Podcast #47- Gaming & Grading – Keeping the Clean Tag.

News from WOOT !:

WEST CHESTER, Ohio, Oct. 7 (UPI)—A suspicious package delivered to U.S. Rep. John Boehner’s West Chester, Ohio, office turned out to be raw bacon, the Butler County Bomb Squad said.
The delivery man has been charged with bacon and entering.

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP)—Federal agents swept through a chicken processing plant Tuesday, detaining more than 300 suspected illegal immigrants, sending panicked workers running and screaming through the hallways.
An unknown number of illegal immigrants escaped by crossing the road.

VILLAGE OF BARKER, N.Y. (UPI)—A Village of Barker, N.Y., man said he survived being struck by lightning, with only minimal injuries, while pumping gas into his car.
Experts say that after the last year of gas prices the man was prepared for any shock that might occur at the pumps.

SUZHOU, China (AP) – She’s around 80 years old. He’s 100. Breathless scientists watched as the world’s most endangered turtles successfully mated.
The two turtles have filed suit to prevent a Nevada man from releasing a DVD showing footage from the encounter.

WASHINGTON (UPI)—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it has granted an exemption for the first heart pump that provides temporary support for the heart’s right side.
The pump has been nicknamed “Sarah Palin”.

1.  Month of the Young Adolescent is here!  What are you doing in your classroom or school to celebrate this event? 
2.  Ohio Middle School Association’s Annual Conference, February 19-20, 2009 in Sandusky, OH.  Presenter information is posted on the page.  Download now and get it it in to your administration while they’re too confused and dazed with the opening of school’s events to say, “No.”  (You could argue . . . )
3.  NMSA Annual Conference, October 30 – November 1 (Video sample)  Watch the video invitation on the main page of NMSA’s website. (18 days …)
4.  Canadian National Middle Years Conference, November 5, 6, & 7 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
5.  We talk about tech some here at Middle School Matters and so we post this in that context:  The Michigan Department of Education has posted new proposed Tech Standards for K-12 and opened a Zoomerang survey page for posting comments and replies.  You can get to the proposed standards directly here and you can go to the survey page here.  No one will stop you at the front door of the survey if you’re not in the Great State of Michigan, so have at. 
6.  Looking for news from Ontario Middle Level Educators Association.  If you have any, drop us a line. 
7.  PBS has turned the Media Infusion board to a middle school teacher for the month of October!  You can read her insights and postings to the world about middle school at the Media Infusion website.  Rebecca Lawson is a frequent contributor to the MiddleTalk listserv hosted by NMSA.  Membership in the listserv is open to NMSA membership and you can get more detailed information here at the webpage
8.  The New England League of Middle Schools has a whole bevy of professional development planned for the 2008-2009 school year and you can access it here
9.  ADVISORY IDEAS NEEDED:  NELMS is putting together an Advisory Resource page with lessons for you to use.  They are asking for submissions here by January 1, 2009.  If your entry is used, you will be entered in a raffle for a 3 day NELMS conference ticket. 
10.  October 21, 7:00 pm Edweek.org will be hosting from Columbia Teacher’s College a “debate” between the education advisors of Barak Obama and John McCain.  This is a registered event and their software doesn’t play nice with most browsers.  They would like you to visit them with Internet Explorer to be part of the evening. 
11.  Research Summary Posted:  Vocabulary Teaching and Learning Across Disciplines is now available at NMSA.   
12.  Join the gang going to NMSA’s Annual Conference by signing up at the Ning site and connecting with other Conference goers:  NMSA08
13.  There’s a new research document on counselors in middle schools and the importance they play in our students’ lives.  The research summary details the importance of each student knowing one adult well and how to do that before the counselor’s role can become multifaceted.  In a way, think of them being the ultimate super Advisory teacher first then counselor.  Check it out here.
14.  If you get a chance to visit Second Life, zip over to the ISTE island for their speaker series on Thursdays.  This Tuesday will be a discussion on using Second Life in Education.  It begins at 6:00 pm Pacific and is scheduled to end at 7:00 pm pst.
15.  Denver Weather Watch is now on patrol!  They’re getting snow in the region this weekend!  Get your National Weather Service information before you go.

(Photo courtesy the Weather Channel)

Microsoft, Universities team up on gaming research
“Technology has the potential to help reinvent the education process and excite and inspire young learners to embrace science, math, and technology,” Mundie said. “The Games for Learning Institute at NYU is a great example of how technology can change how students learn, making it far more natural and intuitive.”
Microsoft Research is providing $1.5 million to the institute. NYU and its consortium of partners are matching Microsoft’s investment, for a combined $3 million. Funding covers the first three years of research, which will focus on evaluating computer games as potential learning tools for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects during the middle-school years (grades 6–8). The institute will work with a range of student populations yet will focus on underrepresented middle-school students–especially girls and minorities.
Girl Scouts Tech Connection.

The ABI Grading System

Don’t Smile Until Christmas?
by Paul Barnswell

Pedagogy in Action:
by Eileen Dame

Legal News:

Schools grapple with teacher’s Facebook use:
As social networking web sites such as Facebook and MySpace become increasingly popular channels for student communication, schools are struggling to define the rules for whether, and how, it’s appropriate for teachers to interact with their students through these media.
Marshall McLuhan and the Global Village.  (Marshallisms)

Shout outs:
1.  Thanks Mary Henton for the link on the Conference Connections page of the National Middle School Association’s Conference website.
2.  Thanks Jack Berkermeyer for the Kindles!
3.  Thanks also to Todd Williamson of Broad Creek Middle School in the Great State of North Carolina !