Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Coffee with a Geek: The Black Mirror Support Group



Video Link for Live Interview

LINK to COMMENT

In this month's episode I will be chatting with Williamsville Technology Integrator's Jennifer Murphy Heather Krieger, and Starpoint's Matthew Mariglia as we start our very own Black Mirror Support Group.

In case you're not familiar with Black Mirror, it is a Netflix Series that is similar to The Twighlight Zone, in format so that each episode is self contained.  Every episode takes a technology trend or topic and extends its affects on society to an extreme level.  It is very thought provoking and yes, many of the episodes will leave you quite shaken or disturbed.  (This is an adult level show)  For Common Sense Media Review Click HERE.  That said, I have genuinely thought that its plot lines can relate well to educational technology and I think educators shouldn't be afraid to take on this show.

With that in mind, I have asked my colleagues Jennifer and Heather to offer their insights as we dig into one of the most trending episodes that has to do with Social Media:  NoseDive.  With the help of Catlin Tucker's well written blog post and other resources we will hope to explore social media from a parent and educator point of view.  Join us in the discussion.


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

When everything falls into place..

A few weeks ago I had one of those marvelous inspiring days ... It almost seemed accidental or perhaps providential.  For "in the trenches" teachers, it is one of those days when the learning and engagement come together and you as the teacher can watch it all happen with maximum flexibility to interact with all learners.   For Professional Developers this day appears when your participants are actively creating and interacting with others to make curriculum or educational technology magic happen.   I had just such a day:

I had a history teacher, who is a Civil War Re-Enactor, in one of my PD sessions looking to change up the dynamic of his classroom instruction.  I told him about my Virtual World projects, The Islands of Enlightenment, fully expecting his eyes to glass over and politely nod, but then look for another option.  Instead, he embraced the idea, asked all types of insightful questions and looked to dig right in.  So, I connected some of my OpenSim buddies who have been using virtual environments for years with their history classes and set up a day to get together and flesh out the idea of creating a Virtual Civil War experience for students.

What happened next was truly magical.    The teacher with the Civil War Re-Enactor experience brought his extensive knowledge of what a Civil War Encampment would look like, and the virtual world teachers started creating the encampment.  We spent the entire day working, collaborating, researching, and having fun!  Here are a few of the pictures from that day.