246 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2024
    1. It already Feels like I am going to war.

      Shred-mulch, or is it mulch shreds, multi-colored confetti fluttering to the ground. Spreading a blanket to feed, to enrich the soil that feeds us.

      Ouch! A rigid bit of plastic, ripping a gash in the foot of the conqueror treading the ground.

      I fear much less the war of massaging words on the page than the war to eradicate the “forever” toxins we, Homo Sapiens, have inflicted upon Mother Earth.

  2. Oct 2023
    1. machine learning offers potential assistance

      Read the linked article, #Meliora students. Are you inspired to become a machine learning scientist?

    2. Enheduanna

      Read this article about Enheduanna and describe one way women were treated in this ancient Mesopotamian society. One thought per #Meliora student, no duplicates

    3. On this day the boy feels successful, but on the next, his teachers repeatedly beat him for infractions such as tardiness, talking, and poor handwriting. In the end, the boy’s father invites the headmaster to dinner and gives him gifts and money. Appeased (and bought off, although such payments may have been expected), the headmaster declares to the boy: “You have carried out well the school’s activities. You are a man of learning!”

      Bribery and payoffs existed even back then!

    4. Working harder could lead to a prosperous life composing legal documents—or even writing correspondence for a royal court. Those who persevered could become scholars with knowledge of mathematics, medicine, religious ritual, divination, laws, and mythology, or even authors of literature

      Who would you consider "scribes" in today's world, based on this description, #Meliora students? One example per student, no duplicates!

    5. Mesopotamians used seals, mostly of durable and sometimes expensive materials.

      What is a modern-day equivalent of these ancient seals, #Meliora students? First come, first served, no duplicate answers!

    6. This tablet reflects bureaucratic accounting, but similar lists were used in the following centuries by individuals to keep track of personal property and business agreements

      Today, what do we use to keep track of personal property and business agreements, #Meliora students? First come, first served, no duplicates!

    7. At about the same time, or a little later, the Egyptians were inventing their own form of hieroglyphic writing.

      Why do you think this happened, #Meliora students? Why did this technological advancement take place at the same time in multiple cultures? Cite the source(s) that you use.

    8. The earliest known writing was invented there around 3400 B.C. in an area called Sumer near the Persian Gulf.

      To find out more and see where this area is, look at the linked article.

  3. Jul 2023
    1. And it all starts with coffee on the porch swing, a form of time machine that keeps the day at bay for just a few minutes longer just by oscillating to the amplitude of our wind chimes.

      Or the sweet stillness of a blushing sunset, the majesty of tall trees silhouetted against the falling dusk, the sound of a great horned owl announcing the beginning of her day.

  4. Jun 2023
    1. Note #2: Please read Note #1 above if you haven't already done so. HERE (Note #2), Bard is pandering, giving props for being "thoughtful and nuanced." This is in direct contradiction to what Bard had to say earlier.

      I will sarcastically comment that this is a good mirror of how our society is functioning today. In one situation, for one audience, we may have one point of view, then represent a totally different point of view with a different audience. So much for #authenticity!

    2. Note #1: Ok... so here Bard is saying how utterly unacceptable it is to use the n-word, in ANY circumstances. Please reference Note #2.

  5. May 2023
    1. future of learning

      Terrry, your use of "check out" made me think of variations: 1) checking out library materials that help students learn more about different career paths; 2) checking out materials that help develop skills related to a career path; 3) creating networks of internships, work shadowing, etc. available to students to find out about and "check out" throughout their K12 experience.

    2. collection of links

      Terry, did you create this? I've broused your Wakelet and didn't find it.

  6. Apr 2023
    1. Art, like speech, is a means of communication, and therefore of progress, i.e. of the movement of humanity forward towards perfection.

      What do you think, Meliora students? Has art progressed toward "perfection?" Provide example(s).

    2. The third consequence of the perversion of art is the perplexity produced in the minds of children and of plain folk. Among people not perverted by the false theories of our society, among workers and children, there exists a very definite conception of what people may be respected 179and praised for. In the minds of peasants and children the ground for praise or eulogy can only be either physical strength: Hercules, the heroes and conquerors; or moral, spiritual, strength: Sakya Muni giving up a beautiful wife and a kingdom to save mankind, Christ going to the cross for the truth he professed, and all the martyrs and the saints. Both are understood by peasants and children. They understand that physical strength must be respected, for it compels respect; and the moral strength of goodness an unperverted man cannot fail to respect, because all his spiritual being draws him towards it. But these people, children and peasants, suddenly perceive that besides those praised, respected, and rewarded for physical or moral strength, there are others who are praised, extolled, and rewarded much more than the heroes of strength and virtue, merely because they sing well, compose verses, or dance. They see that singers, composers, painters, ballet-dancers, earn millions of roubles and receive more honour than the saints do: and peasants and children are perplexed.

      A fascinating observation and assertion, Meliora students. Do you agree with Tolstoy? Explain and provide example(s).

    3. The art of the future, therefore, will not be poorer, but infinitely richer in subject-matter. And the form of the art of the future will also not be inferior to the present forms of art, but infinitely superior to them. Superior, not in the sense of having a refined and complex technique, but in the sense of the capacity briefly, simply, and clearly to transmit, without any superfluities, the feeling which the artist has experienced and wishes to transmit.

      Tolstoy wrote this essay about 125 years ago. Do you believe his prediction to be true, Meliora students? Explain.

    4. True science investigates and brings to human perception such truths and such knowledge as the people of a given time and society consider most important. Art transmits these truths from the region of perception to the region of emotion.

      What do you think, Meliora students? Are science and art intertwined as Tolstoy describes here? Explain and provide an example(s).

    5. Therefore this third condition—sincerity—is the most important of the three. It is always complied with in peasant art, and this explains why such art always acts so 155powerfully; but it is a condition almost entirely absent from our upper-class art, which is continually produced by artists actuated by personal aims of covetousness or vanity.

      What do you think, Meliora students? Does an artist need to be "sincere" in order to create powerful art? Explain.

    6. If a man is infected by the author’s condition of soul, if he feels this emotion and this union with others, then the object which has effected this is art; but if there be no such infection, if there be not this union with the author and with others who are moved by the same work—then it is not art. And not only is infection a sure sign of art, but the degree of infectiousness is also the sole measure of excellence in art.

      So, Meliora students, if we take this to a certain level of abstraction, this statement implies that if we had enough art touting world peace that we would be "infected" to this condition as humankind. What do you think? Explain fully.

    7. Symbolists and Decadents

      What are Symbolists and Decadents, Meliora students? What do these terms mean? Is there anyone in either of these categories you particularly admire? Why?

    8. We think the feelings experienced by people of our day and our class are very important and varied; but in reality almost all the feelings of people of our class amount to but three very insignificant and simple feelings—the feeling of pride, the feeling of sexual desire, and the feeling of weariness of life. These three feelings, with their outgrowths, form almost the only subject-matter of the art of the rich classes.

