Thursday, October 13, 2011

"Come On Man!" Moment for Teachers

My daughter is taking civics in high school and I went to her Open House (yeah, I still do that stuff). Her teacher is a young guy who has a degree in humanities and just happens to be teaching that class because it just happen to be the open position. He has never taught civics...or any social studies class.

So, I send him an email noting three websites, specifically stating that is a great site and relevant to his students. Its perfect for the class because they are a science and technology school with a focus on project based learning. The website, I tell him, is almost a blue print for his class. I also tell him about my background and how this is sorta what I do for a living.

Well, he completely ignores my email. A few weeks go by and then one day my daughter asks me about this web site. I get excited and ask her if her teacher was using it with her class. She replies no, her friend found it. It seems that during lunch, (they all have laptops at the school) they have exploring the website. My daughter and I begin to have discussions about various civics topics and about the debate issues that were brought up on the website. You know, stuff she should be doing with her teacher.

I ask her if they brought this site to their teacher and she says yes, he told them he would take a look at it.

Well, here it is. Two months later and they never used the site in class. My daughter complains about how boring the class is and how they write papers and read about Federalists and how she could care less. She has no enthusiasm and complains about reading this and writing about that. I missed that light in her eyes that and the newly discovered passion for a topic that most people find boring.

Come on Man!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Year

Here is a new year and budget cuts are threatening my dream job. That will never stop my love for what I do and never stop my blog.

So how about some Chemistry and periodic table stuff? Let's look at some TOTALLY exciting resources that have the periodic table for those of who make your students memorize the periodic table.

Here is an Interactive Periodic Table from ABPI

The University of Notttingham has an Interactive Periodic Table of Videos

How about The Periodic Table of Comic Books? This site has all of the references of the elements in comic book pages. This is a real good way help students visualize uses of elements.

Finally, here is just a really nice Interactive Periodic Table.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Top 6 New Emerging Technologies in K-12 Education

People love lists and people are always putting out lists. The New Media Consortium, whom I have never heard of, released the top six emerging technologies for K-12 schools. If they are a media company, how do they know what the technologies are for schools I wonder? Anyway, here is the full article if you are interested.

They provide a timeline and provide them in order: Cloud computing, mobiles, game-based learning, open-content, learning analytics, and personal learning environments. The timeline is one to five years all of this is to be implemented.

I find this interesting in that most of the people I work with have never even heard of any topic except games. Okay, probably the cloud computing concept, thanks to commercials. I guess this is why they call it emerging, I appreciate their optimism. Based upon my real life experiences, I wish I could be that optimistic.

I would be nice, though.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Skype in the Classroom

Skype has a special site just for teachers now. Called Skype in the Classroom, educators can connect with others globally. Whether they just want to communicate or create an elaborate project, it is much easier to connect now. All a person has to do is sign up and start searching. They can also start looking on the map for educators located around the world by markers placed on the map.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blogs? Who's Blogs?

A lot of times the best place to get information from is other teachers. They share their experiences of tried and true methods (and failed experiences). The best place to get these shared experiences is from blogs. There are many of them and here a some that I follow.

Free Technology for Teachers This guy wins awards for his blog and he has lots of stuff to share.

changED This lady is more about current events and high school but always has follow up resources.

dy/dan This blog is by a high school math teacher who really pushes the limit on thinking logically and "When am I ever going to use this stuff?"

If you are interested in seeing some other really good blogs. Check out the The Edublog Award site. They have the 2010 winners listed if you are curious.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Insert your own activities to your site

BBC has some really good interactive resources for teachers and students. The activity below is a sample of an activity that you can copy and past onto a website.

They have English, Math and Science interactives. Give it a try.BBC-K22


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Math, Physics, Calculus...Oh my!

Yeah, I know, but I found this and it is great! A non-profit group called the Khan Academy created self-paced videos for a group that I think is under-represented; advanced science and math students. They need the most help because their stuff is the hardest, yet they get the least help. I don't think it should be a "get it or get out" type of mentality for advanced math and science education. I think it should be "get it or let me find a better way of teaching it" mentality.

Their website has...a lot...of self-paced videos explaining how to do all kinds of concepts in subjects that range from geometry, trigonometry, organic chemistry, physics, finance and test prep, just to name a few.