Showing posts from 2016

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Online Learning Specialist Robin Sullivan!

Robin Sullivan is an Online Learning Specialist and Instructional Designer at the Center for Educational Innovation at the State University of New York at Buffalo .  She is also the Director for The Tools of Engagement Project. In this interview I asked Robin about her thoughts on Online Education in general and about its future!  She is a wealth of information and talent.  It was such an honor to learn about her projects and endeavours. Check out my interview below!

Tech Tip: Using your Bookmarks Bar for Productivity

At the NYSCATE 2016 Conference I gave a presentation on how to customize your Google Chrome browser for Teacher Productivity.  One of my favorite tips that I have found to be really useful is to organize the Bookmarks/ Favorites bar.  I didn't get to dig into it as much as I wanted at the conference, so I created a quick tutorial which is linked below.  Also, I have shared the website that I used that contained my resources, as well as, my top Google Educators Links! My Presentation Links

My 2 BIG Takeaways from #NYSCATE16

Last week I attended, once again, the NYCSATE 2016 Conference. NYSCATE is one of my favorite conferences because it has a wide range of relevant presentations and Keynote Speakers, as well as, many attendees are my colleagues and good friends.   This year I had the honor of doing 2 Coffee EDU sessions , which are open ended "Unconference" Style conversations that were developed by one of my all time favorite inspirations, Alice Keeler .  I truly enjoyed this informal get together with good coffee!  The attendees were certainly die hard Edtech advocates for getting up at 7AM to share.  Some generalizations of educators is, a) They love coffee! and b) they love sharing and receiving! Our shared resources are located HERE   please add something to them if you were an attendee, or if you are an educator who enjoy learning from others! On my ride home from the conference, I thought about the big ideas or takeaways from the conference and two major themes came to mind from

CoffeeEDU Sessions at NYSCATE 2016

Today I'm on my way to having our first ever Coffee EDU Session at NYSCATE 2016.  This creative idea which was spawned by Alice Keeler, is a way for teachers to come together over a good cup of coffee and share resources. These sessions are meant to be in an unconference format of whoever shows up, is supposed to show up, and whatever you discuss and share is what is supposed to be shared leaves me with anticipation for what's to come. I have created a Google Doc that I hope will capture some of what happens.  Check it out HERE

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Caitlin Krause

WHEN :  Wednesday November 9th, 2016 TIME:  4:00PM Eastern Time I met Caitlin at this year's ISTE 2016 Conference and really enjoyed learning about her impressive body of work and future authorship. To put a one-sized fits all tag on Caitlin's work is difficult to do, so suffice it to say, that she puts her energies into almost any creative and collaborative enterprise within an educational framework.  Her website is Mindwise , and on her pages you can find an incredible amount of ideas, scholarship, and collaborative opportunities to work with her.  Her website lists these major identifiers of her work. Global innovation leader, international speaker, writer, artist, mindfulness consultant, coach, educator Promotes interdisciplinary learning, STEAM innovation and design thinking strategies Passionate about learning and interactive expressive technologies and media, including photography and multimedia art Caitlin is finishing up her first publication scheduled for

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Shelly Sanchez Terrell

WHEN:  Wednesday October 15th, 2016 TIME:  4:00pm- 4:30pm Eastern Time VENUE:  Youtube Live Can't wait to interview the incredible Shelly Sanchez Terrell.  I have been following Shelly through Twitter for years.  She has been a leading innovator in Educational Technology that has resources and ideas that have stood the test of time.  Want to know more about her and her new book?  Check out her website: Shelly's New Book:   The 30 Goals Challenge For Teachers Hoping to learn more about the book as well as her new ideas and projects.  Please join me live or watch afterward!

Part 2: Gaming, Gamification and Education: What if I'm not a Gamer? How do I keep up?

