Tuesday, March 26, 2013

our chat with jp bouvet

For anyone who missed it or wants to relive it, here is this morning's chat with JP, who appears to be made of pure awesome.  Once again, thanks to Ricky for making this happen!

high school students sells to yahoo for $30m

Check this out.

March 26*


Today's topic is journal-as-quiz.  Please answer the following questions in your journal based on last night's homework (chapters 7-10 in Brave New World):
  1. Why does the Director summon Bernard to the Bloomsbury Center?  What does he say to Bernard in front of all the other employees?
  2. How does Bernard respond?
  3. Who is John?
  4. How does Chapter 10 end?
1. Journal
2. Presentations
3. JP Bouvet (2nd period)

1. Finish March literature analysis by Friday 3/29
2. Finish reading Brave New World by Thursday 3/28

Monday, March 25, 2013

27 Delightful Obsolete Words It's High Time We Revived

I fully expect to hear at least some of these around campus in coming weeks.  Bonus: owls.

your phone vs. your heart

Here is an interesting perspective on how our use of technology can affect our relationships and our health. (Thanks, Dave Pell!)

study on test performance

According to this, "The belief that you have access to the answers makes it more likely you will get them right."

March 25*


As you think about the modernist author you chose to research, can you imagine that person as a human being?  Someone who came home, kicked off his/her shoes, and sat down to write?  How would s/he want to be remembered?  Explain your answer.

1. Journal
2. Modernist author presentations

1.  Read chapter 7-10 of Brave New World & summarize on your course blog (due by class tomorrow, Tuesday 3/26)
2. Watch the two videos in this post.
3. Thanks to Ricky we'll be meeting with JP on Skype tomorrow, so think about questions/ideas you'd like to share.

Friday, March 22, 2013

March 22*


Eminem once said, "Rap is my drug."  What did he mean?  How was his experience with rap similar to or different from Bernard's experience with Soma in Brave New World?

1. Journal
2. Quiz chapters 5 & 6
3. The brink: MAPs

1. Finish your MAP for presentation Monday

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

students skype at dml

Last week I presented Open Source Learning at the Digital Media & Learning conference in Chicago.  On Thursday I gave a talk you can see here (around the 18:00 mark, will re-embed if/when they sync the A/V).

Watch live streaming video from connectedlearningtv at livestream.com

The real highlight was on Saturday when I hosted a Skype call with SMJUHSD Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction John Davis, Cal Poly SLO English instructor Melanie Senn, and-- most importantly-- students Samantha Garrison, Beka Castillo, Cameron Reese, and Matt Reynolds

Skype video (first segment)

Skype video (second segment)

Picture of the room

Happy St. Patty's Day (video)

Happy St. Patty's Day (pic)

March 19

Great to be back and catch up with everyone yesterday! If you weren't in class, the journal topic was to reflect on the previous week and analyze what's working for you and what you can improve in order to achieve your academic and project goals. Look for the DML Skype (featuring Cameron and Matt) and St. Patty's Day green river video from Chicago later today.

Describe what you want and need out of today's Socratic seminar in order to succeed on the Modernist Author Project hack (due next Monday, March 25).

1. Journal
2. Socratic seminar: Modernist Author Project hack

1. Post your Modernist Author Project plan (title: MAPLAN)
2. Comment to this post with the most interesting idea you've had/heard about your modernist author and this assignment so far.
3. Read Chapter 5 of Brave New World and take notes.  Bring questions & ideas to class tomorrow.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

this week's unpost march 13-15

Hey, remember how we said you're in charge? Well, I'm supposed speak in 19 minutes and I just realized that yesterday's post is still in "Draft" and I didn't post anything today.

So, consider this proof: You really are in charge. Looking forward to seeing how you hacked the Modernist Author Project. You'll have a week from Monday to execute your plan, so be ready to discuss (and feel free to comment to this post or email if you have questions).

For journal topics this week, please write a daily reflection on how you're learning. What's working well? What's not, and what can you do about it? Already got a nice email from Mr. Leone and I look forward to hearing/reading how this self-sustaining learning community succeeds.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

March 12*

JOURNAL TOPIC: What are you learning this morning while we're stuck testing and you're free to move about the world's cabin?

AGENDA: 1. Journal 2. Brave New World & projects per the understanding in our brave new world: as Howard Rheingold likes to say, "What it is is up to us." HW: 1. [whatever you think will enhance, amplify, accelerate, and ensure your ability to achieve the goals we set out yesterday.]

Monday, March 11, 2013

modernist author project

Here is the assignment the way I shared it on paper back in 07-08.  HACK IT.


Part I: Individual Research

  1. BIOGRAPHY/IDENTITY of the author
    1. “I Am…” statements for your author (minimum 5)
    2. Paragraph explaining how “I Am…” statements influence author’s worldview
    3. Brief descriptions of 5-7 events in the author’s life that YOU (not some website from which you cut/paste) believed influenced his/her sense of self and writing style
    4. 3 quotes from the author’s work that show how the author’s identity is evident in his/her writing

    1. Use one quote from the author that you believe clearly states his/her philosophy on life or “words to live by” (If you can’t find one, write one for him/her and write a paragraph to explain why you wrote it the way you did.)
    2. Paragraph explaining the quote
    3. 3 quotes from the author’s work that support the credo

    1. In a brief essay (no more than two typewritten pages), describe the genre with which your author is associated and why
    2. Select five (5) quotes from your author’s work that illustrate the elements of the genre.  For each one, include a brief explanation (2-3 sentences) of how the example illustrates the genre.

  1. YOUR PRESSING QUESTION and the fifteen (15) answers/examples to which it led you in at least three (3) different works by your author. (see PRESSING QUESTION handout for more on this.)

    1. Brief (1-3 paragraphs) descriptions/summaries of each work you read by your author (remember that you need to read at least 3 works).

  1. ARTWORK. Pictures or drawings that convey what you believe your author would look like today.

Page 2

  1. ESSAY. A brief paper (2-4 pp.) which explicates the answer to your pressing question.

  1. BIBLIOGRAPHY/WORK CITED SECTION.  Properly cite any work by your author or others that you quote or indirectly reference your essay.  We will discuss format in class.

  1. RESEARCH LOG.  This is your record of the times and places you spent working on this project.  You must spend at least one hour in the RHS Library, a city library, a used bookstore, or a college/university library.


What IS a pressing question, and how do we know what to ask?

As you begin to explore the work and life of the author you’ve chosen, you are bound to become curious about something.  For example, when I first read Mark Twain’s writing I stopped at some point and wondered: “How did this guy manage to make fun of everything that people took seriously, and not only get away with it but leave his readers begging for more?”

Now that you have done some “author shopping” and you have identified an author about whom you’d like to learn, it’s time to think about what you know and how you can use it to learn more.

When I write a pressing question, I first ask myself some questions to determine what I know.  Here are some examples:
  1. When did the author live and write?
  2. For what audience did the author write?  
  3. In what form (poetry, short story, novel) did the author write?  Why?
  4. Is the author identified with a particular genre?  Which one?  Why?
  5. What was the author’s purpose for writing?  To inform?  Amuse?  Persuade?  Get something off of his/her chest?
  6. What effect does reading the author’s work have on me?  When I read this author’s words, how do I feel?  What does it cause me to think about?

In answering these types of questions I find myself feeling more like a detective than an English teacher.  I have to search for evidence in the author’s writing, the author’s biography, and the general history of the author’s time.  I also have to use my own logic and imagination, because not every answer is spelled out on a page somewhere. 

