Monday, December 29, 2014

Apple Academy in Cupertino

I will be attending Apple Foundations Academy in Cupertino, California this upcoming February!
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The Academy will cover train-the-trainer training on all of the Apple apps for the MacBook and iPad. Following the training, I will be an authorized Apple Foundations Trainer for my school district.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Blog Love or Neglect?

I was re-evaluating my performance as a Connected Educator today and decided I need to refocus some of my effort on keeping up with my own blog and reflecting on my practices as a digital leader and technology integrationist.

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Lately I have found myself sharing ideas via Voxer and Twitter much more than through this blog. I was prompted to compare my blog, Twitter, and Voxer by John Spencer's blog post Five Reasons The Conversations Have Moved From Twitter To Voxer.

I think the purpose of why I use each is very different. For me, Voxer is more of a tool for a conversational dialogue with a small group of educators from Minnesota, Iowa, and Canada where we share the educational endeavors that we're currently engaged with in our respective positions. Twitter is much more of a consumption-based tool for me as I connect with and learn from a broader group of colleagues, friends, educators, and like-minded individuals who represent a variety of careers and interests as well as geographic locations. Blogger is my content sharing tool of choice as well as a forum for reflective thought around improving my own practice as well as sharing resources with others.

As a Connected Educator, I don't think that one tool is better than the others as they are all different and allow me to connect with and reach different groups and audiences for different purposes.

So while I may have been sharing and connecting more via Twitter and Voxer lately, Blogger is still a critical tool for me as it allows me to tie together not only my thinking but resources that I would like to share with others.

Monday, December 15, 2014

ISTE2015 Speaker

Proposal selections for ISTE2015 were announced today, and I'm honored to be able to say that I will be a speaker at the next ISTE conference in Philadelphia this June.

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In fact, I received a triple honor of having three proposals selected and a fourth selected but on a waiting list for now!

I will be presenting on:
  • 30 Plus Ways To Use Your iPad For Personalized Professional Development
  • Bridging The Digital Divide With A Racial Equity Lens

I will also be doing a three hour workshop on:
  • Publishing Amazing Interactive Books With iBooks Author

The fourth session that is currently waitlisted until space becomes available is a BYOD session:
  • Easy Formative Assessment Options For Mobile Devices

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Augmented Reality

Is augmented reality the next big thing in the educational world?

Aurasma has been available for about three and a half years now and although I had not heard of Daqri until this past summer, it has been in existence for about the same amount of time as well. Lately, these two apps have been getting a lot of mention on Twitter and YouTube, and I'm wondering if augmented reality might finally be making its way into the mainstream educational world along with 3D printers.

Through some behind the scenes work by Brad Gustafson (@gustafsonbrad on Twitter) of the Minnesota Educators on Voxer, a series of short videos on the value of being Connected Educators submitted by members of the group were edited together and the resulting video was linked to aura that triggers the video through the Aurasma and Daqri apps.

If you have Aurasma, scan the picture of the front of the Voxer group t-shirt and follow Greenwood Elementary's channel to watch the video.
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If you have Daqri scan the picture of the state of Minnesota icon to watch the video.

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Click here to play the video if you do not have one of the apps and cannot see the video embedded below.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Minnesota Educators on Voxer - Why I'm A Connected Educator

Why I'm a Connected Educator? That's the question of the hour...

Members of the Minnesota Educators on Voxer group are creating 10 - 15 second video clips about why we value being part of our PLN group on Voxer to be linked in an augmented reality video to our Voxer group t-shirts.

My video about why I'm a connected educator is embedded below:

Friday, November 7, 2014

TEDx Burnsville Video Released - Real World Ready

The long-awaited TEDx Burnsville videos have been released and I'm excited to share mine below.

Please watch why I believe we need to start recognizing that our students learn differently than most of their teachers did and that traditional classrooms must change in order to retain our students' interest and develop their academic skills.

The amount of screen time that our students devote to their interests and hobbies online could impact their academic learning if schools tapped into using more digital resources and online delivery formats that could extend the school day beyond the classroom walls and typical school day bells.

