Saturday, May 24, 2008

Year of the XO, part 2: Memorial Day

Memorial Day relaxing 2
Originally uploaded by mahlness
Made it to this benchmark in the school year, one more time - yippee skippee! While other teachers have hung it up for the year, I'm looking at 3+ weeks to go. I'm not complaining, though. The end of a school year is always very sweet and intense - kind of like the dessert so incredible you can only handle it once a year...

I am writing this from my backyard, on XO laptop #2 (Earthday). I just took the picture of me sitting here with it- and uploaded it to Flickr. There simply is no better laptop for the outdoors than this little guy... no worries about spilling on it, dropping it, overheating, etc - and it's so easy to tote around. Plus, it's great in sunlight (not always an issue in Seattle - but today is awfully nice).

When I first heard about the xo laptop, nearly two years ago, I was very skeptical. But I bought one in November anyway, because I thought it might be a good thing in my classroom. So here I sit, running an experimental "build" (703, it's on all 4 of them), because I needed to upgrade to run a program we were going to demo in my classsroom for some university students. Nothing could have been further from my mind back in November... and now I'm planning/plotting sharing that activity with others, via jabber server - I know it will work :)

I'll write more here about the XO experience in my classroom, but for now I'll just enjoy the rest of the afternoon with Earthday - hanging out, batching it, while my wife is with her family, dodging tornadoes in Kansas.


Unknown said...

I love your thoughts on this time of year being like "dessert." This is the time of year that I always think of as "sandbox" time. Its time to play, to try out new tools and teaching techniques that I might want to look at in larger ways next school year. Full on experimentation with about 4 weeks until exams begin.

Mark Ahlness said...

I'm with you on trying out new things now, Clarence. I got through the district scripted new math curriculum early, so now it's time to really push some learning in constructive ways.

My kids have acquired some remarkable skills using new tools, and I want to let them use those skills as much as they can. The trick is, at least in third grade, maintaining some semblance of order. Limits get reached pretty fast when the smell of year's end is so strong :) Enjoy the sandbox! - Mark