Tech Director Chat #023 – The Death of DVDs?

Apr 28, 2015 by

This week we answer ALL the questions! Well, just about all of them, and what a varied bunch of questions they were. From blended learning and basic tech help, to some deeper questions about evaluating IT and what to do as we look at the future of DVDs, there’s a little bit of something for everyone in this episode. Pete has a moment of silence as he contemplates an interesting question from Jeremy on Twitter about how the Technology Department can be more connected to the classroom and get better feedback, I talk about how he’s embraced the cloud when it comes to video, and we even touch upon some ways to safely dispose of older technology (hint, the Michigan DEQ has a database of locations in each county to call for Hazardous or eWaste collections or more information). Pete also gets to share his favorite acoustic guitar maker, Volbrecht,...

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Tech Director Chat #022 – Apple Watches & New Laptops

Apr 23, 2015 by

This week’s episode focused on some more practical issues of web browsers, operating system upgrades, and hinted at Pete’s upcoming involvement in helping the Village of Mattawan get some truly high speed internet as opposed to the slow speeds residents currently have. There still plenty of smaller rural communities that big telecom companies don’t want to invest in as there’s not a clear return on their investment. We also addressed a good question about Google Chrome vs. Firefox, but discovered after we recorded this that not all recommendations are good, as we learned the hard that our student information system is bet not used with Google Chrome at the elementary level for many crucial functions. Firefox is the go-to to make sure everything works as well as advertised. Outside of the browser issues, we chat about new teacher laptops, the hype around the Apple Watch, and Pete gets stumped! Click here to listen...

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How To: Enter District Provided Professional Development Hours to MDE

Apr 15, 2015 by

Full warning to any regular readers of the blog, this post is Michigan-centric! Sorry. Every year thousands of teachers need to renew their teaching certificate in the state of Michigan, and have to negotiate a labyrinthine system of websites, databases, and logins to make sure they have all of their professional development hours properly inputted. In the last few years, Disitrct Provided Professional Development Hours (DPPD) have played an increasingly important role in helping teachers receive their teaching certificate renewals, but in many school districts budget cuts have left no one in central office to help teachers navigate the process. After a lot of questions from teachers, I decided to create a simple screencast walking someone through the process of inputting DPPD to the Michigan Online Educator Certification System, to ensure that you have all of your hours properly recorded before it comes time to renew your teaching certificate....

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Do Snakes Poop?

Apr 1, 2015 by

Conversation around my dinner table isn’t always what most families would consider to be normal…or polite for that matter. My wife and I are both educators, and we encourage our children to be curious. So much so we will wind up following lengthy tangents of “why” questions far beyond what “normal” parents might endure. Which is how a simple question about what snakes eat eventually led to whether they actually poop or not (we were done with dinner at this point). My past life working in a children’s book store quickly reminded me that Everyone Poops, but my children and I were curious as to “how” it actually happened. My wife was thoroughly put off by the conversation at that point, so we headed over to the computer and did a search on Youtube without her. Yes, snakes do poop. For those of you still reading this post, the point...

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Tech Director Chat #021 – Spring Break!

Apr 1, 2015 by

Every once and awhile, you need some time off. Time off from a busy work schedule, a few months of bitter cold temperatures and snow, or maybe just a week off from tech questions. Apparently, our listeners at school decided this was a week for more personal questions than tech-related. This week’s episode delves into my Tech Director’s personal life, from jamming with Big Head Todd & the Monsters on his vacation, to his former life an an athletic trainer for the Chicago Blackhawks. The podcast was actually a blast to record, and it was now of our best….until iCloud ate the media file and we had to re-record. Hopefully we kept our energy up, and were able to usher in Spring Break on a casual, fun-filled note. Here’s a special bonus; Pete jamming with his rock idols on vacation: Click here to listen to this week’s Tech Director Chat (or listen below)...

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Tech Director Chat #020 – Making Technology Run Smoothly in the Classroom

Mar 27, 2015 by

This post is two weeks late in happening. A LOT has been going on, and I dropped almost all of my blogging, commenting, reading habits the last three weeks or so in order to focus on work, MACUL, and a host of other tasks that have been piling up. Suffice it to say, you’ve probably already heard this episode if you’re following the Tech Director Chat podcast via other means. If not….enjoy! Click here to listen to this week’s Tech Director Chat (or listen below) Click here to subscribe via iTunes (Mac and iOS) Click here to subscribe via Stitcher (Android and iOS) Timestamps for this week’s questions: 1:00 What has Pete been up to? 1:35 How is Pete doing with his ongoing chats with teachers? 2:30 Pete is repairing iPads? 4:45 Nancy wants to know, are there any technology grants out there to apply for? 8:00 Ben finally gets around to answering...

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