in memory of my grandpa

The clouds were ominous this morning, a foreshadowing forecast.  It’s hard not to read meaning into geography when I know that Grandpa is dying.  Every glistening puddle takes on a new meaning.  I am not thinking of him.  I’m thinking of mom and her daddy.  I’m thinking of Grandma and her beloved husband.  I’m thinking […]

we want heroes without alter-egos

My friend Sam thinks that colleges should have an “Alumni We Aren’t Proud of” section on their websites. As he puts it, “Rod Blagojevich went to Pepperdine. Think they’re proud?” I’d love to see Ivy League colleges with the names of the men (yes, they were almost all men) who created the financial crisis. America […]

Welcome to the World

A note to my newborn daughter: Welcome to our world.  It’s beautiful and it’s dark and it’s amazing and it’s terrifying.  My hope is that you’ll face life with courage and wisdom and boldness and humility.  I cried when I heard you cry and I saw you in person for the first time.  I wept […]

why I no longer complain about parents

It’s a common trend among edubloggers to vent about parents.  On some level, I get it.  Parents can seem apathetic to grades (Here’s a shocker, I’m apathetic to grades, too.  I don’t even believe in them.) Few of them sign up immediately for field trips or coffee with the principal or PTA meetings.  Some of […]

Creative Commons

We had a great dialogue the other day about Creative Commons, intellectual property and what exactly does “belong to the public.” One of the hardest issues is the concept of mixing and borrowing, especially when information now feels essentially free and creativity is a prime assett on the free market. What surprises me, though, is […]

the attention span myth

A well-intentioned teacher (whom I respect greatly) comments at a training, “We have fifteen seconds. In a digital culture, that’s all you get. They are the point and click video game generation.” I’ve heard this before. It’s the idea that the medium itself changes our attention spans. I don’t buy it. Don’t get me wrong, […]

CSI and PBL

Every year when I do the career exploration unit, the most popular profession is crime scene investigator. I’m sure a real crime scene investigator would cringe at this and tell me that it’s not at all like television. It’s long hours and micromanaging superiors and a really hard degree and tediuos tasks and paperwork and […]

No Huddle Offense

The Super Bowl is the quintessential American holiday. It’s a time where family and friends meet together, united by the shared values of commercialism, consumerism and watching a 300 pound line man violently throw down a quarterback. It’s a day to relax, have a beer, laugh at low-brow humor and attempt to piece together the […]

Bewitched: There Are No Formulas

We gather together in the cafeteria as two snake oil salesmen present a the magical management potion. By reciting an incantation on a lamenated card, we will prevent discipline problems from escalating. For their part, the men seem like the most sincere wizards and for a brief moment I find myself slipping into the magical […]

Integrating Games as Extended Metaphors

I am not a big fan of most educational games. They seem to suffer from the Jeopardy Disease, which is to say they require students to recite disconnected facts with the goal of earning points. Don’t get me wrong, this might be fine for review purposes. However, I’ve had some success in using games to […]