Friday, November 30, 2012

thanks to quinn mattfeld

It's one thing to read Hamlet.  It's quite another thing to actually meet Hamlet.  Thank you to PCPA's Quinn Mattfeld for talking with us today-- so cool to learn Shakespeare from a guy who has lived the material.

You can see Quinn in PCPA's current production of The Wizard of Oz.  Buy tickets here.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

*November 29

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Learning to Fly" by Pink Floyd; "I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts" by X]

Using the word "final" to describe next week's tests gives the wrong impression.  Learning is never over.  Think back on the semester and reflect on what you've learned whether it was about the course content, your own thinking/habits, or even something that you couldn't stand and never want to do again.  How can you use this information to your advantage in the future?

AGENDA:
1. Journal/turn in essays
2. Brainstorm: final presentations

HW:
1. Study vocab
2. Lit analysis work
3. P3 (Prepare Presentation Proposals)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

*November 28

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Help!" by The Beatles; "With a Little Help From My Friends" by Joe Cocker]

Describe a way you can help someone today.

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Essay help
3. Grade/blog conferences

HW:
1. Rewrite essay
2. Study vocab
3. Lit analysis work

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

*November 27

JOURNAL TOPIC:
(to be done after the essay)
How did you do on the essay?  Did yesterday's Q&A help?  What will you need to do in order to ace the final exam next week?

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. In-class essay

TOPIC
Ichabod Crane and Young Goodman Brown face off in a rap battle over the most effective ways of learning American Literature and motivating every single member of the tribe to rock right now.  Crane throws down for Romanticism: the enlightenment, the individual, the transcendence.  Brown comes back with fire-and-brimstone Colonial dogma.  Describe the action and back the battlers with examples from at least two texts and three literary elements from class.  Ultimately it's up to you.  Given your expertise on their literature & your own experience with different tools and styles of learning, what do you think is the best learning solution?  Who wins?

HW:
1. Study vocab
2. Lit analysis work

Monday, November 26, 2012

*November 26

JOURNAL TOPIC:

Why do people worry and complain?  Is there ever a time when these activities help solve a problem or make a situation better?

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Discussion: essay topics, approach to work, outcomes for semester

HW:
1. Lick your wounds
2. Get the job done

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

you google wrong

I just read this article and realized how helpful it will be in your future endeavors.  How do you Google, and what tips from this article do you find valuable?  If you have some time over the weekend please skim and comment to this post (optional, I know you have a lot on your plate already and we'll discuss some of this in class next week :).

online security

After reading this I'm tempted to change my password to "Whoa."

The good news, I guess, is that there will be more and more jobs available in cyberforensics.

Monday, November 19, 2012

*November 20

JOURNAL TOPIC: [no topic today, please remember to put journals in crate.]

AGENDA:
1. Essay

[UPDATE: 9:37 A.M.  After many text/Twitter/email conversations this morning, I hope you turned in whatever you could during class--and my answer to your questions is YES.  I will collaborate with you online this weekend and I will accept your individual/group work on this by Monday.  You can write on paper and bring it with you, you can post to your blog, or you can collaborate with a group and present in any media that shows you have an idea of what you're talking about.  On Monday this will be our agenda.  We'll talk about what we've learned and how we can use the content & experience to prepare for finals.]

ESSAY TOPIC:
(I think I managed to work in just about everyone's suggestions!  This is going to take a lot of suspension of disbelief, though, so buckle up.)

Ichabod Crane and Young Goodman Brown face off in a rap battle over the most effective ways of learning American Literature and motivating every single member of the tribe to rock right now.  Crane throws down for Romanticism: the enlightenment, the individual, the transcendence.  Brown comes back with fire-and-brimstone Colonial dogma.  Describe the action and back the battlers with examples from at least two texts and three literary elements from class.  Ultimately it's up to you.  Given your expertise on their literature & your own experience with different tools and styles of learning, what do you think is the best learning solution?  Who wins?

[Note: For Emily, and anyone who wants to join her, the prompt may be amended as follows.  Using the same elements, Crane and Brown battle over whether Poe is right and all that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.  Don't forget the learning solution.]

[Note: For Connor & Matt, and anyone who wants to join them, the prompt may be amended as follows.  Using the same elements, Crane and Brom Bones battle (with Brom taking the traditionalist/Colonial side) at the von Tassels' party.  To the victor goes the love of Katrina, who live tweets the whole thing.]

