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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Daily Spotlight on Education 01/31/2009




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Friday, January 30, 2009

Announcing the Net Generation Education Project: A New Flat Classroom Project



This is so exciting.  Julie and I have been working on this for over a month as the replacement for the 2008 Horizon Project.  Here's the announcement.  Lots of opportunities for educators to participate.  Check our wiki for up to date information and how YOU can join in with your classroom or as an educator volunteer.  Read write projects with book authors - what needs to happen with all of our books.

Net Generation Education Project

Written by Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay


As announced at the Flat Classroom conference this past Monday, the Net Generation Education Project is the replacement for the Horizon Project and will include approximately 10 schools with 300 students.  The application process is now open for schools who wish to participate in the project.



Last year, Don Tapscott keynoted the Horizon Project 2008 which focused on having students envision the future of education via web collaboration and video.  The reading documents include the Horizon Report 2009 from the New Media Consortium and Educause.  Don Tapscott went on to include this project in his new Book, Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World.


So, the next level of "flattening" is to not only have classrooms connect but to have the classrooms connect in new and more far-reaching ways with the authors of their books. Recent examples of connected classrooms and authors include Karl Fisch's Whole New Mind Project as they work with  Dan Pink and such as Will Richardson and Anne Davis did with Sue Monk Kidd, author of the Secret Life of Bees.



In the same genre students in this project will interact on a Ning jointly created with Don Tapscott. Don will post weekly questions to the Discussion forum and leave video messages to the students.  It will be a read/write project.  He will also interact LIVE via a webinar.  Don has a vision for improved educational outcomes and is reaching out to interact directly with students through his challenge and this project.



Additionally, the Discovery Educator Network is going to be providing and sharing tips and information on effective video presentations and how-to's and a book club group for educators.  Don Tapscott will keynote and the student keynotes are award winning virtual worlds educator Peggy Sheehy and her middle School students from Suffern Middle School using machinima from their Island in Second Life.



We will be studying this year's Horizon Report (released January 2009) but adding to it the intro and Chapter 5 from Don's book, Grown Up Digital:  (Rethinking Education) to the reading assignments for students.    Students will be divided into groups to analyze some of the key trends in reworking education to create collaborative report written with other students from around the world.  Each team will have a project manager and assistant project manager to help facilitate the work on the team.  These "managers" will be students with teachers working as facilitators.


Each student will cast their vision for the future of education with a video to be uploaded on our project ning.  All videos will be automatically entered into Don Tapscott's Net Generation Education Challenge competition and could win scholarship money for future educational pursuits.



You do not HAVE to be a part of the project with Julie and I to join the Ning and participate in Don's challenge competition - so go ahead and do that.  But if you are ready to have your students collaborate globally and follow the best practices as used in the award winning Flat Classroom, Horizon, and Digiteen projects fill out this form before February 9th and applynow!.  


Our tentative timeline: 

  •   2/1- 2/9 - Application process for classrooms
    • 2/1 - 3 pm EST - Information Meeting
  • 2/2 - 2/7 - Selection Process (classes will be notified as soon as they are selected)
  • 2/6 - Ning, wiki, and google group are "live" by this date
  • 2/10 - Final announcements of Classrooms
  • 2/11 - Greeting from Don posted to the Ning via video - this may be his "author keynote" or he may choose to have a challenge each week and have it be small pieces.
    • Weekly- discussions posted to the forum (can we pick a day and a time for this to happen?)  Will Don have a blog on the site as well?
  • 2/11-2/18 - "Handshake process" - Students join Ning - post introductions
    • 2/18 - Teams announced
  • 2/18 - 3/2 - Research phase of project
    • 3/2 - Wikis complete
  • 3/1 - Suffern Middle School Student Keynote
  • Some time in March, there will be a live session with Don Tapscott
  • 3/3 - 3/31 - Movie Artifact phase of project (note that there will be some overlap between Research and Movie Artifact)
  •    *Storyboarding 3/3 - 3/8
  •    *Outsourced video requests posted to the Ning by 3/10 (we would like students to be able to do this with a blog post on the Ning and tag it outsourced - we can then add a menu item for everything tagged outsource_request and students can sign up with a reply and post a link in the comments, this is a change from the last project but will work better)
  • 3/31 - Final Deadline for All Movies to be posted
  • 4/1 - 4/8 - Post project reflections, student summits

Net Generation Education Challenge

Written by Kasi Bruno

A crisis is emerging in our schools and universities.

