EDC 664.20 Syllabus
EDC 664.20 Discussion Forum

Learning Adventure 1
  • Making Music with Finale Notepad
I prefer to listen and move to music, so this learning adventure was a challenge. I know what I like in music but creating it was quite another experience.

First I have fully exaggerated, basically lied when I said that I downloaded a music file (at least in my case). Mine sounded nothing like music.

If you are having trouble saving Finale Notepad work, use the drop down menu and select MIDI, as the type of file you want to save it as.

At first I thought I had nothing of value to contribute to the cadre with this learning adventure. (If you dare to listen to my music you might agree) However, I was able to help other cadre members download music and not hypertext, and that made this exercise worth it.

I attempted to create music but it turned out awful. There is a possibility that  the piece could be used as Halloween music.

I will play with this program again!

Pleased as punch that I figured out how to download a MIDI file. 

Here is a link to my Finale Notepad tune:

The Tune by Wood

Learning Adventure 2

  • Exploring the Universe with Celestia

I tried for days to figure it out, read the manual, the drop downs, went to the Shatter website...membership seemed to require that I send them an email. I called MIT, UCI, UC Davis and Sandy Wood from NPR. All reported never having even heard of Celestia. Well, they have heard about it now.

I stumbled upon the NASA website that contained Celestia user tutorials.  Albeit the module was probably for primary education students....so I felt quite at home.

I used Jing to capture the activity as Celestia is really beautiful to watch.

I have decided to look into showing the kids at Orangewood Children's Foundation this program. Who knows where this adventure in Celestia might take them.

In reflection, this activity has given me the confidence to explore Celestia further.

The following are my adventure steps:

1.     Click the 8 key and then the G key and go to Neptune.

2.     Then rotate Neptune by right clicking on it (for Mac) till you
are looking down at the axis. I right clicked on Neptune and selected
show body axis .

3.     Then I used the scroll wheel on my mouse until I could see the
moon orbits, including that of the moon Triton. If you can not see the
Neptune Luna orbits, click on display and make sure moons only is displayed.

4.      Then click the letter m to turn on the labels for the moons.

5.     Then click on time in the tool bar and click faster until the
orbit is about 1000 times faster ( in the right hand, upper corner of
the Celestia screen you can monitor the speed)

Names of Neptune

Naiad (NIII)
Thalassa (NIV
Galatea (NVI)
Larissa (NVII)
Proteus (NVIII)
Triton (NI)*
Nereid (NII)
S/2002 N1
S/2002 N2
S/2002 N3
S/2002 N4 *
S/2003 N1*

*This indicates that the moon orbits in a retrograde or rotating in the opposite direction to the planet's spin motion.

Here is a link to my adventure:

A Retrograde Moon

Learning Adventure 3
  • PowePoint Free Week
This adventure was ultimately canceled. The objective of this adventure was to find ways to conduct a presentation without using PowerPoint. The project revolved around the idea that using PowerPoint has undermined the quality of our presentations.

My contention was that PowerPoint is simply a tool and that the onus for the quality of a presentation lies with the presenter. 

Learning Adventure 4
  • Part I - Is Ned Kelly a hero?

To those who have been wrongly, harshly or constantly persecuted, Ned
Kelly may been seen as a hero.

Ned Kelly stood up to the authorities and according to legend there
was a growing resentment toward those in authority for being harsh,
corrupt and employing poor interpretation/administration of the law.
Ned's disobedience to the unruly authorities appears to have
established him as a folk hero for the disenfranchised.

I do not think Ned is a hero but some of his actions may have been
viewed as heroic.

I do agree with the tenets of this quote by Ned, "If my life teaches the public

that men are made mad by bad treatment, and if the police are taught that they

may not exasperate to madness men they persecute and ill treat, my life will not

be entirely thrown away."

Interview with Ned Kelly in Beechworth Prison, The Age, August 9,

Additional Ned Kelly links:

    * Time Line of the Kelly Gang
    * http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/ "Ned Kelly - villain or
hero?" April 30,2003
    * http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/slv/exhibitions/treasures/jerilderie/index...

  • Part II - Were the Chicago Seven martyrs
According to the Webster dictionary, the word martyr is defined as

1: a person who voluntarily suffers death as the penalty of witnessing
to and refusing to renounce a religion
2: a person who sacrifices something of great value and especially
life itself for the sake of principle
3: victim  ; especially : a great or constant sufferer <a martyr to
asthma all his life — A. J. Cronin>

According to Wikipedia, it appears that seven became the victims of an
incident that was later characterized as a police riot by the
U.S. National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence."

