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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Ever Experience a Monday on a Wednesday?

Feb 25, 2015 by

This animated GIF brought to you courtesy of phhhoto. It’s been an interesting new social space/app for creating and sharing animated GIFs. There’s a lot of really creative art there, and I hope the community that continues to embrace it keeps it classy. I’ve seen a lot of other animated GIF apps come and go, permanently sidelined to the “not school friendly” portion of apps and social spaces I explore thanks to the average teenager doing what average teenagers do best….be obnoxious. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…we were all teenagers once. Update: Nevermind, it looks as though they’re aiming to be “the perfect party app”….so much for a productive school...

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Slow Down….Catch Your Breath

Feb 21, 2015 by

How do you take the time to slow down, and catch your breath in the middle of a busy school year? Do you carve out your own “creative time?” Do you blog? Do you relax by the fire with a mug of something warm and a good book? Do you follow a sports team religiously? Do you take time to play outside with your kids every day? I create short digital vignettes. Small moments of life captured through images and videos that often don’t have much value to others, but bring me a sense of calm. I have DS106 to thank for that. Recently, I’ve been using the slow motion capture on my phone a lot (yes, cheesy, pedantic and literal of me, I know). It forces me to step back and try to find something peaceful, calm, and serene to focus on for a few moments each day. I don’t...

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6 Vines About Student Video Projects

Jan 15, 2015 by

Last night I was fortunate to host the weekly #michED Twitter Chat. It’s a weekly chat that pulls together educators from around the state (and beyond) to share, discuss, and collaborate on a host of issues facing educators. I happen to think it’s the best darn state-level Twitter chat out there, but I’m a bit biased The topic last night was “Student Video Projects,” and I used the Vine above to get things started. There are many issues surrounding video projects; the obstacles we face getting started with video, how to assess videos from both a technical and pedagogical standpoint, and providing rationale for including video as a part of what we do in our instructional settings. There were plenty of questions swirling around those central topics, and given the nature of the topic I thought I’d have some fun with them. So I created Vines for each question...

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The iPad’s Killer App

Nov 5, 2014 by

It’s no secret that I’m not the biggest fan of chasing after the perfect app. Even when I was in the classroom, I would often give my students a few websites that I felt were appropriate, and then have them curate and identify the games, activities, and resources they found to be the most valuable. Sure, I have some favorite apps, but since I haven’t been in the classroom for 4 and a half years now, I realize that what I find valuable is likely quite different than what classroom teachers currently find valuable (and more importantly, practical). Which is why when I work with teachers looking for ideas for their iPads, or any tablet for that matter, I tend to focus on applications of one of the most powerful apps built into most mobile devices these days; the camera app! I know what some of you are thinking…”oh please,...

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