School ends

Yesterday was the last day of school in 2009. We still have half the winter term to go, of course, and all of spring; but it felt like I ended on a high note.

At the same time I’m suffering from a degree of worry. It’s clear that my school isn’t really ready to make the transition to all digital all the time.

In a departmental discussion, my history department was still talking about a “room with binders” — a bookshelf with notebooks of everybody’s worksheets organized by grade and subject matter. It took my powers of concentration and expression to get our needs guidelines to the point where we voted for a digital drop box for the department as part of our new needs assessment, instead of setting up another bookshelf.

We dud vote to spend some of our budget on some new digital projectors. No one wants to invest time in PowerPoint presentations at my school. No one can ever reserve or get one of our projectors in a timely manner, but we all see their usefulness.

Still, I need some more analog ways of presenting information.

At the Guggenheim Museum over Thanksgiving break, I acquired three of those photo mobiles: each can hold 20 photos back to back in 10 groups of two. That’s 60 photos.

Sixty photos is enough for a 9th grade art history course each term. So my goal is to identify 60 images and get them printed and hung on these mobiles. Then hanging the mobiles themselves will put the images in front of all the students.

I want to find an online map site. What I want to be able to do is make a world map that zooms in on Greece, theb Crete, then Knossos. Or Greece, then Attica, then Athens, then Piraeus. But part of me would like topography without roads, mountain shapes without labels or place names.

I net I can do it in Google Earth or Google Maps. I just have to figure out how.

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