Month: October 2007

Total 32 Posts

Whatever I’m Getting Wrong

Ken wonders if I’m up to my usual School 2.0 provocation with that lesson plan back there, during which I asked the tech wizards for their help.

Conflict for conflict’s sake is a tiring endeavor …. I’m serious on this one: what do you mean by ‘making this better’?

I dunno. Whatever School 2.0 thinks I’m getting wrong.

None of it targets me, I realize, but lecture (by which I mean a teacher leading a classroom, not a teacher talking at a classroom) has become this ‘net-wide punching bag.

The implicit (and sometimes explicit) suggestion in all that pugilism is that anything we’ve been doing (such as lecture) can be done just as well with networks, project-based learning, 21st-century tools, etc.

With as much openmindedness as a cocky kid like myself can muster, I’m wondering how this lesson could be spruced up to meet School 2.0’s approval.

That’s a pretty honest summary of my intentions here. Nothing confrontational.

Complete honesty, though, would demand this note: if this lesson plan doesn’t offend the School 2.0 sensibility too much then could we please leave a little room at the party for lecture.

Not just because I like it but because it’s an essential part (and I mean it’s an essential part) of carrying kids who don’t know math (and I mean don’t know math) to that place where they do.


Chris comes through, delivers a suggestion for making that lesson School 2.0 compliant.

Sure, you could have worked in presentation skills such that, after the kids were done, they created some kind of public presentation of their findings… in fact, why not still do that? See if one of the kids can get a Gaming Commission rep to do a conference call with the class (use Skype – it’s got 2.0 street cred.)

Have the kids make a Google Preso of their findings or something so that the Gaming Commissioner can follow along, and then have the kids present it to that official for review and commentary.

That’ll give their hard work context and meaning by placing it back into the larger world.

How I Met Your Mother

[2018 Oct 30. After eleven years of learning, this lesson now seems obviously sexist and ableist and I’m not proud of any of that. I am leaving it up because I don’t see the value in sanitizing my learning process, gross stuff and all.]

Ha ha … oh man … *wipes tear* … this is awful. I can’t turn it off. The game’s just too easy right now. I mean, everyone’s serving me up these monster lesson plans. I’d have to walk around with my ears gummed up and my eyes blindfolded to experience even a little bit of a lesson planning block.

Exhibit A is, of course, The Red Dot (and how I taught it), a small blurb snatched out of an RSS feed and built into an hour of Algebra.

Exhibit B is CBS’ sitcom How I Met Your Mother which featured the following exchange last week. (Enjoy a YouTube upload of the scene or the following screenplay [which looks awesome outside the RSS feed].)


Teaching the Red Dot Right

or: An Open Invitation For School 2.0 To Pimp My Plans

I’m positive I could give that fable of greed, conspiracy, technology, and poker to a student teacher, ink still wet off her baccalaureate, and watch a pretty good show.

Every student has a natural preference for what is orderly, for what makes sense, whether they enjoy math or not. That red dot represents catharsis – the sense that mathematics has explained something very complex in very simple terms. This is an easy win.

Thing is, I’m unsatisfied by an instructional win here. I want to run up the score. So how do I maximize the value of this anecdote? I’m extremely interested in how othersSchool 2.0 to the white courtesy phone. would handle the same material.