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Comments

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NSA Chief Built Star Trek Like Command Center

edumacator Re:That's awesome (372 comments)

Make it so.

about 7 months ago
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Researchers Develop the Most Detailed Map of Gravitational Variations Ever

edumacator Re:direct link (88 comments)

Hey. Don't make light of the gravity of this research.

about 7 months ago
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NSA Chief Built Star Trek Like Command Center

edumacator Re:That's awesome (372 comments)

I don't find it very comforting that this is the mindset of people who are entrusted with everyone's private information

I'd be alright with it if they also treated the Bill of Rights like the Prime Directive.

about 7 months ago
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Why One Woman Says Sending Your Kid To Private School Is Evil

edumacator Re:Oh, really? (1255 comments)

You would make a wonderful apologist, where were you when Stalin needed you? Someone needed to paint Russia as the Disneyland it was back then and gain cooperation in purging the land of evil.

We're getting really close to Godwin here, but I can tell you are angry. Take a moment and look back over the thread. Exactly where am I supporting a broken system? I agree education is broken. I agree we need to change it. I agree not all kids will learn, but who is to pick which ones will. I have students every year who realize their potential and begin to see value in themselves and working hard. Will all the kids do that? No. But my job is to give them the chance.

I am glad you are persistently optimistic

I think you got that wrong. I am persistently persistent. I'm not optimistic. In fact, I think the educational system is probably in the midst of an implosion. I just think it is political.

about 8 months ago
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Why One Woman Says Sending Your Kid To Private School Is Evil

edumacator Re: Oh, really? (1255 comments)

Reread my post. I clearly separate the issue of public schools into two , personal and societal. I applaud you for being invested in your children's education and for finding the best learning experience for them. That doesn't negate the reality that most students don't have parents who care enough to do the same for their children. Do we just leave them to fend for themselves? We need invested community members to fight the good fight for all our students.

about 8 months ago
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Why One Woman Says Sending Your Kid To Private School Is Evil

edumacator Re:Oh, really? (1255 comments)

I'm afraid you might be right, but I'm a public school teacher. I go into work every day excited to fight the good fight with people who have a lot in common with the slashdotters you describe.

It's what I do.

about 8 months ago
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Why One Woman Says Sending Your Kid To Private School Is Evil

edumacator Re:Oh, really? (1255 comments)

I hear the frustration, and I identify with it. I'm glad you have solved the problem for your daughter. In spite of the Slate article, I don't think you are evil for sending your child to private school. If I had no options for a good public school, I'd probably look at alternatives too.

The problem though isn't completely personal. It's social, which I think was the essence behind the provocative title of the article. It's a social problem because not all of our children have parents like you or me who are willing to look for those alternatives.

It's in our social interest to educate as large a swath of the population as possible. As tragic as it is to say, the vast majority of parents aren't interested in finding the solution. They often send talented boys and girls to school after telling them that school is a waste of time, or more often never mentioning school.

Public school is vitally important because those kids deserve a chance too, and right now, I'll admit, we aren't giving them the best education we can offer. I can tell you that the teachers and administrators are, for the most part, going into work every day wondering how we can make school more meaningful for our students. We lose sleep over the disinterested students, specifically the talented ones. We try to make it interesting and engaging, but we are blowing against a very strong cultural wind that does not originate in the school. It is the collective force of an indulging society. That's the fight we need to fight. That's the change we need to see.

While I realize you are frustrated and have found a great alternative for your child, public school is still an important issue, and I'm saddened to see your energy sidelined because you found a solution for your child. There are other kids out there without parents as caring as you seem to be.

about 8 months ago
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Why One Woman Says Sending Your Kid To Private School Is Evil

edumacator Re:Oh, really? (1255 comments)

I'm a public school teacher, and I see some of the issues you address above on a regular basis. However, that is not the norm. Teachers do NOT try to create passive cattle. Most teachers work hard to teach students to be independent thinkers, while they go home to households that don't care about their education, don't push their kids to be more than obedient, and don't help find the children the support they need to prosper.

Are there terrible teachers? Yes. Should we fire them? Yes. They are not though the norm. Think of any professional environment and the slackers that do as little as possible. We all have those losers.

