Archive for May, 2007

I sit in a chair surrounded by boxes, and there is so much more to pack!!! We are in the thick of our move. What an exciting and exhausting time we are experiencing in our lives. I wish we had the technology to teleport everything in an instant (Star Trek where are you? “Beam me up!” 😉 In a few days we shall load our moving van and be on our way to new adventures. This may very well be my last post for awhile.

In the meantime, I am posting a highlight reel of the Bill Gates and Steve Jobs interview. I have only viewed parts of this and read a few bits and pieces from the D5 transcript, but it appears to be an entertaining and educational conversation.

Text and video coverage of the complete Steve Jobs and Bill Gates interview.

Remember Me

Posted: May 25, 2007 in Current Event

My friend Jeff at EduTechie.com posted this video at his site, and I would like to share it here too.  Each and EVERY morning my 4 year old daughter asks in our family prayer, “Please bless the troops.”  We remember at this house.  Bless all those who have served, who have family members who have served or are serving, and peace unto those and their families who have made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom around the world.  Above all, bless those who conspire to harm one another that all our hearts will be softened and we may work toward and have peace.

For us in this part of the country it is the last day of school.  I attended the yearbook dance at my middle school to say goodbye to my students and to exchange signatures in our yearbooks.  This is always a bittersweet time and especially so this year.  My family and I are moving in the next couple of weeks, and every event my children take part in is really for the last time here where we have spent the past 10 years (I grew up here and spent most of my 41 years!).  My heart aches for my sons and daughters at this time, but I know that we have great opportunities and adventures ahead.  My posts here will be hit and miss the next 2 or 3 weeks as we pack up and make our transition.  My new responsibilities as an educational technology director will begin in July.  I hope to share the exciting new activities and successes that will become part of my life.  For now, we will laugh and cry as a family as we try and help each other move on.  Until later:  peace!

I have used the Edheads site for the weather activities in my geography classroom, but it has so much more.  My students always liked to try out the “Virtual Knee Surgery” activity especially when one of them had to go through the real thing!  The Edheads site states:

“Edheads brings you high quality, free educational activities for your classroom

Edheads helps students learn through educational games and activities designed to meet state and national standards. We partner with various school systems in the United States, which help us research, design and test our activities every step of the way!

Not only do teachers and students appreciate our free activities, Edheads has been recognized by almost every major award on the Web for our excellent educational content!

So dive into an activity to let the fun and learning begin!”

Give it a try with your students!

Jack and Alamo

Jack and Alamo

The picture included in this post is of two of our draft horses, Jack and Alamo, taken in 1983. My Dad is adjusting the harness while my cousin Stephen holds the team. This photo was taken at an annual horse pulling contest that used to take place in my hometown.

Now, to put technology into perspective in my world, I want you all to know horsepower has been an integral part of my life for many years. I used to harness a team of horses, including Jack and Alamo, on a regular basis as we used them to pull a sleigh in the winter to haul hay to feed our cattle. That was a big part of my life, and there are days when I believe we could all use a team of horse to put life into perspective!!!

Now, it seems computers have taken over in my life and instead of horsepower I depend on gigahertz, and other things, to provide energy to accomplish my work. I am 41 years old, and in that span of time I have witnessed a bridging of the horse drawn past to the digital age. As I ponder this today I am amazed in how much my life has changed, and I believe I am very fortunate to have been a part of these worlds. I have touched on this topic before, and each time I reflect I wonder if I am better off for it all.

There is something about walking out on a very bone chilling morning to catch the team, bring them into the barn, brush them, place their collars around their necks, throw on the harness and fasten the buckles, then lead the team to be pieced together and hooked to the sleigh. The first “kiss” to the team would start them forward, and you could hear the runners of the sleigh creak and crunch as it broke away from the snow beneath. The jingle of the metal parts of the harness, the snorts of the horses, and barks of the dogs all sounded clear in the crisp air. The feel and smell of the leather reins in my hands tied me to the power that propelled us along the way. There were many cattle to feed and this technology served this purpose well, better than any mechanized method could in the deep, white snow.

At the end of this chore, the team was unhitched, unharnessed, and put back into the pasture. Steam would rise from these massive beast’s backs as the sweat from their toil evaporated into the atmosphere. I miss them.

Now that it’s over, we can all laugh about it!!! When I first heard this (TWiT 98) I was quite concerned, and I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry! Once Leo announced he was okay, I laughed until I cried! 😉 Listen to the “moment” here:

Being raised as a cowboy there is one thing I learned at an early age: be careful where you wear your spurs!!! Just a word to the wise Leo! 😉

This article, “Which Wiki is Right for You?,” gives an excellent summary on the various wiki choices out there.  Happy reading!!!

Today I guide you to the Schools of California Online Resources for Education SCORE Online Mathematics Resources.

The One Laptop Per Child XO in use:

My mother is British, and I suppose the news from the UK is always of interest to me because of her influence.  The British education department announced today a list of 160 books for boys chosen by librarians from the School Library Association.  Click to see the list!!!

BibMe I thought BibMe was an interesting resource. I haven’t tried it, but I think it could be helpful especially teaching how to cite sources. The BibMe site states:

“Welcome to BibMe! The fully automatic bibliography maker that auto-fills. It’s the quickest way to build a works cited page. And it’s free.
1. Search for a book, article, website, or film from our database, or enter the information yourself.
2. Add it to your bibliography.
3. Download your bibliography in either the MLA, APA, or Chicago formats and include it in your paper.”

Try it and let us know if it works for you!

ESA Earth

The European Space Agency has issued its GlobCover website.  The ESA news release in part states:

“The most detailed portraits ever of the Earth’s land surface have been created with ESA’s Envisat environmental satellite. The portraits are the first products produced as part of the ESA-initiated GlobCover project and are available online.

Bimonthly global composites for May to June 2005 and March to April 2006 can be accessed through a newly developed map server tool on ESA’s GlobCover website. On 19 June, additional bimonthly global composites will be made available as well as the first part of a global land cover map over Eurasia.”

I found the following superior presentation while browsing around today:

“This is an excerpt from the March 27, 2006 Okemos Public School Board meeting. Kelly Carrier, a high school science teacher, demonstrates technology tools, especially his personal Tablet PC, that he uses in his classes.”

I took my four youngest children fishing today.  We watched a water snake catch a small bullhead minnow and begin the dinner process.  Enjoy the video:

This ad from Give Kids Good Schools really hits home: