Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Followup on "Vindication for OLD 21st Century Learners"

I found this video from the blog "Free Technology for Teachers" written by Mr. Byrne. This is my response.

Thanks for including this video. At 54 years of age, it is nice to be told I'm not an archaic artifact of outdated education.

One thing that disturbs me greatly about all the "hype" around 21 century learning and skills: no one seems to answer the question (for me at least) "What do we need to learn in order to learn something else?" We all need to have some kind of knowledge and experience base in order to learn something else. If students do not have this base, then they will spend their time designing endless Zwinkies and playing mindless games with their 21st century technology.

Are present-day schools REALLY that bad? Is there NOTHING they have to offer to "21st Century Learners?" After all, even we old people have graduated to these new technologiesand ways of thinking from the "old schools".

Vindication for Old 21st Century Learners

Sunday, March 23, 2008


I've been playing around with a "new" browser- Flock ( I think). It's specialty seems to be keeping track of social networks (Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, etc etc). Does anyone use it? I'm sort of figuring it out, but I'd like to get rid of the standard feeds of news I NEVER read and don't want to start.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Online video production. My doggies are famous?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Current Affairs for Kids CBBC

I've always wanted to do current affairs with my grade 5 and 6 social studies classes, but have found the reading level of newspapers and news sites to be too difficult for most students to read easily. I've stumbled upon CBBC (which I assume is the BBC for Children?) Here is an article on Child Soldiers.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Difference Between Canadians and Americans?

As I have previously blogged, my class has been involved with Epals all year. Our most faithful correspondents have been from a school in Waterloo, Illinois. We have corresponded with the available class in the quarter of Mr. Bill Theobald, the technology teacher. We've even videoconferenced with them. The last time was a few days ago, but (blush) I wasn't able to check my sound connections thoroughly and I didn't press one tiny switch on my powerbar that powered my (own) speakers (obtained from a garage sale last summer for $2.00 - a fabulous bargain - but I digress.) Our conference was scheduled for 9:15 February 27...and our entire school had gone skiing February 26. I wasn't able to set up the day before, as our library (where I could get wireless internet) was being used for a community group (tapdancing??) . Things would have gone much better had we'd been able to conference from my classroom the next day- Rayleen brought out a wireless router so now we can get wireless connections down the oldest wing of HCS. Next time (there will be one), all will be better!

Which brings me to my blog title: In Waterloo, the conference was a BIG deal. My colleague, Bill, wrote to me "Our newspapers will have some VERY complimentary things to say about the videoconferencing experience. Pictures from the videoconference will be posted on the Waterloo School District #5 website. I will send you copies of the newspaper articles when published. " Earlier he had written that officials from the school division would be in monitoring our conference, and the one after it with a school in Italy.

As I said in my previous post, I really appreciate the opportunity to blog with my colleagues. I know that people can identify with the agonies and ecstasies of technological experimentation. I can write about my success and goofy failures and know that no one will laugh at me. That's all that matters to me, really. But how many of us are plugging away with virtually no notice and support from anyone else other than our tech committee buddies, and our students?