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My book Machines are the easy part; people are the hard part is now available as a free download at Lulu.

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EdTech Update





Too busy to blog right now?

Holy Snapping Duck Do! I just got a bajillion whiny emails saying I have not updated this since last year... You would not believe that my hands were chopped off and I was waiting for bionic ones. Apologies to my regular readers! Even the little blue ones!.

I am flat out like a lizard drinking with setting fire to people wearing Crocs, homeschooling five children, just generally being an embarrassment to my employer, my day is a magical flight from midday to I feel like going to bed. I am avoiding recapture. it will be fun fun fun till they take my TBird away.

I totally promise I won't blog until the next time booze prices go up and I have to get sober for a while. Sincerest apologies.

What do you mean you don't believe me?.

Created by the Lazy Bloggers Post Generator. Give it a try!

Oh, with an expression like "flat out like a lizard drinking it could only have come from our friends down under. Somebody needs to explain that expression to me.

image from


READ mini-posters

Something free from ALA? The temperature in hell must be dropping.

This is a (bad) example of the product that can be created using ALA's new Read Mini-poster generator. See URL below.


Schools for the governors

Scott McLeod's last two posts (one, two) on Dangerously Irrelevant ask an important question: If students are to grow up understanding their constitutional rights, do they need to be able to practice them in school?

In 1992 Johnathan Kozol observed in his book Savage Equalities that the US has two kinds of schools: those for the governors and those for the governed. It's a pithy statement that neatly categorizes the kinds of schools we have in the US. His argument was based on the economic support shown for schools for the poor and those for the well-to-do, but I also think it applies to educational programming. Is your school helping create self-determined individuals or just rule followers?

I've long advocated for research questions that have a "action" element to them. This rubric's final indicator advances that:

A Research Question Rubric: not all research questions are created equal. (from Designing Research Projects Students (and Teachers) Love)

Level One:     My research is about a broad topic. I can complete the assignment by using a general reference source such as an encyclopedia. I have no personal questions about the topic.
Primary example: My research is about an animal.
Secondary example: My research is about the economy of Minnesota.

Level Two:     My research answers a question that helps me narrow the focus of my search. This question may mean that I need to go to various sources to gather enough information to get a reliable answer. The conclusion of the research will ask me to give a supported answer to the question.
Primary example: What methods has my animal developed to help it survive?
Secondary example: What role has manufacturing played in Minnesota’s economic development?

Level Three:     My research answers a question of personal relevance. To answer this question I may need to consult not just secondary sources such as magazines, newspapers, books or the Internet, but use primary sources of information such as original surveys, interviews, or source documents.
Primary example: What animal would be best for my family to adopt as a pet?
Secondary example: How can one best prepare for a career in manufacturing in the Twin Cities area?

Level Four:     My research answers a personal question about the topic, and contains information that may be of use to decision-makers as they make policy or distribute funds. The result of my research is a well support conclusion that contains a call for action on the part of an organization or government body. There will be a plan to distribute this information.
Primary example: How can our school help stop the growth in unwanted and abandoned animals in our community?
Secondary example: How might high schools change their curricula to meet the needs of students wanting a career in manufacturing in Minnesota?

I usually joke that Level Four is for the "over-achievers."

But I may need to rethink that glib comment...

What assignments empower your students, helping make them governors, not the governed?