The Revolving Door of Technology in Education

May 24, 2013 by

Let’s keep this relatively short and simple shall we? I’ve spent just a month shy of 10 years in education, and I feel as though some days I know just about as much as I did on day one in the teaching field. I’m not going to call it an industry, because that term would only serve to acknowledge the increasingly perverse ways that educational institutions are being transmogrified (or at least attempted) into for-profit institutions that no longer server the public, only public shareholders. No, let’s not tap that keg of dynamite….yet. Instead, let’s take a few moments to lament that the more things change, the more they stay the same, including technology. It would seem that the more creative, collaborative, and integral technological tools become to education, the quicker people are to turn these new tools into nothing more than digital pencils. Desktops and laptops quickly become...

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Using Harlem Shake to Teach Physics

Feb 19, 2013 by

I’m not going to pretend that I remember enough about my high school physics to speak intelligently about the difference between  centrifugal and centripetal forces, but I do know a good piece of teachable media when I see it. When you introduce a brick to a front-loading washing machine spinning at several hundred RPMs, you get something both destructive and magical. If your mind works in similar ways to my own, you most likely giggled a bit, guffawed a lot, and then started thinking about what a great visual piece this is for students! They get to see a little destruction (popularized by shows like Mythbusters), laugh at the absurdity of it, and then have this wonderfully discrepant moment of a washing machine thrashing about on the ground because someone tossed a single brick into the rotating drum. I can’t even begin to fathom the great leading questions that students could generate from watching this in a physics...

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Curating my #DS106 Creations for #ETMOOC

Feb 8, 2013 by

I have just under 70 blog posts on my site dedicated to my work for DS106, the original anti-MOOC course that encourages all participants to “Make art!” Since this week in #etmooc we’ve been challenged to attempt some digital storytelling through various means (and I fully intend to create something new), I took the opportunity to do some curation and look through my DS106 assignments. Since being able to reflect upon and curate our work is just as essential as making it in the first place (or at least so says my personal belief), I broke down my work into a few categories that I feel typify the amount of energy and craftsmanship that I put into each digital artifact.     Ben Could Have Created Something Better With a Glue Gun and Some Paperclips This category isn’t necessarily meant to denigrate my own creations, it provides examples of digital storytelling in which...

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This is How I Start a Blogging Project

Jan 30, 2013 by

I work with many different teachers in my district that in turn work with many different grade levels of students. While most of the teachers call for my technical skills for a project to take care of the nuts and bolts of getting the students up and running with a technology-rich project, I usually bring my former teacher self as well to the classroom. When I present students with a potentially new work space, especially one in which they may be connecting with one another through comments, blogs posts, and Google Doc collaborations, I want to make sure that both the students, and the teacher(s) I’m working with understand why we’re shifting to a blended learning environment, and what is expected of them. This week I had the opportunity to introduce a brand new semester of our 8th grade Writing for Publication students to Blogger, with the help of...

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How To: Multiple Video Layers in Premiere Pro

Jan 24, 2013 by

I’ve had 3 snow days so far this week. That means I’ve had plenty of time to answer lots of emails, work on non mission-critical projects that have been piling up, have a bunch of fun with some media and digital storytelling, and catch up on some good old fashioned TV watching. Which would bring us to Adventure Time, a comically strange yet hypnotically hilarious cartoon that airs on Cartoon Network here in the United States. It’s quite a nostalgic romp through a fantasy world inhabited by magical dogs, fire princesses, and evil wizards. My family doesn’t have cable, so sadly we can’t watch the show regularly, but enjoy small snippets here and there, or more recently through video memes that manage to get stuck in your brain on endless loop like any good “mind-worm” videos should. Take for example, the Bacon Pancake viral video meme (I’m sure that’s not actually a...

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