Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Philippe Cousteau webinar, Thursday Oct.28

In case you haven't been reading the News section of your course moodle, Karena has arranged a Wilkes webinar with Philppe Cousteau for tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. EDT. EDIM alum & friends are also welcome to attend. The session will be archived and all those who register will receive the link.

Topic: Spotlight on the Gulf Spill, How it Affects Us Now and in the Future. Questions, Answers and More Uncertainty

Thursday, October 28
Time: 4:00 p.m. (EDT)


*Pennsylvania educators will receive one hour of Act 48 credit if they provide their PPID at the time of registration

About this webinar: Join Philippe Cousteau, grandson of the legendary Jacques Cousteau and Discovery Education Chief Spokesperson for Environmental Education, as he takes you to the Gulf through pictures and stories from his recent trip to evaluate the effects of the Gulf Oil Spill. He will discuss the effects on regional wildlife and ecosystems as well as focus on how the oil spill will affect us now and into the future.

If you have any questions about this event, you can contact me at or 800-945-5378 x7841

Hope you will join us!

For those who no longer can access the EDIM moodle, try this link and login with your name and a current email address:

Take-away for today:

Here's a lesson plan I did for the Globalization and Advocacy course which you are welcome to download. I used the Inquiry-Based Learning 5E's template furnished by Matt Cwalina and built a math lesson around the theme "Oil and Water Don't Mix" --


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Attention Glogster Lovers ...

This notice recently landed in my inbox ---

The student accounts are great because they don't require any personal information from the kids. You activate them from your dashboard. If you have not done this On the right side across from the messages, there will be a notice that says you have no student accounts. When prompted about how many you want, choose the maximum (100 until Nov. 7). I have no idea whether the new 50 rule will apply to old accounts that have not taken advantage of this feature or just the new ones, so I did mine today just in case. Now I just have to edit them to have individual icons and user names that make sense!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I shake therefore I am: The Mathematics of Metaphor

Prezi is a tool many try but few master. You need lots of patience and a strong visual sense of movement. If done well the story is told as much by the trail of connections as by the words and the images.

Here's a great one on metaphor! Explore it before you watch the video that inspired it which follows.

James Geary's TED talk ...

Friday, October 1, 2010

I connect therefore I am?

I came across this TED video of Sebastian Seung today. Seung thinks that our memories, our personality, our intellect --the 'stuff' that makes us who we are -- may be encoded in the connections between our neurons. He calls that our "connectome." As we grow and mature our personality changes slowly because our experiences change our connectome -- with new neurons and synapses growing and others dwindling and being lost. "The mere act of thinking can change our connectome."

It occurred to me as I watched Seung describe his "Quixotic" quest to map the human neural connectome, that personal learning networks and social networks could be an external manifestation of what he thinks is going on inside our brains. If "I am more than my genes," then humans are more than the individual subunits (i.e. people) that make up the world's population. (If you haven't guessed, I'm taking the Globalization and Advocacy course!)

If my metaphor works and the stuff of our humanity encoded in the relationships -- the connections -- that thread us all together into a collective, then every action -- however casual or seemingly isolated -- changes the connectome of the whole. This in turn reaffirms the power of the individual to change the pattern of relationships in the world, and then there is no individual action without a consequence for the network of relationships that make up the whole. ('Heady' stuff!!)

Seung aspires to map the connectome of the human brain with it's 100 billion neurons. It ought to be comparatively easy to map the connections between the mere 6.8+ billion individuals on our planet. I wonder what a connectome of the human race would look like.

It could be an interesting task to do one for family or a classroom first and then use the same kind of imagery as Seung did in his presentation (7:35-8:24) to show the scale of those interactions compared to the size of the macrocosm of the human family. The only thing I didn't like about Seung's images was that as he scaled up from the single neuron to the mouse brain and then the human brain, the original slice appeared to dwindle into insignificance and then disappear altogether. How could kids change the image to both preserve the sense of scale and at the same time represent the importance of one synapse or one person to the connectome of the whole?