Monday, February 16, 2009

On February 12, 2009, the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth was celebrated, and it seems appropriate to study and learn more about this revolutionary thinker. By reading Deborah Heiligman’s Charles and Emma: The Darwin’s Leap of Faith, one feels that the Darwins are actually telling their story through their letters and diaries. As the story unfolds, the reader is transformed from curious outsider to trusted friend and possibly part of the family. Research allows for the use of direct quotes which guide the reader through the lives of this very remarkable couple. Both the marriage of Emma and Charles and development of his theory of evolution are treated as equally important. The reader learns that although Emma did not agree with her husband’s theory, she listened, she debated, and she corrected the grammar and spelling in his manuscript. The both respected the others views.  We also learn that Charles was unaware of the very relevant genetic studies being conducted by Austrian monk Gregor Mendel during this time.  I truly recommend this book for those that like biography, those who like science, those who like Victorian social history, or those who appreciate a love story.  Depending on the situation, Heiligman’s book could be used in middle school and up, but I also think adults book appreciate it, too..

Friday, August 1, 2008

Bowdoin's Pop-up Book Collection

Nineteen hundred (1,900!!) pop-up books have been donated by Harry Goralnick to the Department of Special Collections and Archives at Bowdoin College in Maine. Besides children's literature of Sendak and Grimm, pop culture is also represented.  Richard Lindemann, Director of Special Collections, feels this donation "places Bowdoin among the nations top repositories for toy and movable books."  This might be a nice point of interest on a New England road trip.  

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Franklin!

I regularly enjoy the newspaper columns written by Cary Clack and today's piece provided me with the perfect avenue for me to resume my blog! In his July 31, 2008 article, Franklin: A Trailblazer in "Peanuts", Mr. Clack celebrates the 40th anniversary of the first appearance of Franklin, one of the members of Charles Schulz's "Peanuts" gang. Much to consider about this anniversary--social history and the influence of the graphic novel and comics come to mind.  Go to and click on Franklin to read the original July 31, 2008 strip.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thing 23 Summary

1. What were your favorite discoveries and exercises on this learning journey?
Definitely the blog, creative commons and other sources of media, mashups and everything on big huge labs, rollyo, the web2.0 awards list were my favorites.  In all honesty, every "thing" was like a new world--brave new world, maybe. I have come away with a new outlook on the art of communication. 

2.  How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
23 Things exposed me to some things I had heard of, but never used, but mostly I learned about things that I did not know existed.  Now that I have used them a little, and have conversed with the players who have such creative ways of using them, I am definitely going to continue to experiment. Even though I finished my podcast/ vodcast, I wasn't satisfied with the final product, so I have been searching for information.  This morning I found a blog post that really would have been helpful last week!
This was the best professional development I have had in many years.  Many of these things will be probably replace email, or evolve into email on steroids. I want to be ready to communicate comfortably.  Everything I learned not only can be used in our school and professional lives, but in our personal lives as well.

3.  Were there any take-away of unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you? 
I had wanted to begin a blog. This program organized everything I needed to know and took me through step by step.  I have truly enjoyed the comraderie, and really would like to meet some of these people one day. Infomaniac has been a delight.

4.  What could we do differently to improve on this program's format or concept?
I appreciated that each thing began with solid readings and background material before we started the discovery piece.  I loved working at home and going at my own pace in my own time.  I guess that doesn't answer your question-- I have habit of not answering questions.  Sorry.  Since I had so much trouble finishing the podcast, I should be more responsible and contact the Kickball captains earlier.  But that wasn't your problem either.  Possibly more guidance for the macbook people, particularly when using garageband.

5.  If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate? 
Definitely.  Summer was perfect for  me  to do the 23.  During the school year I would love an abbreviated program. I don't know if I would have been able to do all 23 things during  the school year,  

6.  How would you describe your learning experience in one word or in one sentence so we could use your words to promote 23 Things learning activities?
21st Century Communication

7.  Now go and comment on other blogs.
Kickball Captains, Thank you for offering this program through the tlc list so the "out of towners" could partake of your knowledge. It has been a splendid interlude.

Fun Thing The Accent Quiz

Since many of us are podcasting and recording our voices, I thought this would be of interest.  Child_Lit has been discussing and laughing about accents and pronunciation, so I thought I'd share the "quiz" and  the analysis of my voice. Although I grew up in New England, I spent 11 years in the Tennessee and Virginia, and 18 in Texas. Many people can't identify the origination of my accent, and they'll often  say Chicago.  I don't call soda "pop", but I have to really concentrate to enunciate a middle T, like in "cotton" or "mitten", and that is a Boston trait. I only lived there 3 years. 

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Midland
The Northeast
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz