MSM 381: Avoiding the Binary, But Not the Struggles.


Jokes You Can Use:  


Why were the Cincinnati Bengals were the last NFL team to get a website?

  • They had trouble stringing three W’s together.

Why did the dude only lift weights on Saturday and Sunday?

  • The other days are week days.

What happened to the lumberjack who slept like a log on the job?

  • He got axed.

Why did the student write all of his answers as such:

llllll lllll lllll lllll llll

  • The student wrote the answers in bar code so no one could cheat.

My wife broke my lamp. Now, I’ll never be able to see her in the same light again.



‘I have daily struggles’: Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles reflective after victory

Rather than glory in this victory, indeed, he was keen to talk about harder times. “I think the big thing [to tell people] is ‘don’t be afraid to fail’. I think in our society today, you know, Instagram, Twitter, it’s a highlight reel. It’s all the good things. Then when you look at it, then you think like, ‘wow’, when you had a rough day or your life’s not as good as that, you’re failing.

“And failure’s a part of life, that’s a part of building character, and growing. Without failure, who would you be? I wouldn’t be up here if I hadn’t fallen a thousand times, made mistakes. We all are human, we have weaknesses, and throughout this being able to share that and be transparent.

“I know that when I listen to people speak, and they share their weaknesses, I’m listening because I can resonate. So, I’m not perfect, I’m not Superman. I might be in the NFL, and we might have just won the Super Bowl, but I still have daily struggles … And that’s really just been the message, simple. If something’s going on in your life and you’re struggling, embrace it, because you’re growing.”


Phone-addicted teens are unhappy

Teens whose eyes are habitually glued to their smartphones are markedly unhappier, said study lead author and San Diego State University and professor of psychology Jean M. Twenge.

“Although this study can’t show causation, several other studies have shown that more social media use leads to unhappiness, but unhappiness does not lead to more social media use,” said Twenge, author of “iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–And Completely Unprepared for Adulthood.”

Looking at historical trends from the same age groups since the 1990s, the researchers found that the proliferation of screen devices over time coincided with a general drop-off in reported happiness in U.S. teens. Specifically, young people’s life satisfaction, self-esteem and happiness plummeted after 2012. That’s the year that the percentage of Americans who owned a smartphone rose above 50 percent, Twenge noted.


Middle School Science Minute  

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

Lifelong Kindergarten Part 3

This is the third in a seven part podcast series on the book, “Lifelong Kindergarten,” written by Mitchel Resnick.


This third podcast focuses in on chapter two in the book, “Projects.”  In chapter two, Mitchel emphasizes:

  • Makers of Things
  • Learning Through Making
  • Toys to Think With
  • Creativity on the Screen
  • Fluency
  • Knowledge


From the Twitterverse:

Participate‏ @participate Feb 9


Friday shoutout to all of the AMAZING teachers painting a path of success for their students!👩‍🎨👨‍🏫👨‍🎨👩‍🏫

Tag a teacher or educator friend you appreciate! #trendthepositive

RedCedarWritingProj‏ @RedCedarWP 20h20 hours ago

Pre-Service Teachers and education students: Are you interested in working as a mentor to youth writers during one the #RCWP18 summer programs, #SpartanWritingCamp (K-8) or #GreenrockWritersRetreat (9-12)? Check out the flyer for more info!

WIRED‏Verified account @WIRED

The coolest part about the Olympic opening ceremony: 1,218 drones flying in concert. Here’s how they pulled it off


Jason Mood‏ @MrJMMood

Choice boards are a great way to give students choice! @ShakeUpLearning #TCEA #TCEA2018

Cyndi Williams, Ed.D‏ @CyndiWms5

Good morning from VA! Excited to learn from our #bookcamppd PLN @teresagross625 @burgessdave


This middle school teacher allows all students to turn in late work—no matter how valid or invalid, good or bad, truthful or deceptive the reasons. Read about her philosophy and how students are held accountable.


#mschat every Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.  And as Troy says, “The Twitter never stops!”  






Youtube Essays

YouTube video essays are long-form (relative to many other internet videos) critical videos that make arguments about media and culture. They’re usually meticulously narrated and edited, juxtaposing video footage, images, audio, and text to make an argument much like a writer would do in a traditional essay.

How Can They Be Used in Classrooms?

First, a caveat: Most of the channels below offer content that’ll work best in an upper-middle or high school classroom. Some videos can also be explicit, so you’ll want to do some browsing.

  1. Conversation starter or lesson hook: Many of these videos serve as great two- to 10-minute introductions to topics relevant to classrooms across the curriculum.
  2. Active viewing opportunity: Since video essays present often complex arguments, invite students to watch and rewatch videos and outline their theses, key points, and conclusions.
  3. Research project: Have students find more examples that support, or argue against, a video’s argument. Students could also write a response to a video essay.
  4. Copyright lesson: Video essays are a great example of fair use. Show students that by adding their own commentary, they can use copyrighted material responsibly.
  5. Assessment: Have students create their own video essays to demonstrate learning or media-creation skills like editing.



Cue Prompter

CuePrompter is a free teleprompter/autocue service. Your browser works like a teleprompter -no extra software needed.




Mentimeter is an easy-to-use presentation software used by more than 8 million people. With Mentimeter you can create fun and interactive presentations. We help you make your events, presentations, lectures, and workshops innovative and memorable.


The Strange Brands in Your Instagram Feed

The material has the softness of a Las Vegas carpet and the rich sheen of a velour jumpsuit. The fabric is so synthetic, it could probably be refined into bunker fuel for a ship.


What Ganon does is pick suppliers he’ll never know to ship products he’ll never touch. All his effort goes into creating ads to capture prospective customers, and then optimizing a digital environment that encourages them to buy whatever piece of crap he’s put in front of them.


Given the array of behavioral tricks arrayed against your average Internet user, some of them take the free lion bracelet deal. But for those that don’t, merely by visiting his site, they’ve been tagged in Facebook’s system because Ganon has installed a standard Facebook tracking pixel. That means Ganon can now re-target those people who visited but left without purchasing anything through Facebook. And he spends a lot of time designing and testing ads that will bring them back for the purchase.


Web Spotlight:


Security Planner

Answer a few simple questions to get personalized online safety recommendations. It’s confidential – no personal information is stored and we won’t access any of your online accounts.


Avoid Binary Thinking. Go To The Grey.

Much of what we do in education falls into grey areas. Yet, many of the conversations we have regarding education seem to use black and white statements and fall into the category of binary, or dichotomous, thinking. Binary thinking leads to look at ideas in education as right or wrong and good or bad. It can create an ‘us vs them’ mentality – “You are either with us or you are not!”  It can also prevent engagement in the conversations we need to have.


Personalized Learning Vs Personalization of Learning


Laura presented the idea of “personalization of learning,” meaning more in how does the teacher understand the student, build on their interests, and create learning opportunities for the student.  I can get behind this idea.

The personalization of learning creates the opportunity for more depth and authenticity, whereas “personalized learning” seems to be more about knowing the “stuff”.1


Random Thoughts . . .  


Personal Web Site


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