Thursday, October 28, 2010

Changing Education Paradigms: IGSS as a model for school reform

Many of the ideas generated by the strategic plan for IGSS incorporate the newer ideas about how students learn and also
allow for more student creativity.

This animation/drawing is adapted from a talk given by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Town Hall Meeting -- Justice Paper due Today!

I.   Town Hall Meeting
II.  Committee Work - sign up for Committees online
 a) Water Committee: Continue efforts to reduce NT dependence on bottled water. Sell IGSS water bottles. Speak to adviseries about bottled water. Bookstore will sell 21 oz NT reusable water bottle. Jeremy will speak to faculty on Tuesday and hoping for the no bottled policy to continue.
b) Advisery Visits and PR for IGSS:  do visuals; sign up for slots to meet with adviseries
c) Lighting Group:  setting up all school blackouts with Dr. Dohrer
d) Other environmental efforts:  lunchroom, paper, Styrofoam, food offerings.
e) Global Connections with Other Kids: investigate Global LAB
f)  Hosting a Global Justice Youth Summit:  bring in speakers; preparing a proposal to the larger group
g) Service Projects setting up projects - allowed to use house points
h) IGSS social community days - mini shark (pet)
i)  Vegetarian Committee - lunch room; create better food options in student dining room
j)  IGSS curriculum - choose a unit to develop which fits into curriculum

III.  IGSS Film Fest will happen at Wilmette Theater

IV.  Becky's presentation --Campaign to Stop Killer Coke! -- see Campus Activism packet
from their website:  
"Dear Sisters & Brothers:
Strong labor unions are critical to improve wages, working conditions and human rights for all workers and for democracies to flourish. For workers in Colombia and Guatemala, a strong union can also mean the difference between life and death.
The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke originated to stop the gruesome cycle of violence against union leaders and organizers in Colombia in efforts to crush their union, SINALTRAINAL. Since then, violence, abuse and exploitation leveled against Coke workers and communities have been uncovered in other countries as well, notably China, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, Mexico and Turkey."
Letter writing campaign? 

V. Narrative Assessment for 1st Quarter - Completing student reflections
     A. IGSS Skills and Habits of Mind
          email text - t
o Colby who will copy & paste into your Narrative--1 paragraph is enough
     B. Social Studies Descriptors
     C. Science Descriptors
     D. English Descriptors

Friday, October 22, 2010

The House of Logikos Wins 100 points - clothing presentation

Announcements: Congratulations to the House of Logikos! excellent clothing, music/choreography

1.) Video Yearbook Opportunity:
 We have an opportunity to create slides for the hallway monitors and to submit video for the Video   Yearbook. PR committee could get on this, or any individual can do it!!

a)  Pictures:  in the Ndrive/classes/IGSS/2010picsandvids. The images need to be .jpg or .psd,

1920x1080 @ 96dpi

b.)  Videos: also in the folder above. Trim to 30 seconds or less. Name them, put them back in the folder, and email Vargas to state the title of the file.

2. ) State of the Plate Conference: IGSS has been allowed invited to bring 30 students to State of the Plate, the Midwest’s first one-day conference to develop and share best practices, information, and strategies for creating a sustainable meat supply in the region, is happening November 17 at the Harold Washington Library Center and Robert Morris University. The agenda includes:

* Keynotes by Robert Kenner, writer/director of the Academy Award-nominated Food, Inc. and Fedele Bauccio, CEO of Bon Appetit Management Company

* Panel discussions with leaders such as rancher and television news anchor Bill Kurtis, Paul Willis of Niman Ranch, policy experts; academic leaders; and diverse Midwestern distributors and producers that use various practices and feeding styles to raise animals sustainably

* Reception at Robert Morris University’s Culinary School led by students, chefs, and farmers with taste-testing and sampling of various meat products available for sale to restaurant and food-service purchasers

* Viewing of Food, Inc. followed with a Question and Answer session by Robert Kenner

* Pre- and post-event receptions with elected officials, culinary leaders, city commissioners, and dignitaries as well as supporters, sponsors, and panelists, with a short program to highlight food-related public health and environmental threats and the opportunities for change

3.) Consider coming to a presentation "The Power of the Arts: Habits of Mind and Mood" by Ellen Winner, PhD, Chair of the Dept of Psychology at Boston College and Senior Researcher for Project Zero at Harvard University on TUESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2010 at 7:00pm in the Skokie School Auditorium, 520 Glendale Ave. in Winnetka.

This presentation is sponsored by FAN, Northlight Theatre, Chicago Children's Museum, The Skokie School, and Careleton Washburne School.

Ludolph Lecture on Designing Scientific Studies: for the purpose of studying a justice topic which will culminate in production of a documentary film.

Three Types of Studies
A. Observational Studies - no independent variable; use bar graphs & charts
B. Controlled Experiments - involves changing an independent variable - on 'x axis' --here you are tying to prove cause & effect: results in a graph
C. Correlational Studies - how one variable affects another variable; e.g. the effect of drinking alchohol on a pregnant woman. This is not ethical to actually test so the scientist must interview pregnant women.

