Monday, January 21, 2008

What I Learned This Weekend (and how I learned it)

My use of technology has a significant impact on how I learn. So I thought I would share some things I learned this weekend and where/how I learned this information. This is a random list based on recall, not in chronological order or in any priority order. It's not a comprehensive list either :)

  • January 21 is the most depressing day of the year (World of Psych Blog via Google Reader)-Why this day? The weather, New Year resolutions gone bad, and holiday financial debt realization.
  • U23D is one amazing movie (multiple movie reviews from critics, via @U2 Blog via Google Reader). This movie will be released locally Feb. 15.
  • ooVoo Software-allows for a multi-person (up to 6) video conference call via the internet (PC Magazine). I have yet to test this out.
  • Animal Collective-Strawberry Jam-listed as the #1 record by the "i guess i'm floating" music blog. Yes, I downloaded this record from iTunes and listened to it on my iPod. Not for everyone but a lot of new sounds...if you like Arcade Fire, Radiohead, etc.
  • NYC teachers are going to measured by how much their students improve on standardized tests. I learned of this first on Twitter, then on Weblogg-ed, then NY Times.
  • Photos of current and former students on Facebook including a former babysitter for my currently 13 year old son
  • Some of the anti-disco sentiment was driven by anti-gay crowd (Book: A Social History of Rock and Roll)
  • The NY Giants' FG kicker defines redemption (via television).
  • Enhancing my own lessons by listening to college psych lectures via podcasts....learning ways to have kids think about the brain/mind and free will/determinism question on upcoming chapter on consciousness.
  • I suck at bowling (personal experience with my kids).
  • I can broadcast my 7/8th grade basketball games via all I need is a couple of student commentators and an internet connection in the gym.
  • Game shows can be fun online at the play cafe. Weeknights at 9pm.
  • Finding sites on differentiated instruction via
  • Finding out what makes me laugh via zeFrank and Chelsea Peretti.
  • Google maps mashups can help understand what is going on in Kenya and the post-election violence. Google maps also got me to my son's bball games on time this weekend.
  • Even I can create drum beats, given the right program.
  • And about this exercise to help students think, write, take a position, refute, support, and speak publicly, etc.: Have a student videotape themselves taking a position/making an argument. Post on youtube. Others comment on the argument...ripping it apart. Student videotapes a response to every criticism. I adopted this basic assignment from a blog entry from The Fischbowl. Can be adopted in most every discipline.
Final Note: I would like to increase readership of this blog...please share with anyone who might be interested in instructional technology.


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