Traditional, one-way broadcast models of education are out-dated. Schools have not evolved as quickly as other institutions, and students are becoming disengaged as a result. Why are connected students at home suddenly disconnected at school?

How can we reinvent education for relevance and effectiveness for the 21st century?

Inspired by the work of Don Tapscott and Grown Up Digital, the Net Gen Education Challenge offers everyone an outlet through which to express their ideas and opinions about their ideal model of education. The challenge community will connect engaged participants all around the world, bringing educators, students, parents and professionals together in a global dialogue on learning. In partnership with the CBC, Flat Classroom Project, the Discovery Channel's Educator Network and Classroom 2.0, Don Tapscott invites you to share your ideas and help make education engaging, inspiring and relevant.


Discovery Educator Network/Net Generation Book Club

by Steve Dembo

In conjunction with the Net Generation Education (NGE) project, the Discovery Educator Network (DEN) will be hosting a weekly book club for Tapscott's work, Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World.  While the NGE project will be focusing just on the Intro and Chapter 5, we will gather together weekly to discuss the ideas within the book and their implications for education.  Best of all, the author himself, Don Tapscott, will sit in on the final week to share his thoughts in a candid conversation with everyone who participates in the book club.

There will be both live and web based discussion options for participants.  The live component will take place Monday evenings, 2/9 through 3/23 at 7pm EST. We will be looking for people to lead the weekly discussions as well.  If you would be interested in volunteering to lead the discussion for one of the weekly meetings, please mark it on the registration form.

If you are a DEN member and would like to be a part of the book club, please register here.  If you are not currently a DEN member and would like to learn more, please contact me !

Don's publisher has been gracious enough to offer the book for only $18.45, a generous discount, to everybody who participates in the Book Club.

There are three ways to order:
Order directly from website http://www.800CEORead.com
Email Aaron at and let him know you are participating in the DEN / Net Gen Book Club Aaron@800ceoread.com
Call Aaron at 1.414.274.6406, ext. 204 and do the same.

Schedule
Part One: Meet the Net Gen
    Chapter 1 & Chapter 2 – 2/9
    Chapter 3 & Chapter 4 – 2/16
Part Two: Transforming Institutions
    Chapter 5 – 2/23 (chapter on Education)
    Chapter 6 & Chapter 7 – 3/2
    Chapter 8– 3/9
Part Three: Transforming Society
    Chapter 9 & Chapter 10 – 3/16
   Chapter 11 – 3/23 

Click here to register for the book club


Net Generation Education Webinars

by Steve Dembo
To support teachers and students who are participating in the Net Generation Education Project, the Discovery Educator Network will be hosting four webinars with two of the country's foremost experts on digital storytelling; Hall Davidson and Joe Brennan.  These webinars will be intended for teachers to attend WITH their students so that they may learn ways to create digital stories from the very best.  To learn more about Hall Davidson and Joe Brennan, visit the Discovery Education Speakers Bureau.

Webinar 1 with Joe Brennan: Wed, March 4, 1pm EST
Webinar 2 with Hall Davidson: Wed, March 11, 1pm EST
Webinar 3 with Hall Davidson: Wed, March 18, 1pm EST
Webinar 4 with Joe Brennen: Wed, March 25, 1pm EST
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Does everyone have to go to learn something from a Face to Face Conference?



Reading the blog posts of students who did and did not attend the conference has been amazing -- we are seeing that although 4 students and 2 teachers went to Qatar - that the majority of our students have now changed their views on the Middle East!  It was stunning when I came back and asked the students to tell me what they learned from the conference.

I sat down to talk to my 10th grade and asked:

"What did you learn from the conference?"

The first answer from a student who DID NOT ATTEND:

"I learned to NOT stereotype people from the Middle East, they are people just like us and sometimes the media isn't telling us the truth."

