School’s out Friday

This week’s School’s out Friday post is dedicated to Clay Burell, who’ll be getting hitched tomorrow. Perhaps Clay and his fiance could practice quickly and Ustream a routine like this after the ceremony! All the best Clay, and thanks for some brilliant mentoring this week.

(For those interested in response to Project Global Cooling from our students. First meeting today – really good turn up – lots of enthusiasm. Keep you posted.)

School’s out Friday

A couple of week’s ago I featured Frozen Grand Central because I loved how it used the power of the mob to create something joyous. This was the work  of improveverywhere, whose mission in life is to create chaos and joy. That video has now had over 6.8 million views and they’ve garnered the attention of  the media worldwide.  They created Improv Everywhere Global and put out the call to agents everywhere to create their own scenes of chaos and joy. Since Frozen Grand Central was posted on YouTube there have been 26 freeze missions conducted in 11 countries. What follows is the mission in Trafalgar Square, London, where over 1000 people (recruited via Facebook) assembled to freeze for 5 mins. No music accompanies this video, and you can feel the eerie quiet that descends.

Have an inspirational weekend – it’s my son’s birthday – turning 9 – party tomorrow! 

School’s out Friday

Here we are again. Another School’s out Friday post. Time for a chuckle to lighten our mood for the weekend. This time it’s home grown product from ‘The Chaser’s War on Everything’, a comedy program produced on the Australian Government run ABC network. They got themselves in trouble last year when they got through security at the APEC conference in a car pretending to be from the Canadian Embassy and with an occupant dressed like Osama Bin Laden. A student in my Yr 7 class is a huge fan of the Chasers and sent me the link to their videos on YouTube as potential material for School’s out Friday. It’s great when your students are engaged with what you are doing and get what your intentions are.

This is the Chasers at a Bunnings Warehouse, living life as if it were a musical. Very funny stuff!

School’s out Friday

Time for the weekly dose of School’s out Friday. Here’s David Lee King singing his Web 2.0 song, ‘Are you blogging this?’ I think my friends who don’t get blogging are getting sick of me mentioning my blog! Perhaps I’ll annoy them further by singing this loudly around them. Enjoy your weekend – make the most of it – Monday seems to arrive way too soon!


Here’s something that I need. I can’t tell you how often I get home and am totally unprepared when it comes to putting together a meal for my family. I get in a rut and make the same thing on a weekly basis until I kill it and no-one will eat it anymore! I’ve got to the stage where takeaway is too often an option. Maybe the solution lies in Supercook -the intelligent recipe search engine. This is a search engine that finds recipes for you based on the ingredients you have available in your kitchen. When you get to the site you add the ingredients you have available and recipes display on the screen that you can make. Tags suggest other ingredient options you could include to expand the recipe options available. It’s a bit of fun but could also be useful if you have a busy life and find planning meals a chore. It could be a useful teaching tool for those teaching food preparation.

Amazing what you can find on the Web these days! Thanks to Emily Price from Download Squad for the alert to this site.

School’s out Friday

End of another working week and I’m tired. I work in a wonderful environment with fantastic students, many of whom shared with me their delight over ImprovEverywhere‘s mission at Grand Central Station. So why not enjoy another of their efforts so that we can revel in the chaos and joy they create over our weekend – share it with a friend and double the enjoyment factor! This time they’re at a Home Improvement shop – it was done in August 2006 and you can see how their filming has become more sophisticated when you compare it to Frozen Grand Central.

Enjoy your weekend!  

Frozen Grand Central – Brilliant!

I just love this! It’s the work of Improv Everywhere. This is what they have to say about themselves on their blog;

Improv Everywhere causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places. Created in August of 2001 by Charlie Todd, Improv Everywhere has executed over 70 missions involving thousands of undercover agents. The group is based in New York City.

I love watching and hearing the reactions of bystanders unknowingly experiencing the event. My favourite part is the end, and the spontaneous reaction of the crowd. Ain’t humanity grand.

I can’t wait to find an opportunity to use this with a group of students and see their reactions. You could use it for drama, psychology, or as a writing prompt for a creative writing piece. Watching it reminded me of the Orson Welles radio play of Jules Vernes ‘War of  the Worlds’ in the 1930’s, when unsuspecting listeners who tuned in after the broadcast had begun thought that the Martians had landed and were invading Earth.

The video is posted on YouTube, but you can also find it on their improveverywhere site. It’s worth going there, because they provide background detail about how they set the improvisation up and how it was filmed and recorded. Now they’re going global – they’ve set up a ning – Improv Everywhere Global – where they are encouraging others to join with them around the world to create scenes of chaos and joy in public places. Can’t wait to see where they show up next!

Toonlet – creativity for your classroom on what has been a sad day.

Toonlet looks like a great little tool that will enable your students to create comic strip characters and then create a comic strip starring their creative efforts.  Here’s an example from their archives;

Ethan Wandingham

If you’re looking for an online tool to make your class activities a little more interesting and engaging, this could be something to consider. Best part of all, it’s free!  Download Squad have done a review of Toonlet which is worth a read.

On a completely different note, I was saddened today to hear of Heath Ledger’s passing. After seeing a quick news grab regarding this my first reaction was to go to Google News and search ‘Heath Ledger dead’ to find out what was being reported. Sure enough in seconds I was looking at a New York Post article which was providing me with a lot more detail than what my television news service was offering. When I spoke about this to a friend during the day she was surprised that I had thought to do this and even more surprised to find out that you can select news from the Google toolbar and complete a search in this field. It made me realise once again that many people are not always familiar with new technology. We need to remember this and not assume that just because we are comfortable with the Web that others are similarly empowered. Teaching opportunities are everywhere – today mine was at a swimming pool complex – and my friend was going to go home and try it out.