      What do you think, Meliora students? Are these the only feelings, or are there others? Explain fully and provide specific examples (works of art) of any other feelings that are expressed through art.

    9. what distinguishes a work of art from all other mental activity is just the fact that its language is understood by all, and that it infects all without distinction.

      So, Meliora students, what do you think of this claim? Explain fully.

    10. While art was as yet undivided, and only religious art was valued and rewarded while indiscriminate art was left unrewarded, there were no counterfeits of art, or, if any existed, being exposed to the criticism of the whole people, they quickly disappeared. But as soon as that division occurred, and the upper classes acclaimed every kind of art as good if only it afforded them pleasure, and began to reward such art more highly than any other social activity, immediately a large number of people devoted themselves to this activity, and art assumed quite a different character and became a profession.

      What do you think, Meliora students? Agree? Disagree? Explain fully.

    11. Wagner wishes that musical art should submit to dramatic art, and that both should appear in full strength. But this is impossible, for every work of art, if it be a true one, is an expression of intimate feelings of the artist, which are quite exceptional, and not like anything else.

      What do you think, Meliora students? Do you agree or disagree with Tolstoy? Explain (you may want to listen to some Wagner music as you do so :-)).

    12. If it is true that art is an activity by means of which one man having experienced a feeling intentionally transmits it to others, then we have inevitably to admit further, that of all that among us is termed the art of the upper classes—of all 144those novels, stories, dramas, comedies, pictures, sculptures, symphonies, operas, operettas, ballets, etc., which profess to be works of art—scarcely one in a hundred thousand proceeds from an emotion felt by its author, all the rest being but manufactured counterfeits of art in which borrowing, imitating, effects, and interestingness replace the contagion of feeling.

      I wonder how you feel about this assertion, Meliora students? Are the examples of art that borrow, imitate, etc. from others "counterfeit?" Why or why not? Provide specific example(s) of art pieces (any format -- visual art, book, music, etc.) to support your point of view.

    13. It is true that their foremost thinkers—Socrates, Plato, Aristotle—felt that goodness may happen not to coincide with beauty. Socrates expressly subordinated beauty to goodness; Plato, to unite the two conceptions, spoke of spiritual beauty; while Aristotle demanded from art that it should have a moral influence on people (κάθαρσις). 62But, notwithstanding all this, they could not quite dismiss the notion that beauty and goodness coincide.

      No question here, Meliora students, just highlighting this as a short synopsis of what these three philosophers thought about art and beauty, and their relationship.

    14. The artists of the Middle Ages, vitalised by the same source of feeling—religion—as the mass of the people, and transmitting, in architecture, sculpture, painting, music, poetry or drama, the feelings and states of mind they experienced, were true artists; and their activity, founded on the highest conceptions accessible to their age and 57common to the entire people, though, for our times a mean art, was, nevertheless a true one, shared by the whole community.

      What is your reaction to this, Meliora students? Was the artistic representation during the Middle Ages, as well as the reaction of the "entire people" universally shared?

      Identify one work of art (any form of art) that serves as an example of your point of view, and explain how that work was either generally admired by "everyone" or had different reactions from different people.

    15. all that is being lived through by his contemporaries is accessible to him, as well as the feelings experienced by men thousands of years ago, and he has also the possibility of transmitting his own feelings to others

      What do you think, Meliora students? Do you think the artist's feelings are transmitted accurately generation over generation? What factors may alter how one generation perceives coffee compared to an earlier or later generation?

    16. Every work of art causes the receiver to enter into a certain kind of relationship both with him who produced, or is producing, the art, and with all those who, simultaneously, previously or subsequently, receive the same artistic impression.

      What do you think, Meliora students? Do you feel like you "enter into a certain kind of relationship" with whomever creates each work of art that you observe? Explain fully.

    17. And the reason of this is that the conception of art has been based on the conception of beauty.

      What is your reaction to this statement, Meliora students? How was your conception of art formed, and how is it related to your idea of beauty?

    18. According to Véron (1825-1889), art is the manifestation of emotion transmitted externally by a combination of lines, forms, colours, or by a succession of movements, sounds, or words subjected to certain rhythms.

      What say ye, Meliora students? Do you agree or disagree? Provide example(s) to support your point of view.

    19. “That which is beautiful is harmonious and proportionable, what is harmonious and proportionable is true, and what is at once both beautiful and true is of consequence agreeable and good.”[13] Beauty, he taught, is recognised by the mind only. God is fundamental beauty; beauty and goodness proceed from the same fount.

      "beauty and goodness proceed from the same fount." What do you think, Meliora students? Do you agree or disagree? Why? Provide examples (e.g. a piece of art that is "good" but not "beautiful," or vice-versa) to support your position.

    20. With reference to the manifestations of beauty, Baumgarten considers that the highest embodiment of beauty is seen by us in nature, and he therefore thinks that the highest aim of art is to copy nature. (This position also is directly contradicted by the conclusions of the latest æstheticians.)

      What do you think, Meliora students? Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Explain fully.

    21. In Russian, by the word krasota (beauty) we mean only that which pleases the sight. And though latterly people have begun to speak of “an ugly deed,” or of “beautiful music,” it is not good Russian. A Russian of the common folk, not knowing foreign languages, will not understand you if you tell him that a man who has given his last coat to another, or done anything similar, has acted “beautifully,” that a man who has cheated another has done an “ugly” action, or that a song is “beautiful.” In Russian a deed may be kind and good, or unkind and bad. Music may be pleasant and good, or unpleasant and bad; but there can be no such thing as “beautiful” or “ugly” music.

      What do you think about this, Meliora students? How much do you think language influences our perception of "beauty" or "art?" Which came first? Find an example of a linguist's interpretation and summarize it.

    22. But without even asking the ordinary man what differentiates the “good” ballet and the “graceful” operetta from their opposites (a question he would have much difficulty in answering), if you ask him whether the activity of costumiers and hairdressers, who ornament the figures and faces of the women for the ballet and the operetta, is art; or the activity of Worth, the dressmaker; of scent-makers and men-cooks, then he will, in most cases, deny that their activity belongs to the sphere of art.

      What do you think, Meliora students? In this scenario, which of the occupations and activities would you consider "art?" Why?

    23. the labourers produce food for themselves and also food that the cultured class accept and consume, but that the artists seem too often to produce their spiritual food for the cultured only—at any rate that a singularly small share seems to reach the country labourers who work to supply the bodily food! Even were the “division of labour” shown to be a fair one, the “division of products” seems remarkably one-sided.

      What do you think, Meliora students? What are your observations about "division of labor" in our society currently? What is being done, or could be done, to ensure all people, regardless of their "class" have access to art and culture?

    24. But my companion (who prided herself on being an artist) remarked with conscious superiority, that from an artist’s point of view the subject was of no consequence. The pictures being very well executed were artistic, and therefore worthy of attention and study. Morality had nothing to do with art.

      What do you think, Meliora students?

