Sunday, March 22, 2015

Today's Reads, Views, and Links

Two blog posts in one day?  After not blogging for a couple months?

Yes. It's time to get back into the daily writing habit.  Even if it's a short entry.  Besides I'm procrastinating working on this week's lesson plans and grading exploratory essays.

So here goes today's reads, views, and links -

Speaking of getting back into the writing habit, here is a very timely article - Start Today: 20 Habits That Will Help You Be Your Best.  This reminds me a bit of Zig Ziglar's Wheel of life analogy.  (Let's hope I'm remembering this correctly) - Picture a car with four wheels - each wheel is a key part of your life - spirituality, work, family, and health.  If you don't spend time nourishing each of those four areas adequately, they lose air.  You can't get very far with three flat ties and one fully inflated tire, can you?

That's been my problem for quite awhile now.  Time to re-prioritize.


I'm a football junkie, and this story on Ozzie Newsome's rise to glory as the first African American GM in the NFL is an incredible piece of journalism.  Though I hate the Ravens, I certainly can respect them and all the amazing things they've accomplished under Newsome's stewardship.

Now this is real sports journalism, not the crap The Bleacher Report amateurs pump out on an hourly basis.


The Psycholoy of Evil - Philip Zimbardo (he of the infamous Stanfard prison experiment) on one of the most interesting topics.


Here is an interesting blog post from one of my favorite bloggers, George Couros, about when a parent should get their child a "phone."

The problem - as Couros notes in his post - is that a phone today simply isn't a phone.  It's literally a tiny computer and social connection machine - at least that's how kids use it.

Of course, there is not "right" time to get any kids a phone.

Kenz has a "phone."  She even brought it to school for show and tell.  It's really my old iPhone 4s.  She can't call on it - and as long as it isn't connected to a wifi network - it do much of anything (unless she has games, apps, music, or video downloaded to it).  But that doesn't mean she can't use it (and use it fluently she does) for entertainment.

Is this bad?

That depends upon the parents.

Kenz seems quite mature and capable for her age, so I could see us getting her a phone far earlier than we ever did KoKo and Casey.  Maybe.  We will cross that bridge when we come to it I guess.

As for Cash, given how much he loves to game on the iPad, it might well be college before he gets a phone!

The one problem I do have, though, is how adults tend to look down on the younger generation for their use of technology.

This one, especially, drives me nuts -

There are so many things inherently flawed here. Where to begin?

1.  Einstein never said this.  So whoever posts this deserves to have the same type of post directed right at them with the caption: "Whoever is too damn lazy to look up the authenticity of a quote is a damn fool." Of course, they'll retort with: "Well, if Einstein didn't say it, it's still true."  To which I'd respond by pointing to my quote again and saying, "You're still a damn fool."

2.  I've seen this at least a dozen times on Facebook.  Guess how a majority of users access Facebook (and most certainly the ones criticizing others for starting blankly at their phones)?  Yep, on their phones.

3.  In my experience, this is certainly a "problem."  But it's a problem for adults just as much as it is for kids.  Just go to an elementary school recital or performance and see how many parents are staring at their phones.  Worse yet, go to Playland at McDonald's and see all the kids playing wildly and all the adults starting directly into their phones.  As we ate at Texas Roadhouse, I saw an elderly man (at least in his 60s if not his 70s staring at his phone for much of his meal)!

4.  I'm willing to bet that employers, such as Digi Key, have to tell just as many teenagers to keep their phones away as much as they have to tell their Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.  Just because you didn't grow up constantly connected, doesn't mean you still don't want to be constantly connected!

5.  In one example from Facebook, a user lamented how he was at the doctor's office the other day and say everyone staring into their phones.  The implication appeared to me that they should have been visiting and interacting instead.  At the doctor's office? Really?  I spent many hours in the waiting room as kid (my parents were always visiting my grandmother - and I was never allowed to go up - hospital policy for some reason).  I also spent many hours with Dad when he had to go to the doctor and then I spent many hours with Kristie when she was expecting our kids in more offices.  And I rarely saw anyone chatting it up.  I did see people reading magazines, watching TV (far worse than being on your phone, if you ask me), reading books, or - gasp - on their phones (doing all those other things as well as being on social media).  

I simply think this kind of junk is done to make one generation feel superior to another.  And that's the very definition of stupid.

This is one of my favorite rebuttals -


This week my CC 2 students will be putting their own twist on TED X Talks and giving their own 10-18 minute presentations in the LHS Training Center first block.  The next time I teach this unit, I'm going to share this article with them: 8 Great Role Models for Wowing a Crowd.


Speaking of TED Talks, last week I had my students teach the class a chapter from Carmine Gallo's book Talk Like TED.  One group showed us this TED Talk, which is amazing.  I don't know how I've ever taught without it.


If you're in education and you have a meeting coming up, start it with these 10 images.

Here are my favs.

Soooooo true.

Culture is the #1 indicator of student success in the classroom.  If you have a caring, supporting culture, the kids will want to work and produce.  Just like us.  If we have a great workplace culture, it's not like work at all.  

Sad but more than likely true.

This totally illustrates the power (or potential power) of social media.


And finally, a thoughtful article on how the millennials are NOT a lost generation.

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