Two things happened in the last couple of days that made me feel great.
One, it feels good to know where to find what you need. A friend of mine is doing some teacher professional development. He's been looking for examples of great technology use across the curriculum, specifically looking for a high return on the time invested. I brainstormed a few ideas with him, but it's been a couple of years since I've really thought about this topic, so while I still find it fun to think about, I don't have a lot of great fresh ideas.
Last night I decided to invest an hour to see what I could find. I started with twitter, and thankfully, @dougpete had just posted the link to his daily links blog post. Even if I didn't already adore Doug, he's now my short-term personal hero because his blog, Off The Record, is a treasure trove of resources. I was able to compile a bunch of ideas for my friends just by stealing from Doug. (Thanks Doug!)
Incidentally, the very, very best thing I found was the Learning Science community. WOW. It is a collection - with annotation - of great resources for learning science. From tools like a huge stopwatch applet to online, video-enhanced games about stoichiometry to an interactive model ripple pool, it is awesome.
Second, it is fun to feel smart. Yesterday I briefly hosted a woman from Citizen Schools who wanted to know more about my school. The way it worked out, she observed part of my class rather than just getting the tour-and-discussion. The kids are working on digitizing color pictures, so she asked about it. I ended up explaining digitizing, run-length encoding, compression, and number systems to her. I feel kind of bad, because I should have been giving her an overview of what the school is about, which is not really run-length encoding, as you might guess. But I surprised myself with how much computer science I know. (Stop laughing.) It was fun. I think it was even fun for her.