Showing posts from March, 2012

You are Prey - Educating Principals and Others about GoogleForms

Original Blog Entry

Vicki "CoolCatTeacher" Davis recently wrote a blog post, Why Schools Shouldn't Use GoogleDocs for Anything Private, as well as responded via Facebook to this topic. I won't spend much time on the problem, except to say that you can go read her blog entry and comments.

A relevant story from my experience--I had a frantic principal call me up one day. She pointed out that she'd filled out a GoogleDoc Form online, submitting information that would be considered confidential and sensitive. She didn't know any better, and I moved immediately to notify Google and "turn in" the form's web address/URL so that action could be taken. Then, I spent some time "closing the barn door" educating her on what may be submitted online, what to watch out for from these types of forms you get via email, etc. These kinds of conversations obviously need to happen in advance. 
I've often heard we should "hold their hand" when …

#iPad Reflection App...for Windows?

How old is the person who recorded the video above? It doesn't matter, right? Nifty!
A colleague recently told me that she was looking for the Reflection app, but for Windows...for Windows? In case you're not familiar with Reflection app for iPad, it allows you to mirror what's on your iOS device on your Mac computer. It describes itself in this way:

AirPlay mirror your iPhone 4S or iPad 2 to any Mac running OS X 10.6+, wirelessly.
But is there an equivalent solution for iOS devices and Windows computers? I'm not sure and can't try it out at the moment--I have no iPad to experiment at the moment (feel free to send me one with no strings attached)--although it certainly seems possible using  the following solution that requires "jailbreaking:" Cydia's Veency: If you watch this video, (or this one) you'll be amazed at the possibility. It involves running Virtual Network Control (VNC) on your Windows computer and remotely controlling your iOS device. U…

MoodleRooms and BB - A Wonderful Relationship?

Having decided long ago not to invest in businesses that limit access to what you can do and nickle-and-dime you for services that you'd have if you hosted internally, I wasn't all that surprised to see Moodlerooms get bought by Blackboard. However, I was curious to see how they handled sharing the information with their customers.

After all, when something like that happens, how can you ensure that you reassure customers and communicate information in a way that ensures they'll continue to be customers, as well as your advocates for the future?
Here's how MoodleRooms and Blackboard chose to let their customers know...did they go far enough?
Click image to enlarge....
Here's the video:

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Visit the Texas for Technology Enhanced Education Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the…

When #Leadership Fails - Up to the Challenge?

Have you ever been around when leadership fails? The feeling can be summed up as frustration that takes the wind out of anything you're doing or planned to do. Suddenly, when leadership isn't maintaining agreements, it's like the floor has dropped out from underneath you.
The resultant frustration, confusion and disarray constitute fertile breeding grounds for the withdrawal of energies. . .Personal energies are a kind of institutional capital. Their withdrawal [leaves] schools bankrupt. In withdrawing their loyalty from [the leader], the staff lost the sense of identification with their leader, a significant component, albeit one taken for granted, of their relationships with prior [leadership]. Instead of nurturing and concerting the energies that were available throughout the [organization], [the leader's] policies undermine the cooperation of associates and constituents.  (Source: adapted from a quote appearing in When Leadership Failsby Doris Fine) Since I've…

#iPad Palooza

Into iPads in Schools? 

You may want to attend the iPadPalooza!
Westlake HS and TCEA are hosting their first iPadpalooza on June 19, 2012 at Westlake HS in Austin. It'll be a day of creativity and learning about iPad uses, apps, and more.   A call for presenters has been issued on the website at  And registration is cheap, especially for TCEA members ($25 and $50 for non-members).   Meals provided!   So come down, or spread the word!  We look forward to your presentations and to seeing you there!If you are interested in presenting or have questions, feel free to email   
Carolyn FooteWestlake High School LibraryEanes ISDAustin
Hmm...I wonder if I can tear away to attend this!?