The amount of technology from previous generations still being used in our schools today seemed to hit home with the audience as a humorous walk down the path of instructional technology used during my K-12 educational years. If you missed an earlier blog post I wrote about some of the inspirations for my TEDx Talk, it's worth noting that the idea for sharing the timeline of educational technology was spurred by this 2011 Edudemic article by Jeff Dunn on the "Evolution of Classroom Technology" and has been a topic that I have poked fun at in some of my previous ISTE presentations over the years.

A popular flat icon graphic from my presentation was the depiction below created by my amazing colleague David Freeburg based on an Apple presentation showing the timeline of our current students' lives and the immersive availability of technology that has developed throughout their short lifetimes.
Image Credit: David Freeburg

I would be remiss if I also did not give credit to another of my talented colleagues, Lee Vang, whose images below not only demonstrate her eye for layout and skill with Photoshop, but also represent visuals for two of the primary initiatives in my school district that the department I am working in supports.
Image Credit: Lee Vang
I hope that watching my TEDx video inspires other educators to see the need for change in the classroom to better engage our students today.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Teach100 Blog

Today I received the Twitter notification that my blog is now a Teach100 Blog.

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I'm hoping that this will not only help me to build my network connections with other educators but that it will also help motivate me to build in time on a regular weekly basis to keep up with reflections and sharing information on my blog. My efforts to keep up a daily blog entry as part of #BlogJune were challenging and my goal of blogging once a week since then has also been a goal that has been difficult to meet on a regular basis.

I think that being a connected educator prompts us all to push ourselves to find time to share resources, ideas, and questions and to be more reflective ourselves, which results in self-improvement.

In honor of Connected Educator month, I'm renewing my goal to blog on a weekly basis every weekend. Let's see how I do in terms of keeping up!

Friday, October 24, 2014

K12 Online Conference Session Video Released - How Schools Are Preparing Students To Be Real World Ready

The K12 Online Conference is taking place over the next two weeks. The conference theme this year is "Igniting Innovation."

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My K12 Online Conference session this morning was about "How Schools Are Preparing Students To Be Real World Ready."

My session video is embedded below:

Friday, September 12, 2014

Learning Spaces Redesign Completed

Today Galtier Community School opened its doors to the community and Target to unveil the newly transformed Exploratorium space and the dramatically different classroom learning spaces, which are composed of shared spaces, interactive projectors, new seating and working arrangements, and glass walls.

It will be interesting to follow-up with the staff this year to see how not only the learning spaces but the instruction changes due to the open, shared classroom concept.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

TEDxBurnsvilleED Only One Week Away

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With only a little over a week to go until my TED Talk, I'm rehearsing constantly in preparation for my time on the stage at the Minnesota History Center.

I'm looking forward to hearing the other speakers and am humbled to have been chosen for such an honor. I'm also excited to share some of the same concepts that have been driving the work in my district to empower students and to ensure that we are providing the access to devices and other technology that they need in order to be well-prepared for life and studies after leaving my school district.
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In my opinion, it's imperative that we as educators are providing the access to devices and support needed for how to use them for educational purposes in order to ensure that all of our students are real world ready and can navigate through life after high school and be successful, no matter where that path may lead them.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Evolution of Technology & Visionary Thinkers

I'm wondering if science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke would ever have dreamt of the evolution of computers from giant room-engulfing, punch card monsters to the elegant wrist watch-sized model just released by Apple when he was interviewed by ABC News for the One Day A Computer Will Fit On A Desk video in 1974.

The video below may be restricted from playing here in the blog due to ABC News. If the video does not play, you can click on the link in the player below to watch the video on YouTube's website.

It's funny how most things that are technology-related have consistently shrunk over the years both in terms of expense to manufacture as well as the physical size of the device. On the other hand, automobiles range from the tiny, ultra compact Smart Cars to gargantuan SUVs, with relative size indicating prestige and quality for the larger size vehicles.

