MSM 568: Fantasy World of Wonder and Danger OR Middle School


Shawn and Troy discuss NOLEJ, a beta program, AI, and more. Dave brings Environmental Justice to us. 


I said to my son, “I need a battery so I can tell the time.” He asked, “Is it for a clock?” I answered…

  • “I don’t know! That’s why I need the battery!”

My grandma always used to say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Now, I don’t know if that’s actually true or…

  • …just one of Granny’s myths.

I thought my new job digging tunnels would be exciting but as it turns out…

  • …it’s just boring.

This morning I saw a guy dragging a clam on a leash and I thought to myself…

  • “Man, it must be hard to walk with a pulled mussel.”

Middle School Science Minute  

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

Environmental Justice

I was recently reading the November/December 2022 issue of “The Science Teacher” a publication of the National Science Teaching Association.  In this issue, I read the “Idea Bank” column, written by Fatemeh Mirghassemi.  She wrote a column entitled, “Getting to the STEM of Environmental Justice: Equity Causes Enrich Student Learning in Science Classrooms.” 

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines environmental justice as “…the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.”

Reports from the Front Lines

  • Makin’ a MoodleBox
    • Conferences
    • Classrooms
    • Homework
  • NOLEJ Beta Expectations  
  • AI Art
    • Bias
    • Limitations

The Omniverse  (The Social Web)

Hardmaru  @hardmaru

A #StableDiffusion model trained on images of Japanese Kanji characters came up with “Fake Kanji” for novel concepts like Skyscraper, Pikachu, Elon Musk, Deep Learning, YouTube, Gundam, Singularity, etc. They kind of make sense. Not bad!

Rohit Ghumare | That #DevOps Guy


Replying to @ghumare64

1. Remove unwanted objects from photos, people, text, and defects from any picture.  

2. Get a great copy that sells. is an Al-powered copywriter that generates high-quality copy for your business.

3. Design a Logo, make a website, and create a brand identity you’ll love with the power of Al.

4. Soundraw is a music generator for creators. Select the type of music you want genre, instruments, mood, length, etc, and let Al generate beautiful songs for you.

5. It provides different ad-free services which can be a game-changer in searching. Services like: YouChat YouCode YouWrite YouImagine YouSocial

The Modest Teacher  @ModestTeacher

The sub trying to take attendance.

G. K. Chesterton  @GKCdaily

All sincere poetry is also philosophy, even if it be unconscious philosophy.

SRI & ETTC  @sriettc

Valentine’s Day STEM Challenges.

Heather Cooper  @HBCoop_

AI Prompt Writing: If you’re writing about a specific topic, include key phrases in the prompt. Example: “Write an outline about the impact of social media on mental health, including the following key points: online harassment and self-esteem.”


@cogdog Hi Alan, take a look at our “Time Machine” – built with H5P Virtual Tour 360. The students travel from room to room by finding out which year they are in. #escaperoom #H5P #history


Doug Holton @dougholton

Handout: Open Educational Resources & Open Pedagogy

Links to resources on the basics of finding, using, and authoring #OER resources, textbooks, etc., including info on student-generated resources (#OpenPedagogy).

I’ll add a 2nd page to the handout in the coming weeks w/resources on #H5P & #Pressbooks in preparation for a workshop.

mguhlinJ. M. Guhlin

MyNotes: Writing in Middle School Science CER CERCA

Looking for an easy way to introduce students to CER, or Claim Evidence Reasoning approach? You may want to check out this book. Great, easy read.




AXIS:  The Culture Translator

Through the Looking Glass

What it is: A new study published in JAMA Pediatrics suggests that teens who use social media during their formative years have alterations in their brain chemistry, particularly how they respond to social rewards.

Fragile as Glass

What it is: Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt wrote for the Wall Street Journal (paywall) about what he perceives as a lack of resilience among young people.


Create, edit, visualise, analyse and publish geospatial information on Windows, Mac, Linux, BSD and mobile devices

For your desktop, server, in your web browser and as developer libraries

QGIS is a professional GIS application that is built on top of and proud to be itself Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).


Dittytoy allows you to create generative music using a minimalistic javascript API.

The API syntax is loosely based on the syntax of Sonic Pi. You can find the full Dittytoy API Reference here.

If you don’t like reading documentation and want to see sample code, then these ditties give a good overview of the capabilities of Dittytoy.

Wingfeather Saga Ep. 3

In a fantasy world of wonder and danger, one boy discovers a family secret that may awaken an ancient power or doom them to capture by a nameless evil.  Episode 4 drops February 10th.

Gresham College Lectures & Videos

Dunning-Kruger effect

We all find it hard to admit when we’re wrong. In an increasingly polarised world, it seems as if people are becoming more convinced of their own beliefs and less willing to contemplate other points of view. But could this be to the detriment of our intelligence?

Web Spotlight:  

The epic farewell posts of laid-off employees

Association of Habitual Checking Behaviors on Social Media With Longitudinal Functional Brain Development

Our findings suggest that checking behaviors on social media in early adolescence may tune the brain’s sensitivity to potential social rewards and punishments. Whereas individuals with habitual checking behaviors showed initial hypoactivation but increasing sensitivity to potential social cues over time, those with nonhabitual checking behaviors showed initial hyperactivation and decreasing sensitivity over time. Two primary theories contend over whether hypo- or hyperresponsivity to rewards is more associated with behavior.31 The hyperresponsive theory posits that adolescent reward-associated behaviors are associated with greater activation of the ventral-striatal dopamine circuit.11,24,32 Consequently, adolescents would experience an increased dopaminergic release in response to social feedback and rewards, which further encourages high-reward behaviors. Indeed, compared with children and adults, adolescents show higher activation in the reward system when receiving rewards.1012,24,26 In contrast, the hyporesponsive theory posits that adolescent reward-seeking behaviors may be associated with a deficit in the activity of brain regions associated with motivation.30,33 This theory argues that repeated exposure to a social reward downregulates dopamine receptors and production, which results in decreased sensitivity of reward circuits. Studies34,35 suggest that, as adolescents experience fewer or less intense positive feelings from previously rewarding stimuli, they are driven to pursue new appetitive reinforcements through increases in reward-seeking behaviors, which increases activity in dopamine-related circuitry. Indeed, relative to adults, adolescents show less engagement of the VS in anticipation of rewards.30,36 While for some individuals with habitual checking behaviors, an initial hyposensitivity to potential social rewards and punishments followed by hypersensitivity may contribute to checking behaviors on social media becoming compulsive and problematic, for others, this change in sensitivity may reflect an adaptive behavior that allows them to better navigate their increasingly digital environment.

Richard Byrne

The First Writing:  The Ancients – A History Hit Podcast

The results of a groundbreaking new study were released today [January 5th] by a group of researchers who believe they have conclusively decoded the earliest known form of proto-writing.

Pretending at support for technology integration 

Random Thoughts . . .  

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