TEXTS
Earth on Turtle's Back
Richard Cory
Young Goodman Brown
The Laughing Heart
[Paul Auster excerpt about the author in the bus station]
Dream Within a Dream
Walden
Self-Reliance
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
[Literature Analyses]

HW:
1. Novelists: finish your novels (Technically you'll still have next week, but--trust me-- you'll want to spend the last few days polishing and not trying to make the word count.)
2. Editors: get to work, your novelists need you
3. Everyone: Literature Analysis work, review vocab for final
4. Everyone: in a blog post entitled "Fall Final Project" propose a project that you and a team can present during the 2-hour final period that will demonstrate what you've learned this semester.  All texts, vocab, genres, literary elements, journal topics, discussions, assignments, and literature analyses are eligible, as are physical/in-person presentations & online/transmedia presentations.  One exception: no posters. :)
5. Happy Thanksgiving.  Thank someone you love, thank someone you like, thank someone you can't stand, and thank someone you haven't met yet.  And, since I don't say it often enough: thank you.

*November 19

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "What's He Building in There" by Tom Waits; "Brain Damage" by Pink Floyd]

What did you learn from the "Brain with 328 Legs"?

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Discussion: Brain with 328 Legs
2. Vocab review
3. Calendar & preview of coming attractions

HW:
1. Comment to this post with suggestions for tomorrow's essay topic

Saturday, November 17, 2012

the brain with 200--er, 328 legs is ALIVE!



[Update Saturday 12:40 P.M.] Watching Hayden, John, Owen, Sara, Vanessa, Eli, Felicitas, and Andrew working on the mind map.  Who knew that the two-minute drill could be this interesting (thanks Feli)? #betterthancollegefootball

[Update: Saturday 2:04 P.M.] Right now it's Ming, Justin, Valerie, Josh, Carlos, Christa, Teanna, Katelyn, and Isiah, the map's so busy John keeps getting blocked out when he tries to post.  (Give the man a chance! :)   #definitelybetterthancollegefootballnowletsgobruins

[Update: Saturday 2:41 P.M.] Christa is having trouble logging onto the mind map so can anyone help by visiting her blog and posting the info (with her name) to the mind map?  Mahalo.

[Update: Saturday 4:47 P.M.] Mackenzie, Alex, Elizabeth, Sam, and Matt are also in the mix.  I ran across the thought, "Books are siege weapons" and realized I'm not sure I know what Queenan means.  Curious to see what you think.  #foramomentcollegefballwasactuallyprettygreatfinalscoreucla38usc28

[Update: Saturday 6:23 P.M.] Thank you Isiah for helping me understand the "siege weapons" reference!  Hey everyone, this looks great so far.  I wish I was an octopus so I could live tweet, post screen shots on Tumblr, and... I'm tired just thinking about it.  Those of you on Twitter will start seeing action from @prestonlearning (about this and coming attractions).  I'm stepping out for the evening, so if you need anything please email.  If you run into trouble that your colleagues can't answer, click the question mark in the circle on the Mindmeister dashboard (top right) and this video series also looks pretty helpful (as always, feel free to search out your own resources and comment here if you find something wonderful).  In a pinch email dpreston.learning@gmail.com.  See you here and on the mind map tomorrow!

[Update: Sunday 10:56 A.M.]  Top o' the morning to Socorro, Reed, Sebastian, Cassidy, Erika, Dulce, Devon, Josh, Michelle, and Kasie, and thanks to everyone who participated overnight.  This is literally the eleventh hour-- if you haven't contributed yet, this is the moment you've been waiting for!

[Update: Sunday 11:58 A.M.]  Great to see course alum Trevor Hudgins on the map!  Ask him anything, he knows more about the platform than anyone else I know.  Also: our 24 hours is up, BUT FEEL FREE TO ADD MORE WHENEVER YOU GET AN IDEA.  We can always tell from the timeline what happened when, and (as you've heard me say a thousand times) ideas often occur to us  well after the conversation.  It's one of the ways we can tell we're learning.  :) 

Friday, November 16, 2012

*November 16

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Searching" by Erykah Badu; "Still Searching" by The Kinks; "The Cave" by Mumford & Sons]

Betrand Russell wrote, “Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.” Today we're focusing on Russell's second passion. What is your experience in searching for knowledge? Have you ever wandered into a library/store/search engine/community just for the sake of answering a question? If you have, describe the experience: What did you expect to find? How did you unearth information? Where did the process lead you? If you haven't done something like this, visualize a question that intrigues you and imagine how you might go about answering it.