      1. Is all art "worthy of attention and study?" Why or why not?
      2. Where are the boundaries? (If there are any)
      3. Which western philosophers would agree with your viewpoint? How do you know?
  7. Feb 2023
    1. McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission (1995) also ruled that individuals can publish anonymous criticisms of political issues,

      Today, countless people post (typically online) vicious criticisms on a wide range of topics. Should anonymity always be protected? Meliora students, what do you think would be different about our public discourse if we were required to identify ourselves each time we posted an opinion/criticism?

    2. In Near v. Minnesota (1931), the Supreme Court set a strong presumption against prior restraint of publication

      I urge Meliora students to read the linked article summarizing Near v. Minnesota. "Jay Near was the muckraking editor of The Saturday Press. In fall 1927, Near published a series of articles attacking several Minneapolis city officials for dereliction of duty." A very brief summary of the ruling is that the state could not shut down Near's publication just because they didn't like it. They could sue for libel, but had to allow the newspaper to print "whatever" in honor of freedom of the press.

      Meliora students, please find a freedom of the press case from the last decade, summarize it and provide a link. No duplicates!

    3. Yellow journalism usually refers to sensationalistic or biased stories that newspapers present as objective truth.

      This article refers to newspapers. Although much news is now consumed from social media platforms, this form of journalism persists. Meliora students, please find a recent (within the last two years) article/topic that is an example of "yellow journalism." What did the story claim, and what was falsified or exaggerated? Include a link to the story.

  8. Jan 2023
    1. we are finally starting to find the seeds of real agency in the ruins of apparent historical necessity

      I wonder how Rao came to this conclusion? Because of the Great Resignation? I think it is too soon to know what/why this means in the long run. If it leads to more balanced employer-employee relationships and job satisfaction, then bravo. If it means more people are living in their parents' basement, then not so much.

  9. Nov 2022
    1. They spent an entire year just focusing on how to end the lesson well. All their PD for a year was “How do we end our lessons well?”

      I love this idea! Focusing on just one aspect of the project design for a whole year.

    2. interactive word wall

      This is a new term to me. There's an explanation further along in the article, and I also found this short video very instructive.

    3. No one in this class is going to fully understand this page—nobody

      Great way to allay the fear students may have about the complexity of the text, and to normalize the situation.

    4. I’m much less worried about free writes happening all the time, than that kids are writing with purpose about topics they care about

      I disagree somewhat on this. Certainly writing with purpose about topics students care about is key. However, my experience has been that #freewrites are a great tool to help students (and myself!) to "loosen up" and learn to breathe about writing.

    5. we need to work with kids at the outer edge of their reading ability and writing ability so they’re being pushed

      Very #Vygotsky, Zone of Proximal Development.

    6. Ron Berger

      I have admired Ron Berger from afar for a very long time. His Austin's Butterfly exemplar is a permanent item in my PBL professional development toolkit. His book An Ethic of Excellence: Building a Culture of Craftsmanship with Students has principles all PBL practitioners should incorporate into their practice.

  10. Oct 2022
    1. The student-centered mindset has led to a dumbing-down of curricula and a constant pressure on educators to motivate students, rather than a pressure on students to take ownership of their own success and failure.

      Categorically disagree with this. I would argue that the student-centered assignments, projects and expectations I challenge my secondary students with exceed the majority of assignments found in any typical scope and sequence. Yes, they have "voice and choice" in much of their work, especially how they demonstrate their evidence of learning, however they are consistently asked to dig deep, to use critical thinking skills in analysis and support of their arguments.

    1. they cannot conceive how God can have an attribute of justice, and show mercy to us because it pleased Him to make us black—which color, Mr. Jefferson calls unfortunate!!!!

      Meliora students, when (in what document(s)) did Thomas Jefferson name black skin color as "unfortunate?" What was the context of his statement? How does that square with "all men are created equal?" @Bella, what do you think? Was Jefferson a "racist?" Was he a visionary? Was he none of the above? He is a complex historical character; I look forward to your pondered answer and your cited sources.

    2. Document Excerpt

      Meliora students, why do you think the Constitution Center chose these particular excerpts from Walker's 76-page document? @Everyone, without reading it in detail, scan through the whole pamphlet and identify another segment you think should have been included.

    3. Remember, to let the aim of your labors among your brethren, and particularly the youths, be the dissemination of education and religion

      Meliora students, how has this played out since 1829? @Marilyn, who have been the touchstones across the past 200 years of people who have responded to this call? Cite your sources.

    4. Tragically, Walker died as a young man in 1830

      Meliora students, imagine how much more impact he could have had if he had lived longer! @Marie, sleuth out his biography, as well as how he died. I found multiple explanations, so see what you find and try to decide which explanation is correct. Cite your sources.

    5. “But when a long train of abuses and usurpation, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”

      Meliora students, where is this quote from? What was Walker suggesting/provoking other Black Americans to do? @Thor, please answer this and cite your sources.

    6. It also helped spark a backlash in the white South.

      Meliora students, another dramatic claim. @Niko, please find us some evidence. Newspaper article(s), other press pieces, etc. Cite your sources.

    7. Walker’s Appeal shocked the American conscience and set in motion a burgeoning movement for immediate abolition.

      Meliora students, this is a forceful claim. @Gabi, find evidence to support this -- newspaper article(s), other reportage of the time, etc. Cite your sources in your response.

    1. Newspaper

      Meliora students, as you research information about your individual topics, Pew Research (pewresearch.org) is one good place to look. Reporters Without Borders (rsf.org) also has some very interesting information, the World Press Freedom Index is especially disheartening.

    2. Meanwhile, small town weeklies, with hand-operated presses, two or three employees, and circulations in the hundreds were thriving as well.

      Meliora students, what is the current situation with small town newspapers? @Niko, please dig into this and report to the class (including source citations, of course!).

    3. Commercially, as new businesses flourished, so did the advertising function of the newspaper press.

      Meliora students, where are media advertising dollars spent today? @Gabi, please dig into this and report to the class (including source citations, of course!).

    4. Rapidly urbanizing cities could even support multiple daily newspapers.

      Meliora students, what does this look like today? @Thor, please dig into this and report to the class (including source citations, of course!). Look into the newspaper statistics for the five (5) largest cities in the United States. How many daily newspapers do they have? How many include print editions? How many are digital-only newspapers?

    5. By the 1830s the United States had some 900 newspapers, about twice as many as Great Britain—and had more newspaper readers, too.

      Meliora students, how does this compare today? What are the circulation per population statistics? @Marie, please dig into this and report to the class (including source citations, of course!)

    6. federal policy was the opposite: to subsidize newspapers through the postal system

      Is this still the case? @Marilyn, please dig into this and report to the class (including source citations, of course!)

    7. Not only did the federal government choose not to tax newspapers or advertising, as many governments of Europe did

      Is this still the case? @Bella, please dig into this and report to the class (including source citations, of course!)

    1. leaving behind an extremely valuable record of their anonymous, if not invisible, lives

      Meliora students, what do you think of this statement? Do people take photos today as an expression of their relevance, or for some other reason? Explain.

