Archive for November, 2011

We have our Ender Wiggin!

November 24th, 2011

Asa Butterfield will play the young space prodigy from Ender’s Game. He was also the lead in the film adaptations of Hugo Cabret and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

Yeah, it’s going to be good.

The difference between a works cited page and a bibliography

November 22nd, 2011

A teacher asked me a simple question today about the difference between a works cited page and a bibliography. That’s actually something that I had not been asked before. We always used works cited pages or annotated bibliographies in my own schooling and in my classroom. But what about a simple bibliography? I learned something new today (or that I had forgotten over time).

It’s actually an easy differentiation:
A works cited only lists what you quoted from.
A bibliography lists every work you read, even if you didn’t quote from it.
A bibliography tracks what influenced your thoughts/opinions.

On a related note about citations: here are the current standards for MLA and APA format.

Will Wright’s Hivemind

November 16th, 2011

Check out VentureBeat’s interview with Will Wright, creator of SimCity, the Sims, etc. It looks like he’s creating a game that will track your lifestyle and adapt the scenarios to real-world events.

It reminds me of the alternate reality game Majestic that came out in 2001. I had been part of the beta for that. The game called my phone and sent me emails as if it were real people being trapped in a conspiracy. I got too busy with, you know, living life, so I was done playing before it paused during the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Majestic never recovered and closed up shop in April of 2002.

The big question is if people will play a game that incorporates their personal data into the big scheme of things. We put a lot of our data out there anyways, but for the most part we think through what we’re posting. All I know is that Will Wright would be the game design genius to pull it off.

Thomas Suarez speaks at TEDxManhattan

November 16th, 2011

It’s impressive enough to speak at a TED event. It’s even more impressive when you’re in 6th grade.

Mitchell 20 – Host a screening

November 15th, 2011

I love the AZ K-12 Center. I went to one of their technology conferences thinking that I was pretty hot stuff and left with my brain aching trying to absorb everything. I attended a leadership conference a few summers ago and chatted with some heavy-hitters in education across the state and felt good just being able to keep up.

The AZ K-12 Center has exceeded expectations again by working with Randy Murray and creating Mitchell 20, the story of 20 teachers who vow to improve what they have control over: the quality of the teacher.

The Mitchell 20 Trailer from Mitchell 20 on Vimeo.

Looks great! I really want to see it. The showings are very limited right now, but venues do have the opportunity to book their own screening.

I like that one of the options on the form is “I have a crazy idea”. It very much fits in the teacher mindset. More than once, when planning a way to engage students in the curriculum, I’ve said, “I have a crazy idea.”

There are many reasons to support the film. It’s about a local school, Mitchell Elementary. It’s from AZ K-12. It’s narrated by Edward James Olmos. Most importantly, it’s about teachers doing what they can to help students.

The official Hunger Games trailer has been released

November 14th, 2011

Check out the trailer on iTunes by clicking here. I won’t spoil too much, just that it does include the platform/minefield scene that made me realize back in 2008 that Hunger Games was going to be different than other dystopias.

PBS’s collection of research on educational technology

November 10th, 2011

There is definitely a push to use technology in education, which makes sense since much of life in the United States involves some form of technology. Throwing technology at students for technology’s sake, though, is not best practice.

That’s where PBS comes in as a great resource with their collection of articles about using technology in education, complete with research as evidence and essays on effective use. If you’re an educator, it’s something you will want to check out by clicking here.

One of my favorite features is a database of technology lessons that you can search by content area. With just a few clicks, I found 78 pages (as of the time of this post) worth of lessons for using technology in Reading and Language Arts classes.

Six pre-made HTML 5 lessons

November 9th, 2011

This one’s for the teachers of technology. If you are doing any instruction on what HTML 5 is, check out Microsoft’s faculty page here for pre-made PowerPoints for six lessons. The page also includes all of the project files, which gives you a lot to pick and choose from when modifying it for your own classes.

ScriptTD – An Open Source Tower Defense Game Engine

November 8th, 2011

Coding4Fun has put up the source code for a tower defense game on Codeplex. With it, you can make a game for a Windows phone and even put it up on the Zune marketplace. If you can make an image in Paint, you can make your own game. What makes the project so cool, though, is that they put up all of the code. Everything can be adjusted.

Download the source code here.

Interactive Periodic Table of Elements

November 3rd, 2011

Today we’re researching the properties of elements and their uses. I like this project because you have to apply what you know about the element by creating a superhero that uses those qualities.

Here are the sites:
Dynamic Periodic Table
It’s Elemental