Saturday, September 18, 2010

Video analysis...on my phone

It wasn't so long ago that video analysis was a hugely complicated task and extremely expensive. This is no longer the case.

Here is a sample video that I analyzed using the Vernier Physics application:

If this is what we can do with mobile devices right now, I can't wait to see what the future holds!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Build it and they will play

I'm a HUGE fan of play. All sorts of good things happen when you give humans the opportunity to play.  Stuart Brown talked about the vital nature of play in his TED talk and even wrote a book about it. One of the concerns of our new laptop program has to do with play. Adults were fearful that our students would play less during discretionary time periods once they started bringing computers to school each day. As a result of this concern, our school started putting out all sorts of balls, jump ropes, frisbees and other objects for the students to use during discretionary time blocks like recess and lunch. Guess what is happening? They are playing!

We even took a piece of sidewalk chalk and created a four square should see the kids get in line to play. The line often times will run 5-10 people deep! I've even enjoyed jumping in on a few games (the game is much more difficult than I remember by the way).

I'm sure the laptops will inspire all sorts of interesting learning experiences for our teachers and students in the years to come. At this point, however, I'm quite excited that our laptops have simply inspired us to play more!

Its quite it and they will play.

Image of our makeshift foursquare court:

Change by Design...a few quotes

I'm quickly becoming a huge fan of "Design Thinking" as an instructional platform for inspiring creative thinking and unique approaches to projects and problems. I recently facilitated a a three hour project based learning experience with 60 sophomores where we used Design Thinking-more on that in a later post hopefully. The work that the students did was fantastic and the ideas that they generated for their various design projects blew me away.

But for now, I wanted to share a few of my favorite quotes from Tim Brown's book on Design Thinking titled, Change by Design. It is a book that I highly recommend reading if you are interested in providing your students, teachers, administrators, etc with a framework for creative thinking while working in teams.

Flip through the slide deck below for some great quotes on Design Thinking from Tim's book:

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Recommended Reading for our School's Board

Our new Head of School asked me to work with our school's librarian and global programs director to develop a list of suggested books for our school's board to read. Embedded below is a living document of collected titles thus far-I feel as though this is a nice compilation of resources that meshes quite nicely with our school's strategic plan.

What might we be missing?? What are you reading that might fight with these titles?

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Google Apps Updates as of August 31st, 2010

Some of you know that the school I work at uses Google for our email and collaboration platform. I've used used many different email systems in my career as a school technology coordinator - Eudora client (not sure what powered this system), Exchange, FirstClass, and now Google. Without a doubt, Google's platform is superior for empowering both individuals, teams, and large communities. Whereas exchange and MS Office are all about individual productivity, Google is all about team productivity and hyper-collaboration. 

One of my favorite things about the Google platform is the regular updates the Google Team pushes out to the platform. Yesterday during our faculty meeting I did a 25 minute update on some of these new features-in reality, many of these features are not exactly new, but for many who attended my session yesterday this was their first exposure to the updates. 

Click here to view the document titled, Google Apps Updates as of August 31st, 2010.

...and I almost made it through an entire blog post without mentioning the cost of the Google platform :-)