An (aspiring) Educator’s Blog

An educator blogging….novel idea.

Posts Tagged ‘blogging

Teacher Geek Sites of the (Mid) Week (March 31, 2009)

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It takes a good website to get me through the middle of the week. Here are a few I’ve been geeking out to (in a teacher kind of way) this week:

For the budding filmmaker: Xtra Normal

Create animated movies with this awesome tool. There is an easy-to-use interface for typing a script (text to voice!), adding movement and facial expressions, choosing actors, designing the scene and props, and adding the finishing touches to your short movie. You do not have to sign up to try this website (but if you want to save your movies, you might want to – it’s free). I was thinking about classroom uses (Will I ever be able to enjoy a website in a non-teacher geek way again?) – this could be a great way for students to generate their own content. My only concern was the content monitoring of other films (I am not sure if posted films are moderated). I plan on using this to add movies to my blog.


For the geek historian: Playing History (Thanks to @a_armstrong for the tip!) I make daily references to the lessons I learned playing The Oregon Trail (to ford or not to ford?). Use this website to find and play free historical games. I’ve been enjoying The Battle of the Atlantic Game.


For the GTD nerd: chron me

I use this simple stopwatch to keep myself on-task. Chron me shows split times on the screen and these are exportable to .csv files. Ten minutes of twitter/web distractions for every 50 minutes of work? Enforceable with chron me. (If I really need to get work done, I find a friend who uses all of my social networking vices (twitter, facebook, etc) and tell them I will pay $1 for every facebook post, $2 for every twitter post, and $10 for blog posts that they catch in a certain time window…..whatever works…..)


For the thrifty consumer: Woot!

Teachers need things on the cheap. From luxiorious wine packs to golf clubs and iPods, woot! posts one unbeatable deal per day. Many items run out within minutes or hours of posting so I follow their twitter feed (@woot) and put it on mobile alerts. I scored a cheap iPod a few days ago.


Enjoy the rest of your week. Impress your friends with obscure facts about the Battle of the Pacific, make an animated bromance film, or indulge in retail therapy. Maybe I’ll owe you money if you see me on twitter….


Written by TeacherC

31 March 2009 at 7:46 pm

Educating the Blogger-Activist

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Want a classroom full of blogger-activists? On Bloggers Unite!, you search for (or create) an activism cause, advertise your blogging event, and then blog about your event on the specified date. Other members of the Bloggers Unite! community can choose to join you in blogging about your cause. Many of us are already using social justice topics to help our students access content – this site adds a blogging and activism dimension that will excite your students.

There are over 70 events in the database – from Earth Day to International Literacy Day. You can create a cause specific to your school or community and get parents, other classrooms, businesses, and other members of your community to join your students in blogging about the cause. If you have activism or charity related events running in your classroom (walk-a-thons/races, penny drives, food drives, etc), use this tool to build community support.

Maybe you’ll inspire a Marx for the 2.0 generation.

(I found Bloggers Unite! on Nisha Chittal’s post called 25 ways to use your blog and social media to create change)

Written by TeacherC

29 March 2009 at 5:06 pm


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You’ve probably Typealyzed your blog – but have you ascertained the gender and author resemblance of your blog?

On O’Faust, you can figure out which author your blog’s writings resemble. Apparently, this blog moderately resembles the writings of Nietzsche.

O'Faust“Blog is dead….and we killed her”?

“Blog is something that which ought to be overcome”?


Genderanalyzer proclaims that this blog is gender neutral but is most likely written by a woman.


Does any of this matter? Probably not – but what a fine way to procrastinate on a grey day.

Written by TeacherC

28 February 2009 at 5:44 pm

Posted in Blogging, Rambling Theories

Tagged with ,

Carnival of Education (178th Edition)

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Welcome to the 178th Carnival of Education – Teacher Ed Edition

Whether you are reminiscing about your days as a student teacher, attending a few professional development courses, or enjoying the many perks of grad student life (including but not limited to Top Ramen Wednesdays), you will find great minds blogging about fascinating topics.

At the social justice center, listen to a passionate lecture entitled:  A Broader, Bolder Approach To Education by Larry Ferlazzo (Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day for Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL). Bill Ferriter posts The Kids I’ve Failed. . . via The Tempered Radical, saying, “In this post, the Tempered Radical wrestles with the realization that failure in education means leaving children behind—and wonders whether or not he can continue in a profession with such significant consequences for poor performance”.

