September 27

Google’s 10th birthday

I went to google today to be greeted by their new sketch indicating that it is their 10th Birthday.

Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love Google. I’ve read everything I can find on them, and have even written a paper titled “Google: an exemplar of businesses using strategies encouraging workplace innovation while maintainting profitability”

Remember when there was no Google? Using human edited Directories to find information on the web, or having to know a URL? This morning I needed someone’s email address, and I actually just Googled their first name, their workplace and email address and I found their address this way.

Whenever I look for a new piece of software now, I check out Google products first. This has paid off in the classroom, in the use of Google Docs and Spreadsheets, Lively, Google Sketch up, and many others.

Check out Google Labs for a wide range of new stuff that they are developing.

September 27

Jamie Mackenzie Questioning Scaffold

I just found a great article from Jamie Mackenzie on questioning presented concepts called “The evidence gap” He gives three different examples of how this now permeates our life, and gives a scaffold for students to evaluate ideas at

He uses the example of how Captain Cook “looked after” the indigenous people in countries that he visited, the Obama vs McCain Oil debate, and an example from the Medical field.

He breaks down each argument from McCain and Obama and finally determines (from facts rather than speeches that):

It turns out that the biggest problem is our dependence on oil, not our dependence on oil from “countries that don’t like us very much.” Once we close the “evidence gap,” a very different picture emerges than the one McCain hoped to evoke.

The scaffold would be a great tool to give students to discuss web based resources and the authenticity of such, and also to increase critical analysis of ideas.