Monthly Archives: May 2011

People who do evil things in the world

It’s really important to remember that almost everyone thinks that what they are doing is for the greater good and that very few people will actually think of themselves as evil. So many people work really hard, and some of those people work hard in ways which are counter-productive to forming a sustainable global community, […]

Some problems with ebooks in schools

I’ve been doing some research into ebooks for our school during this year, and I’ve come to the conclusion that ebooks are not ready for schools.   No one-stop shopping: Each textbook and ebook publisher seems to want to use their own system for cataloging and sharing ebooks. Worse, some publishers are unwilling to share […]

Helping a friend in need

A long time friend of mine, whom I met when I worked in NYC many years ago, recently sent me, and all of her other teacher friends the following email. Many of you know that I have been in the green card process now for about six years. It has been a long, expensive, and […]

Google Maps!

I have to admit, I’m a huge fan of Google’s education products. In particular, I use Google maps all the time. First, as a map to find my way around, but also as an interactive mapping tool with students. Here’s an example from our 8th grade social studies unit. View A Region in Turmoil in […]

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn

"The greatest thing, you’ll ever learn, is just to love, and be loved in return." ~ eben ahbez I want to challenge the notion that the best things we learn in schools are the academic and job preparation skills, but instead the "soft" skills, all of those skills we supposedly learned in kindergarten. There are […]


In the video below (which was a flash mob performance from our school Stratford Hall, in support of glocal issues around water), the young man who starts the dance off also choreographed the dance, organized the student practices, helped organize the actual event itself (with a fair bit of teacher input) and then took a […]

Don’t Lecture Me

Some highlights from the video above (thanks to @smartinez for sharing it): Hardly anyone who teaches actually applies the scientific method to their teaching. Most students are stuck on the Aristolian perspective of how physics works, learning real physics is incredibly difficult. Disagrees strongly with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Our old theories of learning haven’t […]

Simulating transmission of knowledge in a classroom

I’ve created a simulation, which vastly over-simplifes classroom dynamics and information flow, in an attempt to look at some of the differences between a lecture style classroom and a cooperative learning classroom. View this simulation here if you are having trouble seeing it above. In a standard strict-lecture style classroom, the teacher does all of […]

Obama to students: You will need algebra

In his commencement speech ( story shared by @monsoon0 ) to a Memphis graduating class, President Obama said: Through education, you can also better yourselves in other ways. You learn how to learn – how to think critically and find solutions to unexpected challenges. I remember we used to ask our teachers, “When am I […]

Newspapers have a purpose: They help us break free of “online filter bubbles.”

When I was watching Eli Pariser’s Beware Online Filter Bubbles TED talk, I wondered initially how one could work against this problem of the customization of the web. I thought to myself, wouldn’t be handy if there was a way to find an assortment of almost randomly aggregated content from a wide variety of interests. […]