Showing posts from September, 2011

Uninstalling Facebook, HootSuite, Google Plus

At last, my Motorola Cliq (T-Mobile) no longer sings as it dances along (read Phone Quest). Instead, underneath the weight of too many social media apps, it stumbles like a drunk, pausing to answer a question asked a frustratingly half minute earlier, before rebooting or freezing.

Though I am tempted to let it slip to the floor, yet another obsolete technology, I am bound by my contract, a life-support system for aged tech that I desperately want to pull the plug on. Perhaps, I am too hasty to euthanize my phone, help it out the door as I eye a slimmer model. Could it be my mid-life crisis has arrived, and rather than a red convertible or muscular Mustang, I crave a new device that will set me free?
But what need for more apps? I have all I need. I can salvage this relationship, crowded with unnecessary impulses of the inane. I uninstall Google + mobile app, the phone creaking under the strain of tossing such a weighty app overboard.  Sensing a brief burst in speed, I continue with F…

Going in Circles

Sitting in a dark movie theatre, watching a slideshow of still images--back before we had to watch 20 minutes of advertisements carefully disguised to seem educational--a quote popped up on the screen I had never seen before. That quote came to mind as I read Tim Holt's blog entry, Let the Gurus Lead the Way: Show me how to meet the needs of the standardized tests while at the same time meeting the goals of problem-based learning all the while incorporating 21st century skills. You have told me time and again it should and can be done. Don’t just tell me about some school in upper Tazmikerstan that was successful. Show me that it can happen in my city, in my district with my kids and my teachers. Show me how to do professional development in integrating education technology so that I also address the needs of the special needs kids, the gifted kids, the English language learners, and the kids whose parents just got shipped off to fight a war. You have told me time and again it sho…

A Humble eReader

"eReaders are 'crack' for you," stated a colleague earlier today, after she saw me carrying a Nook and Aluratek eReader around with me. I couldn't help but agree. I'm fascinated by devices that bring me the printed word. For folks that don't have a deep abiding respect for the printed word, an almost reverential feeling that stems from many hours in a library, not to mention hole in the wall bookstores in small towns to the mega-bookstores of yesterday that put the "Shops Around the Corner" out of business, a dedicated device appears insane. Why get a dedicated eReader when you can use an iPad?

Now that three readers out of 4 family members are carrying eReaders, it turns out the inexpensive $50 Aluratek eReader is available for use! You may remember me waxing rhapsodic about the Aluratek, an inexpensive eReader that, unlike, until recently, more expensive relatives (e.g. Nook and Kindle), is compatible with ePUB andmobi, which are the formats fo…

#Amazon Got To Me - BYOD and #Kindle #ereader @NEISD

Real Steel reminds me of the game I had where two "robots" boxed in a ring until the head on one of them popped up. Whomever thought of making a "real life" movie out of it with Hugh Jackman (e.g. Wolverine in X-Men) is going to cash into hopes and dreams of old men everywhere who'll take a trip down memory lane. Amazon may be doing the same thing, playing underdog to Apple's iPad, with it's new wave of Kindles. Who doesn't love an underdog, and Apple is the new Microsoft, right?

When I woke up this morning (09/28/2011) to wait for the air-conditioner guy to show up and do annual maintenance, as well as attend a funeral, I had no idea that I'd finish the day off as an Amazon Kindle owner. It just wasn't on my horizon... Buying Amazon simply goes against the grain.

