Thursday, December 30, 2010

Notice the Beauty

If you're lucky like me, you have a few days to rest, relax, and recharge your batteries. Sometimes we are allowing daily struggles to overwhelm us, causing us to miss beauty. Check out this video. One of the nation's best violinists started playing in a D.C. Metro stop. Hardly anyone stopped to listen to him. Usually, people pay large sums of money to hear him play in concert halls. But, people are so busy they didn't recognize this beauty in their subway stop. Slow down and enjoy this week. We can always get to those overwhelming tasks tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Springfield Township High School Lip Dub

Ok, well, this post is me being PROUD. The team at the high school where I work is amazing. A team of students, headed by Dan Meder, produced this amazing video. The thing that impressed me the most was that the students were able to organize a high school of over 600 students for filming. It's project based learning at its best. Enjoy!

Springfield Township High School Lip Dub from Spartan TV on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fun Site Before the Holidays: Debt Ski

If your students are going "gift crazy" this holiday season, you may want to share Debt Ski with them. This game involves a water-skiing pig (yes, that's right) who navigates the waters of personal debt. It is a very fun, accessible way to help students understand how much they should spend and how much they should save. Thanks to Instructify for this resource. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Great Site to Deliver Tech Help

Do you know someone special who might need a little tech support? Send them a Tech Care Package by clicking HERE. The site was created by Google, and it is designed to help beginner computer users. What I really like is that you can bundle a series of videos that you select just for them. It is nicely individualized. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Science of the NFL: NBC Learn

Lots of kids love sports. Now you can use those sports to help teach them important science and math concepts. NBC Learn, a project put together by NBC television, has a great collection of football videos that teach math and science concepts. Topics include the Newton's laws of motion, the Pythagorean theorem and more. Check out the library of videos here. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Simple Timer Plug in for Firefox

In my district, I'm starting to prepare a "universal design" version of Firefox. To this end, I've been on the hunt for great add-ons. I was recently reading Richard Byrne's blog and I saw a Simple Timer add-on. It could help students manage their tasks and their efforts when working on online research.

My ultimate goal is to have the "universal design" version of Firefox that I compile loaded onto every computer over the summer. I will couple this with professional development to help teachers encourage students to utilize universal design features appropriately.

Do you have any Firefox add-ons that you can't live without? Let me know.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fires in the Mind

One of the sessions that I attended at Edcamp NYC last weekend was called Fires in the Mind. It explored student motivation. As the session progressed, Kathleen Cushman noted the necessity of engaging in "deliberate practice" in order for mastery to occur. The elements of deliberate practice are express purpose, attention, individualization, repetition, and the cultivation of new learning. As I was in the session, it sparked ideas about how I have used homework in the past. Did my homework have all of the elements of "deliberate practice"? Well, maybe not. But I think that all of those elements are attainable if you access student opinions. How can we reframe our homework to become "deliberate practice"? Feel free to share your ideas below!

Click here for Kathleen's blog where you can learn more and check out lesson plans and resources.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Edcamp Video

This past weekend I went to Edcamp NYC. It was great to see such a diverse collection of passionate, dedicated educators. If you've never been to an Edcamp before, check out the video below. It was created for Edcamp Philly and it gives a great overview of the process. Enjoy!


Ed Camp from True Life Media on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Join Me: Free Screen Sharing

If you're like me, you get lots of calls or questions about "that crazy thing" that a computer is doing. Sometimes it can be very difficult to diagnose the problem or provide instruction if the computer screen is not in front of you. You may want to try Join Me. This free service allows you to take over someone's screen remotely and help them learn a new skill or troubleshoot a problem. It seems helpful. Enjoy!

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