Edu-Jargon: The Game

Mar 15, 2015 by

A few weeks ago I shared a small game I had developed for a conversation-based conference session. It was a riff on “Cards Against Humanity,” and utilized the Education Jargon Generator found on Science Geek to provide the kind of stereotypical edu-jargon that makes up most large conference session titles. The answer cards were all blank. I realize now that was a mistake. While I intended the game to be farcical, it was a bit too open ended; some people took to it immediately, while others were a bit lost. That was a mistake I’ve hopefully rectified with version 2.0 of the game, which I’ve now officially titled “Edu-Jargon.” The game now includes close to 45 “fill in the blank” edu-jargon conference session titles, and close to 50 answers taken from the more lighthearted side of teaching. In other words, the game is now a mash up of the more stiff...

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Nervous About Video Projects?

Mar 4, 2015 by

I have no problem putting myself in front of a camera and acting, performing, “hamming it up”, or delivering other recorded performance. It seems many Millennials are comfortable being YouTubers as well, putting themselves in front of the camera for school work, personal projects, or just sharing thoughts. However, I’ve also noticed that a large number of students and teachers can become quite shy when asked to get in front of a camera and perform. The number of students that are uncomfortable with it dwindles each year, but many teachers are still firmly in the “don’t put me on camera” camp. I’ve tried a few tricks to get them more comfortable when recording video; filming some “ice breaker” questions for interviews, so by the time we get to the good stuff the camera is already rolling and they’ve forgotten about it is one of my favorite tricks. I’ve also had...

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Tech Director Chat #019 – Live Long and Prosper

Mar 3, 2015 by

This Friday we’re going to have 300 fourth graders participating in a day long “tech camp” for kids. Led by the fourth grade teachers and some tech-savvy colleagues from our county-wide instructional technology group, the students will have a chance to explore applications, create digital stories, and “play with a purpose” with a lot of the technology we have in our district. Special thanks to Matt Karsten for having the idea to give it a try, and leading us all through the experience. To be fair, there’s a lot of nervous energy floating through the elementary building that will play host to the event, as we’ve never tried to tackle something like this before. It’s positive nervous energy, and we’re hoping the students and the teachers all come away with some good experiences. Personally, I’m hoping that it will serve as a catalyst for conversation surrounding technology in the building, and...

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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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Tech Director Chat #018 – What About Chromebooks?

Feb 20, 2015 by

The single most uttered phrase in education is most likely “it’s all about the kids!” That’s a great sentiment, but the reality is that it’s not. It’s about funding, it’s about accountability, it’s about grown up adult fears and anxiety over making poor decisions and throwing thousands of dollars away while chasing some educational pipe dream. When it comes to technology, and its role in education, the situation is no different. Everyone has an opinion on how technology should be used, and the reality is not one that many teachers would like to hear; implementing, supporting, and maintaining a wide variety of devices and technologies is not something most school districts have the resources and expertise to handle. This week’s episode of Tech Director Chat covers that, as well as whether content specific technology could be an actual thing; the jury is likely still out on that one, but...

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