Tag Archive for writing

Weekend Tech: Steve Jobs

There were three apples that changed the world: Eve's, Newton's and Steve's.

Yesterday we talked about Steve Jobs and how to use public outpourings of grief as a way to teach everything from argument to media literacy.  Today we continue by looking at some other choices.  I know that the below link don’t do justice to what exists. They do however provide varied points of view.  Click around and let us know if you have other resources/ideas.

Mourning Steve Jobs: The Purpose of Public Grief

Leave it to The New Yorker.  While I profiled their Back Issues Blog yesterday, the quality of their articles is undeniable.  Today we look at an article from the News Desk.  It’s perfect for student use in class.  They can practice annotating for SOAPSTone and evaluating O’Rourke’s argument.  What’s useful about this article is that it also includes links to other memorials which means a “multi-layered” media literacy strand.  Read more

Weekend Tech: Steve Jobs

Everybody was talking about it and by everybody I mean all of my students.  I expect them to discuss reality television, the NBA lockout, even homecoming requests on Facebook.   But I don’t expect detailed conversations about Steve Jobs.  Not from high schoolers. And certainly not in a meaningful way.  But the way they talked about Jobs got me thinking.  They were right.  The reaction in the last several days has been remarkable.

Teaching is about opportunity presenting itself and this a chance to for meaningful discussion, writing, analysis, anotation. Having students study/discuss these online “memorials” teaches a variety of skills: media literacy, memorializing in modern culture, the impact of social media, our “relationship” to public figures, the importance of technology, technology innovation and so on.   All of it’s critical thinking.  Who are we as a society in relationship to this loss?  This weekend I’ll post some of the best “remembrances” for classroom use.

Pitch Me Another: Apple’s Ads
The New Yorker’s Back Issues blog put together a retrospective of Apple advertising spanning the last several decades. It’s great especially the advertisement from 1984.  An easy way to do evaluate advertising, assess a change over time in audience expectations, even print advertising’s use of word choice.

Twitter’s Top Trending Topics: #iSad and #thankyousteve

The the word choice in the hashtags alone is meaningful.  iSad sounds so much like loneliness.  Like loss.  Like grief.  Even I can barely stand it and thankyousteve sounds almost like the closing of a letter or email or text.  Now perhaps I’ve been manipulated by all the media coverage too but it is fascinating.  The language is meaningful and economical.  Consider class discussion, writing prompt, or big picture analysis.

Here are some useful tweets:

David Pell 

Mark Zuckerberg


NPR’s Monkey See

Novel and Unit Projects: Week in Review

     Friday Dialogue from Your

                                    Two Favorite Educators 

As Emily and Aubrey look back over the week they use their razor sharp wit to assess their innermost feelings about end of the novel projects.

1.  Why do we need to have end of novel or unit assignments?  Why can’t we just let things go?

Emily:  For me, I like to see them comprehend how individual portions of a book correlate to the whole.  Just because a student comprehends chapter one of The Great Gatsby doesn’t mean that they actually understand the whole novel.

Aubrey: I, too, want them to see how all the threads of our study fit together.  I want them to be engaged in their own education, research, critical thought, peer evaluation, etc.  I also want to see if they bring something different to the text than I do.  That’s always the best part of this grueling gig.

Emily:  You have a great point about having the students being engaged in their education, but for that to happen students have to be reflective.  I think the best projects are the ones that allow students choice and control, not ones with 1,000 steps and directives from teachers.  However,  some students are so burnt out with a novel that the only reflection I get from them is “I hate Holden.”

2.  Did you create anything particularly meaningful in an end of novel/unit project?

Emily:  I know I’ve created a lot of videos reenacting scenes from a novel.  The funniest is when I read the book about Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army then and created a video in my friend’s wooded backyard.

Aubrey: Patty Hearst?!  Once again I have to say 9th grade English and Romeo and Juliet.  I feel as if those weeks probably were the most memorable of my high school career.   We were given a choice for our end of unit assignment. Construct a cookbook of recipes that Romeo would have enjoyed.  Rewrite the play as a children’s book.  Write a letter to the editor of “weekly newspaper” discussing your dismay at the violence in Verona.  Now honestly, even at this tender age I knew that there was something wrong in those choices.  A children’s book?  Recipes?  No.  I knew what I wanted to be was a journalist.  A serious journalist for the Verona Evening News.  I can’t remember what I said.  I can’t remember how long I spoke.  What can I remember?  The cream colored turtleneck I wore complimented by a vest that looked like a floral tapestry.

Emily:  A cookbook?  Hmm…I wonder what Romeo and Juliet’s last meal would be!

3.  In light of Aubrey’s shameless Charlie Sheen reference on Thursday, what are your thoughts about his current status?

Emily:  Okay, I’m so glad you referenced something from Hollywood.  I feel like our blog is remiss to not mention Arby’s or some celebrity action.  I love Ashton Kutcher and have a hard time hiding myself from all the Ashton hype.  Yeah, I’m a fair-weather fan.  But between his potential divorce from Demi Moore and his addition to Two and Half Men I can’t get enough news about him.  I can’t even focus of Charlie Sheen, who is now the poor man’s Ashton.

Aubrey: Well Ashton Kutcher is no Charlie Sheen but is Charlie Sheen really Charlie Sheen anymore?  I think I read that Two and Half Men still has way too many viewers for the quality of the show and that his TV show Anger Mangagement was still in the works.  Where did I get all of this great information?  Well from TMZ of course.  And Forbes.  Some of the most important sources in the known universe for information.

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