Crucial Thought Rss

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Chris selected as K12OnlineConference keynote speaker Each year the K12OnlineConference provides tremendous professional development for free, and entirely online. This year, they have selected me as one of their keynote speakers. I am thrilled to have been chosen and look forward to participating in the conversation. Read the full post announcing all the keynote speakers here.

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Two quick links on Cognitive Load Theory I've been fielding lots of questions lately about Cognitive Load Theory. Here are two quick links that may be useful. First is an article talking about the practical implications of CLT on the design of learning. The second are some "recent" (as of 2003) developments regarding CLT. Happy reading! Update: I clarified the second...

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Practical advice on kids and Android app development After hearing about my students' success developing an Android app, I've gotten several emails asking for more details as to how I practically worked with my kids. Here are some pointers that I offered to the first person that emailed me, perhaps they are of some use to you. Please note that your mileage may vary. It's ok to not be...

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Publishing an App Inventor app to the Android Market As I mentioned earlier, my students and I published an Android app to the Android Market. See those links for more information on the background. This post is decidedly technical. First, once we finished the coding process, we packaged the app for to download to the computer. This is an option in App Inventor. This downloaded an .apk file....

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Designing and publishing an Android app with kids This post is designed to provide some context around how/why we decided to build this app. The more technical details of the code and how we published it will come in a future post. My students and I recently completed and published an Android app, and here's how we did it. First, the genesis for this goes back to a question I asked...

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links for 2009-03-27

Category : Feeds

links for 2009-03-26

Category : Feeds

Finalist – Leaders in Learning Awards

Category : General

I found out recently that I was selected as a Finalist for the Cable in the Classroom Leaders in Learning Awards. See the full list here.

The full text of the press release is here, and is available for download below.
For Immediate Release        Contact:
March 24, 2009      Tiffany Reedy (703) 276-2772 ext. 14
Pam Ford (202) 222-2356
Mary Anne Jacobs (803) 251-5394

Local Teacher Honored for Innovative Education Program

Christopher Craft is National Finalist for Cable’s Leaders in Learning Awards

Washington, D.C. — Christopher Craft, a teacher at CrossRoads Middle School in Columbia, is
being honored by the cable industry for his demonstrated commitment to improving education in
his community.

Time Warner Cable and Cable in the Classroom, the cable industry’s education foundation,
announced today that Craft has been chosen as a finalist for the 2009 Cable’s Leaders in
Learning Awards. The annual awards program, now in its fifth year, recognizes outstanding
educators, administrators and other community leaders at the forefront of innovation in

Finalists are eligible for a national Cable’s Leaders in Learning Award, which includes a $3,000
prize, an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., and a June awards ceremony and luncheon
in honor of the winners. The winners will be announced in May.

Applications were received from across the country for the 2009 Cable’s Leaders in Learning
Awards. Craft’s is one of just 47 finalist applications selected from classroom educators,
administrators, college faculty and community leaders nationwide. Craft is being recognized in
the General Excellence category for founding “Life ’Round Here,” a global digital storytelling
project designed to record the voices of students telling stories of what life is like where they are.
Each student writes their script and then records their story. The top six stories selected are
published on a Web site for public viewing. Participating students come from classrooms all over
the world.

“In an era where 21st century learning skills are crucial to young people becoming highly
productive and responsible citizens, we are pleased to recognize individuals who have
innovatively and creatively figured out ways to move closer to this goal,” said Frank Gallagher,
director of education and media literacy at Cable in the Classroom. “Craft’s efforts are a prime
example of the sorts of educational leadership and vision the cable industry is proud to honor.”

Craft has had great success with his program. “In our world of globalization, students need to be
familiar with other cultures and people,” he said. “This project gives a voice to children around
the world.”

