Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?

Great stuff to think about from TED 2006:

Monday, March 17, 2008

Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of insight

Hat tip to Will Richardson over at Weblogg-ed.

You'll enjoy this truly "insightful" edition of TED Talks.

If video does not load, follow this link to TED.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

NEH Hurston Workshop - Jump at the Sun: Zora Neale Hurston and her Eatonville Roots

The Florida Humanities Council (FHC) invites educators from across the United States to join distinguished historians, folklorists, architectural historians, and literary scholars for a week-long workshop: Jump at the Sun: Zora Neale Hurston and her Eatonville Roots. Just ten miles north of Orlando, Eatonville lies in the shadow of the world’s largest theme park. Surrounded by five lakes and acres of orange groves, the oldest incorporated black municipality in the United States is where Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960), writer, folklorist, anthropologist, and arguably the most significant collector and interpreter of Southern African-American culture spent her childhood. It was a “pure Negro town…where the only white folks were those who passed through,” Hurston wrote about the town, which provided the folktales, characters, and events that inspired her literary works and folklore expeditions.


Each workshop begins on Sunday afternoon and ends the following Saturday around noon. On the application, please indicate your order of preference regarding weeks that you would like to attend.

Week 1: June 15–21
Week 2: June 22–28
Week 3: June 29–July 5

The workshops will take place on the campus of Rollins College, a liberal arts college situated in Central Florida. The tree-lined campus, with its Spanish Mediterranean-style buildings, is nestled in the quaint community of Winter Park along the shores of Lake Virginia. Founded in 1885, it is the oldest recognized college in Florida and is located only minutes away from Eatonville and Maitland, sites of two daylong field trips. At Rollins, participants will have access to a modern library and up-to-date computer facilities. For more information about the campus, visit their website at

This program is open to public, private, and home-school teachers, and to selected school personnel. (See the application information for more details.) Teachers and administrators from all grade levels and disciplines (e.g., history, social studies, literature, foreign languages, theatre, art, music, science, and mathematics) may apply.

Each participant will receive a stipend of $500 to help cover the costs of food, lodging, books, and other materials. Single-occupancy dorm rooms with dormitory-style bathrooms are available at Rollins College, our host institution, for $30 a night. Workshop participants will be charged approximately $135 for a campus meal plan for the entire week, plus an occasional meal off-campus. Books and materials will cost up to $50 per person, and a college ID will cost $3. With participants’ consent, FHC will retain these costs – approximately $370 -- directly from the stipend; the remainder will be paid at the workshop. Additional travel funds are available for participant travel on a case-by-case basis and will be paid at the conclusion of the workshop.

For detailed application information and instructions, visit index.cfm/fuseaction/Teachers.Zora_Application_Information

MIT OpenCourseWare Now Ready for HS Teachers

Hat tip to Dangerously Irrelevant:

The MIT OpenCourseWare initiative has repackaged many of its materials for secondary teachers and students. The Highlights for High School web site includes more than 2,600 video and audio clips as well as assignments and lecture notes. Read more at Education Week about this new resource.

Worth a look!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Two Million Minutes - A Must See

I you haven't heard talk of this film yet, you will soon. Check out the trailer right here, then visit the website. Buy it and show it to everyone you know.

The Website - click here.

Here's the trailer:

Saturday, January 26, 2008

2008 Innovation Generation Grants

Looks like a great opportunity for science teachers:

2008 Innovation Generation Grants

Application deadline: 1 March 2008
In 2008, the Motorola Foundation will provide US$4 million in Innovation Generation Grants to organizations that engage U.S. K-12 students and teachers in innovation, science, technology, engineering and math.

Applicants should consider the following criteria:
• Funding priority will be placed on pioneering programs that:
— Engage students and teachers in innovative, hands-on ways
— Teach innovation and creative problem-solving skills
— Focus on girls and underrepresented minorities
— Engage Motorola employees as volunteers
— Take place in communities where Motorola has an employee presence in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas
— Demonstrate measurable outcomes
— Are less than two years old

• Grant applicants may request up to $100,000. Select organizations may be asked to apply for larger grants.
• Grants will be for one year of project work, starting after June 2008.
• Any U.S. non-profit organization may apply. Schools and school districts may apply.
• At least 25% of total grant dollars will support new programming that has been operating for less than two years and is not simply an expansion of an existing program.
• Returning 2007 Innovation Generation Grant recipients must demonstrate that they have created new STEM partnerships with business, another non-profit organization or another foundation.

