Archive for October 11th, 2009

October 11, 2009

Have you joined the digital age? Your students have.

Have you Joined Facebook? Twitter? Do you blog? Your secondary students and even some of your elementary students do, or they at least know what these things are. How about ning? de.li.ci.ous? SCRIBD? Can you explain what a wiki is? Do your students use Wikipedia as a resource and if so, is this good or bad? Are they able to discern good info from bad? Probably not. Whose job is it to teach them these skills? Probably ours. The world is changing not incrementally but exponentially. Education is not keeping up

Last time I checked there were 120, million user on Facebook, making it the largest city in the world, by far. In fact it makes Facebook the 11th largest country in the world, just behind Japan and just ahead of Mexico. Canada is 37th

Of course , Facebook isn’t a country, but it is a presence in the lives of our students and will continue to be so. In one recent survey at a major university, 94% of the graduate students had Facebook Accounts.

The folks who oppose school funding are helping to weaken the nation. They do not understand.

I ocassionally run across teachers who decry the use of technology in the classroom. Decry all you want, but that isn’t going to chang e reality. Ned Lud found that out

Ludd·ite
Pronunciation: \ˈlə-ˌdīt\
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps from Ned Ludd, 18th century Leicestershire workman who destroyed a knitting frame
Date: 1811
: one of a group of early 19th century English workmen destroying laborsaving machinery as a protest; broadly : one who is opposed to especially technological change

Keep On Keepin On

October 11, 2009

Has Your Classroom Changed? A New Blooms Taxonomy

All educators know about Blooms Taxonomy. It divides the world in to Lower Order Thinking Skills (LOTS) and Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS). Most of us strive to teach and question to the HOTS, but with the increased use of technology in the classroom, it is evident that techniques used twenty years ago may need to be adapted to the new world or skills and knowledge our students need and already have. New Zealand educator Andrew Churches has developed a Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy for the digital classroom which we (should) have now. I applies Blooms to the use of social networking sites, Google, de.li.ci.ous, Twitter, etc. It comes in the form of a 40 page reproducible document and is filled with rubrics and all of the things we associate with Blooms. A very worth while document to print off if you wish to help your kids prepare for the future.

Keep On Keepin On

October 11, 2009

Building Reps Meet Tomorrow

PEA Building REP Meeting at 4:00 P.M. tomorrow, Monday, 10/12. Bring a list of new members and be prepared to pay $65, check or credit card, if you want the credit from NNU. Short agenda and if everyone gets thenr on time we should be done by 5:00. Door prize but you must be present to win. Last month it was a twenty-five dollar gift certificate to Budget Tapes and Records.

Keep On Keepin’ On

peabill@gmail.com

October 11, 2009

Books Currently or Recently On My Nightstand

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.
Groucho Marx

If you think you know something about Buddhism or if you want to know facts about Buddhism rather than what your preacher tells you, I highly recommend The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buddhism. From it’s beginnings in India 2500 years ago to it’s current. growing,manifestations in the West, author Gary Gach presents the history, beliefs, philosophy of this great movement in a clear and understandable fashion, covering all the various schools of Buddhism with an even hand. Witty writing makes this an easy read. I’ve read many books on Buddhist practice and thought. This book is for anyone who wants to know about Buddhism, without the esoterics.
Now,here’s a question for you. Can you name one Buddhist war? Here’s another. When was the last time a Buddhist proselytizer knocked on your door,accosted you at an airport, or stopped you on a street corner?

If you only read one book about teaching this year, I recommend Rafe Esquith’s Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire . Esquith is a NYC classroom teacher who is so intense in working with his “at-risk” students that he once failed to notice that he had set his own hair on fire while helping a student with a science experiment. His also the author of other books about teaching and you can find them all here.

Finally, I’m currently reading God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens. Hitchen’s is a truly talented journalist who, over the last thirty years, has attended almost every significant world event and has met and interviewed almost everyone who has made that history. He is one of the most erudite and witty of writers on the scene today. He is

unabashedly and outspokenly athiest. Here, in this book, he makes a powerful, cogent argument here and , even if you are a believer, you will not be able to deny much of the criticism he levels at religion and those who promote it. Here’s an excerpt:

There still remains four irreducible objections to religious faith:that it wholly misrepresents the origins of man and the cosmos, that because of this original error it manages to combine the maximum of servility with the maximum of solipsism, that it is both the result and the cause of dangerous sexual repression, and that it is ultimately grounded on wish-thinking

He is witty, trenchant, at times quite comical and always merciless in his criticism of religion. It is a must read, both for those who believe (should you have the courage) and those who do not.

All of the titles are linked to Powell’s Books, in Portland, OR, the worlds largest independent bookseller. You can (a) click on the link and buy the book online, either new or used, or (b) copy down the IBN #, title, etc and take that to your local independent booksellers. If they don’t have it in stock, ask them to order for you. Most will In Pocatello I recommend The Walrus and the Carpenter Books down on South Main. Will will order anything you want , gives a discount to teachers, and has a funky cool place to hang out and read/browse. With independent booksellers, the profits stay home where they can do some good locally.

Keep On Keepin’ On

October 11, 2009

Colbert Skewers Beck For Constant Tears, Conspiracy Theories, General Insanity (VIDEO)

Colbert Skewers Beck For Constant Tears, Conspiracy Theories, General Insanity (VIDEO).

October 11, 2009

The Zen of the Bike

In Buddhism, we strive to live in the present, the now . Motorcycle riding requires you to be “present” if you wish to enjoy the ride…and if you wish to survive. Daydreaming does happen but it is not a good option. The title Jon Kabat Zinn’s great book, Wherever You Go, There You Are probably says it best.
Of course you need to be seeing and thinking about the road ahead all of the time but that is just part of being aware of your surroundings at any given moment. The past has disappeared. The future has not yet arrived. There is only the Now!

Keep On Keepin’ On

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