Compassion is the basis of morality ~ Arthur Schopenhauer
What is the most compassionate action you can take with your students and with your teachers?
Read more about Schopenhauer at this Link
Voki is a free Web 2.0 tool that allows you to create personalized speaking avatars and use them on your blog, profile, and in email messages.
Voki is a combination of the Latin word “vox” meaning voice and “Loki” the mischievous god of Norse mythology. Now, there is an across the curriculum application! With Voki you create a customizable speaking avatar that accepts text, as well as recordings using your built-in computer microphone and/or audio files. Voki provides several HTML code options for your finished avatar that can be embedded into most wikis or blogs.
Here is a YouTube tutorial video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssGHaNX3O4g and a slideshow from slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/markmodra/voki-activities-presentation
As stated in The Edublogger, “educators use them to add a human element to their sites or to engage students.” They are also great as attention getters and warm-up/bellringers.
Suggestions for use in ESL classrooms may be found at this link:
So give Voki a whirl and let me know how it goes and how you put it to use in your classroom.
The 80/20 Rule is one of the most helpful of all concepts of time and life management. It is also called the “Pareto Principle” after its founder, the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who first wrote about it in 1895. Pareto noticed that people in his society seemed to divide naturally into what he called the “vital few”, the top 20 percent in terms of money and influence, and the “trivial many”, the bottom 80 percent.
He later discovered that virtually all economic activity was subject to this principle as well. For example, this principle says that 20 percent of your activities will account for 80 percent of your results, 20 percent of your customers will account for 80 percent of your sales, 20 percent of your products or services will account for 80 percent of your profits, 20 percent of your tasks will account for 80 percent of the value of what you do, and so on. This means that if you have a list of ten items to do, two of those items will turn out to be worth five or ten times or more than the other eight items put together.
I wonder…how would this apply to the classroom?
Accountability requires schools to prove something, while performance improvement is focused on improving student performance.
The conversation in the media, at the state and federal levels, and often, in schools is focused overwhelmingly on accountability.
A case in point:
Recently I volunteered at our local hospital. The occasion was a celebration for the 2000 hospital employees. The celebration theme was a carnival and there were games, caricatures, a dunking booth, a rock climbing wall, and plenty of food in the serving line. It was a typically hot, July day with temperatures in the 100’s.
All the favorite grilling foods were there…hamburgers, hot dogs, Texas smoked sausage, snow cones, watermelon, cookies, all the fixin’s.
Well, almost all of the fixin’s.
It is interesting how people react to the work done by others. Some are grateful, peppering their speech with smiles, “Please” and “Thank you.”
Not so for others. Others complain about the heat, (to people working in that heat!). Some complain about the lines. Some complain about having a 30-minute lunch.
And some complain about pickles.
Or the lack of pickles, in this case. Despite all the free food and drinks, and condiments, and extras, one woman noticed a lack of pickles. She was not consoled by pickle relish. She wanted pickles. No free meal or festive atmosphere would deter her determined complaining.
As you prepare your classroom for the approaching school year. As you send out your welcome letters and label books, desks, and supplies, please remember that there will be pickle people.
Pickle people are bitter. They usually give birth to pickle kids. And pickle kids are rarely absent. I guess the pickle doesn’t fall far from the tree! As you encounter pickle people, remember your goal, do not allow the bitterness to infect you. Do not let other people’s caustic comments and attitudes literally put you in a pickle.
You are not bitter. You are better. And your kids and students will be better for being in your class.
“I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music”
Joan Miro was an artist who appealed to my students. They appreciated his work because in Miro’s versatility there were many interpretations that appealed to their learning style. For linear, mathematical, and/or musical students, repeating patterns appeared prominently. The amorphous design aspects appealed to the artistic, naturalist, intra-and interpersonal student. Try incorporating Miro’s work with your students—even the youngest enjoy picking out the mini-pictures they recognize. (Use Google Image search and PicLens to see examples that your school filter will allow or use our webpage.)
Let Miro’s quote serve as a metaphor for the enormous possibilities that exist for you in your classroom!
While You Were Teaching…4OOPSs EduTech News Feed
The kids need you and the web keeps marching on…not to worry, 4OOPS’ EduTech news Feed has these top stories of interest to educators:
From Tech Crunch: July 1. You can no longer use a handheld mobile device in California and Washington. The first time fine in California is just $20, but the real deterrent is public opinion.
But, some studies have shown that talking on hands-free devices are just as dangerous as talking on cell phones regularly.
Will people who talk on their cell phones while driving now have to keep a lookout for the police, too, distracting them even more?
From Read/Write/Web: Adobe. Adobe is has just launched their version of an online office suite available at Acrobat.com, complete with word processor (Buzzword), web conferencing/whiteboard app (ConnectNow), online file sharing (Share), file storage, (My Files), and PDF converter. Adobe has also announced a brand-new version of Adobe Acrobat, Acrobat 9.
From TechCrunch: Ultralight laptops. The MSI Wind – is a $499, 2.6-pound, 10-inch laptop.
From Read Write Web: June 5, 2008. About half of all Internet users aged 12 and up have streamed a video file online in the past 30 days.
“Rubrics make the students’ lives much easier, but once written, they make the teacher’s life easier, too,” says Dr. Lena Nuccio-Lee, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at the University of New Orleans. See the complete story here. Technology tools online also enable us to customize assessment for student groups. Does Timmy need to concentrate on writing complete sentences? Does Simone struggle with spelling? Has you been working with Stan on word attack skills? Insert specific criteria into your rubric to help individual learners.
How-to Resource: How to Write a Rubric