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Vocab quiz
3. Brain 2.0

HW:
Brain 2.0

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

*November 15

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Piano Quintet in A, D 667 The Trout" by Schubert]

[Choose your own topic. Today is an excellent day to show some initiative and creativity.]

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Vocabulary/mindmap choices
3. T.S. Eliot was no Lee Harvey Oswald
4. Brain 2.0

HW:
1. Stake your claim on "6,128 Books"
2. Study vocab
3. Comment to this post with your preferred mindmaps

*November 14

JOURNAL TOPIC: ["Come Together" by The Beatles; "Why Can't We Be Friends" by War]

What inspires you to be at your best? Do you work more effectively as an individual, as a member of a group, or does it depend on the task/people/situation? Explain the factors that enable teams to succeed in ways "Lee Harvey Oswalds" can't, and discuss the implications for community and country. For instance, after an event that divides winners and losers (a big game, a court case, an election), how can people come back to the table to work together?

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Vocab/reading test
3. Collaboration and literature

HW:
1. Literature analysis work
2. Study vocabulary
3. Read this and do this.

*brain with 328 legs 2.0: mindmaps & strategy

1. [for Thursday 11.15] Read the definition of mindmap in the screenshot here:

2. [for Thursday 11.15] Familiarize yourself with CMAP and--if you like it-- download the mindmap program

3. [for Thursday 11.15] Determine how we can all contribute to the mindmap. If you don't see a way: 1) ask partner/colleagues for help, and/or 2) find, evaluate and propose a free mindmap platform that allows us all to collaborate.

4. [for Thursday 11.15] Find at least two mindmaps you think are good enough to be models for us all to consider. Cut/paste links to them so we can see what you see. After you list the links, so that we know what to look for, briefly describe what these maps do well and what they could improve.

5. [For Friday 11.16] Skim "My 6,128 Favorite Books." Look for words, ideas and allusions that you don't recognize and/or you'd like to know more about.

6. On Saturday [11.17], at a time we all agree on in class, we will begin working together as fast as we can to populate the mind map. We will have a maximum of 24 hours to complete the mission. We can finish before then if someone who's keeping track calls for a review and we discover that we've covered everything. In fact, now that I think about it, we should probably create some sort of strategic plan before we start-- this way we can decide things like whether we should start in sections, or in different places, or whether we should have specific roles (as in the neo-legendary literature circles of sophomore year).

*brain with 200 legs 2.0

Can 100+ students in three different classes work together to think together online? Some people think this sort of thing is impossible or pointless. Those people haven't seen what I've seen.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

literature analysis reminder

Congratulations on finishing #2!  Please select and begin reading your next literature analysis novel, and please bring it to class.  (That will be worth extra credit today; it's an assignment for tomorrow [Wednesday 11.14])

Monday, November 12, 2012

*November 13

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Money Song" by Monty Python; "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits; "Eat the Rich" by Aerosmith]

In the 1960's it was "Can't Buy Me Love" and "All You Need Is Love." In the 1980's it was "Material Girl" and "Money for Nothing." What is the role of money in today's culture and music?

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Vocab (you already have this week's list, and it's LONG)
3. Study vocabulary: your partner's grade depends on it

HW:
1. Make sure you've left no vocabulary stone unturned.  Seriously.
2. Read the article below (and take notes)-- there will be an extensive reading quiz tomorrow along with the vocabulary test (*you read that correctly; welcome to the speed round). As you read, pay particular attention to how collaborative relationships operate offline and think about how we can increase their value by networking online.  Then go back to vocabulary.


DP interdependence article -

Friday, November 9, 2012

RHS WASC accreditation

As some of you know, RHS is going through an accreditation process with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Part of the process involves soliciting feedback from community members.  If you have a few moments this weekend please click here to complete a brief survey about your experience at RHS.

Mahalo.

*November 9

JOURNAL TOPIC: ["Save it for Later" by The English Beat; "Waiting for a Miracle" by Leonard Cohen; "If Not Now..." by Tracy Chapman]

Meditate on the nature of procrastination.  Ask yourself when it helps you, when it hurts you, and how you can be aware of it and manage it so that it doesn't feel like an(other) overwhelming force in your life that you can't control.

