Sunday, March 09, 2008

Blogging the California Council on Social Science Conference, again

-Ok, now that is cool. I just got out of "The Threat Matrix: Making Sense of Security Priorities in the 21st Century", and it rocked. I've dealt with Teresa Hudock from Calis before, and every time she comes out with more and better materials. This session involved using security priorities during different historical times to investigate why conflict happens. It also looked at using the Three Levels of Analysis for International Relations to delve deeper into historical events. It was excellent. Check out the site for Calis and download a ton of stuff from their database.

-Wife and I met up and headed over to "C-Span Classroom", which provided some very relevant tools for use in all my classrooms. I think that I'm running low on patience right now as I'm very short with presentations that are either selling something, or are boring. This information was good, but wife and I walked out with 15 minutes left because we wanted to tour the Exhibit hall more.

-I guess that I didn't make myself clear on the "give me more than a lecture or a sales pitch" situation. In "Teaching Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Cases", we were introduced to a sales pitch for the Constitutional Rights Foundation, a book that they were selling, and then we had to read the section on Texas vs. Johnson, which I'm quite aware of. While the book was nice, it only had 15 court cases in it, and I make my kids study over 20. I walked out. I just don't like time wasted.

-Lunch was way too long and at a Mexican place that ripped off my wife. $10 for a handful of spinach with vinegar and oil is insane. I didn't even bother with the name. I'm in full impatient mode now. Impress me or be gone.

-I was just at a workshop that went a step in the right direction. "Fostering Global Understanding: Teaching Germany and the European Union" was a well directed and interesting look at the European Union and Actually it did a great job in perking my interest in the European Union and the booklet of transparencies are going to be useful in class. The workshop was ran by the Goethe Institute. Nice work.

-I'm in the lounge. The "Using Instructional Technologies to Teach High School Economics" was Thinking Economics and Virtual Economics. I use both already. Nothing else looked interesting.

-The 4 p.m. workshop, "Establishing Deeper Understanding in History Class through Projects and Activities", didn't show up. An empty room with a group of us teachers irritated meant only one thing......It's Miller Time! Yep, the bar was nicely full of teachers who talked some shop and otherwise. My wife also got out early (her workshop wasn't very good) and we eventually looked at getting a nice meal. We ended up at Jack London Square at Scott's Seafood Grille, where we ate excellent food (she though the Cioppino was the best she'd ever had), drank excellent wine, and simply enjoyed the harbor, the music, and each other's company. It was a much needed romantic evening. I'll be back for final thoughts tomorrow.
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