March 13, 2012
Sean Parker: Defeating SOPA Was The “Nerd Spring”

The power of the Anti-SOPA movement can’t be underestimated. It was quite the buzz with my students. It was all over their social lives.  Even for my Call of Duty Prestige clique.  Heck, even Major League Gaming ‘went black.’ 

I knew that SOPA was in for some trouble when the friendly gentleman I chit-chat with each afternoon at my local 7-Eleven said:  Hey, have you heard about SOPA?  He shared with me his views on the world, and I tell you what he was passionate about it.

The ‘Nerd Spring’ made my kids, the friendly guy at 7-Eleven fee like they were part of something. Pretty cool. 

10:21pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZEERlvHz8WX-
Filed under: SOPA Nerd Spring 
March 13, 2012
The Encyclopaedia of my youth is no more

The Encyclopaedia Britannica editors announced today that they will no longer publish their famous multi-volume series.  I can’t say that I’m surprised, but it definitely makes me feel like I’ve lost a part of my childhood.  I was lucky enough to have a set in my military family home.  My father bought a copy of the Britannica when I was young.  Knowing what I know now, it wasn’t quite in our budget - but he felt it was something an educated family should have.  Every year he bought the “Book of the Year” as to supplement our little library.

When I was a child I loved thumbing through the pages, smelling the rich leather and learning the British spelling of words.  If I wanted to know something, it took some effort.  Now it takes seconds on my phone.  Britannica itself is not going away, in fact the website is still going strong and selling ‘premium membership.’

I do love technology and the march of progress.  My Dad instilled that in me - he’s close to retirement but just moved from his Blackberry to an iPhone. The price for the last edition is $1395.00.  I don’t know that I’d ever buy a Britannica for my home. I think I just like the idea of it being available, and that my kids could look through it for school.  Fourteen hundred dollars could buy a kindle and nook color for each member of my family.

Those things would be nice, but they sure won’t smell as good. 

March 13, 2012

explore-blog:

After leap years explained and an animated history of the modern calendar, daylight savings time explained. 

( Sociological Images  @kirstinbutler)

A great little film on Daylight Savings Time. It does mess with my sleep, but I love the sunshine after work.

(Source: explore-blog)

March 11, 2012
Welcome to Coursekit

My responsibilities as a junior administrator in my building have, for the most part, taken me away from directly teaching students.  I am able to keep a foot in the door by managing our students that take online courses, or independent study.

Harrison Prep is an International Baccalaureate MYP school of choice.  We don’t offer athletics, so many students have an early release to participaet at another high school.  The students don’t ‘sit’ for the courses in a classroom.  When I do meet with them it’s in my office, and we don’t meet every day.

This term I’m teaching a course that prepares my students for Microsoft Office Certification, part of the Microsoft IT Academy Program.  Previously, I managed classroom content through, Teacherweb.  It’s the service our district uses for teacher and building websites.  Teacherweb is easy to use, and works great for most applications in the school.  My students needs are a bit different due to the nature of the course.

Coursekit

I want something similar to what I used in post-secondary courses.  A tool like Blackboard or Moodle.  Earlier this year I read a story about Coursekit.  It is designed to compete with the blackboards and moodles of the world, and it is free. The whole process of registration and setting up my class took about five minutes.

So far so good.  I’ll be sure to share my experience.  It’s headed up by some UPenn grads, so I have high expectations.

March 11, 2012
Tumbl on …

I’m moving my mish-mash of blog activities to tumblr today.  After reading a variety of articles on what platform to use, I decided on tumblr.  I was definitely hesitant at first.  I don’t sign-up for every new social networking site that exists - even if I get a special “invitation only” e-mail.  My anecdotal experience with tumblr from work reminded me very much of the myspace I used back in the day.

When it was all said and done, this looked like a good place to plant some roots.  Talk to you again soon.

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