Thursday, January 29, 2015

2015 Presentations

Upcoming Conference Presentations for 2015

February 27, 2015, Talk Tech, Mercy High School, Farmington Hills, MI
         Becoming a Digital School Administrator

March 19, 2015 MACUL Conference, Cobo Center, Detroit, Michigan
         Outside of the Box Peer-to-Peer Tech Training Strategies

March 20, 2015 MACUL Conference, Cobo Center, Detroit, Michigan
          iWizards: Empowering Students as Leaders in a Successful 1:1 Initiative

April 8, Preview ISTE, a free virtual conference, 5-8pm (EST)
         Sample of Outside of the Box Peer-to-Peer Tech Training Strategies

June 29, ISTE 2015 at Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia
          Outside of the Box Peer-to-Peer Tech Training Strategies

Sunday, January 25, 2015

What's Next for the iWizards?

iWizards at iCreate Planning Meeting

Hot off of our successful iPad iCreate Workshop for seventh and eighth graders, the iWizards are now turning their attention to several other activities over the next couple of months.


iWizards Tips & Tricks iTunes U and Schoology Courses
The iWizards are currently working on a project of collecting iPad "tips & tricks" about to share with the Mercy community through a Schoology course.  We have tentatively decided it will have the following features

*lessons that last 1-2 minutes

*GIF badges as "rewards"
*Possibly some kind of raffle for those who "complete" the course.

Gabriella Meyers, our Apple DE recently visited and suggested we create an iTunes U course with iWizard tips and tricks.  I think this is a great idea and would complement the Schoology course.

Feb. 15

Winter Open House Demonstration
For the past three years the iWizards have provided iPad demonstrations for prospective students.

Fall '14 Open House Demonstration

Feb 27

Assist at Tech Talk
Mrs. Carol Rife will be conducting and Animation Creator HD break-out session at Tech Talk. Based on the their effectiveness at iCreate she intends to ask iWizards to assist.

March 20
MACUL Presentation
Mrs. Meyers has asked us to consider doing an iWizards presentation in the Apple room at the 2015 MACUL Conference-- the largest state educational technology conference on March 20, Cobo Center, Detroit.

March 26
iWizard Workshop
All of the iWizards will gather for a full-day workshop to create the program and materials for the 2015 iPad orientation for new students. The orientation will be held on August 14.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Wacky gadgets, 2015 Predictions, and Education's Death Valley

How Technology Connects Parents and Teachers
Consider which tool will be the most helpful. Facebook is likely the most popular platform, however Twitter is a great option as well. If using Twitter, create specific hashtags for your class so it’s easy for parents to find information in one place.

Ed tech predictions for 2015
As we move into 2015, it’s a question on a lot of minds. Last year was an exciting one for ed tech — the maker ed movement exploded, mobile and 1:1 programs gained steam, and teachers continued to flip traditional learning on its head. The internet is awash with predictions from educators and ed tech experts as to what changes we’ll see in the coming months.
net_efekt via Compfight cc 
Do MOOCs live up to the hype?
Enrolling in a MOOC is not the same as enrolling in a traditional course, and course completion rates may not be the best metric by which to measure success. More than their analog counterparts, MOOCs encourage exploration, trial and error, and intellectual taste testing. Most MOOCs are also free and therefore have no financial penalty for noncompletion. 

A New Era of Medicine, Centered on Smartphones
If Elaine wanted to have her skin rash assessed today, all she would have to do is take a picture of it with a smartphone and download an app to process it. Within minutes, a validated computer algorithm, which is more accurate than most doctors, would deliver by text a diagnosis of her skin rash. . . . Elaine could even download apps to see the ratings of nearby dermatologists, how expensive a visit would be, and even if the doctors themselves were difficult to deal with.

The six wackiest gadgets (so far) at CES 2015
The Ring is a finger-worn controller for your smartphone and other connected devices that will make you feel like a wizard. Made by a Japanese company called Logbar, this somewhat bulky piece of functional jewelry is designed to be worn on the pointer finger and lets users draw gestures in the air to do things such as start the music playing on their phone, take a smartphone picture or even turn the lights on and off.