AGENDA:
1. Journal/return work
2. Vocab quiz

HW:
1. Finish Lit Analysis #2 (due by COB Monday)
2. Start looking into your Big Question and post 1-2 paragraphs to your blog (under title "BQ: First Steps") that explain where you think you can find information that will help you answer the BQ.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

*November 8

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "The Lovebug Itch" by Eddy Arnold; "Cat Scratch Fever" by Ted Nugent]

How long can you stand an itch before you scratch it?

AGENDA:
1. Journal/turn in quiz HW
2. Big question/exit ticket
3. Writer's conferences
4. Independent/group work: vocab, big questions

HW:
1. Post your Big Question to your blog

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

legend of sleepy hollow quiz

Legend of Sleepy Hollow quiz

our chat with bryan alexander

Today we were fortunate to talk with Bryan Alexander.  From Bryan's bio:

Bryan Alexander is senior fellow at the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE). He researches, writes, and speaks about emerging trends in the integration of inquiry, pedagogy, and technology and their potential application to liberal arts contexts. Dr. Alexander’s current research interests include emerging pedagogical forms enabled by mobile technologies, learning processes and outcomes associated with immersive environments (as in gaming and augmented reality), the rise of digital humanities, the transformation of scholarly communication, digital storytelling, and futurist methodologies
image
Dr. Alexander is author of The New Digital Storytelling: Creating Narratives with New Media, published in April 2011 by Praeger. He is active online, combining research with communication across multiple venues. He runs the NITLE futures market, a crowd-sourced prediction game. He contributes to Techne, NITLE’s blog, and was lead author for eight years on it predecessor, Liberal Education Today (archive). He also tweets steadily at @BryanAlexander.
Born in New York City, Dr. Alexander earned his Ph.D. in English from the University of Michigan in 1997, completing a dissertation on Romantic-era Gothic literature. He taught English literature, writing, information literacy, and information technology studies at Centenary College of Louisiana from 1997 through 2002. He was a 2004 fellow of the Frye Leadership Institute. He lives on a Vermont homestead with his family, where they raise animals and crops, combining broadband with a low-tech lifestyle.

Here is the video of our conversation with Bryan (in two parts):

video

video


*November 7

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Someday We'll All Be Free" by Alicia Keys; "America the Beautiful" by Frank Sinatra; "United" by Aretha Franklin]

Yesterday the United States of America elected a president.  What about this experience is uniquely American?  Make at least three connections between our course of study and the broader experience of participating and living in this culture.

AGENDA:
1. Journal/collect essays
2. Test on "Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
3. A note about literature analyses

HW:
1. Find the best video of "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and comment to this post with a link
2. Watch "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and compare the experience to reading the story in a post to your blog entitled, "the medium is the message"
3. Use the video and the text to redo today's test so it's perfect

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

when the cat's away...

...the mice learn how to outsmart the cat so they don't have to spend the rest of the semester looking over their shoulders.  Nice work!  (Thanks for the pic, Jacob)


Monday, November 5, 2012

*November 6 (which looks a lot like, yeah, I know)

JOURNAL TOPICS: [today's tunes: "My Hero" by the Foo Fighters; "Heroes" by David Bowie]

Heroes are essential to humanity. Every culture throughout history has chronicled their experiences. Today their role is more important than ever; heroes inspire us to think differently, act differently, and ultimately become better versions of ourselves. Even though everyone gets the general idea of a hero, however, the people we admire are as individual as we are. They may have impressive personalities, intellects or physical attributes; they may be ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary goals; they may be public or private. They may even be our friends and relatives.

Write a letter to someone you consider to be a hero. Explain to this person why s/he is heroic and tell the person how s/he has moved or inspired you.

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Socratic seminar
[suggested topics: characters and events of "Legend of Sleepy Hollow"; the essay; vocabulary; recent speakers; study/blog strategies; "Modern Thinkers"; how the course can provide maximal value to every participant from now until the end of the semester]
3. Take notes on the Socratic seminar and comment to this post with your suggestions for this week's vocabulary list, which will be posted by the time you leave campus tomorrow so you can do HW #1.

(There's a chance I won't be there, so would you please capture on phones and upload to the YouTube channel?  As always please be mindful; before you turn on the camera ask everyone whether it's ok to include their image in the video-- if they say "no" please don't.  Thanks.)

HW:
1. Post definitions and sentences/remix to your blog under title "fall vocab #10" (due by COB Monday 11.5)
2. Comment to the romanticism essay post from your Socratic seminar notes
3. Write the romanticism essay and bring a hard copy (typed or handwritten) 

we do these things because they are hard

In 1962 President John F. Kennedy gave a famous speech at Rice University in which he set the tone for accomplishing a seemingly impossible goal-- landing on the moon by the end of the decade-- by saying:

"We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard."

