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Thursday
Sep252008

An international perspective

This is my baby - 22-year-old Brady - set to leave for his trip to New Zealand this morning. He is bringing only the bare essentials with him -  500 pounds of video games and old t-shirts. He'll be roughing it. With two of his buddies, he'll be working in Wellington for the next year or so. At least he'll be working when not pestering Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro about making him an Orc extra in the new Hobbit movie being made there in "Welly-wood."

I hope he will be absorbing some of the county's culture, values and perspectives as well. It's my firmly held belief that everyone should spend some time living and working internationally. I was lucky enough to work in Saudi Arabia as a teacher for 5 years and the experience changed not just my view of the Arab world, but the view of my own country as well. There are things like the home delivery of a Sunday paper, green parks and a mostly honest police force that I will not take for granted for the rest of my life. And I'll always remember that the US is not universally loved (for some good reasons); that some degree of cultural modesty is appropriate.

Fates, please be kind to this young man and his friends. But don't let Brady fall in love with a Kiwi girl and never come home...

Thursday
Sep252008

"And" not "or" redux

Several bloggers have pointed to this picture and commentary on Wes Fryer's blog:

This should be subtitled, “A great way to waste your school district’s financial investments in technology and the cause of 21st century skills.” Can you think of other appropriate taglines?

I have tremendous respect for Wes, but this is myopic thinking. Can't drills and games - even quizzes - be interactive, engaging, and involving whether used with an IWB or not? I certainly remember them being fun when I was a student. A steady diet of them? No, probably not. But every teacher needs an assortment of tools in their instructional tool belt.

This is a great example of the need to get past the "or" mentality in thinking about educational technology. It's not "Do we use technology for constructivist activities? or "Do we use technology for teacher-led activities and presentations?"

The answer is yes.

Kid and teachers alike were having fun and learning playing Bus Safety Bingo when I was visiting one of our elementary building last week. A waste of education resources? Not in my book.

Wesley! Lighten up on those of us who like lots of kinds of learning activities.

Tuesday
Sep232008

Blocked Bytes Week

Banned Books Week

Celebrating the Freedom to Read

September 27–October 4, 2008



Yeah. OK. Let's keep Harry on the shelves. Banned Books Week is a good thing.

But ALA (and ISTE), if we are truly committed to "Freedom to Read" what we really need is...


Blocked Bytes Week

Celebrating the Freedom from Filters

September 27–October 4, 2008


Americans need the freedom to read more than just books.