Planet Money’s Simple Explanation of Net Neutrality

Nov 11, 2014 by

Planet Money is an amazing podcast. If you aren’t listening, you should be. If you’re an economics, political science, or business teacher, it’s one of the richest pieces of media being produced today that breaks down complicated business and economic issues into easy to digest and engaging audio. If you’re a regular NPR listener, you’ve probably heard their pieces during longer news segments. If you’re an avid podcast listen, go subscribe… It really is great story telling capable of turning the dullest of subjects into engrossing stories; including how the story of two pasta factories can help you understand the basics of the entire Italian economy. Net Neutrality isn’t anything new; it’s been discussed and argued for more than a decade. In fact, the Planet Money team was able to easily explain the amazing power that the internet can afford even the smallest of innovators through an anecdote about...

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Playing Devil’s Advocate Through Imagery

Feb 9, 2012 by

I have a pathological need like to argue. It’s something that I was apparently born with, as my mother insists at a very young age I was quite obviously cut out to be a lawyer. Despite my best efforts at self-monitoring and awareness of this trait, I often relapse into base level arguments when unprepared for a conversation that may challenge my viewpoints. Perhaps that’s why I was drawn to create the image above for the ds106 Big Caption assignment. While some may question the taste of the piece (it certainly doesn’t reflect my own personal beliefs), I wanted to create something that could be used as a way to provide a contrasting viewpoint, rather rational or not, to a topic of interest that students and teachers wrestle with. In this case, I found an image from’s Big Picture photo journalism project, an amazing look at news from around the...

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Social Media as Challenge Based Learning Prompt

Nov 21, 2011 by

“A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” – Thomas Jefferson Half of our district received training from Apple this summer on the concept of Challenge Based Learning. While many educators are quickly overwhelmed by Apple’s take on the latest instructional trend of student-centered learning sweeping the United States, many teachers in my district understand the need to introduce more inquiry and real world based education into our curriculum. The problem is, many educators question how and where such necessary learning fits into an increasingly cramped and compacted curriculum, especially with more high-stakes testing coming down the road. Most, if not all educators, understand why we need to change education, we just have a difficult time seeing how we’re going to do it under ever-increasing mandates. My rather snarky reply is….”bring the real world into class...

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Living on One Dollar a Day

Nov 18, 2010 by

I’m passionate about civic engagement, social activism, and civic duty. So much so that my entire master’s project revolved around connecting students and youth around the world through shared civic action. The recent summit on the Millennium Development Goals at the U.N. General Assembly meeting this past September opened up a lot of people’s eyes to the plight of the billions of people living in poverty around the world. That’s right, BILLIONS. That’s a difficult number to imagine, for adults and children alike. As if billions of people living in squalid, poor, and dirty conditions around the globe isn’t hard enough to imagine (people that have to walk more than a kilometer to get clean water), try getting people to conceptualize what it must be like to live under $1 a day is near impossible. Which is why I’ve always been a huge proponent of presenting difficult concepts in...

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Throughts From Geneva: Asking the World to Care

Jul 21, 2010 by

I’m currently sitting in the lobby of the John Knox Center having thoroughly enjoyed my continental breakfast of strawberry toast and juice. The discussion I had last night with my colleagues is still swirling around inside my head, and made it difficult to sleep. I tried to escape the questions by searching through my camera roll of pictures I’ve taken since arriving in Geneva last Saturday, and while the image of this beautifully old Swiss bank building doesn’t help frame my thoughts any, it’s pretty darn cool…so I wanted to share. Going back to the problem at hand, the question that kept me up last night is one with a very direct simplicity, but one that very quickly begs many more questions. This last year my graduate project partner and I have successfully designed, implemented, and reflected on a project that we hoped would lead K-12 students to not...

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