Thesis Builder / ElectraGuide’s New Home

Interestingly, the most hit site I’ve created is something I made in 1995.  The Thesis Builder & Online Outliner is a simple javascript tool that helps novice writers create a reasonable persuasive thesis statement and matching outline.

Unfortunately, I loaded it onto very expensive hosting years back and the overage charges generated by the Thesis Builder cost between $25-60 / month.  For a free service, this has gotten too expensive. Rather than pull the site down, I’ve relocated it to cheaper hosting and posted this message on the site.

If you are a user of The Thesis Builder, please update your links as the forwarding message will only be up till the end of February (enough to get the new school semester started).

Here’s the message:



Welcome back!

(Download the handouts)

The main purpose of today is to get familiar with WordPress and then to understand and develop Look to Learn activities.

Review Module 1: Kay, Steve, Vin, Natasha, Mark, Patrick, David, Lisa, Anne

The main spaces we will use are:

AIS-NSW Integrators

Today St. Andrews Cathedral School is hosting the AISNSW Integrators meeting.  I look forward to getting together with this great group of educators focused on making smart use of technology for classroom learning. The agenda includes a survey of school management systems, implementing a one-to-one laptop program and re-caps on recent conferences (Scottish ICT Festival, ULearn and the New Millennium Learners).

My bit is a short sharing from the NML Conference and I wanted to highlight one main point on NMLs and three interesting case studies in assessment.  As the NML preliminary findings indicate, the most important truth is how little we really know – the dearth of data amidst a flurry of characterisations (GenY, Millenials, Digital Natives, etc.).   However, the one thing that is clear at this point in educational history is that students’ out-of-school, informal use of technology far exceeds in-school, formal use and this has evidenced an advantage for rich uses of ICTs:


This has implications for the classroom as a place of culture, not instruction, but for today, I wanted to share three levels of authentically capturing student learning (AKA “assessment”).

Martin Ripley, speaking for the Assessment branch of the, began the discussion, sharing his group’s work and taking an international perspective.  This group has set the following challenges for a comprehensive “high-stakes” assessment that also reflects authentic learning:


Steen Lassen, an adviser to the Danish Ministry of Education, presented this nation’s leadership in implementing year 12 exams that are not only computer-based (since 2000), but also pilot completely open access to the Internet (see the recent  BBC article).

Finally, Estela Souza, of the Lumiar Institute and now as part of the Synapses group at Futurelab, detailed their software system called Mosaic that maps identified and achieved learning onto a matrix of tiles.  Here’s a screenshot.


Remember that an exhaustive debrief of the entire NML Conference is also available

Purim story

Can you compare the characters in the Purim story with the characters of the story of Star Wars? Create a Venn diagram to show your comparisson.

Human Footprint

Ever wondered how much we consume in our lifetime?  This clip is an advertisement for the National Geographic Channel.  Does is convince you to watch the show?

See – Think – Wonder

  1. What do you see?
  2. What do you think about that?
  3. What does it make you wonder?