It's interesting how mankind has evolved technologically buy yet still equates luxury and status with excessively large vehicles which are not overly friendly for the environment. Maybe Apple should be working on a driverless car instead of Google. Combining Apple's classic sense of style with their advanced technological engineering could only result in an amazing set of electric-powered vehicles differentiated to meet both the performance and economic needs of consumers. Of course, it would probably be highly likely that each car model would require a different cable to charge, thus requiring multi-vehicle families to purchase additional Apple cables.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Connected Courses Blog Syndication

As part of participating in the Connected Courses cMOOC, my blog will be linked to the Connected Courses blog. Just having my blog listed in proximity of Howard Rheingold's blog definitely puts some pressure on keeping up with my blog on a regular basis. From being part of #BlogJune, I know that it is difficult to find the time to write a reflective post every day and have been trying to maintain writing at least one post a week as my goal.

I am looking forward to being part of Connected Courses though and learning from colleagues everywhere.

Funny how in the past, I would have been fortunate to share ideas with colleagues in my own school district on district professional development days that were scheduled only once per quarter during the school year, and now I can reach out to colleagues from across North America and from around the world by just turning my laptop or iPad on and writing a blog post or sending out a tweet on Twitter. It is truly amazing what a globally connected world we live in today!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Participating In Connected Courses

I am looking forward to participating in Connected Courses over the next several months.
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"Connected Courses is a collaborative network of faculty in higher education developing online, open courses that embody the principles of connected learning and the values of the open web."

The Connected Courses cMOOC is sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation and Digital Media & Learning Initiative Research Hub. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New Office, New Approach To Utilizing Office Space - Introduction To Hoteling

Yesterday was my first visit to our new offices for the Personalized Learning department. Over the summer the elementary school that we are officed within underwent a complete redesign of all the classrooms and learning spaces to create more innovative use of shared spaces and classrooms. The amazing new multi-classroom shared spaces remind me of the open classroom concept from a few decades ago when there were no walls between classrooms. More about the classrooms later though.

As part of the school redesign, our office space was condensed from two classrooms to one in another part of the building that also underwent an architectural change over the summer. Our district facilities department began looking at more innovative uses of office space about a year ago, especially for offices with staff who aren't necessary working at a desk from 8:00 to 4:00 every day but who may be regularly out in schools working with teachers for part of the work week.

Our new office space contains a variety of seating options - two double-sided desks, cushy swivel chairs with a movable arm rest piece to put your laptop on with a movable whiteboard partition to allow for small group brainstorming sessions, and a flexible small group meeting area that doubles as a break area.

The idea of hoteling is that in an office, such as ours which has fourteen staff members, most of the staff are actually have very mobile job duties and spend a great deal of time working in schools with principals and teachers on integrating technology and revamping library spaces and services. The idea of hoteling is that less desks and chairs are needed, and ultimately less office space and furniture are required, if people are not assigned to desks but rather can be more flexible about where they sit and work while they are in the office. The concept of hoteling then relies on being flexible and temporarily occupying spaces while in the office.

A few years ago I did a presentation at ISTE about how schools could learn from companies like General Mills and the University of Minnesota who have put hoteling into practice for years now to create flexible office space designed around team and project needs versus quiet work spaces for intense work for the former and more creative, collaborative use of classroom learning environments and hallway spaces for the later to create dynamic technology-enriched classrooms and learning stations that allow all students and groups to share their work with the class without need for transition time or movement through connected table pods that can access the room projection and audio system as well as having movable whiteboard space for brainstorming group work.

Storage space is at a premium in the hoteling model with shared storage cabinets for office supplies and shared technology equipment and a personal portable storage cabinet for each of us that can be personalized with photos and magnets and that can slide under the desk countertop while we are working in the office and that can be pulled off to the side when we leave to free up the desk space for the next person when they arrive at the office.

We have definitely entered a new frontier in terms of being more mobile, agile, and living in less personalized spaces than in the past when we had assigned desks covered with family photos and desk toys that gave some impression of our personalities and interests. I am excited though about starting out the year with the knowledge that I don't have an assigned space and can be more flexible about moving around as needed according to who I am collaborating with on projects while in the office.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Google Slides App For iOS

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Google continues to make the Google Apps For Education suite more iPad friendly as the Google Slides app for iOS debuted to the masses today! Slides along with Google Drive, Sheets, and Docs have enabled iPad users to tap into the collaborative power of Google apps like never before on iPads.

