Saving Your Data: A Tale of Three Kitties

Saving Your Data: A Tale of Three Kitties As the EdTech dude, almost everyone I talk to agrees that it would be horrible if they lost all their data on the computer. Most people have actually experienced this crisis, vowing never to let it happen again. However, when I ask people if they’ve backed up their data I often get blank stares in return. Perhaps it is because backing up your data, while a great…

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iPad + Milk Crate = Document Camera

The iPad+MilkCrate idea originated in working with my wife’s English class on their iBooks Author Project.  We had a need for something cheap, fast, and easy that the kids could use to either record a paper slide presentation and/or do stop-motion paper animation. I’m aware that there are plenty of digital ways of doing this, but kids seem to like having choices. Combining analog with digital media can produce some very novel results that preserve…

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STAAR-A On-Line Testing Wasn’t as Bad as I Had Feared

STAAR-A On-Line Testing Wasn’t as Bad as I Had Feared

STAAR-A On-Line Testing I’ve been away from posting EdTech tips on this teacher blog for a few weeks while we helped prepare our school district for this most recent wave of on-line STAAR-A testing. Initial fears were pretty high. The tutorials and documentation offered by TEA (Texas) were actually pretty good, but very time consuming for the average teacher to read up and study. I suspect quite a bit of it was skipped. Also, we…

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Create Bootable USB Installer for OS X Mavericks or Yosemite

I’m using a workflow from Apple’s KB article HT201372. It works really well and doesn’t require any 3rd party scripts. You will need to download the installer for either Yosemite or Mavericks from the AppStore. If you have already installed yours you can download another copy by looking in your Purchases. If it is currently on your HD, you can dump it and install the latest by going to Macintosh HD and looking in the…

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Set Up a Free iTunes Account Without a Credit Card

Since Apple has opened the Device Enrollment Program to school districts, the need for individual students to create free Apple IDs has diminished some. If you haven’t explored the DEP and your district has more than a cart of iPads or MacBooks, you should seriously consider doing so. Apple brings many management features that makes these devices much easier to manage. You can find out more here: https://www.apple.com/education/it/dep/. If you still have the need to create…

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Create a Photo Web Page for Collaboration in iOS

Create a Photo Web Page for Collaboration in iOS

Finding photos for class projects can be extremely time consuming and distracting for students. Often, they seem to focus more on the pictures than on the content of the lesson. Creating collections of photos for them to choose from is one way to scaffold instructional tech activities to make them take less time. I like to do this on my phone and use the photo sharing feature in iOS to make the media available to…

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The Importance of Patience

The Importance of Patience

The Importance of Patience Working on servers this week, a humbling and frustrating experience, reminded me of the importance of patience when working with people. I found myself in a similar position as many of my teachers when learning to integrate technology in their classes in a meaningful way. I spent 3 days with systems engineers and my account manager at JAMF Software working on preparing for our middle school iPad roll out. Initially everything…

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#EdTech PD Must Be Shaped by Data

#EdTech PD Must Be Shaped by Data

  Shaped by Data Teacher professional development, like anything these days, has been shown to be more effective if it is based on data. Data driven goals and objectives can form the subject or basis of PD and help make that connection between professional practice and student need. In Texas, I particularly like the work of Ervin Knezek and the Lead4ward team in this area. What they have done is to help school districts by developing templates…

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Effective #EdTech Teacher Professional Development Must Be Intensive, On-going, and Long Term

Effective #EdTech Teacher Professional Development Must Be Intensive, On-going, and Long Term

Effective Teacher Professional Development Must Be Intensive, On-going, and Long Term Amen! The one thing that seems to be constant in education, is that nothing seems to be constant in education. Veteran teachers know that if they wait long enough, the current district or campus initiative du jour will pass and they can get back to doing what ever they did before. What we as administrators often forget is that the greater the degree of change that…

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Connected to Classroom Practice, Pedagogy, and Content

Connected to Classroom Practice, Pedagogy, and Content

  Connected to Classroom Practice, Pedagogy, and Content This seems self evident, but I’ve attended many PD sessions and have heard feedback from colleagues who attended tech trainings that were not explicitly targeted to their classroom practice, pedagogy and content. The TPACK framework is a good visual model of how the areas of technology, pedagogy, and content area knowledge intersect to form tech rich classroom practice. Many effective trainings will fall into intersections of any…

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