Sunday, April 5, 2009

Radioactivity- Kraftwerk

This video is from the German band Kraftwerk. They've been around for a long time. I used to dance to this song in clubs in NYC when I was in college. The video is new, the message (song) still urgent. The video is from a January 8,2007 concert.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

No Connection

Just got back from the Earcos teachers conference held in KK, Borneo. The theme of the conference was; Our Global Impact My Responsibility, Service, Stewardship and Sustainability.

I started to feel uncomfortable about this conference when I found out that it was going to take 4 flights in total to get to this beautiful island paradise. At the time I didn't connect sustainability and the fact that the cost to stay in the beautiful 5 star resort for 4 night would pay my mae ban's salary for 2 months.

My roommate and I both felt distressed and I felt like I had made decisions about the conference without much thought. We decided to take action. We approached the gentleman who was in charge of the conference at the Thursday night cocktail hour and made a request. We asked if we could address the teachers the next morning before the keynote speaker and invite others to join us in a dialogue to look at ways to offset our carbon footprint at the conference and at future conferences. He said yes. The next  morning we ended up meeting with about ten other interested teachers and we came up with some great ideas like, providing teachers with community service opportunities before, during or after the conference, having a vegetarian day during the conference, having a way to offset our carbon footprint based on the air travel to get to the conference available to us at the conference. If you traveled on Malaysia Airlines  you can click on the link to find out how to offset your carbon emissions due to your flight.  We will organize a way for our fellow concerned colleagues to communicate and continue to work on ways to make conferences 'more green'.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Easter Island:The Collapse of a Society

Easter Island: The Collapse of a Society

"This video was created by the AS IFS group of the International School of Tainjin to Illustrate what can happen when a society overuses its' resource's. Please use this video to educate others and get animated and join the AS IFS."
 I saw these students present their videos at the Global Issues Network conference in Bangkok on March 20. Please take the time to watch this video. It is very powerful!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Twittering and my digital footprint

On Friday afternoon, while at the GIN conference, a fellow 20 -something year old teacher turned to me , after a particularly good workshop session, to say that she really felt the urge to twitter. I smiled at her. I realized that she was talking about doing something on her computer. I remembered hearing the term twitter in class but couldn't quite remember what twitter was about. From the context of our situation I assumed that she meant online chatting. I tucked the twitter encounter in the back of my head and decided that I would have to investigate twittering in the future.

To learn more about twitter go to

On Saturday, after attending the GIN conference, I decided that I really wanted to hear what other people were thinking about the conference so I did a google search. I found Dennis Harter's comments on his twitter. This was just too coincidental. I decided to go to the twitter website and sign up. I thought about how this would affect my digital footprint. Since I joined up for our tech classes my footprint has increased dramatically. Now when I google myself I get three pages of results when previously I has about three posts in total. I thought about what Silvia said. Maybe increasing my digital footprint is a good thing. I am out there and connect with the world on the web!

When I signed up for Twitter I was asked to fill out the typical information one is asked when joining a social networking site. This time when I was asked to type in my e-mail account and password. I thought, I don't want Twitter to go through my e-mail. I'll just give them a fake password. My strategy didn't work. No password no Twitter. Then I was asked to set up a user name. Again I paused. Is this the kind of tool where I want people to know who I am or should I assume an alias? Should I set up a special e-mail account that I use only for the specific purposed of registering to join networks? What's a person to do?

Global Issues Network Conference ISB Bangkok 2009

I have the privilege of being able to attend the GIN conference this weekend. The presentations and keynotes have been inspiring. Friday's opening keynote speaker was John D. Liu We learned that environmental degradation can be reversed as illustrated by the Loess Plateau Watershed Rehabilitation project that was started in 1995.

The afternoon's Keynote speaker was 17 year old Ryan Hrelijac
Ryan was inspired to start building well's when he was 6 years old. He build his first well in 1999 in Uganda. His foundation has built 441 wells in 16 developing nations. 

Saturday morning we heard Dr. Mechai Viravaidya He is affectionately known as Mr. Condom and his chain of restaurants and resorts in Thailand called cabbages and condoms provide good food and you bill will come will a condom in place of the traditional mint. Dr. Mechai has worked on zero population growth initiatives, HIV/AIDS education and now the 'Village development partnership model;sustainability through community empowerment and the village development bank." He says ' We should be moving away from the welfare approach;business is the only way out of poverty.'

Natasha Yogachandra, an 11th grade student at Rumrudee  started The hope is life foundation She has built libraries and schools in several countries in Africa and Asia.

Lek Chailert is an animal rights activist. Her passion is elephants and she advocates for the rights and welfare of elephants in Thailand. She told us to contact The Lonely Planet and other travel guides that suggest that tourists visit local attractions that exploit animals. We should ask these guide books to take a more socially conscious position and stop guiding people to venues where animals are not treated humanely.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Adopting and adapting

I read Marc's article with interest as he mentions that one to one computing schools are the way to go and next year I will be at a one to one school. This has made me feel that my students and I had better be using our computers in a meaningful way to extend learning and I'm still working on figuring out what that is going to look like. I guess I will need to consult my students and use them as my teachers since they are the digital natives and I'm the nomad in the technology arena. I realize I'm still at that stage, like when you are learning a language and you still translate everything back into English (in my case) to understand and I'm aiming towards understanding in the language of study. To be a little more clear, what I'm saying is now I learn about a technology tool and think how can I use that in class versus seeing technology tools as an integral part of learning and not something that is just added in. Does that make any sense?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

An Apple Saturday

I spent my Saturday at the Metropolitan Hotel in Bangkok attending the Apple Think Ahead Roadshow.  We were invited to learn about some Mac tools that could be used in the classroom.  If one of the purposes of the day was to get us to covet the ipod touch then Apple had a good marketing strategy. Thank god the touch wasn't on sale at the hotel or I think I would now be the proud owner of one. 24 hours later, I covet the touch still but it no longer seems like a necessity. Adrian Lim, one of the hosts, told us a story of how just a regular guy developed an application that would allow you to turn your touch into a flute. Apparently the guy became a millionaire by selling the application on line for $1  a download. We also learned that the most recent iphoto application has face recognition abilities do if you type in the name of a loved one every photo of that person will be pulled up from your library. Next, if you have a digital camera with a built in GPS- I bet you didn't know that newer cameras have this feature- iphoto will be able to sort your photos by location. Nifty or unnecessary?

I didn't read my agenda very carefully because it wasn't until I was nearly at the hotel that I realized that Kim was one of the presenters. She did a great job! We learned how to use Garage Band to put together a podcast. In the morning session we learned how to combine still images and video clips to make a short (2 minute) movie using imovie.

We were treated to a delicious lunch. Apple is holding a three day workshop in Hong Kong in April. The workshop is free you just need to get yourself to Hong Kong. I want to go.

My original plan was to stay for the morning and leave before lunch. I'm glad I stayed for the whole day.