Components of all studies:

1. Make observation
2. State question or problem; hypothesis
3. collecting and recording data
4. data
5. Communication of data

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wealth and Poverty: Economic Reasons

Seniors: Excursion tomorrow to view documentary: Waiting For Superman [2010] Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim follows a handful of promising kids through a system that inhibits, rather than encourages, academic growth, Guggenheim examines public education, surveying "drop-out factories" and "academic sinkholes," methodically dissecting the system and its seemingly intractable problems.

Today's topic ---Wealth and Poverty:  Economic Reasons

Primary Economic Activities: 
Agriculture - Mining- Forestry - Fishing - Ranching (extracting raw materials) If a large percentage of economic activity is in this category,  then the country tends to be poor.

Secondary Economic Activities: Manufacturing, e.g. autos, textiles

Tertiary Activities:  Providing Services (e.g. tourism, medical services, legal profession)
Discussion: Is tourism ethical?

Tourism is the world's largest economic sector. It plays a significant role in lifting people out of poverty, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said, and is one of the few ways the least developed countries have managed to increase their participation in the global economy. Last year, almost 700 million tourists made international trips. By 2010, the figure is projected to reach 1 billion, according to the WTO.

"informal economy" - bartering; black market
Structure of economic activity determines a country's wealth. A mix of economic activity is needed to cushion the economy from a major downturn.

Essay on Justice:  ideas, suggestions
What is your thesis?  How will you answer this question:  "What is Justice?" You need 2/3 examples from 2/3 different texts Not all of your examples need to demonstrate the same definition of justice.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Watching Documentaries

In preparation for a future assignment which requires students to research and make a documentary film, we are viewing documentaries today and using these questions for discussion.

IGSS Documentary Questions

What tactics did interviewers take when interviewees misunderstood, felt offended, were confused or merely presented a “yes” or “no” answer to a given question?

Which visual techniques best helped to tell the story being told through a documentary?

What would you guess are the benefits of interviewing a sample population rather than narrowing the focus to a specific age group, gender, race social class, etc. Disadvantages?

What type of pleas were embedded within the documentaries? Which pleas were most effective and why?

What effect does the choice of music have on an audience? How does the choice of music affect the type of plea that a documentary maker puts forth?

How does the use of a narrator effect our reaction to the way in which a story is told?

Which documentaries told the most convincing story or made their point most strongly? Which techniques kept you as an audience member most engaged in any of the documentaries?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Video Tool Worth Sharing

I have spent early morning hours looking at some video applications shared by Jenny Levine [Shifted] on Twitter. She really loved this amazing application  which plays 20 YouTube music videos simultaneously.

Didn't care for the music, but the application is great! My hyperactive brain was led to another site that is so web 2.0! and  ridiculously easy! Love this one!

 is a project put together by Aaron Meyers. It allows the user to map YouTube videos onto an interactive 3D cube and then save it to a database so you can share with others. As you spin around a YouCube, the sounds of the different videos fade in and out.

To see an example of the functionality click here to watch "In the News". The key to a good listening/watching experience is to allow sufficient time for all the videos to properly load. Then it's really fun. Students will have a blast with this because it feeds their fractured, hyperactive attention span. Many adults would find it too distracting. I have spent enough time on the Internet that it feels right!

Easy to use:  Just copy & paste URLs from 6 different but related videos on YouTube. Then you can share your creation out to the world with a distinct URL.

Visit the YouCube page and make your own...Here's one I made for Evernote.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What is Justice?

Short answer -- Quiz on readings chapters 8-9: God Bless You Mr. Rosewater.

Field trip tomorrow: Adler Planetarium and  Contemporary Museum of Art.

Auto-didactic Journal # 4 is due tomorrow. Bring journal with you on the field trip.

Communism - proposed solution to sexism, racism and other forms of oppression.

lecture: "utopian ideal" - solve problems that exist due to money, religion, government  (Marx &Engel)

Oppressor/Oppressed dynamic:
  •  due to oppressors - we must get rid of money, government, and religion. Other oppressive pieces in society -- Marriage , education, eternal truths
  • Bourgousie = oppressors who are profiting from working class
  • Proletariat = working people; oppressed class
  • Need violent revolution to do away with Bourgousie
  • It sounds nice, but we just have to kill many people first
Short film: Communist Manifestoon

Vonnegut's Eliot:
"I think it's terrible the way people don't share things in this country.  I think it's a heartless government that will let one baby be born owning a big piece of the country, the way I was born, and let another baby be born without owning anything. The least a government could do, it seems to me, is to divide things up fairly among the babies (121)".

Discussion: Do you think it's ethical for northshore residents to buy/live in large $3 million dollar mansions? Is a luxurious lifestyle ethical?  Why or Why not?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

God Bless You Mr. Rosewater Discussion

Junior Discussion:
Is the person who loves EVERYBODY somehow more just than the person who does not?

Do you agree with Freud's viewpoint that...

"A love that does not discriminate seems to me to forfeit a part of its own value"  OR

"...not all men are worthy of love"?


