Wednesday, October 29, 2014

iCreate Workshop

The Mercy iWizards have begun registration for iCreate -- an iPad workshop of 7th and 8th graders on January 17, 2015.  The two sessions will revolve around the following creative apps:

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Staff Learns to Weave Dreams in our Computer Labs

MHS Dreamweaver Training in our Mac Lab (Photo by Gary T. Bank)

On October 23, seven of our staff members received one full day of Adobe Dreamweaver training* in Mercy's Mac Lab.  Adobe Dreamweaver CC is the all-in-one visual development tool for creating, publishing, and managing websites and mobile content.

Training was customized for our Fine Arts Department members who will apply their new skills with the graphic arts curriculum. The day's syllabus included

Creating and understanding Dreamweaver
* Stylizing Content
* Creating Flexible Layout 
* Adding a Portfolio
* Using Content from Other Sources (e.g., Twitter & Video)

Participants in the training:
Susan Smith (Fine Arts)
Carol Rife (Fine Arts)
Aaron Poris (Fine Arts)
Lauren Marquard (World Language)
Christopher Blitz (Advancement)
Carol Maclennan (Pastoral Ministry)

This full day of professional development was supported by many teachers and staff who substituted in class for the Dreamweaver training participants.
*Training was provided by Charlie Grover who MHS has also contracted for training in Final Cut Pro X

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Registration Now Open for 2015 Tech Talk #mhtalk

We have just opened registration for Tech Talk at Mercy— A day filled with real world applications for the K-12 classroom.

Date: February 27, 2015.

Cost: (Includes continental breakfast and lunch):
$40 Early registration -- individual

$30 Early registration -- per person for a group of five or more registering together

After February 1: All registration $50 per person

SCHECH credits will be available to professionals through Madonna University.

Scene from 2014 Tech Talk

Our keynote presentation will be delivered by Karen Bosch and titled, The Power of TLC: Technology + Learning + Creativity.

To date other topics will include:

* Productivity Apps for the Busy Teacher

* I got an iPad, now what?

* 5 Inspiring Google Connect Apps

* Introduction to Photoshop CS6

* Creating Quality Video

Weebly in the Classroom

* inFORMed with Google Forms; communication=relationships

* Becoming a Digital School Administrator

Blending Traditional Curriculum with Technology

* Happy Together with Google Sheets

* Snag it and Share-it!

Until November 15 we will be accepting presentation proposals at 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Day Off (Sort of) for an Ed Techie

Today I have enjoyed a day-off from yesterday's all day Parent-Teacher Conferences.  For me to really vacate I have to be on a bike tour like the one I enjoyed three weeks ago in California.

But today was almost as good.  I started with my daily spin/workout at Core Cycle, did some grocery shopping, and then set to work on my two favorite projects-- iCreate and Tech Talk.  

iCreate is an iPad Workshop for middle school students on January 17, 2015 from 9:30am - noon.  Activities will include drawing, animation, and video-editing.  Today I have been working on promotion and setting up future face-to-face and Skype meetings for the project.

Tech Talk is our conference for 300 K-12 educators on February 27. Today I have identified some potential presenters in my network and I am reaching out to them to consider submitting a proposal to Tech Talk.  Already we have several interesting proposals, including:

* Productivity Apps for the Busy Teacher

* I got an iPad, now what?

* Introduction to Photoshop CS6

* Creating Quality Video

Weebly in the Classroom

* Becoming a Digital School Administrator

Blending Traditional Curriculum with Technology

* Going One-to-One at Your School-- a Conversation

* Instructional Uses of Pinterest

We expect many more in the next month (deadline for submission is November 15).

While I haven't "gotten away from it all" on my day off, what ed techie would want to get away from interesting events like these?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Connecting Educators, Unlimited Storage, and other Good Ed Tech Stuff

Google Gives Students Unlimited Storage Space in the Cloud
Google is giving the 30 million students and teachers who already use Google Apps for Education unlimited storage — and it's offering the same deal to anyone whose school wants to sign up for it.

How to Become a Connected Educator
Getting connected isn’t always easy. We asked some of our most plugged-in educators to offer tips on how to connect with colleagues outside your school community to form an invaluable professional learning network.
How to Record Audio Interviews With Skype and QuickTime
If you have a Mac you can record by using QuickTime. The screenshots below provide directions for recording a Skype audio call by using QuickTime. After recording your call you can take the audio file and use it Garage Band or another audio editing tool like Audacity to edit the audio.

Creating Simple Websites With Keynote
You can use Keynote to build a simple multi-page website. When you export as HTML, the resulting files can be uploaded to a web host.

Four Activities to Jump-Start Teamwork Among Teachers and School Leaders
But many teachers feel isolated in their classrooms, beholden to curriculum and state tests, but not necessarily connected to a learning community or a team to support them. That’s where school communities could learn from other types of work, where teams are crucial to generating new ideas and momentum, while providing members with support when it’s needed.

Is Math a Feature of the Universe or a Feature of Human Creation?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Requiem to the iPod and Five other Good Reads

On Death and iPods: A Requiem
We made playlists that spoke to the lives we lived at the moment. Looking at someone’s iPod was like looking into their soul. In their music you could see who they were. You could tell if they were sophisticated or rough. You could see in their playlists the moments they fell in love and the moments they fell back out again. You could see the filthiest, nastiest hip hop in the little white boxes of the primmest people, and know their inner lives a little better than you did before.

What is Twitter, as explained by its evolving tagline
Eight years later Twitter is so much more. Its users came up with great features such as replies, hashtags and retweets. The best things about Twitter arguably came from people who didn’t work at the company. . . . As Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg reportedly said of Twitter’s good fortune, “it’s as if they drove a clown car into a gold mine and fell in.”

jurvetson via Compfight cc
You Are Asking The Wrong Questions About Education Technology
What works for industry will not work for education because, as one recent New York Times article aptly noted, “teaching is not a business.” By now, we should know better than to transplant the intellectual structures of one human activity onto another. The trouble, however, is that we mistakenly believe we can separate the medium from the message.

Line by Line, E-Books Turn Poet-Friendly
“We wanted to feel confident that what the poets were doing visually came across in the e-readers before we made this transfer,” said Christopher Richards, an assistant editor at Farrar. “The visual look of a poem is really important and can communicate a kind of meaning, and if it’s not preserved in the e-book, you really lose something.”

Why I Just Asked My Students To Put Their Laptops Away
I teach theory and practice of social media at NYU, and am an advocate and activist for the free culture movement, so I’m a pretty unlikely candidate for internet censor, but I have just asked the students in my fall seminar to refrain from using laptops, tablets, and phones in class.

Back-to-School List Begone. Google Chromebooks Are the New Kid in Town
If you're still talking about the digital divide, you haven't heard about Google Chromebooks. Chromebooks are not only affordable, they actually save schools, districts, and families money. Chromebooks are only about $225 and last for about three years. That's $75 a year. The devices cost less than your back to school list for the next three years and yet provide so much more.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

New Technology for Mercy Broadcasting

I visited Mrs. Eddy's Broadcasting class yesterday.  It was my first opportunity to see how thousands of dollars of new technology purchased over the summer was impacting her student's projects. With the help of a $25,000 donation and other significant capital spending, Mrs. Eddy has masterfully redesigned her course to give the students an authentic 2014 broadcasting experience.

All photos provided by Mrs. Eddy

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