Wednesday, March 26, 2008


The following exerpts from an article writtten in 1968:

"Computers not only keep track of money, they make spending it easier."

"In fact most schooling—from first grade through college—consists of programmed TV courses or lectures via closed circuit. Students visit a campus once or twice a week for personal consultations or for lab work that has to be done on site. Progress of each student is followed by computer, which assigns end term marks on the basis of tests given throughout the term.
Besides school lessons, other educational material is available for TV viewing. You simply press a combination of buttons and the pages flash on your home screen. The world’s information is available to you almost instantaneously."

Fascinating - read it at:

Saturday, March 22, 2008

After doing some research into DI (Differentiated Instruction), a reference in ISTE pointed to a site called CAST Universal Design for learning. This is an interesting site - it is supposed to be brain research-based but I am not quite sure of all its implications - on the surface it looks promising. Take a gander, they say:

  • Multiple means of representation, to give learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge,

  • Multiple means of expression, to provide learners alternatives for demonstrating what they know,

  • Multiple means of engagement, to tap into learners' interests, offer appropriate challenges, and increase motivation.

Watch a video:

Thursday, March 20, 2008


This is a brief lecture on Communications given to my Science Students... it was converted from PowerPoint to Google Docs:Presentations and published for public view. The code in the blog is automatically generated for copy-paste into blogger - and first try - it works! Amazing.


Teaching history as a relevant, meaningful up-to-date, and interesting subject is very important. History was/is to many students the most boring subject ever: names, dates, places - without meaning to them personally. When good teachers bring history to life - it can be a transforming experience to the students.

Our head of our History Department is an incredible leader - thank you Keith. He freely shares resources, hints, tips, and directions creating an incredible team of history teachers. Kudos Keith. One of the resources he shared recently is the ABC-CLIO site about the Olympics... a teachable moment. Check it out at:

Look for the down-loadable lesson on the Olympics - excellent!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


At this point in time after 6 months of piloting Google Apps – I can not envision teaching without it. Honestly it is the best teacher infrastructure available – period. The cherry on top of this wonderful ice-cream is that it is FREE. Wow – the paradigm that Goggle is currently using is outstanding!

I have 174 accounts live - and used all the time... I will be adding more in the future.

When I first started piloting it had only:
  • G-mail
  • Calendar
  • Documents (Word Processing)
  • Spread Sheets

Since then they have added and improved each time:

  • Presentation
  • Sites

Oh Sites – how a wonderful tool. Having come from the corporate world where groupware infrastructure systems such as Microsoft SharePoint or Oracle’s Portal Server are main-stay it is great to see a tool with robust features such as “Sites” come into the mainstream of Google Apps. This is a quantum jump in value-added to the whole Google Apps suite.

What is it? It gives the users the ability to create a web-site – but not just any web-site, but an integrated site right “out-of-the-box” no fancy knowledge is needed – you just bring it up and design your pages, integrate a file repository, different types of pages – all at your finger tips – it is incredibly easy to use. But what good is that? Can’t “Google Pages” do that? Yes, but SITES makes this is SHAREABLE – and with the power of group work, it becomes an unmatched tool for STUDENTS and TEACHERS in my case.

Kudos, Google!

Here is one examples you can see - click on the figure below to navigate to this example:

Although this is not public, this is my design of the Physics Unit "Site" complete with all the standards, handouts, warm-ups, lectures, materials, vacabulary, etc... All I have to say is - it is pretty impressive. From start to end the design took less than one hour while I learned the features of the tool... honestly, its that easy!

Monday, March 17, 2008


It is amazing how many resources are available to help you do your job. It is a matter of finding good quality sites as well as innovative ideas about their deployment and use. Here you will find something amazing - honestly... A great vocabulary tool as well as a way to feed the world!
Click on the figure:

Sunday, March 09, 2008


The Center for Border and Regional Affairs (CBRA) is hosting meetings this coming Friday. Dr. Elizabeth Garza and I are scheduled to present the findings of our study… It promises to be interesting. Dr. Garza is pulling the details together… she is really an amazing lady. This is a new experience for me – promises to be interesting.

Who or what is CBRA?

“The CBRA is a faculty coordinated academic organization that articulates the expertise of CSU San Marcos personnel with local, state, national, and international funding and policy initiatives. In the context of the geographic, social, political, and economic environment in which our university is uniquely positioned, the CBRA provides a voice with which CSU San Marcos can shape and influence regional policy in collaboration with Mexican and U.S. institutions and agencies in the border region.”

Monday, March 03, 2008


An interesting combination of events has lead to me to observe a challenging facet of the teaching profession – affecting all new teachers. California has spent too much money for the amount of revenue coming into the State coffers. Deficit Spending, an all too common practice, has come home to roost: PINK SLIPS. Each district has to go through a Solomonic process to decide who goes and who stays – because cut-backs are inevitable. It is a very interesting process – similar to a corporate process – but at the same time different because the rules of the game in education are quite a bit different. It will be interesting to see what happens. Here is a reference article: