Saturday, November 10, 2012

School Boards and Technology

I Tweeted this earlier today, but I'm sharing it again for discussion by people who may not have seen it and or don't use Twitter.

I'm convinced that school board regulations about technology not only don't improve learning experiences, they hinder learning opportunities.

If you're wondering what prompted that Tweet, I had a flight this afternoon during which I read a bunch of school board (I won't publicly out them) policies about student and teacher use of computers and mobile devices.
I welcome your thoughts in the comments.

The Global Closet Calculator - A Lesson in Interdependence

Geography Awareness Week starts on Sunday. One of the National Geographic resources for this year's Geography Awareness Week that I think is worth giving a good look is The Global Closet Calculator.

The Global Closet Calculator is a two part interactive lesson on interdependence. The first part of The Global Closet Calculator asks students to identify the origins of objects from their closets at home. Students enter those items into the calculator to see a map of the origins of their closet items. Students can also see a map of the items entered by everyone using the Global Closet Calculator.

The second part of the Global Closet Calculator asks students to make decisions about the manufacturing of MP3 players and jeans. Students have to make decisions about the sourcing of materials and decisions about labor practices. A short video introduces the decision options. After making their decisions students see a short video that explains the potential implications of their decisions.

Applications for Education
The Global Closet Calculator could be a good lesson on interdependence for elementary school and possibly middle school students. Students don't have to complete the activity in one session because a restart code is provided to them if they need to quit half-way through the lesson. 

At the high school level you could take the concept of the The Global Closet Calculator and ask students to do some independent research on the material sourcing and labor practices used in the production of closet items. 

Week in Review - The Votes Are In

Good morning from Maine where the dust is clearing after campaign season and winter is quickly settling in. This week I had the privilege to work with teachers in Rockingham County, North Carolina and to present at the iPad Summit USA. Thank you to those who invited me and to those who came out to see me.

On election night I was in the Washington/ Reagan Airport watching the talking heads make their projections about the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election. But no matter which channel was on I didn't find projections for the one "election" that everyone can enjoy, the Car Talk Electoral Vocational-Technical College Best Non-Political Bumper Sticker of All Time. If you're looking for a fun distraction after you read this week's most popular posts, go see the stickers.

These are the most popular posts of the week:
1. Teenage Life in Ancient Rome - A TED-Ed Lesson
2. Three Video Explanations of Why We Change Our Clocks
3. Google Documents and Common Core Standards
4. Touring the Mayflower and Daily Life in Plymouth
5. Free Printable Calendars
6. Learn Spanish in the Spanish MOOC
7. Mobile Learning and Common Core

Please visit the official advertisers and marketing partners that help keep this blog going.
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MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments. is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
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The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Ed Tech Teacher offers professional development services for schools and is hosting iPad Summit USA in November. Register now.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.

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