Teague's Tech Treks

Learning Technology and other Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague

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Happy Halloween in a Post Daylight-Savings-Time World

booLast week, in a Facebook discussion with friends, I found out that Daylight Savings Time was moved to later in the year mainly to accommodate Halloween so kids would not have to trick-or-treat in the dark.

My, how Halloween has changed.

As a youngster, I remember how the longest day of the year was Halloween, (followed by the day before the last day of school but that is another posting). It wasn’t until dark that we were allowed to go out and trick-or-treat.

We went in little hordes, accompanied by someone’s an older brother or sister, who was inevitably “On Restriction” and so had drawn the scary short straw. “On Restriction” was the misdemeanor designation for the parental crime rap sheet, with “Grounded” being the felonious version.

We carried little plastic pumpkin candy holders or larger bags provided by the local bank…black cats with “Union Federal” festooned in spooky 20 point font. As if saving money was the scariest thing in the world. No one, ever, ever carried pillowcases—ever! Never would have even been considered to bring items from the JC Penney’s White Sale on the candy caravan. Ever.pumpkinholder

Our parents did not accompany us because they were at home greeted the waves of children. Each house had its own theme. At my house, my dad always dressed up in his referee uniform (he refereed ball games on the weekends for extra money). For Halloween, he added a ghoulish rubber hand with ugly moles, sprouting an icky long, black hair. He punctuated his speech with puns and elongated pronunciation, “Give me a ‘hand’ with that ‘handsome’ stranger!” “How ‘handy’ you are with the goblin!” “Go wash your ‘hands’ before dinner!”

The visual and auditory memory causes me to shudder even today.

(shudder)

My mother’s costume was verbal only. She dressed in the same clothes and pearls as usual, but adopted a different accent and a smattering of foreign dialect. So, for many years, she would tell us to “Watch the clock; you’ll be going out ‘Pronto!’” or “Our Hamburger Helper is muy caliente!” Charo would be thrilled.

Each house had a theme. Most were traditional Halloween with decorations and candy purchased from the Sav-on located on Vermont Avenue, (when we lived in Inglewood) or the Pic-N-Save (when we lived in Huntington Beach). Some houses reflected their unique personalities: the geriatric house where the older couple gave out divinity which was considered a candy for grown-ups. The older couple would always ask us, “Now, who would you be?”

I usually was dressed in whatever hand-me-down costume my sister had discarded from previous Halloweens or school plays. Sometimes my grandmother dressed me so my costume reflected the fringed shawls of her university days at Berkeley.

paul lemat in American GraffitiMy brother always dressed like Paul LeMat in American Graffiti , sans cigarette. These were the days before American Graffiti so it was more of a West Side Story thing I think in retrospect.

There was the house with the hippies and the brownies that looked so good but which Miss Peggy always purloined to the garbage when the plastic pumpkin candy holders were inspected back at home. There was the house of the two older spinster sisters who gave us either candy apples or popcorn balls.

There was the house of the crazy vegetarian artist who always painted our faces and gave us carrot cookies made with carob chips. These unfamiliar morsels went straight to the dog or were ripped to chunks and thrown at other rival hordes as we progressed from house-to-house.

There was the older World War II vet’s house. He always gave us the free lollipops from the same Union Federal bank where our candy collection bags were distributed. We kids viewed these lollipops as a rip-off, but, because he had served our country, our respect was expected in return for them. But at least he went through the candy motions. At Gabby Diaz’ house, her dad was a high school math teacher. He always gave a “Trick” when given the choice of “Trick or Treat.” He gave us math problems, which, if correctly solved, yielded salt water taffy from the bait shop down by the pier, hardly an incentive. This was where the older brothers and sisters who chaperoned us finally had a bit of humble pie to eat as we watch them squirm in various states of math-ignorant discomfort trying to answer his “trick.”

Our favorite house was a little bit off the beaten cul-de-sac. It was the house of the Revak’s. We LOVED the Revak house. Both of the parents at the Revak house worked and so they had more money than all the rest of us. Their daughter Cindy had THE PRETTIEST clothes and a store-bought costume that literally (at least in my memory mind) glittered as she walked. The Revak household had Hershey’s candy and Snickers bars and the Hope Diamond of all Halloween treats: the Mars bar! And the dad at the Revak household, who worked at McDonald Douglas, gave huge fistfuls of candy, not just the miserly single of the Puritanical houses where we resided. The Revak dad did not wear a fake hand and dispense candy with a ghoulish, scream of a laugh like my dad. As an engineer, he was all pencil protectors and skinny black tie.

The return walk back from the Revak house was suspense-filled as we guarded those full plastic pumpkins with the due diligence of junior CIA field operatives. Other groups were lying in wait outside the yopon bushes of the Revak house, since the best candy inventory left from that driveway. Night was fully realized, our chaperones having grown impatient and slightly miffed after the math debacle of the Diaz house. Making it home and splintering off each to our houses was an act of cunning, craftiness, and survival, aided by a few furtive fistfuls of Revak candy.

And always in the dead of post Daylight Savings time darkness.

Happy Halloween in the post daylight savings time world.

Happy Halloween

 

 

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Things That Happen to Your Mind When You Read

…from the astute folks at OEDB-Open Education Database

Things that happen to your mind when you read

Click here to read the full post

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Weekend Ed. Quote~October 26

Education then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men, the balance-wheel of the social machinery. Horace Mann

I saw this quote in an online post from my classmate, Jill…thanks, Jill!

