Saturday, January 14, 2012

Save It for Later Saturday: Open Classroom, LEGO Friends, and Pinterest

I am excited by information.  Every time a tweet with a link shows up in my feed, I click, it appears, and a great rush overtakes me.  I enthusiastically begin to read, yet there is always something waiting to distract me:  another tweet, an email, or a dog scratching at the back door. 

Thankfully my Diigo toolbar never fails me.  I click “Read Later,” throw in some random tags, designate the article to a list, and it is added to my endlessly increasing inventory of great reads from the Web.  But when do I read them?


By the time Saturday arrives, the items I have chosen to save for later have accumulated into a sizable catalog that rivals the overwhelming lump of laundry that is thrown in the corner of my room.  And because I find catching up on the week’s reading a priority over a clean cardigan, you now have Save It for Later Saturday.

In Save It for Later Saturday you’re getting a brief run-down of the stand-outs from my week's "Read Later" list.

One of my favorites on Twitter is @timbuckteeth, aka Steve Wheeler, Associate Professor of learning technology in the Faculty of Health, Education and Society at Plymouth University.  His background in e-learning is extensive.  He is a vanguard in the field of educational technology.
In Open door classrooms, Professor Wheeler challenges us to look beyond the classroom where learning is restricted to a teacher and students behind a closed door: 

It is happening in some schools. Many schools are using videoconferencing links to connect with schools in other countries to facilitate cultural exchange and language learning. The next step would be to enable live web streaming, dynamic social networking and Twitter backchannels to operate while classroom sessions are in progress. Think of all the archived learning resources that could be generated for later, on demand use. Think of all the live interaction, dialogue and discussion that could take place during such lessons.

The causes for obstacles in creating open door classrooms are surprising.  After reading Professor Wheeler's article at Learning with 'e's, you will want to email your school's Superintendent which will provide you with a voice in making decisions about your child's future.

On Thursday night I was busy writing about Sydney Spies' senior photo that she submitted to be published in her high school’s yearbook.  While I was speaking out for mothers to support their daughters in expressing themselves beyond their sexuality,  Nancy Gruver, founder of New Moon Girls, was hosting a #GirlsNow Tweet chat to discuss LEGO Friends.  Perhaps if toys were marketed differently to girls, they would not grow up thinking their self-worth is limited to stereotypes.

I think the LEGO Friends controversy is valid and significant.  We should take note of what toys we purchase if we want to change the way our young women see themselves. Parents play an important role in shaping a child’s vision of what she can do with her life.  And in LEGO Friends vs. LEGO Education: What's the Lesson Here?, Empowered by Play gives weighty reasons why understanding the LEGO Friends controversy is vital to understanding girls.

I finally received my Pinterest invitation yesterday.  In the middle of carefully, and sometimes randomly, selecting things to pin, I stumbled upon some tips from Mashable’s Stephanie Buck in Pinterest: 13 Tips for Cutting Edge Users.  I found the pointers helpful and even a seasoned user will pick up good ideas.  After devouring the article, I pinned some great infographics I found at Good. Have I told you that I love infographics?

See you next Saturday!



  1. This is a very interesting blog, Kimberly, and I'm glad I stumbled upon it. Thanks for your kind mention and link to my own blog. I will make sure I share your blog on a link to my own Twitter network. All the best, and keep up the good work!


  2. I'll have to go read the first article... we have the technology at our school... for me it always comes down to time... time to plan it and research it and make sure it's appropriate... I'm interested to see what he lists as the obstacles.

  3. @Professor Wheeler Thanks!

    @Sorta Southern I found the article interesting especially because I find it difficult to find out what is going on in my daughter's classrooms. I could support their learning more efficiently if their classrooms were transparent.

  4. great idea, I usually read blogs on Tuesday's and Thursday's. I do save some--but usually because I want to refer back to them. Thanks for stopping by.

    1. Hi kaye! Thanks for making your way to Sperk*! Love your work.


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