    2. Among the many momentous social transformations generated by photography’s invention was the possibility of self-representation by a large variety of groups previously excluded from official portraiture.

      Meliora students, how does this compare to today? What has the era of the selfie done in terms of representation of groups of people?

  11. Sep 2022
    1. To tell the story this way, as a struggle between tyranny and liberty, between King and Gazette, or even between John Adams and Benjamin Edes, is to write a Whig history, something that historians generally sniff at, mainly because eighteenth-century Whigs (and Whig printers) saw their world in just this way, with themselves on the side of liberty, and people aren’t to be trusted in accounting for their own place in history.

      Meliora @Isabella tell us more about this. What were the main viewpoints of 18th-Century Whigs?

    2. The following year, Edes, with the help of Samuel Adams and Paul Revere, turned the shooting by British soldiers of five rioting civilians into the “Boston Massacre.”

      Meliora @Thor tell us more about this. What exactly was the "Boston Massacre?" Who all was involved, and what impact did the reporting of this incident have on the tension between the US Colonies and England?

    3. What Jefferson wanted for the nation under his governance was a “union of opinion.”

      Meliora @Marie what would/could "union of opinion" lead to?

    4. During his beleaguered second term, Jefferson suggested that newspapers ought to be divided into four sections: Truths, Probabilities, Possibilities, and Lies.

      Meliora @Niko what is your reaction to Jefferson's declaration? How does this parallel the current-day news channels (of all kinds - print, TV, online, etc.)?

    5. Without partisan and even scurrilous printers pushing the limits of a free press in the seventeen-nineties, Marcus Daniel argues, the legitimacy of a loyal opposition never would have been established and the new nation, with its vigorous and democratizing political culture, might never have found its feet.

      Meliora @Gabi what is your reaction to this statement? Do you agree or disagree? Why?

    6. And it’s not the newspaper that’s forever at risk of dying and needing to be raised from the grave. It’s the freedom of the press.

      Meliora @Marilyn, what are current-day example(s) of this concern?

    7. In July of 1798, Adams signed into law the Sedition Act, making defaming his Administration a federal crime.

      Meliora @Gabi, what would/could have happened to the press if this had remained in effect? When was the second Sedition Act, what did it consist of, and what happened with it?

    8. On November 1, 1765, that Black Day, Bostonians staged a funeral for Liberty, beneath the Liberty Tree.

      Meliora @Thor, tell us more about this. Who all participated? What happened as a result?

    9. When Massachusetts’s royally appointed governor, Francis Bernard, who believed that Edes’s paper “swarmed with Libells of the most atrocious kind,” threatened Edes and Gill with prosecution, Adams urged the printers on. Do not, he told them, “suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberty by any pretences of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three names for hypocrisy, chicanery, and cowardice.”

      Meliora @Marilyn, what is John Adams implying here about Massachusetts's governor Francis Bernard?

    10. Standards of journalistic objectivity date to the nineteenth century. Before then, the whole point was to have a point of view.

      Meliora @Isabella, based on this statement, pretend you are a person living in the 1700s. What would have motivated you to read a newspaper, and how would you have interpreted what you read? [This is an opinion question!]

    11. Cotton Mather

      Meliora @Niko, tell us about Cotton Mather. Who was he? Why did he matter? Why would he have been mad at Franklin?

    12. Jill Lepore

      Meliora @Marie, please give us some biographical information on Jill Lepore. Who is she, and why is her writing considered credible?

    1. she demonstrates the casual and ugly cruelty of positivity as she worked her way through her own personal breast cancer struggle. One person blamed her for not believing that cancer was an opportunity in disguise.
  12. Aug 2022
    1. Should my granddaughter even listen to a word I say about the world?

      I think elders are the carriers of much wisdom, and that part of their "job" is to pass the wisdom forward to future generations. As I've mentioned elsewhere (where, oh where?) in our conversations, I feel that part of the malaise in our society is that we don't have a solid foundation of values, principles and ideals that we staunchly stand on. "Every choice is ok, don't judge, don't say the wrong thing..." has led to young people being frightened to express their opinions, for fear they will be pounced on.

      And, playing devils' advocate on the "we are doomed" mindset, both you and I lived through the "fuel crisis" of the 1970s (and imagined toilet paper shortages then and more recently), dire predictions of acid rain destroying our planet, and a number of other things.

      Don't get me wrong, I am dismayed at what poor stewards we have been and continue to be of our planet. Yet, we allow giant corporations (BigFarma and BigPharma) to continue to poison the earth and look elsewhere for answers, rather than looking to our elders of long ago for wisdom on how to live in beautifully balanced harmony with the earth.

    1. asking students which fears/worries they have about learning

      I typically start my classes with a "hopes and fears" exercise, using a NSRF protocol of the same name.

    2. Second, your own project could be a mentor text showing students how to go about their own forecast from the future.

      What I'm interpreting this as, Terry, is the ability to think conceptually, to combine current information/reality with (informed) conjectures/predictions about what's happening next. I love this kind of thinking/daydreaming, and also think it's hard to teach. Probably lots of "what if..." and similar inquiries. And, I love inquiries. I look forward to exploring this further.

    3. my friends at EPIC learning (Kayla and Charlene are the driving forces there)

      Hey Terry! Tell us more!

  13. Jul 2022
    1. why aren’t we doing these things already?

      Amen! Why can't we have "fun" while learning? Like every young child does while playing with blocks or banging on pots and pans? I like Quinn's (and have also seen the term elsewhere) use of "learning experiences" as a way to look at educational design.

      In fact, all "learning" is based in experience, and some students "learn" how to game the system, others "learn" to disengage, etc. What if, instead, learning was exciting and something to look forward to?

  14. Jun 2022
  15. May 2022
    1. We fail to realise that mastery is not about perfection. It’s about a process, a journey.

      This is such an important concept to acknowledge and face! EVERYTHING we do is framed by a process, whether we are conscious of it or not. There are so many things I consider myself a beginner at, especially in terms of the arts. It is easy for me to say "I'll never be good at [fill in the blank]..." I've become increasingly aware that being "good" at something is relative, and harks back to the "journey" part of this quote. We only become better through practice, and "good" and "perfection" are in the eyes of the beholder anyway. Who amongst us hasn't been moved by a small child's drawing, not because of its "perfection," but because of the the story the child is telling in their art?

  16. Mar 2022
    1. writing non-fiction

      I feel like the process is similar. It's about making connections, right? So, a long walk is instructive. Letting one's mind wander and paying attention to whatever floats in. Then sifting through it all to try and make sense. I feel like the older we get, the more connections we make, as well, because we've read more widely and have experienced more things. This little stream of consciousness vomit reminded me of an exercise of several years ago, a "twisted pair." Taking seemingly unrelated things and finding connections. I think at the end of the day, pretty much everything is connected in some way. In non-fiction, maybe the trick is to identify the strands that you want to focus on in making the connections.