Thousands of people showed up to the protest, yet only eight civilians
and eight police officer's were arrested. It appears then that the
eight were used as an example, since many others could have been
arrested. I think the Chicago Seven were victims but not martyrs.
According to the Webster dictionary, a victim is one that is subjected
to oppression, hardship, or mistreatment, a frequent victim of
political attacks.

  • Wrapping Up Learning Adventure #4

How do the two questions differ as experiences? Why?

What are the implications of this learning adventure given the continuous concern over using the Web as a credible source of information?

Did any "less official" sites offer better information than more "official sites?"

Why do you think I presented the two questions in the order I chose?

One apparent difference I noted in the questions is that one was a
question about an Australian folk hero that few of us knew anything
of. The other a group of American folk heroes whom we may,
even vaguely, know about.

How the two questions differ as experience? Through reading about Ned
we get a general idea and comment on what we found. On the other hand
the Chicago Seven, plus the one man who was bound and gaged in court,
may take on a more personal tone hitting a tad closer to home. For
example some of us have family member's that fought in Nam (Nam was
the popular colloquial for Vietnam during the war era), we may
remember seeing the protests, the war footage and the staggering
number of US casualties (over 58,000) not to mention those of the
Vietnamese (over 3 million) Some of us may remember watching fellow
American's spit at the soldiers upon their return, flag burnings and
the list goes on.

On the other hand many of us may have only just heard of Ned, we did
not grow up hearing stories of reading commentaries on Ned the
folk hero (or not).

The web affords us the ability to review information from multiple
view points, which might help us have a broader view  of an issue.

Sometimes less official sites offered better information, and that
scenario varied.

I am not sure why you asked the questions in the order that you did
Gary. Is if possible you wanted to compare our reactions to a
homegrown as a apposed to a little known foreign folk hero?

Learning Adventure 5 - Compiling Data Sets

This adventure gave the cadre members and myself the opportunity to share data sets.
We used InspireData in way that allows learners or researchers to answer their   
own questions.

The following are some of the questions Gary asked:

• Is your data set complete enough for users to interrogate the  
database? In other words, if you constrained the initial database so  
that you could answer a specific question about one specific election,  
could more data be added to make the database more flexible? Not every  
user will have the same interests as you.

• Can you merge multiple databases created by your cadre mates in  
order to make the database more powerful? You may copy/paste, Append  
or Import data into an existing InspireData file.

• Would your new and improved database benefit from including notes?  
You may add notes to the file.

• How else might you embellish your new and improved InspireData file?

I created a data set that allows us to see, of those who live in the
western hemisphere of the US, how many people with baccalaureate
degrees or better voted or registered to vote in 2000. I was able to
set up Venn, axis, stack and pie graphs.

One of the features of InspireData was the ability to add notes to the data set.
Clicking on the small triangle in the upper portion of the field opens access to
a field for note taking.

The data was thin for 2000 vote data for the western hemisphere of the
US but I will attempt to add more.

In this next step,  I have figured out via the data that since November
of 1964 to the present, those with a baccalaureate degree or better
registered and voted more than those without. In the Midwest, a higher
percentage of people vote and register each year compared to the
south, west and northeast. Moreover, of those who are employed,
unemployed and not in the work force the employed voted more than
those not in the work force by a tiny margin of about 1%. I believe
those designated as not in the work force might include senior

Here is a link to Gary Stager's Wetpaint site where you can view
the InspireDate files I created:


Learning Adventure 6 - Quitling in MicroWolds EX

Our activity was to create a quilt using the software. Then combine our quilt with
those of other cadre members to create a larger quilt.

Per Gary, "MicroWorlds EX is a modern multimedia programming environment for  
learners built upon a version of Logo that allows for parallelism."

My Patch

My Patch Reworked with Donna's and Kathleen's

Learning Adventure 7 - Video Game Design in MicroWorlds EX

This adventure entailed programming our very own Snacman game. Since
MicroWorlds EX software offered a variety of icons, I used a fish instead of  a Pacman icon.
Hence, my game is called Snacfish.

Snac Fish

Sonja In Space

Here is the Snacfish program:

o bounce

bk 20

ifelse 1 = random 2
[lt 90] [rt 90]


to zapped

everyone [clickoff]

[Game over!]


to “yum

ask touchedturtle
[ht setscore score + 10]


to whoareyou

ifelse touchedturtle = [eat]


Learning Adventure 8 - Build an advocacy website for  OLPC’s Give one Get One (G1G1).

Click here to learn more about Adventure # 8

Learning Adventure 9 - Watch and Discuss the Documentary "Comedian."