*Note:  This is part 2 of a series on why I think educators need to pay attention to Gaming and Gamification.  There are resources provided to help! HERE is a link to my resources Let's face it, most active classroom teachers, administrators, and parents are busy!  After our school day ends, we are cooks, cleaners, chauffers, coaches, puppeteers, and volunteers,  (ok, so I snuck that puppeteer one in to make sure you were still with me.) Our children are growing up in a video game rich environment.  From Angry Birds to Pokemon Go to World of Warcraft , most of our students are exposed to some sort of gaming environment.  So most educators and parents should be aware of these games for two important reasons: 1.   Relevant Content :  Many video games have amazing content that could correspond to school based topics and curriculum.   Many video games have historic themes and narratives that could be harnessed for a history class or literature class.  Most of us have wa

Gaming and Gamification in Education Part 1- Resources for Teachers

I have spent the last few years of my career, really digging into and exploring how gamification principles that are employed mostly by video games, can be successfully integrated into K-12 Education.  As I have found valuable resources I have collected them on a Symbaloo Mix.  I have Linked the Mix HERE .  I will take some time over the next few posts to talk about how I organized my resources. The first grouping of my resources are resources for teachers that can be used right now!  If you are looking to start using badges in your classroom, keep in mind Badges aren't just stickers.  They need to have meaning behind them.  Whenever I talk about badging and education I ask teachers to think about how the Boy and Girl Scouts use badges.  Each badge, button, or ribbon that is earned in these groups has important criterion behind them.   Your students should know the criteria going that will be used to earn the badge.  It is very motivating to earn a badge that you have earned b

An Interview with John Spencer

WHEN:   August 10th, 2016 I have a great opportunity to talk with educator John Spencer. I have been following John's work mostly through Twitter and have been truly amazed at his evolution into an Edtech Superhero! He has been a powerhouse of creation and authorship. Can't wait to ask him about his work and his thoughts on educational technology's future. Check out John's Work at:   Follow him on Twitter:   @spencerideas Read John's New Book Launch:  Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student   with Co-Author AJ Juliani  Watch John's Tedx Talk HERE The interview had some feedback issues when I was talking so I have posted the questions I asked John below, with his video responses! Question 1:  Tell me about your evolution as an educator which is showcased by your blog: John's Answer:   HERE  Question 2:   From blogging you have some fantastic authorship.  Tell me abo

ISTE Insights #5- Everywhere and Nowhere...

The opening keynote address was from Dr. Michio Kaku .  His presentation was highly entertaining and mind expanding, to say the least.  One of his catch phrases during his talk was,  "The internet is everywhere, the internet is nowhere".  This phrase was meant, in my understanding of it, to emphasize the amazing impact that the internet, and the technologies developed from it, have on our lives.  So integrated has it become that we hardly think about how we are using the web in general.  He made an interesting comment, as a futurist, saying that as the music industry has become digitized, (think the remarkable transition from record players to iPhones) so to will medicine and education become digitized. This point has stayed with me since the conference has ended, and I think barring a nuclear or natural disaster, the notion of a digitized education landscape is indeed in the future.  While education always seems to embrace change warily, I do think that in 10 years digital

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Sarah Thomas July 13th, 2016, 4pm

Sarah Thomas and Me at ISTE 2016 I had the wonderful opportunity to meet amazing teacher, Sarah Thomas at ISTE 2016.  I came across Sarah's work through.... Twitter !  (Please educators, you don't need to post on Twitter, just follow, follow, follow)  Sarah's Twitter handle is:   @sarahdateechur Sarah's blog ( sarahdateechur ) is such a wonderful read because it provides interesting anecdotes, teacher tested ideas, and thought provoking narratives on teaching and learning.  I am really looking forward to interviewing her and asking her about her experiences as a teacher, her ISTE Conference presentations and highlights (Especially CUE Rockstar), and More.  I would love to have you watch and participate with questions.  You can check into our interview by clicking the video link below.  

My Takeaways from ISTE2016 #4 Machinima is Educational. Please don't discount it.

