David Wees's blog

The value of storing your lesson plans online

A colleague asked me today if I could find a documentary we watched last year in Science. She has students working in her Global Challenges elective course, and they told her about the video we watched in Science last year. I told her sure, and started Googling for the documentary. About 20 minutes later, I'm about to give up because I can't find it. I remember then that I probably linked to the documentary on my lesson plan website from last year, and sure enough, I find it in a substitute lesson plan. Total search time on my lesson plan website? About 2 minutes.

The Myth of Exponential Time?

George Haines has constructed an interesting argument refuting the idea that because we live in exponential times that we need to change how our schools operate.

George says:

Long lasting change

You can't produce long-lasting solutions to problems by alienating the people who would have the biggest impact in effecting change. Want to see what happens when you try?

Scott Walker is an idiot

(Thanks to @ProgresivTeacher for sharing this)

How to crowd-source a document

This video explains the process of crowd-sourcing, but there are a couple of important pre-steps:

  • Build a strong PLN
  • Make sure your question is interesting enough that other people will want to help you

You can view the document in the video here.

If you don't ask, it can't happen

So I'm finally able to share an interesting story which has developed over the past 3 months. It started with TEDxVancouver, which I saw Nazanin Afshin-Jam speak about her work as an activist.

Nazanin Afshin-Jam at TEDxVancouver

Things I (almost) never use anymore

Here are some things that I either don't use anymore, or almost never use anymore. I can remember using all of these things often, but they just don't seem useful anymore.

The last time I burned a DVD was for a colleague at work. I think the time before that was at least a year ago.

DVDs

 

I have a calculator on my smartphone or on my computer. I do use a graphing calculator, but only at school. Why would I want a single use device?

Students are like plants

My colleague just shared an interesting analogy to describe the relationship between students and teachers. I've heard this analogy before, but she said it so eloquently, I just thought I'd share.

"Our students are like seeds we've planted. We water them, we give them fertilizer, we make sure they have the right amount of sunlight, but at some point you just have to sit back and watch them grow."

So true.

Mathematics and Multimedia Blog Carnival

The Mathematics and Multimedia Blog Carnival is now accepting articles for the next issue which I will be hosting at the end of February. Although any math article might be accepted, below are the revised criteria for blog carnival selection. The following will be the characteristics of the articles that will be prioritized.

 

Why textbooks should be open source

In the past few years, there has been a push for open source content, and enough resources have been created so that schools can completely do away with the traditional textbook. However, adoption of open source content has been low, and the vast majority of schools are still relying on tradtional textbooks.

Wheel of Fortune Game

My colleague asked me if I could find a Wheel of Fortune game he could use with his 1st grade students. I looked around for a while and found something which sort of worked here. The problem was, the code was kind of broken and needed a lot of repair. However it was the best thing I could find, so I spent a few hours and tidied it up.

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