YES!!!

So, here are some of my favorite quotes from student blogs today.  Let THEM tell you the story of the 2009 Flat Classroom Conference.

Kayla (virtual attendee) says:

"While I was participating in the Flat Classroom Conference virtually, I began to realize that this project has more meaning than just a classroom assignment, or busy work for the students. Several people have taught me that there is hope in this world....

Before, i was slightly frightened thinking about being around the people with the turbans on their heads, thinking they were a threat to North America and our society. But i now realize they are people just like us, and they want to make the world a better place as well."

Annabelle (virtual attendee) says:

"Even though I didn't go to the conference, I still learned a lot. Now that I've seen the videos and the pictures from the trip I wish I had gone. It would have been a great experience that I probably would never have forgotten. I realized that many of the cultures aren't all that different from ours.

My views on the Middle East have changed a little because the people that did go said that everybody was extremely nice and Qatar was amazing! Everybody seemed to have a lot of fun. I thought it was really interesting how the students had to get together in groups and film videos that raised awareness to poverty and racism."

 Kara (virtual attendee) says:

"One of the things that I like was the Eracism video. Our culture has changed a lot, but there are still some people who are racist in the U.S. It's also still a problem everywhere else to. Hopefully someday racism won't be a problem anymore."

 And then, Kaycie's (a virtual attendee) post brings tears to my eyes.  I'm including the whole post as it is a powerful testament to what CAN happen if those of us working with projects and link ups take it to the next step AND add a face to face component to our collaborations:

"The Flat Classroom Conference was overall a great experience, even for those who participated virtually. Videos were taken of the conferences so all of us got to watch and see what was going on. The video where Jeff does his  presentation on "YOU" I thought was very good and educational. It had a really good point behind it. We don't realize how much WE do and the way it affects our society. From the websites we get on to the amount of text messages we send, it all makes a difference. The people that got to go to the conference also had some really great videos and presentations. Each had to think of a topic and something they could do that would help make change. They also videoed some of their experiences they had while they were there. I think this was good because it gave the people back home a visual so we could see what the Middle East is like and their culture.

I think this project definitely changed my view of the Middle East. Not all people are like us, but that doesn't mean that they are bad either. There's nothing wrong with learning people's culture and seeing the way they do things. It can be very helpful in the society that we live in. When people see the news broadcasts they believe whatever the people tell them. They judge before they actually see who people are and what is going on. I think that this view needs to change and people if people are going to see the cons, they also need to take time to look at the pros as well."

This is SO NOT about technology and so much about PEOPLE.

It is not about the technology itself but what the technology lets us do.

If we are to solve today's global problems, it will take people in disparate places working together with people around the world.  Meeting face to face cements the ties that have emerged through our computers to give us the trust and relationship that it takes to attain the cooperation we need to improve our world.

Don't think that we're somehow the only one's doing this sort of thing.  It is happening everywhere there are excellent educators committed to an excellent 21st century education.  These educators are connecting their students, and yes, eventually taking some of them to meet face to face.

Although I haven't posted my own take aways from the conference -- I have more hope now that I've returned than ever before because I am seeing the WHOLE SCHOOL change their views on all of this technology and working with other places.  There is an excitement and an energy and an understanding for what we're doing in this classroom and around the world that has never happened.

It is about people. 

Connecting people.

Understanding people.

Uniting people.

Giving back our hope that we can build the bridges today that the students of tomorrow will walk across.

Keep the faith - teachers you have the most noble calling on earth.  And if you're using your classroom to collaborate with others around the corner, around the country, around the world - you've escalated yourself to the top echelon of nobility and excellence as a teacher whose legacy will extend far beyond today.  This is a grassroots effort of which we are part. 

Feel free to read the thoughts of the other students on our conference Ning.

