STORIES: Think South, Raising Our Students' Awareness on Earth Day

We learned a thing or two on Earth Day!

Former music teacher Cathy de Moll returned to Seabury Hall on Friday after 30-some-odd years to tell us all about the 1990 International Trans-Antarctica Scientific Expedition, her role as its executive director, and the importance of preserving Antarctica for the sake of the earth.

Cathy's book Think South: How We Got Six Men and Forty Dogs Across Antarctica was just published in October by the Minnesota Historical Society, on the 25th anniversary of the Expedition. 

That Cathy told the story in chapters devoted to the people involved in the expedition is a genius arrangement. Such interesting characters! And of course the story of crossing the merciless Antarctica is so compelling.

These are some of the things I learned from Cathy's talk:

•The 1989-90 Expedition was the first-ever and last-ever unmechanized crossing across Antarctica: 

•Antarctica is the only place on earth ruled by consensus. It's a scientific laboratory, with no military activity. 

Photo by Minnesota Historical Society

• Ten million students followed the 1990 International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition, and they fell in love with Antarctica.

• Antarctica plays a critical role in climate change. Antarctica will prove to be one of the primary contributors to the rise in sea levels all over the world. See 'A dire prediction' on melting ice sheets and rising sea levels by William Yardley and Raoul Rañoa, L. A. Times, April 7, 2016.

The Paris Agreement of 2015, a global treaty signed by 171 countries to limit carbon dioxide emissions, is a giant step in the right direction to prevent global warming. More international cooperation is imperative.

•It is of extreme importance to renew the 1991 International Antarctic Treaty which will protect and preserve Antarctica. This Treaty will expire only 5 years from now in 2021.

History teacher Kathy Czar, who arranged to bring the entire sixth grade to listen to Cathy talk, gave Cathy and her talk a hearty thumbs up. Mrs. Czar noted that Cathy's presentation brought up lots of questions that her students will discuss in class later. #eduwin (Be sure to check out Think South's Reading Guide for Book Clubs and Reading Groups on Cathy's website.)

For further study about the importance of Antartica to the health of the planet, check out these two articles: 

Scientists nearly double sea level rise projections for 2100, because of Antarctica by Brady Dennis and Chris Mooney, The Washington Post, March 30, 2016.

Climate Catastrophe, Coming Even Sooner? by Elizabeth Kolbert, New Yorker, March 31, 2016.

And, BTW, how much do you (or your students) know about Antarctica? Take this quiz from National Geographic.

Mahalo to Cathy for her amazing story-telling powers (our library has copies of the book) and for raising our students' awareness about a global problem we should all take seriously and work together to solve.

(So happy to have Cathy back at Seabury.)

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Cross-posted at SEABURY READS.

10 Must-Shares from the Ever-Inspiring Hawaii #GAFEsummit --- YES!

See #10 below to learn about BitMojis.

BOOM!  --- Here's myYES! list of 10 Must-Shares from the 2016 Hawaii GAFE Summit held in March at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. I hope you find something new that you'd like to try right away. 

1. SoundTrap for Education - "Make music and podcasts online. A collaborative tool for the modern classroom." Looks so easy to set up, and it works with Google Classroom! (You can add the app to Chrome.)

2. Daring Greatly, an inspiring book about courage I purchased for our faculty. Recommended by #leytonpride principal (and GTANY friend) +Jason Markey.

4. Constitute.
5. HSTRY. (You can add app to Chrome)
6. A Polaroid sticker printer! Snap came out last year, and already the new Snap+ is on the scene. Read about it HERE. So great to see an old-school company find success in an interesting new way! I love my sticker that +Tanya Avrith (also a GTANY buddy) made for me!

A photo posted by Linda Lindsay (@mauilibrarian2) on

7. Flat, a collaborative music notation app. (you can connect with Google and add the app to Chrome)
8. Learning to BREATHE, a mindfulness curriculum for adolescents.

9. The Phoenix Coding Academy, for high school students.
"Phoenix Coding Academy will focus on computer coding and technology in an inquiry-based environment that values student curiosity, collaboration, critical thinking, engagement and relevance. Students will learn software development, including game design, web and app  development, networking, information security, engineering, automation and other skills in an innovative and creative setting. Technology will be integrated into a full high school curricula, and students will select career pathways.  Partnerships with the local tech industry will afford  opportunities for guest instructors, internships and industry exploration, while  preparing a more diverse future workforce for the high-demand jobs within the technology sector." PCA website
Google is an Advisory Council Partner of the Academy, and Google education evangelist +Jaime Casap is helping to build this specialized school within the Phoenix Union High School system. The school opens with a Freshman class in August 2016. I can't wait to see how the school develops. Read more about the Academy HERE.

10. +Molly Schroeder  won the Demo Slam with her 3-minute BitMoji demo. BitMoji is a web-based app, and is now a Chrome extension that's available in Gmail! (BTW Snapchat just bought the mobile app, so expect lots of BitMoji action by Snapchatters).

I was so impressed by how much detail I could add to my BitMoji avatar (even face wrinkles!). What sealed the deal? I could add a flower to my hair, just as I do in real life. So cool!

Add the BitMoji extension to your Gmail and you have a whole array of BitMojis emotions to add to your emails. Like this:
You gotta check out the in-your-face choices, like this one:
Get the idea that I'm charged up about BitMojis? Ummm, ... YES!

Stay tuned for my next blog post: a more in-depth look at this FUN tool. Mahalo, Molly, for the inspiration!

And that, folks, should be enough of a teaser to get you started exploring one or more of these gems.

Have fun! (and let me know how it goes)

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P. S. A big MAHALO to the EdTech Team 
for organizing a learningful GAFE Summit. Per usual, fantastic job. I'm already looking forward to next year!