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« Odds and Ends - the old | Main | Looking forward »
Saturday
Jan072006

Odds and Ends - the new

Once again, John Pederson of pedersondesigns blog, has been an inspiration. I like his Best of the Week posting. It's time to clean out the little shoeboxes of interesting bits, and paste them into the blog scrapbook. A bit of the  new here. Next blog entry, the old.

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Good to see "thought leader" in the library field, Jacquie Henry, start her Wanderings blog.

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I hear rumors that AASL presidential candidate, Sara Kelly Johns, may be starting a blog as well. I have great respect for both AASL presidential candidates, Sara and Cassandra Barnett. And this is a problem. The biggest reason for apathy among AASL member who do NOT vote in large numbers is that there is too often too little known by the membership that separates the candidates in philosophy or goals. AASL tends to make very good choices of candidates. A blog by BOTH candidates might end voter apathy by helping we in the rank and file find a few differences.

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 The First Class Education's 65% solution (requiring that 65% of all education dollars be spent on classroom instruction) has been getting a good deal of attention lately. (See Governor Perry's 65% delusion and the NYT's Here's An Idea) This proposal is just plain bad for both librarians and technologists. It is heartening to hear that ALA/AASL and ISTE may join forces to lobby against this proposal. I hope it is start of a beautiful and continuing relationship between these two organizations that are both near and dear to my heart.

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Want to stir up a little discussion on your district's mailing list? Send Kenneth Goodman on DIBELS (via Stephen Krashen) out to your reading and assessment folks. This past president of the IRA writes: What makes DIBELS the perfect literacy test is that it takes total control of the academic  futures and school lives of the children it reaches from the first day they enter kindergarten when they are barely five years old. It keeps control of their literacy development and indeed their whole school experience for four years from kindergarten through third grade. And the more poorly the children respond to DIBELS the more they experience it. Hey, I've got a grandson starting kindergarten in Fargo next year. Any Fargo folks who read this blog,  please forward the article to your assessment folks. Thanks.

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From the ASCD SmartBrief (still the best educational newsletter going) Opinion: Boom times ahead for Indian e-tutoring firms In a commentary, Shantanu Prakash, the managing director of Educomp Solutions, predicts Indian online tutoring firms will see big opportunities, due to America's $2.7 billion fund for supplemental services, its lack of qualified math teachers and the pressure on schools to raise scores. Prakash says India's strong math curriculum at the bachelors and master's level produces highly competent Indian tutors who can easily help American children.  Financial Express (India)

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 Read Education infused with technology from the Philadephia Inquirer about San Diego's "High Tech High" school. See if this summary list is telling:

How is High Tech High Different?

  • Design principles: "Personalization, adult-world connection, common intellectual mission."
  • Technology is not a subject, it is the primary mode of learning.
  • All students have access to a laptop computer for at least half a day.
  • No more than 450 students in any school.
  • Assessment is through presentation and performance, not tests.
  • Final senior projects are graded by committees of adults from the school and community.
  • No formal sports, arts or music, although there are student-run activities in these areas.
  • There is no tracking. Students of all abilities learn together and are often on the same project teams.
  • Admission is by lottery.
  • Student-teacher ratio is 20:1. Each student has the same adviser for all four years.
  • Less than 1 percent of students are suspended. While some students transfer to different schools, the dropout rate is negligible.
  • All graduates have been admitted to college; 58 percent of those are the first in their families to go.
  • It is a charter school. In addition to taxpayer dollars, it is supported by grants from corporations and foundations.
I only count or or at best two of the 13 bullets that are technology-dependent. What really makes this school successful?

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A spyware remover for the Mac OS? Please someone, tell me this isn't needed! Has spyware come to the Light Side of the Force? I sent this question to the folks at the Spyware Daily blog with, as yet, no response.

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Some of you may know that I am a hound for any advice and methods for improving one's presentation and workshop skills, so I was delighted to find and add to my Bloglines account Create Your Communications Experience and  Presentation Zen. These look promising. Interesting to read Decker's Top Ten Best (and Worst) Communicators for 2005.

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Another e-book device sighting at if:books. YES!!!

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Be careful what you wish for - at least on Amazon.com. I did not know one's "wish list" was public and could be mined. Last time I store a request for a book about inter-species dating.

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Been a pretty interesting week! 

(Entry edited  Jan 9.)

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Reader Comments (1)

I had just decided to turn off the computer and have a "computer free" day - and I skimmed through your post. Darn - there goes that idea. I now have to explore everything you blogged about. Grrrrr!!! My head is spinning again.

And many thanks for mentioning my new blog. I really appreciate it.
January 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJacquie Henry

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