We also have to quit thinking of schools as external from our society. We need to see them as a part of a larger whole. We can escape blame that way, but it isn't accurate or beneficial. Do you know who your local school reps are? Have you spoken to them? Have you raised a voice that asks for more accountability or initiative from the students, teachers, and administrators?

Of all political bodies, school boards are the most local and relatively responsive to community input.

We have serious problems with our public schools, but I believe educating our children is essential for a functioning society; it is more so for a democracy. Let's not throw out the system because it has flaws. Let's work together to fix them.

Start locally.

about 8 months ago
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Why One Woman Says Sending Your Kid To Private School Is Evil

edumacator Re:Oh, really? (1255 comments)

That's such a naive statement, I'd like to actually hear the details. I think you are dramatically oversimplifying a complex issue.

Why is it akin to abuse? I'm not taunting; rather I think this issue is one of the most fundamental to our future, so I'm trying to engage.

Yes. I'm a public school teacher.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Can I Make a Computer Science Club Interesting?

edumacator Kudos and ideas (265 comments)

First of all, congratulations for starting the club. Too many students sit passively by in high school.

A couple of things that could help. Do you have a dynamic teacher in your building that might be willing to sponsor the club? They can help you with recruitment and ways to keep people interested.

Also, try to have some really clear goals. Can you build an app for students in the building? Can you collect scraps from your IT person, and build some extra computers for the cafeteria for students to use or to give to underprivileged students? Can you find some local places to visit on a field trip or two? As much as I wish as a teacher that students would readily join clubs for their own edification, typically you need to find a "hook" to get them in the door. Once they've built something or seen the glory that is coding, they are going to be more likely to stay in the club. Try to find something they can SEE at the end of the year. Nothing beats seeing the fruits of your labor.

Good luck! If you need more advice or ideas, I could introduce you to some great AP computer science teachers.

about a year ago
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WeVideo Helps You Edit Your Videos Online (Video)

edumacator Re:Why is this here? (48 comments)

WeVideo is awesome for my students. They have short video compositions, and this gives them an intro to visual literacy and composing without having to go through my IT department, which is - understandably? - nervous about installing new programs.

This is a perfect bridge for education where we don't have the resources we need to introduce our students to all the programs they should should at least use once or twice.

about a year ago
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Sleep Deprivation Lowers School Achievement In Children

edumacator Re:Let me be the first to say... (272 comments)

You are blaming schools, when most of the time these decisions are made by school boards, which are comprised of elected officials. The blame is with us all.

about a year ago
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Barnes & Noble Adds Google Play Store To the Nook

edumacator Re: Too little too late. (82 comments)

I stand corrected. Thanks for the info.

about a year ago
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Barnes & Noble Adds Google Play Store To the Nook

edumacator Re: Too little too late. (82 comments)

The nooks have a Bluetooth chip, but no antenna. That's why you can't recognize the headphones.

about a year ago
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$200 Intel Android Laptops Are Coming

edumacator Re:bets? (319 comments)

they have several iPads per classroom in addition to their 1 PC per classroom

Oh, just rub it in why don't ya?

Actually to be fair, our new CIO is trying to give us more opportunities to get these sorts of things. I'm really speaking to the past policies, so I should give the new guy a chance. Also, I do have two iPads, two Nooks, and four computers in my room, but that's because I begged, borrowed, and stole to get them.

You don't perchance live in the Seattle metropolitan area do you?

Nope. Georgia. I would bet that it won't be long in the future for most school districts. We're getting to the point where it is financially beneficial to get devices for each student.

about a year ago
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$200 Intel Android Laptops Are Coming

edumacator Re:bets? (319 comments)

I'm glad you are looking at solutions other than MS. I certainly recognize the difficulties that arise from having multiple platforms, but especially in large districts, it seems that the cost savings would probably offset the cost of supporting multiple platforms. Can I ask what tools you are using for device management? I'm in a large district with over 10,000 employees and even more students.

about a year ago
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The Coming War Against Personal Photography and Video

edumacator Re:Points at Lauren Weinstein (221 comments)

You have a point, but it is an important discussion, and the answers are different in different locales. We need some very clear parameters about the way surveillance is used in all jurisdictions.