I know tonight's essay is hard.  That's why I assigned it.  I promise that after writing a draft, getting feedback, and revising, the next one won't seem nearly as hard.   We will reconvene the Socratic seminars tomorrow to make sure we answer your questions from tonight, so please write them down and bring them with you.

Now do your homework.  And keep things in perspective.  The
re is glory in the attempt.  The only way to fail is to avoid trying.  Besides, it's not like I asked you to climb the 103-floor Sears tower with a thought-controlled bionic leg.

vocabulary: fall list #10

So far only Eli has posted words.  Here they are:

Pedagogue
Cavernous
Coquettish
Tête-à-tête
Suffice
Amorous

I always hate to assume anything in electronic communication-- so many things can go wrong or be misinterpreted-- so I have to ask... does this mean everyone else knows all the words?  And does that mean I should make every word in the story eligible for this week's quiz?  I like your tendency to go big, but that's a tall order, so please let me know either by adding words to this week's list (in comments to this post) or affirming in a comment that, yes, in fact you are a vocabulary titan.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

*November 5

JOURNAL TOPICS: [today's tunes: "My Hero" by the Foo Fighters; "Heroes" by David Bowie]

Heroes are essential to humanity. Every culture throughout history has chronicled their experiences. Today their role is more important than ever; heroes inspire us to think differently, act differently, and ultimately become better versions of ourselves. Even though everyone gets the general idea of a hero, however, the people we admire are as individual as we are. They may have impressive personalities, intellects or physical attributes; they may be ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary goals; they may be public or private. They may even be our friends and relatives.

Write a letter to someone you consider to be a hero. Explain to this person why s/he is heroic and tell the person how s/he has moved or inspired you.

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Socratic seminar
[suggested topics: characters and events of "Legend of Sleepy Hollow"; the essay; vocabulary; recent speakers; study/blog strategies; "Modern Thinkers"; how the course can provide maximal value to every participant from now until the end of the semester]
3. Take notes on the Socratic seminar and comment to this post with your suggestions for this week's vocabulary list, which will be posted by the time you leave campus tomorrow so you can do HW #1.

(There's a chance I won't be there, so would you please capture on phones and upload to the YouTube channel?  As always please be mindful; before you turn on the camera ask everyone whether it's ok to include their image in the video-- if they say "no" please don't.  Thanks.)

HW:
1. Post definitions and sentences/remix to your blog under title "fall vocab #10" (due by COB Monday 11.5)
2. Comment to the romanticism essay post from your Socratic seminar notes
3. Write the romanticism essay and bring a hard copy (typed or handwritten) 

romanticism essay

Given what we've learned about Romanticism, is "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" or "Young Goodman Brown" a better example of the genre?  Support your answer by analyzing three of the following literary elements/effects in the work of Irving and Hawthorne:
  • allusion
  • tone
  • in/direct characterization
  • theme 
  • exposition/setting
  • suspension of disbelief
  • personalized, individual-as-narrator or protagonist
Extra credit for references to Poe, Emerson, Thoreau, or Whitman.

Please bring a hard copy (typed or handwritten) to class on Tuesday, 11.6.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

our chat with cory doctorow

On Halloween Cory Doctorow joined us to talk about writing, his new book Pirate Cinema, Internet culture, the evils of content filters, and the future of learning in the Information Age.

Here's the video (Note: Cory's image freezes at 23:58 but the audio goes on and it's worth a listen).


video


carlos comix


This just in from Carlos Cruz (RHS '12).  Thanks, Carlos!


carlos cruz osl comic -

Friday, November 2, 2012

*November 2

JOURNAL TOPIC:

Part I
How does "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" end?

Part II
Now that we're at the end of the second grading period, reflect on your performance in the course.  Given your scores on vocabulary, grades on writing assignments, and your approach to journals/blogs, what grade do you think you've earned?

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. Vocab quiz
3. "Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

HW:
1. Read "Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
2. Read/work on Literature Analysis #3 (due by November 12)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

*November 1

JOURNAL TOPIC:

How much did you read last night?  How much will you read tonight?  What will motivate you?  The lure of a good story, the promise of insight, the threat of a test...?

AGENDA:
1. Journal
2. "Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

HW:
1. Study for vocab quiz
2. Skim to the end of "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and post the plot to your blog; also include a list of questions you'd like answered in class tomorrow.