Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Episode 57 Penny Pinching

Play Audio
Discussion: @ 14:00
Dan and Jeff discuss ideas for saving money in Schools

Book Talk: @ 1:10:26
Dan talks about Tiny Titans by Art Baltazar and Franco

Tech Talk @ 1:15:10
Twitter tools for the classroom

Media Integration: @ 1:22:36
Dan talks about the song Strange Fruit

Didya See?/Listener Feedback @ 1:25:40
The links have been tagged
Thanks for Wordle says a listener
Bob says if you like try and

Music in this week's episode comes from Penmachine Podcast. “Meltdown Man” intro music by Derek K. Miller. Bumper music, “Particle Spin 30” Composed by:Roy Dank, BMI (33%), Michael Genato, ASCAP (34%), James Ronaghan, BMI (33%) also from

Listener feedback is encouraged. Contact us at or leave us comments at or on Twitter, name Wicked Decent, or on Skype- Wicked Decent Learning. This episode was recorded Februrary 17, 2009.


Mark said...

Hey Guys!

Glad to have a new episode. Dan, if you can not sit still in your seat (and speak into the microphone so that I don't have to keep turning my volume up and down in the car) then we will just move you to a different chair mister! I laughed my butt off because that was exactly what I was doing when Jeff said that.

With regards to the whole Microsoft Word argument, I think I am going to have to disagree with you Dan. Yes, it is an industry standard now. Fifteen years ago Word Perfect was the standard. Five years from now, Word may still rule, but chances are it may exist in a completely different version. If you want to expose your students to Word, fine. But more importantly, let's teach them strategies for learning how to learn new software. I think that is a more important skill. Let's put the "Video Professor" out of business!

Jeff- be careful what you ask for when you suggest that having the state take over all school payrolls would save money. Think for just a minute about how the state took what should have been a simple idea (consolidation) and perverted it into something that costs more money. Trust me on this one, you don't want the state in charge of your paycheck!

Gretchen said...

On the Word thing: I think it's important to remember what you want the outcome to be. Are you teaching them to be better writers, or better computer users? And I agree with Mark, if it is about teaching them to be better computer users, the strategies to learn something new are more important than becoming the Master of Word (TM). I also think that in four years, cloud computing will be the default, and that even Word will have a major cloud component (beyond the Live thing right now). You also mentioned, I think, that you couldn't use pictures in Google Docs, and that is actually not true. (Maybe you know that, and I just heard you wrong.)

Also, on the Kindle, don't knock it til you've tried it. I have one and was a skeptic until I read a book on it, and now I love it. I wish there was a library-lending model to use it, and/or that one could beam books to other users' Kindles (a la Palm software of 2000), but it is surprisingly book-like, only my kiddo can't pull the bookmark (as she is wont to do). Even if keeping it in mind as an accessibility option -- Kindle 1.0 with its adjustable text size, Kindle2 adds speech-to-text -- I wouldn't wholly discount it. I'm not one to hold on to books once I've read them, so I don't miss that aspect that others have talked about, but it would be nice to pass on the books I read, digitally. Maybe someday. :)

And I wasn't in my car, but at my desk, and I had to laugh at that comment as well, because it was true. Stick with the mic!

Jim Burke said...

Afraid I'm going to have to disagree with you as well, Dan, on the necessity of buying MS Word. The future of office apps is in the cloud,IMHO, but an advantage of an desktop alternative like Open Office is that everyone can afford to have it on their home machines. Seems to me that makes it more of a standard for the common man than MSOffice.

The Question should to be:

What do we need to accomplish and what's the least expensive yet effective tool to empower us reaching that goal?

For the most part, we don't need bloated tools with elaborate functionality. We don't need a fancy $100,000 car to teach kids to drive. A Ford Focus will do.

Now this is not to say that we might not have MS Office or Dreamweaver or Photoshop or Final Cut Pro etc. on a few school machines for those who want to be experts in their field, but again, I would argue that most of us don't need these as a "just-in-case" training. There are plenty of free tools which can get us started and be very effective in helping us learn the basic app conventions.

Great topic. Thanks.


J-sun said...

If you want kids to use standards, then I'll bring the truck, and start throwing your laptops in the back.