I like jazz

This post was last updated on May 15th, 2008 at 05:40 pm

If you haven’t read his book, you should but Shel Israel compares blogging to jazz. I like this analogy because I like jazz and part of why I like it is because it’s so diverse….you never know what to expect. Also, I’m quick to skip a song if it’s not working for me but often I go back and listen again and decide it’s not bad…there’s something about it that resonates.
Full Article:Naked Conversations: Is Blogging the Jazz of Writing?

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How engaged is this guy?

This post was last updated on September 8th, 2006 at 05:41 pm

Stephen Downes talked about this article today on students videotaping lectures and classmates and posting to Youtube.

I agree with Stephen about encouraging this. Perhaps not without
permission but if we want our students learning to be more transparent
I’m assuming the same goes for our teaching.

Update: Embedding youtube videos into WordPress is not that straigthforward. If you use tiny_mce it seems to have issues. Blogging with Flock should work but it seemed to really mess with my template. If you have any suggestions for embedding youtube videos in WordPress, please pass it along.

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‘Cause newspapers are never wrong

Dave Weinberger writes about the credibility of wikipedia even more passionately than I do.
He points out that wikipedia’s openness about their accuracy makes them more trustworthy. He talks about the various notices that begin many articles.

Weinberger asks:

So,why is it that you don’t see such frank notices in traditional sources such as newspapers and encyclopedias? Is it because their articles don’t ever suffer from any of these human weaknesses? Oh, sure,newspapers issue corrections after the fact, and “This is non-neutral opinion” is implicit on the Op-Ed page. But why isn’t there any finer grain framing of the reliability and nature of what’s presented to using their pages? Can we come to any conclusion except that traditional authorities are more interested in maintaining authority than in helping us reach the truth?

Wikipedia at the least, encourages us to be critical thinkers. I know when I go there, it may be inaccurate. I’m okay with that. Let’s help our kids not to be brainwashed by the media into believing everything they read and see.
I love the behind the scenes type shows on TV. I love the special features on a DVD showing how the movie was made and any … Read the rest

Youtube for Educators

I’ve started a group called K12 in Youtube. I wondered if those posting videos might want to add them to this category. I know many students and teachers are creating good stuff but it’s hard to find it. I think Jeff has done some stuff but I couldn’t find it. Perhaps this will help. Spread the word around so we begin to collect a repository of educational content.

Here’s the URL:


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Finding the right Assessment

After reading this article today in the NYTIMES, it once again raised the issue of how we measure success.

Saskatchewan has been one of the last provinces in Canada to move towards standardize testing. We’re still not there yet but recent changes worry me. In an effort to become more accountable we are moving dangerously close to models were test scores determine funding and support.
My argument has been that these type of bureaucratic models will lead to the lowest common denominator of work which is low level thinking and testing in order to produce the required results. Good assessment takes time and thought. Good assessment is not simply assessment OF learning but assessment FOR learning. Data collection in these circumstances for this large number would not likely be able to handle thoughtful, messy assessment. (See Wes Fryer and Brian Crosby for more on messy assessment)

Personally, I’ll be coordinating a number of projects this year relating to the 21st century classroom. It will be largely experimental and self directed for the participants. I want to assess not only for its success (assessment OF learning) but more importantly to make learn from it (assessment FOR learning). I’m struggling with … Read the rest