Let’s talk about assessment. … OK, now that I’ve scared off any random students who’ve managed to find my website, let’s have an honest talk about assessment. Grades in one form or another have been a staple of education for a very long time indeed. With the push to quantify school quality through standardized testing and the overall inertia that we normally encounter in academia in general, they don’t look like they’ll be going away any time soon. So naturally, they’re a perfect thing for…Continue Reading “Will This Be Graded?”

I wrote a short time ago about how I really liked Mastodon and thought teachers should give it a try. At the time I’d settled on a home server but lamented that there was no instance (each Mastodon server is called an instance) set up specifically for teachers. Well never fear, because scholar.social has stepped in to fill the void! As the name implies, scholar.social is not JUST for teachers, but anyone involved in academics. The tag line they use is  “The Mastodon profile that…Continue Reading “Scholar.Social: A Mastodon Network For Teachers”

I’m growing more and more certain that everything Adam Savage touches turns to gold, even the things that fail spectacularly. For years, now, Mr. Savage has been giving a  short talk at the annual Maker Faire. They are full of inspiration, encouragement, and awesomeness. This year’s talk is no different. The giant ant he rides in on is a bit of a bonus.

Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr (the list goes on…) are (or have been) extremely popular, in part because they’re free, but also because they’ve reached a “critical mass” of users. I know many people who only use Facebook because their friends and family use Facebook, for example. Separate from this is a trend known as POSSE, or Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere. Like it implies, following a POSSE strategy doesn’t forego having and using the free social media sites that are so hip with…Continue Reading “Why This Site Is Self-Hosted”

Lesson ideas: Take 100 unique shots of the same item and/or in the same location. (The first 50 or so will likely not be so good. After that, students will be forced to think.) Photograph something being made (Lego sculpture, a meal, a painting, etc.) with the camera in a different location in regards to the subject in each photo. Document an outside (not in a car) journey from the point of view of your feet. Capture as many landmarks/areas of interest as possible. Create…Continue Reading “5(ish) Photography Lesson Ideas”

It’s been a few days since I  started messing with creating content in PICO-8, so I thought I’d document my journey so far through the magic of bullet points. There’s a programming cheat sheet.  This helps. There’s also a more detailed manual online,  if you want to know everything.  (This might not be the best starting point, though.) YouTube Video tutorials abound, though the language in some is not safe for school. I will likely make my own tutorials once I feel I have enough…Continue Reading “PICO-8 Progress”

Taking a short break from long blog posts to give you this little tidbit I’m fond of saying. Note that this doesn’t specify who’s doing it wrong. Sure, it MIGHT be you, but it might be a student, administrator, or even the person who designed that bit of technology in the first place. Come to think of it, that last scenario has occurred more times than I’m willing to talk about. In any case, it has a kitty in the background.

Yesterday  I started documenting my efforts towards making homework enjoyable enough for my students to actually do it for a change. By the end of that post I’d set up a weekly assignment where students made a video series as if they were YouTube stars. There was a definite increase in participation and quality, but I wasn’t quite done. Binge Watching Isn’t So Bad. I started by taking all of the homework videos submitted over the previous week and throwing them in a folder in…Continue Reading “Getting Homework to Work, Part 2”

I mentioned in a previous post that I’ve been experimenting with letting kids grade student work. The whole journey will take more time to tell than I feel comfortable putting in a single blog post, so I’ve split it into parts. I’m not at a point where I’d say I have a perfect system, but then show me an educator who does. If you don’t want something done, call it “Homework.” It all started with my homework. All year, my Media Arts students have been…Continue Reading “Getting Homework to Work, Part 1”