Know a child that loves video games?  Of course you do!  Why do they love them?  They are highly engaging, personalized, collaborative, they provide opportunities for success through trial and error, and have fantastic narratives, they are creative and thought provoking.  Need I say more?  So the challenge over the years has been:   How do we as educators harness the power of gaming, by making sure we are hitting on quality curriculum objectives?  One answer is to embed curriculum into video games.  This is known as Tangential Learning.  Want a better understanding of this phenomenon?  Check out this video:   Extra Credits  *Warning, there is 1 four letter word in the video, so best not watch it around little ones. Anyway, another way to harness the potential of video games is to have students create Machinima.  In a nutshell, Machinima is the process of using screenshots or screenvideos of gaming to create movies.  So for example. a student creates their own movie using scenes from t

My Takeaways from ISTE2016 #3 Games and Simulations/ Virtual Environments Playground

Games and VEN Playground Schedule We had an action packed Games and Simulations / Virtual Environments Playground this year.  As you can see from our schedule we had some really trend setting presentations along with some corresponding table displays.  Some big ideas from this session: Lyman Missimer showing Google Cardboard and Expeditions Our playground was very active!  The playground location was ideal because there was lots of traffic and interest.  Thank you ISTE Planning committee! Some new technologies that are breaking into our playground consciousness.  Virtual Reality.  I saw lots of session and vendors promoting VR.  I had a demo from the Nearpod group and was surprised but quite fascinated that they are investing in VR.   Along those lines, Lyman Missimer from Google gave a great presentation on Google Cardboard and Expeditions .  (Can't wait to find out about Google Daydream ) Bitcoin and its newest extension Block Chain are concepts and technologi

My Takeaways from ISTE2016 #2 ISTE Standards for Students

INSIGHT #2 The ISTE Standards for Students . Over the years, in my role as teacher, tech integrator, and professional developer, I have used and aligned the ISTE Standards for students and teachers. They have provided a guiding roadmap for my work and thinking as it relates to Educational Technology. This year at ISTE the new 2016 Version of the ISTE Standards for Students was released. This group of standards is particularly meaningful because I was selected to be on the standards committee that helped craft these standards. I have never been through a process to develop a set of standards that would have such far reaching publication and usage. I must say it seemed like a daunting task which I thought would involve a lot of debate and discussion. We did have some debate. We did have lots of great discussions. And yet, the process was incredibly rewarding because we talked, listened to viewpoints from across the world, and then worked, refined, revised, and in the end prod

My Takeaway's From ISTE 2016 # 1

There are so many great insights and  posts about #ISTE2016, that I will try to keep this brief and to the point.  Much of my time was spent getting ready for our playground that I didn't get as much time to see as many session as I wanted but I did come away with 5 key insights. INSIGHT 1.  The TeachMeet Session was really great!  Basically, you can sign up to present something, in 2, 7, or 20 minute time slots.  Then the organizer's post the sessions and participants contribute, tweet, and share.  It was really well done and informative. Session posts and info are here:   Teach Meet ISTE

Humbled and Grateful

This year's ISTE 2016 Conference was unbelievably successful, (which I expected) yet incredibly humbling, (which I hadn't expected) My hopes going into ISTE2016, where pretty similar to my past conference objectives.   Namely: 1.  Connect with new amazing educators 2.  Connect with the many friends and colleagues, I have cultivated over the years.   3.  Learn about the upcoming trends 4.  Generate new ways of thinking about Edtech based on the various sessions, keynotes, playgrounds, poster projects. 5.  Make this year's Games and Simulation/ Virtual Environments Playground better than ever. Well, without a doubt, I can say "Mission Accomplished" for my goals going into the conference. However, things changed drastically on Monday Afternoon! (for the better) For those who aren't familiar, there is an awards ceremony, hosted by ISTE CEO, Brian Lewis , and ISTE President Kecia Ray . It is a wonderful event where you can see, meet, and applaud

My Interview with Eric Curts

When: May 4th, 2016 Time : 4:00Pm-4:30Pm Eastern Time If you're a teacher using Google Apps for Education or just an edtech savvy educator, then Eric  Curts is a "Must Follow".  His website  offers and amazing array of tips, tricks, and ideas on incorporating Google's educational ventures into your classroom for maximum productivity and student success.   I will be talking to Eric about all things Google and more! Eric's Bio:   Eric has been in education for 24 years, and is currently serving as a Technology Integration Specialist for the Stark Portage Area Computer Consortium in Canton, Ohio where he oversees Google Apps for Education implementation, training, and support, as well as online learning and other technology integration initiatives. Eric is an authorized Google Education Trainer and a Google Certified Innovator and provides Google Apps training to schools, organizations, and conferences throughout Ohio and across