1. "The Public Purpose of Private Education"
..... a phrase often used by Pat Bassett, President of NAIS. To see a fine example of this, spearheaded by St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School, visit the Photosensitive website to view the student portion of their Cancer Connections Project. The collection of images is a very powerful one. Other CIS schools participating were; Appleby College, Greenwood College School, Matthews Hall and Ridley College.
Photosensitive's next project is focussed on Energy and there are opportunities for student participation. Download a flyer here.
2. Conference of Independent Teachers of English (CITE)
Thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers, there has been a revival of CITE and its student publication InCITE. The student publication is available online through the CIS website. For an overview of CITE accomplishments this year click here. Next year's CITE Conference will be held at Ridley College on April 15 and 16, 2011. Download a preliminary flyer here.
3. Education for 21st Century Citizens
The Ontario Chapter of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development has published an April 2010 Changing Perspectives newsletter on Education for the 21st Century. Information on ordering issues of Changing Perspectives is available here. ASCD is a valuable professional organization and information on membership is available at their website.
4. CIS/OISE Institutes
During the past 18 months, CIS, in partnership with OISE, ran an Institute on Differentiated Assessment. 12 teams of four teachers and administrators from CIS schools participated in PD sessions and conducted action research in their schools on the topic of differentiated assessment. The research reports of their school projects are now beginning to be posted on the CIS website - www.cisontario.ca > Professional Development > CIS/OISE Institute.
The next Institute is "Mind Shift - Rethinking Education for the 21st Century." Information on the Institute is available here.
5. TED Talks
Looking for inspiration? For classroom or personal use? Visit TED - a website of video talks by amazingly creative and interesting people.
6. And finally ...
We Feel Fine is an exploration of human emotion on a global scale.
Since August 2005, We Feel Fine has been harvesting human feelings from a large number of weblogs. Every few minutes, the system searches the world's newly posted blog entries for occurrences of the phrases "I feel" and "I am feeling". When it finds such a phrase, it records the full sentence, up to the period, and identifies the "feeling" expressed in that sentence (e.g. sad, happy, depressed, etc.). Because blogs are structured in largely standard ways, the age, gender, and geographical location of the author can often be extracted and saved along with the sentence, as can the local weather conditions at the time the sentence was written. All of this information is saved.
The result is a database of several million human feelings, increasing by 15,000 - 20,000 new feelings per day. Using a series of playful interfaces, the feelings can be searched and sorted across a number of demographic slices, offering responses to specific questions like: do Europeans feel sad more often than Americans? Do women feel fat more often than men? Does rainy weather affect how we feel? What are the most representative feelings of female New Yorkers in their 20s? What do people feel right now in Baghdad? What were people feeling on Valentine's Day? Which are the happiest cities in the world? The saddest? And so on.
The interface to this data is a self-organizing particle system, where each particle represents a single feeling posted by a single individual. The particles' properties – color, size, shape, opacity – indicate the nature of the feeling inside, and any particle can be clicked to reveal the full sentence or photograph it contains. The particles careen wildly around the screen until asked to self-organize along any number of axes, expressing various pictures of human emotion. We Feel Fine paints these pictures in six formal movements titled: Madness, Murmurs, Montage, Mobs, Metrics, and Mounds.
At its core, We Feel Fine is an artwork authored by everyone. It will grow and change as we grow and change, reflecting what's on our blogs, what's in our hearts, what's in our minds. We hope it makes the world seem a little smaller, and we hope it helps people see beauty in the everyday ups and downs of life.
(Note from George - if you're not feeling intuitive, click on the "Movements" section for an explanation of the formats. Enjoy!)