In the near future, I’m going to be sharing some spam with my students, and not for the reason you’d think I’d do it. While teaching how to tell the difference between actual important emails and unsolicited commercial and/or malicious emails is important, that won’t be the primary goal. In addition to everything else I teach, part of my curriculum involves criticism. We as a culture of consumers frequently elevate critique itself into an art form – one so high that we generalize its practitioners…Continue Reading “Teaching Criticism With Spam”

The more time I spend on Mastodon, the more I like it. It reminds me very much of the pioneer days on Twitter, but without  all those issues of @ signs meaning nothing, retweets being something we had to copy/paste, not having a decent phone app… Never mind that.  Mastodon isn’t even the subject for today’s post. I only bring it up because today’s little gem comes from something  I saw ON Mastodon. I was intrigued, so I went and looked it up. Apparently PICO-8…Continue Reading “Game Design With PICO-8”

One of the (many) cool things about NASA is that, as a government-run organization, media created by NASA is  considered public domain. There are a few exceptions to this (mainly when NASA works with a company or university, the resulting works might be copyrighted by the other party…), but it still makes NASA a wonderful  source for legal content that students can include in their projects. And now, you can search through all of their wonderful images, videos, and audio files on the official NASA…Continue Reading “Download NASA Photos, Videos, & Audio For FREE!”

I blogged a while back about OpenShot, which is open source, cross-platform, and still not bad for some things. Are you stuck with 32bit computers? Use OpenShot. For everything else… use HitFilm Express. HitFilm Express is a robust, cross-platform, non-linear video editor capable of rendering multiple tracks of audio and video, applying chroma key, moving/cropping where video appears on the screen, and a bunch of other effects that I’ve never needed. Oh, and it’s 100% free. Free as in teachers should get their hands on…Continue Reading “Edit Video For Free With HitFilm Express”

After a long hiatus and much thought,  I now have a presence on Facebook again, though this time it’s a page meant as a companion to this blog. Content on both will be of a similar nature, but what I put here will be in a longer form than anywhere else. It will also be slightly different from my Tumblr, since I also sometimes post more personal things   over there. (I’m also on  Mastodon, though I use that site in a similar fashion to how…Continue Reading “Gave In To The Dark Side (Facebook)”

“It’s not the camera that takes the photo, it’s the photographer.” This or something like it is said a lot by photographers. Sure, a really expensive camera can help, but give an experienced photog a point-and-click disposable film camera from a bygone era and they’ll still crank out a few shots worth remembering. So I was kind of shocked when I, first learning the difference between taking a good photo and wasting developer fluid, learned that my camera was already doing some of the thinking…Continue Reading “How Much Of Your Photo Is Your Choice?”

If we don’t teach our students about respecting the copyrights of artists, who will? Although this case is a bit of a grey area. “I attend breaking news stories across the county of Sussex as my role as a full time bonafide news-gatherer,” he wrote in a letter to the court. “In this case one of the firefighters asked if he could tweet a picture of mine I said yes, he did, and this is the picture that Sky News embedded on their website, for…Continue Reading “Is Sharing Still Theft If It’s A Site Feature?”

This article on Mashable reads like it was written by a petulant teen. Schools may provide students with a wealth of academic knowledge, but do they really think they have what it takes to outsmart children when it comes to social media? What’s worse is … they’re kind of right. While many educators are more forward thinking about cell phone use in the classroom, there are a lot of old school (pun intended) individuals that see any distraction as an affront to their station and…Continue Reading “I Didn’t Know About The Great Social Media War”

Archive.org screen capture

I’ve loved Archive.org for a lot of reasons over the years. Many of my early podcast files are hosted there for free,  their Wayback Machine lets you see older versions of almost any website (but not my first site, as it went down before they  could get to it, THANK GOODNESS!),  I have lost far too much of my free time to their large collection of emulated DOS games (Oregon Trail? Oregon Trail!),  but now I’ve found out about THIS. Apparently the  Guggenheim Museum has…Continue Reading “Free Art Books on Archive.org”

TL:DR: I  haven’t banned fidget spinners yet, and I don’t expect that I’ll have to do so. Long version: Spinners: Kids love them, teachers demonize them. They’re a distraction! They’re disrupting the classroom! They’re fine for autistic kids, but to everyone else, they’re toys! I won’t have them in my classroom! We’ve banned them on the district level, and good riddance! … sound familiar? Like any thing else that comes around and finds its way into a school setting overnight (remember the era before dabbing was…Continue Reading “Obligatory Spinner Opinion”