March 30, 2007

Teaching about the Holocaust @ SDSU

We had over forty teachers here today for Teaching about the Holocaust, a daylong workshop sponsored by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.

The morning was taken up with two presentations videoconfenced from the museum and the afternoon was all about making your own lessons about the Holocaust. Bonnie Sussman, a teacher and USHMM Fellow from Oakland, went over some design principles developed by the museum. Dan McDowell and I guided the participants through the process of using QuestGarden to create WebQuests on the topic. I used the new (still a little buggy) capability of QuestGarden to load up their accounts with nine existing WebQuests ready to be tweaked. Dan wrote Remembering the Victims of the Holocaust, a great lesson that incorporates Jumpcut, an online video editor. And I contributed Voices Rescued from the Holocaust, a lesson inspired by Tamara, a former student who blogged about having her students create found poems from survivor testimonies.

All in all a very good day.

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March 29, 2007

Imagine Me on the Love Boat

My reputation as an eminent expert on the Bermuda Triangle continues, as previously documented here. Today I received the following invitation via email:
Dear Mr. Dodge,

We were researching experts in the subjects of Bermuda on the internet today, and we came across your names.

May we respectfully take a moment to introduce our company, Sixth Star Entertainment & Marketing. We are the leading provider of “Edu-tainment” Programs to the cruise industry, staffing top cruise lines with engaging Destination Speakers. We invite you to visit our website at for more information.

We are currently working with Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Silversea, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and many more. To view our current roster of Destination Speaker openings for 2007, please Click Here.
It actually sounds like a pretty sweet deal. Cruise speakers pay $50 per day and can bring a cabinmate along. To earn your keep, all you have to do is....
During a typical week at sea, Speakers traditionally deliver three to four 35-minute presentations, with 10 minutes at the end for questions and answers. Presentations should be very entertaining (or as we like to say, "edu-tainment"), and we highly encourage the use of professional presentation tools, including slides and Power Point presentations.
That sounds like something I could do. I can't imagine, though, that any ship would want someone edutaining the passengers about the Bermuda Triangle while they're cruising right through it. Hmmm... or maybe they would, since what I'd be saying with my edutaining Powerpoint slides is that the whole thing is a load of crap. That might calm the nerves of the credulous.

I'll have to run this past my potential cabinmate.


March 19, 2007

Hong Kong, Compressed

June & I are wrapping up a jam-packed 5 days in Hong Kong today. I was invited by Centre for the Advancement of Information Technology in Education., to keynote an award ceremony. Award for what? It was the first WebQuest competition that i'm aware of. it was a lot of fun watching the excitement of the teachers who won, especially the presentations made by the girls who described what the experience was like for them as students.

I did a couple of workshops as well and in between all that we shopped in Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok and toured the fishing village of Tai O with the help of FL and his students. We're about to get on the plane for 21 hours at the start of a very long day. It's Tuesday morning here, and we'll fly first to Narita, then San Francisco, then San Diego in time to teach my 4pm and 7pm classes Tuesday afternoon. The International Dateline is giving us back the day we lost on the way over. I'm guessing I'll be a zombie.

We took close to a trillion pictures. We'll post them here soon

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March 12, 2007

Is Hillary Inevitable?

I hope not.

On the Chris Matthews show last night, all the pundits were debating exactly what role Bill will be playing in the next administration as if it were a done deal. The election is still a long way away and deep pockets aren't enough to ensure a win. This video by a Barack supporter captures my sentiments nicely.


March 06, 2007

Alex Turns 19

Hard to believe that the happiest day of my life, so far, was 19 years ago.