Archive for August, 2010


TPACK – the game by Dr. Matt Koehler

August 16, 2010

As some of you may be aware, one of my big interests in technology is the integration of it into the classroom.  I discovered TPACK about a year and a half ago and have been trying to keep tabs on its development ever since.  Last year, I attended a session with Dr. Judi Harris, a leading expert in the use of TPACK, and the participants all participated in an activity called the TPACK game.  The latest version of the game was written by Matt Koehler, one of the best known writers on TPACK.  His version, which is web based can be found here.

The game allows for groups or individuals to practice their TPACK in authentic ways.  I hope that this type of activity leads to many discussions between teachers.


Experiential Learning at its Best

August 14, 2010

The topic of this particular post sways a bit from the these of this post, but I did pick up the story I am going to discuss through my RSS feed through iGoogle, so the process is ed. tech. in nature.

The following story is of high school senior, soon to be college freshman, Lauren MacLean who was a reporter for her high school newspaper.  MacLean wrote a story for the paper about the school’s choir instructor.  The article was not flattering of the practices of the instructor and the instructor Kathleen Archey filed suit claiming defamation of character.  The case was dismissed this past Tuesday by Churchill County Judge William Rogers.  See for the full story.

It is quite disturbing that a teacher would be so harsh in a situation such as this.  As a teacher, I fully understand that we have a job where we put ourselves on the line to present information to students who can than judge us.  In presenting the information, we are also presenting ourselves so any criticism feels like a personal attack.  As teachers, we need to develop a relationship with students where we can dialogue with the students about their concerns.

This story is that of a school news paper reporter, so it is not exactly the same as a teacher – student relationship, but it is a good reminder of what we all need to work towards.


What is with the i in everything?

August 14, 2010

Have you ever experienced a phenomenon of some sort that initially did not bother you, but the more you thought about or experienced the phenomenon, the more it upset you?  This is my current problem with the small letter i.  According to Wikipedia, the letter i likely represented an arm with a hand in pictogram form.

My issue with the letter i is it’s constant use in marketing as a name of a product.  Apple is the big culprit, it started with the iMac and has continued with products like the iPod, iTunes, iPhone, and the iPad and with software products such as iLife, iWork, and iSight.  Apple has branded themselves as the iProduct.  Keep in mind that I am not a marketing guru, but in today’s global village (a term coined by Marshall McLuhan) wouldn’t names that express a feeling of community be more appropriate?  I initially liked the product name Wii, from Nintendo, but the characters that you create to identify yourself are called “mii”s, a very individualistic connotation.

Those citizens of our planet that have internet access are part of a larger global community.  We are connected through our use of social networking tools, blogs, online games, e-mail, and voice over internet applications.  With this high degree of connectedness, why is there  this all encompassing need for the i in all that we do?

I don’t think I will ever get it.