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Daily Spotlight on Education 01/30/2009



  • Registration opens tomorrow for the Flat Classroom Workshop that Tom Daccord and I will be doing on June 25-26 in Boston. This will be just before heading over to NECC - Saturday workshop there on using cell phones in the classroom AND Edubloggercon (which always rocks.) Hope to meet some new friends and have some exciting learning this summer.

    tags: education, learning

  • Blue zones education program - this is the education model - this is a great opportunity for younger students and is a "real" live experience that makes a big difference. Fascinating for health teachers and science teachers as well.

    tags: education, learning, edu_trends, edu_news

  • Here is some information on the blue zones project that some of you may be interested in participating - I received this over email today:

    "2009 Blue Zones Quest Fact Sheet



    Program Name Blue Zones Quest



    Description Dan Buettner leads the third of four annual expeditions to the world's longevity hotspots, called Blue Zones. Under the direction of an online student audience, the team unlocks the secrets of longevity and gives students a cross-cultural recipe of the world's best health and lifestyle practices.



    Location Northern Aegean Sea. The island name will be announced in January, 2009.



    Date April 20-May 1, 2009



    Targeted Audience Students of all ages



    Features Blue Zones Challenge, which teams students, parents and educators in a month-long program of healthy habits.

    Blue Zones Legacy Project in which students interview long-lived “super seniors” and share information with scientists (optional)

    Free Curriculum guide of activities for grades 4-8

    Daily online delivery of dispatches, videos and photos

    Educators Web section with online classroom resources

    Evidence Tracker worksheet for tracking quest clues


    Sponsors & Partners
    Davisco Foods International, Inc.

    National Geographic Society

    National Institute on Aging

    University of Minnesota School of Public Health"

    tags: education, learning, health_teacher, health, science


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Reflections from the Edge of Learning




Find more videos like this on Flat Classroom Conference


Steve was able to attend from his school in Houston, Texas. This was from his teacher, Estie Cuellar.


Find more videos like this on Flat Classroom Conference


Here is a reflection from Sean, in Houston, who did not get to attend the conference.


Find more videos like this on Flat Classroom Conference


I have a long blog post composed on the plane, but not quite caught up in my classroom - will be blogging it soon.



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Daily Spotlight on Education 01/29/2009




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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Daily Spotlight on Education 01/28/2009



  • Great words from Steve in Houston:

    "i have made friends from all over this beautiful world that we live on. From Australia to Oman to Ethiopia to this beautiful country of Qatar. And one thing i have to say is that no one, and i mean no one should ever judge someone on their stereotypes. Why is it that i get along with the people from this conference? WHy is it that i can make people laugh over here? It is because we are all humans. Yes i know that there are cultural differences but that doesnt mean that we are completely different. We share so many characteristics. I am extremely happy that i have made friends from all around the world and i hope to see them again sometime in the future."

    As Chris Chater Said, "The World is Flat and that's how we roll"

    tags: education, fc09, learning

  • I love this reflection from Carly about her experience at the conference and particularly this quote:

    "thirdly (i thank) mum for getting on the Ning, and trying to be a part of it [the conference], i say good job, because the computer isn't really your thing, But I guess now it is :P"

    tags: education, learning, flatclassroom, flatclassroomconference, fc09


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Picture Hope



I cannot really explain this conference, but perhaps this picture can:

Daily Spotlight on Education 01/26/2009




Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Daily Spotlight on Education 01/25/2009




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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Student Reflection from Estie's Students in Texas about Qatar: This video says it all





Estie's group from Texas recorded this reflection to share with the students back home. It is a tearjerker to me, because this is what it is all about. THIS is the dream for the conference.

We're talking about technology and how we can use it to bridge us together - but LOOK at what they are learning.

Wow! You can see the pictures and amazing reflections - feel free to join us virtually by viewing the videos and sharing your own reflections.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Having a Bash: Join us for Thomas Friedman & Doha Debates webstreamed live 1/24/2009



Day 0 of Flat Classroom conference. We have some exciting events tomorrow and welcome your participation.  (Also, check our wiki for ustreams.)

