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Shakabuku Infographics Video

How to Rock Social Media in Thirty Minutes a Day

Social Media can be daunting and addicting. Someone can spend hours following Twitter feeds, catching up with friends on Facebook, and planning projects on Pinterest. However, this infographic by Pardot shows how you can efficiently get all of the above done, and still produce work that others will want to follow.

Some of the tips included publishing using one site, and having it set up to publish to other sites. For instance, if you publish a tweet, it will also post to Facebook. You can also schedule tweets to publish later in the day. So if you have a brilliant thought at 2 am, you can set it to publish at 2pm, or during another peak time. Also, use google plus to see how people are reaching your site. If they are using google search, pinterest, or another site that has linked something to your.

The key to social media, just like another other action, is consolidating time. Do as much as you can in as small amount of time as possible. And have fun with it!

Blog: http://visual.ly/how-rock-social-media-30-minutes-day

The Bookbag: 2018

TRS-80 Model III
(cc) photo by Hugo Schotman
Apple IIe
(cc) photo by Mark Mathosian

I’m doing something right now that I have only gotten to do a good handful of times during my career as an educator. I am starting a brand new presentation slide deck.  What fun! Understand that when I left the classroom as a teacher, the standard for technology in the classroom was the TRS-80, and the venerable Apple IIe had only just launched. Persuasion, PowerPoint and Keynote were hardly in our imaginations.

Since I started delivering keynote addresses at conferences, I’ve had about five standard talks. They have afforded me basic structures, reasonable frameworks, about which I could tell stories that provoked new ideas about teaching and learning. Today I am starting a new one – and probably my last one.

(cc) photo by Phoenix

A compelling speaker needs a gimmick, an idea or object that is familiar, but can be turned inside out in such a way as to provoke a shakabuku, “..a swift, spiritual kick to the head that alters your reality forever,” if I might be so bold. 1

For this presentation, I’ve decided to use the school bookbag. One of the stabling blocks of promoting new ways to think about education is vocabulary. The biggie? “What do you call a textbook that’s not a book?

If it’s not a book, then what do you put in your school bookbag? I have some ideas…

But what do you think?

If students continue to bring bookbags to school in 2018, then what will be in them?

Please comment or Tweet (#bookbag2018).


Added Later

One thing that I do know is that a Bookbag, filled with 20 pounds of books, indicates a school based on standards — and such a school does not teach literacy nearly so much as it teaches compliance.


1Driver, M. (Performer) (1997). Grosse pointe blank [DVD]. Available from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119229/?ref_=sr_1


Write your Paper like a Pro

Today’s infographic is simple and to the point. A big part of grade school and even college and onward, is writing papers. Some professions write more papers than others, but it is still an important skill in order to get your point across. This infographic uses venn diagrams to convey the importance of different parts of papers, and to show how they interact with one another. It also shows how much of your paper should include each part.

Of course every paper should begin with an introduction and end with a conclusion. It should also include several point in the middle, that are introduced and concluded in the introduction and conclusion. But how should the middle be laid out? That is up to the author, but it should there is a bit of a formula.

This infographic does a great job of showing that there should be pros and cons. You should always share how your paper may be argued against, and go ahead and prove some of these points wrong. In addition, a good paper should show why the information is important. Why should someone read your paper?

Show this to your students whenever a paper is assigned. Make sure your students are ready to write a good paper, and know what is involved in writing such a paper.

Blog: http://visual.ly/write-your-paper-right

WARNING added later by David Warlick: This is one of those really useful and appealing infographics with embed codes for posting on your own blog or english class web site – that, when you go to the source, you find a quite well-implemented paper mill. We should all be aware that infographics have become the new BAIT to get you to the web sites that make money for people who are often providing unscrupulous and fraudulent services.

One More Thing about Bobby

I found my lab coat! SCIENCE!!!
(CC) Photo by Jake Fudge
Some of the comments that my last two blog posts have incited lead me to write one more thing about Bobby. I have no issue with anything that has been said in those comments. I feel, though, that a big part of the point of my story has been overlooked.

I will say here that I became a teacher because I wanted to help children and watch them grow and become more capable, compassionate and respectful of the culture and society of their community and their world. That said, I believe that teaching has become way to clinical. In our misguided efforts to establish success by being able to measure learning, we have fabricated a system of complex and rigid classifications with symptoms, diagnoses and prescribed treatments.  We have tried to make teaching a science, and it is not.  Teaching is an art.

In the early days of NCLB, being an educator was compared to being a pharmacist, where less than successful learners could be treated with scientifically proven best practices and the application of big data.  