  17. Feb 2022
  18. Nov 2021
    1. story essay script scribble code note

      Each of these words has a distinct connotation, some more "important" or "credible" than others. Do we honor all forms of written communication?

  19. Jan 2021
    1. 16 April 1963

      Meliora students, when was the Civil Rights Act passed into law? How much influence do you feel Martin Luther King, Jr had on this? In what ways did he contribute to this becoming law?

    2. Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.

      Meliora students, 57+ years later, how much closer do you think we are to this goal? What are some of the things impeding our progress?

    3. Chief Pritchett in Albany, Georgia

      Meliora students, this refers to Laurie Pritchett. Who was he? What did he do? Why was MLK angry with him? Cite your source(s).

    4. James Meredith

      Meliora students, who was James Meredith? Why was he important to the Civil Rights Movement? Cite your source(s).

    5. You warmly commended the Birmingham police force for keeping "order" and "preventing violence." I doubt that you would have so warmly commended the police force if you had seen its dogs sinking their teeth into unarmed, nonviolent Negroes. I doubt that you would so quickly commend the policemen if you were to observe their ugly and inhumane treatment of Negroes here in the city jail; if you were to watch them push and curse old Negro women and young Negro girls; if you were to see them slap and kick old Negro men and young boys; if you were to observe them, as they did on two occasions, refuse to give us food because we wanted to sing our grace together. I cannot join you in your praise of the Birmingham police department

      Meliora students, what is your reaction? Was this behavior by the police force more extreme then than now? See if you can find statistical information on incarceration of black people then and now. Cite your source(s).

    6. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history.

      Meliora students, what do you think? Is history repeating itself? What is different today than it was in 1963? What is the same or similar? Are we any closer to the ideal in the Declaration of Independence, "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness?" Include examples and/or sources to support your opinion.

    7. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice

      Meliora students, what do you think of this statement? Do you agree or disagree? What example(s) do you have to support your position? Cite your source(s).

    8. Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered.

      Meliora students:

      1) What are (some of) the methods that have been used over the years to prevent certain segments of the population from voting? Please cite your source(s).

      2) Is this a problem today, or is it completely resolved? Cite your source(s).

    9. Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States.

      Meliora students, for deeper understanding of what the segregation laws were in Birmingham, Alabama at this time, please read the overview and linked city ordinance document found here:


      What surprises you?

  20. Aug 2020
    1. Humans do not learn in a void; learning is a social event.

      I think this is the most important point of this article. I find it too easy to get bogged down in the academic details, yet it is the social side that will build trust, openness and lead to engagement.

  21. Apr 2020
    1. He said he’s concerned that some people seem to be talking about human lives as expendable, while others are talking about rationing health-care resources.

      Meliora students, what do you think? Given limited health care resources, what should be the decision making process in terms of who gets treatment? (Like many questions, there are no "#right" or "#wrong" answers, but different points of view) Explain your answer.

    2. #NotDying4WallStreet

      Meliora students, go to #Twitter (twitter.com) and browse tweets with the hashtag #NotDying4WallStreet (you do NOT need an account to browse):

      1. Choose one that you find impactful in either a positive or negative way.
      2. Explain in a reply below what your reaction is, and why.
      3. In your reply, also post the link to the tweet you are referring to.
    3. must find a balance between public health and economic concerns

      Meliora students, a line in our text says "The Aztecs believed that their god Huitzilopochtli needed to be suppiied with the hearts of enemy warriors or the sun would cease to rise and all life would come to an end." In what ways was the Aztecs worldview similar and different from the points this article is making? Explain

    4. “There’s an attitude toward the elderly of ‘Let them eat cake,’ ”

      Meliora students, the Aztecs sacrificed children as well as adults. Is there a difference in how you feel about sacrificing people of different ages? If so, what is the difference? If not, why do you feel the way you do?

    5. he suggested Monday that he and other older Americans should be willing to sacrifice their lives for the sake of the economy

      Meliora students, we are going to use this article to compare and contrast our behavior today and that of the #Aztecs.

      Before reading further, what is your immediate response to this statement?

    1. very few people have a part in every step from bean to bar.

      Meliora students, what do you think about this? Should chocolate be "localized," where only people near the growing areas have access? What other ways could the access be made more equitable?

    2. Cocoa prices are relatively volatile compared to commodities like corn or wheat.

      Meliora students, what does this statement mean?

    3. Commodities traders

      Meliora students, what is a commodity? What is a commodity trader?

    4. It takes a long and complicated supply chain to manage a product that is consumed thousands of miles from where it's grown.

      Meliora students, what is a "supply chain?" What does a long supply chain say about the ecological impact?

    5. The top four producers—Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Ghana and Indonesia—are all in the bottom half of nations by per-capita GDP

      Meliora students, what does #GDP mean? What does this tell us about people who live in these countries?

    6. Almost all of the world's cocoa is grown in developing countries and consumed by industrialized countries.

      Meliora students, what do you think about this?

    7. Farm workers who harvest cocoa are, on average, extremely poor, with some below the World Bank poverty line of $1.25 per day.

      Meliora students, please note.

  22. Dec 2019
    1. The thinking of Ralph Ellison, Mah-moud El Kati, Toni Morrison, Thandeka, and Richard Wright is central to my learning about whiteness

      I would add Ta-Nehisi Coates and Ibram X Kendi to this list.

    2. I’m convinced that white people also need to better understand white racial identity to engage anti-racism.

      What does "white racial identity" even mean? I am white, so I fit this category. I am also a woman, which means there are other biases I am faced with that my male colleagues do not experience.

      I grew up in a small town among a citizenry that was typically middle class, yet I was several rungs below most of them on the socio-economic ladder. How does my "whiteness" in that experience compare to that of my white peers? What about my experience in a small town vs those who grew up in urban environments?

      Identity is a very complex construct and involves so many facets that I find it too simplistic to lump it into "white" vs "people of color." The experience and identity of someone from India is different from that of one from Mexico or Nigeria, yet we can (and often do) call all of those "people of color."

      Are we asking the right questions?

    3. race usually refers to people of color

      Race often DOES refer to people of color. Maybe that is part of the problem? That we define race by color? A couple of years ago, I taught high school American History using race and class as the lenses through which we viewed our history. We began the year with a discussion on race and its definition. After a LOT of discussion and analysis, the students concluded that "race" is not real, but rather a social construct. As is also discussed in these NYT articles: https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2015/06/16/how-fluid-is-racial-identity/race-and-racial-identity-are-social-constructs. I wonder whether we should broaden the discussion to the wider issues of diversity, equity and inclusion?

    4. notion of haunting to suggest the past always shapes the present.

      I totally agree with this. Which is why I become enraged when the collective "we" tries to bury the past of our (American) history. In this category I include things like erasing artifacts of the American Civil War. The only way we will be able to heal the injuries is with honest conversations about our history, facing all the ugly AND beautiful truths.