Google Slides has also added new features and options that were not available previously when accessing Google Slides via the Chrome iOS browser. Users can now create presentations on the iPad rather than being limited to just viewing them as well as continuing to work on presentations offline and having the new content sync back up once connected to wifi again.

These changes make using Google Slides more friendly than ever for schools and districts going 1:1 with iPads.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

SAMR Model Use

I recently had the opportunity to reflect on my conversation with Dr. Ruben Puentedura about his views on the various SAMR Model graphic organizers at ISTE2014 in Atlanta.

My school district is going 1:1 with iPads and part of that work is to help our teachers and staff stay focused on the pedagogy of personalized learning rather than being overwhelmed by the glitz of devices even though that can be an important factor in engaging digital age students.

I created the video below reflecting on my conversation with Dr. Puentedura as an introductory tool for teachers and administrators who are unfamiliar with the SAMR Model to reinforce for them the transitory nature of technology integration in the classroom in terms of moving back and forth between the levels. While our goal is to help students and teachers to use technology in ways that exemplify the Modification and Redefinition levels of the SAMR model, the way that technology is used in the classroom depends upon the task.

A teacher might have students Skyping with an expert in a particular field one day and using the Notes app on the iPad the next day as a tool for taking notes, which is a totally appropriate usage. The SAMR Model, when used as a self-reflective hierarchical model, helps teachers and students to be more aware of how they are using technology and reminds them to strive for the higher levels of Modification and Redefinition which will have the greatest impact on students learning.

Friday, August 15, 2014

#Leadershipday14 - The SAMR Model Is A Self-Reflective Tool Not An Evaluation Tool

It can be tempting to try to repurpose the SAMR model to be used for evaluation purposes in terms of teacher technology use in the classroom. The SAMR model is designed to be a self-reflective model of technology use though and should not be used as an evaluative tool.

This past summer, I had the pleasure of getting to chat with Dr. Ruben Puentedura at ISTE about the SAMR model and which graphic representation he felt was easiest for teachers to understand.

Watch the video below to learn more about why the swimming pool model helps teachers to understand SAMR.

Due to the spiraling nature of technology use in the classroom, using the SAMR model would not be a fair evaluative tool because teachers may have students using technology in a substitution manner directly after using it at the redefinition level due to the changing needs of each classroom task.

Maybe having a teacher document their technology integration use throughout the year in connection with the academic projects or tasks would be a more reflective and equitable measure.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

iPad Training - Basic Introduction Level

I created this handout for an upcoming training on iPads for participants who have never used an iPad before or who have very little use of one. Due to bandwidth limitations, we also are not able to have participants download any apps to the iPads during the initial training. Given those parameters, you can see the outline of the training below that I came up with. This training will focus on the basic functions and settings of the iPad to try to familiarize users with those so that they know where to go later and how to make changes in the settings.

Additional trainings will be offered later on a set of core apps that has been identified. I spent a lot of time trying to think about how to ensure that the training was dynamic and engaging given that we would not be able to demonstrate any flashy cool apps.

Feedback welcomed.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Minnesota eLearning Summit Presentation - Easy Formative Assessment Options For Mobile Devices

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My first presentation at the Minnesota eLearning Summit is on Wednesday, July 30. The topic of the presentation is easy formative assessment options for mobile devices.

Participants in this session will experience quick online and app-based formative assessment and quizzing options on your iPad, Chromebook, or other mobile devices and learn how to engage your students and gauge their understanding of your lesson.

Session participants will learn about specific apps and online tools and how to repurpose other apps and online interactive tools to create collaborative learning opportunities that will allow you to gauge student learning on the spur of the moment.

Crowd Sourcing:
What apps and websites are you using for formative assessment in your classroom? Please take this quick survey


Resources for this session:

Flipgrid - This is a fun app and web-based tool that allows you to pose questions for your students to respond to by recording a video response. 
Try it out - Click here to contribute to a Flipgrid
21 day free trial and then a fee
More information -
iOS app -
Video tutorial

Geddit - This website and app-based tool allows students to indicate their confidence level in terms of understanding content material as well as responding to quiz questions.
More information -
Resources -
Video tutorial

Google Forms - Free tool available from Google through the web or as an iOS app.
More Information -
Video tutorial -

Kahoot - One of my colleagues jokingly refers to this student response system as being similar to bar trivia without the alcohol. Kahoot is website-based, but you can create a web clip icon on your iPad that links to the website and looks like an app icon.
More information - Sign up for a free account here -
Link to website for students to join your quiz -
Video tutorial - Creating A Kahoot  and Playing Kahoot
Quick Guide -

Plickers -
Do you have just one iPad or Android device? This app/application lets you use your phone, iPad, Android device to scan paper cards that students hold up in one of four directions to indicate their multiple choice answer response.

