Thursday, January 24, 2008

PBS Frontline Series: Growing up online

If you missed this program Tuesday evening, note that you can view it entirely online!!
Description from PBS - FRONTLINE: Growing up online:
Just how radically is the Internet transforming the experience of childhood? FRONTLINE looks at the impact of the Internet on adolescence through the eyes of teens and their parents and what does it mean to be the first generation of coming of age via the Internet.

There are views presented from teachers, researchers, parents, and students, as well as information that parents need to know to begin or continue to teach Internet safety at home.
Note, there is a "Teacher's Guide to Growing Up Online" scheduled to be posted in February.
Visit: The website also provides in-depth interview with educators, click the "Inside the Revolution" link on the page, or here:

Do you think we are doing all we can? Look for the "Join the Discussion" link at the bottom of the FRONTLINE page to the post your opinions for the producers, or leave a comment on this post to express your views relating to our community.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Library of Congress and Flickr Unite!

This week, the Library of Congress blog reported a new pilot project with Flickr:
"If all goes according to plan, the project will help address at least two major challenges: how to ensure better and better access to our collections, and how to ensure that we have the best possible information about those collections for the benefit of researchers and posterity. ... Out of some 14 million prints, photographs and other visual materials at the Library of Congress, more than 3,000 photos from two of our most popular collections are being made available on our new Flickr page, to include only images for which no copyright restrictions are known to exist.
The real magic comes when the power of the Flickr community takes over. We want people to tag, comment and make notes on the images, just like any other Flickr photo, which will benefit not only the community but also the collections themselves. ... "
To view the photos on Flickr, go to: Two sets of digitized photos are available: 1,600 color images from the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information and about 1,500 images from the George Grantham Bain News Service. More about the project can be found here:

These pictures are available without copyright restrictions for educators and students! If Flickr is blocked in your district, remember that these images are available from your Library of Congress Reading Room! The powerful aspect of this pilot, is that now citizens, as Flickr users, can contribute to the information about the photos by entering comments and annotating images as they choose. This is the power of "Web 2.0" -- anyone can have a voice. Educational possibilities are endless!

Friday, January 04, 2008

TED: Ideas worth spreading in your classrooms

The first TED Conference took place in 1984. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design -- where great ideas come together. I first learned about TED from David Pogue, NYTimes Circuits author/technology columnist, when he was a keynote speaker at the IL-TCE Conference last February. (Pogue was a TED speaker in 2006.) Over 150 talks from the TED archives are now available online at, with more being added each week.
"TED is devoted to giving millions of knowledge-seekers around the globe direct access to the world's greatest thinkers and teachers.

If you're a teacher, consider incorporating TEDTalks into your classes. They are distributed under a Creative Commons license, and are freely available for such use, so long as you credit the source and do not distort the speakers' intended meaning."
Explore the TED Talks website by theme, talk title or speaker. Talks are usually 20 minutes or less, and can be downloaded in full resolution video, MP3 audio, or embedded on your website, or class Edline page. You can freely subscribe to the TEDTalks Podcasts in iTunes in either the video or audio format, and watch many of the talks on YouTube.

Here are just a few that would be great for your classroom:

Social Science: Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, explains how we are all born with the capacity for empathy -- but we sometimes choose to ignore it.

LecturesHans Rosling's presentation at the TED-conference was an Internet success. His 2007 TED talk, "The Seemingly Impossible, is Possible" shows that a good world is possible.

Math: Ron Eglash talks about his work exploring the rigorous fractal math underpinning African architecture, art and hair braiding.

Science: Watch medical animator David Bolinsky's 3 minutes of stunning animation that show the bustling life inside a cell. Tune into environmental scientist David Keith's talk about a cheap, effective, shocking solution to climate change. Juan Enriquez offers a glimpse of some ground-breaking research to explore the potential of bioenergy. UC Berkeley biologist Robert Full explains his goal of creating the perfect robotic "distributed foot." Nobel Prize winner Murray Gell-Mann drops some knowledge about particle physics, asking questions like, Can the fundamental law, the so-called "theory of everything," really explain everything?

Communication Arts: Lakshmi Pratury talks about the lost art of letter-writing, and shares a series of notes her father wrote her before he died. This short talk may inspire you to set pen to paper too. Steven Pinker looks at language, and the way it expresses the workings of our minds. By analyzing common sentences and words, he shows us how, in what we say and how we say it, we're communicating much more than we realize.

Applied Arts: Seth Godin's views on "Sliced bread and other marketing delights" spells out why, when it comes getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones.