Obama's Cabinet

obama cabinet
click the image to launch the interactive thingy

Saw this on Yahoo! today and was pretty impressed with it.  It is just a simple "click on each logo to see Obama's possible nominees for these really important jobs" thing, but it was easy to use and (hopefully) accurate.  You should care who president-elect Obama tabs for these positions.  Interestingly, I did not see Linda Darling-Hammond's name up for secretary of education... my pal thedeputyhead and I were just talking the other day how neat that might be...

Alltop - Your Internet "magazine rack"

alltop defined

You know how you browse through a magazine rack at a bookstore and read the headlines until you find one that grabs your eye... then you pick up the magazine to read the article. Well, there is a website that does the same kind of thing. Alltop pulls headlines (and links to the articles) from many of the top websites and blogs on the internet. Since they are all categorized, it makes it really easy to find just the topics that interest you. Try out alltop Education, alltop ADHD, alltop Celebrities, and alltop Green for examples. I've used alltop for some time now and I really like it. They constantly add new topic areas and it is a neat place to find out new things in a minimal amount of time.

Report Cards... for the Teacher

I came across a blog post the other day that discussed the possibility of having an annual report card for school teachers.

I’ve given some thought to the notion of report cards for teachers. The school board and superintendent along with the teachers union can work together on the design. One important function of the report card would be to communicate the “teacher’s results” to the public (that is once we determine what the results should look like and from what they should be derived!)

Now I'm not a fan of report cards for students for a variety of reasons so I will remain very skeptical about report cards for teachers. Now, this being said, the issues I have with report cards are that a) they don't tell you very much; b) they don't accurately assess ability; and c) people tend to "fixate" on them even though they are not helpful (a) and not accurate (b).

I guess I'm not sure to what problem a "teacher report card" is the solution. Is it to hold "bad" teachers accountable (good luck defining a "bad" teacher)? Is it to help the teacher to identify areas of need (according to whom)? Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. I'm all for helping ALL teachers become better at his or her craft, I just don't think this would be a logical way to go about doing it.

What is del.icio.us?

In a nutshell, delicious is a simple way to organize your bookmarks (I literally have over a thousand of them). By organizing, you make it easy to find them later on. I couldn't live without it. I recently came across this video tutorial that explains, in plain English, what delicious is and can do.

I love this video presentation style. It showcases that an effective presentation is informative, accurate and interesting and does not have to be hi-tech. The presenters at common craft are really masters of this and really creative. You should check out their site - I wish they had more videos. Some of my favorites from them are...

  • Blogs in plain English

  • Zombies in plain English

  • RSS in plain English

  • Future of digital pictures?

    Well, I'm home on a snow day today so I thought I would be productive and catch up on a few things I had written down in my ideas notebook. I came across a note in there that referred to a conversation the Deputy Head and I had a week or so ago. We were talking about this new piece of photo technology. I just watched the video of this technology on TED and am totally floored. You want to be wowed, watch it (watch just about anything on TED, actually).

    What a powerful application, I mean, taking data from everyone and linking it together into something new and special. Wow! In fact, the more users an application like this has, the more powerful it becomes. This is pretty heady stuff, but trust me, it is potent and important. You think this guy is GT?

    If you want to play with it live, go to Microsoft's photosynth website download and install the software and then go back to the website and click on "Try It". (I know, Microsoft? What? In fact, the Blaise makes a comment about his own shock that he now works for Microsoft @ about 4:55). Have I mentioned how impressed I am!

    Hello TED.

    So, I was over at Tekzilla looking at their show notes and came across this:
    Jessica is in love with TED, the Technology, Entertainment and Design conference. The ideas is to show off "Ideas worth spreading" and at the TED website you can find "talks by the world's greatest thinkers and doers." The trick? The presenters have to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes, max. TED makes the best presentations available to the public, for free! Jessica's favorites include Jeff Skoll's Making movies that make change, Dan Gilbert's Why are we happy? Why aren't we happy? and 11 year old Sirena Haung's Dazzling set on a violin.

    Sounded like an interesting site so I cruised on over to check it out. TED might be my new favorite site. The content on this site is simply astounding. The fact that the interface is slick and unique (and that they have some ze frank) is just a bonus. Please, check it out. Honestly, I can't believe I have not come across this site before. The fact that I know about chocolate rain but not TED is pretty embarrassing.

    Office 2.0

    Office 1.0

    You know, Office 2.0 is one of those places you stumble on and realize how cool the Internets are. It is really staggering how many quality, free products are out there that, if you a) know about them, and b) have enough time to play around with some of them, can really make your life more productive and fun. Fortunately, the site Office 2.0 is dedicated to taking care of #a. So, pull up the Office 2.0 Database and take a look around.

    I would really like to know what anyone out there thinks of any of these sites? Do you use any of them? Do you know of something different and/or better?