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Why Do You Ask?

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

Friday, April 30, 2010

2010 Beach Party Dance at DMS

Thursday, April 29, 2010

We Are The Champions!

Our Girls and Boys Track Teams won their Independent League Meet.

iPhoned
From R. Murry

Posted via email from Murry's World

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tests Where All Answers Are Correct...

I've been thinking about this for a while. What if there was a multiple choice test that provided different levels of correctness? What could we learn from the results?

For example:

Where is the city of Washington D.C. located?
A. The United States of America
B. The Northern & Western Hemispheres
C. Closer to the Atlantic Ocean than to the Indian Ocean.
D. In North America

Do the answer choices demonstrate a level of knowledge and an opportunity for further learning? What if the student had to explain why they chose the answer they selected? Does anyone see any value in pursuing this approach?

iPhoned
From R. Murry

Posted via email from Murry's World

Monday, April 19, 2010

iEAR - App Review of SCVNGR

Cross Posted at: http://www.iear.org/iear/2010/4/19/scvngr.html

App Cost:  Free

App iTunes URL:  http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/scvngr/id323248984?mt=8

App Developer:  SCVNGR

Developer's Websitehttp://scvngr.com

Grade Level Appropriateness:  6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, College

Introduction / Background of App:
SCVNGR is an abbreviation of Scavenger. It is a digital take on the Scavenger Hunt of old.

It is an app, but will also work with any cell phone with text messaging capabilities.

Description of App Functionality:
The player is given a question and responds with the correct (or nearly correct) answer to move through the Scavenger Hunt. Players may be asked to submit pictures as evidence of completion of an activity.

As students (or groups) answer questions correctly, they are automatically sent the next question or challenge to complete.

The teacher creates the SCVNGR questions and challenges on the website (http://scvngr.com).

Classroom Use Examples / Ideas:
I have used this app successfully in reading exercises with English Language Learners to Advance Placement students. Students are highly engaged in the activity of competing with other groups to score the highest points for the SCVNGR activity.

Students have developed one (on paper) for me to write that will be building-wide hunt to learn about their teachers for the upcoming year. They will find factual information, then take a picture to submit for verification they have met their teacher.

I have also used the app to introduce students to their community landmarks. The app provides Google Maps for location-specific activities.

Program Functionality:  A

Program Functionality Rationale:
The original purpose of the app was to serve as a self-guided tour to museums, campuses, and cities. The integration of maps, photos, and text make the functionality multifaceted and engaging.

The creator of a SCVNGR can create a random location hunt or one that follows a specific path.

Purpose:  A

Purpose Rationale:
The rationale behind the app is to provide self-guided pursuits. If the creator of the SCVNGR is not clear in the questions or challenges, there may be difficulty in achieving the goal. It will take practice, creativity, and patience to develop quality SCVNGRs for younger students.

Overall Educational Value:  A+

Overall Educational Value Rationale:
This educational value of the application is the responsibility of the teacher who creates the SCVNGR. The tool itself lends itself to engaging, self-directed pursuits of factual, locational, and artistic opportunities.

Recommmendation:
After using SCVNGR with 7th grade students in a reading exercise, I highly recommend this app. At the time of publication of this review, my students have completed 6 SCVNGR hunts, and are working on their own for the future. I am asked each week if we are going to do a SCVNGR. The excitement of the students is what leads me to recommend this app to you.

Reviewer Name:  Ric Murry

Reviewer Blog/Twitter Account:
http://rrmurry.posterous.com
http://twitter.com/rrmurry

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

6 Maps for CRCT Preparation

Map 1 - Africa Countries
1 - Egypt
2 - Sudan
3 - Kenya
4 - South Africa
5 - Nigeria
6 - Democratic Republic of the Congo

Map 2 - Africa Land & Water Features
A - Sahara Desert
B - Sahel
C - Savanna
D - Tropical Rain Forest
E - Congo River
F - Niger River
G - Nile River
H - Lake Victoria
I - Lake Tanganyika
J - Atlas Mountains
K - Kalahari Desert

