Friday, May 14, 2010

Not Gone....Just Missing

Still here.  I'm having some health issues along with the extra stuff that comes up with ending a school year.  I should be back soon.  Thanks for asking.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Subscribing to YouTube RSS feed

Handy reference from David Warlick on how to create a YouTube RSS feed.  Someone asked me this the other day and I didn't know.  This saved me some search time.  Might save you a few steps too.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Learner's Journey

While searching for a picture  of a Head First book for yesterday's post, I stumbled across this description of the learning process by one of the Head First editors, Brian Sawyer.

They use a slightly different metaphor to describe the learning process. They call it a  Journey.  He describes a basic outline in the slideshow below.

Learner's Journey from Brian Sawyer on Vimeo.

In the footnote to this post, Brian describes the reasoning behind the Journey process:
"While this post focuses on the construction of what we call the Learner's Journey, the concepts behind the idea really warrant a post of their own. In brief, though this particular approach and visualization was developed in house, the ideas behind it are loosely modeled on Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey, combining teaching elements with a compelling scenario to create a rewarding quest for the protagonist (the learner) to accomplish."

How cool is that! I would have loved it if my EDU 100 instructor had come in with a copy of the Hero's with a Thousand Faces and said, "Before we get any further with this teaching stuff, I want you to read this book." Education as a journey. As a quest. I love this.  In the slide show he covered many of the same concepts we did in education.  I like this metaphor better than the one we used.  While it was never stated as such, I think what I got was the factory metaphor.  Raw materials in. Finished competent citizen out.

[Image: Flickr: "The JLC - keeping the Piedmont safe since 2006"; Uploaded on July 4, 2006 by Cryptonaut;  (CC:Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)]

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Creating Passionate Users

Creating Passionate Users is a website created by Kathy Sierra, one of the people responsible for developing the Head First Style of books available from O'reilly.  Head First takes difficult subjects and presents them in an engaging way.  I have several of the Head First books and enjoyed them thoroughly.  I think many of the techniques used in the books would be beneficial in any classroom: use of pictures, redundancy, emotional content, conversational style, challenging activities, and hitting multiple learning styles.

Creating Passionate Users has all kinds of useful ideas and examples based on her experiences and feedback from the Head First books.  Unfortunately, she stopped posting to the blog in 2007, but the posts are still valuable.

[Image captured from Head First Labs:]

Monday, April 26, 2010

Creative Commons Music

My multimedia students are creating some simple music videos in MovieMaker this week.  Finding music to use can be a issue. Kids want to download copyrighted materials and I am trying to get them to think about what is OK to use and what is not.  Especially if they want to post their work online for the world to see.  The following three sites are ones I am going to list this year as a source for music with Creative Common licenses.

Free Music Archive



Warning!  I have run across album covers that have pictures inappropriate for school in Jemendo.  I can also assume there will be language on some of these songs in all these sites that are not school appropriate as well.  So, before I send my kids off to search in class,  I will have "the talk" with them.  Same talk I have when they are doing image searches.

[Image: "An era passed";Flickr:Uploaded on November 17, 2008 by Olivander: (CC:Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)]

Friday, April 23, 2010