Tech Director Chat #015 – Let’s Talk with Teachers

Jan 23, 2015 by

Huzzah, it’s 2015 and we have the first Tech Director Chat of the year ready for your listening enjoyment…..or derision, whatever the case may be. With so much time off thanks to the holiday break and plenty of snow days, Pete and I are ready to get back into our regular rhythm of weekly conversations. This week was an interesting one, as Pete (my school district’s Tech Director) has embarked on an ambitious project; he’s trying to have a conversation with every teacher in the district about the direction of technology in our schools. Every….single….teacher. He’s chatting with them in small groups to make things easier, but it’s still going to be a long process. I’m not sitting in on them as another voice would only slow the conversations down, and get in the way of the teachers sharing as much as they can in the short amount of...

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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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Econ Teachers, you NEED to be Listening to Planet Money

Jan 7, 2015 by

I’m an avid podcast listener. So much so that I took up running a couple of years ago in part to increase the amount of time I have each week to listen guilt free (my wife appreciates that the extra time away from family has helped me shed some pounds too). I’m not alone in my listening. The Verge produced a nice video (embedded below) about the rise of the podcast era. Many media consumers believe we’re approaching a new podcast renaissance. If you missed the first great podcasting wave, don’t worry, it wasn’t too long ago, and it was mostly a bunch of talk-radio format audio. The current wave of podcasting is lyrical, narrative-driven, and addicting in a way that scratches the same itch that binge watching a series on Netflix does. The shows come to you, live comfortably on your devices ready to listen when you are, and often go deeply...

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Real Users Pay for Software

Jan 5, 2015 by

I use free software, apps, and web tools everyday; they comprise a good portion of my digital toolbox. There are also applications, services, and web apps I use on a daily basis for which I pay. The ratio of free to paid tools is lopsided, with free services comprising most of my “go to” toolset. That’s not necessarily a bad reality, but it’s a shame that more of us in the educational technology community don’t pay for software or services, and immediately seek out the “free” solution. Not only does it dictate the driving force for which apps we seek out (rather than focusing on the efficacy, security, and reliability of the tool), but it also turns users into “those being used” by software developers, and tech moguls. This is not a diatribe meant to berate those who claim “free is good.” Free is good, but there are hundreds of...

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Tech Director Chat #014 – Pete’s Technology Utopia

Dec 24, 2014 by

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all! This is the last Tech Director Chat podcast of 2014, and while I’m looking forward to many more this school year, Pete and I will be taking a break during the two week Winter school break. In truth, I was almost close to not even getting this episode out before Christmas (I was enjoying break a bit too much), but I’m glad I stayed up late last night to get the editing done. This week’s episode has us navel-gazing a bit, as Pete gets to share what his childhood dreams were, and what he hopes his “legacy” will be upon retirement. For my part, I share a few anti-virus resources and apps for iOS that those who are a bit more cautious might want to explore. We get far too long winded with our conversation about expensive guitars, but ultimately we have some...

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Tech Director Chat #013 – Do Tech Directors Make Us Feel Dumb?

Dec 15, 2014 by

This week’s topic can border a bit on the uncomfortable for some. It addresses the soft skills that Technology professionals are often stereo-typically lacking. Some are born to better understand boxes and wires more so than inter personal communication. Some are taught and strive to better their customer service skills. And some may never play well with others. I hope that I’m not in the latter category. People around me tell me otherwise, so I can only imagine that the near constant attention I give to my outward communication and relationships with others is vital to my role. I hope you enjoy this week’s episode! As an added bonus, you can watch the “Mr. Microphone” commercial that plays halfway through this week’s podcast! As always, you can listen to, download, or subscribe to the podcast with iTunes using this link. The embedded player is below. Android users, the podcast is...

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