"We need to change the system". amen.

At one point this presenter says "we need to remember we teach kids not subjects".  I like that.  While he does not present any totally new, he says it all very well and quickly (sometimes thinkers tend to ramble).  I like the message in here about the role of technology in education.  If we are not utilizing the most powerful communication tool in history... we are doing a disservice.

Watch the video.  You will like it and it is only 5 minutes long.  You can also see the slides from the presentation here.

See inside your brain

So, scientists are working on new technology that will let you see your brain activity, in almost real time. This has huge potential for learning. Imagine being able to see what is going on inside the head of a student while they are learning something new. You could use this information to route around learning disabilities, or increase functionality. We like to say that all students learn differently, well, now we can actually see this happen. Pretty amazing. Watch the video, less than 4 minutes long.

Write like Ernest Hemingway...

Uncle Ernest

... well, not literally like him. I mean, he is one of the worlds great literary minds and you... well, let's just say you are not quite there yet. But you can use his 5 simple tips to help you out. Tip #5 does have some bad language in it, but since it is a direct quote that somehow makes it okay, right? Just in case, kiddos should close their eyes when reading tip 5 (then master the sound of one hand clapping...).

Hemingway's 5 tips for better writing
@ copyblogger

Its time for TED

So, regular readers will know I have a bit of a thing for TED. Well, TED2008 is finally here (*polite clap*). It looks like it should be pretty good. I'll try to follow along as much as I can.

This year we will be asking "The Big Questions": Who are we? What is our place in the universe? Is beauty truth? Will evil prevail? How do we create? And more. Questions that hopefully will be answered by the speakers:

TED logo

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!

Interesting solution

So, we know that cars produce a lot of CO2 emissions and I remember hearing that if you idle your car that is also really bad for the environment.  I guess this is a concern to UPS and they came up with an interesting solution... no left turns (or as few as possible anyway).
Last year, according to Heather Robinson, a U.P.S. spokeswoman, the software helped the company shave 28.5 million miles off its delivery routes, which has resulted in savings of roughly three million gallons of gas and has reduced CO2 emissions by 31,000 metric tons.

Pretty clever.  We need to be preparing our students to problem solve in ways like this.

Left-Hand-Turn Elimination - New York Times