How to Escape Education's Death Valley

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Students Teaching Students iPad Technology at the MHS iCreate Workshop

Art Rage/ Animator HD Group in Foreground / Photo by M. Weiss
The MHS iWizards conducted a free* iCreate Workshop for seventh and eighth graders on Saturday, January 17.  The iWizards consist of 9th-11th grade students who share an enthusiasm for the iPad.  Through a collaboration with the MHS Art Department**, they designed two one-hour sessions for the participants:

1) Students took photos, and became acquainted with how to employ some of Photogene's many editing effects. They then dropped them into iMovie, learning how to quickly add sound and add features.

2) Students created drawings with ArtRage. They then they discovered how to animate the sketches with Animation Creator HD.

Both groups experienced using AirDrop* and enjoyed each other's productions on LED projectors via Apple TVs.

The sessions were entirely taught by the iWizards who turned out in force in order to give lots of 1:1 help to our guests.  The iWizards created their curriculum through several weeks of before-school meetings.  The following sequence of extremely short videos outlines a portion of the animation group's instruction.

The session began with an iWizard demonstration of what could be achieved with ArtRage/Animation Creator HD

After the projects were completed the iWizards worked hard to collect the files through AirDrop and then mirror them onto the projector.

The Animation group gave a Mercy souvenir to projects that stood out. Below I have videoed one winner's creation.  Pretty impressive considering the kids only had an hour to learn two apps and create their masterpieces!

This final brief video shows photographs from the day's fun.

Photos by L. Baker and M. Weiss

*Mr. James and Mr. Bank from Mercy I.T. set up 20 loaner iPads for girls who did not bring their own. They also created a special wifi for our guests and prepped the projectors (with Ms. Corte's assistance).

**Thank you, Ms. Smith, Ms. Rife, Mr. Poris (Art teachers) and Maureen Weiss, Jen Stark (Admissions) for all of your help.

Cord-Cutters, Crash Course, and Lazy Luddites

Ordinarily if I post links to sites that I find interesting, the subject is educational technology. Recently, I have come across articles on more general technology topics that I would like to share.  I hope you find them as interesting as I did.

How one man’s private files ended up on Apple’s iCloud without his consent
The once-clear line between devices – such as Macs or iPhones – and proprietary cloud services is all but vanishing, security experts warn. And it isn’t just Apple doing it. Microsoft, Google and others increasingly are relying on cheap, easily accessible storage capacity to roll out new features for customers. Apple’s automatic saving function allows users to switch seamlessly between devices, without fear of losing documents or edits.
Your Professor Isn’t a Lazy Luddite
While exceptions exist, research shows again and again that when people are staring at a screen, or skip-jumping through a bajillion websites and apps, they are not learning well. Yes, college students are adults, and if they choose to spend class on whatever the new thing to replace Snapchat is, that’s their prerogative—but when it comes to course design, it is still the professor’s job to prioritize student learning.

Surprise! Twitter is not Facebook
Twitter, unfairly or not, it is always going to be compared to another much larger social network. To paraphrase the late Lloyd Bentsen in that famous 1988 vice presidential debate with Dan Quayle, Twitter is no Facebook.

Cord-Cutters Rejoice: CBS Joins Web Stream
The moves signal a watershed moment for web-delivered television, where viewers have more options to pay only for the networks or programs they want to watch — and to decide how, when and where to watch them. Rapidly fading are the days in which people pay an average of $90 a month for a bundle of networks from a traditional provider.

Cloud Computing Is Forcing a Reconsideration of Intellectual Property
Last month, Facebook, Google, Walmart’s online operation and others announced a consortium with a goal of enabling new versions of software to be released multiple times a day. They used to come out every few years.
Hoping to move even faster against his competitors, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, three years ago took the unusual strategy of open-sourcing not software, but computer hardware

The Sun & The Earth: Crash Course Big History #3

Thursday, January 15, 2015

New Approaches, Streaming, GoPro, etc.

thart2009 via Compfight cc
13 higher ed tech tools and approaches to watch in 2015
Here are 13 ed tech tools and approaches from companies and institutions that you should keep on your radar due to their recent recognition.

