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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

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Tuesday
Dec062005

Politically correct Goodnight Moon & odds and ends

If the worriers of the world had their way. Karen Karbo's "Goodbye Moon" in the NY Times. And I had no idea how much damage I was doing to my children reading them this sweet book. Sigh.

And the paranoia about student blogging still rages at WWWedu. Sigh.

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Dropped my PowerBook going through security at the airport yesterday. Dented the titanium case causing the DELETE key to pop off and stay off. Have you ever considered how often you use the delete key? The computer works however.

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Like most people, I pat my shirt and pants pockets before going through the metal detectors at the airport. The jolly security guard (yes, they exist) asked me what that procedure is know as. "The Security Macarena." Personally, I still don't make jokes going through security.  

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At the TIES conference on Sunday, I had a woman come up and ask me, "Are you the Blue Skunk guy?" 15 years of writing for print publication and now my claim to fame rests with this goofy blog written for just a few months. There must be a message in this somewhere. 

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One workshop four times today and tomorrow in Wake County, NC. It should be pretty good by the end of the day tomorrow. I know my students in last hour English classes always got a better lesson than those in the first hour.

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 Great conversations with people at TIES this weekend. Nice to meet John Pederson in person. Wise for one so young.

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Response from Mr. Holland to whose article I had a violent reaction to:

While I could spend hours writing a response to the things you wrote, I will leave it at this...
I'm glad that you are a teacher that is at least interested enough in technology to read such an article and open a discussion about it. Of course, any time there are generalizations involved, there are always exceptions. Perhaps, to an extent, you are that exception to many of the issues brought up in the article.

While you are entitled to your opinion, I stand by what I say in the article. And your rebuttal that attempts to point out that I have too long been out of the classroom is the classic "poisoning the wells" argument, not to mention that it is unfounded and false. So as long as teachers don't get the fact that technology can be a tool (and a very motivational one in the right hands) to propel student learning- yes, even on those ridiculous state tests, nothing will change. Teaching technology as an end in itself is totally missing the point.
Thanks for your response!

 I have to say, I may not agree, but I always respect someone willing to respond to a criticism. If I am ever criticized, I hope I will as well.

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Relationship advice for guys: If your wife accuses you of being uncommunicative, do NOT say "Just read my blog." Trust me on this. 

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Have a good week, everyone! 

Sunday
Dec042005

Silly Sunday

Off to present at TIES in Minneapolis, Wake County Schools in Raleigh, NC, and RCAC in London, Ontario, this week. Come up and say "hello" if you get the chance.

I've been enjoying the gift catalogs that have been arriving in the mail box by the arm loads this season. I get a chuckle out of all the t-shirts with their silly sayings. Since I rather doubt these are copyrighted, here's my list so far. Add your favorite and take some time to relax this weekend. 

(Find the most recent t-shirt list here: http://www.doug-johnson.com/dougwri/dougs-t-shirt-says.html)

Saturday
Dec032005

In praise of slow thinking

Actor John Cleese writes the closing column for the Dec/Jan 2006 issue of Edutopia. Titled "Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind," Cleese argues that the source of creativty lies in playful, leisurely thinking as opposed to that which is deliberate and conscious. Good news for those of us who are right-brainers and just don't think all that fast.

One of the things I like most about our weekly tech meetings in the district is that they are fun. We get a lot of work done, but we also tend to have a lot of laughs. And you know what? We get a lot of problems solved in the process. Where does more work get done: at meetings that are serious or at those which are fun? Think about it - slowly.

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Say no more. (or should I say NNWWSNM).