Backstreet’s Back, Alright!

My wife and I both have a similar upbringing. Our families relocated frequently in our teens and settled in a big city towards the end of our parents’ careers. All my life, I’ve been a traveling man. Music was a big thing in her family (her brother is a piano virtuoso), but not so much…

Planning for tech or solving with tech?

Harvard used to offer a post-grad certificate on “Teaching to Standards with New Technologies” through its Graduate School of Education WIDE program. The bulk of the 2-year course involved elaborating units that made use of a planner resembling the UbD model. The first criterion for deciding to use technology is to think about what instructional…

Reflections on a soigné dinner for two

The special dinner for two I had planned as my personal research project finally happened last Friday. Here’s what was on the menu. The dishes and ingredients ended up not needing a lot of translation, but Taobao (China’s “Amazon”) came to the rescue (with Chrome’s automatic translation, of course). I was even able to order…

A soigné dinner for two

Betina and I lived in Serbia for 4 years and got to travel quite a bit during our time there. I think there are a dozen countries in Europe we haven’t been to. We’d go mostly for the sights: see the man on a horse at the central square, see the castle in Old Town…

Can any one of my students land a plane?

At a faculty meeting many years ago, the high school principal gave all teachers present a voucher for ‘one mistake’ — something like a ‘get out of jail free’ card. The purpose was to inspire some trial-and-error, an opportunity to try something new and learn from mistakes. I feel most teachers are perfectionists. Maybe it’s…

Lurking? What’s that?

I was never much of a lurker. The internet arrived in Brazil (or in my house, at least) in 1996 and one of the first websites I visited was MIT’s collection of Shakespeare’s works (the site still has its 1993 look!). In 1998, I had already registered luizmello.com and was sharing my admiration for the…

COETAIL Orientation course – My Learning Goals

Google’s mission statement is to “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” I don’t suppose they focus on making information accessible one year, and useful the next. Google wouldn’t focus all their energy on Google Drive and forget about Google Scholar, because both are equally important in their alignment to…

COETAIL Orientation course – My Communities

If we consider the aim of a learning community, to allow individuals in it to ‘support and learn from one another’, it made sense to place networks where I feel that truly happens in higher esteem in relation to others. Another element I felt compelled to take into account was the duration of these communities…

COETAIL Orientation Course – My Why

If you spoke to me in person, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell I was born and raised in Curitiba, Brazil. Even as an exchange student to Camrose, Alberta for the 1997-98 school year, I didn’t have much of an accent. In fact, most people would have said I was from somewhere in Canada.…