Tricia Fuglestad’s Vine Art is Beautiful

Jul 12, 2015 by

Tricia Fugelstad is more than just an elementary art teacher and technology enthusiast. She’s a digital artist savant, elevating even the simplest of 6-second videos to a level I will probably never equal; I’m both impressed and slightly jealous of her work. Jealous in that I don’t possess the inherent imagination to mix digital and analog mediums the way Tricia does so easily. And impressed that while her personality and style is quick to surface with her cheerful Do Ink app work, she can just as easily shift into artwork that starts to scratch through to deeper emotions. Tricia’s playfulness and creativity is evident in her bright kid-friendly creations. Her artwork is full of playful images of robots, flowers, and warm memories of the world. And that playfulness lends itself to a more “magical” piece of 6-second video that’s more than just a seamless Vine; it’s a small vignette of art both old and new...

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My #ISTE2015 Animated GIF Day

Jun 29, 2015 by

For many years I protested that I had no clear need to attend the annual International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference. From the social media streams and vendor receptions, it has the appearance of an ostentatious event focused on selling the latest and greatest gadgets, apps, and technology solutions to educators. Many of my colleagues and educator friends have protested, “but Ben, the connections?! How can you be missing out?” Truth be told, I’ve been intentional about the individuals that I’ve networked with; I’ve prioritized developing relationships with educators that I have the opportunity to collaborate with face-to-face at state-level or regional events. Many in the ISTE crowds would likely see my actions, and choice not to attend in previous years, as shortsighted, professionally unsound, and otherwise snobbish of me. All of that may be true. Regardless, I didn’t want to attend this major event until I had something to offer to...

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Tech Director Chat #025 – Putting Learning First

May 27, 2015 by

It’s late, I know, I know! Insert “end of the year, far too busy excuse” here. Thankfully, it’s only a week off, and with the final podcast being recorded later this week, that will make 26 conversations revolving around technology and education that Pete and I have had this year…well 26 conversations that we’ve actually documented. I’ve got some ideas on where to take this for next year, as well as incorporating more voices from learners and teachers, but for now, enjoy! Our teachers are getting new laptops this summer, and there’s a lot of concern over the lose of DVD drives (we’re going to MacBook Airs), and we address those concerns with some optimism about moving to online video. We talk about how certain technology purchases are made, and thanks to Todd Bloch and Michael Medvinsky, we also answer some “big” questions about trying to put learning first...

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The Mystery of Prince Rupert’s Drop

May 12, 2015 by

If you’re a science teacher that values inquiry, harbors feelings of nostalgia for Mr. Wizard, or just likes to provide your students with curiosity-filled discrepant events like the one below, then you owe it to yourself to subscribe to the Smarter Everyday channel on Youtube. I love the way that Destin, the channel’s creator, walks viewers through the explanation of scientific phenomena with energy and passion. His ability to describe how the Prince Rupert’s Drop, a glass sculpture created by dropping molten glass into cold water, doesn’t actual shatter from the force of a hammer blow, but the subsequent vibration in the tip of the tail is fascinating! At first glance, the glass appears to explode when stricken with a hammer, but the slow motion video reveals that it survives the blow easily; it’s the vibration in the tip of the drop milliseconds later that causes the glass to shatter....

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10 Simple Ideas for Minecraft in the Classroom @ #EdCampDetroit

May 9, 2015 by

If you’re a parent with children of gaming age, or a teacher that hasn’t been hiding in a bubble of luddite ideals, Minecraft is huge! So much so that LEGO has gone on record as wishing they had built it and Microsoft bought it for a cool 2.5 billion dollars late last year; yes, that’s billion. It’s a juggernaut, and while I’ve played with it off and on for a few years alongside my daughter and DS106 folks, I haven’t really dipped into the Minecraft EDU waters; a special version of Minecraft made just for classrooms. For those that have explored Minecraft in the classroom already, these ideas may not be terribly new, innovative, or informative; it’s just a place for me to gather some good starting points as I begin to explore the world of Minecraft beyond  the playful building I’ve experienced. If you want a quick idea of what Minecraft EDU...

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