Why Boundaries Are the Best Thing for Your Creativity
Boundaries are crucial for all kinds of creativity. The syllabic structure and limitations of a haiku are what make the poem so powerful. Similarly, we need limits when we wade into brainstorming.

Project Planning Cycle in a 1:1 iPad
This year I worked with Natalie Cannon, @magistracannon, to revise the prompts for her annual Roman Bath project. Rather than asking students to create a cartoon storyboard, the prompt was revised to allow students authentic authorship and purpose through a designated role.

Live TV Viewership Down As Streaming Services Rise
“The growing penetration of new devices and the popularity of subscription-based streaming services, time shifting and over-the-top viewing -- as well as cord-cutting and cord shaving -- are fundamentally changing the TV industry.”

For Students, the Importance of Doing Work That Matters
I would argue, in fact, that the growing access to knowledge, information, people, and tools that our students are getting demands a shift in how we think about the work they do in school, one that moves them away from traditional, institutionally organized “assignments” and toward more student-organized.

I thought this was a cool way to show off a hot new technology.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Frame of Reference

On Thursday, an associate principal from a neighboring state said that she would be giving a staff presentation on educational technology and wondered if I could give her some resources to provide at the end of her presentation.  I did not do an exhaustive inventory or try to do any sort of ranking.  I tried to provide a potpourri. And of course as soon as I pressed "send" I regretted that I had not included other favorites.  Nevertheless I thought I would share my response at the Drive-thru:

My resources are biased toward folks in the trenches.  I also have leaned toward Apple, and since I teach a Tech Leadership course I have some of that stuff.   One important point:  The great majority of my reading/stimulation comes from Twitter.  I have curated folks who tweet great links to blogs and articles.  So I have started with a an assortment of good ed tech folk to follow.  Then a mixture of blogs/sites.  Last books, which is my weakest piece since I figure by the time most e tech books get into print they are dated!

public domain photo by paulak


Blogs/Web Sites/iTunes U

Appitic -- App Lists for Education

21st Century Educational Technology and Learning

Hack Education

Will Richardson

Becoming a Digital School Administrator

Brent Coley (Principal)

The Principal of Change


Digital Leadership — Eric Sheninger

Communicating and Connecting with Social Media — Ferriter & Ramadan

The Global Achievement Gap— Tony Wagner

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Tech Talk Break-out Schedule Unveiled

Mercy High School's 2015 Tech Talk Conference for K-12 Educators is just seven weeks away.  We have just completed the break-out speaker schedule and will send the program to the State of Michigan in order to qualify for SCECH credits*

Standard early registration is $40/person.  Groups of five or more may attend for $30/person.  After February 1 all registrations are $50/person.

Registration includes breakfast, lunch,  Karen Bosch's Keynote presentation, four break-out sessions and a chance at raffle prizes.

*SCECH credits are done in collaboration with Madonna University.  See Tech Talk web site for details.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Power of T + L + C and other Musings

I head into 2015 with these ed tech thoughts on my mind . . . .

- I love my new iPhone 6 plus for work and personal use.  It has definitely encroached on my iPad usage, but couldn't see taking lots of notes or doing heavy reading on it. I am, however, doing much more reading, writing, and photo editing than I formally did with my iPhone 4.

- Speaking of photo editing, I absolutely love Photogene.  I have gone through the user-friendly tutorials to bring my self up to speed for the iWizards' iCreate Workshop on January 17.  Seventh and eighth grade girls can still sign up at

- I was really excited to see that Karen Bosch had begun work on her keynote for Mercy's Tech Talk.  She has so many creative ideas about using technology to engage kids and adults! The Conference is on Feb. 27 and you can still sign up at the early discount rate of $40.

Karen's cover slide
- With three presentations coming up in the first half of the year its time for me to get to work on some slides myself.  I feel ready for it after resting up over the holidays.  I hope you and yours were able to enjoy some nice down time too.

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