Saturday, September 6, 2008

Maps Across the Curriculum

Maine teacher, Richard Byrne, shares the availability of online mapping tools on his recent podcast, "Maps, Not Just for Social Studies Anymore."

For those with MLTI laptops, also check out the My World GIS program located on the dock of your desktop. Phil Brookhouse has a Noteshare notebook explaining its application and how to use it at the ACTEM Noteshare Server. At the ACTEM pre-conference of MainEducation 2008, Jim Wells and Phil will be showing us the many possibilities of My World.

Do we really need the static maps found in a textbook any longer?

Additional Resources:

Map Resources at LIM Resources Wiki (Feel free to add to, delete, modify, etc.)

Tools for Learning Workshop: " Mapping & the Internet "

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Doin' Time . . .

The timeline above was created in XTimeline and embedded in this blog. Click on events to see more specific information. Refresh the browser to return to the timeline. Use green object at bottom to move through time.

More Great Timeline Tools at LIM Resources Wiki. Feel free to add to or modify the list.

A Life Skills Curriculum


In reading some other blogs, I came across a life skills curriculum outlined at one of my favorite blogs Cheap Healthy Good.

Normally source of good recipes and fun food commentary, one contributor decides to tackle how to teach useful skills to junior high/high school students.

As Home Ec and Life Skills programs get cut, I wonder how (or even if) schools are going to tackle teaching these skills.

Check out the 12 Week Life Skills Curriculum here. And the comments are as interesting as the curriculum!

Nicole writes a daily blog at

Monday, September 1, 2008

"The Benefits of Blogging"

Richard Byrne outlines the benefits of blogging in the classroom on his podcast today at Free Technology for Teachers

Podcast Link

Episode 34 - Wicked Decent Learning - "It's Essential"

Direct Link to WDL Podcast

WDL Blog


Essential Questions

Questioning Workshop

Earlier Post: Essential Questions and Other Questions

Lessons from Kites & Slow-Smoked Ribs

I spent yesterday afternoon at my brother Mike's camp at Worthley Pond in Peru. It was a very relaxed afternoon of swimming, kite-flying-on-the-lake, scrumptious ribs, liquid refreshment, and good conversation.

My brother, Dave, is an evangelist for perfect BBQ. You can see his popular website for detailed recipes of his best work here. Dave's key advice is to be patient and give the smoker plenty of time to do its thing in order create the most mouth-watering ribs. He says to double the times that any recipe suggests. Believe me, he knows what he is doing!

Perhaps we all have to be reminded to slow down, to be patient, and to gently persevere. We can try to force our will on just about anything and perhaps actually be temporarily successful, but in the end, the Universe will have its way. You just can't force good ribs . . . or just about anything else, for that matter.

Flying kites offers similar lessons. You just have to be patient and allow nature to offer its opportunities. Be prepared, but be patient. Be ready to take advantage of the currents as they present themselves.

See any application to how we approach schooling?

I'm struggling to learn these lessons. Our digital world and consumer world conspire to make us impatient. We want it and want it now! Our egos soar and we relish our power. But like Icarus, we risk flying too close to the sun. Somehow we need to remain grounded just as the kite is tethered by its string.


Gustav and the Genius of Wikipedia

The argument against Wikipedia by many is that it is simply not authoritative, that one just doesn't know how accurate it is, that the credentials of the editors are questionable. And yet, IMHO, the genius of Wikipedia comes through especially during events such as Katrina and Gustav.

Questions: For information on what is happening and has happened regarding Hurricane Gustav, where is your most reliable and up-to-date source? Commercial news organizations, Encyclopedia Britannica, or Wikipedia? Or is it somewhere else?

Who do you trust? Do you trust CNN, Fox News, or local news for example, more than Wikipedia in getting non-hyped, reliable and fair news coverage?
ATTENTION: Residents of areas affected by Hurricane Gustav are advised to seek advice and information from local authorities through television and radio. Information on Wikipedia may not be current or applicable to your area. Do not decide whether to leave your house, shelter, or vehicle based on Wikipedia information.
~ Disclaimer at top of Wikipedia Hurricane Gustav article