So, what’s in store for the future?
1. Free e-book readers for all students. The Kindle might not be the best piece of technology available, but it would be very nice for education.
First, we won’t have the forgotten books. We WILL of course get forgotten e-books, but the chances of remembering one gadget must be greater than remembering several books.
Second, these machines are more powerful than books. Animations in the texts is one example. I guess they will evolve more, perhaps including more note-taking and interactivity.
2. New skills in the curriculum. Blogs, portfolios and wikis will replace or at least supplement a lot of traditional writing, linear or otherwise. An extebded notion of “texts” will develop and surpass the now traditional, recently modern, hypertexts.
3. Now standard tools will vanish. The logarithm tables are long gone. Next will be calculators, compasses and rulers. We will see a few new tools in the mathematics classrooms. GPS, digital measurment tools and dynamic softwares are well known. Perhaps these will be more common in the near future mathematics classrooms.
I hope I can elaborate on this post later. For now I will publish it just to Get it out of my cumbersome iPod…
I just flipped through a book called “How much is a million” (and later found out- others exist with a similar topic).
The points of the book(s) are to visualize to children how they can picture the size of a million objects of some sort.
My previous and current students and pupils more often than not amuse me with creativity and humor. Yesterday, a previous mathematics pupil of mine, Ola, seem to have fallen right into the trap of NOT being able to picture one million objects! 🙂 (…and who can blame him) I really hope he can prove me wrong so that all those mathematics lessons don’t turn out to have been useless, and perhaps he will! He made a bet with a friend, claiming he can collect a million hand drawn pictures of giraffes in around two years time. At the moment of writing he has gotten a few thousand drawings, have published a few hundred of them and has almost six hundred days to collect the rest of them. Being the kind and helpful teacher that I am (or was) I have to help trying to promote his project in several ways:
– I force all my family and friends to send him giraffes
– I promote him on my twitter feed
– I write this blog and cross-post it to my other blogs and facebook
Other helpful tips for Ola:
– use the next year’s Earth hour for all that it’s worth. The earth needs a giraffe hour.
– I will also try to make all my new students next year draw giraffes of course… This year students faced a similar task, trying to draw a mathematics teacher the way they picture him (I say him, because around 95 % are male. The class thought was pretty strange, because in teacher education, it seems around 90 % are female!)
– How about trying to have giraffe drawing as an exercise in kindergardens, pre-school, primary school (and upper secondary schools and higher education!) all over the world?
– Publishing on the Internet is one thing (or rather, one TEDIOUS thing…), why not make a “Best of the giraffes” and turn it into a book? Or t-shirts… (Next project onemillionmousemats.com ?) I’d buy a handpicked-by-Ola giraffe t-shirt anytime.
– Let people comment on each others drawings on the web site. Maybe vote for the best giraffes.
– Get interviews from those who made the bet
– Visit the Kristiansand Zoo for inspiration and giraffe info (this reminds me of Monkey news, from the Ricky Gervais show)
– Schedule interviews with Norwegian TV for children (Portveien 2, a famous children program from the 80-90’s?)
– Get permalinks, so people proudly can display “I’m a part of the onemilliongiraffes project!” on their blogs…
– Ask celebrities to send you their giraffes (some have already done that!)
So, head over to Onemilliongiraffes.com and upload/mms/send/mail/e-mail Ola your giraffe pictures! You can also follow the project on twitter. And while you are at it, you can listen to giraffe music on Spotify, or draw giraffes on Shidonni, that also will walk about and eat the food you draw for them…
*EDIT* Here’s one of several newspaper articles on his project: Aftenbladet. And I have lost count of his television appearances and other spots…
Anything with the words geek and/or chart in the title is bound to be great. On the Geek Chart website, you can make your own chart that visualizes your sharing around the web. Insert your username on twitter, youtube etc., and embed the chart that shows your acticity on the respective sites. Nice one. Now, why does that visual work on blogspot and not on wordpress?
This was a nice add-on to the array of twitter websites. On http://tweetstats.com/graphs/ you can see a graphic display on how often you have been twittering. Also, have a look at what times of the day you have been most active on the twitter arena. Nice! Thanks to @svendah for the tip.
My stats are here: http://tweetstats.com/graphs/oisteing
This is so hard. I am talking about committing yourself to a database of some sort, and this time it’s the reference database I am worrying about.
If you collect a lot of music or movies and catalog them extensively, you know what a drag it is when you figure you have chosen the wrong database or cataloging software. (So far I have been pleased with Mediamonkey (http://www.mediamonkey.com) for the music and it seems XBMC (http://www.xbmc.org) will do the trick for flipping through your movies with style. But I digress.
Now I want to catalog, sort and search my references, so what software should I commit to? I used to be an EndNote user as long as I got it for free, but no more. I had to look for free options (I AM the cheap researcher). First to come along was zotero (http://www.zotero.org), and believe me, it is still excellent. It is a Firefox add-on which allows you to add references from bookstores and article bases with ease. It then integrates with Word for easy use when referencing in your writing. The coming (now in beta) version includes sync to web, so that you have your references at hand at all times. Great. Converting from EndNote was a nightmare, but most of my thousands of references went along with the swap after some tinkering.
Then I got Word 2007, which had a built-in reference manager. This might have been the best option, but I found the managing capabilities a bit wanting.
Finally I have tried Mendeley (http://www.mendeley.com/), a manager with a sync’ed software and web version, with capabilities to store and extract information from pdf-files.
But what to choose? This is almost a lifetime commitment (ok, it is not, but it would be nice if it was) so it’s important to chose right! Heeeelp….
Check out the “science of retweets” – the formula that ranks Twitter users based on the power of their tweets…