Thursday, March 10, 2016

An Hour of Code

I finally got my hour of code certificate!



I procrastinated it for a while, even though my own kids started to play with a coding some time ago. And guess what? It was super easy. I have no idea while I was demonizing it for so long.  I had to finally do it because I wanted my C-TELE (Creating Technology Enhanced Learning Environment) students to complete it as well.

Lucy's school uses code.org activities. At home she played with Cargo-Bot  last year but she got discoraged when it got more difficult.  Lilian went through The Code Studio acvities for little kids and she loves The Foos
Vivian prefers Toca Builders, which is more in the flavor of a Mindcraft for preschoolers

Here are my awesome C-TELE students and their certificates <3 nbsp="" p="">




Saturday, February 27, 2016

OSMO

I introduced OSMO to my girls.
I gave Lilian (5) the Osmo Tangram and observed how she will deal with the new product:

Quickly she became comfortable enough to teach her twin sister.
Then it was Lucy (8) and her friends to crack the rules of Osmo Numbers and it too went very well. It took a team work and you can even hear Lili voice giving them advices:


One of my CTELE students volunteer in a tutoring center. She has a boy with ADHD and is behind in his reading abilities.  I gave her OSMO words to see if that will help with his attention... And it worked!  The boy was engaged and intrigued!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Information Literacy - resources for a workshop

meme by imgflip

Information literacy is more than possessing information. Information literacy is the ability "to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate and use effectively the needed information." (ACRL, 2000)

Resources for the activities during the presentation:

PollEv.com/maggda or text keyword to 22333

Scrutinize the websites below. Can you find an argument to support or discredit the legitimacy of your website? How can you prove it? Can you see the purpose behind the website? Could you use it in your classroom?

Exhibit A: Save the Octopus!

Exhibit B: Vaccination Gateway to Drugs
http://www.uni.edu/coe/ci/240-031/images/infliteracy-vaccinate.jpg 

Exhibit C: A Kid in Need
http://www.uni.edu/coe/ci/240-031/documents/mail_SlowDance.pdf

Exhibit D: MLK Homework

Exhibit E: Save a Buck
http://www.tomsoutletstore2014.com 

Exhibit F: Zombie Attack?
http://www.archaeology.org/online/features/hierakonpolis/zombies.html

Exhibit G: Black People Love Us
http://www.blackpeopleloveus.com/index.html

You may use steps from the Internet Detective website the Detective Work section and Stephen Downe's Principles for Evaluating Websites  (resources below)

What kid of practical steps can you and your students take to critically evaluate information found on the Internet?
Big 6 and Super3  models of how people should solve an information strategies. Super 3 is a simplified model for the youngest students.  Here is a handout (developed by two educators, Michael B. Eisenberg and Robert E. Berkowitz)   http://big6.com/media/freestuff/Big6Handouts.pdf

Additional resources:

ISTE Standards for students connection:  Standard # 3:Research and Information Fluency:
Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
ISTE  Standards for teachers connection:  2 d. Model and facilitate effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information resources to support research and learning

Siemens and Downes theory of connectivism:
snopes.com -Reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation
truthorfiction.com - Get the truth about rumors, inspirational stories, virus warnings, hoaxes, scams, humorous tales, pleas for help, urban legends, prayer requests, calls to action, and other forwarded emails.
hoax-slayer.com - dedicated to" debunking email hoaxes, thwarting Internet scammers, combating spam, and educating web users about email and Internet security issues"
sourcewatch.org - collaborative resource for  documented information about the corporations, industries, and people trying to influence public policy and public opinion
domaintools.com - collection of domain name ownership records in the world (also look easywhois.com)
sweetsearch.com -  a research based multimedia tutorial that teaches effective web research skills to both educators and students

EDUCASE article  Information Literacy: A neglected Core Competency 
Dulcinea Media - A student friendly suit of search engines and web resources
Proclamation by president Barack Obama (2009) establishing October as National Information Literacy Awareness Month.
;-)

Friday, February 12, 2016

A Snicker of Magic and Twitter

Check this out
Lucy and I are reading for her battle of the books and reading challenge a Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd.  We both LOVE the book so much that I started following an author on Twitter.

I sent her a tweet with us reading and Ms. Lloyd responded  thanking us and then tweet that she loves picture “times infinity” and then repost it with her memories added. How Awesome is that !?




Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Bucket list - revisited again

Time to revisit my bucket list. I revisited it in December 14, so I think it is time for some updates:-)

I was able to check a couple of items on my list , but not too much. I was able to fulfill my other big dream, that was not a part of my bucket list. We about to purchase a beautiful house with a large yard and a trampoline -which made my kiddos very happy :-)
The list is not in order. I think Tokyo, Havana, TED conference, and live long enough to spoil my grandkids are still my front-runners! 
  • Listen to a good music in Havana, Cuba  - with the plan of opening of the US Embassy in Cuba in July 2015 it just become more real! 
  • Experience Tokyo with Rob
  • Walk with Lucy on a Great Wall of China
  • Show kids Paris from the Eiffel tower
  • Eat Crabs in Main
  • Visit Alaska
  • See the Stonehenge in England
  • Eat again sourdough bread and seafood at San Francisco’s Fisherman's Wharf
  • Visit Olympic Peninsula
  • See the Presepolis in Iran
  • See the old city of Jerusalem
  • Visit New Orleans (We did that in 2012 on our 10th wedding anniversary! )
  • Take kids on an African safari
  • Visit Kremlin
  • See original Kiss by Klimt
  • See the Les Miserable  on Broadway
  • See Mama Mia on Broadway
  • Visit the Salvador Dali Museum is an art museum in St. Petersburg, Florida
  • See Blondie on stage
  • See Madonna in Concert
  • Attend Pitbull Concert (Rob gave me a ticket for Christmas! I went to see Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias on Feb 21, 2015! I went with my nieces Emily and Elyse. We had VIP tickets and had a blast dancing right next to the stage)
  • Become sustainable member of NPR and IPR 
  • Become a Google certified Teacher
  • Become a Google Certified Education Trainer (as a teacher of EdTech&Design, I kind of am, but not certified)
  • Know at least a little about every marvel listed on the UNESCO's World Heritage list 
  • Finish Doctorate
  • Read all Terry Pratchets
  • Buy an  RV camper 
  • See the performance at Sydney Opera House http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/
  • Fly for a date with Rob to Hawaii
  • Visit Every Continent!
  • Visit Salvador Dali Museum in in Catalonia, Spain.
  • Send my girls to college
  • Learn to ski (started winter  2014-2015. We went a few times to Sundown and put together the ski sets for the whole family. It is a good start. We could not continue this past winter because we were planning to purchase the new home)
  • Learn to swim
  • Own a piano
  • Learn to play piano 
  • Ride on a horse in some scenic location
  • Participate in a carnival in Rio - I do not have to worry about ZIKA virus!
  • Have my brother visiting me in the US
  • Visit my brother in Ireland
  • To have my parents visiting me here again - My mom will come in May for 3 months and my dad will join us for a few weeks! 
  • Tour CNN -I did that partially past summer (2015)! We went to Atlanta and visit the CNN building built, but our destination point was to tour the set of The Walking Dead so we did not have time for the CNN tour
  • Be in a live audience during Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show (too late)
  • Be in a live audience during  Colbert Report (too late, but there is still a Late Show option)
  • Organize my attic - Ha! That got solved with the move to the new home. I finally opened the old trunk that I purchased with the house. It was full of  old linen and a sailor uniform.  I need to take it to The Grout museum- perhaps they will find it valuable to them. 
  • Attend TED conference
  • Put a little free library in front of my house
  • Spoil rotten my grandchildren  :-)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Google updates logo again

This time the change includes a sign and also a "G" . 
On a the Google official blog they announce
"We’re bidding adieu to the little blue “g” icon and replacing it with a four-color “G” that matches the logo."



I wrote about previous change here
Here is a revolution of the Logo by google

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Last show with Jon Stewart - #JonVoyage

1999 - 2015  The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and his daily impact on our culture come to an end.  I am pretty sure we will hear from him soon. Activists, whistleblowers,  and creative beings like him cannot stay quiet too long, not in a crazy pre-election world! It would be cool to see him as Trevor Noah's  special guest or even correspondent. Speaking of correspondents. I wonder if Trevor will keep them. My favorites are Jessica Williams and Jason Jones.

Here are a few comments from social media





Thursday, April 16, 2015

'There are no shocking pictures, only shocking reality' - Oliviero Toscani


Oliviero Toscani
Background Kissing Nun (1992) 
Challenging the principle of 
religious celibacy
Oliviero Toscani, is one of my favorite visual artists. This awesomely controversial Italian photographer that shaped the image of United Color of Benetton in the 80's and 90's,  keeps in awe the world with his creativity,  crude images, provocative messages, and bold fight for social change.  His art serves as fuel for debates and make people think.

I often use his images when introducing the principals of visual design (or CARP model) , when talking about diversity, visual literacy or  media influences on our self image.

His work has as many critics as praisers. Some say he has no right to use serious subjects to sell as trivial thing as clothes. Or that he is just an arrogant scandal seeker.  Other applauding his ability to be more than just an advertiser. You be the judge! Here is my pro list

√ He helped raise AIDS awareness . While advertising Benetton Toscani made a decision to show the reality of dying of AIDS.  The controversy around the image came form similarity to pieta paintings.  But despite the disputes related to sacrilegious message, the elephant in the room  an AIDS  problem was also addressed.


