Monday, March 30, 2009

Diigo bookmarks for today 03/31/2009

Posted from Diigo. The rest of educators group favorite links are here.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Diigo bookmarks for today 03/25/2009

Posted from Diigo. The rest of educators group favorite links are here.

Happy Birthday

Just noticed my blog is one year old today! Yippie.

Blocking? Unblock the good stuff. Who says it is good stuff? We do.

I am confused.

Yes, I am getting old and get confused easily.

This is not due to that. Today I sent out some plurks bragging about some things my teachers are doing with technology. One of the teachers is using Skype to do collaborative work between groups in different schools. A second teacher is doing a math project with her 6th grade class using a wiki as one of the tools.

All of this is great, and I want to show it off to other schools, and maybe help others do similar projects in their schools. One teacher says that Plurk is blocked at her school; another says they cannot use Wikis in their district. Why? That is a good question, that and by whom?

What I hear from the teachers and from other tech directors who do the blocking tends to be either “bandwidth considerations” or “Security” or whatever. As many bloggers have noted in the past, my self included; why do we have computer networks and other technologies in our districts? The only answer that I can come up with is ‘to facilitate teaching and learning’. Why are these site blocking decisions being made by the technology people and not instructional people?

Who is in charge of a school network? Who is in charge of everything in the district? Generally it is the School Board and Superintendent. Technology people are hired to work with the network so it is useable and secure. But who decides what sites and tools are to be blocked in a district? I believe if the technology people have a robust network, and have their security in place, there are few sites that need to be blocked. If bandwidth is an issue, buy more or get a packet shaper. If security is an issue, then the security needs to be improved to a point where it is not an issue.

Wikis are wonderful education tools, it allows for student created content and collaboration. Skype is a good tool to connect with other people from around the world. Why would a district not want to use these? If any of you are having useful tools blocked, fight to get them unblocked. If your tech people start mumbling about bandwidth and security (yes we tend to mumble and use jargon to confuse the unwashed), have them contact me, I can straighten them out.

Remember we are here to educate, to open students minds, to help them gain knowledge of the world, learn modern learning and collaboration tools. Blocking is not a way to do this.

OK time to catch my breath.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Diigo bookmarks for today 03/21/2009

Posted from Diigo. The rest of educators group favorite links are here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Diigo bookmarks for today 03/20/2009

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Diigo bookmarks for today 03/19/2009

Posted from Diigo. The rest of educators group favorite links are here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Diigo bookmarks for today 03/18/2009

Posted from Diigo. The rest of educators group favorite links are here.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Diigo bookmarks for today 03/17/2009

  • activities for k-6

    Tags: education, k-12, kids

  • Many people have not read the Youtube Community Guidelines. You should report any videos that break these rules to youtube - everyone should have a youtube account and be able to do this. Today, a student had a bad video linked to hers -- I had to go to another place to report the other video but you can do this!


    "Don't Cross the Line

    Here are some common-sense rules that will help you steer clear of trouble:

    * YouTube is not for pornography or sexually explicit content. If this describes your video, even if it's a video of yourself, don't post it on YouTube. Also, be advised that we work closely with law enforcement and we report child exploitation. Please read our Safety Tips and stay safe on YouTube.
    * Don't post videos showing bad stuff like animal abuse, drug abuse, under-age drinking and smoking, or bomb making.
    * Graphic or gratuitous violence is not allowed. If your video shows someone being physically hurt, attacked, or humiliated, don't post it.
    * YouTube is not a shock site. Don't post gross-out videos of accidents, dead bodies or similar things intended to shock or disgust.
    * Respect copyright. Only upload videos that you made or that you are authorized to use. This means don't upload videos you didn't make, or use content in your videos that someone else owns the copyright to, such as music tracks, snippets of copyrighted programs, or videos made by other users, without necessary authorizations. Read our Copyright Tips for more information.
    * We encourage free speech and defend everyone's right to express unpopular points of view. But we don't permit hate speech (speech which attacks or demeans a group based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, and sexual orientation/gender identity).
    * Things like predatory behavior, stalking, threats, harassment, intimidation, invading privacy, revealing other people’s personal information, and inciting others to commit violent acts or to violate the Terms of Use are taken very seriously. Anyone caught doing these things may be permanently banned from YouTube.
    * Everyone hates spam. Don’t create misleading descriptions, tags, titles or thumbnails in order to increase views. It's not okay to post large amounts of untargeted, unwanted or repetitive content, including comments and private messages.

    Please take these rules seriously and take them to heart. Don't try to look for loopholes or try to lawyer your way around the guidelines—just understand them and try to respect the spirit in which they were created. If you'd like more details, check out our Community Guideline Tips."

    Tags: education, youtube, learning, video, digitalstorytelling, edu_trends, digitalcitizenship, administrator

  • Copyright laws for teachers. Answers to common questions about copyright laws in the classroom from Educational CyberPlayGround™.

