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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Kodak Lesson Plans

Kodak has been a household name for over one hundred years, but when most people hear the name Kodak they think "camera" not "lesson plans." A little-known aspect of Kodak's website offers lesson plans for every grade level in twelve subject areas. The lesson plans are organized by grade level and subject area. These are not skeleton lesson plans, the Kodak lesson plans have very detailed directions for classroom implementation. All of the lesson plans include the use of photographs and or cameras.

Applications for Education
The Kodak Lesson Plans provide good ideas for integrating art and photography into just about any subject area.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Blogs for Art Teachers
Explore the British Library Online Gallery
Award Winning Google Earth Lesson Plans

Larry Lessig - Laws That Choke Creativity

Larry Lessig is one the foremost authorities on copyright and fair use. Lessig is also one of the founders of Creative Commons. In this TED Talk from March of 2007 Lessig explains how some copyright laws can limit creativity. I found it a bit tough to get into the talk at first, but it really picks up around the four minute mark. Lessig closes with a strong statement about kids and digital (re)creativity, "we can't make our kids passive again."

(If you're viewing this in RSS you may need to click through to view the video).

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Video Introduction to Understanding Fair Use
Copyright for Educators
The Story of the Obama "Hope" Poster

Scoopler - Search Delicious, Digg, Twitter, and Flickr

Update: Since this post was written Scoopler changed business models and now seems to be just a celebrity gossip site.

Scoopler is a new search engine that allows you to simultaneously search Delicious, Digg, Twitter, and Flickr in one place. Scoopler is quite simple, enter a search term and you'll find results from all four of those services. Results are sorted into two columns, "live" which provides the most recently shared links and "popular" which is based on the number of times a link has been shared.


Applications for Education
Scoopler and search engines similar to it are good for finding new and popular teaching resources.
For teachers I liken shared bookmarks on the web to shared lesson plans within a school building.
For example, if I'm looking for good US History lesson plans searching on Scoopler will yield results based on what other people have bookmarked and shared. In my mind if other people have found a lesson worthy of sharing, I am more likely to spend time investigating it.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
OneRiot Now Offers Realtime Search
Spezify - Visual Search Engine
Wonder Wheel and Other New Google Tools

Present.io - Free Web Conferencing from Drop.io

The folks at Drop.io have just released another great, free, service, called Present.io. Present.io allows users to set up a free webinar or video conference with just two clicks.

Just like with Drop.io there is no registration required to use the service and there is no software to install. To use Present.io simply create a drop and share the drop's unique url (and optional password) with whomever you would like to participate in the conference. When you're ready to start your conference click "start presentation." If you create the conference you are the administrator and have full access to show the other participants files, links, photos, and any other media you're using on your computer.

The video embedded below gives a great demonstration of Present.io in action.


Applications for Education
Present.io could be a great, free, tool for conducting online courses and online tutoring sessions. Because Present.io is entirely web-based you can use any computer connected to the Internet to conduct your conference.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Phone.io - Podcasting With Drop.io

Using Drop.io in my Classroom
My 12 Favorite Resources of 2008

The Tough Summer Job Market

We all know that the job market is tight. Fortunately, most of us in public education have relatively stable jobs (it's not like we're running out of kids). But what about our students and our graduating students who might be looking for summer work to earn some money for college, what does their job market look like? Today's episode of CNN Student News features a great segment about why this summer's job market will be the toughest it has been in decades. What the video doesn't do is explain what students can do to give themselves the best chance of getting a job. For summer job ideas and interview tips read below the video.


Sacha Chua writes a great blog that often contains tips for Generation Y job seekers. Sacha has produced a great slideshow about how social media can influence your work and workplace. Sacha also posted today, a list of great tips for networking at conferences. The tips she listed could easily be applied to a job fair setting.

Mashable produced a list of 40+ Places to Sell Your Designs Online. In March I wrote a blog post about the list and suggested that it could be a good place for art students to find part-time work.

Lindsey Pollak who writes for ABC News on Campus published a list of 10 Easy Ways to Find a Job During Winter Break. The ideas in that article could be applied to a student's summer job search.

Finally, if a student does get a job interview, they may want to review the advice offered in a January episode of CNN Student News, get a haircut.

Tell Google How You Use Google Sites for School

Do you use Google Sites for sharing information with your students and their parents? Do you have students create websites using Google Sites? If you answered yes to either of these questions, Google would like to hear about it. Google will feature some of the better ideas/ uses for Google Sites in education on the Google Docs for Education page. Those who submit the first 20 ideas to be featured will receive Google tee shirts. You can read more about submitting your ideas and examples on the Google Apps Blog.

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