David Kirby dying of AIDS and his family. 
Photo taken by Therese Frare in Ohio SU Hospital (1990) 


√ He spoke against war.  1991 campaign featured cemetery in France with rows of crosses and one star of David. The message was quite simple : When you die it does not matter who you are, what is your rank, social status,  nationality, or religion. In war the death is the only victor.  

1991 "War Cemetery" Ad appeared in Italian media few days
before Gulf War and was immediately banned.

1994 Allegedly Uniform of dead Croat soldier
Marinko Gagro killed in the Bosnian war

√ He spoke against racism.  In 1984 the 'All Colors of the World' campaign he photographed multicultural group of young people wearing Benetton clothes. It was the first time when such a diverse group  appeared together in a positive light in an Italian advertising. 

Interestingly, all his race related campaigns sparked heated debates and were often accused of being racist. The breastfeeding ad according to critics does not show the racial harmony but rather suggest black servitude. Because of outrage of unspecified African -American organization  Benetton withdrawn the ad in United States. The rest of the world praised the concept and the art.


1989 campaign for equality. Black woman breast-feeding white
baby is the most-awarded image in Benetton's advertising history

1990 The theme of multiculturalism
 appropriate for 'United Colors' 
was a main theme for almost 10 years

Hearts 1996. 
Critics called it the most racist.
They are actually pigs hearts.

√ He spoke against death penalty.  The 'We, On Death Row'  2000 campaign feature death-row inmates and the slogan 'Sentenced to Death'. It stirred so much controversy that Toscani had to leave Benetton after being their Creative Director for 18 years.


2000. The On Death Row campaign 
was the reason why he left Benetton

√ He fought for gay rights.   In 2005 he managed to piss of the Catholic groups (again!)  by putting homosexuals in rather shocking positions while advertising Ra-Re clothing brand.
The campaign came in a middle of 
 ongoing debate in Italy about gay rights.

√ Working for No-li-ta clothing company he took part in fight against anorexia. 


2007 French model/actress Isabelle Caro (1982 – 2010)
Suffered from severe anorexia nervosa 
With ad she became the face of anorexia fight

√ He took part in promoting tolerance and global love.  Recently in 2011 the Benetton foundation launched  the 'Unhate' campaign.  'A campaign to combat the culture of hate'. Which contrary to its message, evoke extremely strong reactions.
The ad showing doctored image of Pope Benedict XVI kissing a top Egyptian imam on the lips was withdrawn almost immediately after the Vatican denounced it as an "unacceptable" provocation.


2011 Storefront in Paris. German Chancellor Angela Merkel 
kissing French President Nicolas Sarkozy 
and Chinese President Hu Jintao kissing Barack Obama

2011. Pope Benedict XVI kissing 
an Egyptian imam Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb 
withdrawn after the Vatican denounced it as provocation.


What's next maestro? Oil dependency? Green Planet? Crazy parents agains vaccination? Crazy governments against birth control? Exploitation of illegal immigrants? Children trafficking? The distribution of wealth? There is so much shocking cruelty, stupidity, ignorance, shortsightedness, -isms in the world...

Or perhaps it's time to focus solely on positives ? I love the direction taken be the Benneton group and the UNHATE Foundation. I like the idea of focusing on the new generation.

The Toscani's  legacy is visible in every Benneton project.  The Raza Umana Italia  latest project by Oliviero Toscani Studio looks interesting but I am waiting for his next BIG international move!

Oh, and by the way, the Benetton advertisement did it's magic on me :-)  I really enjoy their classic clothing line for kids.

2011 - Vivi & Lili exploring  the cavities :-) ©

--

I started this post quite some time ago, but every time I thought that I am ready to finish it I had to stumbled upon yet another interesting piece of information or a new image! As usually, when you deal with fascinating subject, you found yourself few hours later with the nagging feeling that you need to learn more ;-)
Here are some of the better resources I used to educate myself on the subject:

  • http://toscani.com/
  • United Color of Benetton. Case Study (pdf)
  • Creative Review - Benetton Hits Middle Age 
  • The True Colors of Oliviero Toscani by Eric J. Lyman 
  • P. Rutherford, (2000) Endless propaganda: The Advertising of Public Goods; University of Toronto Press
  • O. Toscani (1997) Reklama uśmiechnięte ścierwo; Warszawa. Agencja Wydawnicza Delta (oryg. fr. La Pub est une charogne qui nous sourit (Reliure inconnue) 1995)
Ps. This is an updated repost. I originally created it in March 2012 but the subject keeps coming back :-)