    Tags: copyright, cyberplayground, law, education, K-12, teachers

  • Tags: opensource,, education, learning, ted

  • Today's front page from major newspapers

    Tags: currentevents, education, news, newspapers

  • Eagle Nest live cam

    Tags: Eagle, nest, webcam, science, education

Posted from Diigo. The rest of educators group favorite links are here.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Diigo bookmarks for today 03/16/2009

Posted from Diigo. The rest of educators group favorite links are here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Diigo bookmarks for today 03/13/2009

Posted from Diigo. The rest of educators group favorite links are here.

The Joys of Some Installs

Generally installing software is a simple thing, click install, put in a password or two, and it works. Then there are other installs. I have been working with putting freeradius onto a server with a tech today. Working on a Mac server, we need to use Unix commands. That is all well and good, and it generally works, but the instructions for this, as with many other command line installs are great until one point. That point makes you think you are missing a page of instructions. Things work great, then the next line makes no sense, it refers to a folder that is not there, or a command that gives back a no-such file or no such command or error or whatever. Gosh darn it. Gee Wizzzzzz.
Give it a break for a day. And because it is a server I am working on, I cannot really re-start at anytime, as many people are on the server and it is our authentcation server. SO bright and early tomorrow, I will re-boot and try to back up in the install to see what happened.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Diigo bookmarks for today 03/12/2009

Tags: myths, writing, digitalstorytelling, storytelling, literacy, education, legends, e2bn

Posted from Diigo. The rest of educators group favorite links are here.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Diigo bookmarks for today 03/09/2009

Posted from Diigo. The rest of educators group favorite links are here.

Final FIRST (for this season)

The FIRST robotics season for 2009 has finished for team 424. The team did great in the Finger Lakes Regional, earning the 6th seed in the finals. Not bad for what is essentially a JV team. Team 340, the Varsity team, squeaked into the finals and ended up in 2nd place. Not bad, two teams from the same school making it to the finals, out of 50 teams.

Last year I brought both Eric and Rudy to the regional competition, not knowing much about the program. It was at this point that Eric became interested in joining, and being unable to get his school to start a team, joined up with Churchville-Chili HS, a school to the south of his district.

Watching teams from around the state and Canada yesterday, something dawned on me. Many of the schools have large teams, somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 members. Each of these teams only build one robot. Churchville, with fewer members build two robots. There are other jobs on the teams other than building the robots, publicity, bookkeeping, fund raising, community outreach to name a few. So there are jobs for these students. But the real reason many join is to get experience in the engineering end. How much hands on experience can you have with a large team and only one robot? When you get down to it, really there about 10 members of each team that understand and really work on these machines. What having two teams allow is more students to work on a robot, and members to help each team build and problem solve.

FIRST has been a great thing for Eric to be involved with. I have not seen him so excited about anything except when he was little and played with Thomas the Tank Engine trains. Other than these two, he has sort of been doing stuff, but not whole heartedly. I have seen his personal growth in the last few months, he has gained confidence, learned to work with others and became a leader. I have never seen this part of his personality before, and perhaps he shows it in other places, but for me to witness him in action made me proud to be his father.

I am looking forward to next season, if Eric stays on the same team, he has several other sophomores who work well together moving on with him. We all are looking forward to how this will all turn out.

My other FIRST Posts
Second FIRST
Fourth First

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Diigo bookmarks for today 03/04/2009

Posted from Diigo. The rest of educators group favorite links are here.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Diigo bookmarks for today 03/03/2009

  • Finally, any theoretical benefit of practice homework must be weighed against the effect it has on students’ interest in learning. If slogging through worksheets dampens one’s desire to read or think, surely that wouldn’t be worth an incremental improvement in skills. And when an activity feels like drudgery, the quality of learning tends to suffer, too. That so many children regard homework as something to finish as quickly as possible – or even as a significant source of stress -- helps to explain why it appears not to offer any academic advantage even for those who obediently sit down and complete the tasks they’ve been assigned. All that research showing little value to homework may not be so surprising after all.

    Tags: Alfie Kohn, homework, research, progressive, education

  • Links to information on plagiarism, how to detect it, how to stop it, how to educate about it.

    Tags: plagiarism, Copyright, education, ethics, prevention

  • This is a very viral video that a lot of the kids are talking about. (It came out LAST June but now is a hot seller on Amazon.) Neil Patrick Harris wants to join the Evil League of Evil. It is 42 minutes long. It is ironic how much of entertainment is becoming viral -- television can no longer control what gets watched - it gets "put out there" and then they see what is watched. In many ways, this viral way of video viewing is very interesting.

    Not saying this should be watched -- it is quite hot with many college students. I could see how much that is said would resonate with college kids.

    Listen to the vernacular - even though some of you may find this very napolean dynamite-ish.

    "I'm just trying to change the world. I don't have time for a grudge match for every poser in a parka."

    It grows on you -- stick with it.

    Oh and be warned there are few words in here. But, no rating to catch it! (not sure why not rating movies just released online.) This is sponsored by XO laptop.

    Tags: education, learning, hz09, personalweb, mobile, connectingpeople, mashup, arts_entertainment, web2.0, technology, edu_trends, edu_news

  • Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project

    Tags: Education, school2.0

  • A new post about Google's LIFE photo archive. Count the ways to use these in your classroom!

    Tags: LIFE, Photo, photography, education, history, pics, Google

Posted from Diigo. The rest of educators group favorite links are here.