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Wednesday
Jan162008

Official Politically Correct Handbook

It always goes against my better judgement to post a "joke" that's been sent to me via e-mail. And posting jokes tends to come back to bite me in the butt. But I thought this was very clever... Doug (who is a Uniquely Coordinated and Chronologically Gifted American)

Rudolph.jpgThe other night we were reading to our pre-adults one of our favorite holiday stories, Rudolph the Nasally Empowered Reindeer.  It’s the moving story of how Rudolph leads the struggle to secure fair working conditions from the bearded slave driver. (For every 4 hours on the job, the reindeer rank and file receive a ninety minute dinner break, and three fifteen minute breaks. The mandatory retirement age is lowered to eight years, after which the reindeer receive a full pension and lifetime health care.)  This tale remains a poignant reminder of how important it is to be sensitive to the needs of others. 

So in that spirit, we would like to share with you a few helpful tips from the Official Politically Correct Handbook.  Lest your next conversation turn out to be an incomplete success, be sure to use the correct terms noted below, which are followed by their definitions.

Differently interesting.  Boring.  Also: charm-free
Alternatively schooled. Uneducated; illiterate
Indefinitely idled.  Unemployed.  See also: involuntarily leisured; nonwaged; occupationally dispossessed
Alternative dentition. False teeth
Uniquely proficient.  Incompetent
Chronologically gifted.  Old.  See also: experientially enhanced; longer living; mature; senior; seasoned
Client of the correctional system.  A prisoner.  See also: guest
Cruelty-free products.  Products that do not contain animal ingredients and are not tested on animals.  Example:  Despite the fact that her perfume was cruelty-free, Lucinda was denied a seat in the discretionary-fragrance-free
section of her favorite restaurant
Deficiency achievement. A nonjudgmental educational term meaning “failure.”
Canine-American. A dog who resides in the United States
Handi-capable. Gifted with a physical disability.  Similar: “stutterrific“ (for a person who stutters), “squintessentially great” (for an individual who squints), and for the brain-dead or permanently comatose, “veget-able.”
Horizontally challenged.  Fat.  See also: alternative body image; differently sized
Incomplete success.  Failure.
Knowledge-base nonpossessor.  A person, especially a student, who know absolutely nothing about a given subject; an ignoramus
Least best.  Worst
Additional preparation.  A nonjudgmental educational term for “remedial instruction.” The word “remedial” is unacceptable because it “blames” students by implying they have a deficiency which needs to be corrected.
Advanced readiness seminars.  Special classes for students who need
additional preparation
Mineral companion.  Nonkingdomist term for “pet rock”
Morally different.  Dishonest; immoral; evil.  Example:  Pol Pot was a morally different person
Motivationally deficient. Lazy. Because the word “deficient” has the quality of “blaming the victim” for a condition more properly attributed to the failures of society, this phrase is more and more frequently being replaced by the less judgmental motivationally dispossessed.
Nondiscretionary fragrance.  A natural body odor  Example: “I sense the nondiscretionary fragrance of a rodent-American,” observed the suspicious detective.
Non-goal-oriented members of society.  A nonjudgmental term for those who were once dismissed as “bums.”
Hand-held American.  A puppet designed, built, or manipulated by a person born or residing in the United States
Nontraditional shopper.  Looter, shoplifter.
Diagnostic misadventure of high magnitude.  Accidental death of a hospital patient caused by malpractice during the examination process.  An accidental death caused by the treatment itself is known as a therapeutic misadventure.
Non-living person.  A culturally sensitive synonym for “corpse.”
Batchild. nonsexist alternative to batboy.  Example: “That’s not an error-that’s a differently fielded grounder!” exclaimed the batchild to the ballchild as the shortstop bobbled the ball.
Uniquely coordinated.  Clumsy
Difficult to serve.  Nonjudgmental educators’ term for “anti-social.” Example: Mr. Wambash was robbed at gunpoint by one of his difficult to serve students
Waitron.  “A person of either sex who waits on tables; waiter or waitress.” Example: “Waitron, there’s a nonhuman animal in my soup!”

If you haven’t already been employing these terms, then this is the best time to start.

Tonight our pre-adults will be treated to Frosty the Persun of Snow.  It’s the touching story of one brave Snowpersun’s struggle to raise awareness of the frightful effects of Global Warming. Frosty heroically leads a March on Washington D.C. but in the process, Frosty slowly, tragically turns into slush.