Of course this clinical approach does describe part of what it is to teach.  I call this the teacher-technician.  However, what Bobby’d learned, that enabled him to diagnose my car’s problem from the telling of my entertaining story, did not result from an elaborate construct of scientifically proven best practices.  It happened because of a family or close-knit community that talked about cars; what made them work and what made them work better.  They valued good cars that could be made faster than they were off the showroom floor, and they valued the folks who could accomplish it.  They worked on cars.  They fixed them. ..and sometimes it didn’t work, and they talked about it – and they learned from what went wrong.

Bobby’s story is not  meant to promote classrooms that are shaped by established and described differentiations and toolboxes of prescribed remedies.  What I would rather see are teacher-philosophers who are skilled, knowledgeable and can facilitate a learning community that:

  • Values what is being learned
  • Respects the learning that comes from success
  • Respects the learning that comes from failure and
  • Celebrates what learners can do with what they have learned.

It is a classroom where students can turn around and look back at the concrete and public results of their learning.


History of Infographics

I may be biased, being an amateur historian, but I strongly believe that exploring the history of something you are interested in helps to strengthen your knowledge of it. This infographic shares a rudimentary history of the infographic, going over major events in history, beginning with Ancient Egypt, that helped form the modern day infographic. I challenge you and your students to go back to the basics of what infographics are to help create better infographics.

According to this infographic, the first infographic was created around 500 BC. But it doesn’t share any information on it. Go out and find a photograph of it, or challenge your students to do so. Following this, in the late 18th century, a Scot named William Playfair created charts that we commonly use in infographics today. In the 1970s infographics, as we use them today, were finally born.

Follow the source at the bottom of the infographic to see what these basics looked like. Help your students get away from the frills and decoration of infographics, and get back to the basics. At the most basic level an infographic should share information. Help your students make sure they are doing this well, before they add extras.

Blog: http://visual.ly/history-infographics-0

Watch thermal tile in action.

Watch thermal tile in actionThis kind of material is a perfect example of our ability to adapt in the name of science. Many people would view the problem of burning up due to high speeds while re-entering the atmosphere as an unsolvable problem. It would seem as if some things just aren’t meant to be or can’t be achieved.

But no, we invented mind-blowing material that absorbs and re-disperses the heat so it can stay structurally intact. This is the kind of thing that a lot of people would categorize as an alien technology if they didn’t know any better.

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The Story of a Successful Learner

Yesterday (or several days ago) I wrote about success as the element of learning that trumps lazy. By success, I mean learning that accomplishes a meaningful goal, as opposed to one that achieves an external and often symbolic outcome. This morning, I thought of a classic example.

1977 Toyota Corolla

After my first year of teaching, I traded in my aging Fiat station wagon for a brand new 1977 Toyota Corolla.  It cost $2,700 and was a wonderful car; drivetrain, chassis, body and four wheels – basic transportation that I kept tuned myself.  It cranked every time and never failed to get me to work or to Arizona or wherever I was going.  Until four years later.

The starter motor would turn, but the engine simply would not engage.  However, if I left it alone for about a half hour, it would start right up.  This didn’t happen every time I used the car, but each time it did, the pattern was the same.  I took it to a number of auto repair establishments, but, as is always the case, it would start flawlessly.  

I remember as if it was today, a rather short stocky fellow, slipping his Exxon cap off as he leaned under the hood and with grease- and tobacco-stained fingers, flipped open a plastic box that was mounted to the wheel well.  Seated into a circuit board were several microchips.  He said, “That’s your problem.  I don’t know what that is, but that’s your problem.”

The car cranked right up and I drove back home.  It was the next day that I was telling this story to a teacher friend, outside our rooms, during class change.  Several students were lingering close by, including a young man we’ll call Bobby.

I can picture him today; a good looking kid, tall, straight as an arrow, curly back hair and day-old stubble (before it was cool), and the broadening chest and shoulders that come to some boys as early as 15.  ..and he was still in the 7th grade. 

Ignition Coil for a 1977 Toyota Corolla

From the other side of the radiator he said something that I didn’t understand.  My teacher friend asked him to repeat and he said almost clearly, “h’it’s yer cule mista Warlick.”  

After engaging him in something similar to a conversation, I got that my coil was the problem.  An ignition coil is ”an induction coil in an automobile’s ignition system which transforms the battery’s low voltage to the thousands of volts needed to create an electric spark in the spark plugs to ignite the fuel.1

This was better advice I’d gotten from any of the trained and experienced auto mechanics I’d consulted, so that afternoon I stopped off at Advance Auto, bought an ignition coil for a Corolla, installed it myself, and the car ran without fail until I sold it a couple of years and 95 thousand miles later for $2,300.

I’d never taught Bobby, but I knew that the teachers liked him, one of those guys they didn’t mind holding back year after year.  I told the story to another friend, whom I respected deeply, a woman who’d taught Bobby for all of these years, and she said,

“Don’t worry about Bobby.  His Dad owns a trucking company that hauls trees to the pulp wood plant.  He’s a millionaire, though you’d never know if you saw him.  Bobby’s going to go work for his Dad when he turns 16 and he’ll inherit the business.  He’s not dumb, he’s just lazy, and he always will be when it comes to learning.”

