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Why Do You Ask?

From asking questions that require an answer To asking questions that require a conversation.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Will this work in feed readers?  I hope so.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Google Sites - Intro To How Schools Could Use This Tool

Thanks to fellow GA blogger Stephen Rahn for this post. Just passing it along.

Wish I could have our school people see it, but it's blocked :-)

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Chris Pirillo - Culture Must Change Itself

How did I find this? Through following Chris on Twitter.

In education we discuss the echo chamber, preaching to the choir, and why others don't "get it."
It's not just in education...it's everywhere.

Favorite thoughts - paraphrased
  • We have to educate people to know that the Internet is about connecting people, whether online or in person. This is not a bad thing, but too many people think it is.
  • Often times we have to find like-minded people in places away from where we live.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

How I Used My iPhone

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Friday, April 18, 2008


Based on This Story
Commented on by Wes Fryer
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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Natives Are Restless

Thanks to Darren and Chris for sharing with us.

Since YouTube is blocked in most schools I know, here is the direct address.:


How much longer should our students have to wait for their schools to listen to them.  The kids in the video said more without talking than most adults who oppose their message say in defense of filters, banning cell phones, and bad-mouthing social networks.

Thanks to the students who participated in the Pan Canadian Literacy Forum.  Great example of what happens when teachers are given the opportunity to be professional. 

NOTE: Irony is not lost.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

The Cool Cat Burns With Passion

We have a small window of opportunity to suggest and create structures of what WE, the educators who use these technologies, suggest we should do about the whole digital citizenship, safety, and success issue.Then, we will be TOLD what to do because of our lack of action. And we know how that goes.
Cool Cat Teacher Blog: My passion is quilted in these letters: ad4dcss

Vicki has been a favorite read of mine since I met her at the GAETC in 2006. Her activity is always focused and directed toward the learning of others. Honestly, she is hard to keep up with. Personally, I think it is her background in business that makes her so productive as an educator.

I would not want anyone to leave the classroom who is as effective as Vicki, but I would greatly support Vicki if she chose to do something for educators under the umbrella of student online safety, digital citizenship, and the like.

As I was working through my Ed.S. at Valdosta State, we spent a semester on a digital citizenship. Dr. Jane Zahner was the instructor for this class. It was a good class. It was a practical class. It was something I wanted to implement with my students in my middle school class. It was also about this time that our school system decided to abdicate their obligation to teach digital citizenship by choosing 8e6 Technologies as their censor instead of using technology teachers to discuss and demonstrate proper digital citizenship.


Digital Citizenship resources

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Math & Science Masters Golf Tournament

It was a slow day...a very slow day for me. Spring Break is this week, so I didn't really choose to do anything this afternoon. I watched The Masters.

It must have been sponsored by the Math & Science Departments. Phil Mickelson and his wife, Amy, have partnered with ExxonMobil to help elementary school teachers inspire their students to become scientists and engineers...presumably to help his swing and provide him with equipment to improve his game.

Anyway, as I watched the nearly 30 commercial spots, I was reminded how we compartmentalize our lives. It's always this OR that rather than this AND that. I can tell I am about to go back to the Social Studies classroom because I am beginning to filter things through social studies eyes again.

You see, I am cautious about any scientific and mathematical advances in the 21st century. Why? Because without the foundation of treating people right, scientists and mathematicians will create something that some will use to take advantage of others. Invent TNT to blow holes through mountains, and someone without a social conscience will use it to blow up people. Discover how to split the atom, and someone will use it to blow up a city or two. Invent the internet, and someone will write a virus to annihilate someone's PC.

I jest only slightly. We teach things in compartments, and social responsibility to mankind appears to me to be missing. We will protect birds, whales, reptiles, icebergs, and air. But when it comes to "an ecology of the human spirit" (Sir Ken Robinson, TEDTalk, 2006 - minutes 18-20) we do not give enough attention to the genocide that occurs around the world (Darfur, Rwanda, Cambodia, Nanking, etc. click here). Science has surely discovered ways to feed the world, but people hoard the food or distribute it only as a means to control the lives of people.

It is much like the argument of filtering the internet at schools vs. teaching responsible use of the tool. Until adults demonstrate ethical use of the tool, students are left to their own devices to learn them independently...which will lead to bad judgment and poor decisions.

Am I against the Mickelson Foundation? Absolutely not. But we have to include the human condition in the equation at some point. Don't we?

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Saturday, April 12, 2008


Not available through Feed Readers...sorry.

Based on Will Richardson's post - Making Kids "Googlable"

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Creating Self-Importance

I've been away, for longer than I like, from posting. I've been reading, but time to write has been limited.

I've been coaching our middle school track teams. Our boys went undefeated, with 4 school records broken, and our girls finished first in all their meets except 1 - against a great private school team in Chattanooga. Anyway, my evenings have been busy -- and fun. But I haven't had the time to blog.

I was also notified last week that I get to return to the classroom to teach 7th grade Social Studies next year. I'm looking forward to it. Middle East, Africa, Asia - History, Geography, Economics, and Culture. I've already started compiling my resources, finding websites for WebQuests and Treasure Hunts. Thanks to my Twitter/blog friends for the congratulatory notes. It really means a lot to me.

But I've been reading my feeds. Blogging, to me, is active reading. I write about what I read. Occasionally I'll have a post that derives from personal experiences, but mostly I reflect, and use the information as raw data (D. Warlick).

So here's my favorite reflection of the past week or so.

Jon Becker (much like Tim Holt last summer) posted to his blog that he feels left out of the inner circle. He then gives his evaluation of the inner circle members - Will, David, Wes, Vicki, Dean, Stephen, and Chris.

[Hey Tim, If you're reading this - there doesn't seem to be a big change from last summer in the buffet :-) -
Yes, there are a few Hispanics and there are a
few women, but for the most part, the dinner is being hosted by white
guys. And it is being hosted by middle age, middle class white guys.
Still feel like coming to dinner?]

So, what's my point? Simply this, and most already know this - I did it too. If you want to get noticed, drop some serious blogger names. As Scott says - quoting Seth -
[They] don't care about you. [They] care about themselves.

Jon, you have gotten several people who have noticed you because of your thoughts. You are figuring out how to make yourself known in the information economy. Either praise the people who have gone before you, or criticize the ones who have gone before you. [They] will notice - and respond! I didn't know about you until I read Scott's post. Dr. McLeod gives very good advice, and does it consistently.

So Jon - Here's my advice. You now have an audience. Many of the people whose names you included in your post have responded, and in doing so, they have given you an audience (that's how I found you). Now for the hard part: What will you provide to keep us coming back? You have invited yourself to the buffet. You have knocked on the door to the inner circle. You have made your presence known. You have said, as all of us have, "I am somebody. I am important in the conversation."

What will your role in the conversation be?

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