Brush up on your statistics skills and debate the issue of evaluation in education. Use Teach Thyself posted at Kim’s Play Place as inspiration. Diana of The Core Knowledge Blog evaluates jigsaw activities in  On Teaching: Where Jigsaw Misses the Picture. Sarah Weisz presents Academic Capital posted at Teaching Excellence Network, saying, “Entry refers to a study of Illinois schools, but the concept is nationally relevant.”

Listen to Scott Walker of The English Teacher present dissenting views about The Tyranny of Technology during his technology and instruction course. Wisconsin Union Blend asks his professor: Blogs and discussion boards – What’s the difference? Neelakantha of Teaching Tips presents 50 Must-Read Up and Coming Blogs by Teachers.

In the auditorium, listen to a free concert and The First Ever Music Education Blog Carnival conducted by Joel at So You Want to Teach?. Mark Monaghan of eLearning presents hosts a talk about Elona Hartjes of Teachers at Risk talks about her support of music in the classroom in her 2006 September 23 : Teachers At Risk post.

In the library, Darren of Right on the Left Coast discusses the plight of a Teacher Suspended For Year and a Half because of a book they chose to read in the classroom. Joanne of Joanne Jacobs puts books on hold. Read her post about books that school libraries have Deselected.

Sara Von Donge of CSTP Teacher Bloggers hosts a seminar about Language Instruction at the international student center. Kristie presents The Top 10 Free Resources For Learning Languages Online posted at Norway – An American in Oslo.

At the admissions office, Amanda Dixon of The Daily Planet confidently answers the “are you going to college?” question with To Go To College Or Not!

The school of education hosts a panel discussion involving many educators. Susan Gaissert of The Expanding Life brings together the intelligent comments of many educators in An Educational Conversation. At Build a School, Jeff presents his ideas about teachable moments in There Is Nothing New Under The Sun. Mrs. Bluebird practical advice about shoe-buying in A Teacher’s Best Investment posted at Bluebird’s Classroom.

After a pick-up game of basketball at the fitness center, Alvaro Fernandez of SharpBrains presents Physical Exercise and Brain Health.

At the coffee shop, Denise of Let’s Play Math! presents a guide to Math History on the Internet. Heather Johnson presents What’s Your Idea of an Ideal Teacher? posted at Information Age Education. Pat asks Are My Students Fender Benders? at Successful Teaching.

Stop by the financial aid office to turn in any missing paperwork. Money Answer Guy presents Should You Pay for Your Children’s College? posted at The Money Answer Guy. Matthew Paulson of American Consumer News shows us many Inexpensive and Ideal Learning Experience for the Whole Family. Sally Thompson presents 101 Scholarships Just for Teachers posted at Teaching Tips.

In the media lab, Mister Teacher of Learn Me Good presents My very own infomercial!. Diana Costello posts the video A special prom for special kids on The Hall Monitor.

In the campus newspaper, Caleb Knox writes an opinion piece about experimental schools entitled Give me Liberty or give me learning? (posted at Onward and Upward). John Holland of Circle Time covers a new study about preschool education and believes that it doesn’t matter how rich your kid is. In the editorial section, Lorem Ipsum presents Let’s Get Rid of All the Teachers. Marjorie of Life Without School reflects about the education and pop culture experiences of her husband in History Sucks.

On your way to your student teaching placement, you hear Carol Richtsmeier talk about Audit Reports, Teacher In-Service & How Bozo Ended Up in Dante’s Circle of Hell (posted at Bellringers) and NYC Educator relate stories about coworkers in a post entitled People Will Talk (posted at NYC Educator).

During a curriculum and instruction course, Melissa B. talks about a few ideas for Summertime Lessons (The Scholastic Scribe). Woodlassnyc argues against abstinence-only education in When ignorance trumps logic in Under Assault: Teaching in NYC. Heather Wolpert-Gawron gives educators professional development tips in Top 10: How to Take Control of Your Teaching posted at

In Child Development 101, OKP discusses end-of-year drama in a post entitled Long Story Long via Line 46, saying, “Just a little end-of-the year grade drama, prompting me to wonder if this kind of drama is going to increase year after year!”