  23. Sep 2019
    1. go over the article as a class and take things slower at the beginning so things aren’t to overwhelming at the start

      This looks like anxiety to me. The student wants to succeed and is concerned they are not well prepared?

    2. Should I devote some lab time to Blackboard mad skillz training?

      Is this for you to do, or some university Blackboard guru?

  24. May 2019
    1. seeking alignment with the state, district, and school protocols as well as their per-sonal and collective vision and sense of purpose. Some students opted out of this project while ex-pressing openly their doubts and reticence

      I sympathize with the students' desire to find a more respectful name than "sweeping." They seem to have been effective in creating change, which is admirable. I wonder what steps have taken place to help the students understand how their tardiness impacts their learning?

  25. Apr 2019
    1. food desert.

      This is a difficult chicken-egg situation. Grocery stores say they don't stock fresh fruits and vegetables because they don't sell; residents are discouraged because they can't find fresh foods. One form of combat I LOVE is the Green Bronx Machine, out of New York. https://greenbronxmachine.org/about-us/

    2. greater control over how the spaces in which we live are socially produced

      An excellent example of this, also in Chicago, is the Mexican-American area known as Pilsen. One way the community has taken control is through the development of street murals, described here: https://interactive.wttw.com/my-neighborhood/pilsen/art-as-activism.

  26. Jan 2019
    1. with the goal of producing learners who arewell-prepared for the complexities of today’s workplace.

      Bingo. Is that not the goal of education? To prepare learners for the workplace (and for civic participation).

    2. apply learning in novel situations

      Which is why "drill and kill" learning is ineffective. Learners must be able to generalize their learning to multiple domains and a broad variety of situations. In other words, to think.

    3. reflecting in community and dialoguehelps learners develop a metacognitive awareness of connections between theory,values and practice

      The purpose of this community, and this activity of annotation, non?

    4. the age of thelearner (where centering student learning became more important than teaching)
    5. but is ever present in the world of educational technology

      I've tried in vain to find an article I read in the recent past about how only a small percentage of educational technology products are effective in improving student achievement. I also enjoyed this article/chart, which illustrates how technology is a TOOL, not the method: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-students

    1. Are these offshoots mere distractions, particularly given they don’t thematically connect?

      I would say they broaden the conversation.

    2. Is the reader in me, interpreting?

      Of course! Always!

    3. What role does the reader bring to a text as a writer?

      Whatever they contribute. It is easy to read without ever voicing anything. If I remain silent as a reader, it begs the question "if a tree falls in the forest..." It is only when I participate, respond to the text that I "bring" anything.

    4. Is it public writing?

      It must be public writing, since it is accessible to all who find it.

  27. Nov 2018
    1. the doctors, unthinkingly embracing the latest medical breakthrough, do not even demand a psychological test to determine the wisdom of bringing the gift of hearing to people who have managed for 65 years without it

      Meliora students, what do you think about this statement? Are there times "medical miracles" should NOT be used? Please give example(s).

    2. despite being deaf, she was the gossip editor of her high-school newspaper

      Meliora students, how do you think she achieved this?

    3. hearing has become the most burdensome of the senses. One only has to consider the number of ear plugs, sound-canceling devices, tranquilizers, and sleeping pills being purchased to attest to that.

      Meliora students, what do you think? Is your world inundated with noise? What actions do you take when you're surrounded by too much noise?

  28. Oct 2018
    1. Many of the new nations resisted the pressure to be drawn into the Cold War, joined in the “nonaligned movement,” which formed after the Bandung conference of 1955, and focused on internal development.

      Meliora students, what specific ideals does this organization have? What role(s) does this organization have today? Provide a summary and cite your source.

    2. Nearly all of the United States’ European allies believed that after their recovery from World War II their colonies would finally provide the combination of raw materials and protected markets for finished goods that would cement the colonies to Europe.

      Meliora students, the European belief that their colonies would want to continue to be colonies because of economic ties was incorrect. In today's global economy, are there examples of "colonization?" Are there countries that exert influence (e.g. money/aid, services, etc.) on other, economically disadvantaged countries? See if you can find an example and summarize it below, with a citation of your source.

    3. dividing ethnic and linguistic groups and natural features, and laying the foundation for the creation of numerous states lacking geographic, linguistic, ethnic, or political affinity.

      Meliora students, find an example of a country that has struggled (past or present) as a result of such artificial boundaries. Summarize your findings, and provide a citation for your source.

    4. the industrializing powers of Europe viewed the African and Asian continents as reservoirs of raw materials, labor, and territory for future settlement.

      Meliora students, does this behavior still exist in world politics? This article refers specifically to European powers; consider as well whether the United States has engaged in exploitation of other countries' resources.

      Find an example of such exploitation (if it exists) and summarize it. Include a citation of your source.

    5. Some European governments welcomed a new relationship with their former colonies; others contested decolonization militarily.

      Meliora students, please find an example of a country that won its independence from Europe through military force. Summarize what happened, and include a citation of your source.

  29. Sep 2018
    1. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

      Meliora students, which of these rights do you think are most often violated in Europe? Provide a link to EVIDENCE.

    2. Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (

      Meliora students, how many countries were represented in drafting this document? From how many and which continents?

    3. Preamble

      Meliora students, please annotate phrases in this document which echo phrases in the United States Declaration of Independence and/or Constitution.

  30. Aug 2018
    1. The importance of recurrence for both young and older readers involves the ability to go back, to check and evaluate one’s understanding of a text.

      I don't know if this article is where I first read this idea, but maybe haptics are part of the equation?

      "Being able to flip back and forth between pages, to hold a physical item that changes appearance as one moves through it (e.g., early in a book or magazine there are more pages on the right, and as the reader nears the end his or her progress is marked by a stack of pages on the left), and to refer to the printed item’s topography to find information in it are all print features that onscreen media lack."

    2. the potential inability of large numbers of students to read with a level of critical analysis sufficient to comprehend the complexity of thought and argument found in more demanding texts, whether in literature and science in college

      In a recent conversation with my voracious literature-consuming son, I expressed impatience with (adult) reviewers on Goodreads who complain about books when they jump backwards and forwards in time and/or between different characters' points of view. My son pointed out that to follow these jumps is a learned skill, and it takes a lot of practice. Something I hadn't even considered, since these are adult reviewers.

      In a similar vein, I find the teens I teach to want immediate action and a linear path, regardless of the storytelling format (e.g. film vs. book). This saddens me, as there is so much richness in taking time to build characters, plot, suspense, etc.

    3. empathy

      I find it fascinating that there is a link between reading literary fiction and developing empathy.

  31. May 2018
    1. empower all who want to share what they know to find those who want to learn it from them; and, finally, furnish all who want to present an issue to the public with the opportunity to make their challenge known.

      "empower all who want to share..." a great goal for all us us.

    2. The proud dependence on school is gone

      Hmmmmmm, not where I live. There is a significant focus on being in the "right" school district and reliance on sports.

