Friday, April 19, 2013

Q & A with Q & J: A Round Table Discussion

Our very own Quinton Freeman and Javier Martinez constantly practice reflection and introspection with regard to Educational Technology and their roles as educators in the 21st century. Join us for a Round Table discussion with these two and have a chance to hear and discuss their use of technology, their wishes for technology in the classroom, and what they're simply learning as educators. Submit any questions you may want answered to Emily Hunt, who will help facilitate the dialogue. 

To follow the discussion via Twitter, use #Q&Jrt (for Quinton & Javier round table) or simply follow any of us using our Twitter handles: 

Javier: @Martinez_FTE

Quinton: @inQuery

Emily: @emhuntnewt

Examples of questions that will generate a dialogue
What's with the technology push across the district? Why is technology so important?
What types of technology do you use in your classroom (or in others' classrooms, Quinton), and why do you use those tools/devices?
How do you think technology should be utilized with our students?
What can we expect in a classroom that is soaked in technology and 21st century thinking? 
If I am technologically illiterate, where should I begin?

To register for this course in Eduphoria-Workshop, click here.

Reactions to the Boston Marathon Bombings

Yesterday, I had my Advisory kids explore some of the information flooding out of news sources across the country regarding the Boston Marathon bombings. I just wanted them to explore the news, images, articles, videos, etc. at To synthesize their explorations, I created a wall on WallWisher (which is actually now known as "padlet") and had them quickly write their reflections. Below is simply an image of their wall. To interact with their writings and read their responses more clearly, click here to view their wall. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Great Article in Relevant Magazine

I just read an intriguing article that captures much of the problem with digital media when used for social purposes: what we see when we scroll through our friends' post-worthy moments is a more exciting life than the one we have. This picture-perfect view of others' life experiences is shaping our feelings about our own lives, relationships, looks, experiences, etc. etc. etc. And this is a problem. Great read. Do it.  

Read the article HERE

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Google Takeout Supplemental Training

On Wednesday, April 10 from 3:30-4:30, I will be hosting a Supplemental eTraining, teaching specifically on a tool called "Google Takeout." We will meet in my room, A202.

A bit on the actual training: Google Takeout is a tool that lets you quickly and easily download data that you created in (or imported into) a number of Google products. It provides the data in a variety of open, portable formats so that you can easily import the data into other internet services. In other words, it's a service that lets users take back their data from various Google services, including Buzz, Drive, Picasa, Profile, Stream, Voice, YouTube, as well as +1s, Circles, Connections and Streams in Google+.

Many of our students often leave our campus for another district, not to mention our Seniors who graduate, leaving behind their easy access to the data they created and stored within their Google account. Come get a quick tutorial on how these students (or you) can download and take back original data from a Google account and take it "To Go" as "Takeout." 

Click HERE to register for the class on Eduphoria-Workshop. 

Personal Learning Networks

A friendly and non-threatening goal for entering the "realm" of PLNs is simply to "Find, follow, and begin engaging online with experts and beginners alike." Now is the time (any time, really) to take some time to develop your network. Below are some great articles in regards to PLNs. Some old stuff. Some new. Take a bite of one or all, and chew on the tidbits they offer. 
Why Networks Matter
Why (and How) You Should Create a Personal Learning Network
The What and Why of a Professional Learning Network
5 Reasons Teachers Should create a PLN Now!

My own reflections: My personal learning network has begun with Twitter, as well as my blog (here, duh). I am pausing now to reflect a bit further on how I am using and engaging in this network. Is Twitter right for me? Am I using it as effectively as I should be? Is blogging really for me? 

I am finding that while I may peruse Twitter quite often, clicking here and there, maybe re-tweeting or posting my own thoughts to the twitter-sphere, I haven't quite unlocked the secret to "finding friends" on Twitter. I feel a bit like a 1st grader again, looking around the cafeteria for an empty seat, friendly face, or some commonality with a stranger. I do engage in twitter dialogues with a couple colleagues here (at Northbrook HS), but I haven't started any conversations with a "follower" that I hadn't already met face to face. I know people do it. I see it happen all over the network. I watch #engchat happen in real-time, but I have yet to jump into the conversation. I look at the individuals leading those twitter #engchats and think, "How in the world do they have time to spend 8 hours on twitter every day? To tweet with random people every 2 minutes? I could never devote that kind of time or energy to being a part of the dialogue. I suppose I have to stay on the periphery and just watch." The same goes for my blog- sure, I publish. But do I engage with others? The same mentality pervades there: "I don't have the time or energy to do anything else but stand on the periphery and applaud those in the game." 

But do I? I wonder if there IS a way to skim the surface of these dialogues, get my feet wet in a bit of twitter chat. I suppose all I can do is try. A 1st grader has to learn to be social some day, might as well be now. 

One more thought on PLNs: tumblr is a great network to try out. While I haven't created anything of my own on tumblr, I often look to it for visual inspiration or ideas. A shout-out to my friend and colleague, Mr. Javier Martinez, whose tumblr (click here to access) has often been the source of a last-minute journal topic or inspiration for a writing day. Good stuff right there. Good stuff.