Monday, March 31, 2008

fellowship opportunity

There is a fellowship opportunity being sponsored by Fund For Teachers. It is for rural high school teachers.

Here is a link to an article I am going to use to springboard my proposal.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Blogging my journey module 3

How can I use the Internet to support my teaching and students' learning?

This seems an easy question. The Internet overflows with resources on everything. I need to teach my students discernment when choosing their resources. If a resource does not appear to exist on-line, why not? Can we create a new resource? The Internet as knowledge and database is what my students expect and believe, anyway. It's their way, their generation. MY goal for them is to add to it things of knowledge and beauty and benefit to others!

How can I ensure responsible and appropriate use of the Internet?

In order to really monitor student usage for my class, I have to be vigilant about checking their progress and their work. When I use the computers in my rooms, I'll often rearrange the desks into a circle so that I can circle easily around the room and check screens. I also add all my students blogs to Google reader, so as soon as something is posted, I can see what is up. I have yet to subscribe to comments on blogs, but if I see comments on student blogs I do check them. For me the most important thing is to be aware of the time being used while online and to frequently check and report back to students about their blogs.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

materials for students

This is a great resource for the teaching of academic writing.

Dartmouth Writing Program

Sunday, March 16, 2008

galapagos opportunity

Toyota is offering a fully-funded study tour of the Galapagos islands. I think I might apply! I need to make an impact plan and of course envision curriculum-framing questions that result in a project-based unit. Now the question is: why Galapagos? What is so important about that place I need to go there and do research? Why will my students care? Why should they?

This will take some thought. Deadline is May 9.

Friday, March 14, 2008

blogging my journey module 2

How can curriculum-framing questions help support my students' learning?

Curriculum-framing questions help support my students' learning essentially because they ask my students to think in a big picture way. From the big picture, students are allowed and encouraged to make meaning. My questions are used to guide them on their journey and the questions also serve as a framework that students can continually check themselves against.

How can I plan on-going student-centered assessment?

By far the best tool I have learned to use in student-centered assessment is the almighty blog. It serves as one-stop shopping for a peek into my students' brains. Right off the bat, the personality and individuality of each student is encouraged in the creation of the blog. This type of ownership is priceless. It is also very easy to "blog" the homework, "blog" a reaction, "blog" the research, "blog" the results, etc. etc. I plan on using blogs with this unit, not just as a catch-all, but as an authentic, creative document.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Horizon Report Research Assignment

Pick one of the technologies from the Horizon Report and report back on the blog.

Mash-ups! I chose mash-ups as an emergent technology because they are cool! Mash-ups, according to the Horizon Report, are web applications that combine data from more than one source via a single, unified tool. How cool is that?

I found two mash-ups that were of interest to me.

The first is one that uses Google maps and allows any Google user to add information as to where the local pot holes are in the city of Portland. Only in Maine would this be of utmost importance. My brother mentioned this mash-up to me several weeks ago; today on Google chat my friend Gretchen mentioned it again. The power of the mash-up!

Portland potholes

The second mash-up that was of interest to me was one that shows the growth of Wal-Mart (almost like a virus) in the United States over the span of thirty years. This mash-up was created using several different programs. I was fascinated by the data and how it was presented.


The bottom line with mash-ups is that they are created almost painlessly and are used to show data in fascinating ways. I can envision my students using mash-ups to chart several types of data, especially data that pertains to my unit plan on what we eat.


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