I hope you enjoyed your day on-campus. There were many entries – if yours was not included on the midway, please try the next edition. The 179th edition will be hosted at Scheiss Weekly. Submit your blog post using this carnival submission form. Check out The Education Wonks for information about future carnivals.

Written by TeacherC

2 July 2008 at 2:17 am

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog (Don’t Worry – It’s the Blog High Talking)

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This blog has had 951 hits and between 10 (Feedburner) to 18 (Google Reader) subscribers since June 2nd. I’m pleasantly surprised by these numbers. I understand that I’m no edublogosphere Goliath and that this blog (and I) will continue to mature.

Most popular post: An Educator’s Guide to Post-Modern Authorship and Literacy in the Classroom

Least popular post: Seattle Schools are Resegregating

My favorite (relatively) unpopular post: When washing their mouths out with soap isn’t an option.

Most commented posts (11 comments each): Do Teachers Influence Blackness? and Diversity 2.5.1 (BETA)? (Comic)

My teacher ed program begins on Monday. I won’t be as prolific as I am right now (multiple posts on some days) but I will update this blog a few times per week.

Thanks for reading. I look forward to debating with you soon.

Written by TeacherC

18 June 2008 at 4:25 pm

Avoiding Blog Market Failure (Comic)

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Entry summary: “How does the ed commentariat benefit the true proletariat (teachers)?”

“That Works….” – An EducatorBlog Comic


Dangerously Irrelevant‘s Top 50 P-12 EdBlogs list sparked debates on multiple blogs (including mine) about the nature of the edublogopshere. Why do tech blogs dominate the Top 50? Are new bloggers being shut out of the edublog community? What responsibilities do veteran edubloggers have to new edubloggers?

I guess you could call me a ‘free market blogger’. I believe that the laws of supply and demand applies to the blogging market: when a consumer (reader) wants to find information, s/he can do a search on Google or Technorati to find the information they seek. All markets can experience failure. A failure in the blog market is when consumers cannot find the information they seek and producers are shielded from consumers who would like to read their blogs. Are there inefficiencies in the edublog market that are creating entry barriers for new bloggers? Are there blog titans that exert market power (monopolies/oligarchies)? Do these questions matter?

It’s cool that the education blog community is so aware of itself that it can engage in acts of meta-blog-nition, but as Dr. Phil once said (on an episode of Oprah…no, I don’t watch Dr. Phil): “there are topics and there are issues”. Although the inner-workings of the edublogosphere is an interesting topic, I wonder – why does the ed tech debate matter? What are the deeper issues?

This question is important to me. I start co-teaching/grad studies soon and I wonder how my blog will change as I transform from (naive) student to (slightly jaded but still optimistic) teacher in a Title I school. What can my blog do for me? What can it do for others? Does the ‘sphere matter? How does the ed commentariat benefit the true proletariat (teachers) and others with a stake in education (i.e., parents, administrators, community members, and the media)? There are large opportunity costs associated with bloggers’ time. Every minute a teacher or administrator spends writing a blog entry could be spent on professional development, out of class work, acts of advocacy in the community, or other aspects of life that are not related to education. What meaningful contribution can my blog make in solving issues of education and social justice?

What do you think, fellow ed commentariats? What are the real issues of the edublogosphere? Everyone will have different answers to these questions – please share.

Written by TeacherC

9 June 2008 at 12:30 am

Diversity 2.5.1 (BETA)? (Comic)

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Blogush’s post Does School 2.0 Need an Affirmative Action Program? and Educational Insanity’s post about Digital Equity got me thinking (in comic book form – thanks again, ToonDoo):

“That Works…” – An EducatorBlog Comic

Diversity 2.5.1 (BETA)

Diversity 2.0

I think that there is a reasonable amount of diversity in the edublogosphere (see earlier post). There are teachers whose blogs reflect a diverse range of perspectives – different taught subjects, geographic regions, student populations, issues, etc. I don’t think that I’m the only African-American edublogger but I have noticed that racial diversity is lacking in the ‘sphere. Am I wrong? If not, what are the reasons? What are the implications (for the web community, students, and other stakeholders)?

I’m looking for input on the subject.

Written by TeacherC

7 June 2008 at 1:46 am