Sunday, January 31, 2010

DiigoNotes - Phoebe Prince, 15, Commits Suicide After Onslaught of Cyber-Bullying From Fellow Students

    • Phoebe-Prince-closeup_150.jpg
    • Her principal called her smart and charming. And a boy had just invited 15-year-old Irish immigrant Phoebe Prince to the winter cotillion, the height of the social season at South Hadley High School in Massachusetts. But then police received a call.
    • police say she was a victim of cyber-bullying from girls at the school who had an unspecified beef with her over who she was dating.
    • Phoebe apparently faced an onslaught of bullying via texts, Facebook messages, and in person at the school.
    • "Apparently the young woman had been subjected to taunting from her classmates, mostly through the Facebook and text messages, but also in person on at least a couple of occasions,'' school superintendent Gus Sayer told the Boston Globe.
    • Anne O'Brien Prince and Jeremy Prince had moved from County Clare to Massachusetts with their five kids last year. In Phoebe's death notice, they said they moved in part so "Phoebe could experience America.''

      America, it seems, did not give her a very kind welcome.
    • South Hadley officials faced a blistering attack last night for their failure to do anything about chronic bullying.

      Parents recounted numerous incidents of kids being hounded and harassed, sometimes over multiple-year periods. One man told of how his son was punched in the stomach for befriending another bullied kid. A mom spoke of how her son was punched and had his face written on with magic marker.

      Other parents talked about how they were beat up in school in the '90s. And most seemed to think administrators turned a blind eye to it all. Father Larry Bay said his daughter was bullied last year, but the school did nothing to stop it.

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

MyNotes - Tennessee teen expelled for Facebook posting

    • Tennessee teen expelled for Facebook posting
    • Taylor Cummings was a popular basketball star on the verge of graduating from one of Nashville's most prestigious high schools until a post on Facebook got him expelled.
      After weeks of butting heads with his coaches, Taylor, 17, logged on to the popular social networking site from home Jan. 3. He typed his frustrations for the online world to see: "I'ma kill em all. I'ma bust this (expletive) up from the inside like nobody's ever done before."
      Taylor said the threat wasn't real. School officials said they can't take any chances.
      But the case highlights the boundaries between socializing in person at school and online at home. It also calls into question the latitude school officials have in disciplining students for their conduct online.
    • Since the suicide of a Missouri teenager who was harassed online in 2006, news reports show school officials have become sensitive to cyberthreats.
      This month at a middle school outside of Syracuse, N.Y., a seventh-grader was suspended for setting up a Facebook page that hosted inappropriate and "libelous" material against a teacher.
      In Seattle, a middle school principal suspended 28 students for bullying one classmate on the Internet.
      Last fall, two Dallas-area students were suspended for posting hateful comments about a specific teacher on a Facebook page, including "Join now and maybe we can all kill her together."
    • "We have to take any threat as a potential for being a real threat," said Olivia Brown, spokeswoman from Metro Schools. "It's very difficult to say this child didn't mean it and this child did."
      The district's "Code of Acceptable Student Behavior and Discipline" does not directly address social media outlets such as Facebook but gives principals the right to suspend or expel students for threats or for using threatening language. Cyber bullying and harassment is addressed briefly in a different district policy.
    • "True threats are not protected by the First Amendment, so you have to determine whether it is a true threat or whether there was another meaning," he said.

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

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Save NESA - Partners Meeting @neisd

The Save NorthEast ISD's School of the Arts (NESA) is having a meeting on are the details....

pARTners will have a meeting Sunday (tomorrow) afternoon at the Performing Arts San Antonio site at 5:00 pm.

PASA address is: 15717 San Pedro, San Antonio 78232 – phone 210-557-1187.

We will have sign-ups for our new committees; discuss the strategy for the Board meeting; and if time allows, break into committee groups.

Don’t forget to join our NESA pARTners Yahoo Group at

See full email below:

Sent: 1/30/2010 11:14:31 A.M. Central Standard Time

Subj: Special called pARTners Meeting

OK - - - call to action. Reps, please forward to all of your contacts.

The NEISD School Board is having a special called meeting this next Monday, February 1st. The agenda is attached. Dr Middleton will present his recommendations to the School Board. It will basically be the same that he presented on January 21st at Lee and there will not be board action as they have already given him the authority to act.

Now is the time to roll up our sleeves and get busy.

pARTners will have a meeting Sunday (tomorrow) afternoon at the Performing Arts San Antonio site at 5:00 pm. PASA address is: 15717 San Pedro, San Antonio 78232 – phone 210-557-1187.

We will have sign-ups for our new committees; discuss the strategy for the Board meeting; and if time allows, break into committee groups. We will also be accepting pARTner memberships.

Monday night’s Board meeting is NOT a regularly scheduled meeting where they have "citizens to be heard", but because it is an agenda item they will hear from citizens. HOWEVER, it has been made very clear to me that repeating the same message WILL NOT HELP US!

This is ours to lose - - - we need to show up in support of NESA, but be seen more than heard. NEISD is committed to making NESA work for next year and the years following!

Get the word out to all interested parents and friends of NESA to come to the pARTners meeting tomorrow and hear what we need to do.