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More Weekend Ed. Quotes

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Participatory Media

participatory media

I saw a commercial recently that symbolizes the participatory nature of social media communities. I sourced the commercial and created this video using the Metta.io interface:

 

“We shouldn’t be afraid of technology, if what technology is doing is building a human relationship” ~Martha Buell, human development and family studies professor

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The number of texts we text

Henry Jenkins writes in his book Convergence Culture that there was a push during American Idol, for fans to cast their votes using text message. Jenkins cites a 2003 study which discovered that some fans placed their very  first text message when they texted their American Idol votes.

During some recent channel surfing, I paused on another reality TV  series. In this series, the dad was incredulous that his daughter had  sent over 9000 texts in the previous month. It appears that in the  intervening ten years since the American Idol first texters that text messaging has grown in a rate surpassing Moore’s law!

I asked 7 incredibly brilliant people how many texts they send every month. I collected the data and created the graph below using the Create-a-Graph website.

number of texts

So, how would you reply to the question of how many  texts you send? Do you send 100 texts a month? 200? 1000? 2000? Just a  number is fine. Looking forward to seeing the numbers!

Thanks, brilliant friends!

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Book Source:

Jenkins, Henry (2008). Convergence Culture where old and new media collide. New York University Press.

 

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Boundaries with Friends~Chapter 8

In their book Boundaries when to say yes when to say no to take control of your life, Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend (1992) define friendship as “a non romantic relationship that is attachment-based rather than function-based,” such as work, neighborhoods, class teams, or ministry (p. 137).

sheldon

Do you have friends like Sheldon?

Cloud and Townsend offer a Boundary Checklist:

boundaryquestions

They describe four types of boundary relationships among Friends:

1.) Compliant/Compliant
2.) Compliant/Aggressive Controller
3.) Compliant/Manipulative Controller
4.) Compliant/Nonresponsive

Which relationship is exhibited in the following scenario?

knockpenny
http://www.metta.io/stories/13651

We often think of boundaries as keeping people, things, non-essential priorities out.  There’s truth here.  Today, I’d suggest also thinking of these same fences as keeping YOU in.

We are rescuers at times.

But there’s only so much we can do in some of our relationships.  There will be times where our power to reason, talk or share with, persuade, or even encourage another person will be limited. Sometimes this means letting things rest with our friends and sometimes it means gently confronting them. There is only so much we can do…

We will encounter frustration at our inability to change a person, or influence them to change their situation.

This is exactly as it should be.  We’re not God…or Sheldon Cooper.

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chapter 8 of Boundaries

Cloud, H., & Townsend, J. (1992). Boundaries when to say yes when to say no to take control of your life. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Movie Link: http://www.metta.io/stories/12680

Disclaimer: This post is one component of eight presentations referencing Cloud and Townsend’s book. All presentations may be viewed at the following link. This post is part of course requirements for Dr. Farzin Madjidi, EDLT724.20, Ethics and Personal Leadership.

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Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo is the shortcut acronym for National Novel Writing Month http://www.nanowrimo.org/
NaNoWriMo begins November 1 and proceeds through the month. (Time to etch it into your lesson plans)
The NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words in one month.

At NaNoWriMo you can:

  • papersWrite a novel in a month!
  • papersTrack your progress.
  • papersGet pep talks and support.
  • papersMeet fellow writers online and in person.

Psst! (and so can your students).

See this 2012 post by Katie Taylor for a great explanation of the whole process from a writer’s point of view.

This is such a great idea and a great PBL project for your students. There is even an app to make the whole process i-friendly.

Total Collective Word Count for 2012 was 3,291,117,756 words

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Weekend Ed. Quote~October 19~Common Sense

“Common sense is exquisitely adapted to handling the kind of complexity that arises in everyday situations…The paradox of common sense, therefore, is that even as it helps us make sense of the world, it can actively undermine our ability to understand it . . . The way we reason about the problems of the world is poorly suited to the nature of the problems themselves.” ~Duncan J. Watts, Everything Is Obvious (Once You Know The Answer)

 

More Weekend Ed. Quotes

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Invite Calvin and Hobbes for the weekend

Go Comics has the complete Calvin and Hobbes archive. Read the comic strip online this weekend (and for everyday thereafter) Read the strip online or download the mobile app. There’s a C&H documentary premiering on November 15.

On New Year’s Eve, 1995 artist Bill Watterson decided to end the beloved Calvin and Hobbes comic strip he created. He avoided licensing his creations to toy makers or movie makers.

Go

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Maintaining a Robust PLN (even when you do not have time for breakfast)

WebTeach.com™ ( http://webteach.com ) a leader in virtual collaborative initiatives, is pleased to present “Tech-tober,” a month long program of interactive, tech-centric learning
opportunities for education and professional development managers.

The third “WebTeachinar” installment is entitled, “Maintaining a Robust PLN (even when you do not have time for breakfast)” and will be held Wednesday, October 30 at 9:00 a.m. EST. The one-hour interactive event will be presented by Greg Limperis, CEO of TechinEDU.com.

There is no cost to attend the online session and participants need only a web-enabled device to join.

“I want to help busy professionals streamline the time and effort needed to maintain and grow the relationships that matter,” says Limperis. “It can be much less complicated and resource draining than you think. I hope to sift through the ‘connection chaos’ and show participants what it takes to get it done right.”

“The internet offers us infinite opportunities to connect like never before,” says JW Ray, CEO of WebTeach.com. TechinEDU and WebTeach.com share the common goal of streamlining the process education professionals must undertake to efficiently share knowledge using the best tools on the planet.”

The event is sponsored by OtterBox. They are providing three smart phone cases that will be given away during the presentation. Lisa Flint, Business Development Specialist at OtterBox, will also be assisting with the presentation.

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To register, please click here.

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