Apply online by 1 March 2008. Returning Innovation Generation Grant recipients also can apply through the Innovation Generation Network portal.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Florida Seminar for Teaching on Asia

This has been recommended by several teachers. I'll probably apply for the 08-09 session.

Academic Year 2008-2009; Summer 2008
Seminar Details
  • All classes are held at the University of Florida in Gainesville. The academic year institute takes place over 8 months, one Saturday per month. (For AY 08-09, the dates will be 9/20, 10/18, 11/8, 12/6, 1/17, 2/14, 3/21, 4/18.) The summer program takes place over two 5-day weeks. (For summer 2008, the dates will be 7/13-25; teachers stay for free at UF Mon.-Fri.). Participants explore East Asian history, geography, literature, and culture, and are taught by specialists in the field.
  • With the assistance of instructors and colleagues, teachers develop a lesson plan that incorporates seminar content and materials into their curricula.
  • Seminar participants become part of the NCTA alumni community, and are welcome to participate in all outreach programs sponsored by the UF Asian Studies Program.
Benefits of Participation
  • Instruction by experts in the field of Asian Studies.
  • $300 upon completion of eight seminar sessions and submission of an implementation plan, and $200 upon participation in a follow-up session.
  • $200 in seminar materials (i.e., books on Asian history).
  • Instructional materials worth $300 on Asia for the school's library.
  • Opportunity to apply for very low cost study tours to China, Japan, and Korea.
  • Course credit or re-certification credit (where applicable).
Applying for the Seminar
  • The Florida Seminar for Teaching on Asia is open to middle and high school teachers engaged or interested in incorporating Asia into their curriculum.
  • Please see our website at for application forms and instructions, or contact Pat Bartlett, outreach coordinator, at or (352)392-2464.
Applications for the summer program will be accepted from January 2 until May 15, 2008. Applications for the AY program will be accepted from January 2 until August 15, 2008. Late applications will be accepted on a space-available basis.

Should we pay more attention to technology? Kid's know the answer.

Check out this great video from the folks at The Friday Institute: (hat tip: Dangerously Irrelevant)

Let me know what you think.

Friday, January 11, 2008

New Opportunity - 2008 Summer Institute for Secondary Teachers

2008 Summer Institute for Secondary Teachers

“China’s Transformations on the Eve of the Olympics”

Program for Teaching East Asia

Center for Asian Studies

University of Colorado at Boulder

July 21-30, 2008

All eyes are on China as it prepares for the 2008 Olympics. At such a critical time, it is important for American students and teachers to understand the dynamic issues that define China today. Summer institute participants will analyze China’s recent economic, political, and social changes, including such issues as political changes and individual freedom issues; environmental challenges of rapid modernization; the growing divides between rich and poor, urban and rural in China today; as well as insights into world media coverage of China and the Olympics. The following questions will help contextualize the program:

· What historical factors have helped foster China’s recent economic, political, and social changes?

· What do these unprecedented changes mean for the various interest groups involved: the Chinese government, the Chinese people, the countries of Asia and of the world?

· How do the Olympics symbolize China’s rise to global prominence? Will the Games ultimately benefit the Chinese government or its critics?

All major participant costs of the institute are covered through a grant by the Freeman Foundation.

Applications are available at and must be received by March 7. For more information, e-mail

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Now Wikis Made Simple

Here's an explanation in "Plain English" on the use of Wikis (again by, another great piece of technology for the classroom. I have not used wikis yet with my classes, but there are activities that I'm planning that will include wikis.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Blogging for Dummies

Here's a good intro into blogging (produced by that I found while cruising around. I've been using blogs with my 6th and 7th graders this year, and they seem to enjoy the process.

If you have any questions about my experiences using this exciting technology, please ask!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

An Interesting View of the Past, Present, and Future

Here is a trio of thought-provoking presentations put together by Karl Fisch (The Fischbowl). I encourage you to checkout his blog. As I began this year, I knew that I wanted to incorporate blogging into my course curriculum. I've finally found teachers that are also engaged with this valuable technology. You'll find links to course blogs at The Fischbowl. You can also checkout my class blogs - linked over to the right.

Here are the presentations (click on the titles to access the related blog posts):

What if? (Past)

Did you know? (Present)

2020 Vision (Future)

I hope you enjoyed these clips as much as I did. I think we should all consider how we are doing things, and if our methods need some adjustment.