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Implementing Mobile Devices in School Districts

Last week, Roland Rios (Fort Sam Houston ISD) asked, "Do you all have iPhones for your administrators? If so, who is your contact at AT&T?"

Of course, the answer is NO. We're using iPod Touch devices in my District, although an undetermined number of principals are investing in iPhones as a result. Eduphoria Appraise is the product of choice for conducting staff appraisals and walkthroughs, aggregating data, etc.

That said, the question Roland asked was one I didn't have a clue about. So, I sent out a tweet and received some responses!

Ms. Foxworth (Lexington, South Carolina) shared the primary contact for iPhone initiative here. I'm appreciative to the information and ideas shared by those who responded!!

One of the curious responses that jumped out at me was the one by Shawn Roner (, who mentions he's using Android phones! I followed up with a few questions, and he's shared some of the issues he is working through...and it seems those issues would be similar to what district iPhone implementations might encounter.

Shawn makes the following points about Android OS Phone:

  • Since he's moved most of his school's communications to Google, he figured using Android phone would improve productivity.
  • The seamless integration with Gmail is a plus, and there are a few great organization Apps. On my side, I like K-9 Email app instead of the pre-loaded Gmail app that comes with Android...but the one that is there works just fine. K-9 just enables me to interact with various POP3/IMAP email accounts and isn't stuck just on Gmail compatibility. For example, if I have a Yahoo Mail Plus account, i can check that via POP3.
He then shares some issues which I expect districts who are seeking to standardize on a mobile device district-wide will have to deal with:
  • Who is the best provider/carrier? (such as AT&T?--yuck, Verizon?, T-Mobile?, Sprint?)
  • What kind of data plan?
  • What staff should get phones and plans?
  • How to broadcast emergency alerts to groups?
What other questions are essential to implementing smartphones in schools?

In the meantime, some examples of educational institutions implementing iPhones:
And others who are building iPhone apps for their schools:

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Curious Android App Choices

Ask David Jakes a question and he'll tell you about something you don't least, that is how it worked for me! My question was, "What are your favorite Android OS (phone) apps?" This is a question of interest since it's far easier to tweet and ask someone what their favorite apps are than to search through the zillions that are out there all by yourself (time-consuming but fun, I mean).

While you can find my list here, which I update constantly, I was pleasantly surprised by his responses:

  1. Layar, an Augmented Reality Browser - This is described on the web site as "a free application on your mobile phone which shows what is around you by displaying real time digital information on top of reality through the camera of your mobile phone."
  2. EverNote - which is a web clipping service I haven't quite gotten into yet.
  3. ShapeWriter - an app that works off gestures you make that allow you to write. Regrettably, gesture work isn't for me (I hated it on the Palm handhelds that I had a chance to work with).
Still, two out of three great suggestions works for me...and for others, all of the suggestions may be great!

In a related conversation, Dorieglynn (doriedance via twitter) points out some of her favorite Android Apps that she's using on her HTC Hero:
  • CardioTracker
  • EEBA
  • Advanced Task Killer
Of these choices, EEBA is the most curious. One of my colleagues at work keeps her budget in envelopes. Part of the process is using clear tape to ensure the envelopes are durable and last throughout the month. Easy Envelope Budget Aid (EEBA) takes the envelope out of the equation...pretty neat!

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Friday, January 29, 2010

700 mhz band announcement

Thanks to Joel Adkins for sharing this tidbit via email:

Under a new FCC rule, anyone who uses a wireless microphone that

operates in the 700 MHz Band must stop operating their wireless

microphone no later than June 12, 2010. All users of 700 MHz Band

wireless microphones (and similar devices) - including theaters,

churches, schools, conference centers, theme parks, and musicians --

will need to retune (where possible) or replace their wireless

microphone equipment with other microphone devices no later than June 12, 2010. This action helps complete an important component of the DTV Transition by clearing the 700 MHz band to enable the rollout of communications services for public safety and the deployment of next generation 4G wireless devices for consumers.

For further information, please visit the website at

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Name Your Workshop Price

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Over the last year, I've been wanting to try this out, but haven't since I've been a bit busy. I'm probably breaking a few rules here, but why not give it a shot? If you think this offer could be improved, or I'm just plumb crazy, please let me know in the comments! How could this be even better?

For the months of February and March, 2010, I'm announcing a special workshop presentation special! My usual rate is about $1500 per day, however, for these two months, I'm inviting you to NAME YOUR WORKSHOP PRICE. That's right, you can tell me how much you want to pay, and we'll see if we can make it work! (fine print further on down)

Request a workshop online.

Some featured workshops include the following:

The fine print? Uh, yeah, I guess so. Here's some of it:
  • I have to be within 500 miles of San Antonio, Tx.
  • You cover mileage/travel costs and lodging.
  • Minimum of $500 for a workshop.
  • You pay mileage and lodging.
  • Payment on day of service.
  • Need at least 3 days advance notice.
  • I reserve the right to say "No"

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

GoogleApps in Education - Prince George's County Public Schools

A few days ago, I shared a new survey trying to garner information regarding the use of GoogleApps for Education in large school districts. You can see the results so far, as well as contribute the information for your school district. I have to ask, how come Google itself hasn't captured this information and shared it? Or, is it enough to make the tools to accomplish the data collection available to its users sufficient?

