Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Come Blow My Horn (Figuratively)

Case in point, ie. continuing with the wasteful reinventing the wheel theme of the last post, while this is being heralded as great news:
In fall 2008, the Department of Education will begin implementing a new core curriculum in social studies for students in kindergarten through the eighth grade. The curriculum will ensure that students receive instruction in history, government, geography, and economics as they move through elementary and middle school. In the earliest grades, students will learn about their own communities. Later in elementary school, students will focus their study on New York City, New York State, the United States, and world history and cultures. Middle school students will study the Eastern Hemisphere and students in grades 7 and 8 will undertake a two-year course of study on American History. The DOE issued a request for information and a request for materials for the new curriculum in October. Teams of teachers and administrators with social studies expertise will conduct extensive reviews of materials before the DOE chooses the specific books, primary source documents, and maps that will be included in the new core curriculum. The department will provide details of the new curriculum this spring, at which time schools will be able to purchase materials. Materials will be available in both English and Spanish.

Others (below) see the value of web 2.0 uses of technology like youtube movies and podcasts. It is what I have been displaying in many instances on pseudo intellectualism. These people get it. (unfortunately for me, the only people that get it is my friend Marty and Mark Gura)
I Have Learned My YouTube Lesson
Published by jimgroom November 20th, 2007 in WordPress, YouTube, plugins and video. Last week Sarah Allen inquired about a James Farmer video (knowing we have a rich collection of media of this Civil Rights leader) for her Culture, Context, and Composition class. The particular video she requested was Farmer’s debate with Malcolm X, and I had not come across it in my sojourns to the archives, so I recommended she ask Carolyn Parsons (the campus archivist) if she might know of anything and left it at that. Yesterday, I met with Sarah for a different matter all together. She’s currently a Teaching and Learning Technology Fellow (for more on this read Gardner’s post here) and we scheduled a meeting to pimp out her WordPress blog (something I enjoy tremendously). We installed the OneClick Installer plugin on her personal WordPress blog so that she can harness the unbelievable power of this amazing publishing platform with one click (Fanboy to the bone :) ). We used it to install Spam Karma, Subscribe to Comments, and then I recommended Viper’s Video Quicktags for easily including videos on her blog.
After that we tested the plugins, and when we came to Viper’s Quicktags we went over to YouTube and I recommended she search for a video related to something she was teaching. She searched for “James Farmer and Malcolm X” and lo and behold what shows up? That’s right, three videos featuring the debate between these two historical figures. How could I have been so stupid? Why didn’t I recommend YouTube to Sarah a week earlier when she was searching for this resource? I spend most of my days there, it is the most amazing resource for everything (including teaching and learning) and I guess it’s a lesson even I have to learn again and again. What was particularly cool this time around though, was that I think Sarah might have learned this lesson right along with me. For while she couldn’t show the debate in class yesterday because our discovery came two hours too late, it is now neatly embedded in her class blog for everyone to watch and comment on. Moreover, she seems to be experimenting with YouTube on her own blog with some other fascinating intellectual content. It has been said before, and I’ll say it again here: YouTube is the most powerful example of how these small pieces can be so easily and effectively joined for a teaching and learning context. And what publishing platform loves YouTube more than WordPress?

Note: You can do many of these things in blogger too

1 comment:

jimgroom said...

Thanks for the link and the kind words. I hope I get it, otherwise I have been wasting a lot of paper. Oh wait, I use a blog :)