Ben Wildboer shows how he used some ideas he found online (including some from yours truly!) to upgrade a slide deck about basic Earth structure. His blog post includes an “Extreme Makeover” like before and after look at his entire slide deck.
Ben’s immediate observation distills everything I’ve been trying to convey as succinctly as I’ve seen it done:
There were several students that expressed regret at the demise of the bullet points. Itâ€™s easier for them to just copy down exactly what it says (of course it is, they donâ€™t have to actually pay attention or comprehend to do that). How well theyâ€™ve been trained by their past experiences!
Ah yes. Undoing years of damage done by the ubiquitous bullet point. Challenging, to say the least. But definitely a battle worth fighting.
Go check out Ben’s slide decks. And the rest of his blog while you’re there. He’s off to a great start!!
[Cross-posted at LeaderTalk]
I’ll admit that when I registered for my classes for this term I was not looking forward to “Educational Policy Analysis” – a required “core” course for my graduate work. But if I’ve learned anything in the three classes I’ve attended it’s that I know next to nothing about the way policy gets put into place above the district level.
Combined with the fact that we’re in the midst of what looks to be a very interesting presidential election, and my lack of understanding of policy at the highest level is inexcusable. Policy, you see, affects us all even if we don’t see how or why. As public managers, we make policy on a daily basis through our actions or inactions in our buildings.
Even more apparent is the culture of distrust between policy makers at the highest levels and practitioners on the ground in the schools. At the top level is a lack of belief that educators are doing an adequate job of focusing resources on the “right” students. And at the grassroots level we are often content using rhetoric that makes us feel more comfortable that those at the top level could never understand what we do at the building level.
So if I’ve learned anything about policy, it’s that I don’t know enough and that there’s no excuse for not knowing. Policy making is not done in isolation — it’s a wide-open process that is accessible to anyone who wants to know more or to be more involved. Bridging the gap between practitioners and policy makers is one of the responsibilities that district- and building-level administrators must make a priority if we are to truly improve education. Becoming involved in the process will go a long way toward making us feel less like “victims” of policies that are “handed down” to us.
[Image by BoutrosBoutros]
If you haven’t seen this (and what Apple computer lover hasn’t?), you need to check it out. If you’re in the same age demographic as I am, you may remember typing many a middle school paper using AppleWorks on a machine exactly like this (attached to a very noisy Apple ImageWriter dot matrix printer, of course!).
Dan Budiac scored himself a new Apple //c. And not just any Apple //c — this one has been sitting in its original packaging since it was manufactured in 1988. And he’s got a very retro-cool set of “unboxing” photos from before unboxing was something most people even cared about.
Gosh – just looking at these pictures makes me all warm inside. From teaching myself how to program in BASIC to learning Logo in my 5th grade class and playing the green-screen version of Oregon Trail, this was my first computer experience.
I can’t wait to hear what happens when he sends in the warranty registration card…
[via an interview with Dan on MacBreak Weekly 76]