Schools that responded include:

  • Mankato Public Schools, where the venerable Doug Johnson presides
  • Edna ISD
  • RoundRock ISD

Of that search, I have to admit that the "motherlode" discovered was one Jeff Keitner brought to my attention--Prince George's County Public Schools in Maryland, USA. It's pretty amazing all the hard work they did to make the transition from MS Exchange to GoogleApps for staff (note update below). It's also an excellent blend of leadership and management to make the transition!

More importantly, the transition of such a large district--the 18th largest in the United States with 129,000 students, over 28,000 staff--puts to rest any concerns that GoogleApps for Education will NOT work for large districts in Texas. To be honest, by comparison, I think Prince George's County Public Schools can hold their own with the largest in Texas, don't you think?

Here's a general appeal to school districts....

As such, I urge school districts in Texas to consider switching to GoogleApps for Education, a free service available to schools and being seized upon to help defray the high costs. Every time this suggestion is made, the question comes up, where is there a comparatively sized district using GoogleApps for Education?

While I have found many that have adopted GoogleApps for Education, this particular one is beyond belief...and it makes me question why district leaders haven't moved yet to a solution that will save them money, time and effort once that can be diverted to enhance technology in classrooms and bandwidth needs rather than on servers and expensive licensing.

The 18th largest district in the United States with over 40,000 computers, 129,500 students, 209 schools, 28,000 employees--Prince George's County Public Schools in the State of Maryland--is using GoogleDocs for Education. Their district supports iPod Touch as well as Blackberry devices. They use Active Directory and MS Exchange.

They are using GoogleApps for Education.

Cost? FREE.

More about the initiative at

Check out the attached checklist for the transition to Google! More online at:

Check out either presentation:

The CIO is Wesley Watts

Simple question: If Prince George's County Public Schools can do it, why can't our school districts in Texas?

Not to mention Wes Fryer's podcast of a presentation they did (Thanks Wes!!):

Podcast309: Google Apps – Implementation and Changing the Way We Do Business (from CoSN09)

posted in edtech, podcasts, workshops |

This podcast is a recording of a session presented by Meghen Ehrich and Sharon Tompson, school technology support staff members from Prince George’s County Public Schools in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. This session was shared on March 10, 2009, at the CoSN 2009 conference in Austin, Texas. The official conference program description for this session was: Prince George’s County Public Schools decided in March 2008 to implement the Google Apps Suite. The panel will share their experiences on how they migrated 28,000 users from Microsoft Exchange to Gmail. Google is integrated into the network and users are provided with single sign-on access. It’s also a ubiquitous tool for staff to access their work from anywhere. In addition, the panel will discuss how they are providing 1000+cell phone users with options, how they are securing the environment, providing tools for e-discovery, and will identify future plans for integrating Google Apps with a LMS to create a low cost anytime, anywhere learning environment for all staff and students.

icon for podpress Podcast309: Google Apps - Implementation and Changing the Way We Do Business (from CoSN09) [51:50m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup |Download (1625)

Show Notes:

  1. PGCPS Has Been Googlized (Google Presentation links for this session)
  2. Prince George’s County Public Schools in Upper Marboro, Maryland
  3. Google Apps for Education
  4. Google for Educators
  5. The Infinite Thinking Machine
  6. Google Teacher Academy
  7. The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)
  8. The CoSN 2009 Conference

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Isn't it time? Isn't it time we put down the yoke of MS Exchange, and exchanged it for something that is proven to work at less cost?

Update 02/08/2010 via email:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Meghen Ehrich
Date: Mon, Feb 8, 2010 at 3:03 PM
Subject: Fwd: did you see this?


I was just forwarded your blog post about Google Apps in Prince George's County. I am part of the transition team and was one of the presenters in the referenced presentation and podcast. I need to make one correction to your post. You indicated that we migrated staff and students. However, so far only staff have migrated; we are just now beginning the pilot phase for students.

Thank You,

Meghen Ehrich
Technology Training Team
Instructional Technology Specialist
Prince George's County Public Schools

6251-A Ammendale Road
Beltsville, MD 20705
240-264-1761 x2227

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pink Jacket Award - Making It Happen

As I mentioned earlier this week, the TCEA TEC-SIG organization is getting ready to vote on its selection for the Making It Happen Award (from ISTE), also known as the "Pink Jacket" Award. There are some tremendous candidates going forward, and I hope that like in 2009, there will be two selected. But I want to be completely up front and say that I think every one of the nominees should receive a Pink Jacket Award.

In fact, let me say that again--each one of these ladies has done a tremendous job in enhancing technology. I could give examples for each, but that might make this blog entry more of an adoration than a simple sharing of who the nominees are. I've had the opportunity to work with Barbara, Jennifer and Paula in various capacities, and think highly of them.

