Podcast 72: The Twitterverse, Jail??, and Free Stuff!

Events and Happenings:

  1. The National Middle School Association is looking for an editor for their Research in Middle Level Education Journal (RMLE).
  2. NMSA’s Middle Level Essentials Conference April 23-24, 2009.
  3. NMSA ‘08 Technology Focus Video.  This video spotlight focuses on the building of the technology demonstration classrooms at last year’s Denver Annual Conference.
  4. NMSA ‘09 Elections must be in by May 15th.
  5. Schools to Watch Conference June 25-27, Washington D.C.  Conference registration info.
  6. Educational Technology Leadership Conference, June 24th at Holt High School, Holt, MI. Register for the event.
  7. Any information on the Ontario Middle Level Association?  Their site has gone dark and we hope this does not mean the demise of the Association.
  8. NMSA ‘09 Invitation Video:  Indianapolis, IN Conference  November 5-7, 2009.
    • ATTENTION Michigan Association of Middle School Educators & Friends: MAMSE is putting together a bus for the trip to the National Middle School Association’s Annual Conference in Indianapolis, IN this fall.  Ride down to the conference in a luxury bus with satellite access for Twittering, Facebooking, and other 21st Century technology access for less than $100.00.  With all the conversations with middle school teachers on the bus, I wonder if we could call this a mini-MAMSE conference?  There’s nothing like getting together with people who love the people we love:  our students.  Getting together with folks like that is energizing and priceless.  Email Teresa Sutherland for information and details.  Don’t forget to mention you heard about it on Middle School Matters.
  9. The National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform will be holding their annual conference in June.  See the flyer at their website for details.
  10. Brainyflix extends their “video vocabulary” contest to May 22, 2009.
  11. Classroom 2.0’s Live Calendar.
  12. Classroom 2.0’s Ning Blog:  This week’s discussion is on the uses of Digital Storytelling for Teachers.  Archived content is available.
  13. Second Life:
    • No Events specified.  Regular Tuesday meetings are scheduled.  See the board on the ISTE Island for up to the minute details.
    • Video:  Educational Uses of Second Life
    • There is a conference being held by ISTE in Second Life, wander over to the auditorium behind the Headquarters to check it out.

iTunes Reviews:

We’re at 8, we are throwing down the gauntlet to make it to 10.

From the Twitterverse:

Web Sitings:


“Troy and Shawn,
Great show this week.  I liked the idea about decorating classroom doorways.  I think we’ll try it this September as an ice breaking activity.
Two questions:  1) I am trying to come up with an all school middle school read for the summer.  My school is mainly boys.  Any suggestions?  2) I would like to assign a book to the teachers for the summer as well.  Any suggestions for us teachers?
Keep up the great work!  Maybe I’ll have all the teachers listen to all 70 some-odd MSM podcasts over the summer. It’s worth it.”

Book Ideas:

  • For the kids:
    • What if . . .
      • You tied in a historical fiction piece to your social studies curriculum?
      • You tied in a piece of local biography or state/local history?
      • You then had them present their stuff in some format when they returned from summer break?  Learning Contracts?
      • You made it a fundraiser through Barnes & Noble where the kids could purchase off of a preselected list?  This gives you control over the choices, but still gives them a choice.
  • For the teachers:




Beth Wellington said:

I’m not sure of the excellence of the [izzit.org] teachers guides. Looking a recent one on pay caps for executives who receive bailout money, for instance, while there are two articles w. differing views, the discussion questions have a conservative skew. My suspicions were aroused further by the fact that there is no staff page, nor a funding page, which you will find at many non-profits.
Anyone know who the funders are for this site? The staff? The The email to teachers offering a free video on how sun spots cause climate change came from Kara Glaven, who lists her title as “Teacher Support.” When I looked her up on LinkedIn, however, her title was “Marketing/Customer Service at Palmer R. Chitester Fund.”

Rob Levine’s Media Transparency profile says

The Palmer R. Chitester Fund was created…with startup money from the Bradley Foundation, to create right wing “popular” media, and lately has taken to selling educational materials based on the error-prone reporting of ABC TV’s arch-conservative correspondent John Stossel. Its Idea Channel distributes “intellectual” videotapes on conversations between mostly members of the right wing movement on topics ranging from political science to economics to history.”

Beth Wellington?

Izzit Staff page.
Kara Glaven presents at the Ohio Council for the Social Studies.
Kara Glaven on another teacher resource page.
Kara Glaven cited in the newspaper.
Kara Glaven marketing videos.
Kara Glaven marketing more videos.
Rick Platt presents at the Florida Council for the Social Studies.
Rick Platt presents awards.
Rick Platt also works for Free To Choose Media (a PBS series).
Rick Platt works with Good Neighbor Law to fund inner-city trips for kids.  (“Throughout the whole presentation, students and teachers were asked to generate their own questions for further discussion.”)
Rick Platt‘s post in Businessweek.
Candy Mead
Dawnn Warner ‘s Linkedin page.
Dawnn Gilbert Warner‘s production credit page.

Persons referenced in Izzit.org’s videos:
Host Scott Bakula’s political contributions.
Drew Carey’s political contributions.
David Robinson references.
Milton Friedman’s Bio.  His Facebook group page.
Leonard Read’s Bio and his essay referenced in one of the videos.

John Stossel was at one time directly affiliated with Izzit.org.  He has his own video distribution network.  His site is linked to Izzit.org.
Stossel’s political essays.
Praise & Criticism
New York Times Articles
ABC video
Conservative Watchdog Report on Stossel
Liberal Watchdog Report on Stossel


Let’s just put them all in jail 24/7

“…and let’s face it, we’re talking about nothing less than institutionalizing “child labor” to satisfy a failed belief that higher standardized test scores will reliably lead to a stronger economy, more prosperous citizens, and a vibrant democracy.”

Anyone who can master something that he or she is passionate about,

Can learn anything!

Bring passion back into education — and kick out the standards!


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