Sunday, September 25, 2011

Twitter + ReadItLater = Connected educators


I am writing this blog post for my colleagues, and other educators, who are not yet on Twitter. In it, I intend to provide a guide to using Twitter and to managing the reading load that the Twitter-habit will generate.
Understandably, teachers don't want to add another distraction to their busy days. They often hear that Twitter is a forum for people who think the world needs to know every opinion they have and every place they visit.

These were my views of Twitter until I took the plunge and signed up. I now have an active exchange with educators from around the world and, thanks to ReadItLater, I have found a way to read some of their output without adding to my workload. This exchange has enriched me in many ways: it supplies me with lesson ideas, gives me a forum to put my ideas out for scrutiny and keeps me up to date with educational trends. Through Twitter, I have met someone who has visited my classroom and taught my students valuable skills.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Am I the only one upset with Apple?


Like many people, I have switched to using a Mac and I love it. I also have an iPad which I enjoy very much. As of this year, my school has begun the process of putting a laptop in the hands of every student. Our machine of choice was the white MacBook. In this post, I argue that Apple has disadvantaged schools when it terminated this model.
A bit of context: I work at a school with a forward-looking IT manager. He convinced us to become a Mac school about five years ago. That was when I bought my first MacBook. It was not perfect and I even had to return it for repairs after the first year. Still, it was the most predictable computer I had ever owned. Slowly but surely, the staff and students grew to love the MacBooks and iMacs around the school.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I searched eight years for this answer

When I first began teaching secondary school Mathematics, roughly eight years ago, I wondered where word problems fit into the structure of a topic: Do they come at the beginning to provide a context or at the end, where they provide an application for the acquired skills. In case you don't want to read on, I am now certain that they should come at the beginning. Still, please keep reading, I want to discuss my reasons and give one example of what I mean.