In alphabetical order, nominees include the following:

  • Barbara Brown -
    Barbara Brown is a true servant leader whose commitment to teachers and students is beyond compare. She works unfailingly to ensure that every teacher knows how to differentiate instruction with the use of technology and that every student learns.

    During her 25 year career with Lewisville ISD Barbara has helped to build the educational technology program from the ground up. Under her direction the district has become a state leader in educational technology which others look to for guidance and support. Currently the Executive Director of Technology, she provides direction for the technology department programs and personnel, supervises the Instructional Technology Department, and manages technology implementation and programs for 63 campuses and 50,000 students. She works closely with the Lewisville Curriculum, Assessment and Instructional Services department to ensure that technology initiatives are closely aligned with the district curriculum.

    Barbara was instrumental in implementing and currently supervises eSchool online courses for high school students and the district electronic curriculum management and student assessment system. Additionally, she facilitates more than 200 online and face-to-face technology staff development sessions yearly for teachers and administrators. Barbara shares her extensive knowledge of educational technology beyond Lewisville ISD. She served as the Lead Curriculum Writer and Trainer for the Technology Leadership Academy for Superintendents and Principals offered by the Texas Association of School Administrators. She has presented at many conferences including TCEA and the Texas Council of Women School Executives and has been the keynote speaker at the Region 11 Leadership Symposium. She has served as and Area Director, Vice President – Convention and President of the Texas Computer Education Association. Barbara is recognized throughout the state of Texas as a leader and expert in educational technology. Her peers value her insight and guidance. Barbara’s leadership and commitment to students and teachers had left an indelible mark few can hope to match.
  • Jennifer Faulkner -
    Jennifer has been in public education for 27 years. She graduated from Texas A&M in 1981 in Elementary Education with areas of specialization in math and earth science. She completed her master’s degree from University of Houston in Instructional Technology in 1996. After teaching math and science at the middle school level for 15 years in Pine Tree ISD, Deer Park ISD and Alief ISD, Jennifer became a campus technology specialist in Alief ISD.

    From 1997 until 2005, she served as the Director of Instructional Technology for New Braunfels ISD. She has served on the board for TCEA (Texas Computer Education Assn) from 2000-2003, and 2005 to present,, and has taught Technology Leadership Academies for TASA (Texas Assn of School Administrators).
  • Paula Murray -
    For almost her entire 26 year career, Paula has been a leader in promoting, planning, supporting and initiating instructional technology programs in K-12 schools. As the current Director of Educational Technology in Eanes ISD, she has been instrumental in modeling the use of and providing training for web 2.0 tools, as well as coordinating all instructional technology staff development across the district.

    Additionally, she provides leadership to technology coordinators by fostering a collaborative learning community to maximize use of digital age tools to achieve learning goals. She interfaces with the district curriculum department to enhance teaching and learning initiatives through technology.

    Throughout her career she has overseen a variety of initiatives including district-wide implementation of Excelsior gradebook, Eduphoria, and School Fusion. She has managed two major bond initiatives and testified in front of the Senate Education Committee in support of requiring the tech apps student assessment at 5th and 8th grade. Paula's leadership and commitment to educational technology will benefit teachers and students for years to come.

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DiigoNotes - Colleges See 17 Percent Increase in Online Enrollment

    • January 26, 2010, 12:00 PM ET

      Colleges See 17 Percent Increase in Online Enrollment

    • Colleges saw a 17 percent increase in online enrollment, with more than one in four students taking at least one online course in the fall of 2008, according to the findings of an annual survey published on Tuesday by the Sloan Consortium.
    • The report
    • found a total of more than 4.6-million online students overall. That's up from about 3.9 million the previous year.
    • "For us to grow, it’s going to be online until that money is freed up again,"
    • Bad economic times, which traditionally drive more people back to school, are having a particularly strong impact on demand for online courses. Seventy-three percent of institutions report increased demand for existing online courses, compared with 54 percent for face-to-face. Sixty-six percent report increased demand for new online courses. And students are clamoring for distance education at colleges that don't offer it; 45 percent of institutions in that category report growing demand for new online courses and programs.
    • Fewer than one-third of chief academic officers think that their faculty members accept the "value and legitimacy" of online education, a perception that hasn't change much in the past six years. (Another survey, released in 2009, also reflected broad faculty suspicion about the quality of online courses.)
    • More than two-thirds of institutions have a contingency plan to deal with a disruption from the H1N1 flu, and substituting online for face-to-face classes is an element in 67 percent of those plans.
    • The overwhelming majority of the 4.6-million online students — over 82 percent — are undergraduates.

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

Job Posting - TCEA Seeks To Build Its Team

While others are letting people go, the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) is seeking to build an awesome team! Are you up for the job? Check this information out!

TCEA is currently accepting applications for the new position of Advocate and for the addition of a second Training Director. Job descriptions for each of these positions are attached.

The Advocate will work as a lobbyist with the SBOE and the Texas Legislature to further the causes of the TCEA membership. The Training Director will develop and conduct professional development sessions in Austin at the TCEA office and around the state.

Letters of interest and resumes should be submitted to Lori Gracey ( by Feb. 26. These positions will start April 5, 2010.

I encourage you to apply and to join us as we work for the teachers and students of Texas!

