Friday, August 6, 2010

Podstock SW 2010

I had a BLAST in El Paso at Podstock SW and I learned a bunch of great things that I can use in my class with my kiddos. It really pumped me up for the 2010-2011 school year.

I presented 3 (and another on the fly to a small group) sessions and was able to attend 2. I really enjoyed the new things I learned while in Web 2.0 Smack Down. That was a very unique presentation style. I also learned about Mouse Mischief from Microsoft. It is way cool and super helpful. I wonder how I will be able to implement it in my classroom. I am going to have to buy a few wireless mice. I'm not excited about that part, but it has to happen.

I hope that the people who attended my sessions left with some new tips and tricks they can use to engage their students. I presented "Death To PowerPoint" "The 21st Century Classroom" "copyRIGHT, copyWRONG" and "Google For Education".

If anyone reading this has attended my presentations, please let me know what I can do to improve my presentations or something I could add to them.

Here is a picture of the yummy lunch that we had.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I AM a Committed Sardine!!

“Why Should We All Be Committed Sardines?

First, an aside. A blue whale is the largest mammal on earth. An adult blue whale is the length of 2 1/2 Greyhound buses put end to end, weighs more than a fully loaded 737, has blood vessels large enough for an adult to swim down, a heart the size of a Volkswagon Beetle, and a tongue 8′ long. (that tongue weighs more than 25 elephants.) A baby blue whale is estimated to gain more than 50 pounds an hour from birth to age one. (now that’s a high fat diet - certainly not Atkins). The blue whale is not only the biggest, but the loudest animal. At 190 decibels, a blue whale’s call is louder than a jet (140 decibels), and much louder than a person can shout (70 decibels)

A little known fact is that a blue whale is so large that when it decides to turn around, it can take 2 to 3 minutes to turn 180 degrees so that it can swim in the opposite direction. As a result, some people have drawn a strong parallel between blue whales and our school systems. It just seems to take forever for schools to turn things around. Our ability to adapt to changing times helps explain at least in part the rise in demand for vouchers, charter schools, home schooling and virtual schools. There are some people who just don’t believe or don’t want the public school system to turn things around in time.

But compare the way a blue whale turns around (slowly) to how a school of fish turns around - specifically a school of sardines - which has the same or even a greater mass than the whale, does the same thing. A school of sardines can turn almost instantly. So the question that comes up is - How do they do this? How do they know when to turn. Is it ESP? Do they use cell phones? Are the using the Internet?

The answer is simultaneously a little simpler and quite a bit more complex. If you take a careful look at a school of sardines, you’ll notice that although the fish all appear to be swimming in the same direction, in reality, at any time, there will be a small group of sardines swimming in a different direction, in an opposite direction, against the flow, against conventional wisdom. And as they swim in another direction, they cause conflict, they cause friction, and they causes discomfort for the rest of the school.

But finally, when a critical mass of truly committed sardines is reached - not a huge number like 50 percent or 80 percent of the school, but 15 to 20 percent who are truly committed to a new direction - the rest of the school suddenly turns and goes with them – almost instantaneously!

 Isn’t that what has happened with our attitudes towards drinking and driving? Isn’t that what became of our feelings about smoking? Isn’t that exactly what happened to the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union? Isn’t that what caused the Internet to suddenly appear overnight. Each and every one of those events was an overnight success that took years in the making. Overnight successes that took a small group of people who were truly committed despite the obstacles, challenge, yabbuts, and TTWWADIs to make the necessary change.”
From: Ian Jukes

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

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