    3. As long as the relations continue to be those between a supplier and a consumer, educational research will remain a circular process. It will amass scientific evidence in support of the need for more educational packages and for their more deadly accurate delivery to the individual customer, just as a certain brand of social science can prove the need for the delivery of more military treatment.


    4. It should be obvious that even with schools of equal quality a poor child can seldom catch up with a rich one. Even if they attend equal schools and begin at the same age, poor children lack most of the educational opportunities which are casually available to the middle-class child. These advantages range from conversation and books in the home to vacation travel and a different sense of oneself, and apply, for the child who enjoys them, both in and out of school. So the poorer student will generally fall behind so long as he depends on school for advancement or learning. The poor need funds to enable them to learn, not to get certified for the treatment of their alleged disproportionate deficiencies.

      A scene from Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, by JD Vance, has stuck with me. It was not about educational attainment, but social class, which I posit is intertwined with everything else in our lives. Vance was attending Yale Law School, and went to a dinner for soon-to-be graduates being wooed by a variety of law practices. As he surveyed the dining room, he was aghast at the proliferation of cutlery surrounding the dinner plates. In a panic, he went to the restroom and called his girlfriend to get the lowdown on cutlery protocol. As someone who comes from a working-class background, I totally identify with this scene. We are products not only of our access to quality education, but overall environment. I don't have magic answers to how to mitigate the chasm between classes, but I am convinced that most parents want their children to have lives that exceed the limitations (economic, educational, social) they have faced. How do we achieve this?

    5. Both view doctoring oneself as irresponsible, learning on one's own as unreliable, and community organization, when not paid for by those in authority, as a form of aggression or subversion.

      autodidact noun au·to·di·dact \ ˌȯ-tō-ˈdī-ˌdakt , -dī-ˈ , -də-ˈ \ : a self-taught person

      List of famous autodidacts

    6. Many students, especially those who are poor, intuitively know what the schools do for them.

      “If the streets shackled my right leg, the schools shackled my left. Fail to comprehend the streets and you gave up your body now. But fail to comprehend the schools and you gave up your body later.” ― Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me

    1. Or draft justification statements to explain how their projects are indeed covering Common Core standards (really—we’ve read some)

      I would argue a well-designed project does a better job of covering the standards.It definitely provides a more #authentic, #real-world environment.

    2. With civic en-gagement in the classroom, can teachers keep from promoting their own political and social views with their students?

      Always a danger, something we need to be very conscious of, even as we ask questions.

  32. Apr 2018
  33. Mar 2018
    1. Hemings shared a father, John Wayles, with Jefferson’s wife, Martha.

      Therefore, the familial relationship between Martha Jefferson and Sally Hemings was what, Meliora students? A gold star to the first person to correctly answer.

    2. What did this mean for the institution of slavery in America? What did it mean for the hundreds of other people Jefferson enslaved during his lifetime? Virtually nothing, as it did not transform American slavery or change the lives of others enslaved on Jefferson’s plantations. But it meant a great deal to the six Hemings-Wayles children, who had very different lives and destinies than others enslaved at Monticello.

      Meliora students, what other examples are there of black people (enslaved or not enslaved) whose own life didn't change, but whose actions helped change the lives of others? Be specific, and include a link to your source.

    3. Jefferson was on the defensive about this his entire time in the country. That is almost certainly why he put James and Sally Hemings on the payroll with the other servants at his residence, the Hôtel de Langeac. The siblings were paid wages near the very highest rate in the city for a chef de cuisine and chambermaid. They had access to other people of color, as their neighborhood had the greatest concentration of such people in Paris, a small group who helped one another. There were lawyers who filed petitions on behalf of the enslaved. They did so pro bono and for money, which the Hemings siblings had.

      Meliora students, in Between the World and Me, how did Ta-Nehisi Coates describe his experience in Paris? Please provide a brief summary below.

    4. decades of historiography that makes clear that enslaved people, when they had chances, often acted to shape their circumstances to the extent that they could

      Meliora students, find an example of another enslaved person who made choices that helped them improve their circumstances. Briefly describe how the slave influenced their situation, and provide a link to your source.

    5. A number of news reports as well as comments on social media discussing the plans drew the ire of many readers because they referred to Hemings as Jefferson’s “mistress” and used the word “relationship” to describe the connection between the pair, as if those words inevitably denote positive things. They do not, of course — especially when the word “mistress” is modified by the crucial word “enslaved.”

      Meliora students, what do you think? Given that Sally Hemings was enslaved, do you think it is appropriate to consider her interactions with Thomas Jefferson a "relationship?" Explain your answer.

    6. Jefferson would never be involved with “a slave girl” and that such a person was too low to have influenced Jefferson

      Meliora students, what are your thoughts? Would the disparity between Jefferson and Heming's status meant that she would have been unable to influence him? Explain your response.

  34. Feb 2018
    1. simulacrum

      Meliora students, what is the meaning of this word? Provide an example of another story (book, film, video game, etc.) that includes a simulacrum.

    2. The voice of one of the advanced mechas who finds David in the ice belongs to Ben Kingsley. It is not the first time in the film we hear it. Over the opening sequence, a dark shot of crashing waves, Kingsley sets the scene with a narration that has the tone of a religious text: famine, flooding, cities destroyed, humans sent into exile

      Meliora students, who caught this?

    3. One of the apparent objections was the epilogue set in the future: it was seen as both superfluous and a Spielbergian sop to sentiment: a snuggly, upbeat ending for a film that never courted one. Yet properly decoded, it's the opposite, and provides the film with a shattering payoff that raises it to the level of both directors' greatest work.

      Meliora students, what do you think of this claim? Do you agree or disagree? Why? Specifics, please.

    4. The film ends with mother and son lying sweetly in bed together, and David, the narrator tells us, drifting off "to that place where dreams are born".

      Meliora students, what did you think of this scene? What is the narrator implying about David's ability to dream?

    5. the mechas in AI behave with more humanity than the humans around them

      Meliora students, do you agree with this statement? Why or why not? Provide a specific example to support your viewpoint.

    6. Dr Hobby

      Meliora students, what do you think of this name? Was it accidental? Why may the filmmakers chosen this name for the character?

    7. The film is an Oedipal fairy tale about a robot boy called David driven by his programming to seek a mother's love.

      Meliora students, what is the story of Oedipus? Who was it written by? When? What is another story (book, film) you know that uses the Oedipal theme?

    1. Multiple poles exist and different communities coalescearound them and never even enter the same conversation with one anotherbecause their social reality is not the same

      Their social reality is not the same. What about economic? Demographic?

    2. were a series of well-established reputable news organizations and

      Playing devil's advocate, how reliable was their report?

    1. But it’s not just taking a seat. It’s feeling confident and competent and comfortable enough to join in with the conversation that is happening at that table. And knowing, when the talking stops, and the faces turn expectedly, how to share one’s opinion in a way that makes it able to be heard.

      I see this as a two-way street. We want to join the conversation at the table, and to feel we will be heard. We also need to be open to listening to the opinions/ideas of the others at the table.