Lori Gracey

Executive Director

Texas Computer Education Association

(512) 450-5400

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Get MS Exchange on Android (Updated 07/21/2010)

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After spending some time suffering through Motoblur's efforts to show my MS Exchange email on my Android phone (a Motorola Cliq), I stumbled through some forums after a google search. Eureka!
Dataviz' RoadSync installed without problem on the Android and is now on my list of must have apps for the Android phone. Also, it's available for $9.99 for a limited time (rather than $19.99) so I encourage anyone using an Android that has to have MS Exchange email/calendar and contacts access to buy it (how's that for an endorsement based on a few hours of playing around with it?).
Based on Exchange ActiveSync technology licensed directly from Microsoft, RoadSync provides secure, wireless and direct push synchronization of corporate e-mail, calendar, contacts and attachments - all in one affordable, scalable and easy to manage package.
RoadSync for Android is exclusively available in Android Market as a free 14-day trial. To install the RoadSync application, simply follow the below steps to download the application on your Android-powered handset.
If you like what you see, you can easily activate the software by purchasing the 'RoadSync Full Version Key' in the Android Market for a limited-time introductory price of $9.99 (Regularly $19.99.)
RoadSync is now available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, traditional and simplified Chinese.
About RoadSync Features | How To Install RoadSync
Definitely worth the investment!

However, if you don't want to spend the money, consider this alternative: K-9 Mail. It lacks ActiveSync support, but worked quite well with Gmail, perhaps even better than the built-in Gmail app. From the site:

K-9 Mail Android App is an open source email client for Android with multi-folder sync, email signatures, Bcc-to-self, return-address configuration, keyboard shortcuts, Exchange Support, message flagging, IMAP deletes, saving attachments, configurable notifications and more.
Oh, and I did get K-9 to read my MS Exchange mail, but sending was a different matter...not sure if the prob was particular to my MS Exchange server (probably was) since K-9 worked fine when I substituted Gmail SMTP server (sending mail info).

Update 07/21/2010: I highly recommend K-9 as a replacement for the built-in Gmail app on Android.

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DigoNotes - Teenagers' Behavior Carries Over Onto Facebook, Myspace

    • Teenagers' Behavior Carries Over Onto Facebook, Myspace
    • A new study conducted by University of Virginia psychologists suggests that well-adapted youth with positive friendships will use social networking sites like facebook and myspace to enhance the positive relationships they already have. The study also indicates, however, that teens who have behavioral problems and difficulty making friends, or who are depressed, may be more inclined to use social media in negative and sometimes aggressive ways, or not to use such sites at all.
    • The study appears in the January issue of Developmental Psychology.
    • Researchers assessed the friendship quality and popularity of 172 13- to 14-year-olds, and then, eight years later, "friended" the study participants on their Facebook and MySpace pages to examine their interactions and friendship quality in those domains.
    • youths who were better adjusted in their early teens were more likely to use social media in their early 20s, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or parental income, and that, overall, the patterns of friendship quality and behavioral adjustment as early teens continued into early adulthood.
    • parents of well-adjusted teens may have little to worry about regarding the way their children behave when using social media. It's likely to be similar positive behavior."
    • teens with behavioral problems or who have difficulty maintaining positive friendships may be more likely to use social media sites in negative ways, just as they may behave negatively in their face-to-face relationships. Negative use of the sites would include using excessive profanity, making hostile remarks or aggressive gestures, or posting nude photographs of themselves or others. They also have fewer supportive relationships with their Facebook and MySpace friends. But this group also is less inclined to use social media at all.
    • "Use of Facebook and MySpace is really pervasive among this age group, so it's understandable that young people would want to be connected with their peers in this way; it's an extension of the relationships they already share," Mikami said. "So parents should try to stay involved with their children and make an attempt to understand their online world in the same way they would want to understand any other aspect of their lives.
    • Citation: Mikami et al., 'Adolescent peer relationships and behavior problems predict young adults’ communication on social networking websites', Developmental Psychology, January 2010, 46 (1), 46-56

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

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Writer Who Leads

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The challenge of sharing what you do, even if it seems inconsequential and worthless to you, is fundamental to education practice. When I began writing about the work I was doing in my classroom, I was responding to a need to process what I was experiencing with using technology with students, and encouraging them to do the same. The writing came about because it seemed perfectly natural to write about students and their work.

The "model" I followed for writing came from reading books like Nanci Atwell's "In the Middle," one of the main books that guided my approach to establishing Writing Workshops (reading, too) in my classrooms over the years. Yet, I find Nanci's writing also served as a model for me to follow when *I* began writing articles for publication. My first paid published article was The Bilingual Technologist, although the editor of the magazine changed it significantly. I later published it in its original form online.

When I would encourage other educators to write about their experiences, I frequently encountered, not so much a reluctance to write, but an awareness that their work was even worth writing about and sharing. For a writer, EVERYTHING is grist for the subject is off the table for the right writing project. But for non-writers, whether they engage in the physical act of writing or not, there is what we do to live and survive economically and nothing much else.

