Sunday, May 31, 2009

Iowa Core Curriculum - Dr. Nadene Davidson @ UNI

The Iowa Core Curriculum (ICC) is a curricular program that provides guidance for educators in "delivering challenging and meaningful content to students that prepares them for success in life." This curriculum identifies the "essential concepts and skills for K-12 grade in literacy (read, write, speak, listen, and think), mathematics, science and social studies. It also identifies 21st Century Skills (civic, employability, financial, health and technology) that people must master to be successful in life. More than just identifying the content area, the ICC is designed to develop deeper learning engages students by "emphasizing interesting, robust, and relevant learning experiences."

The ICC is intended to be more than just another curriculum that is written by a group of specialists and then placed on a shelf to collect dust. The Iowa Legislature enacted Senate File 2216 that requires all Iowa school districts and accredited nonpublic schools to implement the ICC by 7/1/2012 (grades 9 - 12) and 2014-15 (K-8th grades).

This Iowa Core Curriculum is well researched and forward looking. It is still in the process of being developed. The Intent is there but the content/requirements haven't been completed. The key to success in learning and using the ICC will be in developing your knowledgebase.

In Spring of 2009, I taught a Selections and Integration of Instructional Technology Materials course at the University of Northern Iowa. I knew that I couldn't didn't know enough about the Iowa Core Curriculum to benefit my students so I asked Dr. Nadene Davidson, the Interim Director of Department of Teaching, to share her vast knowledge of the subject. Dr. Davidson has been an active participant in developing the ICC so she was able to provide the necessary insight.

I have linked to Dr. Davidson's 1 hour 40-minute lecture for your enjoyment. She does a wonderful job of describing the background for the Iowa Core Curriculum, its structure and the process of implementation. This video requires Real Player to watch. (Dr. Davidson's presentation actually begins 4 minutes 37 seconds into the video.)

Please review this presentation and share your comments.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Using Math + Rap to = Fun, Motivating, Engaging & Meaningful Learning Experiences

Just wanted to share this video that won the April ISTE Digital Storytelling prize.  This video is created by Matt Hildahl (and his students) who is a high school math teacher at the East Valley School District in Spokane, Washington.

Mr. Hildahl goes by the name, 2 Bitty, because he claims to be half as good as 50 Cent. I don't know, never have I seen students having as much fun reciting the Pythagorean Theorem.

I couldn't find any more of 2 Bitty's work.  Do you know of some?  Do you have some examples of using music (or rap) in math class?


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Social Networking in the Comics

Social networking has made it!!!!

Believe it or not, I found two references to it in the comics strips today.

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Saturday, May 02, 2009

Downloading YouTube Videos with a PaWN

You WON'T believe this!!!!

Think of the times when you wanted to download a YouTube video and it didn't work. Maybe the website you were using timed out. Or maybe the link in the email never arrived. Whatever it was, it was frustrating!!

Never fear! PWN is here!!!

Thanks to DetURL!, you won't have to worry about these issues again. I don't know how it works but DetURL! has developed a hack so that all you have to do is insert the letters "pwn" into a YouTube URL and you will be able to download your favorite YouTube in MP4 and Flash Video formats

Here's the link to a favorite video of mine:

Want to make that video your own? All you have to do is insert the letters, pwn, before and after the www. and the magic will happen.

The screen will change (See image on the right) and you will have your choice of formats.

Of course, you might want to keep using Converttube or Zamzar but this King of a new trick will keep you from getting Rooked when you are trying to download a video some dark Knight.

What do YOU use?