Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Look at Dr. Tae's invitation to hire him...

 Special Note: When in teaching mode, the Dr. Tae™ HLU is only programmed to give students meaningful feedback and is therefore unsuitable for use in environments that require giving students letter or numerical grades.

here is the link    

You can write to him at dr.tae@drtae.org 

Here's how I got to know him (through his youtube channel)

Remember this classic book: Have you been "Driven to Distraction" lately?

The name of this blog comes from this insightful book.  ADD people are curious, often constantly.   It might have been a very useful trait among certain groups, but gradually bureaucracies come to see the ADD hyperactivity as disrupting.

Go ahead, order an extra copy.   Look at the chapter where the discussion goes to "why is ADD so often found in the USA and not in Europe?"  Simple:  we who are "chronically curious" got on ships and didn't return.  We took our "different" genes and brain wiring with us.

Even teachers ought to know about the parking Paul

What did Ringo, George and John know about PAWL?
How many times have you used your car's parking brake this year?  Two or three times?  
The answer should be: at least twice a day.  Come to a stop, with your right foot on the break and the car in drive, press the emergency brake so it holds the car, slide the shift into PARK, and pull your right foot off the brake.  Ahh.  Now the PAWL has no pressure.  The parking pawl locks the wheels and stops them from turning.  By using the emergency brake, you reduce the "wear and tear" on the parking pawl.  As columnist Jonathan Welsh writes, "Even the slightest incline puts pressure on the pawl."  (WSJ.com)   Get the news directly

The photo comes from my buddy Mario's view of a fabulous rooftop in his favorite capital city.  This place has little need for pawls because so few people own cars. But I intend to use the pawl if I ever get a car there.

Why does technology stay unused in classrooms?

Here' the summary...

An interesting approach.

To watch the video, I had to complete a survey.   Hmmmm.

Nice looking survey and not too long to fill it out...

I'm impressed.

At some point I want to learn how to link a survey to a youtube video so that I can teach my students.

What software is used to collect the contact data?

Where does the data get stored?

In what format?

How do I send email updates to the people who have entered this information?

That's the real-world info that needs to be given to kids so that they can make videos and then contact people who see the videos.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Why I invite students to link to my Facebook account

Let's be clear.  I do not actively seek out my students on Facebook.

I don't ask for their email addresses and then ask them to be my "friend."

However, I make it clear that I will answer questions by email, text to my mobile phone, through my blog and on Facebook, Orkut, tuenti, sonico, vKontakte and hyves.net.  I encourage them to write to me on Facebook so that I can recommend BIBPenpals.  See www.BIBPenpals.com and www.Youtube.com/bibPenpals.

a)  Gordon Dyke, Tony Hyde, DB, Clive Hartwell, Will Sutherland, David Rhodes, Teddy Senn, Mr. Koch, and others.  I went to a remarkable boarding school where the faculty lived on campus and took us on expeditions in the mountains on weekends and ate dinner with us to reinforce the finer points of civilization.  20 years later I realized where I got some of my notions about what a "good teacher" does and I wanted to thank Gordon, Tony, Clive, DB, and others... and I could because the school kept in contact with those teachers.   The benefit of the contact was more for me and my need to express my gratitude than for them to actually hear it.   It was more to benefit me --- I felt that I had slightly moved to balance the scales by saying, "You made a difference when I was a self-centered, ego-driven kid."

b)  My wife's favorite teacher:  He was a passionate fan of the U.S. Civil war history and filled his students ears with details about the war so that my wife was well prepared to say, "Everyone knows that:  the Civil War was not about slavery at first; it was about economics."

David Zimster, a bright guy at my office, told me about how his dad gave him a copy of Alvin Toffler's Third Wave and Future Shock, in which the author described the Civil War as a shift of power, moving from agriculture to industry, and clearly the South was losing that transition.

For both DZ and my wife, the Civil War was not initially about slavery.  The Zimster had to fight for that mindset (his history teacher did not want him saying such confusing things in front of the other students);  thanks to David Wagner, wherever you are, you made my wife really like history.   You also inspired me to make it easy for my students to keep in contact with me, if they choose to do so.

