A Costa Rican Experience

Learning, learning, learning!

So you win RSS… you win. Time saver indeed! Just popping on there, checking out who updated their blog, then getting a dose of education related articles along with some exciting TV show gossip. What more could I ask for from one application?

Some things learned: there are now programs where high school students can get their diplomas as well as complete up to 2 years of college credits in 5 years of “high school”- all for free. They spend their days at community colleges taking classes. While these programs have existed, they were generally geared toward high-achieving students to keep them challenged. This new twist to the program is lessening drop out rates and increasing the number of students with degrees (two goals of the Obama administration). Hopefully this idea will spread from the south up to the north. Whether under achieving students struggle with financial issues for college, think they’re not fit to be “college-bound” or simply don’t want to go to school for that many years, this program is elimating these as an issue. If you wanna read more,  here is the article. As for gossip: Snookie from Jersey Shore has a new juicehead boyfriend! It’s the perfect oompa loompa couple, awwww. Also, there is some sweet netting they put up in the Guggenheim so you can walk all around the center of it. It looks like an orange spiral construction zone. check it out!

Moving on:

I’ve been slacking on digging through Stumble, but as I write this post I’m digging. Just an update, Stumble is kind of like Google in that it’s created its own verb but does exactly what it sounds like. It will just take you to sites on the web that you’ve never been to before. If you go to their home site though, you can “Stumble” specific topics such as books, literature, writing, etc and it will take you to sites related to those topics; not that they’re all very useful or informative. But what did I come across you ask? A hilarious video about Google that links very nicely into how something like the feed in Feed could actually form. It’s only 2 minutes and I think you’ll all get a kick out of it.

More importantly found: the iPad may be 1. a copycat and 2. not nearly as cool as this! It’s a dual screen eReader. It will have an eReader as well as a full keyboard and ability to surf the web. Except this can be done at the same time! I believe it was in Kim’s blog that she was talking about how the iPad will allow for more interactive reading where students can look things up while reading, well, not if they have to exit outta their book to do so. So why not just add TWO screens, genius!  This is a closer reality for students. The major difference between this and the iPad is about $335. Maybe the iPad will react to this coming out and lower their price; we can only hope because at $500 I don’t see many teachers or schools investing, let alone the students that would really benefit from it!

But this whole eReader brings up another issue I didn’t see coming. I found while “funnel stumbling” (that’s my new coined term for stumbling very specific topics)an article about how the publisher who agreed to give Amazon the rights to an electronic 1984 and Animal Farm changed its mind so Amazon deleted these remotely from customers Kindle (refunding the purchase price).  But, once you pay for something, isn’t it yours? Apparently not! Orwell really must be turning in his grave from the pure irony! Though this in itself doesn’t seem that serious, you just never know when we’ll be trying to define “obscene” literature again and instead of pulling books from store bookshelves they’ll be stealing them right out of your hands without being able to do a darn thing. Just another reason to boo eReaders in my mind, I should start a list. I said it once before (in french) and I’ll say it again (in English): long live the printed word!

In case you thought all that banned book business was in the past: after that article came another one about a girl who went to a Catholic school and was handed a lengthy list of books banned from their school. Included on this list were mostly classics and generally “good” books. Of course when you hand a kid a list of things they can’t do, their first reaction is to find out how to go about doing those things. This student brought Catcher in the Rye to school and got into minimal trouble. A student saw her with it, heard it was good (and wondered why it was banned) and asked to borrow it. This avalanched into a school wide reading frenzy! Now she’s got an entire locker full of “banned” books (the list is impressive and has nothing but canons and worthwhile reads) and lends them out to friends like a library- with due dates and everything. Seriously, I thought this was done after the 1960s… This event was discovered because the girl went on Yahoo Answers to ask whether what she was doing was wrong (because adults wouldn’t approve) or right because now students in her school are actually reading for fun. If you could see me… I’m shaking my head in disbelief. I can only hope I don’t see an article later about that girl getting in serious trouble, it’d be a crime.

I just realize I could go on like this all night… which is what I said the first danger in Stumble is- you lose hours of your life! But, if you funnel stumble, what you learn becomes a lot more relevant to specific interests. Whether it has seriously educational purposes, I’m still undecided. But I’ll tell you what, it’s a lot more informative and interesting than Twitter could ever be for a PLN. For now, I’ll go as far as to suggest everyone make a stumbleupon.com account and do their own digging, you’ll come up with endless material.

ps. I just found a Macbeth rap video: for those who were wondering how to make Shakespeare interesting. The site itself is called “flocabulary: hip-hop in the classroom”. Gonna keep this one on my Delicious… you just never know when you’ll want to hit something like that up.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. PLN Day 34: My Definition of a Great Classroom Blog/ Blogpost « Whitneymeister's Blog pingbacked on 7 years, 8 months ago
  2. PLN Day 64: LLED 420 Blog Digest « Whitneymeister's English Education Blog pingbacked on 7 years, 7 months ago


  1. * bencraig35 says:

    That’s awesome how you find interesting, yet specific information! I usually “funnel stumble” whenever I’m looking at something specific, and I think that’s a great term rather than stumble by itself.

    I’ve also found some songs about/referencing Shakespeare. I’ll post them on my blog, so you can search them!

    I like the content of your blog also! The video was awesome also! I felt like that I was the only one that posted random, yet interesting information on my blog. Keep it coming!

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 8 months ago
  2. That video is hilarious, and I really think this Blog is outstanding! You gather all sorts of different resources here and you reflect on them in a manner that is useful to you, your classmates, and probably the profession at large. You are also raising issues that are rather original. P.S. who is this Snookie character?

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 8 months ago
    • Snookie is a “guido” (a special sort of Italian American) and a total degenerate. I’ll just say this: if adults thought the Real World was bad… Jersey Shore has brought our generation to a new low 🙂

      | Reply Posted 7 years, 8 months ago
  3. * clh5160 says:

    Oh Stumble! I used to have the Stumble toolbar for my Firefox, but I had to uninstall it. Why?

    Because I would sit in class, Stumbling around the internet and finding addictive websites and games. It’s sad that classes kept me from exploring the vast information found on the web, but maybe if I Stumble a bit more responsibly, I can take it back up again 😀

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 8 months ago

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