Saturday, March 8, 2008

Because Teachers Are Funny People

by Nicole Ouellette

From my favorite news source, The Onion:

UNIONTOWN, PA—Most educators view multiple-choice exams as an opportunity to couch the correct answer amidst three or four other plausible alternatives. Not so for Uniontown High School teacher Tom Campbell. Campbell, 47, who has taught freshman history at the school for the past 11 years, uses the popular test format not only to instruct but also to delight his students with his quirky sense of humor.

"What was the Great Awakening?" a question from one of Campbell's most recent tests reads. "(a) Coffee and a bagel, (b) The name given to FDR's evening radio addresses, (c) 'C'mon, Mom! Let me sleep five more minutes!' or (d) A dramatic religious revival in Anglo-American history."

"The answer is D," said Campbell, holding back a wry smile. "Giving them the option of 'Coffee and a bagel.' Get it?"

Read the entire "article" here...

Monday, March 3, 2008

Digital Photography Notes from Missouri

Written by Martha Thibodeau

Hi Ya'll from St. Louis!

Becky, Anne and I are at the eMINTS Winter Conference. Here's some notes from a workshop I went to called "Digital Photography in the Classroom

Rod Kissinger, a retired middle school social studies teacher, talked to us about taking better digital pictures. The handouts for the session are part of a webquest written for 4th grade students, but can be altered for higher levels.

Depth of field is one way to blur the background, if you can not find the background that you want. The bigger the fstop, the higher the depth of field. “Higher is Deeper” The sport setting has a faster shutter speed, so it has a narrower depth of field and will blur the background.


Use a flash outdoors, and know the range of your flash. Cloudy days are often the best days for pictures because it doesn't wash out the colors. Red eye reduction can be a setting on your camera or if you have the group look at a light and then look back to you just before you take the picture. For painting out the red eye, choose a brush with a feathered image so that it will blend in, and then use the smudge tool to smudge what you just painted in with the brush.

Move in close since studies show that people look at the eyes of a subject first. Use the optical zoom, since the digital zoom is a software based zoom. Sneaker zoom, walking closer to the subject, is another option. :)

Move the image from the middle of your frame. The rule of thirds describes where items in the photography should be placed. When taking a picture of a moving image, give the object someplace to move into. When you take a moving image, follow the subject with your camera and continue to move the camera after you finish...otherwise you will stop and the object will blur. Remember that you can hold the shutter down half way to lock the focus, then you can move the camera organize the shot and then take the picture. In the case of the runner, lock the focus on the ground where the runner is going to be when you take the picture...remember to keep the camera moving on the runner as he/she goes by, and click the shutter the rest of the way when he/she reaches the point that you locked the focus on.

Set up glasses every two feet and take a picture with your flash on. You will be able to see the reflection of the flash out to the range of your flash.

Mornings and evenings are best times to take pictures outside. The light is gentle.

Take vertical pictures. Some cameras will automatically flip them for you.

Be a good picture director, don't be afraid to put kids in poses. Make the photograph interesting. Lay on the floor and have the kids huddle over you or have them lay on the floor and take a picture down on them.

Get a tripod. A move of 1/16th of an inch at the camera turns into a much larger move where the subject is located. Brand name of gorilla...tripod that you can bend the legs.


Online purchasing of digital equipment:

onecall.com

bandkphoto.com Observe the sabbath so no purchasing during that time

Online purchasing of pictures:

personalizationmall.com

shutterfly.com

mpix.com

TelstarToo Session: Learning Models & Graphics

TelstarToo Group will be meeting today at the Crescent Park School in Bethel to investigate learning models and to work with graphics.

Agenda:

Sign-in, Connectivity

Visual Thesaurus
Gliffy
Online Whiteboard



Activity: Save Fred

Culture Wars: Ideology and Education

Technology Standards

Graphics

Clipart Links at LIM Resources Wiki
Photo Resources at Resources for Maine Teachers
Vector vs. Bitmap
Vector vs. Bitmap - An Introductory Guide
Appleworks Drawing vs. Painting
Inkscape vs. Gimp (Open-source Applications), Seashore
Photoshop vs Illustrator
OS X Pages
Tux Paint

Closing