Live Webcast Events Day 1 January 24, 2009


Thomas Friedman - Streamed live on EdtechTalk and also on Future of Education in Elluminate
6am Pacific / 9am Eastern / 2pm GMT: Live stream of Tom Friedman addressing students (international times here)

Doha Debates the Flat Classroom Concept - A joint session between the Flat Classroom Conference in Doha, Qatar and Educon in Philadelphia, PA streamed through the Future of Education - elluminate room Log in at https://sas.elluminate.com/m.jnlp?sid=2008350&password=M.3969DF.... The Elluminate room will be open up to 30 minutes before the event if you want to come in early.
7am Pacific / 10am Eastern / 3pm GMT: Flat Classroom Debates begin (international times here).

Check for ustream links here also and please, join our Ning.

Conference Schedule



 Dune Bashing
 
Find more videos like this on Flat Classroom Conference


Truly, dune bashing will go down in my personal record book as one of the greatest travel experiences of my life.  It was unbelievable.  This is the photo album including  a lot of photos taken by the participants and a video of dune bashing, the students talking about it and some of my colleagues and I relaxing at the desert barbeque.  It is great to start off with an event like this because you get to relax and have a great time!  We rode camels too!  A lot like a horse except when you get on, you'd better hang on because when the camel gets up, you are at about a 70 degree angle looking at the ground!  Amazing!

The staff at Qatar Academy has impressed everyone on the trip!  It was so much fun and they set it up with the longest running tour company in Qatar. 

 
Find more photos like this on Flat Classroom Conference



I hope that we can work it out to take more students and staff next year!  To do that, we'll have to start working on it now!

OK, gotta run now, it is 10:20 pm here and there is still quite a bit more work on my list to do.  A big shout out to my sister Sarah who designed our Flat Classroom Logo about 2 years a go (it brings tears to my eyes to see it on our banners) and who designed the DigiDollars we'll be using at the conference.

Getting ready for a project based learning conference - it will be exciting.  Julie Lindsay is a champ!
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

World Wide Wildcats



We're off to Qatar - been traveling since 5:45 am this morning - board a plane tonight in DC for Qatar and we'll get there tomorrow.

My students and I have a blog (World Wide Wildcats - which they named at Chilis today over lunch)  to let the school travel vicariously with us.  Our curriculum director, Betty has elementary students studying time zones and other things and will be communicating with them via email (and hopefully our blog.)

We're excited.  We'll also be on the Conference Ning as well, hope you'll join us!

Daily Spotlight on Education 01/21/2009




Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Daily Spotlight on Education 01/20/2009




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Monday, January 19, 2009

Do yourself a favor



Do yourself a favor today - do one or more of these:

  • If you have a mother, dad, or family member you haven't talked to in a while... give them a call.
  • Write a note to someone just to thank them for something they have done.
  • Smile at a stranger and give him/ her an honest compliment.
  • Take time to do something really crazy with the kids that will shock them.
  • Fix a great dinner with all his/ her favorite things to eat as a suprise.
  • Call your spouse  or girlfriend / boyfriend and say "Just calling to check on you - is there anything I can do to help you? and DON'T ASK THEM TO DO ANYTHING."
  • Do the one chore someone you live with hates doing most.
  • Write a note and hide it in the pocket of someone you love so they can find it later.
  • Do something thoughtful for someone you love.
  • Do something thoughtful for someone you're having trouble getting along with.
  • Think of something that one student who is struggling in your class does well -- and compliment them on it next time you see them.
  • Don't let yourself say anything negative today.
  • If you see someone down on Twitter, send them a kind comment.
  • Any other thing that shows kindness to another person.

Though it may seem like you're doing something for someone else (and you are), you're really blessing yourself.

 Life is short and the times we do for others with such kindnesses are often the greatest favors we do ourselves.

Have a blessed and wonderful day celebrating the birth and life of a great man who spent himself and ultimately gave his life in the service of others and a dream.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Inspiration from a Coffee Cup in a Hospital Room



Sitting here in Mom's hospital room, chatting away about this week's Flat Classroom Conference in Doha, Qatar... my eyes focused on the steaming Starbucks coffee cup sitting on the cold, speckled cabinet beside my chair.

"The Way I See It #130

It will do us little good to wire the world if we short-circuit our souls.
There is not delete button for racism, poverty or sectarian violence.
No keystroke can ever clear the air, save a river, preserve a forest.
This transformational new technology must be an extension of our hearts as well as of our minds.
The old rules still apply..."

