My Growing Concerns About Mainstream Education Blogs

Dec 11, 2012 by

I don’t typically go on rants here on the blog. I’ve occasionally voiced frustration about political developments, subpar video sharing sites dedicated to education, or questioned the heralding of large Bill Gates-backed video learning projects, but when it comes to calling out other education blogs, I’m typically quiet. Why? Well, for starters, it usually invites a host of negative or critical comments on my own work, which engenders the type of “sour grapes” responses that make me look jealous of others’ success. This in turn can make it quite easy for anyone, close colleagues and acquaintances included, to conclude that Ben Rimes is a rather crotchety, pessimistic, jerk that would rather whine about others than rise to the occasion. I suppose that today, I’ll have to accept those likely outcomes, as this weekend a number of musings, thoughts, and ramblings came together for me. Here are a few of my growing...

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Exploring the Adobe Education Exchange – Kerning Around

Oct 14, 2011 by

I was asked a few months back by some nice people who work with Adobe to give the Adobe Educator Exchange a look, and share some of the resources that I found interesting. While I haven’t always found the resources to be compelling or engaging (there are a LOT of rather dry tutorials and lessons, especially in the Higher-Ed categories), there are plenty of amazingly creative and useful interactives, lessons, and ideas being shared there. They even have their annual Educator’s Choice Awards going on right now (submission deadline is this evening), so it’s been interesting to see which submissions are being rated the highest. This video will most likely be my last in this series of “exploring the Adobe Education Exchange”, but it certainly won’t be the last time I visit the site, especially after finding this awesome typography challenge that all secondary design and digital production students...

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Exploring the Adobe Education Exchange – Legend of Captain Slackbeard

Sep 29, 2011 by

In my ongoing exploration of the Adobe Education Exchange, and coverage of the Adobe Educator’s Awards, I stumbled across this really simple, and effective tool for younger students that need practice with or introduction to the concept of a coordinate grid. Kristine Kopelke, an Australian educator who works with technology, communications, and interactive tools with a wide variety of teachers, created and shared this great flash game that lets students explore the coordinate X,Y system with a cute theme. The idea is to help Captain Slackbeard find his lost treasure by using the coordinates on the map. It’s very simplistic in that students only have right answers to click on, and don’t suffer any consequences for wrong choices, but in a way that’s a very nice, and refreshing way for students to practice plotting points on a coordinate grid in a “skill and drill” fashion. Check out my video...

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Exploring the Adobe Edu Exchange – Expanded Algorithms

Aug 16, 2011 by

I was recently asked by some nice people that work with Adobe to help spread the word about the Adobe Education Exchange, and a little contest they have going on over there. In the interest of full disclosure, I’m providing that information up front, but more importantly, I wanted to critique some of the content that’s on the Education Exchange. Some of the resources seem more like advertisements for upcoming books and resources that you should buy in order to be a better teacher with Photoshop, while other resources are actually quite useful (if even in a limited capacity). Below is a video of me exploring a simple animatic that helps learners remember how to work with expanded algorithms in simple additions problems. It’s actually a WHOLE lot less complicated than it sounds There are a bunch of “previews” of upcoming projects, and resources that point towards purchasing solutions,...

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Let’s Abuse Government Data!

Mar 10, 2011 by

Data…the cold hard facts and information that form the cornerstone for modern-day statistical analysis, make possible amazingly advanced leaps in genetic understanding, and help Groupon sell you that fantastic facial/spa day deal that you otherwise wouldn’t have thought twice about. Data is everywhere, and it’s been increasingly creeping into our classrooms.  Not to imply that the “creep” is a bad thing, but the abundance of data (and in many cases over abundance) in the classroom is quickly overwhelming many teachers’ abilities to properly digest, analyze, and synthesize all of the information. It’s not that educators don’t want to process of the data they collect on their students. It’s just difficult to find time to approach the data with a scientific eye for determining what’s going on in the classroom when you have data from DIBELS, RTI tools, practice assessments, benchmark assessments, state tests, national tests, and a host of...

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