Wednesday, September 26, 2007

TeacherTube Channel - Social Sciences
If you haven't visited TeacherTube, you might try it out. Not sure if there's a huge amount of added value here over YouTube, but the potential is certainly there. It's really getting to be the wild west in the online media world, hopefully some quality standards, selection processes, and categorization will evolve.

Friday, September 21, 2007

D.C. Schools Scorecard Washington Post
This report covers the progress of the individual DC schools. It makes this blog mostly because of the interactive map, which not only lets you search school data, but shows this audience a new way of presenting info!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

EASE History
Here's a colorful visual romp through recent times, with some nice AJAXY features.

There's also a Macromedia Case Study write-uo to go with it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Babatha's Scroll | Ancient Refuge in the Holy Land | PBS/Nova
Two things are certain--death and taxes--and Babatha, a reasonably well-off Jew of the second century, faced both. Babatha really lived, and seems to have had a pretty good life, owning property in a lovely oasis. Things didn't end so well for Babtha, though, and she died in a rather nasty salt-crusted cave.

We, lucky inhabitants of the 21st century, have the odd fortune to nose through Babatha's purse. Do you think of Jews from c.160AD carrying around title deeds to property? Babatha did. You can see if for yourself, and read with a magic translator. Lawyers, it seems, didn't just yesterday learn to write overblown prose. Babatha's deed effects an impenetrable tone many a modern lawyer would be proud of.

True to the times, Babatha needed a male guardian, having lost two husbands and her father. She didn't seem to think much of them, and you can explore that too.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Blogger Play
Well, that's it. The folks at Google Blogger have come up with the ultimate attention span killer. Blogger Play is amazingly compelling, multicultural to the max, beautiful, and I just suppose totally entropic to any sort of organized thinking. A good metaphor for education 2007?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

History on the Summertime Road IV: "Tecumseh!"...The Ultimate Outdoor Drama Experience - Chillicothe, Ohio
Saturday we joined 1500 other viewers in a packed house closing night for Tecumseh!, the "story of the legendary Shawnee leader as he struggles to defend his sacred homelands in the Ohio country during the late 1700's." The cast is now on their way home to whichever university they hail from, the stage is battened down for winter, and you will have to wait til next year to take in this or most any of the outdoor dramas.

Is there an outdoor drama near you? Ninety nine are held in thirty-six states, according to the Institute for Outdoor Drama. And, should you visit Tecumseh! next summer, you can camp on the backside of Sugarloaf Mountain - about a half mile away. A splendid evening.

Monday, September 03, 2007

What Americans Think about Their Schools Hoover Inst. Education Next
Last week the Fall issue of Education Next came out with this survey co-sponsored by Harvard's Program on Education Policy and Governance. Not surprisingly, it asks Americans questions about issues of concern to Hoover, and gets answers much more favorable perhaps than if the same topics had been broached by, say, the NEA.

Still, there are encouraging things. One is that Americans are willing to pay for education, they just want their money's worth. We observed this first hand last weekend, seeing a beautiful new campus for Appalachian Vinton County Schools, pop. 13,519, median income, $32,089. Another is that they think schools can do better, that classroom size will help more than increased teacher pay, and that charter schools could definitely be part of the solution. Only 30% oppose merit pay for teachers, 33% oppose hiring teachers without formal credentials, and less than 35% oppose vouchers or tax credits to private schools. No one asked about online, interactive storytelling.

What do you think of your local school? If you're like most Americans, it is better than average! Garrison Keillor would be so proud!