I appreciate the Blogging About the Web 2.0 blog entry cited below, but to be blunt, this is a phenomenon that I've observed for years. While everyone has something to share, not everyone has the courage to do so...and may even look down on those who do, although I've often found them to be complimentary.

Like the blogger below, I encourage educators to share their experiences as they happen. The process of reflection--research shows--is what makes the difference in your teaching and learning practice. Whether you call it action research, journaling, whatever, take the time to reflect on your practice and try new, different things...and share the experience with others. I see writers as leaders because writing challenges you to reconceptualize what you are doing, to reach out to others. That kind of leadership isn't about charisma, but about capturing what is most precious in an experience and helping it find root in the hearts of others.

I was sitting in a meeting recently about the new evaluation standards for teachers and the question was asked to the group about how they are leaders in the classroom. Keep in mind there are some awesome teachers in this group that do amazing things with kids and in the school. If anyone observed them would say they were models of teacher leadership. When asked how they modeled leadership in their classroom and/or school no one responded. Why? No one spoke up about themselves. There were plenty of examples given of other teachers in the building that exemplified leadership qualities but no one, not a soul, said anything about themselves.

So I ask? What is the big deal with being a teacher-leader? Meaning, why, when asked, are teachers so afraid to say how awesome they really are. And to go further, why, do most refuse to talk about the awesome things they are doing with kids?
Source: Blogging About the Web 2.0

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Insignificant - GTA for Administrators Application

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"Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it."
--Mahatma Gandhi
Thanks to all--especially Clif Mims, Kevin Jarrett, Henry Thiele, Wes Fryer and other commenters--who encouraged me to apply for the GTA for Administrators. In the end, I couldn't see myself NOT trying to participate in the GTA, especially when it was being held in San Antonio, Tx. If my application is rejected, I can go about my business happily, knowing that someone worthier will have been accepted.

You can catalog my journey (in reverse chronological order):
  1. Rumor and Myth - GoogleApps for Education
  2. Aegis of Google Leadership
  3. 5 Google-Powered Leadership Expectations
  4. Be a Pepper, Too
  5. GTA for Admin - Ineffable
  6. No excuses video
  7. Google Apps in the Classroom
  8. Digital Crescent - How Does Your Team Collaborate?

And, no doubts as to the quality of my video. It stinks. I've seen plenty of YouTube teens with videos exhibiting greater engagement...I considered a Star Wars parody but decided I'd be the only one laughing at my Darth Guhlin heavy breathing.

In spite of that video travesty, I'm grateful to all of you who encouraged me to apply. While I do not believe GTA for Admin to be the end all of professional learning for schools leaders, it presents a wonderful opportunity to connect with other leaders and discuss what we can may be insignificant act on my part, but it's important that I try anyways.

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

My Favorite Android Apps (Updated 12/31/2011)

Note: This list has been massively updated. Find the 01/01/2012 list online here.

Updated 10/26/2010

Since February, 2010--when the Motorola Cliqs, which run Android OS on them, came in, the entire family has been discovering and sharing new apps with each other. It's impossible to find all the perfect apps, so I see this as a recursive process of discovering, exploration of possibilities, deletion or selection. Simply, lots of fun!

You may also want to read Education Apps for Android.

Here are some of the FREE Android Apps (don't expect to find a for pay one on this list, ok, maybe one) that have risen to the top. I am amazed at the computing power on the Android available through the apps and how easy it is to manipulate data, etc. on them.
Note: Links for the title of the android apps will take you to the Android Library, well worth exploring on your computer to save you scanning a small screen! You might also want to explore the Android Market.

Updated Top 10 List (10/26/2010)
After trying to root my phone--successfully but unproductively--I found myself rethinking all the apps on my phone. 

Here is my revised list of must-have apps:

