Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ego and Education

"The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions, the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and education, physical appearance, special abilities, relationships, personal and family history, belief systems, and often political, nationalistic, racial, religious, and other collective identifications. None of these is you."

~ Eckart Tolle
We've got to convince our egos and our minds that if we want to live happy lives,love is more important than anything else.

~ Ken Keyes

I've been thinking about this thing called "ego" lately. It seems to me that while a good healthy ego is very helpful in getting things done, too often a perversion can happen which gets in the way of us working together as teams and collaborative groups. I can't disagree that we all need to feel loved and capable, but when we lose appreciation for others because our egos become inflated, all our efforts become diminished at best and counter-productive at worst. Antidote: playfulness, good humor, ability to actively listen . . . and love.

And, yes, I'm guilty of ego inflation! :)

"Don't judge any man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins."
Active Listening at LIM Resources
Process Skills at LIM Resources
Are You an Egomaniac?
Signs of an Over-Inflated Ego

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Current Events in the Classroom

I met with Joan Parker of Oxford Hills Adult Education yesterday to discuss and create a plan for adding more of a digital component to her class on current events for adults. I had to admit my neophyte status in this area, but Joan patiently helped me understand her approach and what she had in mind.

This got me to thinking. I now realize that a current events class is the perfect environment for inquiry-based learning. It seems to me that the 21st Century skills (Courtesy of Curriculum 2.0 New Literacy Wiki) can be approached in a very holistic and constructivist manner with the following essential questions:
So the challenge now is chew on this for a bit and then to create a plan that will best fit adult learner needs. I think I'll be starting with Who Do You Trust? and modify it for the situation.

Any advice? Your thoughts?

Current Events Resources at LIM Wiki

Photo Credit

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Maine Science Teachers

Wow . . . just discovered MSTA Web Online Home of the Maine Science Teacher's Association. It is full of excellent links and resources. Good stuff!

WDL: Episode 41 ACTEM MainEducation 08 Debrief

From the Ground Round in Augusta, a post-conference debrief of the ACTEM MainEd Conference by Jeff, Dan, and esteemed guests of Wicked Decent Learning. Show notes have some excellent links to happenings at the conference.


Friday, October 17, 2008

"CoverItLive" of MainEducation 2008 Conference

Deborah White's Live Blogs

Sarah Sutter's Live Blogging of Round Table Discussion and Building Your Network.

Mark Spahr's Live Blogging of Jim's Best of the Web 2008, Digital Toolkit for Creating Digital Learners, Keynote with Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, and The Web and You (Collectively).

Any others?

MainEducation 2008

Miss the ACTEM MainEducation 2008 Conference at the August Civic Center? I did . . . as I was presenting at the the Maine Adult Education Conference at Sunday River and thoroughly enjoying it, gaining a much better understanding of the issues of adult learners. . . but . . . thanks to the great work of Michael Richards and many others who put their work online and recorded many of the sessions through blogs, wikis, live blogs, photos, etc., I am now able to attend asynchronously though missing the face-to-face contact that is always welcomed.

Check out Michael's compilation here at ACTEM's Web 2.0 One Stop Shopping. There is an incredible wealth of information to help stay in the loop. Thank you, everyone!

FREE Conference Calls with Skype

As the need to be fiscally responsible becomes more important than ever, I'd like to share Skype's tutorial regarding how to conference call. Up to 24 people (or computers, really) can be involved in a conference call. I have personally "attended" Jim Burke's Blogging Workshop in Norway from the comfort of my own kitchen using Skype. It worked beautifully. Take a look at this tutorial and give it a try!

Blasting Away with Blogs

MAEA Conference, Friday, October 17, 7:30 - 10:15, Simonds

“One of the reasons we fear these technologies is because we as teachers don’t yet understand them or use them. But the reality is that our students already do. It’s imperative that we be able to teach our kids how to use the tools effectively and appropriately because right now they have no models to follow.”

~ Will Richardson

Essential Question: How can classroom communication and collaboration be enhanced with the use of blogs?

Connectivity and Warming Up

Blog Definition/Description

Why Blog?
View Blogs
Create a Blog

Promote Your Blog

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wondering about WebQuests

We are "Wondering about WebQuests" at the MAEA Conference at Sunday River today.

Blog Action Day 2008

by Joe Makley

Today, October 15, 2008, is a day that bloggers around the world have been asked to speak on poverty, (to "shake the web," actually.) In this forum, we often hear reference to the flattening and equalizing effects of technology access in education, and I can say I have seen it first hand, in Maine, where more than one low income MLTI student has blossomed after receiving his/her 1-1 device. The OLPC program, even in its reduced form, is making great headway, especially in parts of South America. Sites like Kiva really show the muscle of the read-write web for social change. Is anyone currently operating a classroom project using Kiva?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Handy Free Word Processors for OS X

1. OpenOffice 3 for Mac (just off the presses . . . word processing and much, much more)

2. AbiWord
3. Bean
4. Google Docs (online)
5. ZOHO Writer (online)

Any others to suggest?

6. Buzzword (online) I've added this neat online word processor at the suggestion of Richard Byrne. See Richard's review at Free Technology for Teachers.

Angus King Talk in Alaska

Vygotsky Revisited

Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development
Wikipedia: Vygotsky

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Does Choice Improve Life?

JibJab: "What We Call the News!"

Barry Schwartz: The Paradox of Choice

Neil Postman: "Informing Ourselves to Death"

Jason Ohler: "Twenty-five Questions to Ask about Technology"


Have options created from technology enriched our culture?

Which is more serious, more balanced, more reliable, more authoritative - Wikipedia or TV news?

Do we control our technology or does it control us?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

"Disagreeing Without Being Disagreeable"

ad hominem: Latin for "to the man." An arguer who uses ad hominems attacks the person instead of the argument. Whenever an arguer cannot defend his position with evidence, facts or reason, he or she may resort to attacking an opponent either through: labeling, straw man arguments, name calling, offensive remarks and anger.

Guilt by Association
Character Assassination

Logical Fallacies at LIM Resources


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sunday, October 5, 2008

MLR Guiding Principles Cloud

Click on image above to make larger.
Created with Wordle

Saturday, October 4, 2008

One-Room Schoolhouses

I dropped into the one-room schoolhouse at the Fryeburg Fair this morning. This got me to wondering about the advantages of a small community of learners. We've all heard about how inefficient they are, about how larger schools provide more opportunities . . . but might there possibly be more ways of looking at a situation than through mere efficiency? Is efficiency the only measure of progress?

Wikipedia: One-Room School

The One-Room Schoolhouse Resource Center

Maine Memory Network: Otisfield Schoolhouses.

One Room Schoolhouses of Minot, Maine

History of Maine Education

Are there any one-room schools still in operation in Maine? If there are, I'll bet they have superb per student bandwidth for the Internet "Global Village."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

PDF Readers - Undiscovered Classroom Tools

It is easy enough to turn just about any proprietary file into a pdf that can be universally used. It is built into OS X, but there are many online sites which will do the job as well for any computer that doesn't have that local capability.

To read a pdf, one needs a program called a reader. Apple provides Preview with its products, but one can easily download Adobe Reader as well. There is also a neat freeware application called Skim. Each one of these does its primary task of opening up PDF documents, which is enough all in itself, and that is the only thing that most people need done.

But . . . . the simple powers within these readers are usually overlooked. While you can't alter the text in the original document, you can mark it up to your heart's delight. That means highlighting, using arrows, stickies, and even more. After the document has been annotated, it can be saved with those updates and sent to someone else, who can, in turn, add thoughts, suggestions, etc. Simple, but powerful.