Mary Anne Jacobs, Senior Director, Public Relations, Communications for the Carolina Region,
said “We congratulate Craft for being named a Cable’s Leaders in Learning Award finalist. He
demonstrates a great passion and excitement in finding ways to educate and prepare young
students for the future. This sort of commitment is one that Time Warner Cable shares and

Winners will be chosen to receive a Cable’s Leaders in Learning Award in one of the following
– General Excellence — for leaders who have demonstrated excellence in
expanding and enhancing learning opportunities by employing a diversity of
traditional and non-traditional approaches to produce measurable improvements
in education outcomes in formal or informal settings.
-  Media Literacy Education — awarded in partnership with the National PTA to a
leader who has advanced the teaching and learning of media literacy concepts and
skills to children and youth. Media literacy is defined as the ability to access,
understand, analyze, evaluate and create media messages on television, the
Internet and other outlets.
– Cable Partnerships for Learning — for leaders who are working in partnership
with the cable industry to expand and enhance learning opportunities for children
and youth in or out of the classroom.

For more information on the awards and the 2009 finalists, please visit

Since 2005, Cable’s Leaders in Learning Awards, administered by Cable in the Classroom, have
recognized administrators, educators and community leaders who demonstrate vision,
innovation, action and transformation in education in and out of the classroom. The objective of
the awards is to promote and encourage innovative learning practices affecting children from
preschool through high school across communities nationwide.

Cable in the Classroom, the cable industry’s education foundation, works to expand and enhance
learning for children and youth. Created in 1989 to help schools take advantage of educational
cable programming and technology, CIC has become a leading national advocate for media
literacy education and for the use of technology and media for learning, as well as a valuable
resource of educational cable content and services for policy makers, educators and industry

links for 2009-03-25

Category : Feeds

links for 2009-03-20

Category : Feeds

  • Tired of going to History -> Recently Closed Tabs just to undo a closed tab? Then this extension is for you!

    This extension allows you to undo closed tabs via a toolbar and/or tab bar button or the right-click context menu.

5 changes in education meme

Category : General

While I do not blog very often, Lisa Thumann was kind enough to tag me in a meme, and then bring it to my attention. Since I happen to think she’s pretty great, I owe it to her to respond.

The meme is to list 5 changes you’d want to see in education. Here are mine.

1. Teachers need to not yell. I believe that yelling indicates you’ve lost control. When a teacher has a good relationship with students that transcends the power struggle, yelling can be placed to the side. I can recall Dan Meyer talking about standing to the side of the student when conversing, as opposed to the top-down, finger-wagging style so often seen.

2. I wish more teachers knew how to wade through the misinformation. There are too many folks preaching too many messages, and I don’t think many teachers are equipped with a knowledge of theory through which to analyze the messages coming at them through all of these channels. There is a lot of incorrect stuff being said, under the guise of being in the 21st century.

3. I wish education had a stronger focus on foreign language. Being bilingual has opened so many doors for me throughout life, yet my class is often relegated to the lowest rung of the ladder.  I wish elementary schools taught classes in both languages. I wish math class happened in English and English class happend in Spanish. I say that slightly tongue-in-cheek but you get the drift. I think school should be taught in more than one language, suffice it to say.

4. I wish education put more emphasis on the whole student. I love hearing friends talk about teaching their kids to care. I support that and wish we did it more often.

5. I wish education was less influenced by high-stakes testing. This is obvious, but the focus on major test scores has done much to harm education. Others have written way more about this than I have.

Ok so there it is, my two cents.

Embedding Livescribe pencasts

Category : Educational Technology

I happened to notice that Dr. Mike Wesch was able to embed a livescribe pencast in his blog today. I wondered how he did it.

Now, there might be an easier way, but all I did was hunt for his code, and then copied it and pasted it. I then viewed the source of one of my pencasts and changed the relevant data. Let’s see if it works…

Update: Didn’t work, threw an error of being unable to connect to the Livescribe server. I’ll have to wait for Dr. Wesch to respond.

Update 2: I found code here to use, let’s see if it works. Sigh, nope.

Creative Commons licenses cannot be revoked

Category : General

From the Creative Commons Full FAQ:

Creative Commons licenses are non-revocable. This means that you cannot stop someone, who has obtained your work under a Creative Commons license, from using the work according to that license. You can stop distributing your work under a Creative Commons license at any time you wish; but this will not withdraw any copies of your work that already exist under a Creative Commons license from circulation, be they verbatim copies, copies included in collective works and/or adaptations of your work. So you need to think carefully when choosing a Creative Commons license to make sure that you are happy for people to be using your work consistent with the terms of the license, even if you later stop distributing your work.

I did not know that.