  1. PDAnet - Hook your phone to your laptop/netbook and you can get access to the Internet irrespective of any other network connections/filters. Works great on Windows and Macintosh platforms.
  2. Opera Mini-Browser - A wonderful, fast replacement to the built-in browser. 
  3. Battery Management Tools
    • Battery Widget - Easily track your phone's battery life so you don't have to keep charging it every two seconds.
    • APNDroid - This is a wonderful battery-saving widget. You can tap it to turn on/off your 3G/GPRS/EDGE connection. Turning off these services while in a WiFi zone enables you to continue using the internet, saving battery life. 
    • ToggleWiFi - Allows you turn your WiFi on and off with a single tap. 
    • TasKiller Free - Allows you to terminate all--or be selective--apps that are running on your phone. This can save battery life.
  4.  HandCent - This is a great replacement to the built-in SMS client on Android OS, and worth getting immediately and making as your default.
  5. AppsUninstaller - This allows you to bulk uninstall apps installed on your phone. A time saver for sure! 
  6. AppBackupReinstall - Need to backup your Android Phone apps just in case to your SD card? Use this free program.
  7. TonePicker - Allows you to select any audio on your phone as your ringtone, not just the built-in Android sounds.
  8. Audio Player - Easily listen to audio (podcasts) files using one or both of these:
    • MortPlayer - Allows you to listen to music/audio files. I like to use this audio player to listen to music and the next item below to play podcasts.
    • TinyPlayer - A very simple audio player, great for podcast playing.
  9. Email Programs - Finding the right email programs can be a pain. Here are the two I highly recommend and that work great!
    1. MS Exchange with ActivSync Needed? Get NitroDesk's TouchDown ($20)
    2. Need a POP/IMAP Email Program? Get K-9 Email Android App (free)
  10. OI File Manager -  Use this file manager to move, delete files on your SD card. Very handy, convenient. For industrial strength work, consider EStrong's File Manager.
And, to add a few more to my top 10 list as a bonus:
  • APG - Are you into Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) albeit free open source encryption? Use APG to get it done. Works great and integrates with K-9 Email to encrypt email and files (as well as decrypt them).
  • KeepassDroid - This program allows you to store your confidential username and passwords in an easy to access database that is encrypted.
  • QR Code Reader - Quickly Scan QR codes off web pages and printed documents to install software on your phone or capture data. You can also make your own bar codes, which is fun. Two apps to search for in the Market include Lynkee or BarCode Reader. 
  • Flixster's Movies - Find out what the movie times are at the local theatre...this app looks them up based on your location.
  • Social Networks - Keep up with your social networks using these tools:
    • Plurk? Use Pluroid or PlurQ
    • Twitter? Use Seesmic or Tweetdeck for Android
    • Facebook? Use the Facebook Android app
    • Use Anypost to send out information to your entire network.
  • Virtual Recorder - Need an audio recorder? Use this to turn your phone into one. Let's you email the recorded audio to wherever you need.

Top 10 Picks
Due to the number of Android Apps on this page, here are my top 10 apps from all categories...they are the ones I couldn't live without and use every day:

  1. GoogleVoice
  2. Movies 
  3. HandCent
  4. Pluroid for Plurk access and/or Twidroyd for Twitter access with AnyPost for
  5. PDAnet
  6. MixZing Music/Video Player
  7. Dolphin Browser
  8. Battery Widget
  9. EStrongs File Manager
  10. Mount USB
Here's my list, organized into broad categories.


  1. Laputa - This poorly named app (it breaks down to two words in Spanish which mean "the bitch") allows you to download audio versions of books and features some relatively up to date titles. I was shocked at the list of fresh ebook titles, including the works of Rick Riordan (author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series that was made into a movie recently), Robert Jordan (Crown of Swords author), Larry Niven's Ringworld series, and many more titles that I just considered to "new" to find their way into online books for free. (Added June 20, 2010)
  2. Movies - Allows me to easily locate movie times...a must have for my family members and I. It has an iPhone counterpart which made it easy for me to use, since I've been playing around with an iPod for work purposes for a year.
  3. NubiNews - This is the awesomest news reader. You can access just about everything and replaces all your other news sources, except for podcasts. (added 01/30/2010)
  4. - Although I'm not much of a TV watcher, it's fun to watch something while waiting in line at the local Bill Miller's BBQ during lunch time. This actually shows full episodes.
  5. Wapedia - Nice to search and access. Others prefer WikiMobile.
  6. WeatherBug - Great weather app, letting you see temperature, images of the weather outside, etc. (added 01/30/2010)

  1. DataViz RoadSync - Although you'd think Android would have a native MS Exchange friendly app ready to go, it's not really a surprise...the iPod Touch didn't one either, as I recall. That said, I've been tremendously impressed with the 14 day trial version of RoadSync, which allows you to sync email and calendar. It works fantastically well. One alternative to this is TouchDown.
  2. HandCent - This is a great replacement to the built-in SMS client on Android OS, and worth getting immediately and making as your default. It features a nice design, bubbles, tracks number of messages, and more. ChompSMS is a nice alternative, although ad-ware.
  3. K-9 Mail. It can work as a replacement for RoadSync if you don't want to spend the money...calendar integration isn't there that I could see, but in RoadSync it is. Good if you just want email. As of 06/15/2010, I am now using this for replacement on the Gmail client that comes with the phone. It allows me to easily edit quoted messages, which as far as I've seen, can't be done on the built-in gmail app.
  4. SMS Backup - Allows you to make backups of SMS messages and ships them to your Gmail account.
  1. AnyPost ( client) - Want to post to ALL your social networking apps at once? (read this) Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Plurk, etc? Then use to get the job done! Post once to and it goes everywhere you determine. Use Anypost app on your Android phone to get it done. 
  2. Twitter Possibles:
    1. Twidroid - A twitter app. I was hoping for TweetDeck quality and I've not been disappointed with this one. I actually paid for the full version on this one and it works great, a bit "faster" in feel than Seesmic, which is a free alternative not from Twidroid.
    2. Seesmic - A nice looking Twitter client. This is no longer on my phone since I bought Twidroid but I do recommend it if you don't want to pay for Twidroid.
  3. Pluroid - For Plurkers (, you have few choices...PlurQ is OK app but I recently abandoned it because it resembles web-based's timeline a bit too much. Instead, I'm now using Pluroid which gives you the feel of mobile Plurk (plurks running vertically with links to more comments). It's also pretty easy to share photos via Pluroid.
  4. Bloo - After searching for a nice Facebook interface, I think I have found one in Bloo. You'll need your Facebook code so you can generate it here. Of course, Bloo now (07/03/2010) makes it possible to get your code via the app, which is a nice upgrade!
  5. UStream Broadcaster - Allows you to broadcast yourself via uStream.

