Showing posts from October, 2014

18 Ways to Perceive @Postachio Blog for @Evernote

Over the last few months, I've had the privilege to serve as's Chief Education Ambassador. Please allow me to publicly thank the team, especially Caleb! It's been a fun ride and I reserve the right to revisit and Evernote as a great blogging combination. 

Unfortunately, time constraints and other responsibilities keep me from living up my ideal--making connections and collaborations between K-Adult learners and possible through my creations.

So, as I step down as Chief Education Ambassador for, please allow me to share some of my recent pieces in the PostachioEd series:

Using @Postachio to Share Notes from a Writers' WorkshopZombies, Writing, @Evernote and @Postachio #postachioed Sharing with Freshmen Students using @postachio @evernote #PostachioEd Make Your Own Book Study eBook! @evernote @postachio A Baker's Dozen of Education Tips Using @evernote and @postachio #PostachioEd  A Better Way: Preparing Feedback for St…

Replace vs Integrate

As a leader, one of my tasks involves "labelling" initiatives, changing what we call what we're doing. Sometimes, it's clear that the labels are disingenuous, inaccurate reflections of what really happens. For example, you might be saying Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), but the result is different than what you expected.

BYOD calls up a vision of teachers crafting blended learning opportunities--where learning is not simply consumption of great content, but creating content individually and collaboratively in ways that only technology can make possible--for, and often in collaboration, with students. It's a wonderful vision, but the sad reality falls short.

While reality isn't necessarily sad in itself, it is sad when implementation fails to live up to the vision. It's sad because we know we can do better but there are obstacles that have sabotaged the effort. You could make a list of all the reasons why initiatives fail, but I'd sum it up as a failure …

5 Ways to Slay the Energy Vampire

Over the last few years, I've seen my energy level slowly decrease. It's weird, only 10 years ago, I remember working all day, heading home and blogging 5-6 entries in a short time. These days, I find myself glad to crank out one blog entry per week. What happened? I suspect that maybe there is an energy vampire sucking my vitality and energy away. It's quite funny when I reflect on my twenties, when I worked with 50 year old teachers and encouraged them to learn how to use technology.

"Come on, you can hang out for 2-3 hours after work! It will be fun and you'll learn!"
"Miguel," they would say to me, dark circles under their eyes, "Ok, we'll come but you have no idea what you're asking."

We'd laugh and off we would go to learn how to manage a gradebook, or use a word processor, or, integrate technology. Ah, what fun we had.

Wouldn't it be neat to plant a wooden stake in the heart of the energy vampire, decapitating that v…

Reflect, Don't Critique

Well, I think I might be ready to start my teacher blog!  If I share a draft with you, would you be brutally honest in it's critique?  ;) Above, you see the request of a new teacher blogger. How would you reply?

While some bludgeon others with their critical remarks in their blog, as a veteran blogger, I've come to a more mellow perspective. As a result, my response to queries like the one above take a different tack, as evidenced by my response below:
Blogs aren't to be critiqued, but rather, excerpted, reflected on through the filter of one's own experience, then written about...a learning conversation that blends experience, research when appropriate, and is inspired by others. So, rather than be brutally honest about critique, I'll be reflective about your inspiration. Of course, if I search Around the Corner, I'm sure I'll find scathing critiques of ideas and policies, but seldom will that be about another blogger. The reason why is that the habit tha…

Living DRM-free: @Smashwords Difference @moellerjonathan @markcoker

Only yesterday, I dropped into a library to visit with a librarian (that's where you can find them, usually). We immediately started discussing ebooks and whether we should invest as schools in print books or ebooks.

"Until ebooks shed digital rights management (DRM)," I preached, "we should avoid them in K-12 schools and focus our funding on print books!" I remembered the enewsletter that author Jonathan Moeller (@moellerjonathan) is kind enough to share with his Goodreads readers:
I am pleased to report that FROSTBORN: THE DARK WARDEN, the sixth book in the FROSTBORN series, is now available on Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon Canada,Amazon Australia, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, Apple iTunes, and Smashwords. In FROSTBORN: THE DARK WARDEN, Ridmark Arban at last reaches the cursed citadel of Urd Morlemoch to learn the truth of the Frostborn from the Warden, but the answer to Ridmark's question might destory him.You can read the first chap…

Embrace Different

What does it mean to be different? It's a question I've often reflected on, inconclusively. Ever since I realized that being bullied in middle school has forced me to step back from any social engagement, to observe the interactions of others and myself from afar, I've known I was apart, and different.

Over time, you come to value the power of individuality, the power to act in ways different than others. When considering a new initiative, I often ask, "Is this something your campus or district has done previously?" If the answer is a "No, we've never done this before," then I take some small measure of pride that I have helped folks make new tracks across the land. There is no guarantee that the results of acting differently will yield the desired results, but doing the same old thing and expecting different results...well, Einstein didn't think much of that either.

Dr. Scott McLeod points out:
But folks get defensive. And angry. Or they withdra…

13 Tools for Productivity on Your #Chromebook and #iPad (Updated 1/2015)

Have you ever asked yourself, "Can I do that with this device?" It's a lot of fun. For example, the iPad has become a bit of a boring tool for me, not because it's hard to do things with it, but rather, because I feel like I've mapped out workflows for what I commonly do. Once you map out what you do normally, you start to ask yourself, "What else can I do?"

Some of the common tasks--and the quick solutions I use on each--I expect to be able to do include the following (I've indicated in parentheses the cost of each, if it's not free):

EmailiPad:CloudMagic app (free and fantastic for iOS and Android!)Chromebook: CloudMagic chrome appWeb surfingiPad:Chrome, iCab ($1.99), Puffin (Flash friendly sites) browsersChromebook: ChromeCurating content with ReadItLater's Pocket, Evernote and Postach.ioiPad: Evernote, ReadItLater's Pocket, EverClip2 (read my blog entry), Flipboard (read more)Chromebook:Evernote and their WebClipper, Clearly, ReadItLa…

Book Review: Deadly Odds (Updated 10/4/2014)

In late September, I received an email making me aware of a book entitled, Deadly Odds, by Allen Wyler.
We’re currently raising awareness for our upcoming techno-thriller Deadly Odds by award-winning author Allen Wyler, to be published in October. And to promote its release, I’m contacting you on the off chance that you might be interested in a suspenseful, fast-paced thriller about a young computer genius whose impressive hacking skill gets him involved in a web of international terrorism. If so, we’d love to send you a complimentary advance copy of the book (ebook or print) for a possible review on your site, Around the Corner. So, I said, "Sure, why not?" Who wouldn't like to read a book like that? In a short time, I was emailed a DRM-free ebook (epub, mobi) for review...great!

If you have been following the Edward Snowden leaks, as well as been perturbed by the illegal spying on Americans by the National Security Agency (NSA), or are intrigued by the Darknet, The Oni…