Link Post: February 19

Grand Unified Theory of N00bs…an incredible article on people who just don’t get basic computer concepts. This one’s important from a school district’s perspective (as in how the district interacts with the community). Additionally, part of the article very thoughtfully tackles why computer education in schools is terrible (for a bit more of my 2 cents, see this post).

Doug Johnson contemplates how to avoid printing and save districts gobs of money. Of interesting note is his reflection on how much google apps may end up saving his district.

Go ahead kids and bash those teachers on Facebook…a judge rules that students are protected by the 1st amendment when they criticize their teacher on Facebook.

Dan Myers Annual Report is published…there is a certain sub group of individuals who like to parse their year out and sift through it to see what conclusions can be made. This particular way of parsing started, I believe, with Nick Felton. Anyway, I find this interesting because it could play into a social studies lesson, a philosophy lesson, and a math lesson. An interesting way to become introspective.

Writing for the Web…and completely fantastic collection of everything known about writing for the web. I would consider this a must “glance through” and file for later for every teacher.

A short list of Netiquette…a nice, short summary of internet etiquette that I wouldn’t mind folding into what we’re doing at Oak Hills.

QR Codes in learning…I’ve a small group of relatives who believe that QR codes are a sign of the end times, but here’s a random post on how they might be used in education.

Annotated Link Post: December 14

6 Practical Reasons why Art Ed is Important…written by my personal brain/education hero, Dan Willingham.

Horses out the barn…in which Doug Johnson lists trends in education that are becoming reality. Very well said.

More Honor Students are going to Community Colleges…because you can save a boatload of money. Another example of how economics are changing the learning playing field.

How much do dropouts cost a city?…a study that opens with this whopper: “If half the students who dropped out of the class of 2008 had graduated, they would have generated $4.1 billion more in wages and $536 million in state and local taxes nationally in one average year of their working lives.”

Retaining Next-Gen Teachers is an impossible dream…a very sad and pessimistic post on why schools (particularly public, inner-city) won’t keep next-generation teachers in the classroom. The post has a ring of truth to me (although it’s countered by the current economic realities and the joy of having a steady job). Hmmmm, food for thought.

Blackboard and Desire2Learn drop the knives…lawsuits are dropped and both companies agree to cross-license their technology. The question of whether they should have the patents in the 1st place remains unresolved.

Pittsburgh looks at taxing tuition…interesting article on how Pittsburgh is looking at fulfilling its pension dues. Low risk tax increase (students don’t typically vote locally).

The Idiots Guide to Google Wave…because – at first – it’s hard to wrap your mind around. I still can’t figure if this will be one of those ground breaking technologies that will complete reshape the technological/societal world over the next decade…or a complete flop. I do give props to Google for trying to take on the antiquated technology of email.

Annotated Link Post: November 23rd

Who owns the lesson plans?…a NY Times article that details the budding market place of teacher lesson plans. Hmmm, wonder how much I could get for my American History PPTs?

Robert Cringley joins other prophets in predicting the downfall of post-2ndary education…great quote: “What drives the education industry is producing degrees while what drives the computer industry is producing products and services.” Substitute “computer” for any industry and you got cause for concern.

Wikis in the work place…an interesting article that tackles common miss-perceptions people have of using wikis for work. A good read, particularly because I think this will be the future trend in education. It just makes sense.

6th Sense Technologies…umm, okay, I’m a science fiction geek so I knew this was coming. I just didn’t realize it was here. When this technology starts coming into education, school is going to be so much fun.

100 Ways to use Facebook in the classroom…yes, Facebook can be used for education.

Annotated Post: November 13th

Copyright laws hinder scholarship…actually, the article gets a bit more pointed and says it’s “destructive”.

Will Science and Engineering be a Good Career?…an incredibly fascinating article that points out that – contrary to public perception – the US has NOT been declining in the number of students who perform well in math and science. The shortage of scientists and engineer has more to do with bright students choosing job fields that pay better than the sciences or math. In other words, quit blaming educators for your shortages and increase your salaries!

Google focus on their Apps…a good product is getting better, increasing my desire to bring their offerings into our district.

Massachusetts school ditches their library’s print books for ereaders…is a library still a library without paper books (we knew this question would come eventually!)?

Why do people make bad slides?…aptly describe 95% of the powerpoints designed by teachers (myself included). Point #1:  “Bad Slides are Less Work” fits the “why” for teachers crammed for time.

Stretch and Learn…no surprise here – but the brain learns better after 30 minutes of aerobic endurance exercise. PE should be before math class.