Tom Brokaw, American Journalist"
There it is... the summary of the purpose of this week's conference on the side of a steaming hot cup 'o joe.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Daily Spotlight on Education 01/17/2009




Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, January 16, 2009

This Week at Westwood (Links to my classes, lessons and info)



Today, I've been working with my students in Twitter - (set up a separate account for that and had them make updates private) - this is so they can follow the conference virtually. The ninth grade assignments are on the class wiki.

The students have been building on their Digiteen Island in Reaction Grid - after four days the progress is amazing.  It is not quite as hard I thought it would be.  This is made possible by Trevor Meister, my student's new hero.  While many made fun the kids - he said, I'll help them do this.  Thank you for supporting the Dream Team - you showed them that even if you don't get what you want, sometimes you get something 1000 times BETTER!!!!! They are thrilled and although they still miss Lively, many of them are beginning to think that this platform has much more potential.  You can see the assignment from Day 2 and it is fascinating ot learn how to work in there - the student teams all have meeting places in the island as they are meeting face to face so they can work together. It is fascinating. 

This week, we had Edutopia on campus filming one of my students, Virginia who was selected as one of their 10 digital youth.  Their executive producer was SUPER SHARP and it was a joy to hear the types of things he's covering in education.

And, Julie and I are working like two workaholics on the upcoming Flat Classroom conference.  I hope you'll participate virtually!  Although this is the same weekend as Educon, with the time difference - we'll be wrapping up most days around 6 pm, which is around 8 am Eastern Time.  This means that between educon and the Flat Classroom Conference - you can have PD just about all day and night long!

My typing students are BEGGING to get on the Ning - but no, they don't until they learn the keys.  I'm not going to start them when I can't be there the first week to monitor like a hawk anyway.  When they make mistakes it is usually in the week and I've gotta be there, even though the Ning is private.

My computer graphic design students have learned the four principles of graphic design and are redesigning ads from our local paper.  I have a lead on bringing the creative director from the paper in to critique the ads and perhaps may consider running the ads in the paper.  Not sure if it will happen - but what a great win-win for the students and for them - if they get a better ad and the students get a real add in their portfolio.  That is win-win.

OK, going to go watch TV with my family.  Have an amazing weekend on the cusp of history.
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Daily Spotlight on Education 01/16/2009




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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Daily Spotlight on Education 01/15/2009




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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Daily Spotlight on Education 01/13/2009




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Monday, January 12, 2009

Youtube: Everywhere but the Classroom (And How you can Bring it There Anyway)



Your talent shows, itouches, cell phones... bathrooms, halls, lunchrooms - youtube is everywhere... but the classroom.

I had to smile when I saw this high school take off on the popular OK go band.

First, view a bit of the OK Go band's dancing on treadmills video:



Then, take a look at these students from Granbury High School.



I just find it so interesting that youtube is everywhere.  I keep trying to wonder what people are trying to protect children from.  Yes, there are some things on youtube that aren't great, and I also wonder why there is no ratings system.  Youtube is about to carry television programs that will be rated, and yet the other content isn't - I think they will have difficulty justifying it.  Once youtube is rated, it will make it much easier for us on the filtration end.

How to take them there NOW!

For now, if you want to take that great youtube video to school with you - you have two choices:
1)   Rip it and send it to your email using Zamzar (http://www.zamzar.com)
2) Rip it using something like Download Helper
3) Real Player allows you to download and put videos into realplayer on your computer.

I'd say #1 and 3 are my favorites, but then again, I have access to youtube.  If I find a URL that is particularly offensive, I just block that specific URL in the firewall.

Check into Your School's policies
Most schools I know do allow their teachers to bring in videos, however, I have a friend at a local school that has to have permission from the curriculum director for every video used in her classroom. She says there is such a backlog that you might as well not ask.

I say that if you cannot trust your teachers they should be removed and not be teaching.

Those are three options to bring it with you if you cannot access youtube at school.  As always, the best teachers work at home anyway.  Good luck and enjoy!

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Daily Spotlight on Education 01/10/2009




Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.
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