More information -
Plickers App for iOS
Video tutorial

Socrative - This tool is both web-based and an app. The teacher can create a quiz in advance and then gather and export student performance data.
More information -
iOS Teacher app
iOS Student app
Video Tutorials -
Creating a Quiz and Running a Quiz
User Guide -

Voxer Walkie Talkie - This fun walkie talkie push and talk app can be used in many ways to gather quick and authentic performance data from students.
More information -
iOS app -
Video tutorial and Overview

Monday, July 28, 2014

EdCampMN Reflections

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Today was a great day of informal sharing at EdCampMN at the Anderson Student Center on the Hamline University campus.

I participated in sessions on Voxer, edtech coaching, 1:1 Chromebooks, iPads in the classroom, standards-based grading, literacy resources, Twitter, and flexible learning spaces. The EdCamp model of informal group discussion and resource sharing instead of formal presentations offered plenty of opportunities to share work going on in my district and professional interests of my own.
I also had a chance to practice a little sketchnoting and uploaded my sketch here to share. I definitely see the value in visual note-taking and the connections between doodling and summarizing and how it can help students remember content better in the classroom. Sketchnoting also helps teachers document major takeaways from professional development conferences.

Monday, July 21, 2014

TEDx BurnsvilleED Speaker

I am thrilled to have been selected to be a speaker at TEDx BurnsvilleED on September 20!
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"TEDxBurnsvilleED is a local, independently-organized event that strives to recreate the unique experience found at TED, where the world's leading thinkers and doers congregate to share what they are most passionate about.  The mission of TEDxBurnsvilleED is to bring together local community and field leaders to engage in ideas worth doing that will have a positive impact in our education community."

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Minnesota eLearning Summit Presentations - Easy Formative Assessment on Mobile Devices

I started thinking about my presentations for the Minnesota eLearning Summit today and the connections between formative assessment tools and Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
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Ensuring that classroom assessments are set up to ensure that no student's performance is hindered due to the design or format of the assessment itself is critical.

There are many iPad apps that make formative assessment easy for the teacher and very accessible for students.  I will be talking about how to successfully use the iPad for formative assessment with students and will be demonstrating a few apps that make it easy for teachers to gauge students' content understanding at the upcoming Minnesota eLearning Summit at the end of July.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Universal Design For Learning: Reaching All Learners Institute

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I am looking forward to attending the Universal Design for Learning: Reaching All Learners Institute next week at Harvard University.

Universal Design for Learning guidelines covers providing multiple means of representation, multiple means of action and expression, and multiple means of engagement to help all students have optimal learning environments and experiences.

Plus, did I mention the institute takes place on the campus of Harvard University in the School of Law - look out Elle Woods!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Minnesota eLearning Summit Presentations

I'm presenting at the Minnesota eLearning Summit coming up at the end of July.
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I will be doing two presentations. One will focus on easy ways to do formative assessment on iPads, Chromebooks, and other mobile devices with an assortment of fun and easy-to-use apps.

The second presentation will be about Bridging the Digital Divide and the efforts that have been underway this year by my department in my school district to accomplish more equitable access to devices, the implementation of personalized learning, and the role of student voice and choice in helping to engage students.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Chilly Gonzales - Finding Joy In Limitations

Earlier this week I was looking for one of the first TV commercials for the original iPad and found the ad featuring the snappy, fun little tune "Never Stop" by Chilly Gonzales.

Chilly Gonzales (Jason Charles Beck), a Canadian pianist, producer, and songwriter, created the Re-Introduction Etudes, a book of 24 easy-to-play piano pieces for frustrated pianists looking to renew their joy in playing the piano. In the video below he talks about how limitations lead to joy and some really great piano compositions, including the Jaws Theme and Gonzales' own tune Tarantula, played with a limited number of keys or semitones.