Map 3 - Middle East Countries
1 - Turkey
2 - Israel
3 - Saudi Arabia
4 - Iraq
5 - Iran
6 - Afghanistan

Map 4 - Middle East Land & Water Features
A - Jordan River
B - Eurphrates River
C - Tigris River
D - Persian Gulf
E - Strait of Hormuz
F - Arabian Sea
G - Red Sea
H - Suez Canal (water)
I - Gaza Strip (land of Palestinians in Israel)

Map 5 - Asia Countries
1 - Japan
2 - China
3 - Vietnam
4 - Indonesia
5 - India
6 - North Korea
7 - South Korea

Map 6 - Asia Land & Water Features
A - Yellow River
B - Yangtze River
C - Mekong River
D - Ganges River
E - Indus River
F - Indian Ocean
G - Bay of Bengal
H - South China Sea
I - Yellow Sea
J - Sea of Japan
K - Gobi Desert
L - Taklimakan Desert
M - Himalayan Mountains
N - Korean Peninsula

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6 Maps for CRCT Preparation

Saturday, April 17, 2010

UT Football Spring Game

Sunday, April 11, 2010

My tavorite kind of standardized test question

iPhoned
From R. Murry

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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Celebrating my daughter-in-laws birthday at Red Lobster

iPhoned
From R. Murry

Posted via email from Murry's World

Why Cell Phones Will Win Out & Schools Will Miss the Possiblities

The evolution of computing has gone from:
  1. Stationary - the desktop computer - user has to go to it.
  2. Portable - the laptop or tablet computer - You can take it with you, but it can be cumbersome and inconvenient.
  3. Mobile - the cellphone, iTouch, iPod - This goes with you like an appendage.  The word-of-the-year, ubiquitous comes tom mind.
I prefer the portable, probably because I'm old(er) and the screen size of a mobile is an issue at times. But, I use my iPhone more than any other piece of technology I own, or have owned.

I am seeing that the internet as a web of knowledge is being collected into apps.  My students are using apps more than online options for games, information, and communication.

I have no research other than my observation, but my experience tells me that the mobile units will win this battle as to tool of choice. 

Of course, by the time most schools realize this, chips will be implanted into the brains of our students; and schools may avoid the entire mobile possibilities, preferring confiscation, fines, and suspension to the learning opportunities.

By the way, you might want to check out what Travis Allen (now first-year student at Kennesaw State University, GA) is developing at iSchool Initiative.

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Sunday, April 04, 2010

It's Friday But Sunday's Coming - The final minutes of Tony Campolo's Sermon of the Century

  
Download now or listen on posterous
Its_Friday_But_SundaB72306.mp3 (6356 KB)

The whole thing is worth listening to, but here's the conclusion. 

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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Getting ready to see one of my students - Bre B - in her church's Easter Play, Redemption. Very excited to be here.

iPhoned
From R. Murry

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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Day #1 at TeachMeet Nashville 2010

The first day of TMN10 has been really good.  I am seeing teachers trying hard to make a change in the way we educate our children.

Meeting more people from around the country really helps me stay motivated.  I enjoy the conversations on Twitter and in blogs, but the one thing missing is the inflection in their voice.  No amount of grammar and punctuation can take the place of hearing a voice filled with passion about teaching.  Much like Shakespeare was not meant to be read, but heard - conferences allow me to spot sincerity and the level of commitment of the people I have followed or will soon follow.

Jason Bedell is phenomenal.  He dreamed, found assistants, planned, organized, found sponsors and speakers - and did it in just over 2 months.  Inspiring work.  I have spoken with Nancy Blair, and we are considering a TeachMeet in Georgia.  How's that for motivating your audience.

This grassroots approach appeals to me, because there is a missing "you gotta do this or else" feel.  It is a group of hard-working teachers looking for ways to capture the imaginations of their students.

It was outstanding to hear and meet three educators from Van Meter, Iowa - Derron Derflinger, Shannon Miller, and John Carver.  I admire what they are able to do. I'm contemplating if what they are able to do is able to be replicated and scaled.

I hope I am able to contribute tomorrow, a percentage of what I have learned today.

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