Friday, April 10, 2009

"Poop Like An Elephant?"

Guy Kawasaki says to eat like a bird, poop like an elephant. How about poop like an Easter bunny?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Better By Design?

Dan Meyer "stirred up trouble" the other day by asking people to rethink their slide decks and ask for public critique. He asked us to move outside our comfort zone and Dean Shareski responded with a thoughtful self evaluation of one of his presentations.

One of the main issues Dan raised was the over use of stock photography. Personal tidbits
are always good but sometimes you just can't get the right picture yourself.

I made the same slide three times with clipart, a stock photo, and a more candid shot. Is one more effective than another? I don't know, you tell me.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

iGoogle...and so do my students

My students are always frustrated by the lack of customization allowed by the computers at school.  Some of them even go so far as rearranging the icons and selecting a picture from their docs folder as their wallpaper (each and every time they log on).

Finally, I wised up and put them on iGoogle (we already had accounts) and let them have a tab that they are free to organize ALMOST any way they want.  At first most of them thought that meant that they needed 243 widgets.  We agreed that six was sufficient for now.

We also have a "School" tab that keeps their docs, cal, reader, and email.  I want to add delicious and flickr next week.

I also want to use what I learned from  David Warlick's IT Summit presentation on student use of RSS.  We are currently studying Shakespeare in ELA, and the RCMP in social studies.  Our next science unit is on predicting weather.  I hope to add tabs for these topics and then discard them when we are done.

(Not my first choice of theme, but it's not about me)

Classroom Design Matters

I had a lightbulb moment the other day.  My desk acted as a barrier to the IWB for my students.  I had staked out that part of the classroom as mine.  That was bad classroom design.