In much the same way as Gonzales describes how both he and Sting have used limitations to compose, it seems that beginning with a limited number of apps on the iPad can lead to that same joy for teachers by providing a limited set of content creation and consumption apps to learn and master before needing to expand their repertoire to additional selected apps that enhance their own content subject area. By limiting the number of new apps that teachers need to work with, they can produce their own iPad etudes that will allow students to demonstrate their academic skills and techniques.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

ISTE 2014 - Things To Do In Atlanta

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As ISTE 2014 draws near, it's time to start planning what to do and see in Atlanta before the conference begins and during the few hours in the evenings after each day's events are over.

I would definitely recommend at trip to the World of Coca-Cola museum while you're in Atlanta. The museum features tons of Coca-Cola memorabilia ranging from antique signs to an assortment of Olympic torches. Want to know what Coke flavors are available in Europe and South America? The Coca-Cola Freestyle area features over 100 variations of Coca-Cola soda from all around the world.  For those who want a more interactive experience, a downloadable app now allows you to save your mixes and earn badges as you sample your favorites!

The World of Coca-Cola is only open for limited hours in the evenings though, so you will need to plan your visit strategically so that you don't miss out.

Friday, June 13, 2014

TED - Simon Sinek - Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe

Revisiting a TED Talk by Simon Sinek today about how good leaders make employees feel safe.

Looking forward to continuing my courses for administrative leadership license this summer and further developing my own leadership skills.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Apple App Aptitude

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Apple will be leading a two-day 1:1 Curriculum in an iPad Learning Environment training for us next week and participants will be divided into subject area groups. I'm interested to see which apps the Apple trainers will be featuring and demonstrating.  It seems like almost every blog has their own set of recommended top apps for the iPad with only a little overlap.

Not getting caught up in the need to constantly be searching for, trying out, and downloading apps for each content area seems key to a successful implementation of iPads in the classroom. Teachers need to be able to rely on a core set of content creation apps that work consistently for all subject areas and then supplement with a few specialized apps that enhance their content curriculum.

I'm excited to get started on our district's 1:1 rollout and can't wait to get iPads into the hands of our students.  So much needs to be done in advance though to ensure a smooth rollout.  Lots of work to be done by many this summer.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Hoteling - Day 1

First day in new summer office location. First day of "hoteling." First day of "Argh, I packed that (fill-in-the-blank) not knowing that I was going to need it.

It's actually kind of liberating not to have a desk and to be able to sit in a different location every day.  Right now we just have a large conference table and a few desks, but I'm looking forward to seeing what our Facilities department will create for us for the fall in terms of table spaces and movable storage.

One possible downside of hoteling may be an overloaded bag though.  I will definitely have to be more aware of how much "stuff" I am hauling around and what sort of neck and shoulder strain that excess stuff may cause.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Paper Free Moving Day

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Today is moving day at the office.  We are moving to a temporary summer location due to remodeling taking place at the school that our department is located in.

For the last year, I've been attempting to be as paper free as possible. It's actually more challenging than it sounds. Most meetings and trainings that I have been to involve anywhere from one to two to an entire packet of paper. I have been trying to scan any documents that I really think I need to keep following each meeting, but sometimes other things needed to be done and those extra papers somehow found their way into an assortment of folders in my desk drawer.  As I was packing up my desk today, I had to deal with those folders, and of course, there was no time for scanning today. So into the moving box those folders went!

When we move back in August and I unpack my two boxes, I'm sure I will have other things on my mind and task list at that time and back into my desk drawer those folders will go.  Or will they? We're scheduled to begin "hoteling" in our new office space, meaning that we won't all have an assigned desk or a desk at all anymore.  It will be even more important for me to keep up with reducing the amount of paper build up next year in order to offset not having a drawer to stick those folders into.

One day perhaps all meetings and trainings will evolve to the level of offering PDFs of any handouts posted online to be downloaded for those who like to have paper to take notes on and doodle on and for those who want to import a PDF into an iPad app and create digital notes and doodles.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Evolution of iPads

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Ever since my school district announced that we will be rolling out 1:1 iPads for teachers and students over the next two years, I have been thinking about the evolution of the iPad.

