Thursday, December 13, 2007
I am making my return to blogging. Next week in my AP Biology class I will be isolating green fluorescent protein from transformed bacteria. I need a rocking platform agitates a liquid bacterial culture. It is too late to order one like the one offered from Bio-Rad.
My only option was to build one myself. I went to our robotics lab and built a rocking platform out of Lego's. It fits perfectly into my incubator and was much more economical.
Below is a video of the Lego Rocking Platform in action.
Monday, September 24, 2007
(Click video to advance slides, right click to rewind)
Thank you Will Richardson for this great view of education. As we get more into the digital age we need to start thinking about what types of activities we are doing in our classroom. We need to start thinking about in the age of access, "Why do I have my students memorize this?" We also need to start considering, "What engages students?" "What impact are my students having on the world?" Please start a discussion here as we attempt to answer these questions.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Marc Prensky makes the statement in his presentations "ENGAGE me or ENRAGE me". In the classroom students are going to be drawn to whatever is the most interesting in the classroom. This does not just apply to ADD students, but to all students. In most cases this is not the teacher. In order to engage students, teachers need to be creative, and step outside the box. As teachers we need to provide our digital natives with activities that truly engage them. What engages these digital natives: video games, iPods, facebook, and text messaging.
Will Richardson makes the analogy that students and teachers methods of communication used to run parallel, but now our students are veering off of that path and are showing no signs of coming back. So as teachers we need to follow them and use tools in our classroom that truly engages them and emphasizes the journey from A to B. We should be seeing more use of video production, podcasts, blogs, and chat rooms to connect our students to a real audience. Nothing is more engaging than having an expert at the CDC discuss a book about viruses, or the author of a book responding to a blog posting that a student wrote about that book. We as teachers are no longer the experts, but we have the power through technology to engage the students in collaborative activities and connect them to the real world.
Ben Glenn Photograph courtesy of http://www.chalkguy.com/. (used with permission)
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Walls are a thing of the past. Schools of the future will have much fewer walls. Learning will become much more collaborative and cross curricular. Students will be working at meeting tables collaborating on projects influenced by the "real world". Closed book memorization tests are going to be a thing of the past. In today's digital world who cares if they memorize all the capitals of the world when they can have an answer on their cell phone in under a minute by texting Google. We need to connect kids to their communities and to their world.
Dan Pink and his book A Whole New Mind tell us that schools of the future should foster skills such as creativity, empathy, contextual thinking and big picture thinking. “The greatest opportunity for change is currently found in after-school programs and informal learning communities" – MacArthur White Paper, 2007
I like the metaphor that Prensky uses in his presentations. Kids used to grow up in the dark. Schools and education were showing them the light. Digital natives with technology are growing up in the light and schools are turning off the lights. We need to bring the students back into the light. How do we do this?
I don't think anyone has the clear cut answer, bet we need to engage them more. Kids are bored with our classrooms. I do think that technology and connecting kids to the real world will with out a doubt play a huge role in engaging them.
Friday, July 20, 2007
What makes web 2.0 so powerful is that we can connect our students to people they may have never had a chance to connect to before. It could be an author, researcher, athlete, or anyone. When a student makes a connection to an author of a book they are reading that is really empowering for that student. Other connections that are important are that between the teacher, parent, and student. As Dr. Tim Tyson points out in his presentations the blog can help connect the parent to the classroom. Connecting the parents and family to the classroom is very important to the students education.
I am just beginning to connect myself to the world and I hope to start to help my students connect to the world as well.