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5 Facts About Your New #iPad 3rd Generation

No matter what the technology and how perfect people say it is, there are problems with it. After all, it's the nature of machines to reflect the imperfections of their makers. As I sit back and wait for my 3rd generation iPad to arrive, I'm more sensitive to the stories of imperfection about it. My reaction is a normal one--"Should I return the iPad 3 and trade it in for an iPad 2?"

Check out  this blog entry on Must-Have iPad Apps!
The funny thing is, the more secure a company is in its product, the braver and more forthcoming it should be in fixing it. Of course, that's like expecting the CEO of a company to say, "We have some problems...and we need to fix them." It's a desirable trait, but not always perceived as necessary. It's easier to just "smooth things over," to keep silent until the issue can be resolved or until the last possible moment.

What are some of these facts that Apple maybe never publicized or hasn't been as fo…

The Universal Power of Parents

Having attended Catholic schools from K-12 (well, that time I attended public school kindergarten and walked out because I didn't want to sit on the floor doesn't count, right?), taught in Catholic school for my first teaching job, I appreciate the power of parents to get involved. 
Both as a child and a young teacher, I remember nuns and their power. I still remember Sr. Finbarr starting the staff meeting with a prayer. Where else can you start a faculty meeting with a prayer that takes the starch out of selfish bickering? Wow, that just puts it all into context. 
In case you haven't attended Catholic school--yes, there are nuns with rulers but happily, only one in 12 years who thought to animate the stereotype, in my experience--parents provide quite a bit of the funding.
This can sometimes lead to inequities in treatment...for example, rich guy usually wins most of the arguments, gets deferential treatment, etc. I've seen it time and again. In fact, I often wonder t…

Missed Opportunity for Learning Conversation

"El pez muere por la boca," a Spanish saying my Mom was fond of quoting. Ironic since I'm a blogger and writing gives one the ability to "speak truth to power" and a voice to the disempowered...keeping your mouth shut is what you should NOT do when suffering injustice.

If you've ever wondered about what speaking up can do, consider Global Voices Online, "an international community of bloggers who report on blogs and citizen media from around the world." Still, can we compare the reporting of Global Voice Online with the high school student that appears further down in this blog entry?

If there's one thing my family knows about me, it's that I abhor obscenities, foul language, and don't believe that ANY situation is enough to result in the loss of control exhibited by a curse word. Of course, as a wordsmith, I recognize that the F-word has certain value in fiction, film and elsewhere.

That said, I don't support the actions of the s…

#Moodle Rooms Absorbed by @Blackboard

What a stunner! Blackboard, which ranks up there with the evil empire, is swallowing two Moodle Partners.
Blackboard, the maker of learning and education software for enterprises and schools, has acquiredMoodlerooms and NetSpot, two providers of open source online learning technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Both companies provide learning management hosting, support, and consulting services and products to clients using open source systems. NetSpot is also a reseller and service provider for Blackboard Collaborate. Moodlerooms primarily serves clients in North America, while NetSpot serves a client base in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific region. (Source: TechCrunch) What will this mean for Moodle? Probably nothing. It may be that Blackboard is trying to cash in on Moodle and rejoin the course management system/learning management system (CMS/LMS) community. I doubt they will "embrace and extinguish" but even if they do, Moodle is a community of devel…

Surrendering to the #iPad - Must Have Apps

In this blog entry, you'll read about my surrender to the iPad, as well as have the chance to peruse some of my "must-have" apps for the iPad.  Note: I won't be updating this page with must-have apps, so you'll want to visit or bookmark this one--"must-have" apps for the iPad.

If you haven't watched the video embedded above, you need to. It's school leadership being humorous!

I have a confession to make. Last night, I invested in an iPad (3rd generation; 64gig; see, I followed my own advice about storage) and Apple TV (and plan to purchase a Logitech Zagg keyboard when my budget recovers). After months of experimenting with the iPad, waiting for the 3rd gen version of the device to show up, pushing back against the wild ravings of iPad fanatics, I decided that the iPad is a "force of nature," unstoppable and transforming our society and culture.

Enthusiasm for the use of digital media in education stems from a number of very d…