Friday, March 27, 2009

Wired Campus: Archive Watch: Rare Spanish Songs Go Online -

A huge collection of Spanish-language songs have gone online at UCLA's Chicano Studies Center according to an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Technology links museum to students in high-def

Take a look at this article on using the internet for science education at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh.  The museum site is here.

Structure More Effective In High School Science Classes, Study Reveals

Should kids be allowed to do self-directed research in science? Not according to the latest research in this article.As I delve into the intricacies of curriculum, I often wonder if we need to divorce pedagogical approaches in the humanities and math/science. I'm not at all saying that student-centric approaches aren't worthwhile in both areas, but do math and science need to be structured differently? Aristotle said as much in The Physics and I think he may be right. I'm not quite sure what that looks like, but I think it warrants further investigation.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Education Week: U.S. Must Learn From International Peers, Report Says

U.S. educators seem, in my view, to be pretty reluctant to look at other national school systems to seek improvements. A recent article

in Education Week looks at the need for us to move away from our myopic vision and start looking abroad. The article rightly points out some of the statistical difficulties in doing this, but I still think the idea is solid. Places like Finland and Singapore seem to be doing some really interesting things and it'd be a mistake to ignore their experiences.

Education Week: Breaking Away From Tradition

EdWeek has an interesting article on the growth of online education. It features comments from Michael Horn of the Innosight Institute. Horn visited Collegiate last week and provided an amazing workshop for our faculty, so I take his observations very seriously.

BBC NEWS | Business | World's cheapest car is launched

Tata Motors is releasing the Nano, the world's cheapest car. The possibilities are amazing, but so are the environmental risks. Ruh roh.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Showing Movies in Class

I'm an not a huge fan of showing movies in class -- at least in their entirety. But I just read an article about something called "Backchanneling" and how one teacher is using it to enhance the movie-showing and viewing experience.

What is Backchanneling, you might ask? Here's how one backchanneling site describes it:

The backchannel is everything going on in the room that isn't coming from the presenter.

The backchannel is where people ask each other questions, pass notes, get distracted, and give you the most immediate feedback you'll ever get.

Instead of ignoring the backchannel, Today's Meet helps you leverage its power.

Tapping into the backchannel lets you tailor and direct your presentation to the audience in front of you, and unifying the backchannel means the audience can share insights, questions and answers like never before.

It looks really interesting to me to use during "movie time" and even during normal classes.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Techy Tips

Mark Clarkson from the U.K. posted what is a pretty neat GoogleDoc on "Techy Tips for not so techy teachers". It's a pretty basic but nonetheless interesting collection of web 2.0 resources for teachers. Worth a look-see even for more experienced web 2.0 types.

Show World

ShowWorld is a great mapping site that visualizes US and world statistics in such categories as education, GDP, crime, and the like. There are some other similar sites out there, but this one has US state-by-state statistics and has a very clean interface. Worth a look.

MIT Research Goes Public

From ESchoolNews: MIT's faculty has voted unanimously to post its faculty research for free on the web.

MIT joins about 30 universities and colleges--including Harvard, Stanford, and Boston universities--that have approved some form of open-access model, said Peter Suber, an open-access advocate and national expert. MIT will institute open access university-wide, joining Boston University as the only schools to take that approach. Other campuses have implemented open access one department at a time.

The open-access mandate is not the first time MIT has grabbed attention with academic openness. MIT's OpenCourseWare project has made classroom lectures, syllabi, and assignments available for free on the internet--a move lauded by many in higher education.

I know there's a potential dark side to all this, but this sort of story makes me more optimistic...


Neil Stephenson's Teaching in Mind site has a discussion of Glogster -- a site that creates multimedia posters that one can embed on wikis and blogs. It looks like its got some nice classroom management features that make it easy for teachers to use as well. Has anyone tried it?

Academia 2.0

I ran across this at the It's put together by KSU and shows more of the same type of stuff about the future of education. My one question: are we overselling kids' tech-savvy? I don't see my students as overly embedded in the new technologies. A few kids are certainly this way, but most of them seem pretty conventional.