I'm not one to immediately discount the use of surveillance, but I recognize it could quickly be abused.

Can you imagine the possible abuses of this little gem from a month or two back?

about a year ago
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$200 Intel Android Laptops Are Coming

edumacator Re:bets? (319 comments)

This always makes me angry as a teacher. We NEED these cheaper laptops for our budgets, but our IT people, understandably from my limited perspective, want to keep one system to manage, so we are required to buy from Dell. No cheap laptops in the cafeteria for our students to use. All the desktops are in use in the Media Center? Well, sorry, we can't buy four Nexus tablets, we have to wait to get one more desktop.

We're supposed to get tablets in the next few years for all the students, but those will be Microsoft as well at a much higher price point.

Sigh...

about a year ago
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Scientists May Have Detected Neutrinos From Another Galaxy

edumacator Re:Not your "everyday" Neutrino (151 comments)

I have no idea what this means, but I will memorize it and use it at a party. I might not walk away with the ladies, but if people think I'm smarter than them after repeating this, then maybe the next time I say something stupid, they might just think it was over their heads.

about a year ago
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Pearson Vue Now On Day 5 of Massive Outage

edumacator Re:UK Driving License (151 comments)

Of course. Your right.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Makers Lab in High School Media Center

edumacator edumacator writes  |  about 7 months ago

edumacator (910819) writes "I have a wonderful Media Specialist at my high school who loves books, but realizes we need to more with that communal space in our school. After sharing the attached article, she is very excited to investigate creating a "Makers Lab" in our media center. I'm an English teacher that loves technology and a bit of a DIY background, but I'm not terribly knowledgeable in this field. So, my slashdot compatriots, I turn to you. What are essentials do I need to get this off the ground?"
Link to Original Source
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How SHOULD a technologically sound and collaborative high school classroom look?

edumacator edumacator writes  |  1 year,4 days

edumacator (910819) writes "Disclaimer off the top. In the near future, this will go out as an IndieGoGo project. But I'm NOT looking for money from you, but rather ideas.

I'm a teacher, and although I think I know what tools my students need to be successful, I'm locked up here in my ivory tower. You are out there, in that big scary world my students will soon enter, so help me break out of the 18th century classroom model, and design a classroom for students today. What should it look like?

If you could design your ideal classroom to prepare our high school kids for the world they will enter, what technology would you include? How would you encourage engagement and collaboration between students in the class and outside the school? Are there must have programs or devices? Do I need a device for each child, or a shared workstation for four or five be better? I've included a video of my prototype idea. What have I missed?"

Link to Original Source
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Modular Cell Phones by Microsoft

edumacator edumacator writes  |  more than 2 years ago

edumacator (910819) writes "It seems Microsoft is working on an interesting concept for smartphones, or maybe they are just adding to their patent war chest.

A recent Microsoft patent describes a smartphone with a slide-out section that can house one of several modules, including a QWERTY keyboard, a gaming pad, a second display or a battery pack. Even better: The modules work wirelessly when they aren’t docked in the smartphone’s slider. Another useful way the modular smartphone concept could be used: The keyboard can be used as a controller while the smartphone acts as a TV-connected media hub.

"

Link to Original Source
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Google resets social agenda with Google+

edumacator edumacator writes  |  more than 2 years ago

edumacator (910819) writes "It seems the rumors were true. Google's long awaited "Facebook Killer" is here in limited trials.

Google+ is designed around "Circles" that allow users to group people within their social sphere into different categories. Google says that the people you tend to meet up with on Saturday nights, for example, can be grouped into their own category, while parents can be placed into another. You can then decide to share only certain information with different Circles.

"

Link to Original Source
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What to cover in a short "DIY Tech" course?

edumacator edumacator writes  |  more than 4 years ago

edumacator writes "Our school is working hard to provide our students with relevant opportunities of study. We have a short "seminar" period that meets three days a week for thirty minutes. I've chosen to teach a seminar on "Home Grown Technology" even though I'm an English teacher and only an amateur techie. If you had thirty minutes, three days a week, for nine weeks, what would you teach a group of high school students? I'm considering the Wii-mote smartboard and multitouch displays, but I'm afraid I'm overreaching."

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