  1. Dolphin Browser - I didn't realize how anemic the browser was (gave me flashbacks to Palm's built-in browser on their old handhelds) so I was grateful to find the Dolphin Browser. Works great, just like Firefox, in making adjustments. Definitely a must-have replacement to the browser...when you install it, you can set it to be the default browser on your Android phone. I tried Opera for awhile but switched back to Dolphin after a month.
  2. DiskUsage - This app shows you where you are spending your SD card can use this in conjunction with EStrong's File Explorer (below) to make clean out your file system. (added 01/30/2010)
  3. EStrongs File Manager and Task Manager - This amazing duo is surprisingly an awesome app, allowing you to manage the files on your SD Card, as well as terminate apps on your phone that are taking up memory. You have to download them separately. The file manager can also FTP files (which I tried successfully), which is downright unbelievable. There is an open source alternative, OI File Manager which is much simpler...useful for finding files/folders on your phone, copying-n-deleting them.
  4. FTPServer - What a great program! It allows me to setup my Android phone as an FTP Server that I can connect via an FTP client from any computer and download files...or put them on the phone. While I could use MountUSB, this makes it possible for me to more easily share content without having to connect.
  5. Mount USB - Allows you to mount your Android phone as a USB flash drive. If you have a large SD card, voila, portable storage using your phone instead of another flash drive.
  6. PDAnet - Tether your laptop to your phone so you can use its internet connection. Works very well on Mac and is available for Windows. Awesome app! Well worth the $20.
  7. AppsUninstaller - This allows you to bulk uninstall apps installed on your phone. A time saver for sure!


  1. MixZing Music/Video Player - This is an awesome app that makes listening to music incredibly easy. You can turn off its network use and it still works great.
  2. MP3 Downloader - An easy to use MP3 Downloader
  3. Pandora - Listen to streaming music that syncs with your online prefs. Incredible app. (added 01/30/2010)
  4. Quark's Ringtones - Awesome ringtone, allowing you to select popular music for your ringtone (e.g. Taylor Swift, etc). For example, my wife has Earth, Wind and Fire's "September," while others have Taylor Swift. Other ringtone alternatives--not included in QuarkRingtones--include StarTrek Sounds and StarWarsSounds, as well as Transformers.
  5. Tone Picker - allows you to easily select ringtones from any audio program on your phone.(added 01/30/2010)

  1. GDocs - Allows you to view and edit your GoogleDocs from your Android. Works great!
  2. GoogleMaps - Find yourself on a map and then get directions to where you want to go.
  3. GoogleTalk - Let's you use Talk via your phone.
  4. GoogleVoice - Although this app DID work (thanks to these instructions), I've become enamored of GoogleVoice, and liked this review of what it can do, so I'm just going to quote it...I'll check it periodically to see if they can fix it. The only nagging question I have is, does it cost me money when calling other people on my family plan to use GoogleVoice number? Read the answer to this question!

    I can call ANY number with a secure, controllable line from Google.On an Android phone, unlike the closed off iPhone, you can have the Google Voice App take over all calls — even international ones! By taking over the device, any call that I make through the phone emulates my Google Voice number."
    Source: Market Matador

    One question I have that I suppose I'll find out around bill time...does using GoogleVoice result in a charge that will appear on my bill or is using them as the source of my phone call "free"? What about receiving calls? My carrier is T-Mobile.
  5. Listen - Allows you to pull audio content from all over the web. It is self-described as a podcast manager for Android and works quite well on my Cliq.
  6. Locale - Allows you to control your phone options based on your physical location (e.g. theater or work). That way you don't have to fumble with settings.
  7. iPadio - Lets you record audio via your phone microphone, name it, then email it to your Gmail account or post it online. Nice alternative to carrying a digital audio recorder.
  1. APNDroid - This is a wonderful battery-saving widget. You can tap it to turn on/off your 3G/GPRS/EDGE connection. Turning off these services while in a WiFi zone enables you to continue using the internet, saving battery life. It works great, and I highly recommend it!
  2. Battery Widget - Provides nice access to battery life percentage, as well as enabling turning off of certain items (display, wifi, etc).
  3. Flashlight - Great, although other family members prefer a multi-colored flashlight.
  4. Lynkee - This is a nice QR code reader for your phone. Barcode Reader is another alternative. Have an AndroidPhone or iPhone? Use Lynkee (free app) to read the QR Code into your phone. Here is how to make your own "barcode" - Make your own bar code!
  5. ToggleWiFi - Allows you turn your WiFi on and off with a single tap.

You can find other recommendations here--some of which I wished I'd read prior to a 2-day search in the market, but hey, that's the fun, isn't it? I like to travel light on apps, whether on Android phone or iPod:

Oh, here are my favorite games (i'm not a gamer on Android, except for #1 below):

  1. Pirate Wars!
What apps would you suggest?

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure