Thursday, December 30, 2004

Celebrating Our Heroes: Telling Their Stories with iMovie

While thinking about how to integrate earthquakes/the tsumani in south Asia/natural disaster/ I ran across this idea. Every hero has a story. Heroes are respected for outstanding achievements and personal excellence. The qualities we admire in people usually mirror the values and beliefs that characterize society at a particular time. Therefore, a study of our heroes can lead to a better understanding of the history, attitudes, and forces that have shaped all of us.

This Exhibit brings together four different lessons that address the theme of heroes. They all studied heroes and used iMovie to tell their stories.
Celebrating Our Heroes: Telling Their Stories with iMovie

Perspective: Disaster Relief

Ronald Wolk says, "Policymakers will need all the clout they can muster to wrench high school out of the 19th century and redesign it for the 21st." And seems to hit the nail on the head when he also states: "The traditional high school has not improved. It works only for the most highly motivated, who plan to apply to selective colleges. It's a disaster for up to 40 percent of students, and the rest enjoy the extracurricular activities but do only wha's necessary to graduate." The article points out that high school faculties see departments as "sacroscant". Look that one up! The article mentions that large schools are not conducive to collaboration. Interestingly, in our part of the state, county LEAs been forced to bus students from low performing schools to other small schools at a tremendous cost to all. There are no easy answers. What lesson is in this article for alternative schools. Do not seek to "be like Mike". If alternative schools model themselves after successfully reformed schools, then at least the students that are assigned to the school will bennefit from the experience.
Perspective: Disaster Relief

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Titan-Bound Huygens Probe Detaches From Cassini

December 24, 2004
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

Huygens Probe Release

The European Space Agency's Huygens probe successfully detached from NASA's Cassini orbiter today to begin a three-week journey to Saturn¿s moon Titan. NASA's Deep Space Network tracking stations in Madrid, Spain, and Goldstone, Calif., received the signal at 7:24 p.m. (PST). All systems performed as expected and there were no problems reported with the Cassini spacecraft.

The Huygens probe, built and managed by the European Space Agency, was bolted to Cassini and has been riding along during the nearly seven-year journey to Saturn largely in a "sleep" mode. Huygens will be the first human-made object to explore on-site the unique environment of Titan, whose chemistry is assumed to be very similar to that of early Earth before life formed. Huygens will tell us whether this assumption is correct.

"We wish to congratulate our European partners as their journey begins and wish them well on their descent to Titan," said Robert T. Mitchell, Cassini program manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "We are very excited to see the probe off and to have accomplished this part of our job. Now we're ready to finish our part -- receiving and relaying the Huygens data back to Earth."

"Today's release is another successful milestone in the Cassini- Huygens odyssey," said Dr. David Southwood, director of science program for the European Space Agency. "This was an amicable separation after seven years of living together. Our thanks to our partners at NASA for the lift. Each spacecraft will now continue on its own but we expect they'll keep in touch to complete this amazing mission. Now all our hopes and expectations are focused on getting the first in-situ data from a new world we've been dreaming of exploring for decades."

The Huygens probe will remain dormant until the onboard timer wakes it up just before the probe reaches Titan's upper atmosphere on Jan. 14, 2005. Then it will begin a dramatic plunge through Titan's murky atmosphere, tasting its chemical makeup and composition as it descends to touch down on its surface. The data gathered during this 2-1/2 hour descent will be transmitted from the probe to the Cassini orbiter. Afterward, Cassini will point its antenna to Earth and relay the data through NASA's Deep Space Network to JPL and on to the European Space Agency's Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, Germany, which serves as the operations center for the Huygens probe mission. From this control center, ESA engineers will be tracking the probe and scientists will be standing by to process the data from the probe's six instruments.

On Monday, Dec. 27, the Cassini orbiter will perform a deflection maneuver to keep it from following Huygens into Titan's atmosphere. This maneuver will also establish the required geometry between the probe and the orbiter for radio communications during the probe descent.

More information on the Cassini-Huygens mission is available at: and

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter. The European Space Agency built and managed the development of the Huygens probe and is in charge of the probe operations. The Italian Space Agency provided the high-gain antenna, much of the radio system and elements of several of Cassini's science instruments.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Merry Christmas

Originally uploaded by The Blake Slate.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It is Christmas Eve, and Meredith and Laura are home, Laura is "working from home" via computer, and her cat- Gypsy is chilling. Meredith's Maultese puppy- Gavin, is napping. Kathy is busy baking and cleaning up. I am glued to this stupid computer screen. Have a nice holiday. No time to waste.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Podcasting 101?

The term podcasting plays upon the terms broadcasting and webcasting and is derived from the name of the iPod portable music player, the playback device of choice of many early podcast listeners. While not directly associated with Apple's iPod device or iTunes jukebox software, the company did contribute both the desire and the technology for this capability. Podcasting is similar to time-shifted video software and devices like TiVo, which let you watch what you want when you want by recording and storing video, except that podcasting is used for audio and is currently free of charge. Note, however, that this technology can be used to pull any kind of file, including software updates, pictures, and videos.

In short, podcasting involves the recording of internet radio or similar internet audio programs. These recordings are then made available for download to your iPod or other portable digital audio device. You can listen to the podcast internet radio program while you are away from your computer or at a different time than the original program was broadcast.
Podcasting - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

News & Events - UBC's e-Strategy

Must read: article has links to other good sites related to podcasting.
"The Online Classroom Is About to Become a Noisier Place — Wired (and wireless) for sound: audioblogging, podcasting and education."

By Brian Lamb, Office of Learning Technology

News & Events - UBC's e-Strategy

Bloglines | My Feeds

Bloglines | My FeedsTo keep my readers up to date with what I am reading, check out my new Bloglines resourse for teachers and hackers alike.

Monday, December 20, 2004

NASA Podcasts

Point your iPodder app to this url and subscribe today. Cool stuff for all space buffs.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Tech Team Meeting 12-7-04.mp3

My first attempt at producing a podcast was a learning experience. The topic of the podcast was to provide teachers at my school with an over of our monthly meeting.

Check out my podcast for the week of December 6th. I review the technology teachers meeting.