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.






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All photos provided by Mrs. Eddy

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Outside of the Box Peer-to-Peer Tech Training Strategies



I like to submit conference proposals that reflect projects which preoccupy me. Knowing that I am going to submit a proposal on a project motivates me to work harder on the project.

Recently I submitted a proposal called Outside of the Box Peer-to-Peer Tech Training Strategies.  Here's the description:

Peer to peer training is powerful. This session will describe some methods which have proven effective at Mercy High School such as teacher lead workshops, drop-in labs and a teacher-to-teacher conference. A badged self-paced course for teachers will shared as well as an iTunes U course for administrators which includes resources exclusively created by building administrators.  Additionally, a program where savvy students orient new students to their iPads will be described.  

I hope it gets selected!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Museum Apps, the Myths of Learning, and Preserving the Pleasure of Deep Reading

WORK HAS CHANGED, SO MUST SCHOOL AND THE MYTHS OF LEARNING
LEARNING MYTH #2 – COMPLIANCE IS LEARNING.  Again, don’t be mistaken.  We all have to comply with rules, regulations, structure and supervision . . . . But we can’t always confuse or substitute compliance for progress, advancement or learning.  In the 20th century workplace, again workers did not question their boss.  They did their jobs and shut up.  However, in the 21st century workplace, input from employees is not only acceptable, but also needed and required for real quality work.  Employees need to be part of a team that has a mission, a vision and goals. 
http://tinyurl.com/mvxu8b4

6 Museum Apps for Virtual Field Trips
Whether your kids want to understand the first people to walk the earth or find out about the greatest living artists in the world, chances are there’s a museum app out there to educate and entertain them for hours.

MOMA iPhone app
“Four Things I’ll Do Differently This School Year”
Many of my students lug around backpacks stuffed with wads of paper and smelly gym socks . . . .This year I’ll rise to the challenge by digitizing handouts and assignments, uploading them to my Edmodo library and sharing them with students. iPads are a staple in my classroom. Students can access handouts through their class folder using their device, annotate using Notability and turn in completed work electronically for me to view. 
http://tinyurl.com/kmxxtkf

The Case for Preserving the Pleasure of Deep Reading
The deep reader, protected from distractions and attuned to the nuances of language, enters a state that psychologist Victor Nell, in a study of the psychology of pleasure reading, likens to a hypnotic trance. Nell found that when readers are enjoying the experience the most, the pace of their reading actually slows. The combination of fast, fluent decoding of words and slow, unhurried progress on the page gives deep readers time to enrich their reading with reflection, analysis, and their own memories and opinions. 

What Do Schools Risk By Going ‘Full Google’?
“One of the issues I had with students was their not citing correctly,” Berlusconi says. “There was a lot of plagiarism.” With Google Docs, she can figuratively look over a student’s shoulder and flag improper citation even before they turn in an assignment. Plus, she says, when students are collaborating, a glance at the revision history “allows you to see who really is doing the work” by who contributed what edits.
http://tinyurl.com/nwraevy

Five Strategies for Edtech Success During the New School Year
Publish, Publish, Publish Student Work
It is essential that your students publish their work right at the beginning of the year. Their first creation could be simple: a written reflection of summer learning, a photo essay, or a list of goals for the year. The point is to get them used to putting their creations out there for others to see and react to.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

iCreate - An iWizard Workshop for Middle School Students

iWizards creating iPad resources for new students

The iWizards are going to host an iPad Workshop for middle school students on January 17, 2015 from 9:30am - noon.*  It will be named iCreate. This was decided at the initial meeting about the project where the iWizards brainstormed with one of Mercy’s admissions officers.  At their next meeting the students will collaborate with the school's Fine Arts teachers.

Here are some of the initial ideas and remarks that came from the first meeting:

- The workshop will consist of 3-4 sessions that each middle school student will attend.

- The sessions should be long enough to allow attendees to create products.

- The sessions will focus on creating multimedia through apps like iMovie, Animation Creator HD, maybe Keynote.

- We might include a light breakfast.  We will not charge but will expect paid-for apps like iMovie to be loaded on students' iPads.

- We can use I.T. Department loaners for students who may not have iPads.

- We should promote the event at the November Fall Open House.

- New iWizards can be recruited help staff the event.  The event itself will be a good recruiting tool for iWizards.

- We will invite the Fine Arts Department faculty to our next meeting for input.  We also would be pleased to have them involved at any level they might wish to be.  We would be happy to promote the Art Curriculum through the event.

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*The idea for hosting a middle school workshop actually came from a member of our Board of Trustees.


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