I don’t know what happened to Bobby.  I do know that pulp wood played out in the region, and Bobby’s business either folded, or he found some way to repurpose his assets into another line of business.

What I do know is that Bobby was not a lazy learner.  That he was able to diagnose the problem with my car, just from the telling of my story, convinces me that he engaged in deep and powerful learning experiences that taught him not only fundamentals, but how to apply those fundamentals for solving real problems.  

They were learning experiences that were qualified by


not by a SCORE.

Ignition coil. (2013, March 15). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 11:16, May 17, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ignition_coil&oldid=544257271

What is a second?

What is a second?Why don’t you have a seat and let James May explain to you exactly how we came to the measurement of time we call a second. I certainly didn’t know when and why it came to be. I’ve only known James May as a presenter on Top Gear, but it seems like he also likes to spend his time teaching us things on Youtube. Might be worth checking out more.

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What Trumps Lazy?

Earlier this month I spoke at Wyoming’s WyTECC conference in Rock Springs. Even though I was only able to spend one day at the conference, the hospitality of the event’s organizers and intimacy of the venue made it feel like a longer stay and I left behind some new good friends. Lately I’ve had the honor of speaking at a number of 20th and 25th annual state ed tech conferences. Wyoming was holding their second and there was an enormous amount of energy in that, not to mention excitement and pride. I was proud to be helping them celebrate their 2nd annual conference.

Evolution of a Blog Post

  1. Yesterday I spoke at…
  2. A few days ago, I spoke at…
  3. Last week ago I spoke at…
  4. Earlier this month I spoke at…

Have I become a lazy blogger?

Unlike most first, second and third state edtech gatherings, there was a good deal of tweeting going on in Rock Springs, and I ran my Knitter Chat tool during my two pre conference sessions and the evening keynote. The backchannel was active and rich and Knitter captured both knits and tweets.

One phrase caught my attention as I was reviewing and inserting comments into the backchannel transcript – during my three legs back to Raleigh. Someone mentioned how so many of his students were lazy. It’s a term, lazy, that works quite well in conversations about classrooms, and a term I would have readily used as a teacher almost 30 years ago, “Lazy learners.”

Lazy learners were part of the landscape of the classroom back then and that was OK. Where I taught, lazy learners would become active workers packing peaches and harvesting pulp wood. Where I grew up they would have become lint heads in the textile mills, and not apologized for it.

Today, however, there are not quite so many places for lazy learners to go when they graduate or don’t. ..and fortunately, we no longer excuse laziness. But how do we fuel energetic learning?

I inserted into the wiki page that hosted WyTECC’s backchannel,

What trumps lazy?

Success trumps lazy!

I want to explore two words that have been on my mind for a long time. I want to make a distinction between these two words, though it is one that is not made in the dictionary.  Some may say that I’m making up a distinction. But let’s plow ahead.  It’s my blog after all.

The words are achievement and accomplishment. They are so close that each is often used in the other’s definition and even in descriptions of their etymologies. Yet I would not necessarily use them interchangeably. The contexts determine the word I would us — and in the education context, I most often see, read or hear achieve.

“This student has achieved proficiency.”

“We are narrowing the achievement gap.”

To achieve something is to accomplish attain some predefined goal.

As difficult as it was to avoid using accomplish in that last sentence, accomplishment is, in my way of thinking, a little different. When I accomplish a thing, I can turn around and see something that is the result of my efforts — and it is real. It is not symbolic. And it is not easy to measure. It is, more times than not, of my own design and purpose.  I did it, at least in part, for my own reasons.

The more I think about it, the less certain I am of differences between achieve and accomplish.  Yet the distinction is real.  When our children complete a school task, have they merely learned something new, or have they become more capable.  Can they, the next day,

  • Do something that they couldn’t do before
  • Build something they were unable to before
  • Participate in a conversation that was foreign to them before
  • Sway someone’s opinion or earn a collaborator

Do they, in anyway, feel larger than the day before or noticeably further done their road.

I would suggest that many lazy learners are just tired of standing still.


Finding new planets – Exoplanets explained

Finding new planets - Exoplanets explainedThis is an interesting video that seems to be a conversation about finding new planets set to an animation. Most of what these guys are saying I won’t even pretend to be able to fully grasp, but I was able to understand a few basic concepts from watching this video.

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Photo taken by Ewan McIntosh in a Taxi in Shanghai

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Cultivating Your Personal Learning Network
2nd Edition (2012)

Redefining Literacy 2.0 (2008)
Classroom Blogging
(2007) • Lulu
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Raw Materials for the Mind

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