Friday, August 31, 2007

Rocks - at Geography at the Movies
Hey, I'm tired of doing all the commentary!! You comment on this one!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

National Council on Teacher Quality - Yearbook
In for a good read? If you only peruse the national report, your state's and one other state for comparison, you're still in for close to 400 pages of study results on Teacher Quality. In all, there are 51 volumes, for about 6000 pages or so, so you might want to brush up on your speed reading.

In general, the report is not very rosy, but much of the pessamism also stems because the researchers don't feel they have enough quantifiable research data. Well, we can tell if a kid can't read or do algebra, but I'm not sure that all these measures are really the road to good teaching.

As to the topic of Federal government induced teacher quality, teachers better start finding ways to better police their own profession. (Oh, maybe, say, by using the web to more creatively educate and evaluate teacher's subject knowledge?)

In truth, though, I just posted this because of the cool Javascript applet on the report home page. It's a sweet way of comparing a lot of state by state data, you could use it to talk about slavery, religious tests for office, poll taxes, you name it.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Adobe - Flash Tenth Anniversary
Happy Anniversary Flash! 'Twas Flash that really inspired this project, so we can't help but want to join the celebration. And celebrate you can! User groups around the county are hosting events this month. If you don't already belong, what better time to pop in!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Publications : Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center
We don't get to spend enough time looking at hard analyzes of what works and what doesn't in learning interactives, partly because we still haven't seen a reliable source for that specific field of study. These papers from the PSLC may be of some help to you; although they're pretty deep in the science.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

History On the Summertime Road III Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail U.S. National Park Service
Along with the new Visitors' center at Jamestown, we discovered the coolest thing in the works in the surrounding waters: the nation's first national water trail! Don't worry that you can't make it this year, they only have in place the first three markers. But talking markers they are! You can visit the markers by website, phone, or mobile browser, but of course, you should go by water. We didn't make it into the James this year, but past visits have shown the area of the Jamestown buoy to be some of the most scenic river coastline you'll find. I've long wanted to spend a fews days patrolling the Chesapeake bay, the completion of this trail will be a powerful incentive to get that done!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Metropolitan Museum's new Greek and Roman Galleries New York Times
The Met has a new (old) look! And so does interactive exhibiting.

First, this Flash app has some of the best panoramic photo presentation we've seen. These panoramas were big awhile back, and use seems to have fallen; here the Times makes great use of the media in a way that will make you really want to up and visit the renovated Met.

It's almost easy to miss, but catch the overview narrative by critic Michael Kimmelman. He explains how the redesign is intended to work. And here, too, is something exciting for those of us who bemoan the lapse of classical education for what is overly fashionable each day. As Kimmelman says, the layout is not politically correct. It follows Rome in a chronological progression. Its place in the museum makes clear that these are the foundations of our civilization.

And the design takes the space converted in 1954 to a restaurant back to a study of the classic images of civilization.

This isn't VR, and that makes it great. You can't zoom, or walk about as you like. You do get great pictures, and the interactive gives just enough of the space and the individual objects (some with narration) to really make you want to visit. At least I do.

By the way, this approach contrast greatly with that of the Met online itself. Their website, while surely informative to scholars and art lovers, is just overwhelming. The whole of their collection must surely be online. The Timeline of Art History--well, they mean it. It's all of art history. Whew!

Play with the Times interactive, then go see for yourself!