Shared by Mary Ann Apple: Trailmeme is a new web publishing tool that you can use to create a trail of content on a specific topic you are investigating. Trailmeme allows you to gather related content from the Web, map it, and order or sequence in multiple ways to make sense of it. Any number of pages can be collected, organized, and annotated in a way that gives meaning to the topic.

There are a variety of ways to "create your trails": you may select an existing trail or start a new trail. You may edit privately until you wish to make your trail public. As you gather informational websites into your trail, you may add "Blurbs," "Editorial Comments" and "Tags" to enhance the trail experience.

Viewers can also read other peoples’ trails and "walk them" to keep up with any updates that are made. See the example titled "The 2010 Midterm Elections"   or the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill.

Take your audience on a journey as you curate the web!  I imagine that librarians could use trail meme to create a really cool pathfinder for students.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Thomas Pogge: "Cosmopolitanism and Sovereignty"

Seniors are reading the German philospher, Thomas Pogge who is a
Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. Pogge is also Research Director in the Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature at the University of Oslo, and Adjunct Professor in the Centre for Professional Ethics at the University of Central Lancashire.

To what extent are citizens of richer countries obliged to help those from poorer countries? Pogge's argument is that the global poor should be helping the poor because it fulfills their obligation to refrain from harming.

Global Economic Justice reading: "Cosmopolitanism and Sovereignty" by Thomas Pogge.
Tag-team analysis of the reading - students work in pairs to dig into the argument:

What is Pogge's main argument?  
Pogge’s analysis of the international institutions and NGOs shows how the world’s poor are not merely suffering because wealthy nations are doing too little to help; they are being actively and wrongly harmed by a system of global political and economic arrangements that is disproportionately shaped by and for wealthy Western societies.

Further, he argues that the  Human and Gender‐Related Development Index, and the World Bank's Poverty Index are deeply flawed and therefore distort our moral judgments and misguide resource allocations by governments, international agencies, and NGOs.

Is Pogge a moral relativist?

see also: UNU Lecture Series ‘Emerging Thinking on Global Issues (II)’: Human Rights: The Second 60 Years, and interview with Pogge in 2008.

Final hour:
Country / Region Project Research Time.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Town Hall Meeting Today in the EPI Center

Information items:
Letter grade translation decisions must be made by October 12, prior to the end of Quarter 1.

Summarized rubrics from Think Tank projects are completed. You will see these in your narrative assessments.

Show and Wow! today - John Noyes

Alex Fuhr: - trying to fund raise for Burma and bring in a speaker for IGSS.  This idea will go to the service committee for further discussion.

Jeremy: shared video - Amigos de las Americas documentary about summer volunteer program in Central America. 

See more links to this wonderful life-changing opportunity:

Recent Amigos Videos [from their website]

Picnic - Wed. 11:45 on East Practice Field
Weenie/tofu Roast provided by IGSS
Elle is organizing condiments; Ali - organizing drinks; Nora - organizing Chips ; Annalee- organizing desserts

Advisery visits to promote the use of water bottles are underway. The main goal is to educate New Trier as to the water bottle decision. Sign up if you are interested in helping.

House Selection during Town Hall:

No, we're not talking real estate, we're talking small communities within the larger IGSS community.
Sign up for one of the six IGSS houses.

Seniors - have new embedded calendar on BlackBoard for seniors only. Check your assignments on a daily basis.

Oedipus: HW: Scene II-half of Scene III
Today's check for understanding:

1.  Why did the townspeople come to Oedipus and what do they want from him.
2. What past event triggered this plague?
3. What did Oedipus decide to do about the plague and why?
4. What did Creon hear at Delphi and how does this affect the townspeople?
5. Why doesn't Teiresias share his misery with Oedipus at first?

Discussion of Ethical Issues:

Should people of a higher status be able to follow different laws than the citizenry?  Why or why not? Drawbacks/benefits? Should Oedipus be able to follow different laws?

Tomorrow:  Cosmopolitanism and Sovereignty

Saturday, October 2, 2010

New Trier Teachers and Students Need to Demand Access to Valuable Video

OK, I know that not all video is blocked at New Trier but most of it is.

We have been working with the IT Technology Committee and our work has gone down a black hole.  Librarians did research last year to present valid reasons why our student filtering of video needs to be changed. The faculty technology staff developers seem to be in agreement. In fact, everyone seemed to be in agreement but nothing has changed.

The learning opportunities through media are extraordinary. Stories told through video so powerful. Let's take control of our learning.  Who out there is willing to help me on this crusade?

While I am at it, let me share a twitter post from Greg Mortenson.  gregmortenson: The Girl Effect: The Clock Is Ticking: new video just released

Please watch and learn. Women do hold up "Half the Sky".

Universal Declaration of Human Rights Beautifully Told with Animated Typography

Wanted to share this video of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights which the IGSS students have been studying.Here's a link to Text of the UDHR (English). This wonderful film  paraphrases the concepts which come to life with moving type and animation. I think it's worth showing in class to students!

Thank you to Mashable for sharing this. It already has about 23,000 views on YouTube. I will definitely be encouraging students to follow Mashable to stay current with relevant social media.

New Trier Organic Garden