Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Today's Reads

Here are the things I've discovered via Twitter

 This one never gets old: John Cleese on the 5 Factors to Make Your Life More Creative.


Those lunatics from the Westboro Baptist Church, who have threatened to protest at the Sandy Hook funerals, have become the target of the internet hacker known only as Anonymous.

Let's hope he can wreck their plans.


Now this is an audacious idea: a German artist creates a cloud comprised of 12,000 notebooks waiting to be filled.


This is gold.  Some scholar somewhere was able to note the criticisms medieval monks marked in the margins of the manuscripts they had to translate.  I might even have to bust out a few of these when I grade my next batch of essays.

Though I don't think writing "This parchment is hairy" or "Thank God it will be dark soon" won't help my students all that much.  My favorite criticism, though, might be:  "Let the reader's voice honor the writer's pen."


Now this is a science I really need to study in far greater depth:


This is interesting.  How to avoid powerpoint hell.  Though I still like Guy Kawasaki's tips the best:

1.  Use the top ten format.  Have ten slides.  Tell your audience this right away.  That way they can begin to count down.  If you suck, then they know how much longer they have to endure.  If you're great, they better soak it all up.

2.  Don't use tiny font.  If possible, find the average age of your audience and divide it by half.  That should be your font size for your slides.

3.  If you're in a new area, visit the surrounding communities and take pictures.  Use them in the beginning of the slideshow to help win over your audience.

4.  Never, ever, ever, ever read you slides word for word.


Hallmarks for Creative Projects

I'm proud to say - and without any intention at all - the Steal Like an Artist lesson presentations my College Comp 2 students have been doing this past week hits ever one of these Hallmarks.

Now the trick is to find ways to do that in all my classes.


Is your child getting a worksheet education.


I think this sums it up best -

Some teachers will choose primarily worksheets for our children because it is a simple and easy way to plan and deliver their lessons.  A worksheet education can happen if a teacher shows a lack of effort or creativity.  This can also occur when a teacher is assigned a new grade level or course.  It takes time to “build a course” with their own ideas and lessons.

It takes time to supplement a course with our own ideas and lessons.  It's too bad we often rely on busywork while that happens.

But if you're worried about this happening, just design assignments hitting the five key hallmarks of a creative projects, and you won't have to worry about this.


I have to use this in class.


See, I'm not nuts with all this social media insanity.  Others agree with me: Why Students Should Use Twitter.  Here's another post - 5 Great Ways for Students to Collaborate on Twitter.


10 Things that Should be Obsolete in Schools

Here is a list of a few that I think are vital -

1.  Computer labs.  This means schools should be 1:1.  I like this quote - "A modern school needs to have connectivity everywhere and treat computers more like pencils than microscopes."

2.  Learning in prescribed places.  How many field trips do you remember?  How many days of sitting in the same class do you remember?  See.  There's no need to lock kids away in a classroom anymore.

3.  Teacher-Centered Classroom.  Luckily, with my Steal Like an Artist lesson presentations, I get to experience this,  "In progressive classrooms, the structure has changed: small groups of kids working, project work, and student presentations require rethinking this model."


1 comment:

MichaelD said...

Just one comment, Anonymous is a hacker group, not a single person. They've been involved in quite a few events in the past, like the attacks on Visa during the Wikileaks incident.