Steve McCrea
Facebook:  TLASteve@gmail.com (there are over 200 Steve McCreas on FB)
facebook.com/theGuideontheSide    and  http://www.facebook.com/SteveEnglishTeacher
FB groups   Fans of Free English Lessons  http://www.facebook.com/FreeEnglishLessons

Groups:  http://www.facebook.com/groups/GuideontheSide/


Orkut, Tuenti, Sonico, Hyves.net, vKontakte:  FreeEnglishlessons@gmail.com
Skype:  SteveEnglishTeacher
+1 954 646 8246
Thanks also to my sweetheart, who allowed me to sit for fifteen minutes to grab this idea when we were in the middle of "territorial affairs."   Time to get back to that dust removal project.

Highlights from Nightingale Initiative, Los Angeles

Nightingale Middle School, the D3 Lab, New Learning Institute and the Future of Learning

I invite you to learn more about Nightingale Middle School and its D3 Lab

The work of Enrique Gonzalez and the New Learning Institute in NIGHTINGALE INITIATIVE is inspiring for schools that are face to face.

The school has a woodshop (most schools had a woodworking shop for students in the 1960s but now few schools have this facility now... )

Links to the video
Conversation part 1
Most young people don't believe that the school belongs to them.
We want the community to join us. The classroom is the extension of their living room.

A candid conversation about education, community and life with Enrique Gonzalez, Principal of Florence Nightingale Middle School in Los Angeles, California.
Conversation part 2
Tour with Nancy Chou in the D3 Lab: Dream it, Design it, Do it.  New Learning Institute  
Interview with Erin Brest, a musician who graduated from Frida Kahlo High School.

Conversation part 3
The students will put a smile on people's faces. They prepare to visit a local convalescent home. (Music)
The Night Hawk's Nest, made with discarded materials.
"The children have taken ownership of this area."

Conversation part 4
"Kids learn about safety and they can apply the skills that they learn from other subjects." 
The kids are engaged here. We're preparing them to be citizens of the world. 
Around us there is poverty and hunger, but the answer is in the schools, where they can develop their thinking. 
Thanks to Elliot Washer, Nancy Chou and the staff at Nightingale middle School, who want us to become the best school in the nation. Let's be a model, here's an alternative, please consider it.
Fourth and final part of a candid conversation about education, community and life with Enrique Gonzalez, Principal of Florence Nightingale Middle School in Los Angeles, California.

Contact Enrique at exg0368@LAUSD.net
Filmed and edited by Erik Friedl   www.Youtube.com/aiglon27

Explanation of the New Learning Institute's interest in Nightingale middle School in Los Angeles
The Role of Design Thinking & Digital Media Tools
At the D3 Lab at Nightingale Middle School, students learn by doing. We ask them to solve a problem by first defining what the problem is. Students start outside of the space - in the school or in the community - where they ask critical questions that uncover real human needs they want to address. They then iterate to develop an unexpected range of possible solutions and create rough prototypes to take back out into the field to test and retest with real people. The final design is actualized at the school or in the community. The focal points throughout this process are reflection, action, and contribution.
38 MB report about the project

Mentors On Video and the Role of Neighbors in the Community School

I am a high school teacher.  I look for "virtual mentors" for students.  What I see a student who is bored with school work or who wonders "How does this math connect with real life?"  I like to ask the student to contact a mentor ...  usually just by email.   The student then asks, "What 

I also have  www.MentorsonVideo.org which is a way for you to interact with the world's teenagers.  You can say on camera what you find interesting about your work and how school did (or didn't) help you find your passion.   

Can you become a virtual volunteer?  Please!  Write to TLASTEVE@gmail.com and learn more about the process -- you canask a teenager to visit your website and make recommendations for improving its appeal to younger people (you could have parallel sites set up for describing your services and industry to pre-teens and teenagers) and kids can click on your Facebook page, tweet about your site and increase your Klout. 

PHOTO:  Mr. Mario Llorente, a passionate principal, is a mentor to dozens of students.
The shirt "Palabra" is a project associated with Frida Kahlo High School, which Enrique Gonzalez coordinated.  Gonzalez is working with New Learning Institute to create effective relationships between schools and surrounding neighborhoods.   These neighbors are part of the social support network described in the report (38MB) downloadable at this LINK
Learn more by contacting  EXG0368@lausd.net

These two efforts are ways for us to encourage tomorrow's workers to apply themselves a bit more ...  their success will help our retirement!

If you would like to become a mentor on video, let me know.  You can see example videos at http://www.youtube.com/mentorsonvideo 

Our school needs mentors - YouTube