Tag Archive for Technology

Weekend Tech: NBA Lockout

Many online news sources participate in weekly Q & As.  I often find myself saddened by the fact that I never seem to have the time to include myself in the conversation.  I sadly console myself, however, with the archived texts.  These Q & As are valuable resources for discussing ethos/logos and authorial voice.  I find that students struggle to understand and identify these.

Since Q & As are short exchanges everything must be condensed.  It gives students a great opportunity to examine how “discussion leaders,” even when prodded, stay on task and logical.  Have students read, write, or discuss.  You could easily treat each question and answer as a short passage.  You can also have students examine the angrier language used in the questions versus the even responses of the answers.  Below are some screenshots from the Q & A with Scott Rosner at The Washington Post this week on the topic of (what else) the NBA Lockout.


Using Online Q & As

Example #1


Example #2







Novel & Unit Projects: Day Three

I have this tendency to want something incredibly creative from students as we end the study of a unit.  I want something bright, colorful, thoughtful, artistic.  I want to be blown away.  I forget the following: I’m no artist and most of them aren’t either.  Drawing always ends badly in my class.  Even though we long for something “creative” that spans multiple disciplines we still have a responsibility to have students consider motivation and purpose.

The New York Times ran an article about a high school student who curated a city-wide art show for teens.  The story was remarkable. It reminded me that often we do our students a disservice when we don’t make them reach.  They are capable.  This article reminded me of a synthesis question the AP Language and Composition exam used in 2007.  The premise of the prompt was that every single exhibition depends upon a series of “decisions” made by a curator. It is in this that we have the basis of an alternative project.  This project itself asks that students identify themes.  It’s particularly good for weightier works like The Grapes of Wrath, The Odyssey, All the King’s Men, MacBeth, The Poisonwood Bible, etc. The basic premise is that you want the novel or the characters or the unit to serve as the exhibition itself.  You will have students become “curators” for their own exhibition using the microblogging platform Tumblr.

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Weekend Tech: Krulwich Wonders Day Two

Hopefully I peaked your interest yesterday by discussing the merits of the blog Krulwich Wonders.  Today I’m going to provide a list of posts that could easily translate into classroom lessons.

Language, Writers, Writing

“Wanna Live Forever? Become a Noun”

A can’t miss post.  Song, video and dialogue about the history of the English language as it pertains to how people become nouns.  This might be the best/most amusing of all the posts.  It also links to a Time Photo Essay of people whose last names have become nouns.  Great for class discussion, argument prompts about how our culture comes to these conclusions.  Perhaps if you’re feeling really creative, look at the song lyrics.  Read more

Weekend Tech: Krulwich Wonders

I suspect it’s more than likely the tagline of “An NPR Sciency Blog” is what originally made me stop clicking and start reading.  Whatever the original reason, I’m hooked, and as a result I religiously read Krulwich Wonders one of National Public Radio’s blogs.  I’m not particularly drawn to science, and the sheer complexity of scientific thought causes me a middle school like anxiety but Robert Krulwich is different.  He takes science and makes it fun.  Really Fun.

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Weekend Tech: ITunes U Part 2

Yesterday I profiled a teacher treasure:  ITunes U.  A scholarly resource equipped with videos and podcasts that are appropriate for and accessible in classrooms through a teacher’s ITunes account.  Even though ITunes U has material for every discipline (history, religion, art, music, etc.), today I’m going to profile some of my favorite outlets within the site and some ways they can be used in the classroom. These can be found through doing a search in ITunes.


UPenn’s 60 Second Lectures:  During the spring and fall UPenn’s School of Arts and Sciences invites professors to give a guest lecture to the campus on their favorite topics.  However, the professors are limited to sixty seconds.  Imagine summing up a topic as sweeping as the Crusades in one minute while making it witty and enjoyable to the majority.  Not an easy task.  Yet the professors manage to accomplish it with flair and precision.  Even though they are sixty seconds and prepared by ivy league professors, the material is widely accessible to students of all ages and abilities.

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Weekend Tech: ITunes U

I have joked that I would marry my IPhone if I could.  I love it more than any other material good (and probably more than most of my family members–just teasing, Mom).  Reminiscent of the sage Jerry Maguire , my IPhone ”completes me.”  While there are many great things that an IPhone can bring to your life (or any Apple product for that matter), one of the best has to be ITunes…but not just the standard “I want to download music and episodes of Saturday Night Live ITunes.”  The “I want to be smarter and learn about the ways of the world” ITunes.  Have no fear; there is a way to leave the ITunes Store with an increase in your IQ and without a decrease in your wallet.   It is known as ITunes U, a website found in the ITunes store that offers educational materials for learners of all ages.  Apple markets the site as a “powerful distribution system for everything from lectures to language lessons, films to labs, audiobooks to tours.”

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Annotation: Day Four

Using technology in the classroom is difficult.  Novelty can’t be the only reason to employ a new system.  Where does that leave you?  Online collaborative tech of course.

The basic goal with using tech for annotating is to find something that fills the following categories:

  • Creates a whiteboard space
  • Upload documents/images so they can be marked
  • Offers easy to use tools that are intuitive and need little explanation
  • Creates a URL for users so they don’t need to construct another account/login Read more

Annotation: Day Three

“But,“ they entreat, “I’m a visual learner. I can’t be expected to do well with text on a page.  It doesn’t ‘speak’ to me.”  “It was cool that you rearranged the room and I could sit with my friends and I kind of even understood the annotating thing, but now we’re back to the harsh reality of being seated in rows.”

Okay.  Fine.  [Also enough with the imagined student dialogue.  Blurgh.]

Most classrooms today are tasked with creating well-rounded, “global” citizens.  If there is anything about being a teenager that screams this is a natural progression, I have yet to find it.  To be honest, how many of us were global citizens at 17? Read more

Weekend Tech: Photoblogs

Unique photo blogs are everywhere.  The problem is that in terms of execution very few construct incredible images.  Even fewer are underpinned by a good idea that’s classroom ready.  So that’s what makes a good photoblog a treasure.  They are strangely personal.  Hauntingly so.  That’s where this weekend’s posts come into play. Don’t worry.  You’ll see.  Here are the basics. Read more