Over the course of just three years, Apple has developed five different models with a sixth soon to be released. Each one touting a new iOS operating system with hardware and software features better than the one before it. With the multitude of tablets on the market, Apple has found a way to distinguish themselves from the rest and to garner a sizable chunk of the education market in the process.

Issuing iPads to our students will help teachers to personalize learning for students by integrating technology and leveraging the content creation apps available on the iPads to allow for more student voice and choice in how students will demonstrate their learning.  Content creation apps will allow students to show their learning through Keynote presentations, podcasts, iBooks, videos, etc. Using the iPad will allow teachers to tap into the innovative playful social multimedia consumption and creation apps that appeal so much to students.

I couldn't help but search on YouTube for one of the first commercials for the original iPad!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Countdown To ISTE 2014

Looking forward to some great learning at ISTE this year and to presenting. More to come on that later.

The Connected Learning Connected World theme this year has many great sessions, keynotes, and learning opportunities.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Phones - Then and Now

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Cell phones have come a long way from the original Motorola DynaTAC handheld mobile phone created 41 years ago by Dr. Martin Cooper in 1973.

Who would have guessed that mobile phones would eventually evolve to the streamlined size and amazing capabilities that the smart phones of today have?

The evolution of smart phones is a testament to the development and rapid advancement of gadgets and technology in general. Just as mobile phones have expanded in rich feature sets while lowering the purchase cost, the continued development and production of other technology such as iPads and the myriad of Chromebook laptops is following a similar trajectory of more features with a smaller footprint size and a lower cost of ownership.

As the use of mobile technology and phones in the classroom approaches a new level of acceptability and proliferation, iPads and smart phones allow for students to connect and collaborate in ways unlike ever before.

Friday, June 6, 2014

How Did We Remember Anything Before Facebook?

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Life has been hectic for me over this past week. Hectic might not even be an adequate enough word. Lots of memories of family gatherings, every day happenings, and precious moments bubbling to the surface during long travel to and from my father's funeral. I felt myself mentally straining to remember the names of some absent distant cousins and locations of vacation spots from long ago as I listened to random stories of his exploits great and small, unusual and commonplace, some familiar and others totally new to me.

Prior to Facebook, remembering or even knowing about all of the day-to-day events in a person's life, ranging from mundane occurrences to exciting events and vacations, depended upon either being present or sharing details afterwards during family or social gatherings or during the weekly or month phone call home. How many small details were forgotten by the time those calls were placed and how many details were remembered afterward?

Social networking tools like Facebook have created a fabric of memories that can be shared with family members, friends, and strangers alike, both near and far, and revisited and referenced afterward. How much richer will memories be for those with whom we choose to share the events of our lives enriched with photos and links to videos and websites compared to relying on the dendrites and synapses of our brains to record and retrieve the same information?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

#Blogjune Begins

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I'm beginning the month of blogjune in which I'll be attempting to blog every day of the month. Blogjune is a month-long blogging initiative first started by Constance Wiebrands and is now in its fifth year.

The entire list of participating blogs can be found on Wiebrands' blog, Flexnib.

There are no penalties for not blogging every day, but the effort to do so is reward in itself. Blogging on a regular basis has been a long-standing goal of mine for this blog, but due to life happening on a regular basis I have not been able to maintain even a weekly schedule. I'm looking forward to attempting a daily blog, even if for only one month.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Presenting At ISTE

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It's almost the beginning of June and at this time every year I'm getting ready for the ISTE Conference (International Society for Technology in Education). ISTE is an amazing four days of instructional technology ideas, movers and shakers, networking, and practical inspirations.

This year I'm presenting on Superhero Strengthbuilders for EdTech Coaches - tips and strategies for anyone new to being an instructional technology coach or any administrator beginning to think about the need to create an edtech coach position to support their staff with integrating technology into the classroom.

Friday, March 14, 2014

MAASFEP Conference

I will be presenting on some of the personalized learning work that we have been doing in my district at the MAASFEP Conference March 20.