home in the French Quarter, and once I get my camera back from my wife, I'll upload it here so that you can see it for yourself.
This example got me to thinking that in spite of our many technological advances, we still can't fool Mother Nature. And now, some 200 years or so later, the residents of New Orleans have reverted back to an older architectural design for their homes. I wonder if at some point we might be doing the same thing in our classrooms with technology, deciding, perhaps, that the "old" ways are better or more dependable???
I absolutely LOVE this city! The French Quarter is just amazing! I think I learned more American history in a 90 minute guided tour than I ever did from a textbook (I think this is called location based learning???).
But how is this for serendipity: while on the tour, I noticed some 5th or 6th grade aged students snapping pictures with digital cameras. And then one student approached one of the others on the tour and proceeded to interview her while recording their conversation on a digital voice recorder. For the next 5 minutes, I didn't hear anything our excellent tour guide, Jim, a NPS Ranger, said. I spotted one of the adults chaperoning the students, and immediately began asking questions. Luckily for me, I also connected with the Science & Technology Coordinator in charge of the technology camp and we traded business cards. I don't have all of the details yet, and my memory is a little fuzzy (no, not from a Hurricane), but the gist of the project they are working on involves creating a downloadable audio tour (with pictures) of the historic buildings in the French Quarter. How cool is that?
I'm thinking we could do something similar in historic Monroe County, especially with the prospect of having our River Raisin battlefield designated as a National Park. And the War of 1812 gives us an opportunity to collaborate with my new found friends in Louisiana-- ever heard of the Battle of New Orleans?
My mind is buzzing with the anticipation of the possibilities based on this incredible little coincidence.