Archive for October, 2011

“If you believe S. E. Hinton is engaging in abusive behavior on Twitter, you may report S. E. Hinton for spam.”

October 31st, 2011

Oh, technology.

First, the autocorrect on my phone changed “S.E. Hinton” to “S.E. Hilton”, making me look like I was clueless about one of my students’ favorite authors as I posted about her on Twitter. Then, I get an email from Twitter giving me an option to report the queen of YA for SPAM abuse.

But then I think about a benefit of instant access through technology: I was able to go back and forth with one of Young Adult literature’s finest. She was friendly and had guessed that it was an autocorrect error.

She’s at se4realhinton on Twitter. Give her a message.

A reminder about the study at the botanical garden

October 28th, 2011

Larry Roberts from the University of Alaska is conducting research at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix to analyze how adults learn in informal settings.

The research days are in the following blocks:

Tuesday, October 25 9:00-11:00, 1:00-3:00, 3:00-5:00, and 6:00-8:00
Wednesday, October 26 9:00-11:00, 1:00-3:00, 3:00-5:00
Thursday, October 27 9:00-11:00, 1:00-3:00, 3:00-5:00
Friday, October 28 9:00-11:00, 1:00-3:00, 3:00-5:00, and 6:00-8:00
Saturday, October 29 9:00-11:00, 1:00-3:00, 3:00-5:00
Sunday, October 30 9:00-11:00, 1:00-3:00, 3:00-5:00
Monday, October 31 9:00-11:00, 1:00-3:00, 3:00-5:00 and 6:00-8:00
Tuesday, November 1 9:00-11:00, 1:00-3:00, 3:00-5:00

Admission into the garden is paid for by the study. If you would like to be a part of the study, message Larry Roberts by clicking here. It is a study of adult learning, so it’s not for junior high and high school students.

Will the Ender’s Game movie finally get made?

October 26th, 2011

One of my favorite books of all time, Ender’s Game, has been in the process of being made into a movie for a very long time. Orson Scott Card has been diligent about making sure the screenplay stays accurate to the feel of the book. He has had to stand up to movie executives who have wanted to cast twenty year-old heartthrobs as the six year-old protagonist. A major theme of the book is innocence lost and Ender’s age plays a huge role in that.

Well, Summit Entertainment just announced a release date of March, 2013. That’s interesting, considering they don’t have a cast yet. I guess release dates can always be moved. Anyone who has talked to me about book to movie adaptations knows that I’m always distrustful of a February/March release date *cough* Hunger Games *cough*. The big movies come out during Summer or Winter Break, not Spring Break.

Orson Scott Card did have some comments about the film that you can find here.

Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing

October 25th, 2011

I’m a fan of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. I’m a fan of Joss Whedon. (Check out his writing credits – have you ever heard of Toy Story?)

He’s also the screenwriter and director for the new Avengers movie that’s coming out next summer. Last month, they finished filming the Avengers movie and have sent it to post-production. Whedon was supposed to take a month’s worth of vacation, but his wife encouraged him to make the movie he’s always wanted to do: Much Ado About Nothing. Here’s the movie’s site.

He filmed it in 12 days at his house and used his own production company. This may prove to be a technology landmark if this movie forgoes the traditional movie release process. Theatrical releases may have to compete with Internet streaming.

Check out the cast list. Many are friends with author P.J. Haarsma.
The Players:

Amy Acker – Beatrice
Alexis Denisof – Benedick
Nathan Fillion – Dogberry
Clark Gregg – Leonato
Reed Diamond – Don Pedro
Fran Kranz – Claudio
Sean Maher – Don John
Spencer Treat Clark – Borachio
Riki Lindhome – Conrade
Ashley Johnson – Margaret
Emma Bates – Ursula
Tom Lenk – Verges
Nick Kocher – First Watchman
Brian McElhaney – Second Watchman
Joshua Zar – Leonato’s aide
Paul M. Meston – Friar Francis
Romy Rosemont – The Sexton
And introducing Jillian Morgese as Hero

Harnessing power through our windows

October 21st, 2011

Imagine if every window, from our cars to our houses, could act as a solar panel.

Imagine a giant skyscraper and all those windows. What if that building could power itself and the neighborhood around it?

I love that the presenter is talking about unlocking things at the atomic level. I wrote a short story a while back about a young, modern-day alchemist who could add or subtract subatomic particles with just the touch of his hand. I really feel like chemistry is where we will continue to see some major revolutions.

C-3PO has seen better days.

October 21st, 2011


Because the pop-up book is so popular, he’s been made to suffer. It’s his lot in life.

FlashNotes – A game to speed up note recognition

October 19th, 2011

If you’re looking to practice note identification, a great resource for that is FlashNotes. It’s sorted by clef and skill level.

Treble – Beginner
Treble – Advanced

Bass – Beginner
Bass – Advanced

I especially like the frantic music in the background and the countdown timer. Nice find, Mr. Durham.

Writing Strategy: Time Management

October 17th, 2011

One of our teachers, Cheryl Redfield, has been writing for the AZK12 Center‘s blog. Her most recent post, Horse Before the Cart, describes insight she gained administering a writing assessment. Time management factors in heavily into the quality of student writing. If a student takes time for prewriting, the final product almost always turns out better than an assignment written quickly at the lunch table five minutes before it’s due.

But how do we teach time management with regards to writing? Redfield has a pragmatic list of commitments for teachers and students that can be implemented effectively into the classroom. Check it out.

Quick Tip: FAT32 vs. NTFS

October 14th, 2011

I know many librarians also delve into video productions, so I offer this quick tip. If you run into an error code 0, stopping a file transfer operation, it’s more than likely because the hard drive you are copying to has a file size limit.

I have a 320GB hard drive and I tried transferring 170GB worth of video footage to it today. Some of the video clips were huge. I knew I had enough room on the drive, but some of the individual files were past the drive’s file size limit. Thankfully I was able to format the target hard drive from FAT32, which has a file size limit of a couple of gigabytes, to NTFS, which could handle the larger files.

Here’s a precaution, though. Before you format any hard drive, realize that the contents of that drive will be wiped.

Class Parrot

October 7th, 2011

I am really intrigued by Class Parrot, a service that lets you set up a text message subscriber list for your classroom.

As a teacher, you create classes on the main site and Class Parrot creates an opt-in code that parents and students can text to Class Parrot to sign up for messages.

The thing that really grabs my attention is that you use the site, not your phone, to send out messages. Your cell number is not used. Also, you don’t know student and parent cell numbers. The only numbers people need are the opt-in code and Class Parrot.

I’m going to look more into the service and see if it’s something that we can do to better communicate with our community.