Here are my top 3 reasons why I don't like Amazon Kindles: Digital Rights Managements (DRM)Tough to manage easily in K-12 environmentFail to use the standard ePub format Like ma…

#BrainShark - Enhance Your Slidedeck #ppt

A dear colleague, Daryl Ann Borel, wrote me recently with information on a new free tool that allows you do some fun stuff with Powerpoint:
Miguel,I’m sure you know about this application, but I just had to share my excitement with you. It’s not very often that a new software application excites me these days. I’ve seen so many in the years .I’ve discovered a new application that ranks right up there with “sliced bread” and Jing. It’s called myBrainStark ( It allows you to add voice to PowerPoint presentations, documents,  videos, etc. You can also incorporate audio recordings, live web pages, pictures, and surveys to a PowerPoint or document.  It is excellent and very easy to use. You can also share/embed.  And, it's FREE.  I like the fact that you can edit the PPT narration within the application rather than having to upload an MP3 of the audio and sync it like with Slideshare or similar applications.I see great potential for K-12 educators.

Job Posting - Instructional Technology Coordinator

This job posting comes from Del Valle ISD...the positions pays up to $65K annually. Get exact details online at the District site. Note that the link below will get you to the ballpark but give an error message (time out)...just wait a moment, then search under Professional Positions.

Posting ID: POS20110922000001 Posting Start Date: 09/22/2011 Name: Instructional Technology Coordinator (Teacher Certification Required) Posting End Date: Until Filled Location: Edward A. Neal Administrative Complex Overview:
Primary Purpose: The primary focus of the Technology Integration Coordinator is to enrich and support teaching and learning while strengthening the technology skills of students, teachers, and staff. Ideal candidates should work well with others, be skilled in team management, have a background in instructional design, and have clear goals and strategies for integrating technology into instruction. Teaching experience is also required. The position has some administrative responsibiliti…

#Moodle Academy at @TCEA 2012 Conference

The Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) has announced that it's holding another 1-day Moodle Academy at the TCEA 2012 State Conference. Here's the email announcement with information on how to submit a session:The TCEA 2012 Convention will again include the Moodle Academy, a full-day, content-specific academy offering a series of sessions and opportunities for collaboration on the uses of Moodle in education.If you are attending the convention in February and would like to share your success and knowledge, we are currently seeking presenters. The academy will be held on Monday, Feb. 6 and is included with the TCEA 2012 Premium Registration; however, pre-registration is required.Please submit your session for consideration of inclusion at this link: Are there any sessions you would like to see in particular, and any sessions you would like me to facilitate?
In the meantime,h…

MyNotes - Online Enrollment Drops in Texas Schools


Online enrollment drops | Amarillo Globe-News
Online enrollment drops State funding cuts chip away at programs Posted: September 26, 2011 - 10:55pm PhotosBy JACOB MAYER Copyright 2011 . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. September 26, 2011 - 11:55pm Online enrollment drops jacob.mayer@amarillo.comState cuts totaling $4 billion over two years are taking a bite out of online learning programs and eating into budgets for traditional classrooms.Enrollment in the district’s online classes through the Texas Virtual Schools Network plunged to 50 this fall from 1,300 students across the state last year, said Jay Barrett, principal of Amarillo ISD’s Online School.The state had provided a “virtual school allotment” since the 2009-10 school year that paid $400 for each student who took online network classes, Barrett said. The state is not funding the allotment this year and students’ families must pick up the cost, Barrett sai…

#Texas4TEE Podcast - BYOD with Hiram Cuevas @cuevash

LISTEN TO HIRAM CUEVAS MP3 Version (38megs) | OGG Version (16megs)
What a treat to chat with Hiram Cuevas (Richmond, VA educator and blogger at Give Me Ludicrous Speed) about Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD), a topic many have been discussing recently! Hiram describes the program in this way on his blog:This is a big summer for St. Christopher's School.  We have a 1:1 program launching in the fall, our school will be celebrating its centennial, and we will be opening the Luck Leadership Center in January 2012. So in the midst of all of the excitement, I find it is critical that as we create new and engaging activities for our boys, we must also be mindful to reflect and revise as needed. Hiram was kind enough to offer a few comments on my blog post on BYOD via Google+, and was open to chatting via Google+ Hangout. We managed to connect earlier this evening for about 30-40 minutes. 
AUDIO PROBLEMS I do have confess there were a few audio problems. I made the recording--how to record Goo…