Showing posts from December, 2017

Q&A with a CTO: Striving for Balance

A few weeks ago, I received a Twitter DM from a colleague in another state. After going back-n-forth in Twitter DMs, I decided to explore the topic as a full blown blog entry. Here's the lead for the TCEA Technotes blog entry that just came out earlier this week:

Dear TCEA Responds: I am a new CTO/Tech Director and love this article at TCEA’s Technotes blog (First Things First). I need to better understand how my staff works. A part of that involves tracking their work to better understand the organization as you recommend. We have the break fix tracking software. I’m thinking more of something project oriented and time tracking. My concern is my coaches are spending too much time on fixing broken equipment and not enough on curriculum support. My network and hardware specialists may be spending too much time waiting for things to go down, if that makes sense. Do you have any software recommendations for doing that?
Thanks, Mike Dear Mike: Thanks for the wonderful feedbac…

Managing Your Chrome Add-Ons

This is a test...the screen for this blog entry should be blank, but if viewed in an RSS reader, all the content appears. :-)

These add-on managers not only allow you to disable or remove add-ons you may get while exploring; they may also work conditionally, meaning they work differently depending on the website you happen to be on.
Two fantastic Google Chrome add-ons that you might want to consider include the following:
SimpleExtManager: A simple menu to enable, disable, and access extension optionsExtensity: Quickly enable/disable Google Chrome extensions
These image add-ons that can enhance how you interact with images via Chrome.
Unsplash Instant: Every time you open a new tab, you will see a beautiful "high-resolution Unsplash photo that you can save and/or use as you like.Hover Zoom: Enlarge image thumbnails on mouse over while surfing the web. Works on many sites, including Google Image Search, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Reddit, Amazon, Tumblr and others. An alternativ…

AL DíA: The Value of an Education

In the Huffington Post piece, Has higher education lost the battle of public perception?, a question is asked that some already have answered. "No," said a 10K student district superintendent, to my great disappointment, "our kids need to look at other opportunities aside from college."
Part of what made America’s world leadership possible is that higher education provided a safety valve that prepared millions of Americans for the change from a manufacturing to a post-industrial global economy.

As America evolves, there is no single straight or even clear path toward the future. Some Americans have been left behind, economic disparity has grown, and a growing split between economic classes – represented by the chasm between the rhetoric and reality in the current national tax plans – are persistent issues. It may be that higher education has lost the battle over the language that describes what its colleges and universities do in this hyper-charged partisan environ…

AL DíA: A Cog's Game

Are you a cog in the machine, a piece of machinery that does only what it must do for the greater good? Well, what's wrong with that? Imagine building trust without being reliable, trustworthy. I can't imagine putting my trust in someone who couldn't get the job done every day, right? Hmm....

A writer who has an angle always appears smarter than one who does not. As such, I try to put an angle in every bit of writing I do. I succeed and fail with some regularity (you tell me which). While looking for the quote, I found myself reading this piece:
Once you have a good angle, the actual writing is a snap, because you know what to put in and what to leave out. In fact, once you have an angle, what often follows is the easiest thing in the world to write: a list. (Source) The power of the list, fondly referred to as the listicle (an article full of lists), made writing easier for me. For inspiration, I often re-read Writing the Ed-Tech List Article. None of this would have come…

AL DíA: STEM Tools, DIY Projects and More

Wow, I had a lot of fun putting this blog entry together on a subject that is near and dear to many people's hearts. I was trying for a blog entry about STEM toys, but failed miserably. Instead, I stumbled on a treasure trove of STEM DIY projects in Pinterest. A second grade teacher in San Angelo, Tx had hinted that such troves were the source of her STEM awesomeness.

Here's the excerpt where I share that story in the blog entry, along with a kazillion DIY ideas in Pinterest for STEM Projects:
“Where did you get your idea for that project?” I asked a second grade teacher who was sharing a STEM project at a San Angelo, Tx TCEA area conference. “Pinterest!” she replied with a smile. “I find most of my ideas there.” You can also find a STEM Awesomeness Padlet featuring lots of great ideas online. I'll be adding to it over time.

Read the blog entry, STEM Tools, DIY Projects and Toys Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not nece…

Thirteen Insights for CTOs

Ok, I'm sure you are just dying to know what I've written about that Chief Technology Officers (CTOs), Technology Directors/Coordinators need to know about. I'm particularly pleased because this series enabled me to tap into my actual experiences as a Director of Technology for a 10K student school district. These were all published at TCEA TechNotes' blog.

Wait, did you really just write about 20 blog entries? Actually, I wrote about 10 more that were classified as CTO/CIO but I didn't include them here. You can read them online yourself.

