Friday, August 29, 2014

The 'Magic' of Technology

I have always been fascinated by magic.
image from Pixabay
Fascinated and a little creeped out.
Sitting at a magic show this summer I pestered my daughter to help me figure out how the very tall assistant was not cut in half with those metal sheets.  My daughter gave me a very teenage look and shushed me!

I was thinking of magic today as I helped a few teachers connect to their school's new Google domain.
For some it went seamlessly.
Type in the new password - start up chrome and all is well.
For a few we were worried - they had problems earlier so we anticipated issues. But we were pleasantly surprised - all went well.

And then we came to that one!
You know how it works.
There is always one!
We did everything just like the others - there may have been a bit of cocky banter about our new found prowess with this process before we touched the keys.
And them wham - all came to a screeching halt.
There was an error message we had never seen before.
We backed out of that spot and tried the process again.  And again.
And the poor teacher had to keep coming up with new passwords.  My guess is her final password did not contain only fluffy and sweet words! :)
We walked away.
We thought through an alternate solution.
And when we returned it worked - sort of.  For now.

And that brings me back to magic.

I believe.

I know that technology has been grown in the scientific test tubes of Microsoft and MIT and Apple. And I believe that their algorithms are at work.
But - I believe there is a touch of magic as well.
There is no other way to explain the capricious nature of technology.
It is there one day and the next - things have mysteriously changed.

It is just easier to believe in magic and move along.

The longer I work in this field the more staunchly I hold on to this truth...

Don't ask why it worked - simply celebrate that it did!!
(and whisper abracadabra every now and then!)

Thursday, August 28, 2014


image from iClipart for Schools
I have worked in the same school district for the past 26 years
and this month I turned in my resignation.

It wasn't an easy decision.  It is never easy to walk away from a known thing.
I liked my job.
I liked my coworkers.
I liked the direction we were heading.
I liked the challenge.

So why did I decide to change?

I had an opportunity.  
There was an opening in a job that I have always wanted
and I took a chance.

It hasn't been an easy change.  I am still working 2 days a week in my old school district.  And the other 3 days a week as a new Technology Consultant at our local Area Education Agency.

You know how it is at the start of a school year - each week feels like two smashed in tightly together. You work all day and then come home and work some more at night.  I was trying to pack a week's worth of work into each of the 2 days at my old job while just dipping in my toes at my new one.  That has been a bit rough.

But - this week I feel like I am sort of finding my rhythm.  I know I probably just jinxed everything.

I believe there is a secret formula for walking between two worlds.   You must learn to navigate walking into one door where you know every face and into another door where you need to show your ID so they know you.   You must learn to hide your excitement in the face of those who are left to pick of the pieces you are dropping in their laps because you are leaving them.  You must figure out what to say when someone asks why you left them - and sometimes you just can't explain.  Because sometimes you are not always completely sure why you have left.

But something reminds you...

Sitting beside a teacher I barely know and helping her create a class website.
Standing in front of a group of teachers in a darkened room and sharing a great online assessment game enjoying their laughter.

And it all comes together.

I had an opportunity and I took the risk.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Education and Technology Links 08/27/2014

TED Talks are focused speeches by leaders in the field. What could be better than having an astronomer talk about astronomy for your students. This site offers a way of finding the TED talks you want and creating lessons around those talks AND has a database of already created lessons you may want to use!  Great resource for MS and HS classrooms wanting to start with video.

This template is ready for use!  Fill in the BINGO card with text of your choice - print them and you are ready to go.  You can also search for already created cards.
This is an ENORMOUS site with all sorts of links to lessons and game websites. You are able to search by keyword or subject.  Tons of already created material!
This site creates visual search results. Great for students who need pictures to help them along.
Very interesting 

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.