The Week in Rap!

I learn the most amazing things through my professional network of people all over the world! Today I was listening to the Seedlings at Bit by Bit podcast, and Bob Sprankle’s Geek of the Week was The Week in Rap. Oh my goodness! What a wonderful and engaging tool for the classroom! It is a weekly current events video–in rap! From Flocabulary, which is a NYC-based project (I need to read more about it) that works with infusing hip-hop into educationally based products. Very interesting.

Here is a sample of a recent week in rap–a particularly monumental week it was too: Election Week 2008 in the US.


The Seedlings at Bit by Bit podcast this week was particularly full of great links too–even better than normal!! Thanks Bob and Alice and Cheryl! Carla was a great guest and I learned so much this week from you! Wow!

Podcasting with Purpose

Bob Sprankle’s latest Bit by Bit podcast is posted, and I’m just getting around to listening to it. It is the audio from his Building Learning Communities keynote, entitled Podcasting with Purpose.

Wow! Well worth a listen! I think his title is slightly off the mark though, because this presentation explores so much more than just podcasting, per se. He used podcasting as a catalyst for change in his classroom–a change that is much deeper than just one tool. How I would love to have had my child in a 4th grade classroom with this much authentic learning, peer teaching/learning, exploration. His is a story of how these changes are about more than the tools–the change is in the focus of the classroom (learning rather than teaching) and authentic work that engages students. Thanks to Bob Sprankle for a great example for the rest of us who are trying to advocate these changes to teachers that may not love the tools…yet.

The presentation slides are below, and you can get the keynote here. Do them together–and then share! Also, I recommend that you subscribe to his podcast feed! It’s really a great one to have in your ipod!

Dr. Tim Tyson–another great keynote

OK, OK, OK…I know I’ve been full of suggestions, must-hears, must-reads, must-sees, but I’m going to add another to my list–if only to store my thoughts here for my own future reference.

I’ve been listening to back-episodes of Bob Sprankle’s Bit by Bit podcast for the last few days. Among insightful blog posts, he’s posted all sorts of wonderfully rich and thought-provoking podcasts, including several keynotes from various conferences he’s attended, including the Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference last fall. Today I had a real treat hearing the keynote speaker from that conference (Bit By Bit Podcast #56), Dr. Tim Tyson of Mabry Middle School in Marietta, GA. Dr. Tyson just seems like the kind of administrator that I’d wish for to lead my daughter’s school–he’s a real visionary, I think. Visit his school’s web site, Mabryonline , if you have a chance. Wow!

Here’s a link to Dr. Tyson’s Keynote, entitled Moving from Personal Knowledge to Global Contribution , linked from Bob Sprankle’s great site. I think Tyson’s one of the most inspiring speakers around–how I WISH we could get someone like him to speak in our district! Wish, wish….

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