Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Swamped, but Saved

I am swamped, overwhelmed in the midst of dealing with a massive deluge of email (pictures) and database entries (reports) for The Earth Day Groceries Project. Now, this kind of thing happens every year, this huge spike in activity, but this year seems different. Here's what's happening:
  • there are way more people sending in pictures to be put on the web site
  • people are sending in multiple, huge image files - like emails with three - 2MB images. I had several of those today - a total of 75 MB (so far) of images via email, yikes
  • there are currently 81 reports waiting to be individually edited and approved for addition to the website database
  • this all happened in one day. Way more than this has come in already. MUCH more will come in in the next few days...
  • I'm looking at 15 hours of work that landed in my lap today - hard, intense, coding...
  • Tomorrow that total will be added to... more the next, etc. It is that time of year.

Swamped, I am.

On the other hand, today there was a first in my third grade classroom. I gave a writing assignment this morning (Earth Day), and by the end of the day, every single student had posted an article to his/her blog, and they were all approved. To the non-teacher, this may not seem like any big whoops, but for the teacher who understands the differences in ability and individual motivation in each and every child in today's classrooms, well....

I'm saved.

Maybe part of their sucess in writing had to do with the fact that they saw themselves on a video on the Internet for the first time. If so, I'm getting a new video camera and filming every day!

Anyway, they ALL wrote, and many wrote very well. They had like 15 minutes, and they wrote off the tops of their heads. Check their posts on 4/22 on the left side of roomtwelve.com. One more time I say thank goodness for the kids.

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posted by Mark Ahlness @ 6:22 PM   2 Comments

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Live event - Earthcast 2008 - join in!

On Earthday, April 22nd, there will be a 24 hour webcast about the health of our planet, planned and implemented by educators. I'm very honored to be participating as an invited guest, talking about The Earth Day Groceries Project. I hope other project participants will join in the conversation!

The event is called Earthcast 2008, and it will be broadcast/shared in a variety of ways for 24 hours. Be sure to tune in and participate, if you want, on Earthday. It begins at 12:00 AM GMT on Earthday. (that's 9 PM April 21 on the East Coast of the US, 6 PM on the West Coast, etc)

I'll be there on April 21st, from 6 to 7 PM, West Coast time.

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posted by Mark Ahlness @ 10:59 AM   4 Comments

Thursday, April 10, 2008

"If you can't say something nice..."

"If you can't say something nice... don't say nothing at all."
- Thumper, quoting advice from his dad, when admonished for being critical, in Bambi.

So I have been very quiet here lately. I've been trying to put together a single positive sentence about my experiences with technology and education right now - and I just can't.

I will be able soon, I hope - but for now, I had to go to a different place to leave something nice. Here's a sweet love song from Alison Krauss that brightened my day:

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posted by Mark Ahlness @ 6:40 PM   5 Comments