Friday, April 29, 2011

The Advantages of College

Yes, I know not everyone is going to go to college - or should, but I like to connect it to the increased likelihood of success in life for my students or in some cases just graduating as opposed to not for some of them.  Well, yes, this is biased since it is put out by the College Board, but it does look at an amazing array of statistics such as voting rates, exercise enhancement, donations to charity, more activities with your children, less likely to be obese or smoke, etc., etc. and of course generally more income!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Title IX

One of the more controversial items I teach is Title IX.  It has a direct impact on our school as the baseball team raised its own money for lights while the county where I teach covered the same cost for the softball team.  I also am very involved (all these years later) with fundraising for my college track team so have plenty of examples of how how Title IX works in the collegiate ranks.  For those of you who want more information, here is a great article and short video on it. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Know Videos

Watch Know Videos
This site has a bunch of short videos such as the one above which describes the American republic and looks at it comparatively to other forms of government. The site also includes videos on Greek government, Marxism, School House Rock Videos, the Emancipation Proclamation, American presidents and civics. If you are like me you are building a library of links on your webpage and using short videos to enhance what you are teaching. I find it is also great to have these since students who miss can easily still learn the information. I find if it is a slightly longer one such as the one above (10 minutes) that I will give them some questions that I want to learn that are important concepts that we are learning.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Fellow blogger Frank Franz (Panthers Fan) told me about this at a meeting we attended a few days ago.  Sporcle has some great timed review games and allows you to create your own.  Frank and I were talking about having students do essay re-writes and what should be done with the kids whose first essay is pretty good and having them create a review game was his answer.  

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cr-48 from Google

Initially I had hoped to have "won" a free one of the above laptops, but it will be my next one this summer (think Acer is going to produce it).  If you are a fan of Internet (cloud computing) only computing, it will be the perfect computer for you as it will be cheap, fast and turn on and be online in just a few seconds.  What's the catch - it will only have a little bit of hard drive (enough to run e-mail, download some things before you upload them onto the web).  Being completely on the cloud WILL be the future. By the way, I got a reminder of this innovation from The Innovative Educator

Federal Tax Payer Receipt

The White House just released this tool to see where the money you pay in taxes actually goes. You can put in your actual numbers or choose an income level.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pagination in Google Docs

Okay, so perhaps it is not earth shattering, but while I love Google Docs, one of the short comings for me has been that you could only see the pagination view if you went to the print preview. Well starting today, it shows up just as it would in any Microsoft document and if you want to see it as a continuous page, then you simply need to go to "view" and then "document view" and "compact."  Now if GD could just have a way to combine boxes in a chart, then it would be perfect.  

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Republican Hopefuls for 2012

Here's a look at the potential 2012 Republican candidates. Also included is a brief analysis of each of the candidate's background and potential obstacles to getting elected.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Shutdown and Approval Ratings

Although the government shutdown has been averted, the crisis allowed us all to take a look back at the two shutdowns during the Clinton administration. Here is an article that looks at how the shutdowns impacted approval ratings.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A letter from Crazyville

This link to the Washington Post is the text of a letter from Moammar Gadhafi to President Obama. Someone's been hanging out with Charlie Sheen too much!

E-mail to Text

Kids do not seem to use e-mail anymore other than to send a teacher a message, but never to retrieve one!  So if you want to send an e-mail to their cell phones, here is how you do it:

So if the number is 571222333, you would e-mail to "" for Sprint. I found this info here.

Dueling budgets

Here is an interactive chart from the Washington Post that compares the House Republican budget to the Presidents. You can compare specific budget areas like Health, Social Security, and Defense.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

NY TimesCasts

Unfortunately the NYTimes videos no longer come with an embedded code that you could put into your PowerPoints.  They do, however, have a link and if you can wait a few days there is a Youtube site that puts them up about 5 days after the fact.  Here is the one (not on youtube) on the government shutdown. 

Govt Shutdown on Friday?

I'm still not convinced that we will have a government shutdown, but having said that, here is a great article on what exactly a shutdown will mean. It includes a great chart on past ones and a video explaining it. 

Former Governor Tim Kaine Runs for Senate

Obama and the Swing Voter

Obama's opening advertisement for his re-election is good for classes as a tool to show how he is already focusing on the swing states.  

Monday, April 4, 2011

Health Care Across America

Gallup has a number of polls which illuminate the data behind the health care crisis. In one poll it reveals that the the top ten states with the highest numbers of uninsured are all from the South or West, whereas the seven of the ten states with the highest rates of insured people come from the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic.

Gallup has also has an application that allows you to manipulate the data at the city level called the "U.S. City Well Being Tracking." These polls use six criteria for identifying wellbeing and the application allows for you to save charts you create as .jpgs.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Predictive Power of Primaries

I like to tell my students that we are (w. the exception of 2008's Democrats) shrinking the primary season and selecting the nominees earlier and earlier.  Well Nate Silver of is now doing a three part series looking at the predictive power of presidential primaries.  The first one shows that from 1972-2008, only one Republican was not selected based on the predictive power of the early primaries and that was John McCain.