CTO Related
Tracking Digital Coaches and Technicians - Scheduled for 12/20/17 publicationStrategizing Your BYOD ImplementationPart 1Part 2Part 3Part 4When Disaster Strikes Series:Part 1: Insights One and TwoPart 2: Insights Three through FivePart 3 - The Game Heat Sensitive: Server Room Temperature GaugesTime and Attendance TrackingSecuring Data in the CloudDigital Fax SolutionsSaving High School Seniors' Digital WorkKeys to th…

AL DíA: STEM Innovators VIP Breakfast

On January 5, 2018, there will be a STEM Innovators VIP Breakfast in San Antonio, Tx. If you are free, you may want to attend. Here's the full text of the invitation:
I’d like to invite you to attend the STEM Innovators-in-Training Experience VIP Coffee & Conversation on January 5, 2018 from 8:00 – 9:30 am at Sunset Station, 1174 E. Commerce St., San Antonio, TX 78205. The VIP event aims to strengthen the STEM ecosystem in the region by bringing community members from all industry sectors together to share ideas and best practices to maximize our collective impact in helping students engage in, love and learn from STEM education opportunities. Time permitting, stay to observe the STEM Innovators-in-Training Experience in action. Making the STEM ecosystem stronger certainly seems like a worthy goal. And, the event is FREE.
Register for this free event at Select "SAN ANTONIO" from the dropdown menu Don't forget to invite c…

My GoogleEDU and MicrosoftEDU Blog Entry Roundup

Over at TCEA TechNotes blog this year, I've written quite a few blog entries. Are any of you reading them?

My total blog entries at TCEA are at 232 (although that will change since I have a third part in my series on When Disaster Strikespending review and scheduling for publication). I wrote 134 of those 232 during 2017. I had hoped to write 365, but webinars, F2F workshops kept me having fun in different ways. Oh well. That will be my 2018 New Year's Resolution (prob not).

For fun, I thought I'd take a look back and list all the 2017 blog entries I've written relevant to Google and Microsoft.

Alas, it is a war repletewith the sweet aroma of constant growth. Both Google and Microsoft distinguished themselves in adding new features in response to educator demand. Neither suite of tools is perfect, though some will argue the point.

Now, before you claim I'm partisan to one over the other, remember that I am both a Goo…

Artful Angles Engage

The older I get, the more discriminating I am when it comes to books and articles I read. I hate spending a single minute on a story that's going nowhere. Yet, just yesterday, I stumbled onto a piece about writing that made me sit up and take notice. Instead of the usual disdain for a long piece of writing appearing online, I found myself re-reading it, like a condemned man reading a religious tract on salvation.
Once you have a good angle, the actual writing is a snap, because you know what to put in and what to leave out. In fact, once you have an angle, what often follows is the easiest thing in the world to write: a list.  Adair Lara's Find an Angle to Bring Your Subject to Life caught my eye with this quote:
While children are dogs, loyal and affectionate, teenagers are cats. When you tell them to come inside, they look amazed, as if wondering who died and made you emperor. Thank you, Adair, for coaching. I'm going to keep a copy of your article near my desk and n…

AL DíA: Free eBook: DIY vs Managed Cloud Hosting

Check out a free ebook from Lambda Solutions. What intrigued me about the book was how closely it aligned with some of my own experiences hosting a learning management system in my own school district. Some of my takeaways for doing that included server setup (not a big deal in a large school district, but smaller districts, what a headache at first), maintenance and security updates, and ensuring I kept up with what I needed to know to maintain it.
Many organizations that choose DIY hosting do so because they have an infatuation with owning innovative technologies that drive business forward. Having industry standard, cutting edge hosting, requires a significant commitment to stay ahead of the curve (aka, your competitors). In the business of hosting this entails spending significant time learning new technologies and researching/ buying the latest equipment.
In the end, my experiences as a Director of Technology taught me a valuable lesson--outsource whenever possible. You can hold…

AL DíA: Eight Second Storytelling

Today, you often haveonly about eight seconds to tell a story, orone second less than a goldfish.
 Here are some tips for creating short content: Engage with image/videoOffer a call to actionBe quick, get to the pointDon’t compress, reduceInform, entertain or bothSome ideas suggested or adapted via 15 Brilliant Examples of Visual Storytelling on Instagram include: Combine words and images to tell a compelling story about a historical eventAsk your students and/or community to share compelling pictures that provide insight (e.g. academic achievement, sports tale, a digital book jacket retelling a story in students’ own words)How your students/staff have helped others at school, at work, or in the communityA visual story of an upcoming or current event from a student perspectiveA collection of images that captures different perspectives of the same situation Read the rest of the story
To make the point, check out the @StatisticBrain twitter's one example. Look for vi…

AL DíA: Automation Hope

Hope in being hard to automate...
The hardest activities to automate with currently available technologies are those that involve managing and developing people (9 percent automation potential) or that apply expertise to decision making, planning, or creative work (18 percent). These activities, often characterized as knowledge work, can be as varied as coding software, creating menus, or writing promotional materials. The importance of human interaction is evident in two sectors that, so far, have a relatively low technical potential for automation: healthcare and education.

