Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Epic Fail Terminology Lesson

As hard as it may be for many of us to understand and speak in the "language" of our students, it would be great to try.  Ask your students what an Epic Fail is and they can probably tell you.  If you are in touch with social media, then you probably know what Epic Fail means.  I came across this interesting take on Epic Fails in Literature from Schmoop, which is a great site that offers study guides and teacher resources for English, Social Studies Classes.  They have some great resources for your classroom, so I suggest checking it out if the idea of the Epic Fail lesson scares you....

So, how could you incorporate this Epic Fail terminology in the high school Social Studies classroom?  Just think about it for a second.  Let's look at JUST World War II.  The allies failure to believe the words of Hitler in his book Mein Kempf helped lead to WWII - An Epic Fail.  Hitler's concentration on the Jews kept valuable resources from fighting actual battles - Epic Fail.  The United States failure to pay attention to Japan - Epic Fail.  Do you get where I am going?

What about Science?  Well, you could Start with the Geocentric and Heliocentric models of the universe - Epic Fail.  You could look at Newton's Laws because many of them happened because of an Epic Fail in understanding, that actually led to an Epic Win (which Epic Wins could be a whole other lesson).

We have to start trying to teach in the language our students use.  I hear students all the time say Epic Fail in relation to something.  Why not have them say it in relation to something we teach?

What do you think?  Have any ideas for Math?

Bit.ly Bundles

This is similar to some other sites out there.  I recently posted about BridgeURL. A lot of people use various URL shorteners but I have always favored Bit.lyBit.ly has recently introduced Bit.ly Bundles which allows users to group several URL's together and then share one URL.  There are several features that you can use that increase the use of Bit.ly Bundles

With each site you can add a title, description and notes to the page, making the tool very useful to share several links in a presentation.  You have the freedom of arranging your links in a particular order as well, which can also be a benefit for presenting websites.  Once you share your bundle, people who view it can comment on the bundle, therefore your websites can start a conversation and can lead to a discussion on effectiveness and use of the websites. 

1 Year Reflection

I still find it hard to believe that it has been a complete year since I started writing this blog.  One year ago I was completely oblivious to the whole idea of blogging and the purpose of it.  Now, I spend some of my time trying to explain blogging to other educators.  My blog serves a different purpose than the teachers that I work with who might start a blog, but the concepts of communicating, interacting, and growing as an educator as still the same.

I started this blog with a single goal of just sharing resources.  It turns out that this blog has become much more of a communication tool and small piece of my professional growth as an educator.  I found myself reading more as it relates to education and reform, educational technology, and the different subject matters.  Writing this blog has allowed me to become more aware of the different subject matter that our students learn.  Before writing this blog, my knowledge was very Social Studies specific.

Through this blog I have met some great people and been able to connect with educators from around the world.  I am able to look and see where people who visit my blog are from and it amazes me how much that spans the globe.  Our problems, solutions, techniques, lessons, curriculum, and student personalities when it comes to education are not unique to America, and through this blog and Twitter I have been able to have a MUCH better understanding of that.

I want to share what I consider to be the top 15 post for the year for The Pursuit of Technology Integration Happiness.  What you will notice is that several of the post deal less with educational technology, but more with professional growth and professional networking.

1.) Cartoons and Comic Creation
2.) Blogs You Should Focus Your Attention On
3.) Do You Tweet?  As an Educator...You Should!
4.) The Power of T.W.I.T.T.E.R.
5.) Obama 2010 State of the Union Address Wordle
6.) Twitter Tweecap from 2nd Week of March, 2010
7.) 100th Post - Growth of My PLN
8.) My Best...No Most Influential Teacher
9.) Doing a FLIP Across the Curriculum
10.) 7 Technology Alternatives to the Standard Homework Assignments
11.) Google Earth Help
12.) 8 Common Misconceptions of Technology Integration in Education Recap
13.) Tools for the 21st Century Teacher
14.) Skype Resources
15.) 10 Ways to Use iTunes/Podcast in the Classroom

Are you a blogger?  How has blogging helped you become a better educator?  Want to share that experience and be a Guest Blogger?  Contact me on Twitter and let me know.  Help me show teachers how blogging can be a professional and life changing experience.

Do you have students who blog?  I would like to see and share how blogging has changed their outlook on education and learning.

Skype Education

Skype has caught on to the idea that they are a valuable educational tool.  Now there is Skype Education which is slated to launch in December.  The idea is Skype wants to create a directory for teachers and classrooms to contact each other.  So when Skype Education becomes available it will be a great way for teachers to connect with one another using their directory.

When you visit the site you can provide some information to preregister to add your name to the directory.  I suggest the first place Skype looks is the directories that several educators have taken the initiative to start themselves and add those to the directory.  You can find those directories on a previous Skye Resources blog post that I did.