Wednesday
Jan162008

Take McLeod's survey anyway

Compare this:

Hear ye! Hear ye!

All education bloggers are hereby invited and encouraged to...

  • complete the short and completely unscientific, but hopefully interesting, education blogosphere survey;
  • forward the URL of said survey to all other known education bloggers to ensure decent representation of the education blogosphere;
  • and publicize said survey URL on their own blogs to foster greater participation in this most noble endeavor.

Survey results received by Sunday, January 14, shall be posted in the town square on Wednesday, January 17.

Those solicited who choose not to participate shalt be labeled both publicly and widely as dastardly scoundrels, notty-pated hedgepigs, or beslubbering, doghearted, maggot-ridden canker-blossoms! (Dangerously Irrelevant, Jan 5, 2007)

To this:

The second annual Education Blogosphere Survey is now open for business! 4 screens. 25 questions. ... Thanks to everyone who contributed ideas for questions and a HUGE THANKS in advance to anyone and everyone who helps publicize this! Deadline = January 26, 11:00pm, (GMT-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada) (Dangerously Irrelevant, Jan 16, 2008)

Dr. McLeod has been away from Minnesota for only a short few months, and we can visibly see a rapid decline in hissurvey08sm.jpg creativity, humor and persuasive abilities. And the young man held such potential!

I'm giving Scott a pass this year. Moving to Iowa can be quite an adjustment. I took his survey again and urge you, my discriminating readers, to do so as well.

But if McLeod doesn't juice up his call for survey participation next year, I'm not sure if I'll be able to participate.

Despite the risk of being labled a maggot-ridden canker-blossom.

 

Wednesday
Jan162008

Speaking as an avatar

slpres1.jpg
 
Giving a presentation in Second Life last night felt like one of those "going to the pole by dog sled" events. It was possible to do, but felt like had one waited a couple years, the dog sled would have been replaced by a snowmobile.
 
The organizers and I decided that I give the talk via text rather than voice. I practiced with a tool called SpeakEasy that I had carefully loaded with my remarks ahead of time which would with a simple click add them to the chat/IM window one at a time.  I practiced with it. It worked earlier in the day. (It even working this morning after the fact.) It just decided not to work at the time of presentation. Mild panic.

Thankfully, I had also recorded all my comments in the notes field of my slides so I launched good old PowerPoint and just copy and pasted the comments through the talk. I was using my 12" laptop so the screen was crowed. It worked, but it wasn't very smooth and I didn't get to use all the cool gestures with which I had hoped to impress people. (You should have seen my hula.)

I also couldn't figure out a really good "camera" angle from which I could see both the audience and the screen (so I could make sure the right slide was showing.) My eye contact was pretty bad, I'm afraid.
 
I also have always had a tough time with chat/IM discussions when about 10 lines of conversation - questions, comments and challenges - all hit one at once. Anybody have tips on dealing with this?
 
I know - excuses, excuses.

But I would do it again and the bumps will be worked out, making this a good medium in which to present.  I really appreciate the patience of those attending! Thanks, as well, for the help and encouragement of the participants, the ISTE staffers, and Lisa Perez and KJ Hax! You were all great.
 
And I now have a new nursing home story... "Yeah, way, way back in 2008 I gave a talk in an early MUVE called Second Life. Look it up in your history book. This was before the days of true virtual reality when we had to use keyboards and mice and text." You get the drift.
 
The other impression that last night's talk on Intellectual Freedom in a Filtered World left me with was that I am a lone voice in the wilderness on this issue. Is anyone else in education speaking out and writing against overfiltering (not just complaining about their own district's filtering use)? Are teacher and administrator (and library for that matter) preservice college programs teaching newbie educators the concepts and principles of Intellectual Freedom and asking them to read things like the Freedom to Read statement? (Links to other IF resources are in the wiki for this presentation.) Why not?
 
Access to good resources is essential for an educational program that stresses information problem-solving, constructivist learning strategies and higher order thinking skills. Why are more progressive educators not speaking out about the need for a renewed commitment to Intellectual Freedom in schools?
 
Those conservative parents all gotcha cowed? 
 
slpres2.jpg 

The photos in this entry come from Kevin Jarrett's Fickr collection found here. Thanks, Kevin. I've never looked so blue! He also wrote a kind entry about the presentation on his Story of My Second Life blog.

Lisa Perez blog entry about the presentation is here. And another one about the discussion on the following Thursday.