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

Enchant Your Ears Part 1- My Fav Audio Book Picks (Updated 1/2019)

Looking for some awesome stories to enchant your ear? Then you've come to the right place! I need content that's going to make my blood boil, make me laugh outright, and keep me engaged. For those of you who still think (as I once did) that audio isn't as good as reading text, make sure you read the research section at the end of this blog entry!

Be sure to read Part 2 of this series!

As an Audible Platinum user ($22.95 a month, worth every penny since you get 2 credits (or two audio books per month)), as well as someone who spends a significant amount of time sitting in a car, I have ample time to listen. Unfortunately, non-fiction tales, documentaries, self-help stuff puts me to sleep (not good when I'm driving a car).While I started listening to tons of free audiobooks available via Librivox and other sources, I soon found myself exhausting content.

What I Look For in an Audio Book
To make sure you and I are on the same page, here's what I'm looking for in an …

Upcoming #SATX Free Digital Transition Event 01/18/18

The Learning Counsel is organizing this event for area school leaders. They are offering the 6th edition of their Digital Education - Special Report online - Systems Leadership versus the Classroom. The conversation is definitely worth having and Leilani does an awesome job of facilitating the dialogue.

Digital Transition Discussion Free for Educators – Bring your Team
San Antonio Meeting Thursday, January 18th - 8:00am to 2:00pm
Education Service Center Region 20 Bexar Room 1314 Hines Ave. San Antonio, Tx

Attend for a Day of Discussion on the Next Stage of School Transformation
As the ever-louder voice of data intrudes and transforms at every level of the education enterprise, school leaders and teachers need understanding. 
LeiLani's morning briefing will show the latest data on outside consumer pressure, research on market dynamics and more.  Based on your role in schools or districts, you can expect important and practical professional development including:

AL DíA: Automation Impact on Jobs

Pretty amazing. Automation is going to hurt the people least able to handle it. Teachers make an average of $27.28 per hour. It looks like about 25-50% teaching jobs are likely to be automated. Am I reading that graph right?
Up to 800 million people—including a third of the work force in the U.S. and Germany—will be made jobless by 2030, the study says...The economy of most countries will eventually replace the lost jobs, the study says, but many of the unemployed will need considerable help to shift to new work, and salaries could continue to flatline...half of those thrown out of work—375 million people, comprising 14% of the global work force—will have to find entirely new occupations. Source: AXIOS Reading other information from the report, it's pretty tough stuff:
Capabilities such as creativity and sensing emotions are core to the human experience and also difficult to automate. The amount of time that workers spend on activities requiring these capabilities, though, appe…

AL DíA: Connecting with Parents

What a great idea! John Stevens (@jstevens009) posted this as a tweet:
I wish my child's teacher knew... This is a social experiment to help teachers realize the realities that parents face. Imagine you're at a parent conference with your child's teacher and are given the chance to tell them about what's going on. What do you say? While many teachers are parents, or are aware of the commitment that parenting takes, we all have unique perspectives and it is important to bring them to light. The hope is that this short survey will do that and more. Once responses come in, I will be posting them to my website,, and possibly social media, but yours will always remain anonymous.
Thank you for participating. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me:
Twitter - @jstevens009
Email -
To share this survey, please use I wish my child's teacher knew... We all carry something with us as parents. What is something that you …

AL DíA: Maker Taxonomy

When I first saw this maker education stages, it made me think of Bloom's Taxonomy. A little about the stages from Dr. Gerstein:
My contention is that learners often don’t know what they don’t know; and that giving them the basic skills frees them to then use their creativity and innovation to take these tools into self-determined directions. (Source: Dr. Jackie Gerstein, Scaffolding Maker Education Learning Experiences)

via Dr. Jackie Gerstein

 While some have argued that maker spaces are a waste of time and funding, I propose they are simply the first critical steps learners take. Stages like those shown above suggest a different path, a way to "think different."

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

AL DíA #2: BYOD- Should we?

It's too late to ask if we should do BYOD, isn't it? Many of us have already embarked on this journey, or implemented it. In my old district, the superintendent just asked, "Can we have this start next month?" The assumption was that all the infrastructure (e.g. bandwidth, wireless access points) and policies were all in place. Of course, they weren't. I'm reminded of the old leadership quote...

To Be a Great Leader, Ask Questions, Don't Answer Them
That question my old superintendent asked me set us on a path of discovery and upgrades. He set the direction simply by asking the question, "Can we have BYOD start next month?" While the answer was "No," it was important to explain WHY the answer was no and how we could turn each NO into a YES.

But, perhaps, a more profound question is the one suggested by this blog entry....
So when you do BYOD you agree that you are not going to maximize the possible use of the devices as faculty and st…