Informed writing

Since participating in dy/dan’s “Four Slide Contest” earlier this summer, I’ve been thinking alot about design. This little movie about authority of sources is one I’ve been tinkering with for a couple of weeks, hoping to jazz up the concept a little.   I am hoping to add student interviews into the movie later in the year. Thanks to Ewan Mcintosh for the great quote that started me thinking about this.   And to my son for reminding me to pick interesting music 😉 Sidenote:  After experiencing a lot of […]

Will this be THE device?

When I first saw the iPhone, I was so excited, because I started thinking that this will be the device(or one close to it) that will be the portable device for our students for classroom use. Today’s release of some new Apple products, including the iPod Touch (basically an iPhone without the phone part, or an iPod with internet) makes me think that day is one day closer.  I recently watched a fascinating interview that Robert Scoble did with computer science professor Eliot Soloway, which […]

Collaborative research–Rethinking the model

As I have been doing some reading all summer, my whole notion of research is shifting somewhat.  Maybe it is reflecting the shift that many of our students are living, as well. I’m coming to realize more and more that although in schools we treat research as a somewhat solitary activity, in its true form, research is a very networked activity. As George Siemens writes, in describing Connectivism, “learning is no longer an internal, individualistic activity.”  He goes on to point out that learners “remain current in […]

Making the potion: Focusing on the research process

A few days ago, I wrote about reflective learning, and really identified with Will Richardson’s and David Warlick’s comments about focusing on the learning and community, and how the process sometimes gets lost in the production of the product.   Ironically, as I was reading Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix last night, I noticed that Harry has difficulty in Snape’s Potions class.  Frequently his “product” doesn’t meet Snape’s expectations.   After some discussion with Hermione and reflection, Harry realizes that he needs to slow down and […]

“Wikiality,” “truthiness” and research

When grading a stack of student papers, Jacqueline Hicks Grazette, a teacher at St. Albans High School in the D.C. area,  recently noticed that a student used Wikipedia to answer a question, and had made a note of it on his paper.    That, among other things, led her to write this opinion column in the Washington Post this morning, Wikiality in my Classroom, where she realistically outlines the collision of Wikipedia, Google, online ethics, student stress and web 2.0 tools and the dilemmas teachers face. “In the […]

Research across the curriculum

Rereading the Blog of Proximal Development that Will Richardson recommended and visiting other high schools has stirred up thoughts for me about how compartmentalized both high schools and many colleges are in terms of curriculum.    As I said previously, one of the things that excited me the most during our site visits last week was seeing some interdisciplinary connections, because I think they reflect more accurately how we really learn.   While we all need the fundamental background in order to even know how to pursue an interest, we […]

Digital storytelling

In our Project Technology workshop this week, we shared how to use Photostory (free from Microsoft), and shared a project that our English 3 AP classes are doing relating to the book The Things They Carried.  The project was initiated by the English 3AP teachers a few years ago.  Students are given a name from the Vietnam Memorial Wall, and are asked to find information about the individual .  This year in order to create projects that could be shared outside the campus and have more […]

Connecting the dots (pt two)

  Home for yet another ice day, so I am catching up on my reading! Another item in the Columbia Journalism review article I mentioned yesterday struck me as interesting for research.  As one effort to change the Times-Herald paper, “When (editor)Levine took over, his paper began a ‘sourcing project,’ designed to force reporters to avoid ‘going to the same three or four sources [for] every story.’ More and more diverse sources, the theory goes, should improve story ideas and stories, and help reporters know […]

Connecting the dots

In the Columbia Journalism Review, Mitchell Stephens writes a fascinating analysis of how the availability and immediacy of news on the web is changing mainstream newspapers.  It strikes me that many of his findings have implications for our teaching and our students. “News now not only arrives astoundingly fast from an astounding number of directions, it arrives free of charge. . . . But the extra value our quality news organizations can and must regularly add is analysis: thoughtful, incisive attempts to divine the significance of events — insights, not just […]

working with information…

David Warlick  tells a story of a job he used to do at a factory which has now been replaced with a computer. One thing that has happened to information, that should be impacting what and how we teach, is that information has become the raw material with which people work.  We mine it, we work it, fashioning it into an information product that will be valuable to other people, and then express it in some compelling way.  It may be a story, a report, […]