One of the primary ideas that the documentary "Comedian" posits is the importance of working on, and developing ones practice.

Jerry Seinfeld maintained a seemly relaxed, yet keen focus on developing his practice.
I took note of the level of rigor required to develop comedy. The documentary appeared to underscore the importance of a comedian having a strong sense of the audience’s mood. Jerry pointed out the staggering amount of time it takes him to develop each comic piece, and the importance of moving on to new material.

Orny Adams on the other hand appeared anxious. He belied his discomfort by talking too much and never really making a point. Most of Adams chatter revolved around his fear of failure, and he seemed to regurgitate things he heard or seemly observed around him. Adams did not appear to have any original thoughts; he appeared extremely uncomfortable, and lacked authenticity.

The key points that should parallel effective learning communities that I took away from the documentary are as follows:

•    Experts focus intensely on their field of interest
•    Experts reflect on their practice
•    Experts associate with their peers in the field
•    Experts talk about what they are doing
•    Experts are willing to change/learn
•    Experts are passionate about their practice
•    Expert seek expert opinions
•    Experts exude a sense of ease with their practice
•    Experts are confident but not overly so
•    Experts get and hold you attention
•    Experts live their practice

Finally, the documentary left me with the conviction that a high level of wit and intellect is required of comedians.

Learning Adventure # 10 - The 3N Problem

At first I just calculated lots of different numbers and noted that
larger numbers did not necessarily have the greater number of
generations. For example 333=110 generations and  717 has 31
generations. Both pi and the golden mean exceeded 200 generations with
pi 3.14159265 at 248 generations and the golden mean or ratio
1.61803399 at 295 generations. Still I could not see a pattern.

♦ The numbers 54 & 55 take the same number of generations (110) to get
to 4...2...1...
What can this pair of adjacent numbers possibly have in common to create
this phenomena?
I could not determine what these two numbers had in common but I did
notice that:

34 and 35 both take 11 generations.

20 and 21 both take 5 generations.

12 and 13 take 7 generations

♦ Are there three adjacent numbers that take the same long time?

Yes 65, 66, and 67 all take 25 generations

130, 131, 132, 133, and 134 all take 26 generations.

Does it have
anything to do with place value? Not that I was able to determine.

♦ What did you learn from this experience?

I am now familiar with
mathematical problems known as  Ulam’s problem, the Hailstone problem,
the Syracuse problem, Kakutani's problem, Hasse's algorithm, Thwaite’s
Conjecture, 3X Mapping and the Collatz problem.
Still I am keenly aware that I have hardly starched the surface of the 3N problem.

♦ What did you observe about the learning style(s) of your

Andrea liked to frame the hypothesis and is alway
encouraging (we thought we had a pattern for an hypothesis-sample below) and Karen helped us
both figure out how to use the graph tool. At first we wondered why
the graph always looked the same after calculating the number of
generations. Karen discovered that we had to click on the 3nGraph bar
at the top of the graphing page. The next step was to input the number
we wanted to graph. However, we concluded our adventure still
wondering what the number next to the overnight button on the right
side of the graphing screen represented.

♦ Which subject(s) does this project address?


♦ What might a student learn from this project?

They may learn how to have fun with numbers.

♦ For age/grade is this project best suited?

Limiting a child based on we might determine is grade/age
appropriate would be unfortunate.

♦ What would a student have to know before successfully engaging in
this project?

The student may want to know what the objective is or
they could simply be asked to find correlation and patterns.

Here is are few calculations that Karen, Andrea and I thought were
leading to hypothsis:

20=5 generations

A.      130 divided by 20 = 6.5
B.      20 divided by 5 = 4
C.      130 divided by 5 = 26
D.      6.5 multiplied by 4 = 26

Divide 20 by number in the overnight box
Then divide 20 it’s number of generations
Then divide the number in the overnight box by the same generation
Then multiple the quotient of A and B
The product of the multiplication of the quotients of A and B turned
out to equal the quotient of C

The same was true for 21, 22, 23, 24 and then 25 was a bit off

25 = 21 generations

135 divided by 20 = 5.4
25 divided by 21 = 1.1904762
135 divided by 21 = 6.4285714

But the product of the multiplication of 1.1904762 by 5.4 in this
is 6.4285715

Then I calculated 30 through 36 the same way. The product of the
multiplication of the quotients of A and B turned out to equal the
quotient of C in all except 30 and 36.

In 30 the quotient of C was 8.75 but the quotient of A and B turned
out to be 8.7500001

In 36 the quotient of C was 7.6842105 but the quotient of 7.684210