Once I have answered some of my questions and I write down what I know, I think about what I’d like to discover.  For example, once I knew that Mark Twain was an iconoclast who used his sense of humor to question serious things, I wanted to know more about how he could do that without insulting his audience.  Another example is a very different author we’ve read, Edgar Allen Poe.  After I learned the tragic details of his personal life, I was motivated to search for examples of how he expressed his pain in his writing.

Now it’s your turn.  Use the following steps to write your own pressing question and begin your search into the life and writing of the author you’ve chosen.

  1. Ask yourself what you know about the author (you can use the sample questions above as a starting point) and write it all down.

  1. Ask yourself what the author’s goal in writing was (Note: I promise it was NOT to make money or entertain, so really put yourself in your author’s shoes and ask the question from his/her point of view.).  Write that down too.

  1. Ask yourself how the writer achieved his/her goal, and—you guessed it!—write that down too, in BIG, BOLD letters.

  1. Search for 20 examples in your author’s work that support your answer to the pressing question

Due Dates

Tuesday, November 13
§  Author “taste test” paragraphs and all-star selection

Monday, November 19
§  [1] Biography/Identity
§  [3] Description/Analysis of Genre

Monday, November 26
§  [2] Author Credo
§  [4] Pressing Question with answer/examples
§  [5] Synopses

Monday, December 3

March 11*


What do you think of Brave New World so far?  What do you see happening as the plot develops?  How relevant is the novel to the world we live in?

1. Journal
2. Vocab quiz
3. The Ask
4. Modernist Author Project

1. Read Chapter 1 of Brave New World
2. Hack the MAP

Sunday, March 10, 2013

amanda palmer on the art of asking

"The perfect tools aren't going to help us if we can't face each other and give and receive fearlessly."

Thursday, March 7, 2013

March 7*

{REMINDER: WE'RE MEETING IN COLLEGE OFFICE.  If you left your journal in class please pick up/complete/turn in during period 3 or 4.}


Would you rather live in tornado country, where you (hope you can) count on weather reports and warning systems to give you advance notice, or in earthquake country, where you need to be mentally prepared for the unexpected all the time?

1. Journal
2. Presentation courtesy of Mrs. Dirkes

1. Begin working on your March literature analysis (if you haven't already)
2. Thought you wouldn't have a vocab quiz this week?  Wrong.  It will be held in class on Monday.  Guarantee yourself success by posting VOCAB REVIEW REMIX to your blog-- everyone who tells a short story using the vocab words will receive credit applicable to Monday's quiz.
3. Use the long weekend to catch up on any missing work/sleep.
4. Continue investigating your Modernist author informally so you can hit the ground running when we begin the Modernist Author Project-- for REALZ-- on Monday.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March 6*


[Take notes on the presentation in the College Office.]

1. Journal

1. Post a reflection on today's presentation to your blog under the title, JOE (or JOSIE) COLLEGE.  What campuses interest you?  What fields interest you?  What challenges and opportunities do you foresee in the process of planning for life after high school?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

March 5*


The future has been described in many ways, from an unopened present to a train hurtling down the tracks.  Do you see the future as an exciting opportunity or an impending threat?  Is your view of the future consistent or does it depend on today's mood and/or events?

1. Journal
2. Cottle's Circles Test
3. Past, Present, and Future
4. BNW Chapter 1
5. Hacking the MAP

1. In a post on your blog entitled I AM [MODERNIST AUTHOR'S NAME], post five "I Am.." statements that essentially define your author for people meeting him/her for the first time.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Vocab: March 4


March 4


What will RHS look like in 10 years?  100?  1000?  Will it still exist, will it be underwater, will it be an overgrown archaeological site, will it be in a bubble, will it be virtual?

1. Journal
2. Introduce MAP and part I of author research
3. Vocab
4. Check out Brave New World

1. Post the five most interesting facts/ideas you can find on the Modernist author you selected in a post entitled, MAP (1): INTRODUCING [AUTHOR NAME]
2. Post vocab definitions/remix
3. Finish Brave New World Foreword