    1. And how online this is more complicated because text hides tone or can relay misunderstandings of tone

      Yes! I find even when I know a person well, sometimes I miss tone. Just think how much worse it is when it is someone we don't know well and/or someone whose native tongue is different than ours!

    1. I feel like there is not so much ‘randomness’ nowadays because circles and networks are becoming so intertwined and online connections are just becoming more globa

      A decade ago, when MySpace was still king, I did a research paper on social media and philanthropy. One of the interesting sources I used was the book Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means for Business, Science, and Everyday Life by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi. There is much I have forgotten, but one point he made that stuck with me is that "Six Degrees of Separation" has diminished to 2-3 with the advent of the internet and social media. He posited that number would shrink even further over time, which perhaps it has.

      I feel like this is a two-edged sword, like most advancements. I personally am thankful to be able to keep in touch more easily with people I care about, regardless of their geographical location.

      I have also found a community of other professionals whom I value on many levels - colleague, sounding board, and in some cases people I would label as "friend."

      On the flip side, I am conscious of the fact that it is easy to enter an "echo chamber," where my virtual circle agrees with my opinions and I don't have to substantiate my point of view. I work to enter the lairs of other viewpoints, to keep an open mind, and to enter into civil discourse.

    1. Info-environmentalism encourages us to clean up polluted information environments, to actively create and share credible, research-based, balanced information and web-artefacts.

      I think this is a great goal. Another "literacy" I work to develop in my teen students is to dive below the surface. It is easy for them to find valid surface information about a topic, and weave it together into a coherent, credible story. However, I struggle to get them to investigate further. They will report (correctly) that "B campaigned for G to happen." However, when asked "Why did B feel it important to campaign for G?" I often get blank stares. I just keep asking questions.

    1. I would argue that there are few noble uses for polarization

      Agreed. So how does the highly polarized US reduce this, and begin to find common ground?

    1. Curiosity brought people together in a way that mere facts did not.

      Yes! Curiosity, combined with lively, respectful debate.

    2. The hurdle was 10 articles and two opinion pieces over three months.


    3. If all your time is [spent] checking someone else’s facts, then what are you doing?”

      I think a lot of that is happening right now with Trump. He is deflecting the American public into checking facts while the bigger issues are quietly being unattended in the background.

  35. Jan 2018
    1. Republican Party

      Meliora students, how and why did the Republican Party get founded? What were the initial "planks" in its platform? Summarize and cite your source(s).

    2. Senator Stephen Douglas

      Meliora students, who was Stephen Douglas? (We've met him in some of our other reading.) In addition to this act, find another example of legislation he introduced and fought for in Congress. Summarize and cite your source(s). Do not use an example one of your classmates has already used.

    1. Supreme Court

      Meliora students, what was the case about? Summarize and cite your source(s).

    2. Dred Scott v. Sandford

      Meliora students, who was Dred Scott? Who was Sanford? Summarize and cite your source(s).

    1. That nothing in this act contained shall be construed to impair the rights of person or property now pertaining to the Indians in said Territory, so long as such rights shall remain unextinguished by treaty between the United States and such Indians, or to include any territory which, by treaty with any Indian tribe, is not, without the consent of said tribe, to be included within the territorial limits or jurisdiction of any State or Territory; but all such territory shall be excepted out of the boundaries, and constitute no part of the Territory of Kansas, until said tribe shall signify their assent to the President of the United States to be included within the said Territory of Kansas, or to affect the authority of the government of the United States to make any regulation respecting such Indians, their lands, property, or other rights, by treaty, law, or otherwise, which it would have been competent to the government to make if this act had never passed.

      Meliora students, at this time (1854), what treaty(ies) existed between the US government and any Native American tribes that lived within the boundaries of the "Territory of Kansas?" Cite your source(s) of information.

    2. That all that part of the Territory of the United States included within the following limits, except such portions thereof as are hereinafter expressly exempted from the operations of this act, to wit, beginning at a point on the western boundary of the State of Missouri, where the thirty-seventh parallel of north latitude crosses the same; thence west on said parallel to the eastern boundary of New Mexico; thence north on said boundary to latitude thirty-eight; thence following said boundary westward to the east boundary of the Territory of Utah, on the summit of the Rocky Mountains; thence northward on said summit to the fortieth parallel of latitude, thence east on said parallel to the western boundary of the State of Missouri; thence south with the western boundary of said State to the place of beginning, be, and the same is hereby, created into a temporary government by the name of the Territory of Kansas

      Meliora students, what current-day states are included in this definition of the "Territory of Kansas?"

    3. That nothing in this act contained shall be construed to inhibit the government of the United States from dividing said Territory into two or more Territories, in such manner and at such times as Congress shall deem convenient and proper, or from attaching any portion of said Territory to any other State or Territory of the United State

      Meliora students, this clause gave the US government the right to divide the Kansas territory into multiple territories or states. Based on the statements in Sec. 14 of this document, what would each territory/state have the right to do in regards to slavery?

    4. it being the true intent and meaning of this act not to legislate slavery into any Territory or State, nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people thereof perfectly free to form an regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, subject only to the Constitution of the United States

      Meliora students, what is this saying? What right(s) did it transfer from the federal government to the states and territories?

    5. being inconsistent with the principle of non-intervention by Congress with slaves in the States and Territories, as recognized by the legislation of eighteen hundred and fifty, commonly called the Compromise Measures,

      Meliora students, this refers to the 1850 Compromise, which is summarized here: https://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/Compromise1850.html

    6. That the Constitution, and all Laws of the United States which are not locally inapplicable, shall have the same force and effect within the said Territory of Nebraska as elsewhere within the United States, except the eighth section of the act preparatory to the admission of Missouri into the Union approved March sixth, eighteen hundred and twenty,

      Meliora students, this refers to the Missouri Compromise, which we will also annotate.

    7. rovided further, That nothing in this act contained shall construed to impair the rights of person or property now pertaining the Indians in said Territory' so long as such rights shall remain unextinguished by treaty between the United States and such Indians, or include any territory which, by treaty with any Indian tribe, is not, without the consent of said tribe, to be included within the territorial line or jurisdiction of any State or Territory; but all such territory shall excepted out of the boundaries, and constitute no part of the Territory of Nebraska, until said tribe shall signify their assent to the President of the United States to be included within the said Territory of Nebraska. or to affect the authority of the government of the United States make any regulations respecting such Indians, their lands, property, or other rights, by treaty, law, or otherwise, which it would have been competent to the government to make if this act had never passed.

      Meliora students, what does this mean? Extra credit to anyone who comes to class with a simple summary of the treaty(ies) in place at this time (1854) with Native Americans.

    1. ‘‘backfireeffect’

      I saw this recently, where someone had refuted a claim by posting a link to a Snopes critique, and the original poster replied saying she thinks Snopes is tainted.

    2. it is now far easier for indi-viduals to choose the source and partisan slant of the information and per-spectives to which they are exposed (

      Social media is accelerating that process; we live in our "echo chambers.". http://n.pr/2G5AqUD