11 January 2010
What would it take for the New York Times to update this chart?
Because this animated graph, showing how the major US banks got absolutely gobsmacked by the financial crisis of the last couple of years, should be required watching. I want to know what’s happened to the banks in the months since 9/12/2009… and I want to see this graph updated every few months.
Thanks to the taxpayer bailout, the future of America’s largest financial institutions is the future of our institutions, and, frankly, the creation of useful visual aids to understand complex issues is one of the things we should keep journalism alive to do. Hans Rosling wasn’t a trained reporter, but he taught me more about Global Health issues in his 20-minute TED talk than I learned in all of my high school and college years (certainly more than all of Tintin did).
How do we teach students how to create and maintain these kinds of datasets?
11 January 2010
The other alignment in my life this weekend actually began on Wednesday. I woke up later than usual, and realized that I had a fencing match on Wednesday night and Friday night. That I was taking my dormitory to Target on Saturday night, and that I was one of the Sunday duty masters, which included evening study hall. Oh, I also preached in chapel yesterday on the Baptism of Christ and the Epiphany. Plus a fencing practice. And I’m also on duty tonight for dormitory.
Between all these things, I was/will be on duty and doing things for school (or on call while sleeping) between about 9:30 am on Wednesday and 2:00 pm tomorrow (Tuesday), except for an hour and a half this past Saturday morning, and a similar hour and a half this evening.
11 January 2010
design, lesson plan, rubric, slideshow, Video
Over the weekend, two stars rotated into conjunction. Not up in the sky, but here on Earth. One, my colleague who runs the multimedia (video creation and editing) program here at school also makes the term-end sports highlights reel for our school assembly program. She asked me to take a school-owned Flip video camera and tripod to our Friday fencing match and record a few students competing. So I did.
In the process, I managed to get digital video of every single kid who fenced, at least twice. Lo and behold, these videos are not only not terrible, but they’re good enough to show kids what they’re doing wrong in footwork and bladework. Given that our kids lost MOST of their matches, it’s pretty useful to be able to show them their errors, and how their opponents were much more capable.
The second star that came into alignment was another colleague who asked me to show her how to use the school’s digital projector to project student slide shows from Keynote during classes this week.
AHA! I thought. I’ll have students make slideshows, and record their presentations, and combine those two pieces of assessment into a single assignment.
These kinds of technological jumps — integration of tools — take a long time to figure out. We’ve had the projector for a long time, and we’ve had the Flip cameras for a while too. The tripod is a holdover from the old chemicals-and-film photography program, but it works with the new gear just as well.
Seeing all three of them functioning together, in conjunction with student scripts and student effort, though… I wonder why we (I) didn’t think of it before. It’s not like other schools don’t do it; some people on my RSS feeds like Mr. Jackson, have been doing it for a while.
Some times, I guess, you just need your nose rubbed in it. Or for the stars to align.